Special Friend Policy

Shared by Acorn Community
Tags: Associate

Special Friend Policy aka Associate Policy
“Nothing is true, everything is permitted.”
Written Nov 23, 2008, draft by Ken, revisions by GPaul
Updated Mar 4, 2012, by Dusty and GPaul

The Short Version

If you want to be our special friend ask us about it.
If we want you to be our special friend we’ll ask you about it.
If you’re our special friend we hope that you’ll come and stay with us regularly.

The Long Version

Special Friends are people who we would like to have join us as members but for some reason can’t, won’t, or don’t want to move here “permanently”. We expect this policy to apply to people whose lives pull them away from us regularly and for most of the year since our preference, personally and for tax purposes, would be for them to seek membership. Special Friend status denotes an established and continuing relationship between Acorn and our Special Friends but one in which Acorn is not their primary place of residence.

This is the basic default Special Friend policy. All points and parts are negotiable through community consensus.
Special Friends status is available only after the person in question has spent a cumulative 3 months in residence at Acorn (they may be but do not have to be consecutive). After at least 3 months of residency they should hold a clearness on the topic of becoming our Special Friend. The members will then decide at a member meeting. [This is designed to parallel the process of being accepted as a member and if that process changes we might consider changing this part of this process].

Rights and responsibilities differ though:
Special Friends may come to stay at Acorn when they please provided that there is an unscheduled room available for them. They should contact the room assigner in advance of their arrival to announce their plans and request a room.
Special Friends are not bound by Acorn property rules, and are not declared on Acorn’s income taxes (unless they so assent).
Special Friends may use their own cars.
Special Friends receive an allowance while on the farm. They do not accumulate vacation time. Their health care is not covered by Acorn, except for work-related injuries. If they have pets, they are responsible for any vet bills.
Special Friends cannot block group consensus.
Special Friends are encouraged to take responsibility at Acorn! Cos should feel that they are invested and important participants in our project while they are here. However, Special Friends should realize that full-time members may have more complete or more long-term information/ideas about life here. Like everyone here, SFs should take care to check in with appropriate parties.
To maintain their status, Special Friends must be in residence for 2 or more months but less than 6 months out of a calendar year, unless arrangements have otherwise been made. (Examples of exceptions: a Special Friend wishes to be in residence, but cannot because of no available rooms; a Special Friend can only spend one month in residence that year, but the previous year had spend 3 months in residence, and so asks the Members for an exception.)
If rooms are short, a Special Friend may not hold on to a room if away for more than a week, and will be expected to have the room clean and available for others to use.
Special Friends may do Labor Exchange with other FEC communities.
Special Friends should do a clearness once a year or at the request of the Membership, so that newer Members who may not already know the Special Friend may have the chance to process with them. They should hold their annual clearness after their first month of residency in a given year and maybe request additional clearnesses later on. The membership will check in with associates after the 4th month of residency in a year to see if they want to do a second clearness. Members do not have to seek out associates when doing their own clearnesses.
The stripping of Special Friend status requires the same process as that for expelling provisional members.