|Re: meetings||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Ken Collerman (kcollermwindsong.bc.ca)|
|Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 13:05:02 -0600 (MDT)|
We have the same problem at Windsong Cohousing (i.e. poor attendance). Out of about 60 adults we typically get between 15 and 30 showing up for community meetings. Often it's the same people showing up. This would not be a serious problem if those who did not show up followed the agreements made by those who did. However, they often don't. For example, we made an agreement about pets which was not followed by one of the pet owners who did not show up for the related meeting. This resulted in an altercation between them and others in the community when the policy was not followed. The minutes of the meeting and the policy were posted in the common house as well as in digital form on our intranet (i.e. a few clicks away). We also have a problem with maintenance via community contribution. Some of the work is not getting done. Furthermore the members that show up to community meetings are often the same ones that contribute to maintenance. There are some members who simply do not participate in the community. There are many reasons why a member would not participate: 1) they are too busy with friends and family outside of the community 2) they are intimidated by meetings (i.e. prefer to have time to think things over rather than be put on the spot) 3) they are too busy just surviving (ex. commuting to and from work and working long hours). 4) they bought into a vision of community which just didn't fit reality 5) they don't like giving up their autonomy. The location of our community has contributed to reason 1 and 3. Moving out to Windsong was a financial hardship for many. The prices of housing in the Vancouver area are high. Also, to make Windsong affordable, it was located far from where most people work, so there are a lot of long commutes. Some members have reduced the commute by being self-employed and working from home which resulted in longer hours of work. Some members of our community would rather discuss issues via email or threaded discussions than in large face-to-face meetings either because of the difficulty in fitting them into their schedule or due to their feeling intimidated in large meetings (reason 2). For most of us, moving to Windsong meant giving up some autonomy. We had to learn how to live in community. It wasn't something we were brought up with. I believe community life has been superior to what we had before. However, we do have our challenges. Ken Collerman Windsong Cohousing Langley, BC ----- Original Message ----- From: <HeidiNYS [at] aol.com> To: <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org> Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 5:42 PM Subject: [C-L]_meetings Dear Robert, We've lived at Cantines Island co-housing three years, this Winter will be four. While many of us traveled various distances [some over 100 miles, the closest, perhaps 25 miles, for a while till renting nearby, one household came in from Washinton DC, 4-5 hours away.] We had pretty good attendance at meetings for years before move-in. and we met for years and years. Meetings were generally pretyty good-humored. And long. Our formatt included an open house/tour, for potential interested folks, then intros all 'round, and dialogue with new folks, then a pot-luck lunch!! that would wrap up about 2PM, and then we'd go into committee meetings and then the full meeting. Believe it or not, after all this, perhaps one out of three times, most of us would walk to supper together at the Chinese Restaurant, just across the bridge from here. We formed a lot of connection. Recently, almost 4 yrs after move-in, we do have many meetings w'out a quorum. Our experience, all best, Ruth hirsch Cantines Island Co-housing, inviting another family.... we were able to buy a small adjacent piece of land, overlooking river rapids.... near Woodstock, in the breathtakingly beautiful hudson Valley. In a message dated 6/7/01 1:01:43 PM, cohousing-l-request [at] cohousing.org writes: Message: 8 Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 11:39:35 -0400 Subject: Re: [C-L]_Following agreements To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org From: "Robert P. Arjet" <rarjet [at] learnlink.emory.edu> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org I'd be interested in hearing more about these reasons. We're still in the "forming" stage, so I'm not surprised that are a lot of people who attend 50% of the meetings or less. I've assumed, however, that once we are a "real" group, with "real" members and money involved, that regular attendance will simply be one of the duties of membership. However, it looks like in a lot of communities attendance is just not a requirement or a social norm. Maybe I spent too many years on football teams in Texas, but it seems to me that if you don't show up for practice, you really can't expect to play. Am I right in assuming that any consensus-based group with a 40% attendance rate has much bigger problems than who cleans up messes? I can't imagine trying to get compliance on a decision when 60% of the affected parties weren't there. To stretch my metaphor dreadfully, that's like trying to run a brand-new play when only the quarterback, the wide receiver, and a couple of the linemen were at practice. 60% of the players aren't going to know what to do, it's going to fail miserably, and all the people who weren't at practice will agree that the play was a bad idea. The worst part is that in cohousing, there's not even a coach to blame. I guess what's at the bottom of my curiosity is this: do other people consider meeting attendance a central requirement of living in a consensus-based community? If so, then why is there so much trouble in getting people to show up? What are those instructive reasons for people not showing up, and do they generally hold water? Thanks, Robert Arjet Central Austin Cohousing www.austincohousing.org where we have agreed to accept membership money, but until we have a budget, we're not allowed to spend any... _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
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