Senior Membership Option without being Aes Sedai or Gaidin?

Discussion in 'Ask the White Tower' started by Leese Sulan, Feb 4, 2020.

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  1. Arie Davion

    Arie Davion Matron Mother of Mischief Aes Sedai

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    The Kin.
     
  2. Sa'areah Britthorn

    Sa'areah Britthorn Aes Sedai Director of Membership

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    Just wanted to note that it is being watched. And I'll be putting up as a discussion either in the next meeting, or the one after that if it does warrant it.
    Ideas can have merit, or a solution within an idea can come about after discussion and participation.
     
  3. Narysse a'Jahar

    Narysse a'Jahar Aes Sedai

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    I actually really like the idea of the Wilders as a SM alternative with all the trappings that the more traditional SMs have.
     
  4. Leese Sulan

    Leese Sulan Soldier

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    ooooh Wilder, interesting. Yeah so far a few that I like are Kin, Traveler, Wanderer, Wilder, etc.
     
  5. Calen Velervron

    Calen Velervron Gaidin

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    the reason i would vote against it in the hall if it came up there is this...

    If you cannot find your home in any of the like ten member groups we have on the site then what makes anyone think it’s gonna be any better by magically forming another group?

    Ive never really seen this asked before but that’s my concern. It sounds like it may be more about the individual than it ever is about a group.... which is kind of against the point
     
  6. Leese Sulan

    Leese Sulan Soldier

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    For me, I'm not in search of new group forums to be created, more like a way to still attain leveling up like everyone else even when cannot become attached to a group.

    Perhaps it is about the individuals. In my case, the fact that I'm high-functioning autistic yet pass to most people as seeming neurotypical presents a challenge in my life where I struggle to achieve and maintain deep interpersonal relationships despite appearing capable of it. I've done the guesting circle a few times now over the past however many years, but haven't felt the click of belonging. It feels wrong to settle for a group and feign it feels like home. That seems unfair to the group in my head, but perhaps I am overthinking it.

    I currently feel like a solution to my problem of not belonging is just to not belong anywhere. To have a path to re-achieve SM status, but not be part of a group. Maybe it is backwards logic. And I think it's fair for some to stand or vote against it.
     
  7. Alora Sionn

    Alora Sionn Gaidin

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    Yeah I agree, but that's why this wouldn't be its own new group just allowing someone to be an unaffiliated SM
     
  8. Elania al'Manir

    Elania al'Manir Aes Sedai Forum Moderator

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    A group's reaction would probably depend on which group it is. If you're open and honest about how you feel, I'm guessing there are still some Ajahs/Companies who would accept you and raise you anyway. That may not be an ideal solution, but it's one that's currently available.
     
  9. Calen Velervron

    Calen Velervron Gaidin

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    Agreed
     
  10. Alexstrasza Ruskea

    Alexstrasza Ruskea My pronoun is They, for I am Legion Aes Sedai Historian

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    Resident Citizens already can access the Apartments. In fact, its official description is "Area where Resident Citizens and Senior Members may mingle." If Senior Members are already not interested in mingling with Resident Citizens, I'm not sure what will change by giving those Citizens access to other forums.

    But, for the sake of argument, I could see citizen names being shuffled around: Resident Citizen could be those who had gone through some sort of Guesting process and then decided to stay a member but not aspire anywhere. Meanwhile, something like Longtime Citizen or whatever could be people who had merely been around for a long time and didn't try to join the Tower.

    The Citizen-SM path could have the same site-contribution requirement as JMs do, and a requirement to have Guested with each group for a certain duration. However, instead of looking at how active they are in their aspired group, look at how active they are in General forums, for example. If they seem to be fitting in with the wider community in the same way Aspirants fit in with their chosen group, they could be put up for raising.



    I'm not really clear on why you miss being a SM. If this is merely about "leveling up," that seems a pretty shallow reason to mess with the current structure. This site is about community, not about achievement points.



    To be fair (to be faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaair), this doesn't seem to be about creating a new group. However, the point remains that, if you still feel like an outsider after all this time and after having guested with groups over and over, I really don't see how giving some Citizens a Prestige Rank and access to a couple more forums is going to change that. If you reachieve SM status but aren't part of a group, how does that lessen your feeling of being an outsider in any way? If you feel like SMs merely having their own forums is the thing that creates a vibe of Citizens being second-class....... citizens :shifty ........... or the thing that makes you feel like you can't manage to reintegrate into the community, I think you're wrong. Going through the guesting process, jumping through all the right hoops, and being around a minimum amount of time isn't all it takes to feel a sense of belonging. Actually choosing a home on the site is what makes people feel that they really are part of the community in a meaningful way. Not because they checked off a box, but because they found a part of the community where they belong, fit in, are happy, are welcome.


    Just don't. Being autistic has nothing to do with it. There are loads of us, myself included, who are on the spectrum but pass for neurotypical ("high- and low-functioning" are ableist terms). The several whose diagnosis I'm aware of still have managed to find homes here on the site where we feel welcome and like we fit in. There is no requirement to have "deep interpersonal relationships" in order to feel at home somewhere. This is a website full of people from all over the world, so there's a practical limit to how close of a relationship you can even have with people you only see once or twice a year, if ever. Some people on the site definitely do have close relationships with one another, visit each other even outside of official Tower events, call or text or use Google Hangout or Discord to keep in regular contact... but that's something between individuals, often of different community groups from one another, and it certainly isn't the way they feel toward their entire Ajah or Company home... but they still choose it as a home. I have very few people on the site, or in person for that matter, who I have "deep interpersonal relationships" with, but there are still plenty of people here I love, am glad to see when I get the chance, I chat with via social media, whose community forums have the sort of vibe that resonates with me.

    Perhaps the reason you can't manage to fit back in and shake the outsider feeling has nothing to do with your diagnosis, or whether people can become SMs without choosing an Ajah or Company. Perhaps it's because you've burned so many bridges all over the site, with people who used to feel close to you, consider you a real friend, that no matter where you go and how well you like and are liked by some of the people in a group, you're going to feel unwanted by or uncomfortable around others, and maybe that discomfort wherever you go is the real reason you're struggling to fit back in.

    Also, if you're being as charismatic this round of guesting as you were the last time you guested with MDD, trying equally hard to fit in and get along with people and look for a home whose values already line up with your own................. well, it's no wonder you're not having any luck anywhere you go.
     
  11. Alora Sionn

    Alora Sionn Gaidin

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    I wasn't really seeing it as a Citizen version of SM, to be used as a matter of course, just a last ditch effort for someone who had tried for years to find a home and couldn't to still be SM. Some roles on the site require SM hood to hold though as of late this has gotten a bit lax (which is good) but let's say if she wanted to apply for Mayor she'd have to go back to citizen. Resident citizens also don't have access to the SM forum, male/ female SM forums, and aren't eligible for the SM merit. They also can't be mentors and can't see any forums in the tower. Not big deals to everyone but to some they are.
    The last paragraph quoted I do really agree with though. Since there isn't a group to ask recommendations of, they would have to come from people in the site at large. Maybe people in every group since they would have had to guest in every group extensively.
    Idk what happened before and personally I feel like airing dirty laundry in public is distasteful but people can change over the years so that's something to keep in mind. Most of the time when holding a grudge the person the grudge is against stops existing over the years (though not in every case obvs). I would agree that it would be good for her to try again now because not only has enough time gone by that she has changed in, but so have some groups evolved. So it would be good to give it another go before giving up.

    Still I like the idea of an unaffiliated SM being possible, a way to honor people that have a dedication to the community at large even if they can't find that connection within the smaller groups.

    O but one more thing
    This is true. While it is a bonus, a better way to look at guesting is not who do I fit in with but what about this group fits who I am. I think everyone who has guested has heard this but I think it's good for @Leese Sulan to keep in mind: when looking at groups, don't look so much at who is in the group because through LOA, retirement, demoting etc that can change. Instead look at what the group is all about and if you could see yourself belonging there even if you are the only one there.

    I hope you do try again regardless of if this become an option or not.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  12. Elania al'Manir

    Elania al'Manir Aes Sedai Forum Moderator

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    I partially disagree with this. It takes years for a group's membership to change. Although membership shouldn't be the only thing you look at, and you do need to fit into a group's mission, it's also okay to consider the current membership as well. I did, and it affected my initial guesting in both directions - groups I was pulled to because of the members, and groups I leaned away from.
     
  13. Alora Sionn

    Alora Sionn Gaidin

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    It's definitely part of it but shouldn't be the driving force, is what I mean, and from her posts it seems like it has been the driving force in Leese's guesting in the past.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  14. Rhed al'Tere

    Rhed al'Tere Mother Amyrlin Seat

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    Folks, this is not the place to discuss other people's guesting journeys.
     
  15. Alora Sionn

    Alora Sionn Gaidin

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    I tried to keep it vague but I took the line out of my last post that referenced it.
     
  16. Alexstrasza Ruskea

    Alexstrasza Ruskea My pronoun is They, for I am Legion Aes Sedai Historian

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    It's an interesting point that some roles require SM status. However, if it was one that Citizens could also hold (like Mayor), her going back to being a Citizen is no different from her going on to become a Prestige Citizen or whatever. True, Resident Citizens don't have access to the SM forum, although as I said before, the Apartments are specifically for Resident Citizens and SM to interact, so if it isn't already happening there, I'm not sure how gaining another forum will make anyone feel more included and less like an outsider. If

    , she already would have access to conversation with other SMs if she went back to being a Resident Citizen in the current structure. Her choosing to remain a JM is what's getting in the way of that.

    If people want access to the gendered SM forums, and gendered SMs want them there (or don't mind them being there), that's a fair point to discuss. I don't have thoughts on it because I don't use them.

    If Prestige Citizens can't bond, there's no real loss from not being eligible for the SM merit. Merits are cool and all, but they're just achievement badges, and as I already said, the point of being a member of the site is to be part of a community, not to rack up achievements. If that's the thing really bothering someone, they're here for the wrong reasons.

    Not being able to see the forums in the Tower doesn't seem like a hardship to me to someone who decides they don't want to stay on the Tower path.

    I feel like it would be onerous getting recommendations from every group. It can be hard enough wrangling people to give recommendations for their own Aspirants (even when they like the Aspirant in question), and if it's not someone who's joining their own group, I can't see anyone caring enough to send a recommendation at all. I feel like it's a hassle HoAs and CCs shouldn't really have to deal with, although people can feel free to argue that point. If anything, I would say the Mayor would just have to observe their activity on the boards at large, if they're to become some version of a Citizen.
     
  17. Leese Sulan

    Leese Sulan Soldier

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    Ok, I behaved badly many years ago. I took a hardline stance on some things that should not have mattered, got bullied for it, reacted superbad to the bullying, and a lot of people on many sides got hurt. I've tried apologizing, and I will still sincerely offer an apology to anyone who feels they deserve one, but in general I was advised by mutual friends to respectfully stay away from hurt parties and so I have. Their pain is valid. But also... so is mine :/. I'm open to PM's if anyone would like to chat and ideally reach some peace. And its ok to not be interested too. But other than that, if you were not involved in any of it, it's not appropriate to make public statements about me or my character when you do not know me, then or now. :/

    As for the whole merits and achievements thing.. I'm not interested. My phrasing of "leveling up" was perhaps a poor choice.

    When I speak to my challenges in regards to my diagnosis, I speak for only myself and not in generalities.

    I'd like to re-iterate I am not presently committed to pursuing or championing any of the things being discussed here. My current efforts are to give guesting a rejuvenated go again, and in general I expect it to probably take a minimum 6 months to a year to give it a proper effort. However, I appreciate that there are some folks willing to entertain this conceptual conversation. I don't really expect anything to come of it. But super grateful for collaborative think tank in the meantime.
     
  18. Alexstrasza Ruskea

    Alexstrasza Ruskea My pronoun is They, for I am Legion Aes Sedai Historian

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    It's not "getting bullied for it" when you were the one who caused the initial hurt, and people reacted by telling you to leave their spaces. Also, apologizing doesn't work by offering a generic group apology and then telling people "PM me if that isn't good enough."

    There's loads I could say about what's "not appropriate," but I was involved in you guesting with MDD last time (which is a home to me, too, in addition to Brown), seeing the way you treated people and how you refused to respect their desire to be left alone. You were going to "change the company from the inside." Because, you know, the whole reason to join a group is to attempt to change everything about them, right? Not, you know, to find a place you fit in? You shoehorned yourself into a place you weren't welcome, the home of a lot of people you hurt badly in the past, and then you're going to cry about being "bullied" for it and how they hurt YOUR feelings???

    As for your diagnosis and how it affects your ability to feel or grow close to people... if you are holding out for the time when you feel like you have deep interpersonal relationships with a group before aspiring anywhere, you're never going to find a home. You just have to find a place you fit in with well enough, better than the other options, and take a chance on it. If you find such a place while guesting this time around, that's great. Not everyone on the site is required to get along or even to interact with one another, and it makes no difference to me whether or not you find your forever home. But as I said before, the point of the site is to fit into the community somehow, not to have some deliberate outsider status with perks. I really don't see how being part of the Prestige Ungroup is going to solve your feelings of being an outsider, and I really don't see why there needs to be a Prestige Citizen path in order for you to chat with SMs, when Resident Citizens can already do that in the Apartments.
     
  19. Leese Sulan

    Leese Sulan Soldier

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    I don't think there is anything I can say or offer to help resolve this tension. If you are holding onto things from several years ago and want nothing to do with me, then you don't have to.

    I would like to know folks for who we each are today and not who we were a long time ago, but I'm also not going to push in on spaces where I doubt I'm wanted.
     
  20. Alexstrasza Ruskea

    Alexstrasza Ruskea My pronoun is They, for I am Legion Aes Sedai Historian

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    When you've been hurt in the past, it's "my pain is valid," but when other people have been, it's "holding onto things from several years ago"? Cool, cool.

    Best of luck with your guesting this time around.
     
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