News from East Kingdom Curia at a Market Day at Birka
Their Majesties convened Their Curia at the Market Day at Birka event on Sunday January 27. The official agenda can be viewed here on the East Kingdom Seneschal’s web site.
Results of the Curia will not be final until the text of the changes are published in Pikestaff. This report is a summary of discussions which took place at the Curia and not in any way an official statement of changes in Kingdom Law.
The lesser officer of Kingdom Social Media Officer, reporting to the Kingdom Seneschal, is to be added to Kingdom Law. This law change is required by the Society Social Media Policy and replaces the prior solution in which the duties were handled by a deputy to the Kingdom Seneschal’s office.
The proposed Order of the Tyger’s Eye was discussed at some length. Some speakers were of the opinion that if young gentles in the age range of the order were performing significant service they should be able to earn the same awards as adults. Others felt that younger members valued having the shared bond of an order that was just for them. Consensus was eventually reached that the new award was intended to be a companion to the Gawain and the Gilder, mirroring the structure of the adult order sets by having an award for martial activity, an award for arts and sciences, and an award for service. The new order is expected to appear in the final text of law changes.
A significant portion of the discussion of the session revolved around Kingdom financial issues. The incoming Kingdom Exchequer, Lord Mikjáll bogmaðr, was introduced. He will be stepping up as soon as the necessary paperwork is completed to warrant him.
Mistress Katherine Barr, the East Kingdom Seneschal, spoke of both the Exchequer’s office and the Council of the Exchequer being in need of better transparency and better communications with the Kingdom.
Master Joel Messerer was invited to speak briefly about the creation of two new official Kingdom email lists, where matters could be discussed that were not suitable for social media sites, such as the state of the Kingdom finances, and how those might be improved. Details on the lists were previously announced by the Gazette here.
His Majesty then rose to ask the assembled Officers, Peers, and populace to exercise restraint in their social media and email communications, to “Think before you post”. He wishes us to remember that when we post in public we are examples and representatives of both the East Kingdom and the SCA, and that we should all aspire to make our Society look like a place newcomers would want to visit.
While it was not on the formal agenda, His Majesty also mentioned that he had been appalled to learn that Canadian members pay a higher annual membership cost (in US dollars) than members in the US pay, for no apparent reason since without paper newsletters there are no notable mailing cost differences between US and non-US members. Their Majesties are pressing the Board to change that situation.
By far the most passionately discussed issue on the agenda was the proposed sharing with the Kingdom of 20% of profits from all Royal Progress events (except the previous list of Kingdom Events, which will remain at 50%). There was discussion of the possibility of including a monetary cap of the amount, so that in cases of events with large profits, the funds transferred to Kingdom might be less than 20%. It is unclear whether a consensus on the cap question was reached.
His Majesty stated that the issue of financial shortfalls at the Kingdom level had been growing for multiple reigns and had been being studied without a clear course of action being determined, that getting something to address it into Law would provide a deadline to motivate people to find other possible solutions if they felt this one was not appropriate. The change is to be effective Jan. 1, 2020, which allows for at least two more Curias at which this law might be altered if that is determined to be appropriate by his successors.
The outgoing Kingdom Exchequer noted that spending more than is coming in was not a problem limited to the Kingdom level. He stated that a significant fraction of the local groups had repeated decreases in their net worth in the last several years.
Opinions from those who spoke to the issue varied significantly, and there appeared to be little general consensus when time was called to allow for Kingdom Officer reports while still ending the meeting at the appointed time.
The Brigantia Herald reported that he has updated both the web site for his office, and the policies for his office.
The outgoing Exchequer made a plea for groups to get their year-end reports, which are due on Feb. 15, in as soon as possible, so that he can complete the Kingdom’s year-end report. The Kingdom report is due in March, however last year he was not able to get all the necessary information from local groups until May. He also noticed that the office has vacancies both at the regional level, and for deputies at the Kingdom level.
Their Majesties thank him for his service as he steps down.
The Chatelaine reports that her office’s web site is now bi-lingual in English and French, and has materials available in French for demos in parts of Canada where that is required. She is also adding deputies to support equity and diversion, demo coordination, and social media presence.
The Chronicler was not present, but sent a report via a deputy. The Kingdom Historian has stepped down, and a replacement has been proposed.
The Earl Marshall reports that he is working on the Pennsic Rules. Also his term is up in October. He is considering applying for a second term, but encourages anyone who is interested in the position to apply.
The Seneschal reports that 25 pollings were conducted within the past year, but that the pace is expected to slow down for a while now. Also she announced that the Shire of Ar n-Eilean-ne (Newfoundland, Canada) is officially reactivated.
The Web Minster sent a report via a deputy. His term is up in November and he does not plan to request an additional term. The job will be posted in Pikestaff and on the web site. The migration of the EK server to the new Google services has been successfully completed.
The Pennsic Steward reports that her term ends at the end of this Pennsic. She will seek a second term, but would very much like a deputy.
The Chamberlain and Archivist currently has custody of the Historian’s files until a new Historian is appointed. He would like volunteers to help organize the archivist materials. Creation of an inventory/database of the kingdom property is in progress. He, too, is seeking deputies. He also requested that Their Majesties and Their Highnesses encourage the populace to become involved in creating/repairing existing items.
The Chancellor Minor reported via a deputy. There are currently forty cleared youth officers. Eight of them are new within the past year.
After officer reports Their Majesties shared some final thoughts.
Her Majesty urges everyone to mentor new people, to take deputies for whatever you do, to work together, and to keep things civil.
His Majesty spoke passionately of the need to encourage new people, young people, to keep the society strong into the future; to think before posting; to talk in person, not just on-line; and above all, to make this a fun place again, so we don’t drive people away.
Following his words, Keziah, the newly installed Baron of Stonemarche, rose to speak of incidents of discourtesy to the Birka event staff, both at the event, and in the days leading up to it, and to call on everyone to treat the people who are organizing events with respect and courtesy, regardless of rank.
Her Majesty followed this by urging anyone who felt they might have been less than courteous to seek out the other party and apologize.
Curia then adjourned.