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Re: That stupid surcharge

Tadhg asks about the "stupid surcharge" and asks what are good methods to 
bypass it. He lists some options and characterizes asking for donations
as financially risky.

I reply:

Well, just so you know where I stand, I would not characterize the
 non-member surcharge as "stupid". I would call it "wrong".

The non-member surcharge hits two classes of people: Newbies
 and Poor People. If I were to define who should pay the price for
 what I consider fiscal mismanagement on the part of the
 corporation, those would not be my victims. 

I have always believed, and have put into practice when seneschal
 of Isenfir and now as Chancellor or the University, that, if
 someone wants to attend and they cannot pay, they get in free. I
 think that is the Right Thing to do, pure and simple. And so I
 always have done it. Making that policy public instead of private
 formally declares your event fee to be a donation instead of

The SCA ruling on non-member surcharge is that they must be
 collected in the same manner the event fees are. No fee, no
 surcharge. If the fee is optional, so is the surcharge. That is the
 specifically stated policy behind the individual case of the
 "suggested donation". This means that, according to the rules, if
 you quietly let people in for free when they cannot afford to pay
 the event fee, you may quietly let them in if they cannot afford the

Now, I would not recommend that action. It is inelegant because it
 only lets people off the hook if they show up at troll and say they
 can't pay. It is an impotent policy. That is why I went public about
 mine: I had people tell me that they _would_ have attended UA
 but didn't have the cash. 

I have run three sessions of UA with payment publicly optional.
 The fact is, a certain percentage of people don't pay. I have no idea
 what percent of those "should" have paid and which ones
 legitimately can't. And it is important to remember that,
 traditionally, teachers have attended UA free. Some of the non-
payment could be teachers exercising that old privilege. But
 payment has been high enough to reaffirm my faith that SCAdians
 are good and honorable people. 

I would recommend to ALL autocrats that they include a simple
 statement in their flyers: 

We want to see _you_ more than your _money_. Pay the fee if you
 can. If you cannot afford it, please accept our hospitality. 

That's all you need to say. And it works. People pay if they can and
 don't if they can't. We could append to this the idea that people
 who don't pay could do some kitchen service or contribute in some
 other way. And I think we would have a nicer Society thereby.

Henry Best
Seeking the Dream

----------John Strauss  gc429@cleveland.freenet.edu------------
UA39, formerly scheduled for July 95, is postponed to the fall.
          -Henry Best, Chancellor of the University of Atlantia