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Present: Donny, Corey, Madeleine, Ashli, Marilyn, Burgess, Carey, Lauren, Melissa, Paul, Michael, Mike K., Arthur, Chaz, David, Madison, Greg, Khai, Kelsea
Michael, part of Avalon Co-op of College Houses
Chaz, Michael’s friend
David, friends with Paul, interested in starting something similar in San Marcos
Arthur, Madeleine’s cousin
Madison, Arthur’s friend
Greg, used to live in College Houses
Khai, works as a dispatcher at a locksmith company
Kelsea, interested in becoming an associate and possibly a resident
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(Burgess) Ban Jeremy from accessing common areas.
Lauren: I thought the agenda item would be to ban him from the co-op
Burgess: I didn’t want to start there, because anything passed is going to be put off on Carey. I was at the meeting where we decided that Jeremy wasn’t ready for an associate membership yet. It was basically unanimous. My thinking was that I didn’t feel like he was respecting the co-op when he answered my questions at the meeting. When he was asked about employment and he responded that he was working full-time, I simply didn’t believe him. Last week I saw Jeremy enter the commons with a key. At that time, Jeremy definitely knew that he had to be accompanied by a member in the commons.
Carey: The whole thing about the keys is insulting on many levels. There’s been a long chain of unpleasant and passive-aggressive behavior. I wasn’t at the meeting so I can’t speak specifically to what Jeremy told people, and from my understanding there aren’t minutes from that meeting either, so there’s no way to assess facts. This whole situation has been heartbreaking because when Jeremy came here he loved the co-op, loved the people here. I didn’t realize people were that concerned. That day, I thought it was perfectly innocuous for Jeremy to get me coffee. I really feel that most people’s dislike for Jeremy is fueled by very classist motivations and disliking the fact that he’s not the same sort of middle-class person that a lot of people around here like to think of themselves as.
Marilyn: Was there just the one witnessed time of him entering the commons? I thought there were others.
Lauren: Victor said that he saw Jeremy using the computer.
Ashli: Carey, when you mentioned the day Jeremy came to get you coffee, were you thinking that was the day Burgess spoke about?
Donny: I don’t get the impression he respects us or respects the co-op.
Corey: I wasn’t here for Jeremy’s membership meeting, but I think that’s largely irrelevant now. I did have some concerns because I felt he was using our commons space as a living room. He’d be in here for several hours by himself late at night. It made me uncomfortable. We only give keys to associates and residents for a reason. That boundary was crossed. In my opinion, that’s what we’re here to talk about.
Melissa: It was my keys that were taken. It was really inconvenient for me and got me into trouble. I was ready to defend him, I don’t really care if we let our friends hang out in the commons, but now I don’t want him around.
Carey: I still don’t think he was the one who took your keys.
Burgess: The relevance to me for bringing up the membership meeting was that was the point at which he clearly knew he couldn’t enter the commons without a member present.
Marilyn: Does the agenda item include the courtyard or just the commons?
Melissa: If he violates this, what’s the consequence going to be?
Burgess: My personal response would be to yellow card Carey and ask others to.
Melissa: I would prefer that no action be taken against Carey, because my understanding of what happened with the keys was he was trying to get into the commons without going through Carey.
Marilyn: Friendly amendment that if he violates this he’ll be banned from the property.
(Paul) Change weekly hours of mediator and safety officer to zero. This does not stop them from claiming labor when they do it.
Melissa: I haven’t seen any action at all on the part of the Safety Officer since I’ve been here, even though I’ve personally sent emails requesting help. So I don’t think it’s being done or needs to be done.
Marilyn: I believe the Security Officers reviews security tapes. And mediations are behind closed doors
Melissa: I have an email from DJ asking him to review tapes with me and he said it wasn’t part of his job description. As for the mediator, I don’t think we need the position—the person doing it can just claim the number of hours each week.
Lauren: I think there needs to be somebody we can refer people to, for example the fire department.
Corey: If you’re not on the hook for the job, if it’s a zero-hour position, it’s basically the same as not having the position because there’s nobody we can hold accountable for it.
Burgess: If Security Officer was abolished, who would be responsible if say, the fire department was called?
Corey: The Steward
Burgess: What about the Mediator?
Corey: I don’t personally think we should eliminate it.
Lauren: Friendly amendment to split the item into two, one for Safety Officer and one for Mediator.
Burgess: I think we should keep the Mediator position because the person leading meditations should be trained in it.
Melissa: I think Hannah’s capable of coordinating with the Labor Czar for her hours.
Burgess: But usually we pass house policy according to the position, not according to the person currently filling it.
Melissa: So if I wanted to mediate between two people without having that position, could I get hours for it?
Paul: Yes, I think so.
Arthur: What if it became a counseling-type thing, like where somebody could show up for the mediator’s weekly office hours and discuss problems before they develop.
Corey: I think this is a bigger conversation than just changing the hour allotment.
Melissa: I think we should table it and get feedback from Hannah and the Labor Czar. We need to know how many hours she’s been mediating, etc.
Michael: At ICC Houses we call this Trustee. I feel like people who work at resolving conflicts, some weeks they have nothing, and other weeks they may have something that takes up a lot of time and they can’t talk to the house about it.
Mediator section of agenda item tabled
Change weekly hours of safety officer to zero. This does not stop them from claiming labor when they do.
Marilyn: So if we don’t have someone in that designated role for hours, can we no-show them if they don’t do it?
Corey: No. Friendly amendment: Abolish Safety Officer and move the Safety Officer’s duties onto the Steward.
Lauren: I like this because I feel like the Steward doesn’t do a whole lot.
(Paul) Abolish outreach coordinator position.
Paul: We’ve had a few Outreach Coordinators, and they’ve gone to a few events and spoken to people, but I’m not convinced the position is needed. I wish Hannah were here to speak to what she has in mind for the position.
Marilyn: As current Outreach Coordinator, I think we should abolish the position. I ran into too many obstacles. Hannah wasn’t very clear or enthusiastic about her vision for the position.
Melissa: I’m not sure what the point of the Outreach Coordinator position is?
Burgess: My understanding is that the Outreach Coordinator is supposed to do anything they can to diversify the membership.
Melissa: And how many hours?
Paul: 1-2 (Reads from description of position)
Corey: I don’t know that this position can be effectively managed in the way the house is run. I think this could be done better, for example, at the Board level.
Paul: I think the goals of Outreach are absolutely laudable, but I don’t see them being done by the people in the position.
Ashli: All I’ve heard is that the people filling the position aren’t meeting its goals, not that there’s anything wrong with the position itself. Corey may be right, but if we abolish the position without an alternative in place, such as a Board responsibility or an Outreach Committee, it just won’t get done.
Marilyn: I agree with Ashli, and it’s worth restructuring, but as it’s currently structured, we should eliminate it until we can create something else.
Corey: Abolish Outreach Coordinator with a sunset clause of one election cycle.
Burgess: Is there any labor position that covers members’ participation in the neighborhood association, and is this covered by Outreach?
Corey: People aren’t taking credit for that time.
Melissa: I don’t think going to the neighborhood association is going to increase diversity.
Mike K: I went through some chat history with Corey’s help regarding the Travis County weatherization. There seems to be somebody from ICAST who’s managing this. We need to send a friendly email to Travis County alerting them that one or some of the contractors may be padding the contracts.
Paul: How do you know they’re padding?
Mike K: I don’t, that’s why I meant it as an investigation not an accusation.
Corey: It may be that they’re padding but that it’s above-board because it’s at the end of the funding cycle. Also it’s not our money.
Donny: I read the chat thread too and didn’t get the impression that they’re padding.
Paul: I’m part of Yellow Bike, and they’re having an anti-racism training in the evening on MLK Day. Members of La Reunion who want to attend are welcome.
Corey: I’m supposed to count ballots with the Steward tonight, but I’m aware that several people haven’t gotten their ballots yet.
Melissa: I don’t think the ballots were distributed in a fair way, and I know at least one person wasn’t given one. I’ll go around and tape them on all the front doors tonight.
Corey: You can’t do that. The ballots have to be given to members in person or placed in the unit.
Melissa: This is an election. It’s serious. I was given two ballots.
Corey: Should we do an officer review of Robbie and assign someone temporarily to conduct the election? I don’t know how else to proceed.
New business item tabled