Free Software Melbourne Constitution
Preamble We the members of Free Software Melbourne aim to educate users and encourage interest in software freedom. The organisation was formed because the freedoms of computer users have been snatched away by proprietary software developers and restrictive hardware vendors.
Article 1. Name
The name of this organisation shall be known as Free Software Melbourne, hereafter referred to as FSM if an abbreviation if needed.
This organisation will use the name or its acronym FSM in all publicity materials and correspondence.
Article 2. Purpose
The purpose of FSM is to provide education of the purpose and impacts of free software while also providing a community support net for those involved in production, use and distribution of free software.
The board will be tasked with organisation of events that aid in this purpose.
Article 3. Membership
Section 1. Currently there is no membership system in place. This is to be investigated so as to maximise the effective potential of our actions should a membership system be used.
Section 2. The privileges of voting members has yet to be established.
Section 3. Membership shall be open to all, regardless of age, creed, race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability or national origin. This list is not exhaustive.
Article 4. Meeting rules and procedures
Section 1. Meetings are typically held once a month with the work group meetings are held once a month on opposing fortnights. This is not a set schedule. As we move into a more activist role, external outreach will not be held to a set schedule.
Section 2. When voting is held this will be a democratic process. A majority of those voting shall constitute an affirmative vote of the Board. Each Officer shall be entitled to one vote and the vote of the majority of the Board at any meeting at which there is a quorum shall be sufficient to transact business.
Article 5. Rules and conditions of holding office
All members of the committee must uphold the code of conduct as specified on the FSM website. If committee members are found to be in breach themselves it is up to the remaining committee to determine the course of action.
If continued violation of these rules are committed then those responsible will be asked to step down from their position.
Article 6. Elections
Elections are to be held annually with all member needed to either re-stand for election or step down from their position. These members can nominate a replacement for their position or too another vacant position. General visitors/members can also nominate themselves for election.
Each nominee can give a speech in advance to inform others of their skills and intentions. This is not a requirement.
Elections are to be voted on by the members/visitors with a 3rd party adjudicator to determine the voting tally.
In a situation of a tied vote, it is up to the nominees to state additional positions so that a resolution can be reached. Again, this is not a requirement.
If for any reason a member of the committee can no longer fulfil their duties or no longer wish to provide their services then they will be asked to step down. The same procedure as in Article 6. - Section 2. is to be followed when electing a new member to the board.
Article 7. The standing committee
Typically there has been a structure of President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. The current committee is as follows. A 12-month trail period from April 2017 through April 2018 has seen these titles abolished to create a more fluid/anarchistic system.
The current committee until April 2018 are as follows.
Damien Zammit Ben Mindnes Tatiana Lenz Michael Verrenkamp
This committee has the power to form and/or dissolve new committees and organisation functions. These will be voted on by the current standing committee.
If an additional separate committee is voted out, they are free to continue their functions as a separate organisation. Any association with FSM will need to be negotiated with the current standing committee.
Article 8. External presence
All external communications are to be used purely for the advancement of software freedom and the associated message. These events should not be used to push alternative agendas such as political parties, religion, oppression of other peoples unless it is direct reference to software freedom.
This is a platform for spreading the knowledge of technology freedom, not a soap box for personal matters.
If an offence is deemed to have taken place, the committee will determine the effective punishment. Depending on the spirit of the offence, this can even lead to a vote to remove a member for the committee.
Article 9. Amendments and Ratification
This constitution shall be established by a vote of a FSM majority of the membership of the organisation.
The fraction for ratification is a 3/4ths majority vote.
Article 10. Questions
Questions concerning the interpretation of this document shall be decided by the Board