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Base CO Election Answer Thread - Margaret Cluff

 
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Jedi Master Tic-Ja Faila (Jakob Lau Smith Tice)
Rogue Base CO
Rogue Base CO


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:46 am    Post subject: Base CO Election Answer Thread - Margaret Cluff Reply with quote

This thread is for Margaret Cluff's opening and closing statements, as well as her answers to the questions posted in the Question Thread.


Best of luck Margaret!
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JainaSoloFel ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you are elected as Commanding Officer of the new Rebel Legion Base, how do you plan on handling that cooperation while at the same time maintaining the integrity of the Rebel Base? Do you have a formal plan for how to coordinate joint events with the 501st Legion?


I am very grateful to be in an area where the 501st and Rebel Legion work so well together. Both Alpine and Timberline Garrisons have been wonderfully supportive of RL members in their respective territories. The response from both garrisons when we proposed starting a new base base was overwhelmingly positive and supportive. The 501st is a huge part of why the Rebel Legion in UT, ID, and MT is growing as strongly as it is. This has led to many members being dual members, which presents some unique challenges in addition to the many benefits.

A strong communications base is going to be critical. As our website is created (many, many thanks to you, Handy) I would like to create a forum that would be open to the leaders of the new base, Alpine Garrison, and Timberline Garrison. This will give us a secure place where we can, as leaders, discuss issues and come to joint solutions for issues that affect us all. Take, for example, any disciplinary actions that may need to be taken. This would help avoid circumstances where a leader of one of the groups gets blindsided by an issue that started in another group and bled over into their own. It would also help us effectively handle any conflicts between the groups. With as many dual members as we have, issues bleeding over is a very real possibility.

I would also like to borrow an idea from Mountain Base/Mountain Garrison and have a joint operations forum where base and garrison members can communicate about shared events. Having one point of contact per event will cut down on confusion and miscommunication. This will also make it easier for those who would like both groups to appear at an event. This will also allow for us to effectively manage face characters, such as Anakin, who are approvable in both legions and prevent duplication. At events, both groups need to be operating under the same set of expectations, and event-related issues need to be handled by the event coordinator. Too many voices giving orders will result in nothing short of chaos for all involved.

To maintain the integrity of the Rebel Base, I believe it is critical that Rebel Legion issues be discussed on Rebel Legion boards. With as many dual members as we have, some blurring of the lines is to be expected, however RL business must stay RL business. Concerns need to be addressed with the proper leadership.


Quote:
Much has been said about the new Rebel Base needing to step out from the shadow of the 501st. How do you plan to establish a unique identity for the Rebel Base?


I feel that it is important that the new base cultivate its own list of contacts within the community. As we build our own community presence, being proactive and seeking events to participate in will help us put our name out there. This will take many of us, myself included, out of our comfort zone, but the end results will be very well worth the effort. Calling children's hospitals and asking to volunteer is a start in getting our name out there. Contacting other charity groups (Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes, Utah Food Bank, Quarters for Christmas, Salvation Army Bell-Ringing, school booster clubs, etc) and asking if they could use a hand at their events is a win-win for everyone in our community. Both groups gain additional exposure, and more hands makes lighter work. If we work professionally and effectively with these groups, they are likely to tell their friends. There are also any number of local carnivals we can participate in.

Handy, thanks for the great questions!
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JainaSoloFel ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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This is in regards to relations with other costume groups outside our own domain, as it were. Since the more public awareness of the 501st, and the Rebel legion, other fandom groups have begun a loose "organization" to have a common theme and name to make others aware by. They also, like the 501st and the RL, delve into charity work and the like for the possible betterment of their communities and fellow people. Some examples, especially locally for us, would be the Mandolorian Mercs, a fellow Star Wars costuming organization, and the Ghostbusters International. If elected, what would be your stance and position to relations with these other costume enthusiast groups?


It's always exciting to see people turn something they are passionate about, whether it is Star Trek, art, Ghostbusters, motorcycles, or music, and use it to better the world around them. One of the greatest parts of charity work is that there is always a way to take what you love and do something positive. I have the utmost respect for the other costuming groups who are working to create an identity for themselves, and we would benefit from cultivating positive relationships with these groups. Regardless of fandom, we have a common goal.

I am willing to partner with other groups at events, based on circumstances. However, the wishes of those who have requested our appearance do need to be respected, and we should not be inviting other clubs to events where they have not been asked to attend. Being able to forward the contact information of other groups if requested would be a plus for those who are interested in having multiple clubs attend the same event. There are a couple of conditions to my willingness to partner with them.

First, the club MUST conduct themselves professionally. We are creating a name for ourselves at this time, and we have to realize that we are taking a calculated risk in partnering with other groups. If a member of one club does something inappropriate, and they were working with us, the reputations of BOTH groups will be damaged. The expectations will need to be made clear from the start, and clear guidelines established for handling breaches of protocol.

I also want to encourage these clubs to form their own identity, and not have them blur with the RL and 501st. I am more than willing to exchange ideas, as this will benefit both groups. But for their own well-being, I want to encourage them to build their own presence in the community with their own events. If they piggyback on our events routinely, they are missing the opportunity to cultivate their own contacts lists and develop their leadership. Partnering for some events is fine, but constant partnering will only serve to stagnate both groups.

Quote:
This one is regarding potential new members. Alpine Garrison is rather known for its Cadet program, one that has been seen popping up in a few other Garrisons. If elected, what would be your stance and potential policy for the encouragement and assistance of helping a dedicated potential trooper to getting a costume to accepted standards for membership, and their inclusion in official troops?


I truly love the Cadet program that Alpine has established. I feel that giving new members a very strong support system is critical in getting them involved, keeping them involved, and promoting quality costumes.

I feel the the pilot squadrons, trooper squads, Jedi temples, and delegations have great potential as a built-in support system for new members. I would love to see the CO and XO of each of these units take on the role of mentor for new members considering this costume. As a mentor, they would be in a position to answer questions, provide advice/support, and offer an occasional reality check to our recruits who are starting these costumes. Julie's quick welcome and offers of support were a huge help in me getting through putting my pilot together, and I'd love to see that kind of help available to all our new members.

I believe that spotting for a few events is nice introduction to those starting out. Testing the waters by spotting is a great way to see how events work, learn the expectations at events, and get to see the costumes in action. As wonderful as that Episode II clone looks, is it really the costume for you? New members can learn the pros and cons of the costume they are considering, and talk with members who have them face-to-face. It also lets the see how the costume should look when it is put together, which will help them when they put theirs together. TK armor confused the living daylights out of me the first time I saw it, but now it makes a lot more sense because I've seen it a few times. Costumes like Chewbacca, clones, pilots, are all easier to finish correctly when you've seen them in their finished form.


Awesome questions, Chris!
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JainaSoloFel ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How do you plan on dealing with the higher ups, or passing along comments, suggestions, questions from the base level to the people who can make things happen?

I know that from time to time, someone will have something they want implemented or changed, but it feels like the individual members have no sway.

As a CO, what actions will you take when there are enough members of your base who want to suggest a change to the people in power?



What I love most about our command staff is that they are a very dedicated, passionate group of people. I have had my differences of opinion, but in discussing (and debating) issues with some of our command staff, I've also had the opportunity to learn why things are the way they are. What I've learned from my discussing and debating is that I can ask questions to gain a better understanding of the situation as a whole. I feel that much of my debating would have gone over far better if I had taken the time to understand the other side's viewpoint, because I could have proposed a suitable compromise rather than arguing my own viewpoint incessantly.

If a member were to come to me with a concern, I'd first seek to understand their concern. Then I would approach the appropriate person in the chain of command and seek an understanding of their side of the issue. With an understanding of both, a compromise can be reached that addresses the concerns of both parties.

In leadership, seldom is one person's idea the wisest course of action. Frequently, the best ideas are a compilation of several ideas.

Dart, great question!
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JainaSoloFel ()
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will be out of town this weekend as I am travelling to ID for Star Wars in Concert. Please keep the questions coming, and I'll answer them as soon as I can.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Recently, as with any group of people, there has been some back-biting and behind-the-back talking. As the CO, if this information would come to you how would you handle the situation?


One of the first steps in controlling back-biting/behind-the-back talking is making sure that the members (and potential members) feel comfortable bringing their concerns directly to those who can address them. In my experience, back-biting intensifies if the people who have the ability to correct an issue refuse to address it, or make it uncomfortable for people to voice a concern. When the leadership knows what the concern is, we can help to resolve it. Regardless of whether it is helping a member to understand where another is coming from, or discussing the negative behavior directly with the individual, etc., the leadership is best able to deal with the problem when we are hearing from our members.

Secondly, a key point is to avoid contributing to the mess. If members see their CO back-biting, they will quickly learn that it's an acceptable habit in the base.

Last, but not least, it is the responsibility of the CO to put an end to it as quickly as possible. I would first contact the individual, and politely remind them of the code of conduct. If the behavior continues, progressive disciplinary action would be taken, up to and including suspension.


Quote:
As the costuming standards are getting better and better, how are you going to work with those who are members who costume(s) don't match the current standards? Also, how are you going to help "insure" quality in the base?


It's wonderful to see the standards improve. Getting closer to screen accurate is going to be a huge benefit to us as a base and a legion. However, I can certainly understand that having to upgrade costumes is a frustrating experience for some members. I would like to stress, as has been stated by Command Staff, that only the members in old frames are being rejudged. All new costumes are being held to the new standards.

In helping existing members whose costumes don't meet the current standard, I feel it is important that the base leadership set the example as much as possible. I'm upgrading my x-wing pilot in accordance with the new standards, even though I'm not being rejudged. Times are hard for several of our members, so I'd really like to keep that in mind as we work on helping people out.

In helping both new and existing members, I really feel that it's important to make sure that information is available. Keeping members informed as to what the expectations are for each costume and the best way to get where they're going is key. Having capable leadership that can help guide these members through the process will help build both the knowledge and confidence of our newer members.

Trooping in a new costume can be a valuable tool in making sure that it's ready for approvals. I learned a LOT about my x-wing pilot the first time I had it out, and I was much better acquainted with the changes that needed to be made before submitting it for approval. I was also able to get valuable feedback from many members on how to correct issues that were stumping me. However, in the interest of maintaining the integrity of the base's reputation, I would like to propose that members and potential members refrain from bringing a new costume out unless it meets at least the informal standards for that costume.

Great questions, Melissa!
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JainaSoloFel ()
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How would you respond to claims that things are all moving too quickly with this base approval process?

I'm new to all this and the first to admit I know nothing about how it all works, but to me, looking at this as a standard democratic function, something feels..off to me.

It seems like the wrong things were(are) being handled by the wrong people, and that overall, the way this new base is being formed is a tad...questionable.

Don't get me wrong. I want this new base more than anything and I think it will be a terrific move for the RL in our area.

I just want to address the concern that I have that perhaps it is being created through the wrong people/channels/means.

After all, even a democratic party can turn into a dictatorship if we aren't careful...i.e. Palpatine


If something feels off, I'd really encourage you to either post in the forum dedicated for the creation of the new base, or pm Bouri-Plwel. Rick is a wonderful addition and guide in our discussions on base creation. I am very grateful for the time and effort he's putting into helping us make this a reality. I would encourage all of our members to take part in the discussion, and voice their ideas/concerns. If someone feels that we are rushing things, I'd really like to know about it so the issue can be corrected.

Are there mistakes that we've made? I'll be the first to admit that there are a few things I would do differently next time. However, when someone pointed out that we may need to rethink things, for the most part I feel we've done a good job at correcting the issue and moving on in the right direction. I am very grateful to those who have posted when they have a reservation about something. We can't fix it unless we know about it.

Personally, do I feel we're rushing? In the start of our discussions things did seem overwhelming and hectic, and perhaps we did rush things. I think that we've now settled into a groove, and things are starting to take shape at a more realistic pace. We've gotten a lot of great advice from several people, and more input from our members, and with their combined efforts the base is starting to really take shape.

In conclusion, this is your base. If you have an opinion/comment/question/concern, feel free to voice it, and we'll do our best to take care of things.
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JainaSoloFel ()
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In closing, I'd just like to wish both Shane and Jakob the best of luck in the coming elections. Our new base is in very capable hands regardless of who wins.

I am very grateful to be in an area with so many wonderful members; working with all of you during this process has been a real privilege. The next year is going to be an exciting one, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. There's a lot to do, such as building our own presence in the areas we serve and helping newer members work their way to full approval, however it will be a very rewarding process. We have a lot of great potential members, and I'm very excited to see you here. Welcome!

Thank you to both new and experienced members for taking the time to ask questions, voice concerns, and add your ideas to the formation of our new base.
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