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** This Post was updated by information from Dr. Scott Berk.  Chair – Board of Directors, SCA, Inc**

The Gazette thanks Viscountess Krysta of Starfall for taking the notes used to create this article.

The Board of Directors held their quarterly meeting on January 17, 2015 in Milpitas, CA. The following is a summary of the meeting.

The meeting began with introductions and an ice breaker question. The agenda was moved, seconded and approved. Minutes were approved for meetings held on October 25, 2014, December 2, 2014 and January 6, 2015.

Recurring Business
The Board changed the status of several branches. The following Cantons in the East were put into abeyance: Sea Tyger’s Rhyn, Dragon Forge, Fennbrycg, Dragon’s Aerie and Bowman’s Rest. Also of interest to the East were new branches in Drachenwald that were approved in the countries of Russia and the United Arab Emirates. New branches were also approved in Ansteorra and An Tir, the Shire of Cold Keep moved to Tir Righ from Avacal, Theobald College in Carontir was changed to an Incipient Shire, and the Canton of Westland Mor in Aethelmearc and Shire of Dun Ard in Calontir were dissolved.

The follow meetings were confirmed for the Board: April 18, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio; July 11, 2015 in Milpitas, CA; and October 24, 2015 in Pittsburgh, PA. A conference call was tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, February 24, 2015. Renee Signorotti reported that hundreds of bank accounts had been authorized this quarter. Warrants were given for the Exchequer of the College of Arms and the Society Seneschal’s Emergency Deputy, Kelly Magill.

The Board is always looking for nominees to the Board. There are several people on the West Coast currently on the list. Comments on nominees should be sent to recruiting@sca.org

Proposed Peerage Order – Order of Defense
Two committees have worked on a proposed peerage order, the Order of Defense. One researched whether there should be a Rapier peerage and reported yes. The second proposed Order names, heraldry, and regalia.

The comments that the Board received leaned towards not supporting a separate peerage for Rapier. Many of the comments agreed that the Rapier combatants should be able to be recognized as peers, but not in a separate peerage.

A wide-ranging discussion with input from Directors and the audience covered many different sides of this proposal. The specific wording they were considering created a separate peerage for Rapier combatants only. There were three clear thoughts being expressed:
• fold a rapier peerage into the Order of Chivalry
• create a “fourth” polling Omnibus peerage to include rapier and all non-rattan combat/martial prowess
• make the fourth polling peerage Rapier only.

The discussion turned to definitions in Corpora for membership in the Order of Chivalry. As written, persons who exhibit prowess in tournament combat and meet the other qualities of a peer of the realm may be offered membership, and may choose between Knighthood and Mastery of Arms. This could be interpreted to mean that there is no impediment to the Crowns and Kingdoms to offering persons of prowess with rapier combat membership in the Order of Chivalry.

Director Fulton called the question and made the motion to approve the changes to corpora which would create a separate peerage for Rapier combat. A second was offered by Director Czudnochowsky. Lisa May (Countess Margaret ni Conner), Arthur Donadio (Duke Cuan McDaige) and John Fulton (Duke John the Bearkiller) voted Aye. Lisa Czudnochowsky (Duchess Marion FitzWilliam), Andrew Coleman (Jarl Ailghenan mac Sithigh), David Keen (Baron David of Caithness), and Chair Scott Berk (Baron Phillip Reed the Facetious) voted Nay. The language creating the separate peerage for Rapier failed.

The Board did make a set of changes to Corpora. They were part of the Additional Peerage Proposal that was sent out to the SCA for comment. The Board deleted the following from Section IX. of Corpora, which dated back to when Rapier was a new activity in the SCA.
C. Rapier Fighting in the Society
The Board acknowledges rapier combat as an ancillary activity of the Society when properly supervised by the Marshals and when approved by individual kingdoms. Rapier combat may take place within a kingdom only by rules established by the Marshallate of that kingdom and after the approval of those rules by the Marshal of the Society. The Marshal of the Society will maintain guidelines for rapier combat within the Society. Rapier combat, not having been part of formal tournament combat in the Middle Ages, shall not be a part of formal tournament lists for royal ranks and armigerous titles.

The Board added the following wording to the same section.
Royal Lists
Only Chivalric (rattan) combat shall be used for formal tournament lists for royal ranks.

Kingdom of Avacal
Strong support was expressed by the people of Avacal, from An Tir and from the Society Seneschal regarding The Crown of AnTir sent a letter in support of advancement citing geographic isolation and the great expense incurred when AnTir kingdom level events were held in Avacal. The Coronet scheduled for the first of May would be the first Crown Tournament, supported by AnTir, and the first Coronation would be at the end of June. The reign cycle would remain as the Coronet cycle is now. Director Czudnochowsky moved and Director May seconded that Avacal be advanced to Kingdom at their (Investiture) Coronation in June. Approval was unanimous.

YAFA Marketing Plan
More information will be offered at the April meeting on how to market the Youth and Family Achievement program by Director Keen.

Sign Herald’s Handbook
Laurel Sovereign of Arms has requested approval of a handbook for Silent Heralds (sign language interpreters for courts and other official SCA business). The motion carried.

Reassigned Shires
Two shires in Eastern Colorado are being moved from Artemesia to The Outlands for geographical reasons. Motion carried. Change was effective immediately.

Highlights of Officer Reports

President – Chirurgeon activities have been evaluated by a committee, and there was good participation from chirurgeons from across the Known World. The Board does intend to examine the recent recommendations of the Chirurgeon committee and will announce its own changes if need be in the near future. The insurance will not cover Chirurgeonate activities.  First aid activities are still encouraged.  The badge and regalia will continue to serve as it has.  **

Vice President Information Mgmt. & Technology – The Legacy Known World mail server is being decommissioned.

Society Webminister Report – William Blackfox award recommendations will be accepted in the 1st Q. The audit of Kingdom websites is happening.

Vice President of Operations (Society Seneschal) – The NMS is set by the Board and may not be raised by local groups. A kingdom may not require its branches to add an event charge to fund kingdom projects. Site preparation and planning is moving forward for the 50th year event. The Known World map project is running into issues because of problems with zip code reporting. A chatelaine education and information project in being planned.

Vice President of Corporate Operations – The 2012-2013 audit had been approved and will be published.

Society Treasurer – The recommended salary and stipend changes for the 2015 budget were approved in executive session.

Laurel Sovereign of Arms – There were ~400 more submissions through the Laurel office in 2014 (from 2013)

Marshal – PVC bows are showing up and causing some concern.

Minister of Arts & Sciences – Working on retention of information about classes, content, and instructors offered throughout the Known World. MoAS is traveling.

Society Chirurgeon – Resigned as of the end of this meeting. **

Standing Committees – The Grand Council was directed by the Board to discuss approaches to training officers, which offices would benefit from training and which methods would be best. There were no reports from the Legal committee. The Peerage Exploratory Committee was discussed above.

Limited Executive Session
This included acceptance of the Chirurgeon resignation, budget adjustments, votes regarding sanctions or expulsions of specific individuals, Board ombudsmen assignments, and acceptance of all actions of subsidiary Boards.