In 2019, the moderators overhauled the minky bylaws to better fit our values and needs and with an eye towards organizational sustainability. That governing document outlining moderator conventions and responsibilities can be found here:
ARTICLE I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Section 1. Mission Statement
I.1.1 minky is a Twin Cities based queer-inclusive, sex positive, and body positive kink community of adults aged 18-35. We are education focused, consent forward, and operate in service of membership of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions.
I.1.2 minky shall make all organizational decisions in service of our core beliefs: that safe sexual exploration and identity should be available to everyone and that we must strive to create a community in which members can comfortably, consensually, and safely get to know themselves and their community.
Section 2. Organizational and Leadership Accountability
I.2.1 minky aspires to be a culture of care: we believe that a commitment to racial justice, gender equity, and sexual freedom do more to determine the safety of communities than a traditional rule-based code of conduct could alone.
I.2.2 minky shall make its membership, leadership, and policy decisions, host community gatherings, and throw play parties that are accountable to these values. Additionally, leadership commits to developing and hosting educational opportunities for our membership, raising funds and organizing volunteer opportunities for like-minded groups, modeling consent-forward and social justice-informed administration, and engaging in community outreach and service.
Section 3. Leadership Values
All minky leadership must affirm and commit to governing in service of the following value statements:
- sexual expression is an important form of self expression
- kink can exist both as recreation and resistance
- all bodies are good bodies and all deserve respect and pleasure
- trans men are men
- trans women are women
- non-binary identities are valid identities
- Black lives matter
- white supremacy is violence
- queer love, sex, and family are real, needed, and important
- sex work is real work
- no human is illegal
- it is both our responsibility and a boon to our safety to believe survivors
- from vaccinations to safer sex, our communities are safest and most inclusive when prioritize public health
ARTICLE II. LEADERSHIP STATUS
Section 1. Junior Moderators
II.1.1 Moderators shall be known as Junior Moderators from onboarding through 18 months of appointment.
II.1.2 Junior Moderators shall have full voting privileges.
II.1.3 Junior Moderators shall not be eligible for appointment to the steering committee.
II.1.4 All Junior Moderators shall be partnered with a Senior Moderator mentor.
Section 2. Senior Moderators
II.2.1 Moderators who have served more than three years shall be known as Senior Moderators.
II.2.2 Henceforth, Senior Moderator will be a position that comes with no additional voting privileges or executive status. Senior mods have no specifically designated powers, but do have additional responsibilities
II.2.2.a Senior moderators’ actions will be considered part and reflective of the historical memory of the club, and they are subject to be held to the highest standard
II.2.2.b Senior Moderators are responsible for bolstering the efforts, acclimation, and success of new moderators, especially those from underrepresented groups. It is not enough to bring the right folks into the room, we must commit to enabling new and shared success in driving our club forward and toward further safety and inclusivity.
Section 3. Associate Members
II.3.1 Henceforth, minky establishes a tier of members to be known as Associate Members to recognize those members are not moderators but are vital contributors to the success and safety of the minky community.
II.3.2 Associate members will not have voting powers or privileges, nor will they be held to the attendance standards and contribution expectations of moderators. Associate members will not have official minky email addresses, nor will they have access to Moderator-only correspondence.
II.3.3 Associate members may be asked to help with party set up and tear down, Dungeon Monitoring duties, and logistical support as needs arise and Associate’s schedules allow.
II.3.3.a Any Associates acting as Dungeon Monitors will be trained thoroughly, including being partnered with a Moderator DM trainer on DM shifts until they are comfortable proceeding on their own.
II.3.4 In exchange for their support, Associates will be granted priority to party RSVP confirmation and access to exclusive minky leadership patches.
ARTICLE III. MODERATOR PROCEDURES
Section 1. Eligibility for Moderator Appointment
III.1.1 Any active organizational member in good standing is eligible to apply for a moderator position.
III.1.2 Moderators will be selected from a pool of members known to exemplify the leadership agreement and code of conduct.
III.1.3 Applicants will be asked to self-audit their agreement with minky Leadership Values (I.3) , their agreement with the Diversity and Equity Statement (VII.1-2), and their ability to make all governance-based decisions in service of these mandates.
Section 2. Changes in Moderator Status
III.2.1 All seated moderators will be asked to vote on the appointment of incoming moderators. Any applicant requires a supermajority of “yay” votes in order to be onboarded: a ⅔ majority in favor if the seated moderator team has 10 or fewer members, and a ¾ majority in favor if the team has 11 or more members.
III.2.2 Moderators will automatically transition out of Junior Moderator status at 18 months of appointment and will then become eligible for the Steering Committee.
III.2.3 Moderators will automatically transition into Senior Moderator status at three years of appointment and will become eligible to mentor Junior Moderators.
III.2.4 Moderators eligible to join the Steering Committee must receive a supermajority of “yay” votes in order to be appointed: a ⅔ majority in favor if the seated moderator team has 10 or fewer members, and a ¾ majority in favor if the team has 11 or more members.
III.2.5 Moderators may request a leave of absence at any point in their tenure. In order to be reinstated, the motion to reinstate must receive a supermajority of “yay” votes: a ⅔ majority in favor if the seated moderator team has 10 or fewer members, and a ¾ majority in favor if the team has 11 or more members.
III.2.6 From time to time, a moderator may need to resign. Resignation will not forfeit membership privileges, nor will it change the former moderator’s status as welcome at any parties or events. Past moderators in good standing may also be invited to moderator social events.
III.2.7 No moderator may serve after the time of their 36th birthday. Though they may be consulted for best practices or historical context, no confidential information will be shared with moderators who have aged out.
Section 3. Removing a Moderator
III.3.1 Moderators may be removed for violating the member code of conduct, abuse of power, questions of consent violation, failing the organizational commitment to community safety, or organizational mismanagement.
III.3.2 In the event that it becomes necessary to remove or discuss the removal of a moderator from the leadership team, a moderator on the Steering Committee will establish a new email thread with all other mods to discuss the situation and, if necessary, schedule a meeting before voting.
III.3.3 If a Moderator not on the Steering Committee is the one who is first aware that another moderator needs to be evaluated, they should first reach out to a member of the Steering Committee as a resource in bringing the concern to the rest of the team.
III.3.4 Moderator removal is not something to take lightly, nor is it something to shy away from as we build a more accountable, robust, and safety-oriented team.
III.3.5 In order to remove an acting Moderator, a supermajority of votes is necessary: a ⅔ majority in favor if the seated moderator team has 10 or fewer members, and a ¾ majority in favor if the team has 11 or more members.
III.3.5.a Votes to remove a Moderator will be taken anonymously, unless a supermajority votes otherwise.
III.3.5.b At least one round of discussions is allowed between at least two rounds of voting.
III.3.5.c Any Moderator may abstain from this vote, either before voting or during anonymous voting.
III.3.5.c.1 Any Moderator may choose to abstain in a subsequent round of voting after having earlier voted, or may choose to vote after having abstained in an earlier voting round
III.3.6 Once a vote has been taken to remove a moderator, the Communications Committee and Steering Committee will act together to inform the removed moderator and to ensure that the rest of the moderator team is kept informed of all relevant communications.
Section 4. Moderator Application Process
III.4.1 Every 18 months, the Communications Committee shall review and, if necessary, revise the application interview form for new moderators.
III.4.2 At the time of this republishing, a public announcement will be made soliciting new moderator applications.
III.4.3 Invitation to apply may be given by current moderators to individuals at any time.
III.4.4 Applications not received during the application cycle will be reviewed and responded to within 8 weeks of receipt.
ARTICLE IV. MODERATOR RESPONSIBILITIES
Section 1. Allocation of Responsibilities
IV.1.1 minky and its moderator team assert that the labor that goes into the maintaining and stewardship of our community takes many forms. Moderators often perform tasks outside of the easily enumerated jobs of event execution and member communications. Tasks such as leadership organization, policy drafting, and pre-planning are often easily overlooked in organizational recognition of labor. The moderator team affirms that these efforts are invaluable to organizational success. minky asserts that leadership is most successful when executed by a team with a diversity of experiences and a diversity of excellences, all of which contribute to how labor may be equitably shared.
IV.1.2 Moderators shall work together to ensure that all efforts of moderators are seen and celebrated. Moderators shall take into account these labor loads, the outside obligations, and the scheduling capabilities of each member of the team as they allocate the moderation responsibilities created by new tasks and share the burden of staffing any organization events.
Section 2. Meetings
IV.2.1 Moderators will gather for quarterly meetings to review any queued applications, hear reports from each subcommittee, discuss upcoming event planning, and update any necessary communications and logistics.
IV.2.2 Moderators will gather annually for a Team Summit, a lengthier meeting designed to help clear the agenda and define goals for the year.
IV.2.3 From time to time, it will be necessary to meet outside of the projected meeting schedule to discuss something urgent or sensitive. IV.2.3.a. Under these circumstances it is understood that not all moderators will be able to meet or vote. While present moderators should do their best to summarize discussion and action items for the absent moderators and strive to include their vote via email when possible, urgency will sometimes preclude inclusion.
IV.2.4 Food will be provided for moderators at these meetings, paid for by the minky funds and organized by the Operations Committee.
IV.2.5 The Operations Committee is encouraged to plan an annual retreat or recreational activity for the mod team. Attendance is not mandatory.
Section 3. Voting
IV.3.1 Most operational decisions can be made via public vote and simple majority. Any moderator may ask for a vote for a decision to be made via supermajority or via anonymous vote. The request for supermajority vote must itself be ratified by majority vote.
IV.3.2 Matters that need to be voted on via email will generally need a vote within five days.
IV.3.3 Any moderator may ask for a 24 hour grace period before a vote is finalized to think over or change a vote.
IV.3.4 If a matter is urgent, sensitive, or otherwise needs a response more quickly, the Steering Committee will call for an urgent vote and attach a timeframe necessary for response.
IV.3.4.a It is understandable that a response will not always be possible for all moderators under this circumstance. It is acceptable not to be able to respond within this timeframe so long as moderators understand this leads to forfeiture of voting.
IV.2.4.b If response is not able to be given in that time, the responsibility for decision and action will go to the Communications Committee.
IV.3.5 Appointing new moderators, reappointing moderators from leaves of absence, removing moderators, changing bylaws, contacting another group about a banned member, and appointing the Steering Committee require a supermajority vote to proceed. A supermajority is constituted as a ⅔ majority in favor if the seated moderator team has 10 or fewer members, and a ¾ majority in favor if the team has 11 or more members.
IV.3.6 All votes via supermajority will be taken anonymously, unless it is otherwise proposed and so voted.
IV.3.7 All votes taken anonymously will include a discussion portion after an initial vote and tally. This discussion portion may be repeated after subsequent votes as is necessary prior to finalizing a decision.
Section 4. Party Responsibilities
IV.4.1 In order to safely and successfully host a party, moderators must ensure that the following minimum numbers are met to allocate duties:
IV.4.1.a For party set up: there must be at least two Moderators and two Associates OR at least three Moderators on site.
IV. 4.1.b For the duration of the party: there must be at least three Associates willing and trained to DM, one Associate to work the door, and three Moderators on duty to fill in all other leadership and operational roles OR at least five moderators scheduled.
IV.4.1.c For party tear down: there must be at least two Moderators and two Associates OR three Moderators on site.
IV.4.2 Moderators are asked to be present for seven parties a year and to fill in as necessary when the team is smaller or schedules conflict.
IV.4.2.a A smaller leadership team will likely need to attend and facilitate more than this number to meet the minimums specified in Section 3.1 above and maintain organizational operations safely and reasonably. Moderators are responsible for ensuring that these overages are shared equitably and with respect for team members’ outside obligations in accordance with IV.1-2.
IV.4.3 Moderators are responsible for ensuring that party set up and tear down is completed and is low stress for the party hosts.
IV.4.4 Moderators are responsible for manning the door to collect donations and verify identities.
IV.4.5 Moderators are responsible for providing the safest possible party environment. This includes DMing, monitoring safer sex supplies, ensuring that all guests know party rules both in advance of and at the party, and introducing new members and guests to the space.
IV.4.6 Moderators are responsible for scheduling Associates and managing their efforts during the party.
Section 5. Munch Responsibilities
IV.5.1 Moderators are asked to attend several munches a year. There should be no fewer than two moderators at any munch.
IV.5.2 Moderators will establish the safety and cultural norms at a munch. Be mindful of volume and dress.
Section 6. Committee Appointments
IV.6.1 Upon appointment as Moderator, team members will be asked to join one or several subcommittees (outlined in V.2) to help manage further moderation tasks.
IV.6.2 All members of the Steering Committee will also maintain subcommittee appointments.
Section 7. Communication Responsibilities
IV.7.1 All Moderators will receive a minky domain email. Moderators will check their minky email several times a week and respond as necessary.
IV.7.2 Moderators will be added to a group chat. The chat may be used for logistics or to alert the team that there is email, a vote, etc that requires attention.
ARTICLE V. COMMITTEE STRUCTURE
Section 1. Steering Committee
V.1.1 A Steering Committee has been established as the overall planning and response leaders for the Moderator Team.
V.1.2 The Steering Committee is responsible for the scheduling of quarterly meeting and the yearly summit, as well as for setting of the agenda of said events in coordination with the subcommittees.
V.1.3 The Steering Committee shall oversee and ensure the communication with and between subcommittees.
V.1.4 In the advent of a report or complaint against a moderator or known moderator malfeasance, the Steering Committee shall assemble a communication thread and/or meeting of the rest of the moderators to discuss and act.
V.1.5 The Steering Committee shall ensure that applications for new moderators are requested and processed every 18 months.
V.1.6 The Steering Committee shall administer new moderator onboarding and training.
V.1.7 One member of the Steering Committee shall act as organization treasurer.
V.1.8 The Steering Committee does not have a weightier vote than any other moderator team members, nor do they have exclusive executive power over any matters presided over by moderators.
V.1.9 In order to be appointed to the Steering Committee, a moderator must have served for at least 18 months, submit their name for consideration, and be approved by a supermajority of the moderator body. A supermajority is constituted as a ⅔ majority in favor if the seated moderator team has 10 or fewer members, and a ¾ majority in favor if the team has 11 or more members.
Section 2. Subcommittees
V.2.1 Subcommittees shall be established to handle all additional moderation tasks.
V.2.2 At least one member of each subcommittee must serve on the Steering Committee.
V.2.3 Moderators may serve on multiple subcommittees. Moderators must sit on at least one subcommittee.
V.2.4 Subcommittees may conduct business via separate email thread or group chat, and loop in the full team as necessary.
V.2.5 Subcommittees may delegate work internally as they deem so fit.
V.2.6 New subcommittees may be established by simple majority vote so long as a Steering Committee member is available to sit on the newly established committee.
ARTICLE VI. SUBCOMMITTEES AND DUTIES ENUMERATED
Section 1. Operations Committee
VI.1.1 The Operations Committee shall handle all logistical concerns of minky
VI.1.2 The Operations Committee is responsible for maintaining an updated inventory of party supplies and ensuring that any necessary replenishment occurs before each months’ party.
VI.1.2.a The Operations Committee shall ensure that moderators are assigned to do all necessary purchasing.
VI.1.2.b The Operations Committee shall liaise with the Treasurer around supplies purchase.
VI.1.2.c The Operations Committee shall take special care to track the expiration date and consistent supply of safer sex supplies.
VI.1.3 The Operations Committee is responsible for ensuring that all party supplies arrive at the party at the beginning of setup and that they are all reassembled and stored at the end of a party.
VI.1.4 The Operations Committee is responsible for ensuring the successful set up and tear down of all parties, including liaising with hosts, securing adequate volunteer or associate help, and maintaining and updating party location specific set up and tear down checklists.
VI.1.5 The Operations Committee is responsible for liaising with the Treasurer to secure the hosting gift and for giving the hosting gift.
VI.1.6 The Operations Committee shall handle all party and munch communications, including those on the Eventbrite Forum, the website, and Fetlife.
VI.1.6.a The Operations committee is responsible for announcing parties and munches, managing RSVPs, and posting post party and munch threads
Section 2. Technology and Publication Committee
VI.2.1 The Technology and Publication Committee is responsible for maintaining and updating the website, moderator email operations, the forums, and any applications used for organization operations.
VI.2.1 The Technology and Publication Committee is also responsible for monitoring any policy or technology changes made by external websites or applications used by the organization and to update procedure accordingly.
Section 3. Outreach Committee
VI.3.1 The Outreach Committee is responsible for all communications with outside groups, vendors, or locations, as well as designing programming for new members.
VI.3.2 The Outreach Committee will designate community partners to benefit from fundraising and volunteer activities.
VI.3.3 The Outreach Committee will communicate with munch locations in advance of each munch and preside over munch scheduling.
Section 4. Education Committee
VI.4.1 All educational operations will be managed by the Education Committee
VI.4.2 The Education Committee is responsible for organizing regular pre-party workshop programming, including networking with and scheduling presenters, ensuring all workshop materials are available, and publishing advance information about the workshops.
VI.4.3 The Education Committee will act to connect membership with any specific play or practice questions to resources as possible.
VI.4.4 The Education Committee will work to develop protocol for any presenter or workshop.
Section 5. Communications Committee
VI.5.1 The Communications Committee will handle all public facing and sensitive organization communications.
VI.5.2 The Communications Committee will orchestrate all communications regarding consent reports.
VI.5.3 The Communications Committee is responsible for reviewing and updating the Code of Conduct annually.
VI.5.4 The Communications Committee is responsible for reviewing and updating the application interview for new moderators every 18 months.
VI.5.5 The Communications Committee is responsible for any and all official updates to Fetlife Group, the website, or the forums.
VI.5.6 The Communications Committee is responsible for writing and publishing any new governance policies.
VI.5.7 Generally, the Communications Committee is most responsible for culture setting within the group and communicating culture to the community.
ARTICLE VII. DIVERSITY AND EQUITY INITIATIVE
Section 1. Diversity and Equity Commitment
VII.1.1 minky values and strives toward a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community. We aspire for this to be a community where all members and leadership feel safe, valued, and respected within all of their identities, including gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, national origin, education, or disability.
VII.1.2 We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and strive to value and hear all member and potential member voices.
VII.1.3 The moderator team is committed to reflecting and modeling the diversity we see and inclusion we demand in our communities and strives for a membership and leadership of representation, equity, and justice.
Section 2. Diversity and Equity Action Plan
VII.2.1 To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, minky moderators shall:
VII.2.1.a See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our membership and communities.
VII.2.1.b Invite our membership, communities, and moderators to hold us accountable to acknowledge and dismantle the inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report organization progress.
VII.2.1.c Commit to accountability for potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with equity and safety.
VII.2.1.d Advocate for and support leader-level thinking and public communications regarding how systemic inequities in our larger communities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
VII.2.1.e Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader in our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.
VII.2.1.f Practice and encourage transparent communication in all possible interactions.
VII.2.1.g Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our leadership, membership, and larger community.
VII.2.1.h Commit time and resources to liaise with, learn from, and support communities specifically designed with the safety and community of marginalized membership.
VII.2.1.i Design any and all future governance documents with the safeties and comfort of marginalized membership especially in mind.
VII.2.1.j Advocate for public and private-sector policy that promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity. Challenge systems and policies that create inequity, oppression and disparity.
VII.2.1.k Specifically solicit leadership applications from non-traditional candidates and then work to ensure the success of new moderators on their own terms.
ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENTS
Section 1: Amendment Procedure
VIII.1.1 As necessary, amendments may be made to the bylaws.
VIII.1.2 After an amendment has been proposed, a supermajority vote in favor is necessary. The motion to amend must receive a supermajority of “yay” votes: a ⅔ majority in favor if the seated moderator team has 10 or fewer members, and a ¾ majority in favor if the team has 11 or more members.
VIII.1.3 Once the recommended amendment has been approved, the final language shall be drafted by the Communications Committee and then verified by a majority vote of the full moderator team.
Section 2: Amendment Documentation
VIII.2.1 These bylaws are intended as both living document and historical record. In the interest of accountability, all amendments shall be differentiated with a footnote. The footnote shall include the date of the amendment’s adoption, the text change if the amendmendment is a revision, and the initials of all moderators at time of amendment.
ARTICLE IX. ADOPTION OF BYLAWS
We, the undersigned, are all of the moderators of the organization and we consent to and hereby do adopt the foregoing bylaws, consisting of the preceding pages, as the bylaws of this organization.
We adopt these policies with the intent and knowledge that this document and all codes and systems therein are designed to act in the service of our mission statement, leadership values, and the success of the leadership team. These bylaws are designed to be revised and updated as often as necessary to adapt to the needs of a growing organization and leadership team.
ADOPTED AND APPROVED by the minky moderators on this 24th day of November, 2019.