Members' Forum Report

Editor's Note: Due to the importance of some of the issues discussed, the Board Notes have been cross-listed as this month's feature article.

The Board hosted a Members' Forum at the Halifax North Branch Library on Tuesday, November 28th, attended by most of the Board of Directors and about 50 society members. The Forum was chaired by David Trueman and Joan Brown Hicks.

User Help

The evening began with a user help session led by two of the many volunteer trainers, Bonny Lee and Rob Currie. Members asked questions and received assistance on a number of points. Several different people asked about the difficulty users are experiencing connecting to certain remote systems which presented no difficulty in the past. David Trueman explained that the new numerical address Chebucto has is not being recognized by SprintNet in the US. This seems to be a problem originating with the way SprintNet is set-up but Chebucto will soon have new numbers and that should solve the problem. David also mentioned that this had been posted to the ccn.hot_topics newsgroup. Subscribing to this newsgroup is an excellent way to keep up-to-date with problems and solutions specific to Chebucto!

New Network Contract

There was a brief discussion about the contract and David referred members to the November Newsletter where there was a full report.

Domain Name Change

The time has come for Chebucto to move to its own address on the internet. Up to this point we have shared the address of the Computing Science department at Dalhousie ( but the university would like us to acquire our own address. A number of possibilities were presented and members expressed their opinions. The following were considered: The first two were the most popular but the final decision will be made by the registrar of domain names.

There will be lots of warning before any change and users will be informed of the best process for them to follow to make it a smooth transition.

Financial Report

David Tower, the Society's Treasurer, reported on our current financial situation. The fall off in revenue from membership renewals is creating a major cash flow crunch.

Our cash resources come from:

Our expenditures are for:

Membership Policy

Peter Henry, a member of the Board of the Society, reported on some action the board is proposing to strengthen our membership.

Draft User/Member Policy

This passed at the last Board meeting on Nov. 13.

The intent of this resolution is to:

  1. Preserve the existing structure of a Community Net operated by an associated Society.
  2. Remove some of the confusion associated with this two tier (Metro*CAN operating Chebucto Community Net) structure by giving them similar names.
  3. Enhance the access to the operating society by allowing a person to pay "the fee for one's category or whatever one can afford", not the mandatory fee as is now the case.
  4. Preserve the present idea that one may be a user without being a member.
  5. Develop additional revenues by:

User/Member Policy Resolution

  1. The present structure of the Metro*CAN Society and the Chebucto Community Net be maintained.
  2. The Metro*CAN Society be renamed The Chebucto Community Net Society.
  3. The membership fee in the CCN Society be modified from the mandatory fee of $20 to "the discretionary fee for one's category or whatever one can afford"

    Fee categories:

    Family........$40 or as much as you can afford
    Individual....$20 or as much as you can afford
    Student.......$12 or as much as you can afford
    Unwaged.......$12 or as much as you can afford

  4. There be no "User Fee" for the use of the Chebucto Community Net.
  5. A membership mechanism be put in place whereby each member and each user is required to re- register each year.

    This mechanism would **remove** user privileges if the user does not re-register.

    This mechanism would, to the extent possible, encourage membership in the society by making it easier to become or remain a member than to refuse becoming a member.

  6. That we develop a means to accept "easy" payment schemes such as automatic account debit" and/or VISA and Mastercard.

Resource Development/Fundraising

Joan Macintosh, the new chair of the Resource Development Committee, reported on a proposed Resource Development Plan:

Resource Development Plan

make paying memberships easy for people
develop "benefits of membership" plan
partnerships with local businesses
services to users
Some suggestions that came from the meeting included: Volunteers are needed to work on fund raising and are asked to get in touch with Joan Macintosh with offers to help and suggestions.

Rationing of Phone Lines

David Trueman reported that our financial resources do not permit adding more phone lines at this time although it is a recognized need. He presented the following proposal to help the current situation: Examples (actual numbers may vary):

At 1:00 AM you login and get a time guarantee of 60 minutes. At 2:00 AM, more than 40% of the modems are available so you get to stay on as long as you want (at least until the next morning when modems become less available).

At 11:00 AM you login and 20% of the modems are available so you get a 60 minute guarantee. At 11:50 PM, almost all the modems are in use so you get a 10 minute warning and get disconnected at 12:00 PM and cannot reconnect until 12:10 PM.

At 6 PM you login and no other modems are available so you get a 30 minute guarantee. This condition persists, so you are warned at 6:25 PM and disconnected at 6:30 with no reconnection possible for 20 minutes.

Members were pleased at the idea of no log-outs when modems are available, expressed support for the idea of longer timeout between sessions but some were concerned that shorter time guarantees would limit what could be done. David reported that off-line mail and news readers will be available soon and will help meet these concerns.


Chebucto Connections BOARD NOTES
is edited by Kevin Nugent
who is happy to receive Questions, Comments or Suggestions.
If your browser does not support mail, write to Kevin later at aa006@ccn·cs·dal·ca.

Last Month: November 1995 Next Month: January 1996