From Council to Board: Big Update!

The UPS Admin Team held another meeting last night. Here are some updates, which we hope will answer all the questions we’ve gotten regarding the changes we announced two weeks ago. If you have other questions, please feel free to reach out, or post them here.

Background/TLDR:
Up to this point, the council appointed all its council members (who made decisions about the direction of the group, in addition to other functions). Additionally, the council recruited and appointed folx to the moderator team, who may or may not have also been council members. We are making changes to the structure of the group, and in order for these changes to happen we need YOU to participate.

Change 1: Election of Board Members
First, going forward the majority of the council (now called the “Board”) will be elected by YOU, the members of UPS. Our goal is that the Board be representative of and responsive to the community we serve. We need new voices, new perspectives, and more transparency. We are currently working out the logistical details of this process, and it will happen over time to preserve the institutional knowledge of our current admin members, we ask that you be patient with and participate in this process.

We will be holding elections to add 5 additional members to the Board (previously called “the council”). All of the existing members of the council will become board members but will rotate off the board over the next several years. Additionally, the current council elected to add Kelsey Rose to the Board. She has been instrumental in crafting our by-laws and helping us organize this process, and she adds invaluable expertise and diversity to our team. Once we finalize our election procedure we will post it publicly, in addition to clear instructions on how to self-nominate; look for this around the first of August. Board positions will be determined by internal board elections after the five additional seats are filled from the community.

Change 2: Board Structure
UPS serves a lot of functions, and the members of the council have worn a lot of hats. We have decided that we need to create a formal structure in our board to better meet our goals. To this end we’ve created 15 Board positions:
The Operating Committee consists of the Chair (manages the meetings, follows up with committee chairs to verify projects are underway, only votes in a tie), Vice Chair (serves as the chair if the chair is unavailable, manages elections), Treasurer (manages the bank account), and Secretary (keeps detailed minutes and records of Board meetings, etc).
There are also 5 Committee Chair positions, who will create committees at their discretion (with occasional input from the Board). These committees may be comprised of both other board members and community members; They are Education/Programs (manages trainings, coordinates educational events, etc), Outreach (manages Pride, other events primarily to introduce reach people in the broader community who are not yet members of UPS, and the public Fb page), Events (manages events for current members), Support Group (manages QuiP and the monthly Peer Support meeting), and Forum Moderator (manages moderation of the Fb group).
The remaining 6 positions will be Members at Large – Board members who have voting power, and who will serve on the previously listed committees.

Change 3: Non-Profit Status
Honestly, this isn’t something we NEED to do – we can hold elections, have a Board, and maintain bylaws without 501(c)3 status. Becoming a non-profit will enable us to separate the entity that is UPS legally and financially from the individual board members, which better enables rotating leadership, and provides some financial benefits to the organization, especially regarding education and outreach.

Change 4: Increased Transparency
We will have quarterly Board meetings, two of which will be open to the community, and will specifically have time dedicated for community members to voice their questions, concerns, hopes and ideas. The minutes from ALL UPS board meetings will be publicly available (with the exception of confidential reported information from UPS members), as will financial documents. Our bylaws and other UPS documentation and policies will be available as soon as they’re completed and ratified, likely within the next month or two.

What Won’t Change:
As of now and for the foreseeable future, all board positions will continue to be volunteer positions. All funds raised from UPS functions will be used to support our work in the community – primarily registration fees for Pride festivals around the state and organizing community training and education. Regarding funding under this new structure, at this point UPS Prom is our only fundraiser, though this may change, depending on the decisions the Board members make with input from the community in the future.

The privacy of the members of the group will not be affected by these changes. The names of the Operating Committee of the Board will be a matter of public record, and the Forum Committee Chair will be publicly visible as an admin of the Facebook discussion group. Other Board members can choose to keep their names private. Everyone else stays exactly as they are.

What you can expect soon:
Multiamory has given us permission to build our Community Guidelines from the community posting guidelines for their private Facebook group. We will tailor them to our community. These will hopefully be finalized and available within the next two weeks.
Our By-Laws, Election Process, and other policies will hopefully be finalized within the next 30 days. All of these will be available in a central location and will be announced when they are published.

Finally, we hope that you, our community, continue to be engaged with this process. That you nominate yourself for a board position, or moderator position and that you participate in elections. We hope that you continue to ask questions, demand answers, suggest policies, and ask for what you need. We hope that you continue to find the support, space, and growth you are looking for in this group.

Thank you
-The UPS Council

From Council to Board!

As part of our commitment to transparency, here’s a report of recent actions taken by the Utah Polyamory Society admin team.

Most of the admin team met with outside consultants this weekend (June 14-16) to accomplish the following:

-We took the first steps toward incorporating the Utah Polyamory Society as a nonprofit organization
-We refined our mission and values statements
-We discussed methods to expand diversity and engagement in our admin team as well as our community overall
-We fleshed out the structure of our board
-We laid the groundwork for bylaws
-We began expanding, refining, and improving our community guidelines

We’ll be meeting in about two weeks to review our draft bylaws (including election procedures and term limits), finalize board positions and committees and their descriptions, and address anything else necessary to incorporate. We’ll have another update for you after this, and we’ll be looking for individuals to join us in these new positions we’re creating, to be elected by our community.

Thank you
-The UPS Council

2nd Annual Poly Prom

polyprom

You are cordially invited to Utah Polyamory Society’s Second Annual Valentine’s Day Poly Prom. Don your finest accoutrement, link arms with your loving poly web, and join us for a night of dancing and celebration! There will even be an opportunity to have your pictures taken in your finery, immortalizing you and your loves at your most dapper, lovely, and…dovely? Lapper?

All proceeds go to the Utah Polyamory Society’s operating costs for the year.

Light refreshments will be served and non-alcoholic beverages will be available. We’re unable to provide alcoholic beverages, but you’re more than welcome to bring some for yourself or to share.

You will find more information and online tickets at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ups-valentines-day-poly-prom-2017-tickets-31048234104?aff=facebook

You may also purchase tickets in-person from a UPS admin. Donations are always accepted for those that are able and feeling generous.

Feel free to invite like-minded individuals to the event.

Get your tickets now; prices will increase on February 5th!

Get your ticket to our Valentine’s Day Poly Prom!

We’ve got an exciting new event coming up on February 6th! Get your taffeta shined up and your tails let loose, because the UPS Valentine’s Day Poly Prom is coming your way, like so many awkward adolescent love notes.

What’s that you say? Your high school only sold tickets in pairs and totally didn’t understand how your relationships actually work? We’ve got you covered! Come in singles, pairs, pods, quads, triad, many-ads or whatever you want! The more the merrier.

Get your tickets now–prices go up after January 16th!

Check the event link in the image below for FAQs, ticket pricing, as well as group discount and scholarship options. We can’t wait to see your lovely poly family!

Utah Polyamory Society Poly Valentines Formal and Fundraiser on February 6 at 8 pm

Are techies poly? Or are polyamorous people techies?

Are engineers really more likely to be polyamorous?

This looks and feels a bit more like a subtle advertisement for a poly dating website, but it has a few interesting morsels of food for thought. It often appears that a number of the Utah Polyamorists (who actively attend meetups for our group, or that regularly engage fellow members online) are technically savvy and are bent toward engineering-related fields.

If we were to conduct a census, would that feeling stack up against the numbers? Could we draw anything from it? It may be that polyamorists who are more technical to begin with come forward to join online forums and utilize new forms of digital dating, rather than those folks composing a good percentage of the overall polyamorous population pie.

What do you think?

(I.)

 

Polyamorous Civil Rights?

Polyamory Is Next, And I’m One Reason Why

This article is definitely not clear on what’s “next” for polyamory, though I assume it’s civil rights and more formal recognition of individuality outside the constraints of a standard monogamous marriage model. But there are likely as many questions around how to do that as there are ways in which to practice polyamory.

Should we look to have marriages make room for open relationships and polyamory? Or should we instead focus on improved individual rights and look to get rid of marriage entirely?

If we open things up to permit polyamorous marriages, that would certain add layers of complexity to a variety of elements in life: divorce, custody or property rights, and all the way down to who the primary contact is for a child in school.

Are we taking all the romance away from marriage (particularly with America’s focus on marrying for love) by turning the system into something more akin to contract law? Do poly families simply need a cut and dry method for creating a small legal entity (like an LLC) to be recognized in society? Would that take all the fun out of it?

With the battle for equal marriage having made great strides, it would also be prudent to look at what it took to gain that recognition – asking our government to strip away “marriage” entirely at this stage would be a very long battle. Polaymorists would not have the support of the monogamous queer community behind them, either.

All that aside, there is a general problem in the author’s argument. They discuss independence and individuality without ever looking at the potential desire or need for splitting from their partner and co-parent in order to become truly solo and self-reliant.

A final question after reading this article might instead be…is the author truly polyamorous? Or are they just looking to add some spice into the bedroom of their existing relationship? Is this person looking at and approaching poly from the right perspective?

(I.)

This video has some interesting information, though it is NSFW.
Enjoy!

Discussion points we covered in the Facebook group included:

  • Some personal stats and experiences,
  • Repression of sex and sexuality in the US (and Utah) culture(s),
  • Apparently there are several poly folks with semi-porn sex lives.

What do you think?

Random click bait for you all.

Dating two people at once: why I’m polyamorous and proud

There’s actually a fair amount of discussion that goes on in our Facebook group around sexuality and polyamory. This article touches on a few things that hit close to home for me. Having come out a fair few times (first I was an atheist, then I was queer, then I was gender variant, and now I’m out as poly), it can be rather tricky to traverse all the closets.

There’s a stigma for queer people, either gay males or bisexuals of any gender, that we’re required to be sexually promiscuous. So in some respects there’s a cultural acceptance that we’ll be open, but the understanding is that it’s not necessarily an open and ethical arrangement. We just cheat, right?

Wrong.

Polyamory can be a lot of work. And there are a lot of people who don’t necessarily practice it in healthy ways. But reading about examples of folks from a variety of sexualities can be helpful for us all to find a form of polyamory that works for us.

As we work to change some of those stereotypes around sexuality, polyamory gives us a good system (though we all build our own structures) for expressing our desire, practicing ethical non-monogamy, and helping to build a new culture.

-Isaac

Provo Pride – Another Great Poly Success!

Not to toot our own horns (okay, maybe a little), but we were able to join the Provo Pride festival last Saturday, September 19th. This is our first year at the festival but the third incarnation of it overall. Check out more about Provo Pride here, especially if you’d like to volunteer and get involved.

We had some really excellent conversation about polyamory – what it is, how we practice ethical non-monogamy, and ways to open yourself to multiple relationships. It was also a lovely warm day (after a week of some pretty gnarly weather), so that was a bonus.

Our booth activity is traditionally to have folks draw pictures of their family and their loves. We had some really gorgeous art come from visitors, so we took some pictures to share! Take a gander. 🙂