General Membership Meeting, Tuesday, December 16, 2003
So who are we? Do we wish to continue to exist?
Present: Anders (new!), Lindsay, John Nishinaga, John Pilch, Charlie, Paul (new!), Andy (new!).
Minute taker: Charlie
John N. will bottom line making stickers and an add for the DIY/SkillShare planning meeting, set for Wednesday, Jan 21st 2004, at Cloyne Court Hotel.
John P. will send an email out and get peoples thoughts on copy facilities for the DisorientationZine, with the goal of getting some massive distribution happening. He is also interested in getting help with the Gill Tract project, which he should send info to the list on.
- People like the Barrington Collective and want to see it continue to be active despite its recent slump. We are very interested in attracting more people and getting more projects happening, such as:
<pre> 1. DIY Fest (Another East Bay Skill Share) 2. Promotion of the DisorientationZine 3. Agitation and Propaganda (flyers, stickers, political messages) 4. Get more people on the Announce list. </pre>
Anders: does not penetrate the inner cavity. He just itches the surface.
John Pilch: Is going to Vancouver after finals. Wondering about good places to see between here and there. Just got back from long, good Berkeley Worms meeting.
Anders: Just finished school, this is his first meeting. Is interested in the BC, passive activism, and wondering what can be done to make it work.
Charlie: Last week, I didn't go outside for 4 days straight. I have been stuck in my dank hole, working alternately on music and web related projects, and working in the USCA's Central Maintenance (another dank hole connected to my building) during the day. So I never have to go outside. This is bad. But here I am, indoors again, but at least a half a mile away from home.
John N: Not in school anymore, no urgent time pressure.. but is does work for a patent filer. He doesn't have a lot of time pressure, but he has moved, a 60 hour job, and such.
Lindsay: Still has tons to finish for schools in the next few days. Glad to be here again.
Andy: School kicked his ass this semester, is in a daze now. Working a lot at Berkeley Worms cause he can't think of anything else to do.
Paul: Been in Brazil all semester, is also new to the BC. Is becoming reacquainted with everything. Would like to see the BC keep hopping.
1. Where is the BC going? (discussion about what you want to do with BC)
Had a kickass DIY festival this fall, then 1 or two more meetings, and then everything literally died. We got the Disorientation printed, and we were about to distribute it, but then everyone just disappeared like cockroaches under the glare of a lightbulb.
John N: was concerned that everything died so suddenly, and wasn't sure if we should just hang everything up and give up. We tried to have a number of meetings, but noone showed up.. This time, John called folks on the phone and asked, "hey, please come, let's at least die intentionally in a meeting if we die."
Lindsey: I wonder how much energy we are all able to put out mid-semester. And we should figure out what we did that was successful (like ReadAnarchy and DIY) and try to get those happening again.
John P: I think this is pretty important. It has served a very good function, and should continue to. It got beyond the coops and entered into the outside working community, which was good, a good thing for students to have access too. Would like to keep doing stuff. The organization great in that is autonomous and non-hierarchical, and we don't feel guilty about not putting in when we can't, but that means that we can fall apart easily. But it is important to keep the connections so we can get stuff done. We should support one another in our efforts to do things that you can't just do by yourself (social activism). We should do little things that are easier. Go out and write your name on campus and get arrested (hahaha), DIY fest is good, we should make that happen again. One thing that happened was that people went off and did their own thing, which wasn't connected, which is fine.. but maybe we can find a way to take the outside projects and use the BC as a way to let others know about what you're doing. Would like to see more people be involved, and provide an alternative forum to a large number of others for whatever they want to get done. What we're really talking about is making bigger changes than you can make alone.
Charlie: I really like the fact that the BC is a tight community of people I like (and each new person I meet in it tends to be someone I like). The community aspect I think is really important to me, even more important perhaps than the activist causes that the community is engaged in. I would like to see it continue. It is an excuse to get me out of my room, which I otherwise stay in for hours on end, unhealthily.
John N: What do you like about the BC?
Andy: I saw a flyer that said "Every Wednesday, come speak spanish," which sounded really cool. Things that we're already doing that we want to invite other people to. Disorientation distribution sounds cool.
John P: between 20th and 25th we're going to put a DisorientationZine in every bathroom of the USCA.
Andy: Fixing things sounded cool.. I could commit to saying, "I'll do this every Wednesday" or whatever. It sounded to me like it was cool, one person headed each thing on a list. And sometimes people came and sometimes they didn't, but at least trying.. it was cool.
Paul: The only thing I actually participated in were the skillshares (free skool). I really loved them. I think the idea of getting people together for different projects is cool, especially in large university settings where people can get together.
Anders: Workshop FreeSkool things are probably the best aspect, er, rather, I really like them. There's the whole aspect of learning things that the university completely neglects - skills that I care about (like soapbox derby building) but don't have, instead of this intellectual self defacing garbage that I don't care about, and doing things with it, not just.. whatever. I'm wondering if there's some way to exploit the University back. People are often more able to do things when they can get units. I wonder if there's some way to use the Decal system for an amorphous skillshare workshop thing, 8 skill workshops a semester of any type, everyone does one, and you get a grade.
Charlie: (Sticking foot in mouth for unintended impression of criticism of Anders' suggestion for units and students) I think its important that we continue to try to do what we started trying to do several months ago, which is actively branch out to other community places.
John N.: There's a lot of discussion about 6 months ago where people in Berkeley and the East Bay Community wanted to draw from the rest of the community. (like I am now...) BC started as a social group, everyone knew each other, and had strong connections with people in the group, and we're all coopers, etc. I don't feel we should talk about, "oh, we shouldn't do this..." What's really important right now is just surviving, and whatever works is good.
Charlie: sorry, no intent to criticize, just saw an explicit focus on projects that point only to students to be a red flag on something that's important to me, namely, branching out. I think the DeCal idea is a good idea; maybe we can do something if we're using the DeCal bureaucracy like forcing people to get outside of the University community to do their skillshares.
Anders: I don't think we're lost to the rest of the community. There are lots of groups and places (longhaul) not associated with the University that have been nominally connected to BC in spirit, if not practically. Wondering of ways to strengthen those bonds.
John N.: A lot of it is just going down there and talking to people. It's hard.. Thomas and Stevie had a lot of connections with a lot of people, and they're gone now. Maybe as an idea we should each of us go make a friend in the community. Go out and hang out with people and find out what they're all about, and "hey, can you come to the barrington collective meeting, or the DIY fest". Ideas and activities for next semester?
Andy: People will be organizing around March 20 antiwar, we should do something there.. ideas start.
Anders: That is somewhat superficial thing, protesting, not to disparage it, but it doesn't build community as well....
Andy: People had affinity groups, it seems strong.
John P.: We had a coop cluster, with a great deal of crossover to the BC community. BC kind of shut down for the anti-war push of early 2003, then people got back to BC after the anti-war stuff quieted down.
John P.: We ought to let people know early that we are doing things. Maybe we should do a DIY, call it a "Skill Share".
Anders: It's one of the strongest thing the BC has going.
Lindsay: Is there still the "East Bay Skill Share?"
John P.: Haven't seen one in a while.
All: It should be later, things take a long time to plan.
Andy: Biodiesel Acton House bus is cool, maybe we can talk to them.
John P: We have 200 bucks still. We should use it.
John N: I liked the DisorientationZine. Lets make a lot more of 'em. Anthony has the software copies. Lets do a reissue, get it all over the place. Good idea for freshmen in the fall. I'm personally willing to bottom line it.
ALL: (thinking of ways to get free copies) How about get houses to volunteer copy codes in CO. We should put the BC info in the zine so people contact us.
John N: I can make stickers. Just tell me what you want on them.
John P has I have anti-GMO stickers that are super cool. Anders has Dick Cheney posters that are scary as hell. We need more of a voice on campus, it's so bland...
John N: There's $70 a month root hosting available. Currently the electronic BC is hosted by CZ, which is cool as long as CZ people are cool, which is likely to be the case for at least a year. But if CZ stops maintaining their network or something, we'll need to explore that.
John N: Any ideas for getting people to come to meetings?
John P: Put 'em back in the coops.
Lindsay: The idea of putting it in Cafe Med was so people would know where to come. But if we put it in the coops, people would arrive on accident.
Andy: What if we just met on the lower level of Cafe Med, where more people just pop in?
John N: Two ideas: 1 - Cool idea to have people bottom line one east bay group or coop and go over to 'em and say, "hey, come to our meetings." And get interested in what they do. 2 - Switching around the meeting time/place is a good idea. The set time/place is good when the group is active and has a lot going on, but when the group is not as active (which is fine), it's better to say, "ok, let's just see you in a couple months."
Anders: If we have a specific thing to meet about, then good. But if we don't have anything to meet about, it's hard to convince people to come. Though admittedly there is a conflict between it being about whatever the attendees want it to be and it being with a set agenda to attract people interested in that thing. The BC as a forum for people to meet and talk about what they're personally doing is really good.
Lindsay: Propose we have a DIY (East Bay Skill Share) meeting early in next semester.
John P: I'll send an email out, people should get back to me with copy facilities. I'll leave DisorientationZine 's in the Kingman Library.
John P: I'm gonna be throwing a lot of energy on the Gill Tract thing, just so you know, that might preoccupy me.
Anders: We should get the BC involved with the Gill Tract. We all have personal projects, lets incorporate them.
Lindsay: DIY Fest meeting is set for January 21st, 2004, at Cloyne Court Hotel, 8:30 p.m.
John N: Bottom line making stickers and an ad for DIY/Skill Share planning meeting, Wednesday Jan 21st 2004, at Cloyne Court Hotel, 8:30 p.m.