Membership process

It is important for everyone to give honest feedback and maintain clear communication throughout the application process. All decisions throughout the membership process shall be decided by consensus. Our emphasis on membership is to create a diverse membership in age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, income, career, personality, etc.

APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP

We ask that people interested in possible membership start by filling out a simple application form. We ask for some personal information – if you’re not quite ready to answer a question, please give us some idea why. Your application will not be shared with anyone outside of the house.

Current members will meet and discuss the potential applicant, and if we’re interested, we’ll schedule a dinner date with the interested person. During this dinner meeting, we’ll discuss why you are interested in joining our community, what you hope the community will offer you, what you expect to contribute to us. We’ll also discuss any experiences you’ve had living with groups, your financial/job situation, your interests, your personal relationships that may impact the house, your greater interests in working and living in an urban community (and any involvements you currently have), your health/diet concerns, other information about yourself and your skills. We will also explain who we are, what we do, and house values and policies.

If we find problems in the application, or currently have no space and cannot accommodate the person, then we will contact you to let you know.

After this first meeting, current members will meet to discuss your application and decide whether we will move to the next application stage. There are three possible outcomes to this discussion. The first is that we would be ready to move to the next application stage. The second is that we need more information and would like to meet with you again. The third is that we might decide we will not be a good fit for each other. We will contact you to let you know our decision.

If we are interested in moving to the next stage, we’ll contact you to schedule at least three dates within approximately one month. One of these will probably include a house meeting. This will be a chance for us to explain our decision making process, show you our collective in more detail, get to know each other on a more personal level, and eat some good food together. We ask applicants to cook one meal in the course of this stage as this is a central activity of the collective.

During this stage, you will also spend some time talking with each full member individually, participate in at least one check-in about how the membership process is going and review our binder with information about the community (policies, legal agreements, etc.).

In the final stage of the process, we will meet to discuss your application. There are three possible outcomes to our discussion. First, we might decide that we are ready to move to the provisional membership. Second, we might decide that we need to spend more time getting to know each other. Third, we may decide that we are not a good fit. If we decide we need to get to know each other better, we will contract for a mutually agreed upon time for that to happen.

PROVISIONAL MEMBERSHIP

There is a one year provisional membership. Full members have the right to extend the provisional period if they deem it necessary. Currently we expect provisional members to attend weekly house meetings and cook one meal per week. We would like it if you were around more than that, because we consider you a part of our community. We would also like you to attend a consensus training, help with any large projects or research involving our future residence and participate in check-ins about how the membership process is going. Provisional members take part in the consensus process but are not yet able to block. We will ask you as a new provisional member to sign a simple agreement that you are in line with our standing mission and goals.

Once we have our space, provisional membership will be residential. When this is in place, we will also expect provisional members to participate in household chores and expenses.

Provisional member check-ins: We will schedule four quarterly meetings for you and community members to give each other feedback about how provisional membership is going. This will occur during a regular house meeting and we will schedule them at the beginning of this stage.

We will attempt with good faith to resolve any conflicts that arise in the community. However, you as a provisional member may decide not to become a full member at any point during your provisional membership period. You may terminate your provisional membership contract by giving 60 days written notice and after that leave the community. The full members may terminate your provisional membership contract at any point during the provisional period by giving you 60 days written notice if a conflict arises that cannot be resolved.

FULL MEMBERSHIP

Upon completion of provisional membership we will have a meeting to discuss your future membership status. After this meeting, the full members will decide in a closed meeting whether or not to accept you as a full member. There are three possible outcomes to our discussion. First, we might decide that we are ready to offer you full membership. Second, we might decide to extend the provisional period. Third, we may decide that we are not a good fit.

If we decide that you will not become a full member, we will at that point give you your 60 days notice. If we wish to extend the provisional period, we will enter into a discussion with you as to how long that period should be. If we offer you full membership, you will have 60 days to decide whether you will accept it.

We will ask full members to sign a more detailed membership agreement. One provision of this is that we will ask people to make at least a two year commitment. Full members may block consensus.

If you accept full membership when it is offered, we will throw a big party with plenty of friends, food and merriment.

TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP

Members that leave for any reason will be held responsible for all debts accrued.

I. Leaves of Absence: We recognize that people sometimes go on extended trips. If you are going to be away for longer than three months, you must request a leave of absence. It may be decided that you will not be held responsible for any house expenses during your leave of absence. It may also be decided that you may not be able to take part in collective decisions during your leave. Any stipulations of a leave of absence must be agreed upon by consensus of the full members.

II. Leaving the Community Voluntarily: After the initial two year commitment, a full member is free to leave voluntarily. To do so you must give six months notice. If you either leave before the two year commitment, or after having completed the two year commitment you do not give a full six months notice, you forfeit any deposits.

III. Involuntary Termination: Sometimes conflict cannot be resolved. If anyone violates the basic agreements of the community they can be asked to leave. If you endanger the community or a member of the community you may be asked to leave without notice. In this situation a member may be asked to leave by means of consensus of the remaining members.

 

Published on Categories Our policies

About admin

The Red Clover Collective is an urban intentional community in the Better Waverly neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. We formed in 2004 and are six members strong. We have space for one member opening in June 2009 and are always looking for future members and friends of the collective. We are radical but not righteous.