[Concilium] Regulae

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[Concilium] Regulae

Postby Horatius Piscinus on Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:20 pm

Salvete omnes

In order to keep us focused on our purpose, last night I drew up a draft for our regulae. OK, so it isn't only one page, but we might be able to edit it. I tried to include thoughts already expressed in the Concilium, and considered how we have actually been doing things during the past few years. I don't think it actually changes anything in how we have been actually running the Societas, except that our separate officers are now combined in the curatores who now share in the same duties and responsibilites that were earlier divided among the various officers. Anyway this draft hopefully gives us a framework to continue our discussions and complete our assigned duty.



Regulae Fundamentalis
Societatis Via Romana

Prologia: We, the sodales, joined together in friendship by our deeply-felt sense of Romanitas, sharing in a common spiritual identity that defines us, do hereby re-establish the sodalitas to be known as the Societas Via Romana.

I Statement of Purpose

1. The Societas Via Romana is an international fellowship and internet community of people sharing a common interest in all aspects of ancient Rome and the heritage that its people brought forth for Western Civilization. The Societas therefore acts as an educational organization among its members to discuss and learn together the various aspects of ancient Rome, its cultures, languages, history, religions, arts, and sciences.
2 The Societas provides and maintains forums via the Internet and/or a chatroom(s) whereby its members and like-minded people may meet to discuss their common interests.
3 The Societas also maintains a website to provide information to its members and to the general public with regard to the Societas itself and the interests of its members. The website provides a common webspace where members of the Societas are invited to post essays, book reviews, travel logs, and other materials related to the interests of the Societas and its members.

II Membership

1 Any subscriber to the forum of the Societas may apply for membership. Upon acceptance by the officers of the Societas a member shall be known as a sodalis and shall partake fully in any benefits extended to sodales of the Societas. In order to remain a member, a sodalis must register with the officers of the Societas in a census held biennially.

2 Individual sodales have to the following rights within the Societas.
A. Access to any and all forums maintained by the Societas.
B. The right to submit essays as contributions to the website maintained by the Societas. Sodales retain full editorial privileges over any essays they submit for posting to the website of the Societas. Once an essay has been posted to the website, the sodalis who authored the essay may request from the officers of the Societas that it be removed and the officers of the Societas may not refuse to comply with such a request. A sodalis may also request before the Comitia that an essay authored by another sodalis be removed from the website, and in this case the officers of the Societas must comply with the decision of the Comitia.
C. The right to vote in the Comitia in any elections held by the Societas, and the right to seek and/or hold any elective office of the Societas.
D. The right of initiative to propose to the Comitia measures and/or policies that he or she desires the Societas to adopt.
E. The right to propose before the Comitia that any or all officers of the Societas be recalled from office.
F. The right to appeal before the Comitia that any decision of an officer or a collective decision of the officers of the Societas be overturned. This right also applies in the case where officers of the Societas have decided to take a disciplinary action against a sodalis in the course of performing their duties of moderating the forums of the Societas. In this special case the right of appeal before the Comitia shall be known as provocatio.
G. A sodalis may be moderated, expelled from the Societas, and/or disbarred from the forums of the Societas by the officers of the Societas due to his or her misconduct. Being placed on moderated status is at the discretion of the officers of the officers of the Societas and goes into immediate effect, but may be appealed before the Comitia. A decision of the officers to expel a sodalis from membership in the Societas and/or to disbar a sodalis from its forums must be posted to the Comitia. The sodalis then has one week to claim his or her right of provocatio, appealing the decision of expulsion and/or disbarment before the Comitia. The decision of the officers to expel or disbar a sodalis does not go into effect until one week has past from the date when their decision was posted to the Comitia, or until the Comitia has made a final determination on such a disciplinary measure in response to an appeal of the sodalis.

III The Comitia

1 All authority within the Societas Via Romana rests with the Comitia. The Comitia shall be composed of all sodales in good standing in the Societas.

2 The Comitia may elect and/or recall any officers to act on its behalf to administer the website and forums of the Societas. Officers are elected by a simple majority of those sodales who vote in an election. Officers may be recalled by a two-thirds majority of those sodales voting in such a recall election.

3 The Comitia may adopt policy statements for the Societas and/or administrative measures by a simple majority of those sodales voting in an election.

4 The Comitia may amend the Regulae Fundamentalis by a two-thirds majority of those sodales voting in an election.

5 The Comitia may, at the initiative of any sodalis, overturn any or all decisions made by the officers of the Societas, to include any disciplinary decisions appealed by a sodalis through his or her right of provocatio.

IV Officers

1 The Comitia may elect officers to act on its behalf to administer the Societas, its website and the forums of the Societas. These officers shall be known individually as a curator.

2 No less than three and no more than seven curatores may hold office at any one time.
A. Curatores are elected by the Comitia, each curator needing a simple majority of those sodales voting in the election in order to attain his or her office. Each curator holds office for two years and may seek reelection as often as he or she may desire.
B. If a curator resigns from office and should then decide to withdraw his or her resignation within nine days of announcing the resignation, the curator must await a decision of the Comitia before returning to office. In effect, the curator appeals to the Comitia to overturn his or her own decision to resign.
C. A curator may be recalled from office by a two-thirds majority of those sodales voting in Comitia, acting upon the initiative of any sodalis.

3 The curatores are to collectively manage and maintain the forums, chatrooms, and a website for the Societas. They may appoint assistants to perform the technical work needed to maintain the website. They may approve or reject any essay submitted by a sodalis as a contribution for posting to the website. They may remove, rearrange, or edit any material on the website, with the one exception that may not edit an essay submitted as a contribution by a sodalis without the author’s permission.

4 Curatores are to maintain a decorum in the forums and chatrooms of the Societas, and thus may moderate any and all subscribers to the forums and users of the Societas’ chatrooms.

5 The curatores are to oversee any elections held in the Comitia. They may appoint any assistants needed to conduct such elections.

6 The curatores are to maintain a list of all current members of the Societas, and conduct a biennial census, registering sodales who wish to renew their membership. The curatores may set any procedures needed to conduct the census. They may appoint any assistants to perform the census. The curatores are responsible for maintaining the privacy of the members of the Societas and the security of any information about its members, collectively or individually, collected by the curatores for the internal use of the Societas.

7 The curatores are authorized to establish administrative procedures to be used in the Societas and its Comitia, propose policies for the Societas, grant honorary titles to any sodalis and/or awards of recognition to its members or others. Such collective decisions of the curators are to be arrived at through consensus rather than by majority vote among themselves. Any and all decisions of the curatores are subject to review of the Comitia and therefore must be posted to the Comitia. At the initiative of any sodalis, such decisions of the curatores may be subject to the approval or rejection by a vote of the Comitia.

V (???)
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Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:05 pm

Excellent work, mi Horati !

I see few things to be added or amended to this set of rules. It is brief, elegant and flexible, and it takes into consideration the suggestions and concerns that have been voiced by the members of this concilium.

One simple question though. Who determines how much curatores will be elected ? The Comitia or the old board of curatores presiding the elections ?

And two small typing errors :

"at the discretion of the officers of the officers" --> remove the words in red
"Regulae Fundamentalis" --> -es

You have done an excellent job for the S.V.R. by proposing this draft constitution.

Vale optime !
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Sat Aug 27, 2005 4:45 pm

Salvete Attice et omnes

It is only a draft. It does not mention the collegia as many of us posed should be central to our structure. But then while writing this draft, I did not see where the collegia did fit into our structure.

Quintus Pomponius Atticus wrote:One simple question though. Who determines how much curatores will be elected ? The Comitia or the old board of curatores presiding the elections ?


That is left purposely open. The curatores would perhaps have the best idea of whether more curatores were needed, and thus they could make such a proposal to the Comitia. My idea here though considered how in the past we have had a problem getting people to run for office. So I did not want the Regulae to require we have a set number of curatores. Three as a minimum in order to have an odd number.

Each curator is voted on individually and must gain approval of a majority of those voting. If we posed five offices open and had five candidates, this still poses that some would not be elected, and since the Regulae do not require five curatores, so long as three were elected the election would be valid. I left it open as 3 to 7 because if we did have a number of good candidates and seven received the required vote, we would not have to hold a run-off election to reduce their number to a preset number of only five curatores.


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Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Sat Aug 27, 2005 5:16 pm

Horatius Piscinus wrote:Salvete Attice et omnes

It is only a draft. It does not mention the collegia as many of us posed should be central to our structure. But then while writing this draft, I did not see where the collegia did fit into our structure.


Perhaps the collegia do not need to fit in anywhere in the regulae, as we are not conceiving them as semi-independent 'instutions' anymore, but simply as informal frameworks for discussion and activity, with great freedom as to how they wish to work. And I think that is the best way to organise them.

Perhaps, for completeness and clarity, it would be best to mention in the 'statement of purpose' that SVR's working is organised on a collegial basis.

As for the number of curatores, I understand your motivation for having no fixed number and agree with it now.

Vale,

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Whither Collegia...?

Postby Aldus Marius on Mon Aug 29, 2005 3:32 am

Salvete Decemviri,

> Perhaps the collegia do not need to fit in anywhere in the regulae, as we are not conceiving
> them as semi-independent 'institutions' anymore...

* Marius does his Canadian impression: "Eh?" *

My original concern, back in the now-infamous Comitia-->Ideas for a Better SVR thread, was that the Collegia, supposedly central to the whole concept of the Societas, were not featured prominently-enough in the Regula. Now we're thinking of writing them out altogether? And this is an improvement how??

We were shooting for Academia Thules-ness, I thought...or was that just me? With this draft, we'd become merely a well-regulated Web site with attached chatroom and Board. People don't have to come here for that; I've got most of the above at the Outpost, and a mailing-List besides. (And my pages load quicker.) >({|;-)

To me, the Collegia were the only thing really distinguishing this place from any of the other Roman discussion boards out there. This draft, based on actual practice, of course "shorts" the Collegia, because the sodales have never really known what to do with them either. So past practice cannot be a guideline here, not if we wish to retain Collegia at all.

What brought us here? --A decline in participation; which basically means a decline in Board activity; which means a decline in the Collegia. We've had an (I think ill-advised) experimental 'realignment', which has left even long-timers like me a little unsure of what to post where. Also, I've/we've never been sure, after the first year, which Colleges had Rectors and who those persons were. And if Marius Peregrine can be confused about the Collegia, who is exempt?

So, instead of just institutionalizing the confusion, why don't we do the bold thing and re-establish the Collegia, redefine them, decide how we want them to run and what they're supposed to be? Could the method proposed for the Curators work for supplying Rectors as well? Could some of the Curators be Rectors? What entity would have the power to recognize a Collegium--or to decommission one? Are Rectores to be discussion leaders, or anything besides? What is it we want them to do?

The Collegia, gentlepersons, is where the participation pedal hits the membership metal. What goes on in them tells us whether we have active Sodales, apathetic ones, a declining membership, or an SVR at all. We can't skirt this issue. The new Regula must address the Collegia.

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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:50 am

Salvete Mari et sodales omnes

Originally we did envision each collegium as separate, with its own officers and its own sodales, holding its own elections and overseeing its own webpages on our website. Members of SVR could choose which collegia to join, and to be a member of SVR required only that you be a sodalis in one of the collegia. The rectores were suppose to act as a professor, leading discussions, writing articles to the website, in other words teaching. But that then required that we have competent rectores to do the work in each collegium. The first place to have a problem was in Collegium Latinum which to this day has not had anyone capable or with the necessary available time to maintain an educational program on Latin in the collegium. Try as I did to provide for Collegium Religionum what we originally envisioned for all the collegia, it just did not work out and it was very taxing on me. Part of the problem I had with that system is that I did not have someone to work with on the collegium's webpages. We have not been able to consistently find enough people to work on the website as it is, and to properly run the collegia as we first envisioned requires that we do have people working with each rector to post lessons, essays, resources for classes, and so on, as they do have at Academia Thules.

Academia Thule works because it begins from the perspective of a teaching staff. The AT is managed by three individuals. Caeso Fabius is a professional teacher and has brought in other professionals to do the actual teaching. Saturninus, and his wife Emilia, handle the technical side of working the website. Salius Astur handles admistration, registration, and class scheduling. A praeceptor who teaches there and has any problem knows exactly who to go to for assistance. And the discipuli also know where to go if they have any questions. We do not have the same kind of staff or structure to do what the Academia is very capable at doing. The AT has a few staffing problems in some areas, not enough praeceptores for all the classes they hope to offer. They look to SVR as a place where they might possibly be able to find new teachers as well as new students. It could possibly benefit both SVR and AT if we worked together. The AT providing us with a collegia system similar to what we once envisioned for SVR, while SVR could provide them with a place that serves their student body in a more social atmosphere, something AT lacks that every university has. Even when we first envisioned SVR it was more from the perspective of the students, and we still remain more a group of students seeking people to teach us as rectores.

Caeso, Astur, and Saturninus are very interested in working with SVR. They can provide us with a collegia system as we once hoped to create. We can look forward to a cooperative relationship with them. I am not saying that we should plan on such a relationship with the AT, but it would address some things that Marius has raised.

Just by my being a praeceptor at AT I have attracted some new members into SVR. So perhaps by a closer relationship with AT, SVR might see some benefits that addresses concerns of others here in the way of participation levels among our sodales.

As always, some sodales are going to be concerned by what sort of people might enter SVR from AT, because at the moment AT is so closely affiliated with NoR. AT wants to become more independent of that affiliation, another reason they look towards SVR. The kind of people AT does attract from the OP are very different from the kind who pose a problem in OP, or would pose a problem in SVR. At the same time there is an effort now under way to change the very nature of the OP, and it is chasing away from the OP the very people who have given us so much problem in the past. If we do receive people in SVR from AT it is actually going to help screen out some who we do not want in SVR.

I don't know, and I do not think that we should take such matters into consideration at this point. We are not going to create an alternative to the OP as some of the conditores may have once hoped. We are not going to create an alternative to the AT either. We are just not capable of doing that. Trying to remake SVR into something it is not I do not think is going to work for us. Thus I have asked, what are we now, and shouldn't our reorganization better reflect what SVR actually is today? That is going to better lay a foundation for the future of SVR than to try to remake us into something else by creating an artificial organizational structure.

Vos quod fexitis, Deos omnes fortunare velim. Valete optime
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Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:37 pm

Salvete,

I agree with you, Horati, that S.V.R. has not proven capable of sustaining the collegia-system we envisaged at our founding, with 5-10 qualified rectores teaching, organising projects, posting information etc. (in fact, we put a rather serious 'burden' on them, more effort than most people are willing to undertake as a member of an internet organisation).

Teaching is certainly important in a historical society, but I think it is indeed better if we try to cooperate with the Academia Thules for that. They have the structure, the administration and the experience for it and we could provide them with more teachers and disciples, while they could provide us with new sodales who could discuss Roman things and do things together on a more informal basis.

We would then keep our collegia, but organise them more flexibly and democratically : not only the rectores but all sodales could start organising things, sodales could be appointed ad hoc to lead a specific project (e.g. a symposium philosophicum) etc. There would be less of a sense of 'obligation' (the rector being worried that he *must* do this or that) and more freedom for the members to do things without addressing an officer.

A good cooperation with the AT might thus result in a '1 + 1 = 3' situation, each organisation doing what it is good at, while overcoming the other's incompleteness : an organisation led entirely by teachers might be unsociable and one-sided, while an organisation that is convivial but has little educational input might simply 'dry up'.

E.g., a topic addressed in an AT-lesson might become a topic for discussion in SVR, or differently, a topic started in SVR might give occasion to a lecture or series of lessons in the AT.

Valete,

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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:43 pm

There may be a middle way between the two views about Collegia that are expressed here. Collegia could still be the center of the Societas and not be a burden to their rectores if they are made more organic. I mean that Collegia should not be formally established by the Societas as a whole, but rather come into being when sodales are interested in contributing to them (and at least one is willing to serve as Rector). They would disappear when no one is found to serve as an active rector (upon disappearing, their postings would be retained in an SVR archive section).

By the way, Mari, I like the idea of the Curatores being the Rectores. The body of all the Rectores could be a ruling Concilium for the Societas as a whole, subject to the limitations that sodales could recall their Rectores, etc.

This implies that we go back to the system that sodales sign up only for the Collegia that interest them - an idea that I've liked for some time. Only sodales inscribed in the rolls of a particular Collegium would be able to recall its Rector.

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Sodales inscribes to a particular Colligium

Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Tue Aug 30, 2005 9:45 pm

Avete amici,

Well, I wonder if it would be good to subscribe to only one collegium. I myself am interested in nearly all aspects of Roman life therefore (like nearly all of you did) posted in all collegia. E.g I contributed now an essay which would be published (if accepted) in the collegium historium but I'm also interested in the other aspects of Roman life as well. Therefore I wonder where it would be helpfull signing up only to one collegium. It would be too limited, in my humble opinion.

Of course I favor that each collegium should be headed by one expert, be it that he's called curator or rector (I really don't care what his title will be).
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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Tue Aug 30, 2005 10:10 pm

I'm sorry. I wasn't clear that a member could sign up for as many collegia as he or she wanted. I didn't mean to limit us to only one collegium a piece.
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Thu Sep 01, 2005 4:27 am

Salvete sodales omnes

Primus Aurelius Tergestus wrote:There may be a middle way between the two views about Collegia that are expressed here. Collegia could still be the center of the Societas and not be a burden to their rectores if they are made more organic. I mean that Collegia should not be formally established by the Societas as a whole, but rather come into being when sodales are interested in contributing to them (and at least one is willing to serve as Rector). They would disappear when no one is found to serve as an active rector (upon disappearing, their postings would be retained in an SVR archive section).


This is possible under the proposed Regulae as they are. The curatores can appoint any assitants they need, and they can also hand out honorary titles if they wish. So they can appoint a rector when there is an interest and set up such temporary collegia.

That is not what Marius was talking about however. The curatores can be rectores. Just decide what it is exactly that you want rectores to do in the collegia. They can appoint assistants, so if the work of administering SVR as a curator and whatever additional duties they may have as rectores were to become too much, they would just appoint assistants as needed. Renaming the curatores as rectores is no problem and probably works better as it will give us some continuity to our older organization.
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Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Fri Sep 02, 2005 7:47 pm

Primus Aurelius Tergestus wrote:By the way, Mari, I like the idea of the Curatores being the Rectores. The body of all the Rectores could be a ruling Concilium for the Societas as a whole, subject to the limitations that sodales could recall their Rectores, etc.

This implies that we go back to the system that sodales sign up only for the Collegia that interest them - an idea that I've liked for some time. Only sodales inscribed in the rolls of a particular Collegium would be able to recall its Rector.


The system in which sodales could sign up only for the Collegia that interested them dated from the period when we worked with separate mailinglists for each collegium, so that they could function virtually by themselves. Now however, everything is on our forum, and I don't see how we could (or - in fact - why we would) still 'separate' our collegia. After all, sodales interested in - say - the Religio might get more interested in Roman history if they stumble upon a posting in the Collegium Historicum that attracts their attention.

When you say "I like the idea of the Curatores being the Rectores", I more or less agree, with the nuance that I would put it the other way around : let the curatores be the (general, non collegium-bound) rectores, stimulating and coordinating activity in S.V.R. and appointing specific rectores for specific purposes, i.e. a 'symposiarch' to preside a philosophical symposium, a 'magister ludi' to organise our virtual chariot races etc.

Could we agree upon the latter suggestion, or do we want to stick to the "1 collegium, 1 rector" principle ?

Valete,

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Postby Marcus Pomponius Lupus on Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:59 pm

Salvete,

Now however, everything is on our forum, and I don't see how we could (or - in fact - why we would) still 'separate' our collegia.


I agree with Atticus on this. Reducing red tape should be one of our goals and it would be a bunch of unwanted work to keep track of who is a member of what collegia.

If you're only interested in Religio or Latin, then you can just choose to read the postings in those fora and ignore the rest. It's not like the other collegia are a bunch of annoying pop-ups that you can't get around.

On top of that, it might make people interested in other areas as well; maybe they check out a posting on Roman warfare, of something about Roman cooking. We should work to broaden horizons, not to keep them confined to only two or three collegia.

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Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Thu Sep 08, 2005 9:38 am

Salvete omnes,

Any other reactions on this topic ? What do we want to do with the collegia / rectores ? Should the rectores be curatores or the curatores rectores (as is my suggestion, vide supra)?

Are their any other points in Horatius' draft for new regulae that need to be discussed or clarified ? Are there any important subjects not in the text yet ? Or could we expect to amend a few details and vote on it before long ?

Valete,

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Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:23 pm

Salve Attice,

Quintus Pomponius Atticus wrote:Any other reactions on this topic ? What do we want to do with the collegia / rectores ? Should the rectores be curatores or the curatores rectores (as is my suggestion, vide supra)?


To answer your question, could you just explain where the difference between a curator and rector would be?

I agree with you and Lupus that since all collegia are represented at the forum that nobody needs to sign up at a certain forum. So far I have posted in nearly every collegium because I'm interested or eager to learn as much as possible.
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Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Thu Sep 08, 2005 9:28 pm

Cleopatra Aelia wrote:To answer your question, could you just explain where the difference between a curator and rector would be?


In the current system, we have magistrates running S.V.R.'s organization and rectores presiding the collegia, both with a rather strictly defined 'jurisdiction'. My proposal is to merge the two kinds of functions, and to make them more flexible.

These new officers could be named curatores, rectores, praefecti, or whatever we would decide to call them. They would see to it that our website is updated and that members are enrolled (appointing one of themselves or another member to fulfill those tasks) and they would moderate the forum and try to stimulate activity and new initiatives. For specific purposes (e.g. to preside a philosophical symposium), that in our current system would fall upon the rectores, they could then appoint specific people (which could be one of themselves) and give them a temporary title (e.g. symposiarch).

Of course, this is just one proposal. I'd like to hear other people's ideas of what we should do with the rectores of the collegia.

Vale,

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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:37 pm

Salvete

Atticus has explained well what I proposed in the Regulae, why we would do it, and how it might work. Call them what you will, I called the officers curatores in order to leave the title 'rector' available to designate another kind (and temporary appointee) functional officer.

The real problem we had with rectores in the past is that we still have never clearly stated what we expect from our rectores. Under the proposed Regulae rectores can be appointed, and the curatores can give very specific instructions as to what role they wish a rector to perform in a collegium. If you can come up with a clear definition of what you mean by the rector of a collegium, that can be added into the Regulae as a guideline for the curatores to use in selecting qualified rectores.

Valete
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Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:45 pm

Horatius Piscinus wrote:The real problem we had with rectores in the past is that we still have never clearly stated what we expect from our rectores. Under the proposed Regulae rectores can be appointed, and the curatores can give very specific instructions as to what role they wish a rector to perform in a collegium.


I agree. The other problem was that it was almost expected that the rector had to 'keep the collegium going'. I think that was a wrong attitude from the beginning. I think a collegium needs to develop spontaneously, through the initiatives of all its members, rather than through the focused efforts of a 'headmaster'.

Valete,

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Postby Q Valerius on Sun Sep 11, 2005 10:22 am

Do we even need the idea of a forum head now?

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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:05 pm

Quintus Pomponius Atticus wrote:I agree. The other problem was that it was almost expected that the rector had to 'keep the collegium going'. I think that was a wrong attitude from the beginning. I think a collegium needs to develop spontaneously, through the initiatives of all its members, rather than through the focused efforts of a 'headmaster'.


I disagree. A rector (or curator) has to have a form of leadership and responsibility. I've always seen this lack of responsibility as one of the causes that some collegia were never really active. I'm not saying curatores should make it a one-man show if no one is really listening or caring, but I've pointed out many times in the past that even some solo-efforts can be welcomed or can improve SVR as a whole. When I was rector of collegium Latinum, no one was REALLY interested in its topics, but I persevered and created some things that added to its corpus of essays and material at the site.

Valete!
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PS: So when are we going to vote about the new Regulae?
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