Alec MacLachlan and Nagashima Ichiro Ujimichi are our candidates for seneschal. Their letters of intent, included below, were read into the minutes at the October Commons.
I would like to be considered as a candidate for Seneschal of Ostgardr.
In addition to being the Acting Seneschal for the Province, I was also the Seneschal of An Dubhaigeainn and for Hawkes Reache for several years.
Please let me know if you would like a more formal and detailed letter outlining my experience and commitment to this position.
Nagashima Ichiro Ujimichi, known as Uji
Greetings Officers of the Crown Province of Østgarðr,
It is my intent to offer myself, Nagashima Ichiro Ujimichi, as candidate for Seneschal of our beloved Østgarðr. I have served as seneschal of Lions End since 7/20/2018. I have been a feastocrat on a few occasions, run cooking and brewing workshops, and successfully stewarded a demo in Farmingdale.
In mundane life, I worked in a gaming store, and run many gaming tournaments, the largest one had 85 participants. In college, I was president of several clubs. I can grab the attention of a crowd and keep a meeting focused.
As Østgarðr Seneschal, I will keep the ship sailing smoothly. My intent is to continue the excellence of the office that my predecessor, Hlæfdige Alienor Salton accomplished. I also intend to ramp up promotion of the SCA and get more younger members to join our ranks.
To see a list of all my activities in the SCA, please visit https://wiki.eastkingdom.org/index.php?title=Nagashima_Ichiro_Ujimichi. Thank you and best of luck to all the candidates.
In Service to the Dream,
Nagashima Ichiro Ujimichi
長島 一路 宇治道
Lions End Seneschal
At the November Commons, an extended question and answer session was held, covering topics such as how will you run the commons meetings, whether to continue meeting virtually or move to a hybrid format, how to avoid dropping the balls on items discussed at the meetings, and so on. To ask them any questions you have thought of after the meeting, please email Alec at firstname.lastname@example.org and Uji at email@example.com
Meeting opened to both candidates for statements.
Alec: I think at this time we need an experienced seneschal. Especially with events including royal progress, and Covid on top. People might be interested in reviving Northpass. The possibility of Whyt Whey going dormant if nobody else steps up as seneschal. I was seneschal of Hawks Reach for about eight years. I’ve been involved in the province for a long time.
Held positions of chatelaine and chronicler.
Recruitment is something we have to look at going forward. Caitlin has been doing a great job.
Uji: For those who don’t know me that well, I started in the SCA twenty six years ago, came in interested in brewing and archery, have pursued cooking and brewing. A few years ago, Lions End was in danger of going dormant and I thought that would be a step back that might be hard to recover from. I was deputy seneschal for a week and tapped to step up into the position. Lions End is relatively quiet and unassuming, we typically have two events a year, one schola and one demo. We’ve had great success with both of them, and boosted our bank account balance. I’m strongly in favor of promotion of the SCA and getting new people in; promotion, marketing, and recruitment has a negative connotation but it’s important . I’ve had success as seneschal, I’ve managed kitchens, I’ve run meetings for clubs outside the SCA. I look forward to getting to know people better.
Friderich: if you’re not selected as seneschal, would you serve as emergency deputy for the other?
Albrecht: are you willing to embrace the digital and hybrid format that we’re using?
Uji: Yes, i’m a big fan of electronic communication, and whatever it takes to get the word out about who we are. I’ve been encouraging people to get their EK Wiki pages together and have been assisting people with that.
Alec: Yes, we should explore everything. I’m not the most tech-savvy person but I’ll depend on the technical people to make sure that things are running smoothly.
Lada: How would you describe your management style, especially regarding running meetings?
Uji: I tend to be organized, I’ll tend to set an agenda, starting with old business before new business. I’ve used Robert’s Rules of Order to great benefit. I try to make sure we have an orderly meeting. Joking is good, but we need to get business done.
Alec: you saw how I ran things when I was acting seneschal a couple of years ago. I like the way Piglet sends out officer reports in advance. I like to have a clear idea of the progress and will grill people as needed.
Ragnar: what are your thoughts about the current format for meetings?
Alec: I like the current format, especially with the cold weather. I’d like to eventually return to in-person meetings, but I’d like to incorporate virtual meetings. But I’ll hold off on that until people are comfortable gathering in person.
Uji: These Google Meet meetings have been excellent. But I miss in-person meetings. If and when we move to in-person meetings we’d do it as a hybrid meeting to allow online participation by people who can’t be there in person.
Friderich: Speaking as someone for whom the virtual meetings have been a boon, I’ve found that hybrid meetings are challenging as the folks who are online are excluded.
Alec: I’ve been thinking we need a moderator who keeps track of the chat, so that people who are online don’t get drowned out. It’s not going to be perfect, but it’s worth a try.
Uji: The social media officer might be a good choice to fill the moderator role for a hybrid meeting. We’d make an effort to give the floor to folks who are online.
Berakha: Attending in-person meetings is a challenge, so I’d like to add my voice to the folks who are concerned about virtual meetings. Sorry for beating a dead horse.
Uji: this isn’t a dead horse. It’s important that everyone in a meeting gets to have a voice.
Friderich: we might look into wide-angle web-cam and a cheap screen, so that the in-person people and the online people can see each other.
Kunigunde: As someone who lives in the north, any trip that involves going to the city limits is a big effort. And as a newcomer, this format has helped me get to know a lot of new people. For previous hybrid meetings, the folks who were online had trouble connecting to the people in-person. When my kids had the choice of in-person or hybrid school, the kids who were online were left out.
Sofya: In the past, under previous seneschals, we’ve had issues where ideas got brought up but then dropped. What strategies will you use to ensure that things that are brought up get kept though to the next meeting?
Uji: I had a good discussion with the current seneschal about what it takes to do her job and how much time it requires. I would continue the example she’s set.
Alec: I’d continue to keep collecting officers’ reports in person, and I take my own notes during the meeting. But we’re not such a big group that people can’t come up to me and raise issues to ensure they’re not dropped.
Jenna: While I like in-person meetings, given that we’re now meeting on Wednesday’s, logistically that’s a nightmare. Alternately, if we move to Friday nights we exclude a bunch of people on religious grounds.
Friderich: if the majority of people said they wanted to maintain an online format, would you consider that or is hybrid something you definitely want to pursue?
Alec: I’d like to try hybrid, but if it doesn’t work we’ll switch back. We’ll have to play it by ear. I know that traveling has a price in time and travel costs.
Uji: After hearing people’s concerns, perhaps the online format is the way to go if the majority wants to continue that. We could bring it to a vote if folks want to switch, but I’d stick to online for now.
Garrath: A possible option is to have a online business commons and a rotating site in-person social commons as seem to be the two sections of a typical commons.
Ragnarr: How is the voting going to work?
Alienor: there will be a google form open through Dec 14
Mathghamhain: or any option approved for officer communication, such as email or hand delivery of written ballots to the seneschal.
Lada: please remind the populace of who is eligible to vote.
“The Officers Council and those in the Membership who are at least fourteen years of age are eligible to vote…” — Charter V.I.3.
Please select your choice for seneschal for the 2022-2023 term using this Google form https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1U_OuNgq8oxKriAZjy5s0suCdav2W2Otk26_fSz5-Qdw/viewform Voting closes at midnight on December 14th, 2021.