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New Directors, and a personal word from Melian Catronis

First, let me congratulate Willowwynn, iLaurenB, and Cierra Theriac for their election to the SLSA board. They will be replacing Zadi, Bobbi, and myself and running things for the next six months. Also, congratulations to JohnnyWhadd and MaryAnn Maa Rustamova, who were very close to being elected for these three positions. The SLSA hopes they will be first in line standing for Director in March for the next election, replacing Xander and Sally.

When I was elected six months ago, I saw a few problems that needed to be addressed by both the SLSA board and by its membership. We had elections where nobody bothered to vote, and it was a struggle to even get enough people willing to stand for election to fill the open spots. There was a drought of new members willing to consider the idea of standing for election, and while we certainly needed the experience of long-term members and former directors running again, I felt we needed the energy of the new to come along take the reins. We had surf sims closing around us and no new surf sims coming along who wanted to be considered for competition use. But what a difference a season can make! We had THREE new sims who wanted to become competition venues, and each–Barton Springs/Carpe Diem, Asylum Reef, and Cape Marina, jumped on board enthusistically and offered us new waves and new vistas to look at. The SLSA board is now comprised of three members who have only joined in the last couple of years, elected by nearly twice the number of voters who participated in the last election. And now we see something new and different–multigenerational members as SLSA directors. Xander Lunasea, adopted by Mick Lunasea and Revlon Benoir (both former directors) was the first SL 2nd generation surfer to take the reins of directorship. And now we have Willowynn, the daughter of former director Maldrul Morris, wanting to take on the responsibilities of running the SLSA. There seems to be a paradigm shift at work and our younger generation of members wants to try out their wings and see what they can do, not just on the waves. It does the heart good to see it.

So as our term is ending, I can say things are in very good hands. We can sit back and watch what these new people do while being willing to offer the helping hand when needed. Our responsibilites as SLSA members are to still participate and ask questions and suggest and understand that sometimes the wheels move a little slowly, but they do move. Our new members and our new directors have caught a new wave and they’re using a new surfboard to ride it with, and I think I’m going to have fun sitting back on my little old Orca board and riding the wave myself from a distance. Bobbi will be trying her best to learn how to climb that wave, because that wave is certainly going to be made of Mesh and therefore climbable, and Zadi will be sitting on her board by me and shaking our heads and saying, ‘How in the world does the DO that??’. Thank you for letting me try this out for 6 months, and for paying it forward.

Participate!–A Commentary by Melian Catronis

I’m going to start off by telling you a story most of us heard in childhood, called ‘The Little Red Hen’. The hen wanted to make fresh bread but knew there would be a lot of work involved in making the bread. The ground had to be hoed, the wheat planted and grown, it had to be gathered and threshed and ground and finally made. At each step along the way she asked her friends in the barnyard–a cat, a duck, and a dog–for help. And each time they said, ‘Not me,’ so the hen and her chicks had to do all the work themselves. Finally the bread was made and it was so warm and pretty and hearty and smelled wonderful. And the hen said, ‘Who wants to help me eat this bread?’ Suddenly, the cat, the duck, and the dog were all first in line, saying, ‘We will! We’d love some bread!’ The hen couldn’t believe it. ‘Where were you when I needed your help?’ she asked. ‘You didn’t want to do any work, but you want the reward. So no, I will not give you any bread. Only those who worked for the bread will get the bread.’ And she and her chicks ate the bread alone.

We have an upcoming election to fill three positions with the SLSA Directors. We have three candidates, and they are excellent candidates. But there should have been more who applied. And frankly, we shouldn’t have to beg for anyone to apply. Those of you who enjoy surfing in SL and members of the SLSA should be lining around the block for the opportunity to either stand for election, and if not that, to train to become marshals in competitions, or train to be judges, or work security during a competition.

Applying the story of the Little Red Hen to the SLSA, there are those who have actually done some work–anyone who has ever stood for election and worked as a Director, anyone who has ever trained or worked a competiion as a marshal, security, judges, or Head Judges, who have lobbied with Linden Labs itself to gather more exposure within SL or to notify them of special problems that arise with software changes or scripting programs–all of you have hoed the ground, planted the wheat, gathered it, threshed it, ground it, or helped to make the bread itself. Whether you found the experience good, bad, or so bad you never want to do it again, at least you did it. Thank you. But I can only judge on the fact we have over 1,000 members on our rolls, and while some are no longer in SL, many are. And yet very few have actually worked to make this bread. Taking away those brand new members who have joined up within the past couple of months, I can only conclude we have some long-time members of the SLSA, those who have been members for years, who seem to be more content to sit on the pixel beaches smoking imaginary weed and complaining how the SLSA is a big clique up at the top where  ‘it’s just the same people running things over and over again and nothing changes’.

None of this can happen in a vacuum. At some point, all of us have to go work in the fields or in the kitchen and make the bread. To enjoy the reward of the bread, which is both the existence of the SLSA and the fun of the competitions and the continued existence of the surfing culture outside of the SLSA, everyone needs to be pulling their weight. And if all you’ve ever been interested in doing is cyber-surfing on the pixel waves and smoking the cyber-skunkweed, especially if you’ve been here awhile, you’re just not to me. I’m sorry, you’re just not.

Now, how can you pull the weight, work the field, work the kitchen, make the bread, and not give yourself a hernia from the lack of exercise? You can participate. Start small–you can vote in the upcoming election and say you want these candidates in these three positions with hundreds of voices, not just 10 or 20. You can train to work in an SLSA competition in some way, or actually work it if you are trained. If we post a poll regarding a potential change, like when we asked if the membership would support the use of non-SSi boards in competition, answer it. Give us your thoughts. Then work your way up. Decide you want to commit some time and actually help run things. But at least become active members, not cyber-couch potatoes.

The SLSA is our group. But for it to be our group and stay our group, it needs more of us to say ‘I will’ instead of ‘Not me’. Then we might have more bread to eat.

A Personal Message from SLSA Director Melian Catronis

This weekend, the SLSA posted a call for candidates to the upcoming elections on September 1st. Two of these positions are for Directors who are finishing their terms and must step aside; the third is a by-election for someone who cannot complete their term. I personally cannot emphasize enough the importance of people standing for election to these positions.

The SLSA is a group that boasts over 1,000 members in its rolls. And yet, according to current and former members who recently took part in a 20-question survey for Surfwatch, one of the largest criticisms has been in spite of the size of the membership rolls, there appear to only be about 20 active participants. Not just surfers, but people who are willing to stand for election and make sure the SLSA continues to grow and thrive. In the past season, we have introduced the non-SSi surfboard to competition, and in the upcoming season we have three new venues wanting to host an event. That means there is new blood out there, and we need to see that new blood take the reins and start working toward the continuation of the surf culture in SL.

By no means am I casting any doubts on previous SLSA Directors who may wish to stand for election again–your past experiences are greatly appreciated and wanted on the board. But here’s the deal: if you only get the same candidates running for office over and over and over again, you pretty much end up with the situation we’re currently seeing in the election campaigns for President of the United States in November–Same Old Stuff, Different Day. Having multiple candidates for only a couple of positions allows for choices to be made by the membership instead of having to vote on two or three people by default.

No, this is not an easy job in SL. And more than once I have questioned whether I am going to do something that results in the destruction of the entire surf community. But when I started out surfing I ran into a member named Robbin Ember. Robbin won the Angel Award a couple of seasons ago because she is willing to bend over backwards to help a new surfer out, however she can, and her only price is for you to ‘pay it forward’. This is the best way I could think of for paying it forward. Now my call to you is this, and it’s a personal opinion–if you are a longtime member of the SLSA and you have never stood for election as a Director, and you’re only content to surf and party on the surf sims and occasionally put lindens in the black boxes, while that is generally a good thing, it’s also sorta like having your neighbor drive you around everywhere because you don’t have a car and not offering to give any money for gas, or at least reward your neighbor’s generosity by baking them a batch of brownies or something. The SLSA does not require you pay for a membership, the SLSA does not demand an admission fee to a surf sim, and they don’t even require that you be a member of the SLSA to surf at Solace Estates. Members asking ‘How can I help?’ and then helping is the only pay-to-play we request. And sometimes pay-to-play is to serve.

So please, consider standing for election for these three positions, if for no other reason that to fulfill your spiritual obligation to pay it foward and keep the surf community in SL moving foward.

Thank you,
Melian

CALL FOR CANDIDATES–SEPTEMBER 1, 2012 ELECTIONS

It is time for another SLSA election. This time there are three Director positions to fill–two are full terms of 6 months, while one is a by-election to fill a vacancy in the board and will last for 3 months. Please visit the forums and look under Annoucements for further details on how you can declare your candidacy for election. Please support the SLSA by fulfilling this very important task. Thank you.

Registration Now Open–Carpe Diem/Barton Springs Series

The 2012 Season 2 competition schedule kicks off on August 18 with the Open at Carpe Diem/Barton Springs. The Pro event will be held August 25.

All details can be found in the Forums under Competition Registration. Let’s get this season started off right with a huge turnout for both surfers and spectators alike.

CALL FOR SPONSORS, 2012 SEASON 2

With a new season comes the new push for sponsorships for the 2012 season 2 schedule. It takes money to put on fun events for everyone, and sponsorships are the way the SLSA can put on an entire season. Not to mention, a great way for your businesses to get exposure and potential new customers while supporting our organization. And you may be surprised at how inexpensive sponsorship in the SLSA can be!

If you are interested, please contact Bobbi Laval or Imzadi Amaterasu for further details.

Announcing 2012 Season 2 Schedule. New Venues and Waves to Surf!

The SLSA happily announces the 2012 Season 2 schedule, with three new venues hosting events: Carpe Diem/Barton Springs (August), Asylum Break (October) and Cape Marina (December).

This will be the first season where a Mesh wave will be used in SLSA competition. Other new waves to the SLSA competition schedule are the Nalu and the HP Jaws.

In addition to the new venues, the SLSA will return to Tsunami Beach in September for the first time since its rebirth, and rounds out with the traditional Fluffy comp at Chi in November.

Dates for the season’s competitions can be found in the Forums under 2012 Season 2 Fixtures. We hope to see you there, either surfing or watching!

Encinitas Comp to Make SLSA History to End 1st Half of Season 10

Coming on the heels of the historic 50th SLSA competition at Tai, the first half of the 10th SLSA season closes out with comp #51 at Encinitas. This will make history as the first SLSA-sanctioned competition to allow the use of a non-SSi surfboard. All competitors will use the HP5 board during the Open and Pro event. Come join us at Encinitas for the Open on June 16th at 11 AM SLT. The top 20 surfers and those who qualify from the Open will surf the Pro event on June 23rd. We hope to see you there.