Special interest group/Special Interest Group Reference Guide/Elections FAQ
International Game Developers Association
IGDA SIG Elections FAQ
2010 is the Year of Formalization for the IGDA! With our organization's growth and maturity comes a necessary process infrastructure to ensure that our org is governed according to clear democratic process. This FAQ is intended as a companion resource to the SIG Reference Manual ( http://www.igda.org/sites/default/files/IGDA_SIG_Reference_Manual_Rev020609.pdf ).
What is the process for SIG elections?
Even in a SIG that is conducting elections for the first time, the process is short and sweet:
- The SIG decides on its governance format (see below).
- Nominations are held for steering committee members and/or SIG Chair, depending on the SIG's chosen format.
- Voting opens! And remains open for two weeks.
- Voting closes, and the results are announced.
- Previous SIG leadership, if available, provides assistance transitioning with new leadership.
What are the three approved SIG governance formats?
There are three exciting SIG governance formats available for selection by majority vote of SIG membership:
- The SIG elects a chair directly. The chair will appoint steering committee members.
- The SIG elects at least 3 steering committee members. The chair is then appointed by the elected steering committee.
- The SIG elects a chair directly. The steering committee is comprised of the runners up.
These three formats were distilled from organizational methods in other professional organizations, and methods currently employed by SIGs that have been operating under democratic leadership election processes for many years. The formats are intended to provide fair but flexible methods of SIG governance. Typically, smaller SIGs will elect a chair directly, and the SIG will appoint steering committee members; in larger SIGs, members may wish to elect the entire steering committee, and have the committee elect a chair. SIGs desiring the "flattest" democratic process possible may elect format #3, where the member with the most votes is designated as chair and the runners-up are all steering committee members.
How does a SIG decide on its election format?
Depending on the size of a SIG, different methods may be used to select governance format. In smaller SIGs, a simple list discussion may suffice; in larger SIGs, a polling tool such as SurveyMonkey (http://www.surveymonkey.com) may be helpful.
Who can be elected to a SIG leadership position?
In order to be elected to SIG leadership, a candidate:
- Must be a member of the IGDA in good standing.
- Must be a member in at least two (2) membership years prior.
- Must agree to abide by the Leadership (Board of Directors) Code of Ethics found here: http://www.igda.org/sites/default/files/IGDA_Board_Code-of-Ethics.pdf
- The nominee must have read the IGDA SIG Reference Manual and agree to be bound by its terms. The manual can be found here: http://www.igda.org/sites/default/files/IGDA_SIG_Reference_Manual_Rev020609.pdf .
How much time does a SIG leadership position require?
Approximately 2 - 3 hours per month. Meetings will be held online (with some potential meetings at conferences). The chair position may require additional time/responsibility as determined by the needs of the IGDA parent organization and the SIG.
How long are SIG leadership terms?
Normally, SIG elections are held in November, with terms lasting from December 1 to November 30 of the following year. However, in SIGs that are establishing elections for the first time, in 2010 some SIGs will have partial terms (for example, elections in June) lasting until November, "synching" up with the regular election schedule in November 2010.
How many members are there on the SIG steering committee?
Most SIGs will have three (3) steering committee members, including a chair, who is either elected by the SIG or elected by the steering committee, depending on the SIG's election format. The steering commitee can also have a Content Manager, who may or may not be a steering committee member. Other members can be appointed to specific offices designated by the steering committee, but do not vote in SIG governance and driving decisions. Per the reference, manual, "The SIG shall have such other officers as the Steering Committee may deem necessary and such officers shall have the authority prescribed by the Committee. One person may hold more than one office."
How do I know if I'm eligible to vote?
- If you aren't sure if you're a member, pop your last name into this handy script; http://archives.igda.org/php-bin/validator.php
- Note: This check is preliminary and must be validated by an IGDA elections supervisor; in order to be eligible to vote, you must have been a registered and active IGDA member as of the close of nominations.
Who can nominate a candidate?
Any IGDA member in good standing can nominate a candidate to SIG leadership.
How do I run for office?
Members are free to campaign as they desire, but all candidates will provide a 400 word (maximum) Candidate Statement that will be provided to the entire SIG at the close of nominations. Candidate statements are provided to the appointed election coordinator for the SIG on or before the close of nominations. Candidates will also fill out a Nomination Application provided by the election coordinator to the SIG at the opening of nominations.
Dude, we have to vote now?
Dude, you do! Proper democratic process is one hallmark of a real, live, grown-up organization. It's your way to have your voice heard, and decide who in your SIG you want to Get Stuff Done. IGDA SIGs that have operated under democratically elected leadership, such as the Writers SIG and the Online Games SIG, have shown that elected leadership creates stability and easy transfer of 'legacy' and institutional memory. Elections are Good!
What if I still have questions?
Check the SIG Reference Manual ( http://www.igda.org/sites/default/files/IGDA_SIG_Reference_Manual_Rev020609.pdf )! And if your answer isn't there, email erin at igda dot org for referral to the SIG Committee of the IGDA Board of Directors.