Ideas for a better SVR.

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Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:57 pm

Salvete Sodales,

Just to let you know that I agree with Pomponius Atticus and Marius Peregrine. I esp. like Marius' ideas of restructuring the collegiae.
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Wed Jul 27, 2005 2:15 am

Salvete sodales omnes

Quintus Pomponius Atticus wrote:*Cut back magistracies, but keep the basics : 1 censor, 1 consul, 1 aedilis, 2 rogatores.


Curio asked that we first consider what SVR is. I think it is a sodalitas, not a state, so my thoughts on what it needs as officers is somewhat different in nature.

Two elected officers. That is all we need elect. Call them curiones or whatever, but they would not be consuls. We definitely need webmasters, but I would not make them have to submit to elections. Rather let the curiones appoint qualified people to do the job, as many as would be needed. The other functions could be done in the Comitia, with the curiones needed to direct some things in the Comitia. But if rogatores were needed for a vote, the curiones would just put it to the Comitia and get some volunteers. Rogatores do not need to be elected. The curiones would also handle most of the duties of censors, but could also submit questions to the Comitia if they needed assistance. For example, with a new member selecting a name, sodales in the Comitia could give their advice without having to hold some fancy title of nomenclator or whatever, and the Latin Inquisition will always be around to give its advice. If there would be some question whether an applicant be admitted, the curiones could submit that question to a vote of the Comitia as well. Recording a new member into SVR could be done by the curiones, or they would direct whoever is acting as the webmaster. If there would be a question about taking some action against a person for breaking the decorum of our sodalitas, that too could be submitted to the Comitia by the curiones, who would either seek its advice, or might possibly put it to a vote of the sodales whther to expel one of its members.

Really all we need are two executive officers, with the Comitia taking the role of the Senate to advise the curiones. We could have more than two curiones, but as a minimum we only need two. In fact I would consider that we have 2 to 5 curiones, and if we did not have enough people interested in doing the job, then having however many take the offices would be enough, with two as a minimum. Just like when Rome employed tribunes with consular powers and alternated between those offices and consules.

Quintus Pomponius Atticus wrote:*Remove the senate, the praetores, the magister morum and the quaestores.


The Comitia itself, the sodales assembled as a sodalitas, can fulfill the duties of all these offices.

Quintus Pomponius Atticus wrote:*Organise elections once every two years.


Very well. I don't think we need annual elections. Make it so that curiones can run as often as they want. If they are not doing the job, then vote them out.

Quintus Pomponius Atticus wrote:*The role of the removed instances and the veto-right against the magistratus sine collega to be transfered to the Comitia.


Agreed. This is a sodalitas. Start thinking in terms of SVR acting as a sodalitas of all its members.


Quintus Pomponius Atticus wrote:*Remove familiae, gentes and provincia.


Definitely. There has never been any need for these in SVR.

Quintus Pomponius Atticus wrote:*Keep the collegia as they are now (four in number), each with 1 rector elected for two years, at the same time as the magistrates. A magistracy and a rectorship can be combined.


Define what are the duties of a rector and make them perform the duties. Let us not have just empty titles here.

Quintus Pomponius Atticus wrote:*Feel free to comment on these few musings !
Tomorrow, I will post a few comments about what I consider the goals and purposes of a future SVR.


We can also have some fun with this. We all joke about having a Latin Inquisition in SVR. That is part of the character of SVR. So why not take advantage of it. Put it on the website, the High Commission of the Latin Inquisition, with those we kid about being the Latin Inquisition recognized as such. And Name Marius our resident storyteller, etc. And do likewise with some of the other characters we have attracted into this place. Display some of the personalities we have. Remember that we are a sodalitas, and have some fun with it.

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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Wed Jul 27, 2005 4:19 am

For the sake of completeness of proposals on a new structure for SVR, I am reposting my suggestion here.

Salve Attice et alii,

Well, I'll start a discussion. I'm in favor of a minimalist organization(...)

Since SVR has limited, albeit important, goals, it doesn't need an extensive admistration. We are not trying to create a virtual nation. We are just trying to enjoy our mutual interest.

I'd therefore like to suggest the following structure. Sodales would sign up as members of the particular collegia that interest them. The Sodales in each College would elect a Rector for two years. The Rectores would form the Senate and would appoint a single Consul. The Consul could be one of the Rectores or another individual chosen by them (in the latter case he would be an ex-officio member of the Senate). He would be the sole individual invested with auctoritas, and he would have the power to mete out any punishments, including permanent expulsion, as he sees fit. Yet he would serve at the pleasure of the Senate, his decrees could be overturned by the Senate, and any individual would have the right of provocatio to the Senate.

The Consul could appoint Censores, Aediles, Scriba, and even Praetores to assist him, but these offices would have no power in themselves (e.g. The Consul could appoint a Praetor to investigate an alleged offensive posting, but the Praetor could only present his findings to the Consul for his action without taking any action on his own.

This structure would eliminate the orders, familiae, gentes, provinces, and even the comitia (pace Mari). It would return the Societas to its stated aim of having the Collegia form the functional basis of the organization. Practically, it would have the effect of minimizing politics and bureaucracy. The Sodales could concentrate on what we love to do, talk Rome.

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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Wed Jul 27, 2005 10:09 pm

Salvete Cornucani et sodales omnes

I agree entirely with what Corcanius has said, and have been advocating the same for some time. SVR is a web community and thus whatever organizational structure it would have should be modelled to meet those needs. Drop the political titles and rethink SVR as a sodalitas, as a web community. I have also considered what he suggested in having administrator who hold their positions for as long as they are willing to do the job. The Regula, if that is what we'll continue to call it, should define the duties of whatever offices we have, and then let them administer the lists and website. We do not need to focus on, or get hung up on again, this business of trying to fill offices by elections unless there would be a real need for it. And we do not need to complicate what the Regula has to say.

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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:55 am

OK, in light of the comments of Concorianus and Piscinus, let me slightly revise my proposal. The title "Consul" will be changed to "Curion". The "Senate" would become "Concilium". These terms better connote the caretaker role that I envision for the offices.

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Postby Curio Agelastus on Thu Jul 28, 2005 3:56 pm

Salvete,

I agree with most of what had been said here. However, many people seem keen on keeping the Rectores, which is understandable. If such is the case, would it be an idea to have a small group - perhaps between two and four, as has already been suggested - of Rectores, rather than have one Rector tied to each Collegium? That way, we could have a permanent "Concilium" if you will, of Rectores whose job was to attempt to stimulate activity in all the Collegia? If not, then I think Rectores should not be in place at all, since they have not really worked in their currently ill-defined capacity; and I speak as a Rector who has been entirely unsuccessful in stimulating activity, or even in maintaining personal activity. Therefore we also need to consider the role of the Rectores in all this.

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Name suggestion

Postby Aldus Marius on Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:53 am

Salvete amici...

Curion? ...I'm no judge, but it looks a little Greek. I was thinking maybe callin' it a curator instead. Curator is unmistakably Latin, and even in modern times it denotes a caretaker...as for a museum or an outdoor exhibit. The White House has a Curator; surely the SVR's output is even more beneficial to mankind? >({|;-)

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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Fri Jul 29, 2005 9:43 am

Salvete

perhaps not a bad idea to rename rectors to Curators. It is a web community so rethinking and renaming some offices might not such a bad idea, especially with rectors.
valete

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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Fri Jul 29, 2005 2:22 pm

Salvete sodales omnes

I think the problem we have had with the rectores is that we never did spell out what we wanted them to do. They were needed in the beginning when there was more to a collegium. Each collegium had its own moderator and webmaster. The rector was to head the collegium, direct the other collegial officials, lead discussions in his or her respective collegium, had some say over approving articles for the website of his or her respective collegium and so on. Most of the duties of rectors were withdrawn along with the other collegial offices, so all that remained was for the rectors to lead discussions. That role can actually be filled by any sodalis who is willing to take the initiative to start a topic of discussion.

If we want to go back to having the collegia central to our organizational structure, then I think we should also reconsider this original idea of the function of the rectores (curatores/curatrices or curiones). A concilium of curatores sounds good to me. Keep their number few, and we do not really need there to be one curator maximus /curatrix maxima but we could if the sodales so decide. Give this concilium the authority to appoint and dismiss other officials as we may need (webmaster, rogatores etc.) for however long we may need, and as they appoint they will also define the duties of such officers and set any limitation of time that the office will be held. Let them remain curatores for however long they are willing to hold the position. We should give the sodales the opportunity to recall curatores should a need arise. When a vacancy arises through one means or another, then the sodales can vote to elect a new curator, and that would be the only elections we need have in SVR.

In selecting curatores/curatrices we should keep in mind that their function is primarily to maintain the fora and website. They therefore need to have the skills and available time to fulfill such duties. Other duties, such as a rector to lead discussions in a collegium or to conduct a symposium, could be appointed by the curatores/curatrices. Even a moderator, although the curatores/curatrices would be mainly responsible, could be appointed as an assistant to the concilium. In order to function well, the curatores/curatrices are going to have to people who can handle the technical side of maintaining SVR, and that is a qualification that should be written into the new Regula.

So in deciding what our curatores/curatrices will be, we need to decide what will be their duties, and what will be required as qualifications to hold such offices.

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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Sat Jul 30, 2005 10:09 pm

Piscine,

I'm a little wary of so much decentralization. After all, there are matters of import to the Societas as a whole. For example, how would one go about proposing the creation of a new collegium?

More practically, I'm not sure that we have enough sodales with web-master skills to assign at least one to each collegium.

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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sat Jul 30, 2005 11:09 pm

Salvete
I have to side with Tergeste on this one. Decentralisation is a good thing, but too much can cripple it. I think the head of each collegium should not be recomended to be a webmaster or have any skills in that departement. That is why we need the Aedilles. They are the person(s) to build and maintain the site.
We should keep these seperate to make sure that not one person control everything in SVR concerning what is to be put on the site and what not.
Rogators can be called upon when we need them, but can also be dismissed by the concilium or the senate if the election is over. Basicly, it would be strictly voluntarly.
valete

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Postby Q Valerius on Sun Jul 31, 2005 7:36 am

Si senatus cadit, Roma cadit; si Roma cadit, mundus cadit. Quick question - even being a sodalitas, and getting rid of the general idea of a government, why not feign the titles and change the meaning? Like, if I may, the consules become the vice administrators, the senators are moderators, then we seek to expand the site. Also, we need to enforce the rules once they're in place, but the idea of a "role-playing" community still appeals to me. Unless we drop everything altogether, then I'm switching my name back to my real name.

Whatever we choose, let us resolve to keep that choice.

In optimo,

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Postby Q Valerius on Sun Jul 31, 2005 7:38 am

Also, I like the "curator" suggestion.
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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:58 pm

I guess that I like Scerio's idea of retaining traditional Roman government titles although with completely different functions. The only problem would be that the titles could be confusing to newcomers to the Societas.
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Names for things

Postby Aldus Marius on Mon Aug 01, 2005 7:01 am

Salvete amici...

I don't think confusion of names will present any real difficulties to the newcomer. It is the nature of newness that one comes into a thing; learns who the active people are, and what they're called; and the structure of the place, and what there is for the new guy to do there. This process will go about the same if we call this person a Consul as it would if we labelled him a Curator instead. It's all part of the newbie learning curve.

The important thing is that we be consistent. We decide on names for things, and we stick to them. If I want to surprise my friends by having my little dog "fetch the stove" in the evenings, why, I have only to teach the dog that those warm fuzzy things I like to put on my feet are called stoves in my household, and that those are the items meant by that word. I must not change my mind down the road and decide that they're "slippers" after all, or the dog may give up fetching altogether.

For people who come to us from other organizations that have Consules, Censores and the like, our use of the same words to mean something else may be a little confusing...at first; but not more so than an American going to Britain, and learning to use the British words "torch" and "boot" for things like a "flashlight" and a car's "trunk". People make this adjustment every day. They are well within the capabilities of an SVR newbie; we'll be fine.

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