Announcement: New Social Media Committee

Greetings,

The Board of Directors, in direct response to the increasing issues of Social Media, has decided to form a Social Media Committee to discuss and address the following:

  • Clearly defined scope of review for SCA Social Media.
  • Established Social Media bright-lines* for what constitutes unacceptable social media behavior.
  • Corrective action guidelines for Crowns and Seneschals to administer proportional corrective actions for transgressions against the aforementioned bright-lines.
  • Suggested training program for social media officers, seneschals, and crowns on how to identify bright-line transgressions as they occur, when and how to lock threads, turn off comments, and/or delete posts.
  • A strict definition of doxxing.

We wish to assure our community that the SCA is committed to being a non-political entity and inclusive of all beliefs and people.

The President and Society Seneschal will be reaching out to kingdoms soon to gather input on Social Media.

*Merriam Webster defines a bright-line as – providing an unambiguous criterion or guideline especially in law*

Announcement: Statement from the Laurel Queen of Arms on Offensive Names and the Current Situation

The Bavarian Herald Jörg Rügen around 1510. Public Domain in the US

From Juliana de Luna, Laurel Queen of Arms, greetings to all those to whom these presents come.

Offensive Names and the Current Situation

As you doubtless know, a great deal of concern has been expressed about the fact that Wolfgang von Sachsenhausen, a name registered in 2007, included reference both to a Nazi concentration camp and a scientist who did experiments there.  We wish to share with you, so that you can share with your populace, an explanation of how this name was registered and a general road map of what the Laurel Office has been working on since we became aware of the issue in the morning of Saturday, June 6, 2020.

How this name was registered:

The Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory (“SENA”) ban the registration of names that are offensive.  Specifically:

No name that is offensive to a large segment of members of the SCA or the general public will be registered. Offense is a modern concept; just because a name was used in period does not mean that it is not offensive to the modern observer. Offense returns are rare because the bar for determining offensiveness is quite high; it has not been unusual for years to pass between returns for offense.

Offense is not dependent on intent. The fact that a submitter did not intend to be offensive is not relevant. The standard is whether a large segment of the SCA or the general public would be offended.

In 2007, we were not as attuned to the problems of white supremacy in the SCA as we are today.  At that time, we used a different set of rules, but the rules about offensiveness were substantially the same.

The people making decisions on names and armory are not experts in every topic that arises.  For that reason, we rely heavily on commentary from our array of volunteer heralds from every Kingdom.  In this particular case, no one at the Society level identified the link between this name and the concentration camp in commentary, so the issue was not considered at the time.  I was a commenter at that time and can say that we rarely looked actively for such issues, assuming that submissions of hate were a thing of the past.

Now, in 2020, we are more alert to the problems of white supremacy and racism in the Society, as are our commenters.  In addition, there is vastly more information available to allow us to identify potentially problematic names.  We make a regular practice of checking Google and other available resources, such as the databases of white supremacist images and lists of offensive racial terminology, when making decisions.  Offensive racial epithets such as the Gypsy have been banned, as have certain depictions of the Celtic or Norse crosses that are commonly used by hate groups.

What has the Laurel Office been doing?

Since becoming aware of the issue, the Laurel Office has been working on several projects:

(1)  We have prepared a report to the Board of Directors discussing the issue, our plans for moving forward, and the calls for revocation of this person’s registration (something that is regulated by Corpora rather than the Laurel office).

(2)  We have prepared and will shortly be issuing a Palimpsest Letter for commentary adding a provision to SENA banning names that are morally offensive and proposing a multi-factor test for moral offensiveness.

(3)  We have researched and prepared a proposal for how to handle names that incorporate place names of concentration camps, which will appear in an upcoming Cover Letter.

(4)  On the April 2020 Cover Letter, we will be announcing a new policy allowing free changes of names and armory for people whose registered elements are offensive.  For example, some period armorial motifs have been co-opted by hate groups in the years since they were originally registered.  Likewise, the phrase the Gypsy once had a very different popular meaning, but is now considered hate speech by the Roma people and the United Nations.  People who now find themselves with inadvertently offensive names may wish to change them and we are removing one barrier to doing so.

(5)  Pelican Queen of Arms is forming a working group to identify other potential red flags in names so that we can maintain a list of problematic name elements going forward.  Although Pelican and her staff have been doing this same work behind the scenes for several years, we now are actively reaching out to people who are not presently commenting to request their assistance.

What can people do?

(1)  Be patient.  Many of the things we are trying to do require substantial research time or input from the Board of Directors.

(2)  Become involved in researching and commenting on names and armory in OSCAR.  The Sovereigns are not experts in every single area of language, history or armory.  We need and rely on commentary from experts in a wide variety of fields.  We remain particularly in need of people with expertise in languages and cultures outside of Europe.

(3)  Become involved in researching and writing articles to help educate people on period names or armorial motifs that have problematic modern connotations.

Julia Smith/Juliana de Luna

Laurel Queen of Arms

herald@sca.org

Announcement: Reminder About Attachments to Emails to “Comments” at SCA, Inc.

Men harvesting wheat, Queen Mary’s Psalter, circa 1310. Public domain in the US

The Board of Directors always welcomes input from the SCA’s membership and participants on topics affecting the Society.

Interested parties may, at any time, send an email to sca-comments@sca.org if they have questions or topics to discuss.

However, please be advised that attachments to such emails will result in the email either bouncing or being marked as spam.   If you have documents or attachments requiring the Directors’ attention, please ask for instructions first before sending send such items.

Reminder about attachments to emails to “Comments”

 

Announcement: From the Society Corporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer.

Christian And Moor Playing Chess. 13th C

Collected from Facebook:


As so many of us struggle with the pain of separation from one another socially, so too do we struggle with the realities of systemic inequality and racism in our society. In the United States and around the world, the recent senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many before them have unleashed an avalanche of pent-up emotion.

Our Core Values, which guide us in even these darkest of times, include the following tenets: to “act in accordance with the chivalric virtues of honor and service”, to “value and respect the worth and dignity of all individuals”, and to “practice inclusiveness and respect pluralism and diversity”.

If we are to live by our core values then there is only one path forward: we must both fight against systemic injustice and support those that do.

As the unique educational organization that we are, we have the opportunity to leverage our greatest resource: our community.

It is our community that makes us who we are. That is the true value of the Society for Creative Anachronism. We treasure the rich diversity of our community as a reflection of the rich diversity of history and we owe it to ourselves to deepen our understanding of pervasive inequitable treatment so that we can move forward on a journey of healing.

There is a tremendous amount of work to be done. It is time for us to take a hard look at who we are in order to hold ourselves accountable for the actions we take – and the actions we don’t take.

There is also fear. Our current reality is the direct result of generations of discrimination and collective trauma. As we educate ourselves to best support every member of our community, we must acknowledge the fear – and speak regardless. The time for inaction is over.

Every member of the SCA can effect positive change through personal accountability. Educate yourself and those around you on issues of injustice. Speak out against it when you see it, and use any platform that you have to elevate other voices speaking out against it, particularly those voices of marginalized groups. Assist those causes which seek to address discrimination, racial inequity, and all systemic injustice through the resources that you have available to you.

I invite all members of the SCA to continue to think about further ways they can help strengthen our commitment to our Core Values.

My SCA stands against bigotry. My SCA will not be silent, and therefore complicit, in the face of injustice. I will continue to work to make my SCA a haven for all, and a key player for progress in the battle against inequality through education and community.

It is my most ardent hope that you will join me.

Jessica Van Hattem

alias Baroness Zahra Tesfaye
SCA Corporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

Announcements: RFC – Proposed Corpora changes related to the office of the Society Marshal – 09/01/2020

Men harvesting wheat, Queen Mary’s Psalter, circa 1310. Public domain in the US

The Board of Directors is currently requesting commentary regarding a number of proposed changes to Corpora that relate to the office of the Society Marshal.  Those proposed changes, and the reasoning for same, are outlined in the document here: RFC – Proposed Corpora changes related to the office of the Society Marshal – 09/01/2020

Commentary may be emailed to comments@sca.org.

Please use the title “Corpora – Marshal’s Office ” in the subject line. Failure to use this subject line may cause your commentary to be misdirected.

In lieu of email, commentary may be sent by US Mail, Postage-Prepaid, to:

Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
RE: Corpora – Marshal’s Office
P.O. Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036-0789

Commentary regarding these proposed Corpora changes, whether sent by email or US Mail, must be received by the Board no later than September 1, 2020.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc.  Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.

 

Click to access SocietyMarshalGovDocsProposedChanges.pdf

Announcements: SCA Census Coming Soon!

Detail from the Hunterian Psalter, Glasgow University Library MS Hunter 229 (U.3.2) circa 1170. Public domain in the US

Whether casual attendee, crossover fighter, or experienced artisan, your voice is needed! Learn more about our upcoming census and how you can #BeSeenSCA.
FAQ Page: https://www.sca.org/sca-census-2020-faq/

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:

SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc.  Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.

State of the SCA With President John Fulton and Gigi Coulson

Greetings Known World! In the video Gigi Coulson, member of the Board of Directors for the Society for Creative Anachronism sits down to chat with John Fulton, President of the SCA, about the State of the Known World in April of 2020.

We want to keep you all updated on what is going on across the SCA right now.
Here are the topics covered in this chat:

• State of the Known World at this moment in April of 2020
o Great Kingdom leadership
o Variances encouraged
o Participation has changed but is still happening

• Guidance and Information
o Crowns & Seneschals are the place to look during pandemic & after
o BoD Meeting minutes published, meeting more frequently
o Officers across the KW have virtual classes, events, challenges

• Non-Profit Status
o Renee/John/Mike handling operations
o BoD is meeting to fulfill other requirements
o A drop in membership renewals from last April (monitoring)
o Right now fine, but monitoring and will keep the info coming as the months go on

• BoD
o Meeting virtually more often for the foreseeable future
o Ombudsmen available to Seneschals and Crowns for advice or information
o Virtual meet and greet is in the works

• SCA in the time of Pandemic
o Hobbies aren’t the priority right now, but we can still use the intellectual stimulation, the camaraderie, and the joy we get from the SCA
o Virtual everything.
o Our mission is still being accomplished

o We can still pay our bills

o We see you; we are still thinking of you and working for you

o We want you to see us
▪ so we will be having more chats
▪ we are planning a virtual meet & greet

We really appreciate you giving us some of your time while juggling life, family, kids, work, staying-at-home, and slowing the spread of coronavirus.

Let’s
chat again, soon. Have a good one, my friends!

 

Announcement: Membership Expiration Dates Extended

During the mandated quarantine period, membership expiration dates of March 2020 onward will not be considered lapsed, and newsletter access will still be available. Please see the full announcement from the SCA Membership Office.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc.  Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.

Announcement: Knowne World Symposium Cancelations and Virtual Classroom Facebook Group

Greetings from Lord Dagonell Collingwood! I am the Known World Symposium Advertising Deputy under the Society Minister of Arts and Sciences, Seigneur Etienne Le Mons d’Anjou.

It is my sad duty to announce the following cancellations due to the COVID19 virus:

Known World Italian Salon & Symposium was to have taken place THIS weekend, March 19 – 22, 2020 at Gulf Wars in the Kingdom of Gleann Abhann. With the cancellation of the Gulf Wars itself, the symposium is cancelled as well.

Known World Academy of the Rapier & Costuming Symposium was scheduled for April 17 – 19, 2020 in the Kingdom of Avacal. It has also been cancelled.

If you have pre-registered for either of these events, please be patient while the event staffs deal with these overwhelming circumstances. Future symposiums have NOT been cancelled at this time.


Greetings from Lord Dagonell Collingwood! I am the Known World Symposium Advertising Deputy.  The SCA has created the Facebook public group, “SCA Virtual Classroom and Artisan Display” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/virtualsca/) “a place where teachers and artisans can share the virtual resources they’ve created to make them available SCA-wide to continue to foster a learning environment.”

The group contains among other things, links to other craft groups, online classes, handouts from IRL classes, journal articles, how to videos, subject bibliographies, and of course, endless discussions about historical arts.

Board of Directors Message March 17, 2020

ASL translation:

https://www.sca.org/news/board-of-directors-message-march-17-2020/

Greetings,

We, as a society, are in a unique situation currently with how to continue the business of the SCA while protecting our membership’s health with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our various Kingdoms have governments either recommending or mandating responses to COVID-19. We ask that all Kingdoms monitor and follow the recommendations from their respective authorities. These challenges are forcing us to look at new ways to speedily address the business of the SCA so that we can continue in a safe and practical way.

With this, we continue to support our Kingdom Seneschals and Crowns in their decisions to cancel and/or alter events as needed. In the SCA there have always been certain events, like Crown and Coronation, that are required by Corpora. Since typical formats are no longer an option for so many, we are encouraging kingdoms to apply for variances and to think creatively in how they approach these events. The variance process will be streamlined with a new online format for submitting requests that the Kingdom Seneschals can utilize. Every kingdom is unique in culture and tradition. This is one thing we deeply understand and do not wish to put a “one size fits all” mandate forth to the populace. We ask that the kingdoms think outside the box and to continue to be thoughtful towards their populace in making these decisions. Several variances of this nature have already been issued and we expect more to come.

As you can imagine, the Board will not be meeting in person for our regularly scheduled April board meeting. Instead, we will be utilizing technology to hold our meeting remotely via webcam. While it is not ideal, we are committed to working together to move the SCA forward.

In this time of uncertainty, we need our community now more than ever, but many are having to self isolate. Luckily, the Dream isn’t any one event, but the people within it. In that vein, we urge you to connect where you can if that is something you need: utilize video chats with your friends, host an online class, bring back pen pals and write letters to the friends you missed at war. Check-in with each other any way you can, but above all, be kind and try to remain calm. Thank you so much for all you do for Society and keeping the Dream alive!

Yours in Service,
Board of Directors Society for Creative Anachronism
https://www.sca.org/