Mentor is the corporate newsletter of Arisia, Inc.

Volume 10, Issue 78 - December 1997

Minutes of the November Meeting

Time: November 23, 1997 at 2:20 PM

Location: Building 66, MIT, Cambridge MA.

In Attendance: Scott Campanella, Scott Cobb, George Flynn, Glen Goodwin, Kyle Hollingsworth, Jeff Jordan, Ben Levy, Pat McCormack, Elka Tovah Menkes, Skip Morris, Brendan Quinn, Diane Rosenburg, Paul Selkirk, Nick Shectman, Cris Shuldiner, Rachel Silverman, Adam Gratun (red shirt)

Corrections to the October Minutes
Arisia 1997 is waiting for missing bank statements and checks, not just the last statement. The "Income" folder contained $5.25, not $65. There was also a locked cash box of coins.

Drea Brandford to Brendan Quinn

Membership Transfers
Ailsa Murphy was transferred to General Membership.

President's Report
I have appointed Nick Shectman (Phi) as convention treasurer for Arisia 1999.

I have noticed some amount of personal sniping on subsidiary mailing lists, which is unseemly at best. If you notice such things, try to politely discourage them, and keep discussions civil.

Vice President's Report
The Grant Committee has a mailing list. If anyone wants to direct business to the committee, send mail to Hopefully this will eventually be We have not had a meeting this month. We received one new grant request this month, and will meet next month to consider it.

Treasurer's Report
We received a dunning letter from the state for unfiled sales tax forms (quarters ending 12/31/95, 6/30/96, 9/30/96, 12/31/96, and 6/30/97). We may have filed for all relevant quarters, and not for quarters in which we had no financial activity.

I filed with Westbank to switch our merchant account (credit card account) from manual filing to swipe boxes, and this will hopefully be available before Arisia '98. Our commission will drop from 4½% to 3½%, there will be no errors, and the funds will be available in 2 business days.

I need to get more records from Marshall, including old checkbooks and bank statements.

Clerk's Report
Everyone is reminded to sign in.

Everyone who is giving a report is requested to submit it in writing or email to the clerk, or suffer transcription errors.

Arisia 1997
BankBoston had not sent the copies of old statements and checks as of the last time someone picked up our mail. That's the major thing slowing me down. I'm also still waiting for Joel to deliver some hotel catering charge sheets so I can correctly apply some of the charges from the Hotel Master Bill to the departments that caused them. (Note: Joel has recently turned these in.)

In going over his books, Skip came up with a list of charges which he felt might belong to the A'97, rather than the corporation. All total, these charges run to $10,512.50. There are a few charges on the A'97 books that likewise seem to belong to the corporation, rather than the concom. There is a $340.20 check to the storage company. There is a $300.00 check to Electronic Planet which is noted simply "Corporate Purchase". I haven't found an expense report with more details as yet. Finally, there is an $85.00 check for the 3rd Class Mailing Permit. I consider that a corporate expense, since the corporation is the recorded holder of the permit.

The grand total then of the money owed to the corporation by the convention would come out to $9787.30.

The balance in the convention account, as of the end of September, was $4638.99. After checking with the concerned parties, I have deposited the checks from Pagenet, the Park Plaza, and the Art Show Sales slip which we discussed at last month's meeting, along with the $5.25 in cash. That adds a total of $1200.18 to the account, for a current total of $5839.17.

There is an outstanding refund to a Dealer in the amount of $50.00 to be handled that has just come to light. There is also the $100.00 for Pepsico for their missing bottle trays, since I have heard nothing from Inventory Control about their whereabouts.

For outstanding income, we have the 4 people who owe money for the comped rooms, myself, Jeff, Joel, and Marshall. [Editor's note: Marshall says he already paid this, and Jeff paid at the November meeting.] There is also the locked cashbox which I believe holds a bunch of coins. I'm still waiting on Tim Roberge to send me the keys for that.

The final matter that still needs looking into is how much of the money in the Westbank credit card account belongs to the convention. As soon as Skip and I can get together and study the statements and other records, we should be able to determine that. At the moment, a good guess is about $15,000.00.

This would work out to a net profit of around $11,000. That's getting into the believable range.

Arisia 1998
Things are going along quite nicely. The Philcon party was a fine success, and my thanks to Brendan and Drea for running it.

MOVED to approve the allotment of no more than $500 for the capital purchase of a variety of quality, durable, professional signs for various areas of the convention and conventions of the future.

FRIENDLY AMENDMENT to appoint Carsten Turner as a special committee. Not accepted as friendly. There was an objection to consideration, and the amendment was withdrawn.

Original motion PASSED by acclamation. Carsten Turner was appointed to the President's Select Commission on Sign-Making.

At 2:55, a 5-minute recess was called for the Eboard to discuss the Arisia 1998 Budgeting and Accounting Procedures. The meeting reconvened at 3:15.

Arisia 1998 Treasury
At this moment, less a few checks that are being written today, we have $8021.00 in the bank. The outstanding debts I am aware of are $4000 of front money from the corporation, a $60.00 refund owed to a Dealer, a check for an unspecified amount to Christine Carpenito for Hotel Liaison Expenses that Skip spotted in the corporate books, whatever the expenses from the Philcon party were, and a $33.72 reimbursement to me for Treasury expenses. The last one is waiting for the Conchair to approve it, since it isn't exactly kosher for me to approve my own expenses.

I hope everyone took time to read through the revised budget. I'd like to bring it up for a vote. I do have to make a few changes to it, though. The line item for Babysitting service has to be increased to $1900.00. Our first choice didn't feel comfortable working outside of Boston, so we were left with only one option which will be more expensive. We may need to rent pipe and drape, so we've added a $500 line item under Ballroom Tech. We also may need to rent additional tables, so we've added a $250 line item under Services. Finally, we're looking at maybe renting some crowd control devices, and we've added a $250 line item to Security.

MOVED to accept the budget as amended and printed in Mentor. Motion PASSED.

Back to Arisia 1998 for a minute
MOVED to accept the staff list as printed in Mentor, with the following additions: Coat Check -Tara Swiniarski, Con Suite - Andy Kaufman (rumored). Glen notes that he already submitted his staff structure and div. heads. There was an objection to consideration of approval of staff list. The objection carried by apathy.

Arisia 1999
I now have treasurer: Nick Shectman (Phi).

I'm waiting for GOH responses for the 2 main GOHs. I have no idea who to ask for fan GOH, so I'm soliciting suggestions.

I'm also waiting on the Hotel Search Committee.

Arisia 1998 Hotel Search Committee
Two hotels are interested in talking to us.

The Ferncroft Tara in Danvers (formerly the Radisson) [site of Boskone 17 in 1980 - Ed.] is less convenient than Waltham, has more comfortable function space, but fewer guest rooms (347). The overflow hotel is about a mile away. There is another hotel under construction, which may be open by then.

The Copley Westin has plenty of rooms, great location, lots of function space (albeit a bit spread out), but they want $139 for rooms (including Nintendo). It's a really nice hotel, but really expensive.

The Park Plaza doesn't know when they'll have the whole hotel open again. According to Matt, the Sheraton will have all function space off-line until June 1999. The Copley Marriott won't talk to us until 1 year ahead, and won't give us all the function space unless we can block all the guest rooms. This wouldn't be a problem, but one of the function spaces they want to split is the ballroom, so we'd have to worry about bleed-over between our events and whatever's on the other side of the air wall.

Corporate Inventory Control
Not present.

Corporate Sales
Not present.

Corporate System Administrator is still up.

Records Task Force
Waiting for stuff from Marshall.

Survey Committee
We have a preliminary copy of the survey (at the end of this issue). The most recent version is at

Send comments to

Old Business
MOVED to amend the bylaws by adding the following text: "A shrug shall be counted as a ½ vote, for the purposes of any decision that involves a vote." Motion FAILED by acclamation.

MOVED to grant $300 to the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association (HRSFA) for publications. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to amend the bylaws by adding the following sections:

1.0) The primary operating philosophy of Arisia, Inc., which all of its activities should try to promote, is that there is room in fandom for everyone who is willing to make room for everyone else.

1.1) At any point during the discussion of any motion, any member who feels that the motion violates the spirit of this philosophy, may call for a poll of the membership. The member calling for the poll will briefly explain his opinion that the motion violates this philosophy. Without further discussion by any other member, the clerk will then proceed to record by a roll call vote the opinion, yes or no, of each member present at the meeting. The call for the poll, along with the complete listing of the roll call of the membership present, will be included in the minutes of the meeting to provide a historic reference of the views of the Arisia membership on how they interpret this philosophy.

2.0) It is not permissible during the discussion of a motion for any member to question the stated motivations of the author of the motion, nor the motivations of another member's remarks during the debate. The membership will accept the stated reasons of the author for offering the motion. It is the motion and not the author, nor any other member, that should be the focus of debate. The chair of the meeting will caution any member the first time they speak about someone's motivations rather than the motion itself. For any further breeches by that member, the chair must strip the offending member of the floor, not recognize them any further during the debate of that motion, and refuse them the right to vote on that motion. The chair must, upon taking this final step, immediately ask if any of the other members wishes to call for a vote to overturn his decision.

MOVED to divide the motion. Pat pointed out that it was originally intended as two separate motions, irrespective of the sequential numbering.

MOVED to add the word "non-binding" to "poll of the membership" in 1.1. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to amend 1.1 by re-wording as an Objection to Tone of Debate. Motion FAILED for lack of a second.

MOVED to divide the motion into 1.0 and 1.1. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to amend by removing the words "who is willing to make room for everyone else" from 1.0. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to add 1.0 as a new bylaw article between Financial Policy and Definitions. The new Article X would be called Operating Philosophy. Motion PASSED.

The proposed Article X (1.0 above, as amended) PASSED.

Considering 1.1 above as Article 2.10, MOVED to amend by adding language referring to the corporate Operating Philosophy. Motion PASSED.

The proposed Article 2.10 FAILED.

Considering 2.0 above as Article 2.10, motion FAILED.

By request of the president, a description of Decorum in Debate is included at the end of this issue. It was also noted that a Question of Personal Privilege may be raised by an aggrieved party.

New Business
(From the Long Range Planning Committee): MOVED to direct the President to approach several companies (at his discretion) and ask them to donate a co-location package to Arisia, in return for a letter of thanks, and an acknowledgment of their donation for their tax records. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to create a committee consisting of a corporate sysadmin, assistant sysadmin, corporate webmaster, and convention webmasters. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to authorize the treasurer to spend up to $600 to purchase used credit card swipe boxes and printers. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to transfer Nick Shectman to General Membership, because he has agreed to act as Arisia '99 treasurer. Motion automatically TABLED.

MOVED to transfer Adam Gratun to General Membership for his long service to the convention. Motion automatically TABLED.

MOVED to direct the Eboard to staff the Long Range Planning Committee. Motion TABLED.

MOVED to hold the January corporate meeting at the convention. Motion PASSED. Details TBA.

The December meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 17,1997, at 7:00 PM, somewhere at MIT.

Meeting Adjourned at about 6:00 PM.

Decorum in Debate

The following excerpts are from Robert's Rules of Order, Modern Edition, section 36.

In debate a member must confine himself to the question immediately before the assembly and avoid personalities. He cannot reflect upon any past act of the assembly, unless he intends to conclude his remarks with a motion to amend or reconsider such action, or else while debating such motion. … It is not allowable to arraign the motive of a member, but the nature or consequences of a measure may be condemned in strong terms. It is not the man, but the measure, that is the subject of debate. If at any time the chair rises to state a point of order or otherwise speak within his privileges, the member speaking must take his seat until the chair has been heard. When called to order, a member must sit down until the question of order is decided. If his remarks are decided to be improper, he cannot proceed in the same manner.

Executive Board

President: Jeff Jordan

Vice-President: Brendan Quinn

Treasurer: Skip Morris

Clerk: Paul Selkirk

Arisia '97 Conchair: Pat McCormack

Arisia '98 Conchair: Glen R. Goodwin

Arisia '98 Treasurer: Pat McCormack

Arisia '99 Conchair: Cris Shuldiner

Arisia '99 Treasurer: Nick Shectman

Committee Members & Corporate Appointed Officers

Budget Committee: Skip Morris, Pat McCormack

Awards Committee: vacant

Grant Committee: Brendan Quinn, Drea Brandford, Elka Tovah Menkes

Corporate Sales Officer: Marshal Ellis

Corporate Inventory Control Officer: Ken Elwell

Corporate Systems Administrator: Cris Shuldiner

Arisia Audit Fund: Ben Levy

Records Task Force: Ben Levy, Ailsa Murphy, Kyle Hollingsworth

Survey Committee: Ben Levy, Matthew Saroff, Skip Morris, Diane Rosenberg

Arisia, Mentor of Arisia, and the Arisia Lens are service marks of Arisia, Incorporated. All material copyright 1997, Arisia, Incorporated. All rights reserved.

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