This is a roughly-sketched model for how to build an organized community out of people with disparate material conditions: a structure useful for the DSAs of the world.
- stewards are responsible for maintaining practices. anyone can volunteer to be a steward, and it’s the other stewards’ jobs to get them up-to-speed on what the role requires
- everyone holds each other accountable
- “meetings" are social in nature. best: cooking party, potluck, working together on something. second best: a house show, bonfire, gathering in a public/semipublic place. worst: a meeting in a meeting room.
- the beginning and end of the meeting are unstructured social time. feel free to show up late and leave early. a time in the middle is reserved for announcements & calls to action
- stewards take turns being the greeter, keeping an eye of everyone who shows up and saying hi to each of them (by name!). Anyone the greeter doesn’t know should get an introduction, and if that person is a first-timer they should be pointed at another steward to be their buddy (better term pending)
- All new members are paired with a steward, and it’s that steward’s job to introduce them to the space, to find out what that person’s deal is and to introduce them to others, and to generally walk them through what being a member of the community looks like. the first day is the most important, but henceforth they are still that member’s primary point of contact, and that steward must take responsibility both for that member’s well-being and for making sure that they’re part of the practices. if a relatively newer member is present and their steward isn’t, someone else should jump in and make sure that person is seen and included. nobody should be standing awkwardly on the side.
- if there’s an Action that you think the group should take on collectively, you should first go around and get some informal feedback on it from as many different people as possible. if you feel confident it’s a good one, you can issue a call to action, opening a community conversation and getting a show of hands for who would want to participate, and to hear out any dissenting voices.