[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index][Search Archives]

Re: MR: Disc: Pay-to-Fight

Poster: "Edward R. Ewen, Jr." <tewen@gandalf.cs.wcu.edu>

> Jay Shaner Wrote:
> What are the many distressing side-effects?  The only thing I have heard so 
> far  is not wanting to pay $20 for an associate membership to be able to 
> authorize.

And gave me pause.  I have been opposed to the PAY-TO-PLAY mentality 
since the whole thing started lo these many years ago. It seems to me there 
are (and have been as long as I can recall) three levels of participation in 
the SCA.

1) The Occassional Participant:  This gentle shows up, as the title
suggests, occasionally.  A regular at local events, he is rarely seen
anywhere else.  A reasonable effort is made by the OP to blend in, and he 
owns enough garb to make it through a weekend event(maybe).  He attends 
events to get away, meet with friends, and have a good time.  SCA 
politics, organization, etc. do not interest him.  Many OP's stay at this 
stage, never getting more involved than the occasional event or fighter 
practice.  This classification also holds the Newbies, people for whom 
the SCA is a new and different thing, to be tested and tried before 
deciding whether to mature into the next classification....

2) The Regular Participant:  This gentle is a more active participant.  
She is known to own many sets of garb, has active interests in period 
activities, may hold a local office, and is generally up on the current 
socio-political situation in her area.  The workings of the SCA matter to 
her, and the SCA has taken a place of much greater prominence in her life 
than the life of the OP.  Some/Most of these gentles hold memberships, 
and a small percentage mature into...

3) The Dedicated Participant:  We all know (and in many cases owe a great 
debt to) people in this class.  Here are the Crowns, Chivalry, and Peerage.  
Here also are those who have yet to reach such lofty positions, but who 
toil tirelessly at making the local/regional/kingdom level group 
funtion.  These are the gentles who have held office for so many years 
we've lost count...because SOMEONE has to do it.

Now, the point is, none of these classification can exist independently.
Each is maintained over time through the 'advancement' of those in lower
classifications.  OP's become RP's and RP's become DP's.  Without
occasional participants, there can be no growth, and the organization
would stagnate and die. And therein lies the problem.  Through policies
like Pay to Play we are excluding our lifesblood. 

It is my feeling that OP's contribute at the level of their participation. 
By attending events they add dollars to the local group's coffers, raise
attendance, and provide grassroot strength to the local group.  In time,
some will fall away but some will remain, taking on greater responsibility
as they do. 

The requirements of Pay to Play (and before it was rescinded the
Non-Member Surcharge) put us in an exclusionary mode, in effect saying "In
order to see if this is really something you want to do, you must pay the
organization $20 - $35."  Most new participants could give a fig about
recieving the kingdom newsletter and an occasional TI. All that
information is available through the local group. In truth, after 15 years
in the SCA _I_ could give a fig about getting the kingdom newsletter and
an occasional TI. 

In most cases, these OP's are young adults, with minimal resources.  $20
to a college student can be a lot of money.  To be fair, not all newbies 
are that broke, but most people would rather spend that $20 going to an 
event, or patronizing a merchant for something cool.

There is little to be gained by Pay-To-Play, and in my opinion, much to 
be lost.  

Yours, In Service,


List Archives, FAQ, FTP:  http://sca.wayfarer.org/merryrose/
            Submissions:  atlantia@atlantia.sca.org
        Admin. requests:  majordomo@atlantia.sca.org