First off, introductions. My name is Coleen Swafford. The Danner-Swafford is only for people who knew me before I was married. I have been Commander of Skaro Sector (that is Texas, y'all) for the past 2 years. I have been cosplaying for about 6 years now and costuming since 2001. I've held office in the Dallas fort Worth Costumer's Guild and am still a member.
1) Above all else I feel any cosplay group needs to be a safe place for all members in it and the safety and well-being of said members is my top concern. If elected, would you be open to re-investigating rulings from prior administrations if you or another member felt that the ruling could potentially compromise the safety of the members of OoG? Additionally, how would you work with the Lady President to ensure that the comfort and safety of our membership is guaranteed?
Obviously situations such as you describe would have to be taken on a case by base basis. If someone is a potential danger to other members of the organization, then it needs to be addressed no matter what the past ruling was. But conversely, if someone has changed their ways, they deserve a second chance. I would hope to work with whichever Lady is elected president to make sure cool heads are maintained and that every member of our organization feels safe and welcome.
2) While the Order of Gallifrey has 805 members only 26 people voted for Lord Commander in the 2015 Elections. that means you could effectively win the Presidency with as few as 9 votes or 1.06% of the member base. Why do you think that is and what would you do to increase the activity of our membership base? Additionally, does the group warrant so many elected officials when in some areas they ended up out numbering the general active membership?
Wow. Here is a familiar situation and one that is not confined to the Order of Gallifrey. We have a lot of club membership who have joined for whatever reason but decided to not be truly involved. Frankly, I have been thinking about this for a while and plan to (at least in Skaro) send out private messages to each member and ask why we haven't heard from them. Carrying people on rolls make our numbers look good isn't what it's about. I want to know if they have gotten busy with other things or has someone in the group upset them for some reason. Is there something we can do to help them?
I don't think our number of officials is too much. We need differing opinions. None of us can devote our entire lives to this club. the real problem I see is getting our membership active.
And one for the road...
3) if you could only do one of your cosplays for the rest of your life - which would it be and why?
1. The Order has never directly elected Chancellors before. this was permitted because several individuals expressed a desire to work as Chancellor, but not as President. Knowing that one of the duties of the Chancellor is to assume the duties of the President at time, how do you feel about this? Further, as both of you expressed a desire to serve as Chancellor rather than President, may I ask why?
I almost didn't run for any office. The reason I declined to run for President is because I feel the President need to devote an enormous amount of time to this organization. We are still a relatively young organization and there is much to be done to make it great. Due to my job and other hobbies (family included), I didn't feel I could give it the attention I felt it deserved. I changed my mind and decided to run for chancellor because recent events made me believe that whoever is elected President will need help, a "sounding board". That is to say, someone to discuss things with, get a differing opinion from, and talk things out before posting to the world. I think I could fit that bill.
2. The President needs the support of a Chancellor who will help him/her with a variety of issues. Among those issues is a tendency to blame everything under the sun on the President, whether or not he or she actually is to blame. How do you feel you can best provide support? Can you be an ally while at the same time maintaining an independent mind and keeping your own counsel in your role?
I feel that as Chancellor, I can not only be a public supporter but can possibly run interference. I've had the chance to talk to some of our members and understand them better. Facebook, forums, and emails all lack the personal touch and things said on them can come across not as we have meant them but as the reader thinks they were said. I think I can help "translate" statements in both directions.
3. The Chancellor is very much a jack of all trades, much like the Archivist, though the Archivist has the benefit of having a more limited scope. What would be some of your goals if elected Chancellor, given this relatively broad portfolio?
I have 2 main goals. Increasing the number of active members and keeping peace between the those already active.