Sunday, August 5, 2012

Progress at Readercon

The Readercon Board of Directors has resigned or announced that they will resign. The old board stepping down is not a complete fix, but is a necessary step. There are hundreds of people who signed the petition and said they would not attend Readercon in the future unless this happened. The old board lost all credibility on the issues of keeping attendees safe, respecting women, and following their own established rules. The old board also would not have been able to set new rules of any sort and have anyone believe them. And by remaining in place, they would have compounded this public relations disaster.

I have no idea if the old board members are fleeing entirely in a huff or are going to stick around to pass on knowledge, answer questions, assist in the transition, and/or continue to do some of the work involved in keeping the con going. They don't need to continue to be on the board in order to do those things, and hopefully the community will not sense blood in the water and demand that the old board members also be permabanned from any association with Readercon. Many people love Readercon and recognize that some or much of what we love about Readercon is due to the hard work of the old board members. It's just that after this debacle, the old board members can no longer effectively set policy, enforce policy, or be a public face of the leadership of Readercon. The con needs new people to do those things.

I am relieved to know that the board members have recognized what the community needs to hear soon from a new board: This is not your father's Readercon board. Though perhaps phrased differently.


irilyth said...

Yeah, I feel like even if the old Board said "we agree, we messed this up, we need to fix it", the fix at this point is still for them to resign. So I'd be curious if in fact that's what they're thinking/saying, or if it's more like "fine, screw you guys", or what.

Michael said...

Here's the public statement from the convention committee (30 people, of whom the 5 members of the Board of Directors were a subset): I think it's an excellent piece of writing, saying all the right things. I hope they continue to follow through.