MINUTES of the WSFS Business Meeting held at Aussiecon, 1975.
This document prepared by Tim Illingworth from documents supplied by Ben Yalow.
What we have is not minutes as such, but rather the Agenda for the Preliminary Business Meeting and the Constitution as reported out of the meeting and passed to MidAmeriCon.
POSITION PAPER — Preliminary Business Meeting of the WSFS at AUSSIECON
OF THE World Science Fiction Society , Unincorporated
adopted at the business session of Discon II, on 2nd September, 1974
As printed in DISCON PR 5 and in AUSSIECON PR 3
OF THE World Science Fiction Society
as accepted by the AUSSIECON Committee in the conduct of its Affairs
As printed in AUSSIECON PR 4
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS RECEIVED
up to 10.00 pm on the eve of the AUSSIECON
PRELIMINARY BUSINESS MEETING on Sat. 16th
August 1975, commencing at 10.00 a.m.
1. MOVED by Ken Sheridan — AUSSIECON member 1566
SECONDER is required
"That, in the WSFS Constitution, the following substitutions and/or additions be made:
Wherever the words in Col. (a) appear, the corresponding phrase in column (b) be substituted :
Annual World Science Fiction Convention
World Science Fiction Society
And that the following be added :
"Roscoe willing, in strategic locations.
1.0314159 At least one member of the committee must be a non human, preferably an e.t. or a frog.
3.0303030 The committee shall send letters of apology to each person holding a supporting membership in that Worldcon who does not reside on the same continent as that on which the Worldcon will be held."
2. Moved by J. McNally, AUSSIECON member 1794
Seconded by P. Sejavku, AUSSIECON member 1746
(a) That a new HUGO Award be.instigated for the category of "Best Piece of visual art". Works submitted could be two or three dimensioned or kinetic and would have to be created in the relevant calendar year and be related to science fiction or fantasy.
(b) That a new HUGO Award be instigated for the category of "Best Piece of music". Pieces submitted would have to be performed in the relevant calendar year and be related to science fiction or fantasy and could be of any reasonable length and in any form. This award should be given to the composer(s) and/or songwriter(s) of the winning piece rather than the musician(s) who performed or recorded it.
(c) That a new HUGO Award be instigated for the category of "Best Poem". Works submitted would have to have been published during the relevant calendar year and be related to science fiction or fantasy.
3. Moved by Fred Patten
Seconded by Bruce Pelz
"That the third sentence of Article 2.03 (of the Constitution passed at DISCON II) relating to HUGO Nominating and Voting shall be revised to read : 'In the final ballot, members shall be asked to indicate first, second and so on choices for each category, among not more than 5 nominees (unless there are tied nominations for the fifth nominee) plus "No Award".'"
Discussion : For the past several years, the WSFS Rules have stated flatly that there shall be no more than five nominees in any category; and for the past several years Worldcon Committees have found it necessary to stretch this to six or seven nominees in some categories because of tied nominations for the fourth or fifth candidate. This resolution would bring the Constitution into accord with what Worldcon Committees have found to be practical reality. Note: Article 2.03 of the Constitution is 2.15 of the old Rules.
4. Moved by Peter Darling, AUSSIECON Committee Member and member number 34
Seconded by Alan Sandercock, AUSSIECON Committee Member and member 171
"That Articles 4.01 and 4.02 (of the Constitution passed at DISCON II) be amended in such a way as to replace "ratification by mail" procedures by ratification by a simple majority of members present and voting at the WSFS meeting at the Worldcon following that at which the amendment in question is passed; and to alter section 4.02 so that it makes allowance for the fact that amendments passed at the most recent Worldcon are subject to ratification at the next Worldcon.
The effect of this amendment in the old Rules was spelled out on page 133 of the AUSSIECON Convention Book, as follows :
"That (a) Article 4.05 shall be added to read as follows :
must be ratified by a simple majority of members present and voting at the World Convention immediately following that at which the change was approved. Nothing in the foregoing shall prevent the committee responsible for the convention at which ratification is to be considered from adopting the Rule change in the conduct of its own affairs if it so desires.
(b) Article 4.01 of the World Science Fiction Society Rules shall be amended by the addition of the words "subject to ratification as provided by Article 4.05."
It would also seem that the effect of these amendments (to the old Rules) would be to delete the words "except that a proposal to rescind any such action of the immediately previous business session shall require for passage three quarters of the votes cast." from Article 4.02 (of the old Rules).
The effect of the AUSSIECON Committee's proposal would be to substitute a positive rule (ratification procedure which is simple and causes no hassles to convention committees or the membership of the WSFS) for a negative one (rescission procedures).
A suggestion has also been made to the effect that the entire section 4 of the Constitution approved at DISCON II was put to the vote without any discussion having taken place, and without the Chair having recognized people who wished to debate its far–reaching effects. Therefore, it could be argued that the section should not be incorporated in the Constitution because of a serious defect in parliamentary procedure. Since the entire Constitution was presented at DISCON II as an "amendment by substitution", and the DISCON parliamentary rules as well as the AUSSIECON parliamentary rules specifically disallow amendments to amendments, then (so runs the suggestion) the entire Constitution should be declared null and void because it was not truly perfected at DISCON II.
So there it is. It is up to the AUSSIECON Preliminary Business Meeting to decide how to deal with this can of worms in such a way as to prepare a logical set of amendments to be debated at the main Business Session.
"Amendments to what?" you may well ask. That is one of the things to be settled at this Preliminary Business Session.
Bill Wright will be in the Chair as both session Chairman and Parliamentarian at the Preliminary Business Meeting. Thus he has all the vast powers arrogated to the Chairman by the AUSSIECON PR 4. Because he also holds the office of Parliamentarian, he is also the final arbiter of disputes. Thus, in the Preliminary Business Meeting, his rulings from the Chair cannot be disagreed with.
Prepared by Bill Wright in the wee hours of Friday morning, at AUSSIECON.
of the World Science Fiction Society, Unincorporated
as adopted at the principal Business Session at AUSSIECON on Sunday, 17 Aug 1975
The practice followed here, for record purposes, is to set out the wording of the Constitution including amendments passed at AUSSIECON. These amendments are explained in inset paragraphs throughout the text.
Section 1 – Objectives etc.
1.01 The World Science Fiction Society is an unincorporated literary society whose functions are:
to choose the recipients of the annual Science Fiction Achievement Awards (the HUGOs),
to choose the locations for the annual World Science Fiction Conventions, and
to attend those Conventions.
1.02 The membership of the World Science Fiction. Society consists of all people who paid membership dues to the Convention Committee of the current Convention.
1.03 Authority and responsibility for all matters concerning the Convention, except those reserved herein to the Society, lie with the Convention Committee, which acts in its own name, not that of the Society.
1.04 Each Convention Committee should dispose of surplus funds remaining after accounts are settled for the benefit of the Society membership as a whole, and should publish or have published by the following Convention Committee a final financial report.
Section 2 – Hugo Awards
Note:The AUSSIECON business meeting rescinded in its entirety Section 2 of the Constitution approved at DISCON II in 1974. Specific Hugo categories were reinstated by the passing of several motions. The new provisions relating to Hugos are as follows:
2.01 The selection of the Science Fiction Achievement Awards, known as the Hugos, will be made as follows:
2.02 BEST NOVEL: A science fiction or fantasy story of 35,000 words or more appearing for the first time in the previous calendar year. A work published originally in a language other than English shall also be eligible in the year it is first issued in English translation, and an author may withdraw a version from consideration if he feels that version is not representative of what he wrote. Thus, once it has appeared in English, a story may be eligible only once. Publication date, or cover date in the case of a dated magazine takes precedence over copyright date. A serial is deemed to appear on the date of the last instalment. Individual stories appearing as a series are eligible only as individual stories, and are not eligible taken together under the title of the series.
2.03 BEST NOVELETTE: A science fiction or fantasy story of between 10 000 and 40,000 words. Rules are as for Best Novel.
2.04 BEST SHORT STORY: A science fiction or fantasy story of less than 12,500 words. Rules are as for Best Novel.
2.05 BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION : Any production in any medium of dramatized science fiction or fantasy which has been publicly presented for the first time in its present dramatic form during the previous calendar year. In the case of individual programs presented as a series each program is individually eligible, but the series as a whole is not eligible.
2.06 BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST: An illustrator whose work has appeared in the field of professionally published science fiction or fantasy during the previous calendar year.
2.07 BEST PROFESSIONAL EDITOR: The editor of any professional publication devoted primarily to science fiction or fantasy appearing in the previous calendar year.
2.08 BEST AMATEUR MAGAZINE: Any generally available non–professional magazine devoted to science fiction, fantasy or related subjects, which has published four or more issues prior to December 31st., at least one issue of which appeared in the previous calendar year.
2.09 BEST FAN WRITER: Any fan whose writing has appeared during the previous calendar year in a magazine of the type defined under paragraph 2.08.
2.10 BEST FAN ARTIST: An artist or cartoonist whose work has appeared during the previous calendar year, through publication in magazines of the type defined under paragraph 2.08 or through other public display. Anyone whose name appears on the final ballot for a given year under the professional artist category will not be eligible for the fan artist award for that year.
2.11 Additional Category: One special category may be created by the Convention Committee, with nomination and final voting to be the same as for the other, permanent categories. Convention Committees are not required to create any such categorties; they should be held to a minimum, and one created by a particular convention oommittee is not binding on following committees. An award under this category shall be a Science Fiction Achievement Award, or Hugo.
2.12 The name and design shall not be extended to any other award whatsoever.
2.13 No Award: At the discretion of an individual convention committee, if the lack of nominations or final votes in a specific category shows a marked lack of interest in that category on the part of the voters, the Award in that category shall be cancelled for that year. In addition, the entry NO AWARD shall be mandatory in each and every category of the Hugos on the final ballot. This applies both to permanent categories and that which an individual convention committee might establish on a temporary basis.
2.14 Nominations and Voting : Selection of nominees for the final award voting shall be done by a poll conducted by the convention committee under rules determined by the committee. Final award voting shall be by mail, with ballots sent only to Society members. Final ballots shall include name, signature, address and membership numbers, to be filled in. Final ballots shall standardize alternatives given in each category to not more than five (unless tied nominations make this impractical) plus No Award. Assignment to their proper category of nominees nominated in more than one category, and eligibility of nominees, shall be determined by the convention committee. Voters shall indicate the order of their preferences for nominees in each category.
2.15 Tallying : Counting of all votes shall be the responsibility of the convention committee, which is responsible for all matters concerning Awards. In each category, votes shall be first tallied by the voter's first choice. If no majority vote is then obtained, the nominee placing last will be eliminated and the ballots listing him as first choice redistributed on the basis of the ballots' second listed choices. The process will be repeated until a majority vote winner is obtained.
2.16 No member of the then current convention committee nor any publication closely connected with the Committee shall be eligible for an Award.
2.17 Should the convention committee delegate all authority to estblish a special category, prepare Awards ballots, and count the same, to a subcommittee whose decisions the convention committee cannot reverse, then paragraph 2.16 shall apply to members of the subcommittee only.
2.18 The Hugo Award will continue to be standardized on the rocket ship design of Jack McKnight and Ben Jason. Each committee may select its own base.
Notes : Changes affecting Hugos made at AUSSIECON are :
(a) The Novella category is deleted, and the appropriate adjustments are made to word counts in the three remaining story categories.
(b) In the event of tied nominations in any category, convention committees are now entitled to list more than five nominations on the Awards ballot form, plus No Award.
(c) The DISCON II resolution waiving the ineligibility rule where a subcommittee takes over the responsibility for the Hugos, were reinforced by special resolutions, at Aussiecon.
Section 3 — World Science Fiction Conventions
3.01 The Society shall choose the location of the Convention to be held two year's hence at a meeting held at an advertized time during each World Science Fiction Convention. The current convention committee shall supply the presiding officer and staff. Voting shall be by mail and in person, with run—off ballot as described in paragraphs 2.14 and 2.15 (but without the No Award option), limited to Society members who have paid at least two dollars towards membership in the Convention whose site is being selected. The current committee shall administer the mail balloting, collect advance membership fees, and turn over those funds to the winning committee before the end of the Convention.
3.02 To ensure equitable distribution of sites, North America is divided into three divisions:
Western: Baja California, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Saskatchewan, and all states and provinces westward.
Central: Central America, Mexico (except as above), and all states and provinces between Western and Eastern Divisions,
Eastern: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Now York, Quebec, and all states and provinces eastward.
3.03 Convention sites shall rotate Western, Central, Eastern. Bids may be considered out of turn only if the rule of rotation is set aside by a three quarters majority vote, In the event of such setting aside, the same motion shall also establish where the rotation is to resume.
3.04 A Convention site outside North America may be selected by a majority vote at any Convention In this event there shall be an interim Continental Convention in the Division that lost, to be held in the same year as the overseas Worldcon Science Fiction Convention, with rotation skipping that Division the next following year. To skip a Division without giving it an interim Continental Convention requires a three quarters majority vote. Selection of the site of such Continental Convention may be by continuation of the World Convention site selection meeting or by such other method as the competing bidders might agree upon.
3.05 With sites being selected two years in advance, there are therefore at least two convention committees in existence. If one should become unable to perform its duties, the surviving Convention Committee shall determine what to do , by mail poll of the Society if there is time for one, or by decision of the Committee if there is not.
Section 4 - Changes to the Constitution
4.01 Any change to the Constitution of the World Science Fiction Society shall take effect no sooner than the end of the Convention at which such change is adopted.
4.02 Any proposal to amend the Constitution of the World Science Fiction Society shall require for passage only a majority of all the votes cast on the question at the business meeting of the Society at which it is first debated and ratification by a simple majority of members present and voting at a business meeting of the Society held at the World Convention immediately following that at which the change was first approved. Failure to ratify in the manner described above shall void the proposed change.
4.03 Nothing in paragraph 4.02 shall prevent the Committee responsible for the Convention at which ratification of a proposed change is to be considered from adopting the proposed change in the conduct of its own affairs if it so desires.
4.04 This Constitution including all ratified amendments hereto, together with proposed amendmmets approved but not yet ratified, shall determine the conduct of the affairs of the Society. All previous oonstitutions, byelaws and resolutions having the effects of by-laws and constitutions of the World Science Fiction Society are revoked.
4.05 Business meetings of the Society shall be held at advertised times at World Science Fiction Conventions. The current Convention Committee shall provide the presiding officer and staff for each meeting. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, and such other rules as may be published by the Committee in advance. At this meeting amendments to the Constitution of the World Science Fiction Society may be proposed, discussed, approved, disapproved, ratified or not ratified.
4.06 The Constitution of the World Science Fiction Society accepted by the current Convention Committee, and an explanation of proposed changes approved but not yet ratified, shall be printed by the current Convention Committee, distributed with the Hugo nomination ballots, and shall be printed in the convention book if there is one.
Notes: The entire section four of the Constitution approved at DISCON II was rescinded by a 75% majority vote of members present and voting at the principal business session at AUSSIECON (in accordance with section 4.02 of the published rules governing AUSSIECON). On the initiative of the AUSSIECON Committee, a proposal was made to simplify ratification procedures. The ratification procedure described at Section 4.02 above was approved unanimously at AUSSIECON, the voting being 13 v0tes to nil. The remaining wording of section 4 above comes from the TORCON Rules modified appropriately to allow for the simplified ratification procedures.
Present at the principal business meeting at AUSSIECON were Bill Wright, Brum Pelz, Elaine Pelz, Jack Chalker, Don Landrey, Ronald E Graham, Alf Van Der Poorten, P. Sejavku, Dick Roepke, Alan Frisby, James Shepherd, Alan Huff, Ben Yalow, Frank C. Olbris, Fred Patton, Julian Freidir, Richard Branchshat, Sheila Irvine, Donald Pauley, John Foyster, Kenneth R. Konkol. Two of these people left early, and two arrived late at the meeting.
Signed: Bill Wright, AUSSIECON Parliamentarian