Archive:Approve a chapter

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STOP: This page is totally deprecated

CAREFUL: This doc probably still mentions our old Semantic MediaWiki chapter database. We use a google spreadsheet now.

Steps for approving a chapter

There are people who volunteer for Students for Free Culture who interview and officially approve chapters. If you are one of those people, you may find these instructions useful.

  1. Find someone who wants to start a Students for Free Culture chapter, or represents multiple students who want to start a chapter. Generally people who want to start a chapter should contact us at, so to find such people just check that mailbox. (Sometimes people will contact us by other means, but if they do please ask them to send an e-mail to newgroup and register, so that it's all in one place.)
  2. Have them register in our chapters database if they haven't already, following the directions at <>.
  3. Try friending them on Facebook, both with your personal account if you have one and the SFC Facebook account. Facebook can be a useful source of contact info or a contact method if a person's contact info gets lost or becomes outdated. If they don't have a Facebook account or you cannot find it, skip this step. If you don't have access to the SFC Facebook account, ask Conley, Nelson or Karen for access.
  4. Call the chapter representative on the phone and/or IM them, using the registration info in our chapters database. If they did not leave contact info, try searching through the emails.
  5. Verify all of their contact info, fix / finish their chapter registration if it is incomplete. We need to have at least one phone number, trust me it makes life easier later. (If you do not know how to modify chapter pages, or you have insufficient privileges, talk to the web team.) Multiple forms of real-time contact info are useful if you need to find someone in a hurry.
  6. Ask them how they got interested in free culture, how their chapter is doing, take notes on their current/planned activities, what problems they are running into, what help or advice we could give them. Put it all on their chapter's wiki page, so the info is easy to find.
    • If they want some form of help/advice from someone who is not you, send an e-mail to the relevant people once you are done with the call, CC-ing the chapter representative.
  7. Ask them if they want us to ship them a care package. If they do, mention it on the chapter's wiki page. Once you are done with the call, tell our shipper to ship them one. Right now the shipper is Nelson, so send him an e-mail with their mailing address from the chapters DB in the body, and he'll ship stuff until he runs out of care packages.
  8. Ask them what webspace they want. We currently offer a mailing list, blog, and wiki. If they want any of those 3 things, you can do one of two things:
    • Give it to them on the spot. Nelson knows how to make a mailing list, if you want to know how to make a blog or wiki, ask Asheesh.
    • File a bug on our bug tracker at <>, AND note the webspace request on the chapter's wiki page. Mention the wiki page in your bug report (and vice-versa, ideally), and add the tag "chapter-hosting" to the bug to make it easy to find. Then, either come back to it later or hope that someone else on the Web Team takes care of this for you.
  9. Do the same for creating a mailing list.
  10. If they have a personal blog, ask them if they want it aggregated on <>, and if so once you're done talking stick their feed in the aggregator. Once they get a chapter blog, stick it in the Chapters aggregator at <>.
  11. Add them to the chapters mailing list <>. (Note, a list of all mailing lists can be found here: <>)
  12. Thank them for their time and hang up.
  13. Decide whether to approve their chapter, and if you decide that you should then edit their chapter's wiki page to make the chapter "Approved by SFC". Reasons to not approve a chapter right away include: the chapter representative is batsh*t insane, rude / unfriendly, not actually a student or currently enrolled in the relevant school, confused about what exactly free culture is, supportive of policies/activities that directly conflict with our mission, or you just have a bad feeling / hunch that approval is not appropriate. (If you do not have privileges to edit/access those fields on the wiki, ask the Web team.)
  14. Send an e-mail to the Board, letting them know what you have done. If you have approved the chapter and/or done other things to help them, mention those things. If you were unsure whether to approve the chapter for some reason (e.g. they are not actually a student), ask the Board for guidance before approving, explaining in detail why you did not immediately approve the chapter.
  15. Follow up on all of the things you planned to do after the call! Hopefully you wrote down everything relevant on their chapter's wiki page, to remind yourself later.