Step-by-Step Procedure for General Meeting #5

Hello Troupies! We understand there has been some confusion regarding what is happening with the potential for a recall vote originally described in an email sent to our membership earlier this week. Some members have come to us in the days since to help better understand the situation and ask clarifying questions, and we encourage everyone to always ask an executive board member when there is any confusion in any matter.

That said: in this blog post, we will be outlining what exactly will be happening this Sunday in regards to the potential for a recall vote. As we mentioned in that email, we greatly encourage you to read Really Really (which was attached in PDF form) prior to that meeting so that you may be fully informed.

Before that, though, there has been additional confusion as to the how and why of eboard asking the membership permission for a recall vote in the first place. Below is a brief recap.

Really Really was originally pitched and voted into our Fall 2015 season. In the weeks following this vote, the executive board was approached by a number of members (who have mostly chosen to remain anonymous, though they may step forward on their own accord if they so choose). These members expressed concern that the pitching team failed to adequately address concerns brought up by the reading committee - and in some cases, members felt the show was misrepresented on certain issues. Because of this, the involved membership felt that the show was not necessarily pitched fairly, and that some members that voted to include it in the season might have changed their selection had they been fully aware of the content. The executive board members who participated on the reading committee agreed that there was validity to the complaints.

The executive board examined the Stage Troupe Constitution (viewable under Forms & Resources on this website) to see how to respond to the membership concerns. There is no language, for or against or otherwise, regarding a situation in which the reading committee fails to adequately inform the membership about a show's content due to misrepresentation in the pitching team's responses. Some have asked why we did not clarify the discrepancies during the pitch meeting. Prior to the pitch meeting, the executive board agreed to maintain as neutral and silent as possible in response to all pitches. In other words, we did not anticipate needing to speak up, and we did not know if we could or should. In retrospect, we agreed that the executive board participating on the reading committee should have the right to moderate responses if they feel the pitching team is evading or misrepresenting a show. This will be our policy going forward.

We turned to Eric Jacobsen, our student group advisor, for guidance on the present situation. He explained there is no precedent for a scenario like this and offered a series of potential options in moving forward. We ultimately decided that because a significant contingent of the membership felt the show's content was misrepresented, the situation was worthy of pursuing and the show worthy of reexamination. We decided that the most reasonable option was to suggest a recall vote to the membership.

The possibility of a recall vote is not explicitly dictated one way or another in the Stage Troupe Constitution, and we cannot assume permission in calling for a recall. Instead, we are asking the membership for a one-time referendum on allowing a recall vote in this specific instance. This requires a simple majority, fifty percent or greater, to be approved and enacted. Another option we had was making the recall vote a specific "Executive Board Policy," created with the permission of Article 23; if we were to do this, a member could oppose the recall and call for a reversal of policy, but this would require an eighty percent vote against. We chose not to pursue an Article 23 solution, as it would require the executive board to take a hard stance that we deserve the right to have the recall and would imply the recall should be used in future scenarios. Because we anticipate "closing the loophole" for future semesters by allowing an executive board member on the reading committee to moderate potentially misrepresentative responses, we intend for this potential recall vote to be a one-time occurrence in this scenario.

A recall vote, if approved by the membership (via simple majority), would include a review and clarification of the potentially misunderstood content of the show. The pitching team (in this instance, Rachel Skalka) would be allotted time to respond to any lingering concerns. Both sides would be allotted six minutes, the same time limit as a regular pitch. After this, an anonymous vote would be taken, with simple majority ruling. If greater than fifty percent of the membership rules against Really Really in light of the new and/or clarified information, it will be removed from the season and pitches for the final main stage slot will be reopened. If less than fifty percent of the membership rules against Really Really, it stays in the season as planned - nothing changes.

This brings us to this Sunday's general meeting.

There are two separate issues up for vote here. Whether or not we examine the second is contingent on the outcome of the first. Below is the breakdown of what each scenario would entail.

1) Members will enter the meeting. At least twenty five dues paying members must be present to achieve quorum. If less than twenty five members appear, the meeting will be delayed or rescheduled.

2) Eric Jacobsen, our faculty advisor, will read off relevant portions of the Constitution and explain why there is currently no language regarding a recall vote. He will also review the purpose of the reading committee. The executive board will then make final statements on why we are asking for a recall vote, on principle. Specifics of Really Really will not be discussed.

3) An anonymous, written vote will be taken on whether or not the Stage Troupe Executive Board has a right to ask the membership for a one-time referendum "recall vote." Simple majority rules. Only members who have paid dues prior to this week's email may participate in this vote.

OUTCOME A: Less than fifty percent of the membership votes in favor of having a recall vote on principle. The recall vote does not occur, and the general meeting moves on to other topics (including Staged Reading pitches).

OUTCOME B: Greater than fifty percent of the membership votes in favor of having a recall vote on principle. The recall vote will occur, and we move on to Step 4.

4) The executive board and any concerned membership that wishes to speak will present their case as to why they felt Really Really's content was misrepresented. (Concerned membership must discuss with the executive board an intent to speak prior to the meeting.) Clarifying evidence will be presented. They will have six minutes to make their case.

5) The pitching team, Rachel Skalka, will offer any clarifications she sees fit. She will also have six minutes.

6) An anonymous, written recall vote will be taken on whether or not Really Really should remain in Stage Troupe's Fall 2015 season. Simple majority rules. Only members who have paid dues prior to this week's email may participate in this vote.

OUTCOME A: Less than fifty percent of the membership votes in favor of removing Really Really from the season. The show is not recalled and remains in the season as planned. Nothing changes.

OUTCOME B: Greater than fifty percent of the membership votes in favor of removing Really Really from the season. The show is recalled and is no longer part of the season. Democratic pitches will be reopened by any interested directors to be pitched and voted on prior to the end of the semester. If she so chooses, Skalka may pitch another show.

7) The general meeting moves on to other topics (including the Staged Reading pitches).

As always, if there is any further clarification needed, please feel free to email or contact an executive board member (their contact information is available on this website). We appreciate everyone keeping discourse professional.