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Thread: AUGUST KNIGHTS STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES AND BY LAWS

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    August Knights Standard Operating Procedures And By Laws

    August Knights Standard Operating Procedures and By Laws

    This document was originally written by former Chief Operations Officer [AK]Zorro, who has long since left the organization. Significant contributions and modifications have been made by [AK]Palooka. This is a living document which can and will change with or without notice.

    Organizational Structure

    The organizational integrity of the August Knights is maintained through adherence to a stringent chain of command. A Knight is expected to follow the guidance of Knights who have been placed in leadership roles. Resolution of conflicts and issues within the organization should be taken to the Knight’s superior officer. When necessary, these issues will be promoted up the chain of command until a person suitable to resolve the issue is reached. In many cases, Knights will serve in more than one role. Hence, the command structure could change based upon the context of the situation. For example, while the Chief Operations Officer’s position exists outside the command structure that directly deals with games, the Knight that is the Chief Operations Officer will participate in events where his position in the squad would have preference over his role as the Chief Operations Officer. Thus, the Chief Operations Officer could conceivably report to a Squad Captain, Game Coordinator, or Secretary of War in certain, context-appropriate situations.

    Officers (listed by rank in the chain of command)

    Chief Executive Officer: Head of the August Knights organization. Oversees all facets of the organization. Currently responsible for maintenance and upkeep of all technolgies relating to the August Knights organization.

    Chief Operations Officer: Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer. Responsible for assuring smooth operation and enforcement of August Knights organizational policies and procedures.

    Secretary of War: Responsible for game-related activities of the August Knights. Selects Game Coordinators and Squad Captains for games. Responsible for all ladder activities of the August Knights. Appointed by the Council of Elders.

    Chief Recruiter: Responsible for recruiting activities of the August Knights. Direct responsibility for all recruits and Squires in pursuit of Knight status in the organization. Appointed by the Council of Elders.

    Undersecretary of War: Assistant to the Secretary of War. Appointed by the Secretary of War.

    Assistant Recruiter: Assistant to the Chief Recruiter. Primarily responsible for assisting in recruiting-related activities. Appointed by the Chief Recruiter.

    Senior Squire: Assistant to the Chief Recruiter. Primarily responsible for assisting in matters relating to the August Squires organization. Typically is the most senior Squire, but appointments are the final decision of the Chief Recruiter.

    Knight Seniority

    All members are honored with the title of Knight from the moment that they are first inducted as a non-probationary member of the August Knights. However, it is important to pay tribute to our elder Knights with a few additional rights and privileges. Thus, any Knight who remains active and in good standing with the organization for two years will earn this special distinction, and will carry the moniker of “Senior Knight.” A Senior Knight has the following privileges:

    -First right of refusal for open positions on any competition roster

    -First right of refusal for any appointed positions within the organization

    Additionally, Knights who were present in the August Knights organization in the first six months of its existence are granted the honorary title of Founding Knight. Regardless of activity in the organization, all Founding Knights will bear this special title. Founding Knights are afforded no additional privileges over those given to the Senior Knights. The Founding Knights are [AK]Palooka and [AK]Abaddon.

    Council of Elders

    The primary function of the Council of Elders is to make decisions regarding the present state and direction of the August Knights organization. The decisions of the Council of Elders will not usurp the will of the sum total of the organization in matters of course that should be decided by a democratic vote; the Council need only be convened to initiate discussions regarding direction changes, disciplinary actions, and to serve as the preliminary approval body for all changes to the August Knights Standard Operating Procedures and By Laws. All votes before the Council require a quorum of 100% participation and a simple majority. In the event of a tie, the Chief Executive Officer will cast a second vote.

    The Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer, Secretary of War, Chief Recruiter, Undersecretary of War, and Assistant Chief Recruiter all hold permanent seats in the Council of Elders. A seventh seat is held by a Senior Knight appointed by the Chief Executive Officer. The Senior Knight seat will be occupied by the same member until he resigns or is removed from the Council of Elders.

    Membership Guidelines

    An August Knight must have reached the age of 21 before being considered for any level of membership.

    The August Knights organization consists of three levels of membership status.

    Recruits

    Recruits are gamers who have expressed an interest in becoming an August Knight by filling out an application and submitting it to the Chief Recruiter. The Chief Recruiter is afforded a certain level of discretion in allowing applicants to achieve recruit status. General guidelines for participation should include, but are not limited to, appropriate completion of the application form itself, appropriate age, and relevant historical information on the recruit. The Chief Recruiter is ultimately responsible for sending the recruit a welcome package indicating the requirements for advancement, expectations of the recruit, standards of conduct, appropriate practice information, and game and voice communication server information via email. Recruits are expected to participate in scheduled practices and make meaningful posts in the August Knights Forums. Regularly posting in the forums is particularly important because many Knights do not necessarily play the same game(s) that any given recruit may play, yet every active Knight needs to become familiar with a recruit before that recruit is eligible for advancement to the August Squires.

    Once a recruit has gained notoriety among active Knights, he should be nominated for Squirehood by an advocate Knight. A discussion regarding the recruit's qualifications for membership will ensue at this point. Once the Chief Executive Officer is satisfied with the discussion, he will initiate the vote. The rules are as follows:

    In order for a recruit to become an August Squire, a majority of the votes (at least one more than half) must be in the affirmative ("Yea"). Failing this, if the majority of the non-affirmative votes are negative ("Nay"), the recruit is rejected for membership. Alternatively, if the majority of non-affirmative votes are for a delay ("Delay"), the recruit will be voted on again when more Knights are acquainted with him (usually a month or two). A tie between "Nay" and "Delay" votes will result in the recruit's rejection. A voter turnout of less than 60% of active Knights (i.e. Knights who at least check the forums on a regular basis) will result in a disqualification of the vote and a delay before another is initiated.

    August Squires

    The August Squires are the proving ground for any gamer in pursuit of the Knighthood. If a recruit is promoted to the Squire level through the voting procedure described above, he will receive a welcome aboard email message from the Chief Executive Officer detailing his new status and the additional privileges that he receives in the role of a Squire. The following is a description of those privileges:

    -All Squires have earned the right to carry the [AK?] tag prepended to their handle. Their AK forums login will be changed accordingly, and they will be invited to join the in-game August Squires organization, if applicable to the game in which the AK organization is currently involved.

    -All Squires will have the option of receiving an augustknights.com email address, as well as membership in the Squires mailing lists.

    -All Squires will be granted access to private strategy forums within the August Knights Forums where they can learn tactics and further engage in discussions with the Knights and other Squires. All Squires are also granted access to Ultima Ratio Regum, which is the catch-all private forum.

    -All Squires are eligible to participate in tournament matches and scrimmages along with the Knights.

    The Chief Recruiter will be in charge of the August Squires organization. The Senior Squire, appointed by the Chief Recruiter, will assist the Chief Recruiter in his leadership responsibilities as they pertain to the Squires. The Senior Squire is expected to assist new Squires in their transition into the organization. He should be available to show new Squires strategies, introduce them to practice and game procedures, and help them get to know the organization.

    In the event that a Squire acts in a manner that is unbecoming a Knight, the Council of Elders will convene to discuss the appropriate actions to take against the Squire, up to and including removal from the organization. A disciplinary hearing, in which the Squire will appear before the Council of Elders to answer for his actions (either via Ventrilo or a special temporary private forum), may be considered an appropriate course of action. For more on this, read the "Disciplinary Hearings" section below.

    (Continued . . .)

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    August Squires [continued]

    Once a member has proven himself to the best of his ability in the Squires, an August Knight will motion for a full membership vote. This will be followed by a discussion regarding the Squire's qualifications for Knighthood. If and when the Chief Executive Officer is satisfied with the discussion, he will initiate a vote. In order for the vote to qualify, a minimum of 80% of active August Knights must participate. The options will be the same as a Squirehood vote: Yea, Delay, or Nay. For a Squire to be Knighted, he must receive unanimous Yay votes. Failing that, if a majority of the non-Yea votes are Nay, the Squire will be permanently rejected. Otherwise, the Squire will be eligible for another full membership vote when those who were in favor of a delay are ready to vote in the affirmative or negative.

    August Knights

    Once a member has achieved Knight status, he is guaranteed that position for the rest of his life, so long as he stays in good standing with the organization. Knights are expected to continue to participate in the organization, particularly in the forums. Knights are given all the rights and privileges that the August Knights has to offer to standard full members. These include access to the private Staff Meetings forum, membership on the Knights mailing list, and considerally more influence in the operations of the August Knights. For instance, Knights are given the right to participate in Squire and Knight votes, as well as various issue polls which shape August Knights policy.

    In the event that a Knight acts in a manner unbecoming Knighthood, he will receive counsel by his superior officer. If a Knight displays a pattern of unbecoming behavior, a disciplinary hearing will be convened at the order of the Council of Elders.

    Participation in Other Gaming Organizations

    While not encouraged, the participation of August Knights members in gaming activities with other organizations is not expressly prohibited under most circumstances. Unfortunately, there are often periods in which no single game strikes the fancy of a majority of members. During these times, it may be impossible to organize the requisite number of members for a competitive ladder or MMO guild. Thus, it may become necessary for members to seek other organizations which can fully satisfy their gaming needs, and this is allowed. However, joining a different organization to participate in a game that the August Knights is actively playing as a group is prohibited, and may warrant expulsion from the August Knights. Members who join other gaming organizations are expected to have the common decency to inform the membership via the forums.

    Disciplinary Hearings

    Disciplinary hearings are to be used sparingly as a remedy for conduct unbecoming a Knight. A disciplinary hearing is a very serious matter and will almost certainly tarnish the reputation of any Knight or Squire who is found in need of this course of action. To initiate a disciplinary hearing for a Knight:

    -A member must be found to have a pattern of unbecoming behavior.

    -Evidence of this pattern must be included in a recommendation presented to the Council of Elders. This recommendation should also include proposed actions that should be taken in the event of a guilty verdict in the hearing.

    -The Council of Elders will consider the recommendation and vote on whether there is a basis for proceeding with a hearing. A unanimous vote with 100% participation is required to move on the recommendation.

    To initiate a disciplinary hearing for a Squire:

    -The Chief Recruiter will have found that the Squire has exhibited behavior unbecoming the Knighthood.

    -Evidence of this pattern must be included in a recommendation presented to the Council of Elders. This recommendation should also include proposed actions that should be taken in the event of a guilty verdict in the hearing.

    -The Council of Elders will consider the recommendation and vote on whether there is a basis for proceeding with a hearing. A simple majority with 100% participation is required to move on the recommendation.

    The procedure for a disciplinary hearing is as follows:

    -The Chief Executive Officer will preside over the proceedings, which will be held in a private Ventrilo channel or a temporary private forum.

    -The member under review will be expected to represent himself in the hearing.

    -Council members will question the member under review and decide upon an appropriate course of action.

    -For Knights, a revocation of membership can only occur with a unanimous vote. For Squires, revocation can come with a simple majority.

    Inactivity

    Knights and Squires are expected to maintain a minimal level of activity--posting in the forums and/or playing online games with other members--in order to remain in good standing with the organization. Thus, a Knight or Squire may be removed from the organization without notice after one or more years of inactivity.

    Domestic Tranquility

    The August Knights is an adult organization of gamers. Hence, many of our members are likely married or otherwise engaged in meaningful relationships with members of the opposite sex. Additionally, many members have parental responsibilities that should not be ignored for the sake of participating in any AK function or online resource. For the sake of ensuring the domestic tranquility of our membership, we strongly encourage our members to take at least two days per week away from the computer, away from the games, and away from the boards, and spend that precious time with those that should matter the most in our lives. The August Knights have no desire whatsoever to have the blood of a failed relationship upon our hands, so let’s all remember to put family first.

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