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Minutes of November 15, 2003 SLAA Business Meeting

Members present are Chuck66, Cudbme, Dana, Gina, JC, Marabel, Mic,TimF, VJ, CharlieR, Debbie, Jen & Ubergoober

Meeting begins at 10:02 PM EST.

The meeting opened with the following announcements:

Fri-28-Nov 03 7th Annual Spiritual Renewal Retreat (3 days) Malibu CA - http://slaafws.org/community/IntergroupEvents/spiritualrenewal.pdf
Fri-19-Dec-03 12-Step Weekend Retreat (3 days) - Chester VT - 617-625-7961
Sat-24-Jan-04 Steps 10, 11, 12 Workshop (1 day) - Fair Oaks CA - http://sacslaa.homestead.com/Events.html
Fri-30-Jan-04 2nd Annual Men's Retreat on Vashon Island (3 days) - Seattle WA - http://www.slaa-seattle.org
Please let us know if you know of any we have missed.

The "Website Review Committee" was formed in June and currently includes VJ=Vicki, Marabel, Cathy, sisterjam=Jameela, TimF=Tim, and ChrisT=Chris.  If anyone is interested, please email slaaonline@yahoo.com to express an interest.  This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join.

The "Speakers Committee" was formed in February and currently includes Carrie, Steve, Ubergoober=Glenn, and TimF=Tim.  If anyone is interested, please email slaaonline@yahoo.com to express an interest. This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join.

The "Openletter Committee" was formed in January and currently includes Osiyeza=Camille, Marabel, Steve, Guest50341=Walter, and TimF=Tim.  If anyone is interested, please email slaaonline@yahoo.com to express an interest. This committee is open to anyone with a desire; you do not have to be an operator to join. We hope to have a new "Open Letter" in place by the end of November.

Vicki begins the meeting with the Serenity Prayer: "Lets start the meeting out with a moment of silence for our fellow addicts still suffering followed by the Serenity Prayer."

Vicki notes, "You can follow along with the agenda on this page...http://slaaonline.org/meet.html", and also notes, "The first order of business will be to read and approve the meeting minutes from 10/15/03.  These are at http://slaaonline.org/minutes/031015.html."

Marabel approves the minutes, and TimF seconds the minutes. Vicki says the minutes are approved as read. Vicki then brings us to Old Business.

Old Business:

Vicki begins, "At the October meeting, we changed the requirements from three to two trusted servants and eliminated the Australia Meeting. We agreed to announce during the following several meetings that we still need trusted servants to fulfill this requirement. We have covered a number of meetings since the last business meeting. We are still ill-equiped for the following regularly scheduled meeting times:

Both trusted servants for Friday 4:30pm.

We need a greeter for Sunday Noon, Saturday Noon, Monday 4:30pm,

Tuesday 4:30pm, and Wednesday 4:30pm.

You can view a nice chart of TS schedule on...http://slaaonline.org/meet.html. This topic is now open for discussion.

Vicki continues by taking the floor to begin discussion.

"HI my name is Vicki. I’m a day time meeting attender...and since these are all daytime meetings I sort of feel responsible for them, who knows why other than my sickness and codependancy issues. There are usually quite a few people at these meetings, and the meetings have grown steadily and considerably over the past year or 2, enough so that they must be healthy or people wouldnt keep coming back. I’m not sure what to do about getting more people to volunteer for service work - some people just don’t want to do service work, other people are probably doing too much. It’s the same old story..balance."

Jen then takes the floor. "We need a greeter for Sunday Noon, Saturday Noon, Monday 4:30pm, Tuesday 4:30pm, and Wednesday 4:30pm. I could be a greeter on Tuesday afternoons. I tutor Monday and Wednesday and don't get out of school until 4:30. The Sunday meeting is difficult if someone goes to church on EST. Most churches don't get out until 12."

Vicki responds, "Thanks Jen, I got your name down now for that Tuesday (smiles). More discussion or volunteers?"

Tim takes the floor to share. "1) Jen is now listed as greeter for three shifts and CharlieR is leader at 10pm Wed & Sat. You will notice arrows at the 10pm Wed & Sat meetings w/ Charlie & Jen...I encourage them to occassionally switch off, and frankly, I encourage ALL leaders and greeters to occassionally switch off to keep all ops fresh about both leading and greeting at meetings. When the final schedule appears, the arrows won't be there, but the Wed 10pm greeter recently withdrew and Jen volunteered (all since last business meeting) so I did that to point this out."

Tim continues, "Now...onto the real issue. I think it was wise for us to change from requiring three trusted servants to just two for a meeting...but there are still six empty slots on that schedule right now. I emailed all ops some three or four times over nine weeks. We addressed this head-on at the last business meeting asking that those that attend those particular meetings make the announcement AT THE MEETINGS that need this support. I feel that we need to be sure that meetings have trusted servants in place for continuity so that newcomers don't arrive to find a meeting room that looks half-fast. Just like a local meeting needs a keyholder to come and unlock the door, a greeter should arrive early to be sure people are welcome, and I feel that these meetings (after begging for months and talking about us dropping these meetings) must really choose now about cancelling these meetings from our schedule of regular meetings (open to suggestions, though, but I don't know what more
to try after four months)."

Marabel then takes the floor to share. "I think that these meetings have had ample notice and should be dropped from the schedule. If these meetings in fact really exist and are serving people, then I would think that people who truly want these meetings to continue would have stepped up by now."

Vicki then takes the floor as Ubergoober=Glenn and Jen raise their hands. "I would like to note that being a regular attendee at the daily meetings, they are well attended by sometimes more than 20 people each day. Most are at work and have to come in and out. I think that has a lot to do with why they don’t want to commit. It has more to do with that probably than anything else."

Glenn shares, "Well, first, sorry for being late, second, gathering what I can, I think we're talking about meetings that don't have 2 people to be there for greeter + chair, which I noticed include the weekend noon meetings, so I can only speak for those meetings. They are generally well attended, but not by a consistent group. For instance...I can commit to Saturday, but not Sunday, but in practice, I'm either here for neither, or both and I find that there's almost always two ops there and we sort of switch off. We certainly serve a group that I think includes people that can't attend during the week very regularly, including myself, so I hope we don't cancel those meetings."

Jen shares, "I also attend these meetings. Many times as soon as I get in from school I will jump right into this room. I might not be able to be here right at 4:30 but it is a meeting I look forward to sometimes. The 10:00 meeting is too late for me. I also would like to say that I often as I did today, share with people in my f2f group about this room and these meetings. I think it is nice to be able to offer them a variety of times that they can come and join in and share, even if there is just one op here... at least the discussion is on target. During times when I pop in here and there is not a meeting open chat can often get a little off target, so I like knowing there are scheduled meetings that I can look forward to and plan to attend whenever possible."

Tim responds, "I empathize with those that say, "I'd hate to see us drop these meetings." But let's look at some facts...

Tradition 3. The only requirement for S.L.A.A. membership is a desire to stop living out a pattern of sex and love addiction. Any two or more persons gathered together for mutual aid in recovering from sex and love addiction may call themselves an S.L.A.A. group, provided that as a group they have no other affiliation.

We consider this room to be a 24/7/365 meeting in progress (for purposes of Traditions and behavior guidelines). We started with ONE meeting a week seven years ago. We slowly grew a meeting or two at a time to a 10pm meeting every night -- period. When a new "ROOM" is formed at StarLink, they want SEVEN dedicated people to sign up, so that the room doesn't exist one month and disappear the next."

"For years, this group set our requirement to be THREE trusted servants to start a new meeting. We added seven Women's Meetings, only to have to back down to one (now two). We added two Men's Meetings, only to have to back down and make them open to all. These are typically of growing pains, but from that, we need to learn to be realistic. How would you feel if you drove an hour to a local meeting (akin to a newcomer trying to figure out for a hour how to connect to this room)...only to find no keyholder and everyone locked out of the building? Or in the meeting room, but with a locked trunk that contained all the meeting scripts and chips? It would leave a bad taste, and even worse if you were a newcomer! We must be absolutely that regularly scheduled meetings are staffed adequately...and we just reduced that coverage from three to two at our last business meeting. If people want to come here at these times and conduct an informal meeting, great...that is how HP and our Traditions
work....but I honestly feel that for our own group to appear healthy to a newcomer arriving at our doors, we NEED to have a leader and greeter that is dedicated to their time slot!"

Vicki responds, "I am not down as a greeter or a op on the 10 pm meetings, and I dont usually even look at them to see who is. I guess I could get upset because the regular chair isn’t there or the greeter...but I can assure you that these daily meetings are healthy, or they wouldnt be growing...I’m curious though as to why the new business regards a bot to run the scripts, which is the big issue here imho and it is to be addressed after we vote to do away with meetings that some of us feel it is very important to have? In my opinion we have this process turned around. If that is the real priority, there are too many people right now going to daytime meetings to just drop them...especially if ya havent been to them. Just my opinion…plus before ya go and drop meetings, I will make sure I personally will cover and get you more trusted servants, especially if I can learn to help people use the scripts which is yet another problem imho....thanks for listening."

Tim shares, "I'm glad Vicki is reading ahead. Actually BOTH items of new business are somewhat related to this. If we decide to allow a 'bot', anyone could run scripts (even a non-op). The other item in new business is how we list meetings on our site…so rather then ONLY listing our regularly scheduled meetings, it suggests listing some as "many people, but no official leaders" and such. I don't want to get too far ahead...and frankly, I feel that THIS issue has been beaten to death again, after MANY emails to ALL ops, and being addressed at a number of business meetings. So the fact we are considering dropping them now should (not) be a surprise to anyone...but we COULD table this item for another month and see if yet another month of asking for volunteers for these six empty slots gets the job done."

Glenn shares, "I haven't heard the suggestion to list some meetings as something less than official, and yet keep the listing there. I like it. I would hate to have to first choose tonight whether to keep the meetings or not…"

Tim whispers to latecomers in the room - (http://slaaonline.org/meet.html - item 5 under new business).

Glenn continues, "…and later choose how to address the people that DO attend those times. I think it has been mentioned that certain meetings are hard for people to commit to, yet still important. That idea would really help this sub group of addicts to give those meetings a different sort of status, yet still be "advertised", so to speak. Can we tie the two votes together?"

VJ responds to Glenn’s question, "For now lets just stick with the one Glenn and talk it out, k?"

Dana takes the floor to share. "Not sure of the format, but Dana, sex love and fantasy addict. First business meeting and newbie to recovery. However, a thought has occurred to me a couple of times, and obviously it is a matter of group consciousness, is the 30-day rule for TS. There may be people w/o the 30 days that are capable and willing to run meetings but don't volunteer for not meeting the criteria. I'm one, so... that was all I wanted to point out."

Vicki remarks, "I think it’s 30 days in channel though." Dana responds, "Thought it was sobriety."

Marabel then takes the floor. "Maybe we can have someone who is regular to these meetings to serve as a kind of rep, to get feedback as far as these meetings are concerned and to be able to round up TS's and stuff…just a thought."

Glenn comments, "Ubergoober is ready to rally the troops!"

Gina shares, "I’m at most meetings most days. I’m here at P.M. meetings but not as present as I am at noon and 4:30. They are very healthy and well attended, and I have yet to know of any that haven’t run,

other than 2 in the last month or so that started late. I think it would be best to table the decision of dumping the meetings for this month until the bot situation and the way meetings are advertised is discussed."

Tim then takes the floor. "I agree to table this and so move...but I really want to say that much of tonight's discussion about this has been a repeat of last month's discussion..." Gina nods.

Tim continues, "… and a previous business meeting discussion when we were considering dropping meetings (before changing from three to two trusted servants), so I move to table this to next month..."

Vicki asks, "Gina moved and you second that move, Tim?"

Glenn says, "Ubergoober apologizes for not having been here last month."

Tim still continues, "…but feel that volunteers for the empty six slots should be emailed to slaaonline@yahoo.com in ADVANCE of the meeting so that on 12/15 we simply move forward without all this discussion!"

Vicki asks, "Gina moved and you second that move, Tim?"

Marabel and Jen both second.

Vicki states, "We have a motion made by Gina and seconded by Tim. Further discussion?

Glenn please share."

Glenn shares, "Well...before I agree, I'd like to know when we're going to discuss how to "advertise" these meetings if we do decide later to drop them. I know this must be exasperating to some to go over this again and again but I'm worried about losing the only meeting I can attend with anything like regularity, and see the two issues...dropping meetings due to lack of leadership, and finding another way to announce a meeting that happens, but is not consistently attended as being too closely tied together."

Vicki then takes the floor. "Hi, I still think there are issues with training TS and also to just drop what is it 10 meetings…is a pretty drastic measure that I didn't really foresee tonight. I think it would really affect a lot of people's recovery...including mine. I don't think this is to be taken lightly, especially when the problem really isn't lack of attendance, it may be some difficulties that we as a group need to tweek out and work together on to overcome, not to just chuck because it isnt quite fitting into our plan. All of these issues are tied together...the bot...the training of TS. What is relegated as a regular meeting vs. a non- regular meeting? I’ve never experienced that before. Even if we table this for next month, what I hear...is that there is at least one person who is tired of asking for help and not getting it, maybe that is more what it is. The schedule has changed a lot over the years since these meetings have started...about who has even attended...the
whole meetings are growing, and these are growing pains. Are we just going to say, we can only handle the nightly meetings when we have been doing 3 a day and sometimes more? I’m just wondering if maybe we can ask for volunteers for a committee to work on this and try to bind these issues together before next months meeting (Ubergoober says, " took the words out of my mouth")…

and also push the people attending the meetings with a 'threat' instead of a request for their service work."

Tim then shares, "To tie this together in hopes of us voting in a moment successfully, Glenn asked what is the result of tabling and how will we address 'attended but unofficial meetings'. Well, the latter is item 5 in new business…we still have items 3 and 4, so let me propose this:

1) This will require a friendly agreement from Gina to table this item for TWO months (to 1/15). That way we have two months to work out the bugs

2) If 2/3's here agree by vote, we can move item 5 to the next item of business. Our business meetings run 90 minutes, so this way we can brainstorm this great idea the an Aussie op emailed us.

VJ asks, "I would like to request that a committee be formed to review this process of dropping meetings. I also don’t understand item 5 and don’t know how it relates to the current item we are discussing."

Tim replies, "If Gina agrees to this, we can make a friendly change to refer this

item to committee instead of tabling it (then the committee can open it when fully prepared)."

Vicki answers, "I’m lost, why does Gina have to agree with this? Not that I don’t want her to (smiles)."

Gina says, "Let’s table this for 2 months."

Vicki then asks, "May we ask for volunteers for the committee so something happens with it?"

Glenn volunteers.

Tim says, "Tabling this or referring it to committee BOTH take it off the table - but one is for a fixed time - the other is when the committee puts it back on the roster."

Vicki says, "I volunteer also." JC , Jen, Glenn, Cudbme and Gina also volunteer. Glenn grins.

Tim says, "Wonderful (the daytimers)."

Vicki asks, "All the officers automatically (to be volunteered)?" Marabel smiles.

Tim replies, "Works for me."

Glenn says, "Hooray for another committee!" and smiles.

Vicki notes, "VJ copies this and will head up committee if no objections." She also notes, "It’s tabled and filed now", and grins.

JC says, "Sounds good to me", and Gina gives out a "Whew!"

Tim responds, "Thanks, Vicki – I’ll give you all email addresses (and those of the Noon and 4:30 leaders for meetings that lack a greeter) via email in a day or two."

Glenn also responds with a "Whew!" and JC asks, "When will this committee meet?"

Vicki replies, "How about if I send out an email and maybe we can just communicate via email through slaaonline?"

JC says, "Ok. Tim has my email."

Glenn asks for the floor, and then when Vicki gives it to him, he said, "Eh…I changed my mind on what I wanted to say." Vicki laughs.

Glenn continues, "I had an objection to email, but realized that it would work after all."

Tim takes the floor to remind, "While we don’t introduce new business after 75 minutes, let’s finish voting on one or two things." Vicki grins.

Glenn asks, "What? Actually VOTE on something? Unheard of!" JC and Tim laugh, and Glenn grins.

Tim continues, "1) An official vote to refer this issue to committee and be reintroduced 1/14/04 …

Vicki interrupts and asks, "and that this committee is only temporary until it has done its job and that then it will cease and desist?"

Tim goes on, "…and 2) I would also suggest that we vote on moving item #5 to the top of old business for our next meeting."

Vicki says, "Sorry I interrupted…" and Tim said he agrees with that friendly amendment.

JC says, "Second", and Tim says, "oh" (No motion was made yet, just a suggestion on how to end the meeting).

Vicki brings the following to the floor, "On Thu-23-Oct, an operator emailed us the following: "I would most humbly suggest that a 'meeting unlisted yet with some regular attendance' is worthwhile getting listed quickly and a 'listed meeting with no regular attendance' is worthwhile getting unlisted quickly. Such unattended/unsupervised/no-ops listings can be an awful letdown to attend, let alone place hopes on (especially to a newbie to our fellowship) and would be something I hope we can ensure happens as little as possible in the future. Schedules can quite easily be changed and notification of such changes is also easily posted. Flexibility may well be a most desirable asset."

Tim, in reference to Vicki’s amendment of the previous item, says, "Yes, sorry – temporary."

Vicki then says of the email item she just shared, "This is item 5."

Tim reminds, "We need to vote on the last motion."

Vicki asks, "I thought it was a two parter…that is what confused me. The last motion was about putting the daytime meeting issues into a temporary committee…"

Dana interrupts by raising his hand and saying "Procedure." Vicki asks, "What procedure?"

Tim says, "Well - we could do that, too (just so people realize that we are NOT addressing what you just wrote tonight, but that it is on the top of the slate for December)."

Vicki says, "Wait a minute…"

Glenn says, "Ubergoober is going to have to go help put kids to bed...if I don't vote soon, the wife will be upset and I may not have fingers to type a vote with."

Dana wonders "if no TS are permitted to vote?"

Vicki says, "Hold on Nelly, everyone can vote."

JC says, "Doesn’t understand Dana’s comment."

Dana says, "Non-TS that should have been."

Vicki says, "As far as I’m concerned this vote is regarding putting the daily meeting issue into a temporary committee…" JC nods, "Ok".

Vicki continues, "…that will get back to the business meeting on what date 2 months from now. That’s a motion I think."

JC says, "Second!"

Vicki asks if there is a second, and Gina replies, "Second." Vicki says, "Thank goodness," and puts the motion to form a committee to a vote.

Ten members vote Yes, a majority, with no "No" votes or abstentions.

Vicki says, "See, we got a vote and the motion passes to form said committee. Thanks for voting."

Tim takes the floor again. "The other thing we can likely pass quickly too…that is to move item #5 (how we list meetings on the website) to top of new business for December. That doesn’t mean any discussion now, just that it will be in front of behavior guidelines and the ‘bot’ in December – as this may prove helpful to the new committee."

Gina seconds the motion. Vicki notes, "The motion has been made and seconded. Further discussion?"

JC takes the floor to ask, "I wasn't here for the BOT discussion, and I don't know what those issues are…

so, for this vote I have to abstain from this vote I think, because I don't know what the relevant issues are. How do I abstain from a vote?"

Vicki notes "It didn’t happen tonight. Vote the "*" thingy." JC thanks her.

Vicki comments, "We are talking about moving a business item up to another position so it can get more attention next month is basically all from how I understand it John."

Tim nods. Vicki continues by giving the site, " http://slaaonline.org/meet.html. So on that site, #5 will become #1 that will be addressed next month."

Vicki asks for further discussion, and then says, "Ok, we have a motion and a second…let’s go ahead and vote on moving issue #5."

Seven votes, a majority, vote "yes", and there is one abstention. Vicki notes, "That carries."

Tim moves to adjourn, JC seconds, Marabel thirds, JC fourths, Gina "woohoo’s", and Vicki says, "Cool."

Vicki asks, "Want to end with a prayer?"

JC says, "Cool. Prayer is good," and smiles.

JC closes the meeting with a moment of silence and the Serenity Prayer at 11:35 PM EST.