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Ashin

Friends & Family

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(As discussed at our 10/26/09 Aion Chapter meeting.)

Summary: Friends and Family will be expected to meet the same standards that apply to all other guild members. Folks who otherwise don't care to be here, but are simply attached to someone else, comprise a second class of membership. This is not conducive to fostering a tight-knit team, and so this practice will be curbed at this time.

Discussion: In the past, the guild has taken a generous position toward friends and family of existing members: we would always accomodate them, regardless of what class they play, or how they conduct themselves. The motivation behind this policy was good: we did not want to drive a wedge between friends or family members, nor did we think that doing so was in the interest of the guild.

As the years pass, however, this well-meaning policy has had some side effects. Namely, we have created two classes of membership. There are those who are here because they want to be, and are active participants in the guild. And there are those who are here simply as an attachment to someone else: a friend, a roommate, or a significant other, who would not otherwise be members of this team, and who, in fact, do not act like members of this team. I have come to understand that it is not possible to have a tight-knit, highly effective team unless everyone is held to the same standards.

To emphasize, I mean: everyone, from Founder on down to Recruit.

It is awesome (and a compliment) when members refer their relatives or friends to the guild. I absolutely appreciate it. However, those referrals have to want to be here, just like you do. That's something neither you nor I can force on them. If they are never going to check the forums, if they are never going to socialize in guild chat, if they are never going to get in vent, then there is no purpose to having them in the guild. This is what Friends Lists are for.

When I support this second-class of citizenry in the guild, it diminishes the meaning of membership. I am, unwittingly, sending a signal that you can do whatever you want, including blowing off or ignoring the guild, just so long as you know someone who acts better than you do. Allowing this effectively reduces the guild to meaningless tag underneath one's name, or a hollow chat channel to be ignored whenever you're doing something you actually care about. That isn't fair to the majority of our membership, who enjoys our community and takes their role to heart.

Next Steps: Over the next several weeks, I will be conducting a review of our membership, and making sure that only folks who actually want to be here, are here. Any concerns I have will be addressed to the individual via PM prior to any action being taken. Folks who are not acting like members will not remain as members. Forum access will be bumped down to Friend. And they will be welcomed to reapply in the future, if it makes more sense to them at that time.

If you have a Concern: First of all, if you are reading this at all, this review almost certainly does not impact you. But maybe you have a friend, relative or significant other, and you're worried it might impact them? If so, help me explain this to them. Help get them on board. You can also discuss any questions or provide feedback in this thread.

Edited by Ashin

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Specific points and answers to questions:

1. This has nothing to do with playtime; it has to do with attitude and communications.

2. Friends & Family may be invited to the guild when recruitment is otherwise "closed".

3. Friends & Family may be invited to the guild, even if they play a class that is "closed". But this is at the sole discretion of the Chapter Lead.

4. Friends & Family may be invited to the guild at level 1, even if the current level requirement is higher.

5. Friends & Family may be invited to make use of the guild's Vent server at any time. However, this is done as a courtesy and may be revoked if abused.

Edited by Ashin

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Found this in my travels, and thought it was interesting to see how other guilds have tried to solve the "double standard" problem that is sometimes created by a Friends & Family clause. In this case, the guild formally codified the double standard, creating two classes of membership (literally). So they pretty much did the opposite of what we did, but still interesting from a "peer review" standpoint.

http://na.aiononline.com/forums/server/view?articleID=11498&serverID=8

(If you go to their site there are highly structured charts and such.)

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Definitely not a solution for a guild like ours I'd have to say, but for a guild that utilizes different ranks of membership with regard to who can benefit from guild resources, who can access more "perks" as they put it, etc., this looks like a pretty solid system.

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