Surprise!!! The admins held an Administrative Staff Meeting (ASM) today, and we have some news to share!
(Background for new members: Administrative Staff Meetings are called about twice or three times a year to address specific issues, people, and big-picture and technical decisions for the server as a whole. ASMs are always private, only attended by administrators, and announced days in advance, if at all.)
We made two changes to staff member positions at this meeting, and discussed a few other aspects of the staff team as a whole. Starting off with staff positions:
- godzilltrain has been re-promoted to the rank of Administrator. megascatterbomb will be holding on to the City Ranks Coordinator title for the time being, but that title may switch back to Godz at a later date. If that happens, Mega and Godz will make an announcement with the details.
- Narnia17 has been demoted from Moderator to the rank of Premier due to inactivity. Narnia was promoted up on November 26, 2016 and has served the community well over the past few years. Thank you to Narnia for everything you’ve done during your service!
- Separately from the ASM, _HeavenAngel_ stepped down from the moderator role a few weeks ago on June 24, after serving for over two years. Thank you to Heaven for all that you’ve done for the community!
In terms of future inactivity demotions, we’ve defined three objectives that all staff are expected to follow, and breaching any will automatically trigger an inactivity process that could result in demotion. These objectives are:
- Be active in Minecraft,
- Vote on all assigned cities for the Senator and Governor ranks, and
- When in Minecraft, help the community out.
Each of these objectives will need to be met on a rolling three-month basis in order to retain active status.
Staff are also highly encouraged to attend as many General and Infrastructure Staff Meetings as possible. These decision-making events are important to the smooth operation of the community. While we won’t mandate or track attendance (primarily because of scheduling and the like), we will be making it easier for staff to vote absentee, with absentee ballots for each meeting being released at the same time that the agenda closes.
Starting later this year, all staff will be required to have a semi-annual one-on-one meeting with someone in the rank above them. In other words, every six months, each moderator will meet with an admin, and each admin will meet with me or Frumple. Frumple and I will meet slightly more frequently due to the extra responsibilities of the Head Admin position. All 1:1s will be conducted using voice calls. More details will be determined through a private portion topic at the July GSM.
We’re implementing this to give all staff members a dedicated space to have a two-way feedback and check-in session with someone of a higher rank. This is very common in office jobs with a management structure, and now that several staff have professional work experience (damn, we’re old), we’ve found it to be a really useful tool for both sides of the conversation. 1:1s are not punitive or formal review sessions. They are a chance for everyone to make sure that their ideas, concerns, questions, and experiences are being heard. While they are being formally defined and scheduled, they are intended to be informal conversations that shouldn’t take too long.
We likely won’t make much more of a public mention about the 1:1 process, though we do want to let everyone know in case staff mention them. Staff are always welcome to initiate a private conversation with someone at any time. Members are also welcome to bring concerns to our attention privately, either individually or to the all-staff or all-admin email addresses.
Hate symbols and roleplaying discussion
To start this topic, we’ve been happy to see a lot of conversation and discourse happening in Discord and in-game surrounding this topic. These are some hard questions, especially when the diverse backgrounds of MRT members are taken into account.
One of the key components of this conversation will be our stance on, and banning of, specific things that are used as symbols of hate towards identity-based groups. The admins as a whole are issuing the following statement (which carries the weight of the rules, as it was approved at an ASM):
Symbology and other content that is racist and anti-Semitic is explicitly banned. Effective immediately, any use of the Confederate flag, Nazi swastikas, and recreations of the Holocaust are not allowed. Staff reserve the right to make a final determination on whether something crosses the line, and other items can be added to this list if the community deems them unacceptable.
Members who believe that a specific use of these symbols may be acceptable should contact us. We will not approve exemptions if they can be construed to support any kind of hateful message, group, or action.
This will be an ongoing conversation as the community evolves. As always, feedback can be submitted to staff at any time.
While not directly related to the ASM, we do want to call everyone’s attention to a few things:
- There are several events going on throughout July! Please check the events calendar to learn about them. Event hosts should contact admins if any events or details are missing from the calendar.
- Please submit GSM items – including moderator nominations – to staff by 7:00 pm UTC on Thursday, July 16. There are two fewer moderators now than there were a few hours ago, so we’d like to bolster the rank a bit with people who would serve the community well. As always, nominations don’t roll over, so members are asked to submit new nominations if their candidates haven’t been promoted.
- We are still on Minecraft 1.15, so please don’t update your client yet.
- There is still a pandemic going on, so please wash your hands and wear a mask when you’re out and about.
Thanks everyone – and especially thanks to our media crews for going live at a moment’s notice!