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Stevethomas
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Hi there...I'm Steve Thomas, the Territorial Vice President for the IBM in Mississippi. We do currently have only one active group in the state (Ring 98/the Gene Grant Ring, in Jackson, Mississippi), but we do also have several members residing around other areas of the state, quite a few in the Northwest corner, near Memphis, Tennessee, where there's a very active and long-standing IBM ring (Ring 16, the Society of Memphis Magicians).

All that being said, there are a few members who attend meetings and sometimes serve on committees for these groups, but, according to my (as of Monday) national membership list, they're no longer members of the IBM. Some of the people have not been IBM members in YEARS. There are officers in these rings who are aware of this, and nothing is done about it. I'm fairly new to the TVP position, and don't know what action (if any) to take in regards to these situations. Sometimes it's just a "good-ole-boy" mentality, and the guys probably pay their local dues, so the membership of the rings doesn't seem to mind.

The other issue is the AGE issue. Sometimes there are individuals who encourage young members to join the local rings, even though they're not, in actuality, old enough to be members of the IBM.

Anybody also had these problems/issues in the past in their areas?

Steve
Payne
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I'd check the charter of the club to see if they allow non IBM members to participate in club functions. I know our local club doesn't require one to be a member of the national organization if you were a member in good standing before the club affiliated with the IBM. Other clubs might have similar charters.
Besides what does it really matter anyway? Which is more important, being active and supporting your local group or paying dues to a national organization? Most likely if you tried to enforce mandatory membership the club would dwindle in size and eventually disband. Is it better to have an active group of IBM and non IBM members or no group at all?
One might be able to encourage the lax members to join or rejoin by showing them the benefits of belonging to the IBM (if their are any). But I really wouldn't try to force the issue.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Stevethomas
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Payne,

Are you a member or either the IBM or SAM? Sounds like that would be a resounding "NO" to me. I was under the impression that groups get a charter with organizations such as these in order to abide by its rules.

Steve "not a good-ole-boy" Thomas
Stevethomas
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Rules were meant to be broken. Okay...I want you, TODAY, to go out to your local exclusive, for-rich-people-only, all-BMW-driving, BEST and nicest country CLUB (if you're not already a member), walk in and start using their facilities. The members there pay their dues (in more than one respect) to provide suitable and nice areas to hang out and play golf, drink, party and such. Upkeep on the landscaping and greens is done using member's money...so...you tell 'em that rules are meant to be broken, and play, drink and have fun. Dig up a couple greens while you're at it, too. We'll see how long that would last.

Steve
Payne
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Quote:
On 2007-09-06 06:15, Stevethomas wrote:
Rules were meant to be broken. Okay...I want you, TODAY, to go out to your local exclusive, for-rich-people-only, all-BMW-driving, BEST and nicest country CLUB (if you're not already a member), walk in and start using their facilities. The members there pay their dues (in more than one respect) to provide suitable and nice areas to hang out and play golf, drink, party and such. Upkeep on the landscaping and greens is done using member's money...so...you tell 'em that rules are meant to be broken, and play, drink and have fun. Dig up a couple greens while you're at it, too. We'll see how long that would last.

Steve


Bad analogy there. First off I'm sure the country club requires that everyone using the facility be a member or a guest of a member. Our club has rules and regulations as well. These state that you first must be a paid up member of the club to receive its benefits (reduced rate at lectures, attendance to the holiday party etc.) and that all new members also have to join the IBM. All those who were members in good standing at the time of the conversion of the club are not required to join the IBM. This may be in violation of the national charter of the IBM but it's in our clubs charter and it's how we operate. Like I said there was a great debate about whether we should have associated with the national orgainisation mainly because the cheif motivatring factor in us becoming one was so our then president could put "President IBM Ring" on his business card. Or so the story goes. Since we would have lost at least half our club if we had forced everyone to be a card carrying member we decided upon this option instead.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
drwilson
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Ring 362 is a new Ring (chartered January 2006) based in Bangor, Maine, and we require everyone to be members of the I.B.M. When new people apply, we collect their International dues as well as their Ring dues, then send the International dues on with their applications. We require I.B.M. (but not Ring) membership for people to participate our magic contests. We feel like we are doing our part to make sure that our members are members of the I.B.M.

As I have said before in this forum, we are somewhat hampered in our efforts because the International Office will not send us a current list of members of the I.B.M. who reside in Maine without permission from our TVP for each and every such request. Our TVP is often slow to respond, and this has impeded our efforts to promote I.B.M. membership. There are many adjectives that spring to mind when thinking about how to describe this policy on the part of the International Office. The last time that I raised this, there was an official response stating that they were working to revise this policy. I would really appreciate an official response on how that effort is going.

Yours,

Paul
Payne
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Quote:
On 2007-09-06 13:15, drwilson wrote:

As I have said before in this forum, we are somewhat hampered in our efforts because the International Office will not send us a current list of members of the I.B.M. who reside in Maine without permission from our TVP for each and every such request. Our TVP is often slow to respond, and this has impeded our efforts to promote I.B.M. membership. There are many adjectives that spring to mind when thinking about how to describe this policy on the part of the International Office. The last time that I raised this, there was an official response stating that they were working to revise this policy. I would really appreciate an official response on how that effort is going.



Yet another reason why there are certain advantages of not being affiliated with a parent organization. It's just one less level of bureaucracy to have to deal with. I've yet to have anyone point out to me any benefits there are to a club belonging to to a national organization. Our club was doing fine without being affiliated. In fact our club was started because of a political rift with another IBM Ring which for the most part is no longer in existence.
I have no problems with someone wanting to join the IBM or SAM as there are benefits on an individual basis for doing so. I'd have probably joined the IBM if our club charter had mandated that everyone had to be an IBM member. But since I am grandfathered in under our existing charter I see no reason to do so. I'd rather the $30.00 a year IBM dues went into our local club coffers for our benefit rather than going into some administrative black hole that we get nothing (as a club) in return for. In fact I think this year I'll start adding the thirty extra dollars to my local membership check and try ot convince others in our club to do the same.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Stevethomas
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That would also be a good way to have your national charter pulled by the higher-ups if they knew their bylaws were not being followed by the ring itself.

Steve
Payne
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Quote:
On 2007-09-06 17:10, Stevethomas wrote:
That would also be a good way to have your national charter pulled by the higher-ups if they knew their bylaws were not being followed by the ring itself.

Steve


Well that would certainly help one of our presidential candidates who's running on the platform of getting our national charter pulled and returning us to a local non affiliated club.

Really what does it matter to you how our local club functions? So what if a handful of the membership is entitled by a clause in our charter that allows them to play without belonging to the national organization. No one in our club is bothered by this fact so what business is it of yours? It's not like I'm leaching off of the club by getting a free ride. I pay my local dues. I'm very active and help out with what ever needs to be done. I've served as secretary, been vice president, helped both backstage and onstage with the yearly club show, design the posters and programs for said shows, published the newsletter and ran the web page. The club has twice bestowed upon me the Magician of the Year Award and I often compete in the various contests our club holds. I've done lectures and teach a trick segments at the meetings and help out at the holiday party. How would belonging to the national orgainisation change any of this?
Eventually to grandfathered members will move along or die off and the ring will be 100% IBM.

Besides I could just be yanking your chain and making all this up. If anyone ever looked into it I'm sure our club will deny everything and say that everyone in is a member of the IBM. There really is no way to prove otherwise. To do so would require our TVP to actually attend a meeting and take a roll call and since the chances of this are slim to none I doubt we really have anything to worry about.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
drwilson
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Payne,

You have a really delightful mind, and I'm sorry that we live so far apart. I wish that you could be our TVP! That would send a message.

Yours,

Paul
Stevethomas
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Or, as the Mississippi TVP, I could request a master list of your membership...

Steve
Payne
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Quote:
On 2007-09-06 18:26, Stevethomas wrote:
Or, as the Mississippi TVP, I could request a master list of your membership...

Steve


And then drive all the way over here to see if everyone at the meeting is on the list? I really doubt that's going to happen. Even if you did such a trek we'd simply say that we recently had a change of heart and required everyone to become an IBM member and we just sent in their delinquent memberships last night. I bet we could even produce a check register or two to back up our claim. I'll bet if you really looked into it that you'd find lots of clubs that are lax on their IBM Membership requirements. In fact in the SAM section of the Café I saw mention of several duo SAM IBM clubs. How's that work if an "Official" IBM ring requires 100% compliance?

You obviously haven't got enough to keep you busy as a TVP in Mississippi as you seem to be sticking your nose into Tennessee's business as well as my clubs. Or are you just on some sort of a power trip trying to mandate 100% percent complience with every rule and regulation in the IBM Charter?

You want to be helpful? Why don't you get Maine's membership list and send it to Dr Wilson as his TVP doesn't seem to be helping him in that regard.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Stevethomas
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While the Ring in question is in Tennessee, the (former) IBM members in question are in Mississippi. Thanks. You're a wonderful, upstanding individual and a real quality piece of ..work.

Steve
Payne
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[quote]
On 2007-09-06 19:28, Stevethomas wrote:
While the Ring in question is in Tennessee, the (former) IBM members in question are in Mississippi.

{/quote]

And thus no longer under your purview. It's the Tennessee clubs decision to decide if they want 100% compliance or not. Sounds like they do so these guy's will have to rejoin the IBM if they want to continue going to that clubs functions. Perhaps they'll band together and start their own unaffiliated club. Whatcha gonna do then?


Quote:

Thanks. You're a wonderful, upstanding individual and a real quality piece of ..work.

Steve


Glad you think so. All my friends tell me I'm a real stand up guy as well.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
drwilson
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Payne,

Seriously, if you ran for TVP or even higher office in the I.B.M., some of these guys would have to take their brains out of neutral. Or maybe it's park.

I think that you are a stand up guy, and I hope that you would number me as one of your friends.

Yours,

Paul
Stevethomas
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Cheer is what I would do, then the cheap freeloaders would find somewhere else to hang out and mooch off organizations they give nothing to but expect everything from.

Now that we know how the people who like to break the rules do things, back to the original, pertinent question..have any other members (you know, the ones who sign and agree to abide by the rules of the two major magic organizations and don't want everything and not pay for it) run into this same situation I described in the original question?

Steve
Payne
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Quote:
On 2007-09-06 20:52, drwilson wrote:
Payne,

Seriously, if you ran for TVP or even higher office in the I.B.M., some of these guys would have to take their brains out of neutral. Or maybe it's park.

I think that you are a stand up guy, and I hope that you would number me as one of your friends.

Yours,

Paul


Know that if I was lucky enough to live in Maine I'd gladly join your club and become a member of the IBM. Don't think I'd do the same if I lived in Mississippi as their TVP sounds a little high strung to me.

Unfortunately even if I joined the IBM that there's little chance of me ever becoming a TVP for the exact reasons you state. Them's at the top like the status quo and don't want us ruffians stirring the pot. New ideas are to be eschewed in favour of the far more comfortable "we've always done it this way" motif.

Us stand up guys need to stand together so we's can watch each others backs. I've got yours, I hope you've got mine freind Smile
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Thetruthteller
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Quote:
On 2007-09-06 20:56, Stevethomas wrote:
Cheer is what I would do, then the cheap freeloaders would find somewhere else to hang out and mooch off organizations they give nothing to but expect everything from.

Now that we know how the people who like to break the rules do things, back to the original, pertinent question..have any other members (you know, the ones who sign and agree to abide by the rules of the two major magic organizations and don't want everything and not pay for it) run into this same situation I described in the original question?

Steve


If the clubs By-Laws clearly state that one must be a member in good standing of both the local group and the IBM to attend a meeting or function and they cannot provide sufficent proof that they are then you can have your Sargeant at Arms remove them from the meeting.

Quite simple really. If they fail to comply you can tell them that they are endangering the clubs standing with the IBM and that the clubs charter could be pulled because of their actions. If you point out quite publically that they are endangering the clubs existence and they are not welcome until they become full fledged members of the IBM they more than likely will go away.

If they are the freeloader type like you say they are this will be of no harm to the club at all.

However if they are active participants then there could be unintended consiquences to asking them to leave. So perhaps one should find out why they aren't paid up members. Perhaps they have some financil difficulties and cannot afford the dues. If this is the case then perhaps some members of the club could be persuaded to help them out with their dues for the time being.
Being lax on ones dues doesn't neccessarily mean ones a freeloader or trying to take advantage of the situation and jumping to such a conclusion could have unintended reactions.
Bill Thompson
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Quote:
On 2007-09-07 14:29, Thetruthteller wrote:
If the clubs By-Laws clearly state that one must be a member in good standing of both the local group and the IBM to attend a meeting or function and they cannot provide sufficent proof that they are then you can have your Sargeant at Arms remove them from the meeting.


Thetruthteller: First of all our ring doesn't even have a Sergent at Arms position, And second even if we did no one would do such a drastic thing to anyone during a meeting.

Stevethomas: I believe that our president and secretary is doing a great job of trying to handle this issue. Those who don't get their dues caught up will be dropped from the roll and they won't get the benefits that go along with being a member such as newsletters & reduced lecture fees.

Payne: I respect you and always listen to your helpful words. But respectfully, I must disagree with your perception of Steve Thomas. He is doing the job he was tasked to do as TVP. He isn't nosing in Tennessee's business, those members who are behind on dues he is talking about all live in the State of Mississippi which /is/ his territory. I think both of you got off on the wrong foot. His question was valid though... given his task and what he knows, he was asking for suggestions on how he should tackle the issue. You told him to check the bylaws/charter of the club(s) in question. Well I know that one I bleong to they say you must be a member of I.B.M. I can't speak for Jackson's club, because I don't know anything about them except that I have an open invitation to attend their meetings anytime I want to (as a guest). So knowing that information. And that the Society of Memphis Magicians is taking steps to fix the issue. What more can or should Steve do to encourage those particular members to take care of their behind dues?

Stevethomas: Here is my suggestion. Find out if the clubs in question are doing anything to about the issue. If they are then support them. If they aren't contact the officers of that club and let them know your concerns. I doubt going into a meeting and announcing all the delinquents by name and trying to get them forcibly removed from the meeting will solve anything.

The main idea here is getting ideas on how to get all the members to stay active, supporting the IBM along with their local Ring by staying current with their dues and to also keep the Rings themselves active and actively supporting their parent organization. It is not to alienate people and the clubs they belong to the point of them dropping out and the club severing its ties to the IBM.

So, anyone else have any suggestions on how Steve can encourage these members and clubs?
"To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment.
Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven." - Chuang Tse
Payne
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It's a difficult proposition as you have to show the benefits of paying club dues. Normally the benefits are the newsletter and a reduced price for local lectures and other events. Having published our clubs newsletter for a couple of years I can tell you that a lot of folk don't read it or at leasts that's the way it seems as people were always calling me up asking for information that was clearly written it.
Reduced rates to lectures might seem a viable incentive but if you look at it it really isn't. Say you normally charge non members 10.00 more to get into a lecture. If your local clubs dues are $30.00 and the IBM is $50.00 a year to join that's eight lectures or events you have to go to a year to break even.
It's been my experience that the people who like to leach off of a club bu not paying their yearly dues can't be persuaded nor shamed into doing so. Fortunately, at least around here we haven't had to put up with too many who practiced that sort of behavior. We did have a couple of Holiday parties where we really took it in the shorts by people who thought they could bring in their entire social circle on our nickel but we have since put a kibosh on that behavior by keeping a better head count and making it clear that the free meal is for a member and spouse only.
You can only encourage people to pay dues you can't force them unless you have a Sargent at arms
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
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