Business Meeting TONIGHT

The Business Meeting for the Debatable Lands will be TONIGHT Wednesday, 6 February 20202 at the Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church (416 W North Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 – map. From 8p until 10p.

Agenda

If you would like more information about attending a Business Meeting, please read the Seneschal’s Spotlight article.

If you would like to be on the agenda, please contact Odriana.

A gentle reminder that the minutes from the previous meeting should be read prior to arriving at the meeting on Wednesday.

Business Meeting this Wednesday

The Business Meeting for the Debatable Lands will be this Wednesday, 6 February 20202 at the Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church (416 W North Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 – map. From 8p until 10p.

Agenda

  • Open Meeting
  • Approve the minutes from the previous meeting
  • Officer’s Reports
  • Vote of affirmation for the single Letter of Intent received for Seneschal
  • Election of a new Baronial MoL
  • Close Meeting

If you would like more information about attending a Business Meeting, please read the Seneschal’s Spotlight article.

If you would like to be on the agenda, please contact Odriana.

A gentle reminder that the minutes from the previous meeting should be read prior to arriving at the meeting on Wednesday.

Seneschal Spotlight: 2019 In Review

It’s the end of the year and the end of the decade and the usual thing to do is to write about the things that have happened in the last year. This is a view on the positives, negatives, and everything in between.

This is not going to be comprehensive and if I missed anyone, it is completely accidental.

Changes

  • The Baronial Position of Steward was held by Michelina for 16 years (2003-2019) and this year she chose to hand off the responsibility of storing/maintaining/etc. the Baronial Larder and Master Alaric MacConnell was selected to take on that role.
  • The Baronial Sewing Guild was generously hosted by Ts’vee’a for many years and was handed off to Hara, who has already been doing a wonderful job of filling some very difficult to fill shoes.
  • We created a new Newcomer’s Guild to help our new members find their way in the Barony and get more information about what it is that we do. Lord Ronan, Lady Svava, and THL Libby have been doing a great job running the meetings and getting things rolling. I can’t wait to see how this grows in 2020.
  • Elss of Augsburg stepped down as A&S Minister to focus more time on the Culinary Guild, which has been wonderfully active and a true pleasure to watch bloom over the last year.
  • Baroness Isabel Fleuritan became our new A&S Minister, her first time ever serving as an Officer of our Barony.
  • Lord Ronan took on the Archery Marshal position from THL Kathryn Tantzel after many years of service from her to the Barony in that job.
  • The Agincourt Event was passed on to me by Baroness Constance and Baron Liam. There are some awesome things in store for the 2020 event and I am humbled by their trust in me to carry this event forward.
  • Baronial Twelfth Night passed from the capable hands of THL Elss to THL Kathryn. Elss was the autocrat for this event for about five years.

Celebrations

  • We were in THREE parades this year, the most notable of which was the WPXI Thanksgiving Parade. We were invited because of our presence at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Heritage Days in Lawrenceville. People loved seeing us and it was a heck of a lot of fun. We were even on television! Lord Yingurz and Lord Ronan were the masterminds behind making the parades as successful as they are.
  • Speaking of parades, Lady Kat Fixis, known as Vixxie, who has been instrumental with coordinating things on the back end with Yingurz is expecting a child!
  • The Woodworker’s Guild was activated by Master Ishiyama and has been a fantastic addition to the activities in our Barony.
  • The fencing community now has a monthly practice with the folks at Broken Plow. The ability to share knowledge between combat organizations only makes the martial community stronger.
  • Thanks to a robust training program built by Mistress Anna and Baroness Soteria, there were more MoLs trained in 2019 than previously. It’s always a pleasure to see more people finding something that makes them happy and feel like part of the Barony.

Good-Byes
We lost some good people this year:

  • Alan and Fran Lefkowitz
  • Richard Berlin.

Thank yous

Thank you to the officers of the Barony, who donate their time and energy to helping make the Barony run as smoothly as possible: Baron Brandubh, Baroness Hilda, Maighster Kieran, THL Robert , Lady Arthes, Skjoldrbjorn, Baroness Isabel, Baroness Anna, THL Libby, Don Joundr, Lord Ronan, Lord Kuma, Lady Jasmine, Lady Gesa, and Baron Kameshima. Also, thank you to all of our Deputies who make our lives easier and ensure that we don’t have to learn the skill of cloning or bi-location. Your time and energy is deeply appreciated by all of us.

Happy New Year, Debatable Lands!

On a personal note: Thank you to Maighster Kieran, Lady Alethea, Baron Liam, Baroness Constance, Baroness Anna, Baroness Hilda, THL Murigheal, Lord Eamonn, Mistress Ts’vee’a, and my household Huis Witschoof for all of your support, love, advice, and guidance for the last four years while I have been Seneschal. I literally could not have done it without you.

Seneschal – Call for Letters is Closed

I want to thank everyone that considered sending in a letter and sent in a letter. The deadline passed yesterday 28 December 2019. The official vote for our new seneschal will take place at the 5 February 2020 business meeting.

I don’t have the words to truly express what an honor and a privilege it has been to serve the Barony as its Seneschal for the last four years. Thank you to everyone that made my job a true pleasure and I look forward to seeing how my successor will serve you.

~Odriana

Call for Letters – Seneschal

After nearly four years serving this fine Barony, it is time for me to step down as your Seneschal. I am officially calling for letters and requesting that letters be sent to me (seneschal at debatablelands.org) and the Baron (baron at debatablelands.org) and Baroness (baroness at debatablelands.org) by 28 December 2019.

The job of Seneschal is rewarding and unexpectedly difficult at times. It is a way to serve the fine populace of the Debatable Lands in a deep, meaningful way. Take time with your decision and ask many questions. There are quite a few former Seneschals in the Barony still participating (Baroness Hilda being one of them) that are your resources for the reality of the everyday job. If you are interested in becoming the Seneschal and want more information about what the job entails, please contact me directly and I will be happy to talk with you about what the needs are and how the Seneschal serves the Barony. There are also online resources such as the Seneschal’s Handbook (http://socsen.scaserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Seneschals-Handbook-January-2018.2.pdf) that you can use to inform yourself before making a decision.

I don’t have the words to truly express what an honor and a privilege it has been to serve the Barony as its Seneschal for the last several years.

My term is officially over in February, however, I want to ensure that there is enough time for people to make informed choices prior to submitting a letter. Again, remember that the deadline for letters is 28 December 2019. Thank you all for your time and for allowing me to be your Seneschal for the last four years.

~Odriana



Call for Letters – Seneschal

After nearly four years serving this fine Barony, it is time for me to step down as your Seneschal. I am officially calling for letters and requesting that letters be sent to me (seneschal at debatablelands.org) and the Baron (baron at debatablelands.org) and Baroness (baroness at debatablelands.org) by 28 December 2019.

The job of Seneschal is rewarding and unexpectedly difficult at times. It is a way to serve the fine populace of the Debatable Lands in a deep, meaningful way. Take time with your decision and ask many questions. There are quite a few former Seneschals in the Barony still participating (Baroness Hilda being one of them) that are your resources for the reality of the everyday job. If you are interested in becoming the Seneschal and want more information about what the job entails, please contact me directly and I will be happy to talk with you about what the needs are and how the Seneschal serves the Barony. There are also online resources such as the Seneschal’s Handbook (http://socsen.scaserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Seneschals-Handbook-January-2018.2.pdf) that you can use to inform yourself before making a decision.

I don’t have the words to truly express what an honor and a privilege it has been to serve the Barony as its Seneschal for the last several years.

My term is officially over in February, however, I want to ensure that there is enough time for people to make informed choices prior to submitting a letter. Again, remember that the deadline for letters is 28 December 2019. Thank you all for your time and for allowing me to be your Seneschal for the last four years.

~Odriana



Seneschal’s Spotlight: Business Meetings

I wanted to cast a spotlight on our Business Meetings because there are some misconceptions as to their purpose and who is “allowed” to attend. In order to address some of this, I had started including the following paragraph at the end of the information about the next Business Meeting:

The Officers of the Debatable Lands are elected by the membership and is made up of members of the populace, just like you. The Officers are responsible for ensuring that the policies of the Kingdom and Barony are followed and are accountable to the populace of the Debatable Lands. The Business meeting is open to everyone in the Barony and attendance by the populace is encouraged. Have a thought you’d like to share with the Officers? Email seneschal@debatablelands.org.

This is absolutely true. Everyone is invited to attend Business Meetings and everyone is encouraged to do so. Attending gives you the opportunity to understand more about the non-profit business side of the organization and an opportunity for the populace to hold us accountable as Officers.

To give you an idea of what happens at an Officer’s Meeting, here is an annotated version of the general Agenda that we follow for each meeting:

Meeting opens at 8:00 p.m
The Seneschal announces that we are going to get started. This is done as close to 8:00 p.m. as possible. Prior to the Seneschal starting the meeting, they will have already checked off who is in attendance and listed who else is attending the meeting. This is to create a record of which officers have attended, if there are any proxies (which I will explain in a moment), who those proxies are, and to ensure that the record of who attended the meeting is as accurate as possible.

Proxies are someone that is representing the officer for the purpose of the meeting. They would also carry the vote of that officer and cast it appropriately for any known business.

This is a copy of the attendance record for a recent Business Meeting. As you can see, we have run remote sessions in the past, but we have not done that for a while. Look for an announcement about that coming up soon.

Approve Minutes
The Officers of the Barony are responsible for reading the minutes of the previous meeting prior to the next meeting. The minutes are made available prior to the following meeting, at least three days before the meeting. They are posted again the day of the meeting. Anyone attending the Business Meeting should also take the time to review the minutes. This will help give you a sense of context to some of the discussion and will also allow you the ability to ask any specific questions that you may have about what was done in the previous meeting.

Officer’s Reports
Each officer of the Barony then gives a report that is recorded into the minutes. Often when an officer is unable to attend, they will send a pre-written report that is then either read into the minutes or included in the minutes as a cut/paste of what was sent by the officer. This is where we talk about what we’re doing, what plans are coming up, events that have just happened or may be coming up. Anything that pertains to the officer’s area of responsibility.

What about Guilds?
Guilds are defined in Corpora as:
E. Unofficial Entities
In many kingdoms, there are groups in which many people participate but which are not formally recognized by the Society. These can range from highly structured guilds to loosely associated camping groups. Entities that fall into this category can have many names, including but not limited to households, guilds, ships, and clans. Although these entities are not recognized by the Society in any formal way, some kingdoms have awards that can be given to these groups. Because they are not official Society groups, unofficial entities cannot sponsor Society events.

This does not mean that guilds are not important, because they are. This means that guilds are free to structure themselves in any way and are free to engage the populace in whatever way that they believe best serves the populace. It also means that guilds can dissolve or create themselves as needed without paperwork or any official intervention. People who are not members of a guild are in no way restricted from doing any art or science for which there may or may not be a guild for. It’s a learning opportunity like so many things in the SCA. We encourage guilds to report at the Business Meeting, but they must contact the Seneschal prior to the meeting to be placed on the Agenda.

What about Baronial Positions?
These positions include Gold Key, Iron Key, Steward, Signet, Dark Pages Editor, Historian, and Minister of Youth. These are also unofficial positions, some of whom report into the Exchequer because they have Baronial property that must be accounted for and reported on yearly. We also encourage Baronial Positions to report at Business Meeting, but also must contact the Seneschal prior to the meeting to be placed on the Agenda

After Officer’s Reports a number of things may be on the Agenda:
Reports from Guilds and/or Positions
Event Reports – Income generated (or not generated) by any events held since the last Business Meeting. Given by the Exchequer.

Letters of Intent – We choose our Officers by vote. The way to get on the ballot is to send in a letter of intent to the Office you wish to volunteer for, copying the Seneschal. The Seneschal’s office requires a letter to the Seneschal with a copy sent to the Baronage. ANYONE may vote in an election for any position as long as an officer does not call for an Officers Only vote.

Event Bids – Any event bids that you have to bring before the Officers. It is preferred to have event bids at least two weeks prior to the Business meeting so everyone has time to review it and include a link to it in the published agenda. Only members of the Financial committee may vote on the final approval of funding for any event.

Budget Meeting – We hold our annual budget meeting in April of each year and everyone is invited to come and discuss how we are planning to spend money in the barony in the upcoming year. This is also a great place to discuss what kind of fundraisers can be done for the Barony prior to clearing it with the Kingdom Exchequer. Only members of the Financial committee may vote on the final passage (or not) of the budget. BUT everyone may put in a funding request and may engage in the discussion about how Baronial funds are to be spent to ensure that their opinions are heard.

How to know what to vote on?
Our Baronial Policy states:
Unless otherwise stated, decisions of the officers are by consensus of the people attending a scheduled officers meeting at which a majority of the Officers are present. An individual may cast only one vote. Officers may be represented by proxy.  Only the members of the Financial Committee may vote on financial decisions.  Any Officer may call for an Officer Only vote, in which case each Office gets one vote, with a simple majority of the votes cast deciding the issue.

Close Meeting
To close the meeting, someone must move that we vote on closing the meeting, then second it. Then a vote of simple majority is taken and the meeting is adjourned if the majority agrees to it.

So, while this is very long and digs a lot into how we as an organization structure things down to the Baronial level, I hope that I have answered most questions that people may have about attending the Business Meeting. It is a completely open meeting that anyone may attend and you are encouraged to participate in this part of the organization just as you are welcome to participate in any other aspect of the organization.

If you have any questions, or need more information, please contact me, Odriana vander Brugghe at seneschal (at) debatablelands (dot) org.

Call for Letters – Seneschal

After nearly four years serving this fine Barony, it is time for me to step down as your Seneschal. I am officially calling for letters and requesting that letters be sent to me (seneschal at debatablelands.org) and the Baron (baron at debatablelands.org) and Baroness (baroness at debatablelands.org) by 28 December 2019.

The job of Seneschal is rewarding and unexpectedly difficult at times. Take time with your decision and ask many questions. There are quite a few former Seneschals in the Barony still participating (Baroness Hilda being one of them) that are your resources for the reality of the everyday job. If you are interested in becoming the Seneschal and want more information about what the job entails, please contact me directly and I will be happy to talk with you about what the needs are and how the Seneschal serves the Barony. There are also online resources such as the Seneschal’s Handbook (http://socsen.scaserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Seneschals-Handbook-January-2018.2.pdf) that you can use to inform yourself before making a decision.

I don’t have the words to truly express what an honor and a privilege it has been to serve the Barony as its Seneschal for the last several years. I am thankful and grateful that I was blessed with such a strong foundation of Seneschals throughout the history of the Barony and to have the support of my Deputies, THL Muirgheal and Maighster Liam. I have always believed in the exceptionalness of the Debatable Lands and still do. You are all amazing, talented, intelligent, and skilled people in your own ways and having a vantage point where I could best see so many of you was one of the great joys of my life.

My term is officially over in February, however, I want to ensure that there is enough time for people to make informed choices prior to submitting a letter. Again, remember that the deadline for letters is 28 December 2019. Thank you all for your time and for allowing me to be your Seneschal for the last four years.

~Odriana



Business Meeting Minutes

Thank you to everyone that made time to join us at the meeting last night. The Business meeting just after Pennsic is always in the middle of laundry and re-entry into the real world, so we’re not always at our most motivated.

I would like to congratulate Lady Arthes MacLeod on being re-affirmed as our Baronial Exchequer for another two-year term. It’s nice to know that we’re in good hands for another two years. Thank you for volunteering another two years and for your time and efforts over the last two years.

The next Barony Meeting will be on Sunday, 15 September 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at the Washington Blvd practice site. This is traditionally our newcomer meeting.

The next Business Meeting will be on Wednesday, 2 October 2019 at 8:00 p.m. at Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church on the North Side.

Minutes from the August 2019 Meeting

Corrected Minutes from the June 2019 Meeting (changes in blue)

End of Year Letter

With the end of one year and the beginning of another, it is the traditional time to reflect on the year past and the year to come. I am always pressed to find the words to express just how highly I think of everyone in this Barony. I am honored to serve as your Seneschal and proud of what we as a Barony accomplish every year. The kindness, talent, generosity, enthusiasm, knowledge, and volunteerism shown by all of you is inspiring.
From gathering items for gift baskets for the Royalty to sharing your expertise to train new martial participants you are all amazing volunteers. The countless hours that you put towards helping make the Barony, the Kingdom, and the SCA a vibrant organization is truly a gift to each of us. Your efforts are seen and appreciated.

Here are some highlights from the last year:

January
This year started with a lovely, smallish Baronial Twelfth Night, run by THL Elss and Lady Kathryn, where so many people received recognition from our Baron and Baroness, including the The Royal Livery Company (the first time they were recognized). It was also where we got to see Mistress Graidhne elevated to the Order of the Laurel.

February
Lady Zianna generously donated new list ropes for our use in indoor combat. They were immediately used for the Carnegie Science Center Demo where we had over 100 people join us to make this Demo so successful we are invited back and in a leading role. The William Blackfox awards were announced and the BMDL took home six awards. We also had a very successful Tavern in the Park event autocratted by THL Elss and Lady Elsa.

April
Baron Leonard passed away mid-month, which was a significant blow to the Barony as a whole. We had a demo at CCAC South that was very successful. The Comet Persuivant began a project to make Baldrics for everyone participating in a martial activity at Pennsic. The Brewers Guild came out of dormancy and set their first meeting date.

June
We hosted the Known World Heralds and Scribes event, coordinated by Master Alaric and THL The baldrics for martial activities at Pennsic were finished and handed out to as many people as possible, the rest to be distributed at Pennsic. We also had an Iron Comet event, autocratted by Don Jorundr and the Barony got new Champions.

July/August
PENNSIC – As always, the BMDL was everywhere – volunteering, coordinating,

September
The Barony hosted the first ever Known World Commedia gathering. We had the pleasure of hosting so many talented visitors and rumor has it that it’s going to be held again.

October
Agincourt, now in its 12th year, was held during its traditional weekend and was autocratted by Baroness Constance and Meesteres Odriana.

November
We had our traditional Harvest Revel Barony Meeting at the Castle – there was pie, GLORY!!!, singing, pumpkin launching, and fellowship.

December
We had our first joint fencing practice with Broken Plow, which will now be held the first Sunday of the month at the Broken Plow studios in Creighton, PA. We also had end-of-year retrospectives from quite a few people published on Stórfréttir. We also saw the untimely passing of Lady Amanda and Jamie MacMichael, over which most of us are still processing our grief and our hearts are with their families.

The coming year is starting out just as full as last year —
Kingdom Twelfth Night on 5 January.
Baronial Twelfth Night a week later, 12 January, where we will also have our Barony Meeting.
Aethelmearc Grand Tournament on 2 February.

There was a recent call for letters for the Office of Baronial Minister of Arts and Sciences, those letters are due at our February Business Meeting on Wednesday, 6 February. If you are interested in the position or serving as a Deputy to learn more about the realities of the office, please check out the call for letters on Stórfréttir. We welcome new people to put in letters and become part of the Barony’s Leadership.

We also have a call for letters for the Office of the Comet Persuivant. While the current Persuivant is interested in serving another two-year term, if you are interested in the position or would like to serve as a Deputy Herald to get an idea of what that job entails, please read the call for letters on Stórfréttir. Those letters are also due at our February Business Meeting.

We have the most amazing Barony in the Known World and I am perpetually impressed by the breadth and depth of opportunities that we have here, not only in knowledge but also in service and martial skill.

aude aliqid dignum*,

Odriana, Senschal

*dare something worthy