Attendees: Sam Arnold, Patrick “Problem” Boyd, Adam Rice, Bryan “Breezy” Frolick, Bill Blome, Laura, Clovis, Henry, Mayor of Flipside (for life) the Honorable Prost, Cooper, Izzi, Katrina, Mary, Seph, Susan
Facilitator: Bill Stackinator: Sam
Agenda: standing agenda, Edjumication, Reviewing the process for reporting interpersonal incidents
• Bill explained the rules of the meeting, that we are respectful, and that we give our names to the stack and go in order.
• For any votes, only the LLC members can vote.
• Izzi requested that Edjumication be covered before the reporting discussion. The group agreed to this topic order.
LLC update: (Problem)
● Meet with lawyers – reviewed waivers, new case law, survival guide. Survival guide should be wrapped up shortly, right after ticket opening.
● We have a mass event permit, so probably won’t have a soft lottery.
● Sam has asked for permission to post minutes – Prost has access. Should discuss that during CC business.
AF Updates: (Susan)
• Had our first work weekend – got through 4 brush piles but have 12 more. Should dig out some of the culverts under the walk ways because they are getting blocked. Roads are in pretty good shape.
• Adam: Standing water?
• Susan: It was great – not a lot of water everywhere. Safety looks dry, passage to the corral is soft but not soggy.
• Problem: Daft has started – work days are Wed and Thurs after 6PM, and Sunday at noon. There is a mild concern from DAFT, the lead did an inventory, and some Ryobi batteries have gone missing. If anyone sees/knows anything, please let someone know. About 6 batteries are missing since Nov. Sticket contest has ended – will get in touch with people on the results very soon. Art project and theme camp registrations are open.
• Adam: the registration closes 4/1. Art car or event closes 4/17,
Regional update: (Clovis)
• Broken Springs is coming up, Corpus had a beach clean-up. Burning Man meet and greet is coming up March 9th, 5 – 9 PM. El Mercado South. Low income ticket window opened, go apply right now. Price went up but the number available is larger.\
• Katrina: Have you seen any responses to the price changes in the Burning Man community, and how they are trying to stop commodification?
• Clovis: Mostly positive reaction to all of the changes. Have us listed as an official burn to get into their calendar.
Edjumication: (Izzi, Seph)
• Izzi: Edjumication traditionally focuses on newbie topics (how to attend flip side, etc). This year want to expand the reach of the Ed and have classes here at the warehouse on topics that the community wants to learn about; this is a more comprehensive effort to help educate and tutor the community. Seph is the lead.
• Seph: Will rely heavily on computers to organize things, find teachers to teach things, and students to learn things, and bring them together here to learn.
• Henry: What kinds of topics?
• Seph: Anything anyone wants to teach. Try to avoid anything too controversial, as the focus is on learning useful skills and not a podium.
• Henry: So not a TED talk for burners?
• Seph: Trying to avoid that at first, and have folks learn a skill or come out with new knowledge. Hopefully that is what this can start out as, and then could turn into maybe more TED Talk like later on.
• Izzi: Wanted Seph to come to the meeting to get feedback from the community on the idea. We don’t expect the teacher to cover the cost of any materials, but the classes are free to everyone. Won’t charge for classes.
• Seph: A few possible topics to cover are power tool training, someone wants to teach dog training, how to buy your first home, Ableton, fixing a generator, getting your car out of mud. Have a test form out there to gather student feedback on what they want to learn, and then circulate those requests around the community to find teachers.
• Henry: Would the class be here at the warehouse, or at a given place?
• Seph: Mostly here at the warehouse, could be elsewhere. Would like to start here.
• Henry: For example, if someone wanted to teach a tree identification class, that might need to be held outside?
• Seph: Want to connect the students and teachers, open up the Warehouse doors and let them do whatever they want.
• Bill: I think it’s a great idea and could have a lot of flexibility. Am I correct that this is under the official Edjumication lead?
• Seph: I would like to request, or ask, if can I change the name to education?
• Izzi: I would like to see it maintain the more traditional things that happen at flip side – how to get together a theme camp, project management for artists, burner charm school or burner 101.
• Bill: Yes, like how to negotiate camp boundaries with your new neighbors.
• Izzi: Or how to use your safety teams.
• Prost: You are working on online forms?
• Seph: I need to determine how I can move the forms to the flip side website.
• Prost: We should tell folks to come and talk to you, or to email – email@example.com.
• Seph: I hopefully will have a link on the site soon that will make it much easier.
• Bill: Awesome thanks for the update.
Incident Reporting Process
• Cooper: There is a link to the process on the website, under policies. There has been a significant increase in the number of incident reports in the last few years. Adam wrote the policy as an FAQ to help address the issues, and to make sure the policy was being explained clearly and that all questions/concerns about the policy were addressed. So, the first item I wanted to know if everyone knew that the policy was there on the site, and then go over the policy. (Cooper wrote on the white board – FACTA as the acronym for the policy)
● Cooper: F – First Hand Reports. The foundational principal of the policy is that it relies only on First Hand Reports. We (the LLC) don’t respond to social media, we don’t look to FB for reports to act on. Instead, we do review posts that come to our attention and will reach out to individuals to encourage first hand reports, and to come forward.
● Cooper: A – AAR LLC/Accountable. we consider all reports and then decide to act or not.
● Cooper: C – Confidential. The reporter and the decision are kept private. There is a denial of entry list. We control access to the Warehouse, the official events. Can’t control other spaces.
● Cooper: If you witness something, you can report it and then we will dig into it. But we need to talk to the people directly involved. Always remember we can decide to boot anyone at any time for any reason or for no reason.
● Cooper: T – Talk about this more. If you meet new burners, new people to the community, or if something comes up. Remind everyone that this process exists and is very important.
● Cooper: A – Anywhere. The incident can happen outside the event, or anywhere. The reports should be given to the LLC. When we get a first-hand report, we have a discussion with the person who reported it, and also talk to any other first-hand witnesses. The LLC then considers everything and makes a decision. The person who is reported also has a chance to talk to the LLC about the incident. Once the decision is made, the reporter and the subject of the report are given direct communication about the decision.
● Where we can’t control things, or ensure privacy, is in the realm of social media. Not only is that not something the LLC can control or influence, but the LLC will never discuss or post anything related to an incident on any type of social media.
● Izzi: There is an LLC member at every event, and you can go to a safety team and say I need to talk to an “Actual”. If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t report until after the event, anyone can email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Can also reach out to each individual LLC member via the website; click on the member and then there is a form that is presented and sent to that member.
● Adam: Anyone with a 2-way radio can raise an Actual. If someone is traumatized, it can be hard to make a report at the event. There is no problem with reporting later on and the team is there to help as much as possible.
● Katrina: Remember that the F doesn’t stand for Facebook. If someone is making a report, or writing out their report on Facebook, be a good member of the community and point them to the policy and help them directly contact the LLC so that they can make a first-hand report and the LLC can respond to it.
● Bill: This sounds like a good legal process, and a sound approach. How is it working? Is there anything else that the CC can do to help with this process?
● Cooper: It takes a lot of time to do this process and requires a lot of follow up. We thought about some type of delegation, or a splitting up of the responsibilities. But the LLC is responsible for the decisions, so need to handle the reports with the full group. One area where we are currently struggling is that there may be incidents at other events, and people might assume that the decisions taken at those events should apply across all events.
● Adam: There is always the issue of people not knowing about the process, but overall, we think things are going well. We are interested in getting feedback – is the FAQ not covering all needed topics? I have a question that needs answering and it isn’t there? There are some people who might read it and not get what it is about, hopefully not too many people like that. Can’t go into details about how individual situations are handled, and we understand that everyone has a different angle on what happened. We emphasize that this reporting process is not a judicial process, and we are trying to protect our own liability and protect the integrity of the community.
● Problem: I disagree with Adam a little bit on this – there is an impression out there in the community that the LLC doesn’t do anything about reports and that is false. We have a denial of entry list, and it has grown much larger in the recent past. Reporting is difficult enough but having an impression that the LLC won’t do anything makes it much harder. We have acted on this issue since I’ve been on the board, and we’ve had a denial of entry list since I’ve been on the board.
● Adam: There was 1 case where we followed the process and decided not to take any action. 3 cases where we couldn’t follow the process – someone moved out of TX and had no phone. Also had a few cases where the reporter gave a report, and then didn’t communicate back to the LLC and we couldn’t complete the process. But the vast majority of reports are fully reviewed, and a decision is made.
● Katrina: There is a good deal of mis-information about this process. For example, that if something happened somewhere else the LLC won’t do anything, or if there isn’t a police report LLC won’t do anything. This false information does damage and makes the process harder and might make it harder for people to report. These things are definitely not true for the current LLC.
● Mary: Can we share the no entry list with other burns? Or forward the reports?
● Problem: We asked our lawyers about it, but if we start sharing this information with other events then we take on additional liability if something happens. The lawyers have advised us not to share our information. We are trying to figure out a way to share information without increasing liability.
● Henry: If somebody has something happen to them, and they go to another event that person should report it to the other event?
● Problem: That is something we are thinking about doing but doing it in a way that doesn’t increase our liability.
● Henry: Can folks get names on who to contact at the other events about reports?
● Adam: Yes. The tricky part of it is that each event’s board determines what is enough information for a report. What we can do is provide a list of names at the other events that someone should make a report too.
● Seph: Can other events request our reports, and do we share them?
● Problem: They can ask but we do not share them. The issue is that if we ban someone for something serious, or for a minor infraction. Now all of the people are labeled as “banned” regardless of severity. We aren’t a court of law, and we aren’t trying to determine legal facts. If we publish that or share the reports, it opens up more liability. Us keeping the list secret means that we will put more people on it.
● Seph: What if a person reports something, and they check a box that says, “you can share this email.” And all the events have to go out to some type of central list and find the reports/emails?
● Problem: We must store the information somewhere, and if something gets deleted, or lost, then we can be liable. Forwarding email along is easy to do, but things can go wrong.
● Seph: You have a list, and you push out changes. You don’t notify them of updates.
● Problem: Seems like we have the same liability even in that approach.
● Katrina: The biggest concern is the vulnerability of emails, and how to ensure that only the right people see the information. Membership in these events, and leadership of the events changes frequently so it makes it much more likely that someone is on a group email when they shouldn’t be. We want to give agency back to the person who made the report, and we would like to find a way to give the person the ability to send the report to other events easily and without having to rewrite things, and so on. Then the person is empowered to make the decision about their information.
● Henry: What if the person reports something, the LLC can advise the person that they might want to make a first-hand report at other regional events. I hate that it’s all on the victim to make all the reports, but it seems like the only way to ensure privacy and give the victim agency over what happened.
● Adam: One thing as a practical matter – reporters aren’t going to use one method to contact the LLC. They use email, personal discussions, email, talk at events, and so on. Once, the LLC got a second-hand report from someone who felt that something should be reported, but they weren’t involved in the incident. Had to work very hard to try and get the victim to confirm the report. We didn’t handle the situation very well and didn’t make the best decision we could have in that situation. By handling second hand information, we are making the impression, or implication, that someone needs to act when it should be up to the person directly involved in the incident.
● Clovis: The BM list was just discussing this, that email systems are used to discuss things between LLCs. Is there informal communication between events/boards?
● Adam: We don’t do that, and we don’t share information like that. We must live by our own rules, no second-hand reports.
● Katrina: That is what we must do, and it is hard.
● Adam: There is one TX event where when you sign their waiver you agree to let them share report information with other events. We must tell them we don’t want it because of first-hand reports.
● Bill: Cooper is there anything else you want to discuss?
● Cooper: Nope I think we covered everything.
● Bill: Thanks for explaining everything to us, and this discussion helps drive home the importance of the first-hand reports.
● Katrina: Did everyone feel like you got the answers you wanted? We were told previously that we were too defensive.
● Bill: It’s a touchy subject, and we get it. We use the LLC term all the time, and we can forget that one of the letters stands for Liability.
● Seph: Sounds to me like you are pushing this as far forward as you can, without crossing a legal line.
● Izzi: Thanks for that feedback.
Bill moved to close stack on the issue, Clovis 2nd.
• Izzi: Who has access to the website to post minutes?
• Prost: Sam is willing to post the minutes, so he should have access. I do use the access twice a year to get CC nominations and get a scribe.
• Cooper: Do you both need access?
• Prost: Yes, that’s what I would like.
• Problem: OK, just don’t want everyone on the CC having access.
• Izzi: The minutes go out to the entire CC list, for review before they get posted.
• Problem: I’ve never seen anyone read the minutes.
• Izzi: If I have to vote on them, I read them.
• Prost: New CC members. The form has been open for a couple of weeks now and have 1 new recruit. Someone is moving here from South Africa, been to burning man. I did put together a blurb for an official announcement. I can reach out and amend the announcement to try and get more people nominated. We aren’t in a rush.
Next meeting 3/18/19: Facilitator – Clovis Stack – Gyes nominated, but Bill will cover if needed. Agenda for next meeting: How safety departments support the community, encouraging better self-care at the event.