Membership Policy (1996-2009)
Approved by CP’s 9/96
Last updated 2009
I. BECOMING A PROVISIONAL MEMBER
A. FIRST-TIME APPLICANTS
Anyone wishing to join T.O. must be a three-week visitor in the Visitor Program, approved by the Visitor Manager. The prospective member is expected to have made quota for cos entire visitor period. At its discretion, the Community Membership Team (CMT) may excuse a labor shortfall in one week, but in any event, the prospective member is required to have made quota for at least two weeks.
1. When a 3-week visitor wants to join Twin Oaks:
a. Co is given an informational briefing about the membership process.
b. This is followed by a membership meeting with the CMT. At least two members of the Team must be present.
c. A 3X5 card is posted requesting input on the prospective member.
d. Generally the Team will make a decision based on the meeting and the input. (Sometimes a non-binding poll is used to help the Team decide. The options on provisional membership polls are: ACCEPT, REJECT, VISIT AGAIN. Provisional member polls are distributed to all members.) Members will have up to ten days to give input or respond to a poll. Confidentiality will apply to all input and polls. There are no set restrictions on interpreting input or poll results. No formula determines the Team’s answer. Flexibility and consensus are valued in making Team decisions.
2. If a prospective member has debts or assets which are an impediment to membership because of the Property Code, co must make arrangements with the Legal Manager to the satisfaction of the CMT.
3. If an applicant is asked to visit again, the CMT will determine how much time must pass before a second three-week visit may occur. One year is the maximum time away that will be required before a second visit. If an applicant is rejected, co can reapply only after one year.
4. Those accepted for provisional membership must go away from Twin Oaks for at least one month before joining. The month away is 30 days and begins when the visitor leaves the community after the visitor period. The Membership Team can make exceptions in cases of hardship.
5. If more than six months passes between invitation to join and the proposed arrival date, co must visit again, reapply, and be re-accepted before joining. This six-month acceptance period can be extended under some circumstances. See the section on Waiting List, Section I(C)(3) of this policy.
6. All incoming members are required to have a medical exam and must send back a completed medical exam form to our Health Team before they return to the community as members. The community provides medical exam forms and instructions to prospective members. (Provisional members who can't afford an exam can have one done at Twin Oaks. They will be charged on a sliding scale.)
7. During the month away, all incoming members must also have a dental checkup and have all the necessary and recommended work done, unless they have already done this within six months prior to joining. Eyeglasses and contact lenses must be brought up to date.
8. Exceptions, such as setting aside money to have dental work, etc. done while at Twin Oaks, must be worked out with the Dental Manager/Health Team and Legal Manager, as appropriate.
9. Also during the month away, the prospective member should tie up loose ends, make arrangements for pets not approved for trial membership and procure whatever supplies the community doesn’t usually furnish for provisional members but which co is likely to want or need (for example, new boots, medicines, vitamins, stereo, etc.).
10. If the CMT learns significant new information about a visitor who has been accepted for provisional membership but has not yet joined the community, and this information causes the team to question cos membership, the CMT may suspend the acceptance decision until the team has a chance to talk with co. If, after this talk happens, the CMT feels the Community was not aware of significant information when they gave input, a new input period will happen after the new information is put out. The person in question must be given a chance to present cos views. If, on good authority, the CMT learns that serious bad faith declarations were made during an interview, the CMT may, at their discretion, revoke an acceptance decision before "Robert Tupelo-Schneck" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, provisional membership has begun.
B. RETURNING EX-MEMBERS
1. If a former member wishes to rejoin Twin Oaks and has been gone for more than a year, or was a provisional member and has been gone for more than 30 days, co follows the membership procedure described above for newcomers.
2. If the ex-member has been gone less than a year, the Membership Team issues a provisional member poll to full members with the following options:
ACCEPT WITH FEEDBACK (a contract is not a possible outcome of the Feedback)
FEEDBACK (a contract is a possible outcome)
Whenever possible, the Membership Team will complete the initial poll prior to the ex-member’s return.
a. If fewer than 10% of the full members vote REJECT, FEEDBACK or ACCEPT WITH FEEDBACK, then the returning ex-member is accepted as a provisional member without further process.
b. If 10% or more vote ACCEPT WITH FEEDBACK, FEEDBACK or REJECT, but the total of FEEDBACK and REJECT votes is less than 10%, the returning ex-member is accepted with a Feedback.
c. If 10% or more of the full members vote FEEDBACK or REJECT, a Feedback is mandatory, with the possible outcome of a contract.
d. If 15% or more of the full members vote REJECT, then the Membership Team informs the Process Team that a feedback is required. Representatives of the Membership Team will attend the feedback. In the case of returning ex-members, the Membership Team will determine within two days following the feedback whether a contract is feasible and desirable. If the Membership Team decides against pursuing a contract, it will issue a poll one week after the feedback on which the only options are ACCEPT and REJECT. If the Membership Team decides to pursue a contract, it will instruct the Contract Team to meet and start a contracting process with the ex-member. See Section III of this policy on contracting process. One week after the contract has been made available to the community, the Membership Team will issue a second poll with the options of ACCEPT, ACCEPT WITH CONTRACT and REJECT.
e. If, on this second poll, 15% or more of the full members vote REJECT, the person is rejected. If fewer than 15% vote REJECT but 10% or more vote REJECT or ACCEPT WITH CONTRACT, the person is accepted with the contract.
3. If accepted, the month away requirement will be waived and these members will be placed at the top of any existing waiting list.
C. SCHEDULING ARRIVAL OF NEW MEMBERS
Four rules operate simultaneously in determining when persons accepted for provisional membership may begin their membership:
1. Assimilation. The number of members joining typically shall not exceed three per month in two consecutive months.
2. Gender Balance. If the gender ratio exceeds 60:40, no member of the majority gender may join until the ratio after cos joining will not exceed 60:40.
3. Waiting List. We will maintain an acceptance list of all people who are accepted for membership. When the community is full we will also maintain a ready-to-join list.
a. When we have enough openings that a ready-to-join list is not in effect:
i. When a person on the acceptance list knows when co will be ready to join, co writes the CMT to let them know the date that co wishes to arrive. Co may join on that date assuming 30 days have passed since their visitor period ended. Co would need to join within four weeks after their stated date or be considered to have deferred.
ii. To stay on the acceptance list for more than six months after the date a person was notified of cos acceptance, co would need to notify the CMT in writing of their desire to be extended on the acceptance list and co would need to visit T.O. for seven consecutive days during the fourth, fifth or sixth month of the acceptance period. This would extend their acceptance for three months (for a total of nine months).
iii. Six months, or nine months if extended, after cos date of notification, cos name is dropped from the acceptance list. Anyone in this position can always visit again to have the opportunity to renew cos eligibility to join Twin Oaks.
b. When a ready-to-join list is in effect:
i. When a person on the acceptance list notifies us of cos desired return date, cos name is placed on a ready-to-join list, which is prioritized in the order that accepted visitors contact us, with the exception that ex-members returning within one year are placed at the top of the list.
ii. When the six month mark has passed, folks on the ready-to-join list are automatically granted an extension to nine months.
iii. The CMT will send a form letter to those on the ready-to-join list six months after their date of notification, and every three months after that, asking if they want to stay on the ready-to-join list. To stay eligible, co will need to respond, in writing, within three weeks, to the CMT. Staying on the ready-to-join list can be extended indefinitely, until we have an opening to offer co. If this period lasts more than one year, further process is necessary (see c.iv below).
c. When an opening happens and there is a ready-to-join list:
i. We go down the ready-to-join list to offer the spot to the first available person who can join within 30 days.
ii. An offer for a spot may be refused once. If a second offer is refused, cos name is dropped from both the ready-to-join list and the acceptance list.
iii. If a person on the ready-to-join list notifies us of a change in cos date of availability to a later date, co will drop to the bottom position on the ready-to-join list.
iv. If a person was accepted over a year before being offered a spot, co would be expected to do a three-week visit and be re-accepted before being able to join. Co arrives for a scheduled three-week visit and will have their membership interview in the first week of their visit. The CMT will solicit input during cos visit and make a decision by the end of cos visitor period. If accepted, co can assume membership immediately or may choose to go away for up to one month before beginning provisional membership.
4. Doubling. Voluntary doubling to increase population above the number of existing member spaces is a community option to be considered by the planners at the point it becomes an issue.
II. BECOMING A FULL MEMBER
This section deals with procedures for first-time (six-month) provisional-to-full transition. See the Labor Hole and Money Hole policies for provisional-to-full transition under those policies.
This section of the Membership Policy was amended in June 1994. It was created in the spirit of giving provisional members a reasonable length of time to change objectionable behaviors or habits before facing a final poll which might result in a decision to reject. It is a move in the direction of trying to identify and address problems, allowing more people the chance to adapt to living at Twin Oaks, rather than rejecting people without trying to address the problems. It is a move towards more community involvement in membership decision making, especially by expecting increased input to the Membership Team in problem situations.
It includes, for the first time, Membership Team discretion at the six-month polling point. In cases that would formerly have led directly to rejection (and often override), the Membership Team will determine whether (a) the individual has been given an adequate amount of time and information to try to change problem behaviors; and (b) the reasons for rejecting are serious enough to warrant immediate rejection.
A. THREE-MONTH INPUT
In the course of the provisional membership period, typically at the end of the third month, provisional members will be informed that their three month input is approaching, and will be given the option of putting out a paper on the O&I (or mailbox paper, their choice) letting the community know how their membership is going. The Membership Team is responsible for making sure this happens.
A few days later, the Membership Team will call for input from all members about how they feel about the provisional member. The Membership Team will meet with the new member to pass on the input. If it seems appropriate, the team may suggest that a support person for the provisional member be present at this meeting.
The Membership Team will treat this information as confidential, and the names of the people who gave input will not be disclosed to the provisional member. However, the provisional member may request to communicate with the giver(s) of the feedback, in which case the Membership Team would ask the giver if co is willing to communicate with the provisional member. There is no obligation to grant the request, although direct communication is preferred.
If the feedback to the provisional member is largely positive and does not indicate problems, no further action needs to be taken.
However, if the feedback shows that there are concerns that might lead to a vote other than ACCEPT at the six-month poll, the provisional member will write a paper to the community (O&I or mailbox) communicating what co has heard and understood of these concerns and telling how co intends to address these concerns before cos full member poll.
B. SIX-MONTH POLLS
At the end of six months, provisional members will put out a paper on the O&I (or mailbox paper, their choice) letting the community know how their membership is going. If they have been in the labor or money hole for two or more months during their provisional membership, they must mention the specifics of their labor/money hole situation, along with whatever explanation they wish to provide. The Membership Team is responsible for making sure this happens. Once the letter has been posted, and if the provisional member is in good standing from a financial and labor perspective (zero or better balances in labor, allowance, VE, PFF and anything similar) the Membership Team issues a poll to the full members with the following options listed:
ACCEPT WITH FEEDBACK (A contract is not a possible outcome of the feedback)
EXTEND (which requires a Feedback, possible contract and a second poll at the end of a three-month extension)
All members must state reason(s) for any vote other than a simple ACCEPT. We strongly prefer explanations in some detail, but they can be as brief as, "I don’t like co."
We discourage REJECT votes based on political reasons, but recognize their inevitability and want to encourage people to give their honest reasons. Therefore, any reason will be considered a valid reason.
1. Tallying votes.
a. If fewer than 10% of the full members vote REJECT, EXTEND, or ACCEPT WITH FEEDBACK, then the provisional member is accepted as a full member without further process.
b. In the event of any outcome other than ACCEPT, the Process Team will be informed of the nature of the concerns so that they can help facilitate a positive resolution, if possible.
c. If 10% or more of the full members vote either ACCEPT WITH FEEDBACK, EXTEND, or REJECT, and the combination of EXTEND and REJECT votes total less than 10%, then the result is ACCEPT WITH FEEDBACK.
d. If 10% or more of the votes cast are EXTEND and/or REJECT, and fewer than 15% of the votes are REJECT, then the result is EXTEND, requiring a Feedback and possibly a contract. The extension period will be three months unless there is a contract, in which case the extension period will be for the duration of the contract (see Section III, "Contracting Process"). A final membership poll is issued to all full members at the end of the extension period with the options of:
ACCEPT WITH FEEDBACK (no contract possible)
If the poll after the extension period results in 15% or higher REJECT vote, the person is rejected and must leave.
e. If 15% or more of the full members vote REJECT, then the Membership Team informs the Process Team that a feedback is required. Representatives of the Membership Team will attend the feedback. We encourage the feedback group to come to a unified recommendation to either extend cos membership or to reject co. Within two days following the feedback, the Membership Team will determine if the person’s provisional membership can be extended or if a second poll is necessary, with the options of EXTEND and REJECT. The Membership Team’s decision will be based on whether (a) the individual has been given an adequate amount of time and information to try to change problem behaviors; and (b) the reasons for rejecting are serious enough to warrant immediate rejection. The Team will consider all input, giving particular consideration to the opinions expressed at the feedback.
f. If the team decides that a second poll is necessary, the poll will be issued one week after the feedback. If 15% or more of the full members vote REJECT, the person is rejected. If a member is rejected, membership ends when the results of the poll are tallied. At the discretion of the CMT, co may have up to one month to leave the community.
2. Rejections Based on Political Reasons
If the Membership Team determines that half or more of the REJECT votes are due to a single political issue, the decision is suspended, unless there are enough non-political REJECT votes to cause rejection.
There will, in such a case, be a two-week period to allow at least one community meeting regarding the political issue, followed by a decision paper about the political issue, or, more likely (given the time constraint), a statement of intent from the Planners or other appropriate decision-making body. The statement of intent will try to convey a sense of the direction the decision-making body believes the Community will be taking regarding the political issue at hand. After the statement has been on the O&I Board for one week, a second poll will be issued with the same options as the first poll. All reasons are considered valid reasons.
The person whose membership is being discussed will be offered a leave of absence during the suspension period. Co will retain cos provisional status until the second poll is complete.
If the second poll results in a 15% or higher REJECT vote, the person is rejected and must leave. If a member is rejected, membership ends when the results of the poll are tallied. At the discretion of the CMT, co may have up to one month to leave the community.
C. PROVISIONAL MEMBERS IN THE HOLE
1. If a provisional member reaches the end of cos six-month trial period and is not then in good standing in labor and/or money (i.e., is in the hole in labor, allowance, VE, PFF or any similar matter), the Membership Team will issue a public statement of the problem account and at the same time will issue a poll. The poll in this case presents a choice between:
EXTEND WITH FEEDBACK (includes possible contract)
Reasons are required.
If 10% or less of the full members vote either EXTEND WITH FEEDBACK or REJECT, the result is EXTEND.
If 15% or more of the full members vote REJECT, the procedures in paragraph II.B.1.e,f and II.B.2 apply.
If more than 10% of the full members vote either EXTEND WITH FEEDBACK or REJECT and less than 15% vote REJECT, the result is EXTEND WITH FEEDBACK (and possible contract). In either case (EXTEND or EXTEND WITH FEEDBACK), the member’s provisional status is extended for three months (or for the duration of any contract that results). By this time, the financial or labor deficiencies must be corrected. There is no second extension.
2. If the deficiency has been corrected, a full member poll is issued to all full members at the end of the extension. This poll has only these options:
ACCEPT WITH FEEDBACK (no contract possible)
3. If the second poll results in 15% or higher REJECT votes, the person is rejected and must leave. Membership ends when the poll results are tallied. At the discretion of the CMT, co may have up to one month to leave the community.
4. If any of cos labor or money balances show a deficit at the end of the three-month extension, cos membership ends at that time and the provisional member must leave the community. At the discretion of the CMT, co may have up one month to leave the community.
III. CONTRACTING PROCESS
If it is determined through the membership process that a conditional membership contract shall be considered, this is the process that shall be used.
1. Conditional membership contract. A conditional membership contract is a contract entered into between the community and a member, as a condition for continued membership in the community. These contracts may be referred to simply as "contracts" elsewhere in this document.
2. Contract Team. Shall be comprised of a member of each of the following bodies: Community Planners, Community Membership Team, Health Team, Process Team, and a member at large. If the contract that is being made involves another body, such as the Child Board, etc., then a representative from that body shall sit on the Contract Team for that particular contract. Also present during the negotiations will be the focus person and/or an advocate for the focus person if co chooses to have one.
The Contract Team (CT )is the bottom-line decision maker on (a) whether a contract is the appropriate option (except in the case of returning ex-members, in which case the CMT is the bottom-line decision maker), (b) the contents of the contract, (c) the duration of the contract, (d) monitoring contract compliance as well as calling any public meetings relevant to the contract, (e) determining if a contract should be considered irrevocably broken after a public meeting on such a topic.
3. Length of Contract. Contracts shall be for a period not less than six months and not more than a year from the date they are signed.
4. Status of Membership. When the community enters into a conditional membership contract with a provisional member, the focus person shall remain a provisional member for the duration of the contract. Some benefits, such as health coverage and possible other benefits normally provided for full members, will be given to those whose provisional membership is extended because of a contract since their provisional membership will then go well beyond the normal six-month period.
5. Focus Person. The member being contracted with.
6. Irrevocably Broken Contract. For the purpose of this policy, irrevocably broken is used to mean that some term or terms of the contract have been broken, or have not been met, to the extent that the community as represented by the CT (see III.B.13) does not wish to re-negotiate and wants the focus person to honor the agreement to drop cos membership. This provision is not meant to apply each time a focus person breaks any aspect of cos contract, but rather is intended for use when reasonable negotiation does not seem to be working and inappropriate or undesirable behaviors or circumstances persist. If the focus person refuses to drop cos membership when asked, the Contract Team may cancel the contract (regardless of its stated expiration date), at which time a full member poll will be issued by the Membership Team. In the alternative, expulsion proceedings may be used.
1. If during the three-month input process or after a provisional member receives an EXTEND outcome on their six-month poll or on a poll on a returning ex-member, the members of the community make it known to the Membership Team that they wish co to have a contract as a condition for cos membership, the following procedure will be followed.
2. A public feedback will precede the decision to make a contract through the membership process (groups such as the Health Team may decide to make particular types of contracts that do not require a public meeting). Members of the contract team (or the CMT in the case of returning ex-members) will attend the feedback.
3. The period for community input is from the time a feedback is announced until the contract team meets with the focus person to negotiate the contract. Ordinarily, at least 7 days will be allowed for this. At the feedback and through individual input, members should communicate their concerns about the focus person and any specific conditions they wish to see in the contract if there is to be one. The feedback group will recommend to the CT (or the CMT in the case of returning ex-members) whether or not they think a contract is appropriate. This is to encourage participation in the meeting process. The feedback group is encouraged to come to a unified recommendation. The idea of this process is to involve more members in dealing with problems and difficulties. The CT will consider the feedback group’s recommendation and any other pertinent information in determining whether or not the contracting process is the best option, and what terms the community wishes to have included in a contract.
4. When the feedback is scheduled, a meeting of the Contract Team will also be scheduled to occur as soon after the feedback as possible. At this meeting, the Contract Team will decide whether a contract is an appropriate and desirable option and will discuss what terms the community wants to have included in the contract. (In the case of returning ex-members, the CMT will determine within two days after the feedback whether a contract is desirable. The Contract Team will not be convened unless the CMT decides to pursue the contract option.)
5. If the CT decides to use the contracting process, the focus person is informed and a meeting is scheduled. Public notice to the membership is made announcing that a contract will be negotiated and soliciting any input from all members, whether or not they were present at the feedback. It is up to the focus person to arrange for an advocate if they want one. It is up to the CT to make sure that a meeting happens in as timely a manner as possible and that any relevant information needed to make the contract is gathered prior to the contract meeting. Once the feedback is announced, it is the responsibility of the membership at large to give input to the Contract Team ASAP so that the contracting process can be completed in as short a time as possible.
6. The focus person may choose not to be part of the contracting process and instead have an advocate present in cos place at the contract negotiating meeting although it is preferred that co participate in the meeting. Co will be reminded prior to the contract meeting specifically what the issues of concern are so that co can think about what co is willing to agree to.
7. A decision by the Contract Team to pursue the contract option does not obligate the team or the community to enter into a contract with the focus person if the CT and the focus person are unable to settle on mutually agreeable terms for the contract.
8. A contract is made between the focus person and Twin Oaks Community and is signed by the focus person and a member of the Contract Team as a representative of the community. One condition that will be part of every contract will be that the focus person agrees to drop cos membership if the CT determines that co has broken the contract irrevocably.
9. After the contract has been negotiated, it will be available for review and input for one week. The CT will re-negotiate the contract if, in their opinion, there is significant enough input that this should happen. This re-negotiation will be final. After the final contract has been agreed upon, there will be a poll on which the options will be: EXTEND WITH CONTRACT and REJECT. If 15% or more of the voting members vote REJECT, the person is rejected and cos membership ends when the results of the poll are tallied. At the discretion of the CMT, co may have one month to leave the community. In the case of returning ex-members, the poll options will be ACCEPT WITH CONTRACT and REJECT.
10. Once the contract is agreed to between the CT and the focus person, community members cannot ask for amendments without good reason (new problems arise, the focus person does not meet the terms of the contract that co signed, etc.).
11. A copy of the completed contract is kept in a mailbox so that members may refer to it if they so choose.
12. Any member can approach the CT if they feel that someone is not abiding by the terms of cos contract. The CT may solicit input from the community to see if more members have concerns and a public meeting may be called. The CT may call a public meeting if in the course of monitoring contract compliance it feels that a condition or conditions of the contract have not been met.
13. The purpose of such a meeting will be to talk about how the contract was broken, whether or not it needs to be adjusted or if it should be considered to have been irrevocably broken. The public meeting is encouraged to come to a unified recommendation. The CT will meet soon after the public meeting and will consider the recommendation of the public meeting and any other pertinent information in deciding whether or not the contract needs to be amended or whether it should be considered irrevocably broken. If it needs to be amended, the CT and the focus person will meet and negotiate an amendment and a copy of the new contract will be placed in a mailbox. The focus person is expected to honor the terms of the contract, in which co agrees to drop cos membership if it is considered irrevocably broken. If the focus person refuses to drop cos membership, the CT may cancel the contract (regardless of its stated expiration date), at which time a full member poll will be issued by the Membership Team. In the alternative, expulsion proceedings may be used.
14. Before a contract expires, a card will be posted asking the community if it wishes to have a public meeting regarding closure of the contract.
15. The Membership Team will issue a full member poll upon the expiration of a contract, in accordance with the procedures for first-time (six-month) provisional-to-full transition. (See Section II.B.)
16. The Contract Team will evaluate the effectiveness of each contract.
17. The Addressing Conflict policy is available to members if problems/concerns surface with the focus person after the expiration of cos contract.
C. SENSITIVITY AND PRIVACY
It is a stressful experience to be a focus person in a conflict. We want to have a process that is sensitive to that fact, but that is also an effective tool for the community to deal with concerns about individual members. We want to have an atmosphere and a general community attitude that creates the possibility for people with as many differences as possible to live at Twin Oaks, balanced by the reality that it doesn’t always work out. When it is not working out, we need a process that allows and encourages everyone to be involved, balanced by a sensitivity toward the focus person’s position. We feel that the process should move along as quickly as possible and maintain a sense of privacy for the focus person. In order to help preserve privacy:
1. Contracts are not posted on the O&I or other "highly public" locations. They are a mailbox issue available to members only.
2. "Members Only" 3X5’s are posted with contract info on the back.
3. Contract meetings are held in a space that affords a level of privacy and an appropriate level of focus to the topic (no meetings over meals, etc.).
IV. NON-MEMBER STATUS
Under special circumstances, Twin Oaks accepts "limited term members." Especially during periods of low membership, we may be open to people living here who are not ready for provisional membership. The benefits and costs to the community are weighed on an individual case basis, but the guidelines for residency are listed below:
1. Anyone wishing to live here and have an exception to our regular membership agreement goes through regular membership process and proposes an agreement for residency to the CMT.
The CMT can accept, reject or ask for compromise. If approved, the agreement would be good for up to five months (six months from the date co began cos visit at Twin Oaks) with an option to renew for up to six months longer (one year total time) upon the discretion of the CMT.
2. Although some exceptions to our membership norms are expected, unless otherwise specified, the resident will:
a) receive allowance and be able to earn travel money and redistributed money, should we have an earnings program. Co would have no access to outside money except gifts and vacation earnings under the same restrictions that apply to members;
b) be counted in the community gender ratio;
c) have no financial requirements for living here, beyond fees or donation for the first month as visitor;
d) have no medical or dental benefits for chronic illness or preexisting conditions, but the community will pay costs of acute illness or injury;
e) be expected to do full quota;
f) be assigned labor on the basis of five days assigned, seven days done (or other arrangement at the discretion of the labor manager) each week for the period of the residency, and be eligible for apprenticeships, although members would have first priority;
g) earn the same guaranteed vacation time as members, and be able to earn additional vacation time by working over-quota;
h) be allowed to drive community vehicles only at the discretion of the vehicle use manager;
i) not have priority in the assigning of community rooms and will be expected to float from room to room as deemed preferable by the room assigner;
j) not purchase clothes out of the community clothes budget;
k) not automatically have privileges such as school, therapy, pregnancy, etc.
B. STUDENT RESIDENTS
The Outreach Council is responsible for dealing with inquiries and approving people to come as student residents. The Outreach Council must come up with a sponsor for each student resident before accepting them. Responsibilities of the sponsor will be as follows:
1. meet with and obtain approval from the Outreach Council;
2. call or write to both advisor and student;
3. explain policies and send the student resident the Twin Oaks information packet;
4. arrange for an available room;
5. get approval of the CMT, which should take into account gender balance and room availability;
6. give or arrange for a full tour of the community;
7. encourage the person to attend relevant visitor meetings;
8. act as liaison in case of problems;
9. be responsible for orientation, assimilation, and evaluation, and work closely with student resident while co is here. Check in regularly.
All of the provisions of residency as described in paragraph IV(A) above apply to student residents, with the exceptions stated below:
1. Student residents must do full quota. At the discretion of the labor manager, student residents may be assigned hours to work on their school projects.
2. Student residents will not be eligible for redistributed money should there be an earnings program.
3. Student residents are subject to the same restrictions as visitors in using community vehicles and dangerous equipment.
A member should post in advance the arrival of a guest, find co a room, give a general orientation about the community (our norms, etc.), and find appropriate work for the guest. The host will be considered responsible for the guest at all times and, if the member leaves the farm for more than a day, co must find an on-the-farm sponsor for the guest. Guests must always have an on-the-farm sponsor and the name of the sponsor must be posted. Occasionally, guests will want to stay longer than a month. If so, they should post a paper and get community approval through the process outlined below under "Long-term Guests."
During periods of high population, adherence to the guest policy is more important to more people. Please remember it can be overstimulating to some members to have an abundance of new faces around.
"Appropriate work": If a guest is here more than a week and co is able to, co is generally expected to be on the labor system and work approximately as much as members. This is not a hard and fast rule and it is up to the host to determine how much work is appropriate, taking into consideration the circumstances of the specific guest and the community expectation that guests will contribute labor. For instance, most of us don’t expect our parents to work very much when they come to visit us for a week or so, or if someone is here for a few days it may seem appropriate to just visit with your guest rather than work.
2. Long-Term Guests (including family members)
Anyone wishing to host someone for more than a month should post a paper to the community explaining the situation, preferably before the guest’s arrival. Any special needs of the guest should be included in the paper. The host will notify the CMT of the arrival date. In the fourth week the CMT will put out a poll to all members to determine whether the community approves the guest staying longer. The members will have one week to respond to the poll. The maximum stay is 12 consecutive weeks, which would include two polls (in the fourth and eighth weeks). Regular guesting policy applies to long-term guests as well.
Members are encouraged to address any concerns about a guest directly and as expeditiously as possible to the host and/or guest. Don’t just wait for the poll to register your concerns.
3. Child Guests
People wishing to host minors as guests at Twin Oaks should review the Child Board guidelines on sponsoring guest children, as well as comply with CMT guest policy.
V. DUAL MEMBERSHIP - See Dual Member Policy
VI. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
(From the Bylaws, Article II, Paragraph Three, Section A):
"The term of membership (provisional and full combined) is for the life of the member, unless voluntary termination of membership or expulsion occurs."
A. GOING INTO THE LABOR HOLE OR MONEY HOLE
- see current Labor Hole and Money Hole policies.
B. VOLUNTARY TERMINATION
(from the Bylaws, Article II, Paragraph Four, Section B):
"Voluntary termination consists of a public statement by a member that co is resigning membership, which shall include, however, a member’s departure from the Community, and interpretation by the Community that co intended to terminate cos membership. The effective date of termination shall be set by the member with the consent of the Community, and shall be designated on the leaving document signed by the leaving member. If the member fails to set such a date, the date shall be set by the Community."
C. RETURNING WITHIN 30 DAYS
(from Bylaws, Article II, paragraph Four, section C):
"In the event that a member, after leaving the Community...shall change cos mind within 30 days and wish to return, the Community may, at its discretion, readmit co to cos former status and treat the intervening time as if it had been vacation."
In the case of full members, resumption of membership is a planner decision. In the case of provisional members, this is a CMT decision.
If a member resumes membership within 30 days under this provision of the bylaws,
"...the Community is not obliged to provide the same housing or work or positions of responsibility that the member formerly had. Any spending of money or other financial transactions in which the member may have engaged during the interim which shall, viewed retroactively, be seen to have violated the Property Code (Article IV hereunder) shall be dealt with at the discretion of the Community. The former member may also choose to apply for provisional membership as a new candidate, should this be acceptable to the Community." (Bylaws, II,4,C.)
(from Bylaws, Article II, paragraph Four):
"D. Expulsion of a provisional member may occur at any time during the provisional period and for any reason, including but not limited to those specified in subparagraph (E) below, provided only that the Community believes that said provisional member is undesirable. Expulsion shall generally occur, except for unusual and exceptional cases, if said member does not become a full member or voluntarily terminate cos membership within a year of becoming a provisional member.
"E. Expulsion of a full member may, but need not, take place for any of the following reasons:
1. Co openly repudiates the principles of the Community and works against their implementation.
2. Co is found guilty by local, state or federal authorities of some crime or misdemeanor and the Community therefore feels it is no longer appropriate for co to remain a member.
3. Co consistently does less than cos share of the Community work.
4. Co absents coself from the Community for more than three weeks beyond the point of legitimate vacation according to current Community policy or without having made satisfactory arrangements with the Community with regard to cos absence.
5. Co physically, sexually and/or mentally abuses another member or guest of the Community or any child by any aggressive action and/or words which the Community interprets as sufficiently serious and/or likely to be repeated to warrant expulsion.
The application of the foregoing provision to abusive words is not intended to inhibit the free expression of information, opinion, belief or emotion. It is intended to apply when oral or written language is presented in a threatening, harassing, or violent manner such that it would be reasonably expected to cause physical, sexual or mental harm.
6. Co repeatedly and/or flagrantly violates the equality principle by appropriating to cos own use items (including but not limited to cash) intended for the use of the Community as a whole or property designated for other use, or if co repeatedly or flagrantly steals property belonging to someone else.
7. Co is discovered to have made bad faith declarations of the extent or disposition of cos property when entering the Community or subsequently, or co grossly violates the Community Property Code (Article IV below) with regard to the disposition of said property or the disposition of any income received while a member.
8. Co deliberately and overtly attempts to destroy or disband the Community by any legal, extralegal, or financial means or in any other manner, provided that this shall not be broadly interrupted to the holding of disapproved opinions or to behavior which from time to time might be considered dangerous. It is intended to refer specifically to deliberately making trouble between the Community and civil authority, involving the Community in a lawsuit, involving the Community in unauthorized financial obligations, and such similar hostile acts or attempted hostile acts.
"The above provisions shall not be taken as requiring the Community to expel a member, even for these reasons. The Community may, but need not, expel a member for any of the above reasons. The Community also has the option of substituting other remedies or sanctions.
"F. Expulsion Mechanism. The procedure for expulsion shall be as follows:
"Expulsion may be proposed by any voting member. The Board of Directors of the Community, and/or such body of members as the Board of Directors may authorize either ad hoc or as a matter of policy, shall hold a public meeting or meetings on the proposed expulsion -- provided, however, that at one meeting or another the member in question shall be given full opportunity to answer any accusations or to explain cos conduct or view and express cos desires concerning cos membership if possible. If, after the member in question has been heard, the Community desires cos expulsion, if possible, co shall be so informed, at which time co will normally be allowed at least three days before co is required to leave the Community premises. Extensions of this period may be made at the discretion of the Community."
E. TRANSITION POLICY
1. A full member who has decided to leave the Community may have two weeks off the labor system to prepare for leaving. Cos membership will terminate at the end of this two-week transition period. Provisional members will be granted transition at the discretion of the labor manager. The leaving member is exempt from the Property Code for the last four weeks of membership.
2. A Leaving Fund (as budgeted) is available to any full member who leaves the Community. The Leaving Fund should be paid at the time the person formally gives up cos membership. Only full members can receive a Leaving Fund. Rejoining members must live at Twin Oaks at least a year upon rejoining before receiving another Leaving Fund.
VII. OVERRIDES OF MEMBERSHIP DECISIONS
Decisions concerning the acceptance or rejection of members require a "60% plus" majority of the full members of the Community in order to be overridden. Sixty percent plus means that if exactly 15% vote REJECT, a minimum of 60% of the full members must sign a petition to override the decision, but however many more than 15% vote REJECT, an equal number more than 60% needs to sign the override petition for a successful override.
For example, if 11 REJECT votes equals 15% and 44 override signatures equal 60%, then if twelve members vote to REJECT, 45 signatures are required to override; if 13 members vote to REJECT, then 46 signatures are required to override, and so on.
This provision is authorized by Bylaws Article III, Paragraph Three(A)(4), which states that the voting members of Twin Oaks have the right to overrule any decision of the planners. For issues concerning the acceptance or rejection of members, this Bylaws provision authorizes the Community to require a higher percentage than a simple majority of the full members to overrule a decision.