Welcome to the Norwescon Documentation Wiki!
This space is a repository for documenting the internal processes and procedures for the various departments within the Norwescon Convention Committee (ConCom). These are in addition to those available on the Policies and Guidelines page of the main Norwescon website.
Though this is a publicly viewable wiki, editing privileges are restricted to ConCom members. If you are a current ConCom member and would like to contribute to this wiki, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request access. Due to its public nature, no confidential or privileged information should be recorded here.
Norwescon is an all-volunteer organization. The overall structure is as follows:
- The Executive Team: An eleven-member board leading the ConCom.
- The Convention Committee (ConCom): Around 250 volunteers who put in time throughout the year and at the convention to plan, organize, set up, run, and break down the convention each year.
- Volunteers: Members who volunteer at the convention itself to assist over the course of the convention weekend.
- Members: Everyone who has paid for or been awarded a membership, regardless of whether they volunteer for or attend the convention.
For more information on each position and the departments each Exec oversees, click on through to the appropriate pages. (As this wiki was started in late October 2019, most pages are still under development. Content will be added as we have time.)
The executive team, made of two elected members, the Chair and Vice Chair, and nine members appointed by the Chair and Vice Chair are responsible for the management of the convention. Duties of each office separately can be found in their individual departments.
- Convention Services
- Member Services
- Special Events
Executive Team Responsibilities
The executive team, as a whole, sets the tone for the convention, hires staff, and votes on matters concerning the convention, especially those matters that impact the budget. While it is not possible for an exec team member to take on all tasks within their department themself, it is ultimately their responsibility to see that those tasks are completed.
It is customary for the executive team to take a two to three day retreat over the summer, to decide the overall shape of the coming convention year. This includes setting the budget, determining allocation of spaces and resources, and scheduling meeting dates, among the many decisions that are made prior to the first concom meeting in the fall. The retreat is also an important team building opportunity, as the smooth functioning of the executive team often is mirrored by smooth functioning in the rest of the convention.
Following are a number of policies that span the entire executive team:
Policies regarding turnover to a new convention year:
POLICY: Contract Signing Authority: The Chair, Vice-Chair, Business Director, and Convention Services Director shall be designated to the hotel as the only persons who have signing authority to the hotel contract during the convention. Additional people may be named at the discretion of the Chair.
POLICY: E-Mail Turnover: The incoming Chair and Vice-Chair must review the convention’s email routing upon election and adjust accordingly.
POLICY: Mailbox Turnover: After the announcement of the newly elected officers, the Secretary must ensure that someone continues to pick up the mail or accept all forwards from the mailbox during the summer months. If immediate arrangements for mail handling cannot be made, the keys to the mailbox shall be turned over to either the newly elected Chair or ViceChair and the mail forwarding address shall be updated as soon as possible.
POLICY: Voicemail Turnover: The incoming Chair and Vice-Chair must make sure that the Google voicemail transcription email forwarding is adjusted accordingly as soon as possible after the election.
POLICY: Document Turnover: After new Execs are appointed, any outgoing Exec shall turn over all documents to either their replacement or to the incoming Chair and Vice-Chair.
POLICY: Web Password Turnover: The Publications Director or their designee shall maintain a list of the login and password information for all online accounts and services (website, enewsletter, social media sites, etc.). This list will be provided to the Chair and Vice-Chair as soon as possible after the election.
POLICY: Bank Accounts Turnover: The bank accounts shall be turned over to the new Business Director as soon as possible after the new Business Director has been appointed. The outgoing Business Director shall have full access to the accounts until the books are closed for the convention year.
POLICY: Purchase Card Turnover: All Purchase cards shall be turned over to the new Business Director as soon as they have been appointed. The cards shall be reviewed and reissued at the discretion of the Business Director.
POLICY: Computer Codes and Passwords Turnover: A copy of all computer codes and passwords for Norwescon-owned computers shall be submitted to the Business Director and the Vice-Chair to ensure that the convention shall have access to all convention-owned data. This list shall be updated and given to the Vice-Chair and Business Director by the last regularly scheduled ConCom meeting before the convention. POLICY: Storage Unit Access Codes and Keys Turnover: A copy of all necessary access codes and keys shall be kept by the Business Department so that the Business Department may maintain storage unit access for Norwescon if needed during the year and in the event of turnover of the personnel in charge of the storage units.
Policies regarding Exec Team and ConCom Voting
ONLINE VOTING PROCEDURE: The exec proposing the motion must send an email to email@example.com. The subject line must start with the word “MOTION”. The body of the email must include the specific wording of the motion and include either the necessary information for the motion to be evaluated or a link to where the necessary information can be found on the Google Docs storage site.
The Exec Team may then respond to the motion, whereupon there may be discussion, revisions, or questions. If there are significant changes, the motion should be resubmitted. If there is not significant discussion, another Exec may second the motion.
The Chair or Vice-Chair decides when to move the motion to a vote. A new email is started with the word “VOTE” beginning subject line. The body of the message shall include: the person who proposed the motion, the person who seconded the motion, and the exact wording of the motion. It shall also include the start and end time of voting, which shall be no more than 72 hours or until all members have voted.
Whenever possible, voting should not occur ONLY over the course of a weekend, and courtesy should be given to known vacations, unless the matter is urgent.
When the voting period has elapsed or all votes have been cast the motion is evaluated. If quorum is met, the votes cast determine the outcome. If quorum is not met, the motion fails. A new motion can be made on the same subject but must begin the process from the beginning to be considered.
As further defined under Secretary: Minutes Preparation, meeting minutes approval votes may be called by the Secretary without requiring a second.
POLICY: Voting by Proxy for Exec Team: The Chair and Vice-Chair have no proxy vote. Any other Exec Team member may send a proxy to a meeting to vote on their behalf.
POLICY: Voting by Proxy for Convention Committee: There is no proxy voting in the general ConCom meetings. All items that come to a vote, other than elections, are on a majority vote of the ConCom members present (see Chair - Elections).
POLICY: Ties for Convention Committee Votes: In the case of a tie, a revote will be taken. If there is still a tie, the Executive Team shall vote on the issue.
POLICY: Ties for Executive Team Votes: In the case of a tie, a revote will be taken. If there is still a tie, the Chair shall make the final decision.
POLICY: Executive Team voting by Email: Any member of the current Exec Team can propose a motion for voting by email.
POLICY: CONFLICT OF INTEREST A potential conflict of interest arises when Norwescon contemplates entering into a transaction with an entity in which a member of its Exec Team has a financial interest. “Financial interest” means that the Exec Team member is an owner, investor, contractor, or employee of the entity in question.
When this situation arises: ● The Exec Team member(s) must disclose the existence and nature of the financial interest to the other members of the Exec Team. ● After answering any questions that arise, the Exec Team member(s) with a financial interest must leave the room while the transaction is discussed and voted on. The remaining members of the Exec Team should consider:
o Whether an equivalent transaction is available with reasonable effort at a lower cost to Norwescon. o Whether additional time is needed to investigate options or circumstances related to the transaction. ● The Exec Team may approve the transaction by a majority vote of the remaining Exec Team members. ● The minutes of the Exec Team meeting should reflect the name of the Exec Team member(s) involved, the nature of this potential conflict of interest, and whether this policy was observed.
Policies regarding e-mail:
POLICY: When conducting business on behalf of the convention, the use of assigned convention email aliases is encouraged (for example: firstname.lastname@example.org). ConCom members with assigned convention email aliases are expected to publicize convention email aliases rather than their own personal addresses in order to receive messages.
POLICY: All convention email aliases shall have at least two addresses to forward to: a primary and a secondary. The primary is expected to respond to the email. Email should be read daily and responded to within 48 hours. If the primary is unable to respond daily, the secondary is responsible for responding. The primary shall notify the secondary responder and other Exec Team members if they will be unable to respond to email at least daily. When responding to these emails, the e-mail alias should be either CC’d or BCC’d so that all people on the forwarding address can see the response.
CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION
POLICY: Norwescon shall not supply information contained in the organizational chart, the membership database, the pro/panelist database, or the committee directory to other parties without the consent of the ConCom member(s) involved.
POLICY: Norwescon shall not sell its ConCom member information to outside parties.
POLICY: Norwescon shall not sell its membership information to outside parties. Any third-party services used by Norwescon shall be opt-in and shall have the ability to opt-out. No ConCom or general membership information will be provided to any other party.
POLICY: Promotions for Norwescon and Norwescon-sponsored events fall under the CAN-SPAM Act. Accordingly, Norwescon is responsible for ensuring that individuals are not contacted via email and text if they have not given permission to be contacted using those methods. As we do not have a centralized database the following procedures are necessary:
1. When a request to be removed from a list comes in, the person administering the list is responsible for the following two actions: a. Removing the individual from the list(s) that they asked to be removed from. b. Sending the individual a follow-up message indicating that they have been removed from the list(s) and asking them if they want to be removed from ALL Norwescon lists (eNewsletter, Google Groups, registration, etc.). 2. If a person requests to be removed from ALL Norwescon lists, the person receiving the request will forward the request on to their Exec who will then send the request to all of the other Execs on the Executive Team. The Execs will then send the request to their departments that have contact lists (Dealers’ Room, Art Show, Registration, eNewsletter, Art in Action, Games, etc.). 3. Documentation of these requests will be saved by the Publications Director and passed along to the Chair at the post-con meeting.
Policies regarding hiring concom members:
POLICY: It shall be each Exec Team member’s duty when hiring an individual for a position to advise them of the need for the Secretary to have their contact information and about our information publishing policy (see Confidentiality of Information).
It is the responsibility of the hiring Exec Team member to ensure that their staff register as staff members.
POLICY: It is the responsibility of the hiring Exec Team member to recommend that each ConCom member review the Norwescon Bylaws and Policies/Procedures and to refer them to the Secretary for the location of the electronic version. It is expected that ConCom members read these within a couple of weeks of joining each year’s ConCom.
POLICY: It is recommended that all ConCom and volunteer positions have job descriptions recorded by the Personnel director. Job descriptions should be reviewed and updated by the October ConCom meeting. It is the responsibility of each Exec to supply this information for all positions in their department to the Personnel director.
RECRUITMENT / TRAINING / LEADERSHIP
POLICY: Everyone in a leadership position is recommended to have at least one assistant in training to take over that position. Executive Team Members are official ambassadors of the convention. ONIONS AND ROSES
POLICY: The Secretary shall collect Onions and Roses (comments regarding concerns or compliments from the convention membership) from the Onion and Roses panel and other methods as deemed appropriate (physical survey forms, email, web forms, social media, etc.). A compiled report shall be provided to the Exec Team no later than the Exec Team Summer Retreat/Planning Meeting.
It is the responsibility of the Exec Team to review the compiled Onions and Roses report and present it to the ConCom.
POLICY: If two Exec Team members (other than the Chair) cannot reach a mutual decision on any issue, then the Chair has the final decision.
POLICY: ANTI-RACISM STATEMENT
Because inequality and bias pervade our culture, it is not enough to passively avoid discrimination. To uplift marginalized voices in our community and advance equity and justice, we must be antiracist. To combat inequality, we commit to the following:
• We affirm that Black lives matter, Indigenous lives matter, and the lives of people of color matter. • We will take actions that support and uplift marginalized voices in our community and advance a more equitable and just society and ask our members to do the same. • We will actively recruit diverse voices to participate in the convention and other educational activities and the planning of the convention and those activities, and then empower, not tokenize, those voices. • We will critically examine our history, traditions, and privileges and question how they impact all members of our community. • We will consider how Norwescon’s educational activities and charitable giving can be leveraged to advance the principles described in this statement. • We welcome dialogue about these principles and being held accountable when we fall short of them.
As a volunteer organization, we are strongest when all hands come together constructively to improve our community.
POLICY: CODE OF CONDUCT
Norwescon is a safe and welcoming space for persons of all backgrounds and descriptions. Everyone should have a great time in their own way at the convention—but not if it comes at the expense of others. As a community, we insist on behavior that respects the autonomy of each individual member.
To help ensure an enjoyable experience for all, we expect you to abide by the following guidelines. Norwescon will take appropriate action to enforce our code of conduct at all of our meetings and events.
• Be respectful of others. This includes the members, program participants, volunteers, convention staff, and venue staff. • Do not display potentially offensive images or symbols in public spaces, or in your background in the case of virtual participation. This includes images which are sexually graphic, or which carry connotations that are historically or racially offensive, including bigoted iconography or symbolism. • Do not record any convention content without prior permission from Norwescon. • Keep all content appropriate for all ages unless you are participating in an area or activity explicitly labelled as 18+. • Comply with applicable laws, regulations, and the policies of Norwescon as described in the Membership Guide. • Commit to behavior that uplifts marginalized voices in our community and advances a more equitable, just society.
POLICY: HARASSMENT POLICY
Norwescon members, volunteers, and convention staff have the right to be free from harassment in all convention contexts, in person and online, throughout the year. We do not tolerate harassment of any kind, nor discrimination based on age, race, class, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin, or disability.
Harassment is behavior which focuses unwelcome attention on a person or group and inappropriately crosses reasonable social boundaries or continues after a showing of disinterest or a request to stop. An explicit “no” or “stop” is not required. You are an active participant in upholding this community standard. As a member, staff, or volunteer, you accept the responsibility to respect others and maintain safety. When you feel safe and comfortable doing so, please call out inappropriate behavior and remind others of our community expectation of respectful behavior.
Bylaws and Policies and Procedures
Google Drive and G Suite
Norwescon primarily uses G Suite for communication and collaboration purposes. All Staff are able to join the NWC ConCom G Drive. To be invited to the drive, please email either email@example.com or NWCAdmin@norwescon.org with the email you would like to be subscribed to the Drive. You may use a non-Norwescon G suite account/email to access this drive. However, it must be an email that is at least associated with a Google account. You can find out more about how to do that  here.
Norwescon Staff are also eligible to receive Norwescon G Suite user accounts. This account includes a Norwescon email and access to the Norwescon G Suite including Team Drives for various departments. To facilitate knowledge transfer between years, we highly encourage all Staff to use the Norwescon G Suite. Experience with other conventions shows that if you unexpectedly need to step back, having all the records in the convention account makes handing things off much easier. You'll also be creating a living document of the experience for the future. Since we use the Google Non-Profits version of G Suite, Google is not tracking your every move.
Norwescon 43 Help & FAQ
As Norwescon 43 (2021) was an all virtual convention, many of our processes and systems were adjusted for both staff and the attending membership to account for the shift. Norwescon 43 specific help pages are available from the Norwescon 43 Help landing page.
Or, go directly to the Norwescon 43 FAQ.