Clarifying Points On Membership And Visitorship - Dandelion

Tags: Visits and Visitors, Membership, Dandelion

Clarifying Points On Membership And Visitorship DN-D5

Clarifying Points On Membership And Visitorship DN-D5

In ongoing dialogue among members, it has come to light that understandings and expectations around people staying here are sometimes unclear. Extended or repeated visits, and associate membership raise some practical questions that have not yet been clearly defined.

People living here who are not full-time members provide much valued energy, friendship, labor, and creative input; and in return benefit by having a home base, a sense of belonging and participation, and of course-- shelter and sustenance. Both in the past and currently, Dandelion has also been a supportive place for some people who are not ready to make a full commitment to community to stay while "sorting things out" or considering life changes. We want to be able to continue to provide such a space, but not at the expense of full-time members needs - and the stability of the community.

As full-time members, we have made Dandelion our primary commitment - three major aspects of this being time, money, and mobility. Visitors and associate members are not asked to make this same commitment. However, we have always asked visitors to share both the advantages and the limitations of our lifestyle during their stay here - for example, limiting their personal spending to about $6.00/week (as we must), doing advance consultation and planning for personal trips away, and generally adhering to community norms. These expectations need to apply to associate members as well.

We have developed a greater awareness of our need for a stable home environment. A factor in achieving this is having definite chunks of time when we can count on individuals being here-- or, conversely, being away. A separate but related point is the need for the community to reserve the option to make use of the part-time resident's room if it is needed during that person's absence.

Being around here (time and commitment) is essential to both involvement in decision-making and responsibilities such as managerships. We have thought through the managership question, and have realized that managers represent an important level of day - to - day decision making, as well as providing special input to longer-range plans and policies. Both of these functions require full communication and predictable degree of continuity, as well as a shared understanding of and commitment to Dandelion itself. So while we welcome and encourage everyone's involvement in the different managership areas, we have decided that Associate Members interested in managerships should co-manage with a full-time member, and that it is not appropriate for visitors to take on managerships as such.

Decision-making at the group level will also reflect the differences in degree of commitment. It does not make sense for people who are not here full-time and who are actively maintaining options outside the community, to have the same influence as full-time members on decisions that affect or determine how we live here at Dandelion. Constructive ideas and input from associate members and long-term visitors are appreciated, but will clearly be seen in the light of the differing levels of commitment to / involvement in the community.

Hopefully, this statement will clarify areas of confusion that may have been felt by both Dandelion members and non-member residents. We are working together toward the common goal of a stable, harmonious community-- and as such, periodic evaluation and feedback is necessary. Trust grows in an atmosphere of caring and respectful dialogue. This is another step in Dandelion's exploration of that process.

(signed by) Kathleen. Andy, Helen, (illegible)