By the conscience of our founders, this gaming community is established as a collection of persons, unbarred by fictions or factions, desiring to cultivate a pro-social atmosphere of reasonable respect to deter against bigotry of creed, gender, personal identity, and the disenfranchisement of the citizenry for a safe recreational experience of all members.
For the governance and maintenance of community activities within the SWTOR engine and Enjin forums, the following provisions are thus established with the fair exercise of the privileges bestowed by well minded peers to service and protect the general membership.
Article 1: Leadership Council
The Leadership Council is highest governing entity in the community. It’s the primary deliberative body tasked with regular maintenance and enacting edicts for the good of the guild. It is formed by all the official leaders of the community with each having an equal voice in the community’s growth.
For the purposes of actions relevant to the interest of the guild, and its members or for the harmony of the gaming experience, any decision made by the Leadership Council are binding with due credit or consequence. Only a Leadership Council can reverse its own decisions.
Article 2: Leadership Meetings and Decisions
Those designated as community leaders may deliberate regularly on any issue concerning the wellbeing of the community. They may be asked to vote and if they do, all persons may only vote once and cannot gain more than one.
To prevent misrepresentation, a Leadership Council decision can only defined as such when a quorum is established. To have quorum, at least 2/3rds of the total incumbent leadership members must be present in the meeting or voting session at the time votes are tabulated. Leaders may nominate a proxy and if they do so, they must inform another leadership member of the proxy.
Any absent leaders count their votes as abstain. Failure to have quorum will reclassify any decision or result made as a leadership member decision rather than a Leadership Council decision.
The Leadership Council can determine the vote requirements or an alternate voting method on any decision, but some extreme cases will require a minimum of 2/3rds or better to be enacted. These cases include: demotion, award or title stripping, creation or dissolving of a section, amending the charter, banning a member and the removal of another leadership member or officer.
Article 3: Guild Master
A guild master (or “Community Coordinator,”) is a generic title and defined as the guild owner of any and all associated guilds in SWTOR.
Our SWTOR community will have only one guild master and he/she is a leadership member. The primary duty of the SWTOR guild master is to coordinate and execute the collective will of the Leadership relevant to SWTOR itself. The GM is expected to consider the long term interests of the community and be an advocate of the greater good above factional and class bias. On the forums, the GM may have admin rights to observe and coordinate with all factions, groups and committees.
The Guild Master (or “Community Coordinator”) may never concurrently hold a technical owner position.
Article 4: Technical Owners
Outside the games, the website and voice communication server require an owner with possible financial commitments. These owners are members of the leadership indefinitely unless the owners and leadership can reach a consensus on a responsible replacement.
Both the website owner and communication server owner have a single leadership vote each. If a person is the owner of both, they only have one vote as no persons can have more than a single Leadership vote.
The Technical Owner(s) may never concurrently hold the position of Guild Master (“Community Coordinator”)
Article 5: Section Leaders
For various reasons, a single guild can be formally divided for reasons of RP, thematic lore or convenience. Each division may have their own leader and corresponding officers. When the Leadership Council agrees to a creation of a section, the Leadership may then elect the leader to be primarily responsible of said section for a determinate amount of time that the leadership sees fit.
Section leaders are the highest authority in their assigned sphere of influence with fair autonomy to guide and command those under their charge. These leaders are also the primary advocates and arbiters of those under their charge when grievances are limited internally among said section. The section leader is always assumed to speak for their section unless noted otherwise.
Article 6: Leadership Council
The Guild Master, Technical Owner(s), and Section Leaders are members of the Leadership Council.
Article 7: Documents
A guild formed within the community must author and maintain the following documents:
- Guild By-Laws to record all rules and regulations duly voted upon and approved by Leadership Council specific to that guild not covered by this Charter
- Rank Requirements to record what tasks must be completed to achieve what rank
- Officer Policies and Procedures to serve as a reference for officers as to their job duties and guidelines for completing those duties.
Article 8: RP Documentation
Any guild including on-going guild-canon RP must also include an RP Guidelines document.
Article 9: Community Guilds
Any formed guild may accept the primary gaming guild documents as their documents instead of authoring new guild-specific documents; however, the newly formed guild will always be bound by any changes in the primary gaming guild documents.
Article 10: Officers
All guild and section leaders may have a limited amount of staff to aid in the upkeep and service of their responsibilities. All officers deserve equal courtesy equally due to the leader they serve. The officer’s authority within the community is limited to the narrow scope as defined by the by-laws. An officer can be chosen at the personal discretion of the respective leaders with varying standards.
An officer assists leaders in their management duties. They may have varying titles for cultural addressing, but each have similar authority and equally expected to practice appropriate restraint. Their typical functions may include specialized duties such as focusing on PvE, PvP or RP or less common duties such as, but not limited to, record keeping, advising, event planning or virtual economics.
Each member of the leadership may have several officers of their choice to share a term length with their own. The selection process is up to the leaders to decide, but common methods include:
- Open Submissions – Interested persons, meeting specified prerequisites by the incumbent leader, may openly post resumes noting their interest and qualifications in a forum thread.
- Closed Submissions – Interested persons, meeting specified prerequisites by the incumbent leader, may secretly private message resumes noting their interest and qualifications.
- Direct Appointment – A leader may choose to directly appoint persons they view as appropriate for the available tasks at any time, in the event of a replacement, or if there are too few open submissions to fill the vacancies.
Article 11: Technical Admins
The web and communication server owners may require additional admins beyond themselves for long term upkeep or to train as possible future replacement. Like section leaders and their officers, owners may choose their admins at their own discretion. These admins are given honorary officer status on the website or higher in regards to web admins. These admins gain no additional privileges in the game.
Like any officer, admins can be dismissed at any time by their direct superior or by the Leadership Council.
Article 12: Assistants and Advisors
A GM may occasionally require in game or out game assistants or advisors. By necessity, these aides might share similar powers or influence of their assigned GM. All GM staff is honorary officers, both in game and on the website.
All official aides to a GM require a simple majority approval from the Leadership, after the guild master has formally provided a job description and candidate. Their roles, term length and function can vary by the consensus of Leadership and GM.
Like any officer, advisors or aides to a GM can be dismissed at any time by their direct superior or by the Leadership Council.
Article 13: Guild Master (Community Coordinator) Election
The SWTOR GM term is a maximum of 6 months. There is no term limit for a GM, but one cannot serve consecutive terms.
The terms are: October 1 – March 31, and April 1 – September 30.
One can become a GM by appointment from the Leadership Council or by submitting their candidacy to the Leadership Council for review. The SWTOR Guild Master can hold no other concurrent appointments such as being an officer or a group leader. They are to resign from such positions to minimize conflicts of interest. In order to be eligible for Guild Master, a candidate must have served at least one full term as a section lead or community coordinator.
In an emergency, the Senior Advisor may can always become the Guild Master pro tem until a permanent solution is ratified by the Leadership Council.
Article 14: Section Leader Election
The maximum length one may serve as a section leader is 4 months. There is no term limit for such leaders, but one cannot serve more than 2 consecutive terms.
As of January 1st, candidates must be Steward rank to run for Section Lead. Prior to that, a candidate must be Marshal rank to run for Section Lead. (Date references removed from this document after January 1st, pre-approved, no vote necessary). To become a section leader, one may submit their candidacy to the current Leadership Council for review. Upon consensus, the chosen will be informed of their new positions.
In an emergency, the Senior Officer can always become to be the acting section leader pro tem until a permanent solution is ratified by the Leadership Council.
Article 15: Petitioning for candidacy
One month prior to the conclusion of a Guild Master’s or section leaders’ term, the leadership council will publicly post the resume format for the following term.
Interested parties will follow the format and direction of the incumbents and post candidacy. Applicants will be chosen two weeks prior to the end of term.
The final task the Leadership Council of that season is to all vote on all applicable openings and candidates by secret ballot.
They are to PM their votes to Web Owner who will then tabulate the results at the conclusion of submissions. The web owner will inform the Leadership Council who will in turn inform the victors. The remaining two weeks of the term will involve training and the hand-off of guild business.
Article 16: Intervention and Delegation
To achieve a resolution on behalf the community the Leadership Council may directly legislate, investigate and judge any relevant incidents. Minor matters may only require a simple majority vote (%51+) or higher standards of the super-majority (%66+) for sensitive matters with potential consequences.
To minimize the work of the Leadership Council, each leader has primary jurisdiction over their own specific fields of responsibility:
- Guild Master – Guild operations in the game and keeping the peace between the sections
- Web Owner – Enjin, TS and Forums
- Section leaders – Each has their own section
Sometimes the Leadership Council is too busy or require outside opinions. When this is so, they may form committees.
Article 17: Open Committee
An open committee is an unrestricted public contribution in the open forums. Any persons may add to the discussion without prerequisites. This is formed by at least one leader posting a public discussion topic with the term “Open Committee” somewhere in the title.
The leadership member that sponsors or co-sponsors become the committee chairman and is thus responsible for discussion relevancy, civility and momentum. They are also responsible for determining the rules of debate or to decide which voting method to apply.
Upon arriving at a conclusion or several recommendations, the committee chairman then shares their findings with the Leadership Council to formally resolve the issue.
Article 18: Closed Committee
The closed committee also requires at least one leadership member to sponsor or co-sponsor the committee’s forming. Some subject matters are sensitive and are not appropriate for general public viewing or require specific expertise. The committee chairman may hand pick various relevant persons to privately debate the matter at hand in private.
Article 19: Lobbying
Not all committees need to originate with the Leadership Council. Any person may request a leadership member to sponsor a topic that the member is interested in. Some may even already have conclusions ready to be presented to the Leadership Council to resolve. If this is so, they may contact a leadership member to discuss the matter and consult for the next course of action.
When a leader agrees to co-sponsor a committee with a non-leader, they may then deliberate as a normal committee and is guaranteed the same respect and treatment as a normal committee. While this public committee does not require the consent of the Leadership Council, the sponsoring leader(s) must formally inform the Leadership Council of its existence within 24 hours of its formation.
Article 20: Emergency Powers
When leader is no longer able to fulfill their responsibility to the satisfaction of the community, they could be succeeded by their Senior Officer or Senior Advisor. Outside of regularly scheduled election dates, the Leadership Council may choose to appoint a new leader if the successor is unsatisfactory.
The Leadership Council can, with a quorum and unanimous consent, may bypass any affirmed procedure or law to take emergency measures for the good of the community in a timely manner.
Article 21: General Membership
Our community is the sum of all memberships of all guilds or games affirmed by the Leadership, The minimum fulfillment for membership in this community is met upon registration to its forums. Additional requirements may exist for full membership status, which comes with certain rights and privileges, but failure to meet all these requirements will restrict such a person as a guest of the community. Guests may not gain rank or authority over any full member.
Full membership is a person who has been approved entry to our website, registered to the community’s TeamSpeak, assigned to a guild or section entry (if applicable), and advanced beyond at least the default entry rank (if applicable). Completing any less than the above listed only warrants guest status. Any guest, as so defined, can be removed at any time by any Leadership member and without appeal.
Any membership of any guild or section can be nullified by a supermajority vote (two-thirds or better) from the Leadership. Such persons may apply for membership at a later date with the Leadership’s consent.
Any community member can be banned with a supermajority Leadership if the Leadership deems them a liability.
- Full members are protected from internal harassment and cyber bullying by fellow members.
- Full members are free to speak with any leader or officer when available.
- Full members may gain rank and may apply for any position in the guild or community to which they meet the prerequisites for.
- Full members have the right of appeal; if any member is involved in a ruling that may negatively impact their gaming experience or believe they have been wrongly punished by an officer or an individual leader then they may request the entire Leadership to review the incident again.
- Full members cannot be protected against philosophical disagreements or ignorance; it is in the wit of each member to exercise themselves to their best in debates.
Reported violation of any member’s rights by another member can carry varying degrees of punishment from a warning, probation, suspension, demotion, revoked privileges or honors and banning. Reporting ill behavior can be addressed to the nearest available officer, admin or leader.
Article 22: Gaming Guilds
Our community may have a primary game or multiple games of high interest to the general members. The primary game is defined by a supermajority vote from the Leadership. By the same process of supermajority consensus, the Leadership may identify additional games as official interest if they deem the new game worthy of financial and time investment on par or superior than the community’s primary game.
A game may allow for multiple guilds and for each guild that wishes join the community requires a supermajority by the Leadership. Any guild, be they of the same game or of other games, are entitled to the same rights as all other approved guilds, but each are responsible in cultivating their own interest, activity and resources.
Any game can be unsupported or changed by a Leadership supermajority with the Leadership having the final prerogative to determine the fate of all affected resources and members.
Article 23: Sections
A guild may allow for further divisions within that guild; these are generically called sections, but their leaders may formally label them otherwise for thematic purposes. With the supermajority consent of the Leadership, a guild may subdivide once per consent. The powers, design and culture of each section are to be managed by the Leadership during its initial creation and tenure.
Article 24: Special Formations
For temporary, honorary or ceremonial purposes, leaders of guilds or section may create or modify non-mandatory special formation. These formations can serve any purpose defined by its creator. These formations are temporary and successive leaders are not obligated to continue such formations or may modify them to the new leader’s discretion. This article does not apply to “honor groups” which are web-based, mutable, yet permanent.
Article 25: Social Contract
Rivers of ink has been spelt framing and describing the formula for all cultural morality beyond common creed. More than the mere golden rule of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” as the morally unenlightened or the socialized sociopath would have horrifying self-serving interests at the expense of others. Basic social protections include freedom against harassment, against ad hominems, and concerns of tasteful offenses. Though anyone can claim offense to anything, the offended might be asked to defend the efficacy of their claim.
The social contract is a collective conscience of common ethics for the betterment of all. One is thus expected to commit to basic good and restrain from rude behavior. The moral collective supersedes individual morality unless the individual can persuade with an enlightened argument.
Upon membership, all persons of the community are assumed to have accepted the social contract. There will be no reminder and ignorance won’t be a defense against excessive provocation or being labeled a liability to the public peace.
Article 26: Common Etiquette
No matter one’s principle fiction or faction, all members are expected to be cordial. One need not be friends with all but one is expected to engage in minimal provocation.
Grace or composure while in contention is a fine art and is not expected of most during heated exchanges. Any severe disagreement can be excused, although greatly discouraged, if both parties maintain civility. Needless to say, the first to be uncivil will likely be viewed as the offending party.
Article 27: Authority Etiquette
All those with power are expected to practice restraint at all times. Virtual gaming authority impresses nobody in our millennium so let dignity and wisdom be the caliber of your authority, not your title.
Any that witness, with extremely detailed testimony or evidence, powers abusively committed should privately report to the nearest ranking member or a member of the Leadership. Such persons will be monitored against retaliatory action up to and during the investigation into the matter.
If two senior peers of equal authority cannot reach a consensus, additional peers or a Leadership member can be brought it settle the matter. If the unresolved contention is between two Leadership members, the other Leaders may weigh their opinions or remove the stalled Leaders from the unresolved matter by plurality vote. If the contention is personal, the rest of the Leadership may vote to resolve the matter as they see fit or remove both offending Leaders by majority, super majority or plurality vote depending on the consensus of the Leadership.
Article 28: Breach of Protocol
Of the many possible means of being a liability for the common good of the community, violating any established protocol is among them. Any rules violated can be brought to the attention of the Leadership. They can collectively deliberate the severity, the sincerity and consequence of any breach in protocol and judge if the offense is minor enough to be excused or major enough to warrant censure.
Forums, guild and sections may have specific mandates and violation of those mandates are the prerogative of those affirmed to enforce those local regulations.
Article 29: Internal Grievance
An internal grievance is a perceived wrong or perceived indignity endured by members within the community; this is not a mutually exclusive claim as both sides can claim grievance. The injured persons can offer a detailed report the incident to their immediate section or guild leaders. Any persons can appeal, but once any decision resolved within a section or guild. An appeal would escalate the matter for the entire Leadership to weigh in.
If the leader or leaders of the persons involved cannot resolve the issue within 7 days of the initial report, the matter can then escalate for all the Leadership to weigh in. There is no appeal to a Leadership decision.
Article 30: External Grievance
External grievance is a perceived wrong or perceived indignity endured by members outside our community. All possible evidence should be turned over to the Leadership if they exist. The possibility of justice is limited and any retaliatory action should meet with our own standards of conduct.
Bioware Austin has confirmed they do review harassment claims daily as required by company policy and law. Their ability to act depends on the severity and the sincerity of the harassments or threats.
Article 31: Censure
If the leader or Leadership considers any person to be a liability or untrustworthy, that person can be placed on probation status with temporary loss of privileges and community rights until the situation is resolved to the satisfaction of the leadership.
When a leader or Leadership rule against someone in a manner deserving of punishment, the guilty party has been censured.
Punishments can vary from a demotion, temporary or permanent loss of privileges, strip of honors or titles, banned from the community entirely. Any punishment is possible with the approval of the leader or Leadership.
Article 32: Real-life Liability
Any action by a community member that presents a legal liability to the community by violating Federal cybercrime laws or municipal laws within the context of the community will be suspended pending banning or reporting to the local authorities.