Omnibus Guest Policy - 1993

Shared by East Wind Community
Tags: Policies, Guests, Visits and Visitors, Behavioral Expectations

17.0 - Omnibus Guest Policy
Social Manager, 17 Sep 1993

I. Discretion in Public Relations
Hosts are expected to be good judges of their guests and exercise discretion. If there is reason to believe that a guest will be offended by certain practices or interactions, the host should avoid showing the guest places where these are likely to happen or give advance warning that someone is touring through.

An example of a practice that might cause a guest offense: nudity. An example of giving advance warning: calling Rockbottom before taking a guest south or posting easily noticed notes on the day board to announce where guests will be touring. Generally, people who stop in to buy community products should not be toured beyond the business area. Generally, discretion in public re­lations applies to the following categories of guests:

Tourists and Customers: Their stays are very short. They drop in to buy stuff or look at the place. A community products desk worker deals with them or else the desk worker recruits a vol­unteer to deal with them. Example: Cloud Nine people.

Business, Government People, the local public: They have an ongoing relationship with East Wind Inc. or are interested in some facet of the community’s operations or public relations. Their stays are generally short. They are hosted by the appropriate manager or the Board. They seldom drop in and their arrivals are usually prearranged and anticipated. Examples: Accountant, truckers, hired workers, politicians, outside consultants.

The following types of guests have access to the community’s premises and services in the same way visitors do:

Networkers: People from other intentional communities or allied organizations. Their stays vary in length. They are hosted by the Social Manager, FEC delegates, or the Board.

Friends of East Wind: Local people who socialize with us and who we know and trust. Their stays are short, but frequent. They can drop in and don’t need a host. Examples: Peg and Brannon.

Friends, Relatives, Former Residents of East Wind: The vast majority of guests. Their stays tend to be longer. They are hosted by residents of East Wind.
Members and associates on leave, waiting list people: They are hosted by residents of East Wind but are treated differently than guests

Child guests: Matters concerning guests who are legal minors are referred to the children’s program. Please consult the Child Board if you are considering inviting a legal minor or if children are included in your guest party.

II. Considerations in preparing for guest visits

What information to include in a guest note:
If possible, post the note two weeks in advance of the guest’s anticipated arrival. The more advance notice, the better.
Arrival date or estimate of arrival date.
Who is the guest? What is your relationship to the guest?
If this is other than a social visit, state why the guest if coming.
If the guest is staying overnight state where.

Discretion in public relations. If the guest is a tourist, customer, someone from the local public, or other individual not acquainted or possibly not sympathetic with the culture of the community, state where you want to tour this person or where this person will be working.

Guests who are hired to do work for the community usually don’t stay overnight but come back daily until their work in completed. In such cases, the host should include in the note information on how long such guests will be on the premises even if this is only a rough estimate.

When to ask for concerns in the guest note:
If the guest has been here before.
If you are hosting more than two guests.
If you have reason to believe the guest may be controversial.
If you don’t know the people you are guesting very well.
If your guest want to bring a dog or similar pet.
If the guest has dropped in.
If the guest wishes to stay longer than three weeks.
Any other issue you feel may impact the community, i.e.: where to park an RV. By employing their knowledge of community rules, norms, culture, and expectations, hosts should be able to surmise what may be an issue and bring it to the community’s attention in the notification by including a willingness to receive concerns.

Summary of Host’s Responsibilities

Arrange for housing. The host checks with the person overseeing room assignments about available space for the guest. The community’s (members, visitors, associates) needs always take priority over the guest’s needs in housing arrangements. In addition, hosts should:

Familiarize themselves with this guest policy.
Explain relevant East Wind rules.
Orient their guests and show them what’s where.
Address any problems that might come up in sincerity; be sensitive to members’ concerns and be willing to deal with them.

Provide their guests with any information a guest might want or show a guest how to get this information.

Discretion in public relations: Make sure there is advance notice of when and where you wish to tour someone through our home or where the person will be working.

Inform the children’s program in advance, if there is a child guest.

Deal with special needs and issues in advance of the guest’s arrival, if at all possible.

Lengths of Stay

Generally, guests may stay up to three weeks. The guest period may be broken up, but the total recommended guest stay in a given year is three weeks.

Extended stays beyond three weeks may be arranged for guests. In such cases, it is important to include why the extended stay is desired when posting notification.
If a guest wishes to stay longer than originally planned, the host should post a note specifying how much longer the guest plans to stay at least three days before the original guest period is due to expire and ask for concerns over that three day period. This should be done even if the original guest period is less than three weeks.

Drop-ins: East Wind discourages, but does not forbid, drop-in guests. Hosts should tell guests who drop in to give advance notice next time. If someone drops in unannounced and is not a customer, tourist, or friend of East Wind, it is okay to host the drop-in provided:

The host and the drop-in knew each other previously.
The host judges the guest to not be controversial.
The relationship is one of harmony and trust.
The host should promptly post an announcement of the guest’s visit.

Controversial People: Notification of repeat visits by guests should include a willingness to receive concerns. As a general rule, don’t invite people who:
Actively abuse drugs and alcohol.
May pose a danger to themselves, others, property, or the community as in violence or theft.
You have trouble getting long with them.
You know they may have trouble being considerate to other people here.

Crowds: At times, the community has lots of guests. During such times, it may be necessary to space additional guest visits so as to minimize the pressure of crowding on our facilities. During such times, the Social Manager will post an advisory.

Relationship with the Membership Area

If you know someone who is interested in exploring membership advise them to make arrangements with the visitor program in the same way as people who we don’t know. If they are approved to visit, it is okay to guest them before their scheduled visitor group. Guesting people who are interested in joining the community but who have not yet been scheduled for a visitor group is discouraged in order to prevent favoritism. The fact that they’re already here influences who can be invited for visitor groups.

Persons who are voted out or otherwise required to leave the community may be guested once they have been away from the community for at least a year.

Guest Labor

Guests shall be required to work full quota if their total stay with a given year has exceeded three weeks (21 days). If there is any reason why the guest should not work full quota this will need to be explained in a public posting. The Social Manager may grant exceptions.

Guests that are former members or associates are required to work full quota if their total stay with a given year has exceeded seven days.

Guests who are members or associates on leaves of absence, or people on the waiting list, must work full quota during their stay.

Guest labor in the above categories is recorded as done time labor like the labor of other members and visitors.

Guest labor is not counted toward membership or associate status in the way that visitor labor is, even if the guest is an associate or member on leave of absence.

Social management determines if the guest is required to do labor for the community and com­municates this to the labor accountant before the guest goes on the labor system.

All guests are encouraged to chip in and help out even if not formally required to work. Guests who are not required to work don’t have to record their labor.


Members should make an effort to be courteous to guests and considerate of their needs and vice versa. Sometimes, however, disagreements arise. In some cases, a resident may feel comfortable enough to discuss the matter directly with the guest. In all cases, it is useful for the resident to inform the guest’s host of what is going on. Hosts have the responsibility for being of assistance in working out problems.

If informal avenues for dealing with the problem are not satisfactory, requests for a guest to leave, concerns that a prospective guest not come, or concerns about a guest’s behavior may be relayed to social management. They should be written and stipulate reasons. Host complaints that their guests are being mistreated may also be relayed to social management. They (concerns, requests, complaints) will be kept confidential upon request. Social management will try to be of help in resolving issues concerning guests upon request.

If notice of one’s desire to guest someone results in at least four concerns that the guest not come, the prospective guest may not come until there is an attempt to solve the problem. Hosts will inform their prospective guests to delay their arrival until then. If they arrive before there is such a resolution, they will be asked to leave by a Board Member, Social Manager or delegate. Such a resolution can be worked out informally between the prospective host and those who have the concerns or with the help of social management if requested. If these approaches to dealing with the problem are not satisfactory and the prospective host is attached to hosting the guest, the guest may come for no longer than seven day total in a given year. The Board may overrule a decision to invite a guest if 10% of the membership (including provisional members) request that the guest not come.

If, during a guest period that is expected to last more than seven days, social management receives at least four request for a guest to leave, and attempts to solve the problem are not satisfactory, then the guest’s planned stay is limited to no longer than seven days more or the end of the planned guest stay, whichever is shorter.

If, during a guest period, 10% of the membership (including provisional members) requests a guest to leave, then the guest must leave within 24 hours.

17.1 - Guest Housing Policy
Board Policy, Sept 1993

Guests and those on labor exchange from other communities will not be guaranteed a standard private space. Host members are responsible for finding or providing housing for them. Only if arrangements are made in advance with the Room Assigner can a space be promised, and only if it is not needed by other members or visitors.