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GSR ORIENTATION PACKET

ALSO CONTAINING

GUIDELINES

OF

Elkhorn Valley Area of

NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS


Welcome to the regular monthly meeting of the Elkhorn Valley Area of Narcotics Anonymous Service Committee (EVANA ASC) If you have never attended an area service committee meeting before, you may be feeling a bit confused. You may be asking yourself questions like: "What is going on here?" and "What am I supposed to do?" At this point, we suggest you sit back, relax and take a deep breath. An area service committee meeting is nothing more (and nothing less) than a long and complicated business meeting. Once you become familiar with the meeting format and operating guidelines, what is happening here should soon start to make sense.

 

You are holding in your hands a GSR orientation packet designed to answer many of your questions. It contains the basic tools you will need to be an effective group service representative. Your packet should contain:

      1.   GSR Orientation Sheets

      2.   EVANA Vision Statement

      3.   EVANA Guidelines

      4.   NA Service Glossary

     

 

You should also obtain a copy of the minutes of the last EVANA ASC meeting from your group's previous GSR or the EVANA Secretary. You may also wish to obtain copies of A Guide To Local Services In Narcotics Anonymous or the booklet: Twelve Concepts for NA Service.

 

As a newly elected Group Service Representative, or GSR Alternate, you form the foundation of the NA service structure. You serve as the link between your group and the rest of Narcotics Anonymous. You help to communicate the wishes of your group to the NA service structure and, in turn, bring back to your group information about what is happening in Narcotics Anonymous as a whole.

 

As a voting participant at EVANA meetings, you will take an active part in making the decisions affecting the kinds of services provided to the groups of Elkhorn Valley Area. You will be asked to carry your group's conscience on matters involving the Area's finances, policies, events, and elections, and on matters affecting NA services at the regional and world level. Your group will also expect you to make certain decisions on its behalf. You may take part in discussion and debate on the Area floor and even make motions for the committee to consider and vote on.

 

It may take you some time and effort to digest the information in this packet. NA service is a growing and learning experience for all who perform it. No one learned how to be an effective GSR all at once. So, easy does it! At first, you may find it helpful to sit with a more experienced GSR so that, as the meeting progresses, you can get immediate answers to your questions. You may also raise your hand and ask questions of the EVANA Chairperson.

 

Remember that EVANA ASC exists to serve your group. Without your active participation, this cannot happen.


WHAT IS A GSR?

-an elected trusted servant of their home group

-a voting participant at EVANA ASC regular meetings

-the voice of their home group at EVANA ASC meetings

-the voice of EVANA ASC at their home group

-the link between the group they represent, other NA groups, and the rest of the NA service structure

 

WHAT DO THEY DO?

-attend their home group meetings regularly

-attend EVANA ASC meetings regularly

-make reports to EVANA ASC on their home group's status, donations, problems, needs, and concerns

-make reports to their home group on matters discussed at EVANA ASC meetings concerning the health, unity, and growth of the NA Fellowship and NA services at the area, regional and world level

-assist EVANA ASC in carrying out its stated purpose by carrying the conscience of their home group on some matters, voting their informed personal consciences on others, making motions, submitting nominations, participating in discussion and debate on the Area floor, and possibly serving on one of the Area's subcommittees

 

HOW DO THEY DO IT?

study the materials in the GSR Orientation Packet, the 12 Concepts for NA Service booklet, the Traditions portion of It Works: How & Why, and relevant NA service manuals

learn about EVANA ASC subcommittees‑when and where they meet and what they do

learn about the issues and problems surrounding the growth and delivery of NA services at all levels of the service structure

 

GSR QUALIFICATIONS

-an addict working a program of recovery in Narcotics Anonymous a suggested minimum one year clean time should attend the group they represent

-have the desire and willingness to serve

-have a working knowledge of the NA Steps, Traditions and Concepts, or willingness to study them

-have knowledge of the NA service structure or willingness to study it

-have an understanding of, or willingness to learn, the duties of a GSR


Group Service Representative

Each group elects one group service representative; even those groups hosting more than one recovery meeting elect just one GSR. These GSRs form the foundation of our service structure. GSRs provide constant, active influence over the discussions being carried on within the service structure. They do this by participating in area service committee meetings, attending forums and assemblies at both the area and regional levels, and by sometimes joining in the work of an ASC subcommittee. If we are vigilant in choosing stable, qualified leaders at this level of service, the remainder of the structure will almost certainly be sound. From this strong foundation, a service structure can be built that will nourish, inform, and support the groups in the same way that the groups nourish and support the structure.

Group service representatives bear great responsibility. While GSRs are elected by and accountable to the group, they are not mere group messengers. They are selected by their groups to serve as active members of the area service committee. As such, they are responsible to act in the best interests of NA as a whole, not solely as advocates of their own groups' priorities.

As participants in the area committee, GSRs need to be as well informed as they can be concerning the affairs of the committee. They study the reports of the committee's officers and subcommittee chairpersons. They read the various handbooks published by the World Service Office on each area of service. After carefully considering their own conscience and what they know about how their group members feel, they take active, critical parts in the discussions which form the group conscience of the entire committee.

Group service representatives link their groups with the rest of the NA service structure, particularly through the information conveyed in their reports to and from the area committee. At group business meetings, the GSR report provides a summary of area committee activities, often sparking discussions among group members that provide the GSR with a feel for how the area can better serve the group's needs. In group recovery meetings, GSRs make available fliers announcing area and regional activities.

At area committee meetings, GSR reports provide perspectives on group growth vital to the committee's work. If a group is having problems, its GSR can share those problems with the committee in his or her reports. And if the group hasn't found solutions to those problems, the area chairperson will open a slot on the committee's "sharing session" agenda so that the GSR can gather the experience others have had in similar situations. If any helpful solutions arise from the sharing session, the GSR can report those back to the group.

Alternate GSR

Groups also elect a second representative called an alternate GSR. Alternate GSRs attend all the area service committee meetings (as non‑voting participants) with their GSRs so that they can see for themselves how the committee works. If a GSR cannot attend an area committee meeting, that group's alternate GSR participates in the GSR's place.

Alternate GSRs, along with other members, may also serve on area subcommittees. Subcommittee experience gives alternate GSRs added perspective on how area services are actually delivered. That perspective helps make them more effective area committee participants if their groups later elect them to serve as GSRs. from A Guide To Local Services In Narcotics Anonymous, pp. 36‑37, copyright 1995 by World Service Office, Inc.
Elkhorn Valley Area of Narcotics Anonymous Vision:

 

-Our vision is to see our area service committee in the Elkhorn Valley

serve effectively as forums for member groups to express their needs, desires and concerns to the service structure.

-Establish a broader base of communication between groups and members to better carry the message of recovery to the still‑suffering addict.

-Furnish greater opportunities to lead by example, education and inclusion.

function with renewed enthusiasm helping to attract more NA members to service and strengthen NA unity.

-Make sure that every addict in an institution has a chance to hear the NA message before leaving that institution.

-Make sure that every addict calling the helpline has a chance to hear the live voice of a recovering addict.

-Provide sufficient human, spiritual and financial resources for every service need.

-Give the NA Fellowship within the Elkhorn Valley Area wider representation throughout the service structure to better reflect the group conscience of its members.

-Bring our local public image into accord with the WSC vision that NA have "universal recognition and respect as a viable program of recovery."

 

Our area committee can begin to realize this vision by:

-setting mutually agreed upon boundaries.

-establishing shared services H&I and PI subcommittees.

-developing a mechanism for fair representation and full participation of both areas in any shared services subcommittees.

-conducting area activities that help remind us that we are but one Fellowship with one primary purpose.

-establishing directed reach out efforts any non-participating groups in our area to attract them to area service.

-striving our utmost to work through our differences in a spirit of trust, goodwill, self‑restraint and mutual respect.


THE TWELVE STEPS OF NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS

 

1)            We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable

2)           We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3)           We made a decision to tars our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4)           We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5)           We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6)           We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7)           We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8)           We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9)           We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10)       We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11)       We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12)       Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


THE TWELVE TRADITIONS OF NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS

 

1)           Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on NA unity.

2)           For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority-a loving God as he may express Himself in our group conscience.  Our leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern.

3)           The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using.

4)           Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or NA as a whole.

5)           Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry the message to the addict who still suffers.

6)           An NA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the NA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, or prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

7)           Every group ought to be fully self supporting, declining outside contributions.

8)           Narcotics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

9)           NA, as such, ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

10)      Narcotics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the NA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

11)      Our public relation policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.

12)      Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.


THE TWELVE CONCEPTS FOR NA SERVICE

 

1)        To fulfill our fellowship’s primary purpose, the NA groups have joined together to create a structure which develops, coordinates, and maintains services on behalf of NA as a whole.

2)        The final responsibility and authority for NA services rests with the NA groups.

3)        The NA groups delegate to the service structure the authority necessary to fulfill the responsibilities assigned to it.

4)        Effective leadership is highly valued in Narcotics Anonymous.  Leadership qualities should be carefully considered when selecting trusted servants.

5)        For each responsibility assigned to the service structure, a single point of decision and accountability should be clearly defined.

6)        Group conscience is the spiritual means by which we invite a loving God to influence our decisions.

7)        All members of a service body bear substantial responsibility for that body’s decisions and should be allowed to fully participate in its decision-making processes

8)        Our service structure depends on the integrity and effectiveness of our communications.

9)        All elements of our service structure have the responsibility to carefully consider all view points in their decision-making processes.

10)   Any member of a service body can petition that body for the redress of a personal grievance, without fear of reprisal.

11)   NA funds are to be used to further our primary purpose, and must be managed responsibly.

12)   In keeping with the spiritual nature of Narcotics Anonymous, our structure should always be one of service, never of government


GUIDELINES

OF

THE ELKHORN VALLEY

AREA SERVICE COMMITTEE

OF

NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS

Began August 2008

Adopted at a future date
ELKHORN VALLEY AREA OF NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS POLICY AND GUIDELINES

The following is how we conduct our ASC business meetings

 

PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

All business of EVANA ASC shall be conducted in accordance with the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of Narcotics Anonymous and within the limits set by these guidelines. Parliamentary procedure shall be assisted by Robert's Rules of Order as they are applicable to, and not inconsistent with, our Steps, Traditions and Concepts, these guidelines, and any special rules that EVAVA ASC may adopt. The Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous are the spiritual foundation on which we have rebuilt our lives; they enable us to perform selfless service. The Twelve Traditions of Narcotics Anonymous are the spiritual foundation on which our Fellowship has survived; they are not negotiable. The Twelve Concepts for NA Service stem from the spiritual ideals of our Steps and Traditions and are meant to help us deal with one another in a cooperative and respectful way. We should keep to these principles as we conduct our business together so that parliamentary procedure remains a tool we use to help us make our collective decisions and not a weapon we use against one another. (Adopted 9/08)

 

 

  AGENDA:

 

-          Moment of Silence

-          Reading of 12 Traditions and 12 Concepts

-          Purpose:  The Elkhorn Valley Area of Narcotics Anonymous Area Service Committee (EVANA ASC) is to be accountable to, and supportive of all the groups/members of EVANA and its primary purpose, carrying the message of recovery in Narcotics Anonymous.

-          Roll Call

o        Chairperson

o        Vice Chairperson

o        Treasurer

o        Secretary

o        Regional Committee Member

o        Alternate Regional Committee Member

o        Sub-committee Chairs

§         Literature/Website/Newsletter

§         Activities

§         Hospitals and Institutions

§         Public Information

§         Policy

o        Group Service Representatives

§         Monday

§         Tuesday

§         Wednesday

§         Thursday: Hug Up, Foundation, Wayne

§         Saturday 7pm

§         Sunday 7pm

§         Sunday 8pm

§         O’Neill

§         Easy Rider

 

-          Approval and Corrections of last meeting minutes (Secretary’s report)

-          Treasurer’s report

-          Regional Committee Member report

-          Sub-committee reports

o        Literature/Website/Newsletter

o        Activities

o        Hospitals and Institutions

o        Public Information

o        Policy

o        GSR reports (these actually come before subcommittee reports)

-          Nominations and/or elections

-          Old Business

-          New Business

-          Open discussion

-          Review and Closing:  The chairperson will review and outline information to be taken back to groups for a vote or discussion.  The chair will also remind anyone of commitments made by members during the meeting.

 

II.                  EVANA Abbreviations

 

-          EVANA:                Elkhorn Valley Area of Narcotics Anonymous

-          ASC:                       Area Service Committee

-          RCM:                      Regional Committee Member

-          GSR:                       Group Service Representative

-          Alt. GSR:                Alternate Group Service Representative

-          RD:                         Regional Delegate

-          H&I:                       Hospitals and Institutions

-          PI:                           Public Information

-          WSO:                     World Service Office

-          RSC:                       Regional Service Committee

-          PR:                          Public Relations

 

 

Qualifications and Responsibilities of Trusted Servants

Clean time requirements are only suggestions.  Nominations are at the discretion of the Area Service Committee.

-          Group Service Representative

Suggested clean time is 1 year.  Recommended length of term is 1 year.  However, nomination of GSR’s will be at the discretion of the groups.  Nominations will take place in July of the current year, with elections to take place in November and results of said election brought to the December ASC meeting.  The elected GSR term will begin in January.  This is to allow for the smooth transition and mentoring of the newly elected GSR, and his/her alternate GSR.

                                                         

“The Group Service Representatives (GSR’s) form the foundation of our service structure.  GSR’s link their groups to the rest of Narcotics Anonymous.  In keeping with the 2nd Concept of Service: GSR’s take part, on their groups behalf in the ASC and regional assembly, conveying a sense of their groups wishes to the service structure and bringing back information on what is happening in the larger world of NA.  GSR are also delegated the authority to serve in their own right as ASC subcommittee members, and as regional assembly participants, exercising their own conscience and best judgment in the best interests of NA as a whole.” (NA Guide to Local Service, p 47)

 

The GSR’s responsibilities include: attending all Area Service Committee (ASC) meetings; study and have a working knowledge the reports of the ASC and its subcommittees; take active, critical parts in the discussions at the ASC meetings, which form the group conscience of the entire ASC; GSR are responsible for being the link between the ASC and the groups by relaying information discussed at ASC meetings and by relaying information discussed at the groups back to the ASC; GSR’s are responsible for making available to the groups announcements for area and regional activities; at the ASC meetings, GSR’s are to make a written report to the ASC – this report is to provide perspectives on group growth vital to the ASC’s work and these reports give our service boards clear guidance to serve EVANA members, and NA as a whole (8th Concept); the reports shall include, but not be limited to: strength of the group, needs, ideas and the group conscience on voting items;  as set forth by ASC policy, the GSR’s hold voting positions at the ASC meetings.  In order for voting to take place 2/3 of elected GSR’s, or their alternate must be present in order for voting to occur; GSR’s may make motions, or 2nd motions set forth at ASC meetings.  GSR’s are responsible for opening meeting facility.  As per previous EVANA ASC discussion, GSR’s are to be the key holders for the meeting facility and opening of the meeting facility.  If the GSR is unable to attend that meeting, it shall be at the group’s discretion who will open the meeting.  GSR’s will be responsible for keeping track of monies collected at meetings and  will be responsible for giving monies collected at meetings to the Area Treasurer. 

 

The GSR’s main tools are: A Guide to Local Service, the 12 Traditions, the 12 concepts of World Service, and EVANA ASC policy, or a willingness to learn.  (adopted 9/08)

 

-          Alternate Group Service Representative

Suggested length of clean time 1 year.  Suggested clean time is at the discretion of the group. Length of term is 2 years.  This position parallels that of Group Service Representative, except that it is a two-year commitment, with the first year spent in training and the second year as GSR. (IP #2 “The Group)  At the conclusion of the first year of service, groups shall nominate a new Alternate GSR.

 

Responsibilities of Alternate GSR:  attend all Area Service Committee (ASC) meetings, as non-voting participants.  If the GSR is unable to attend the ASC meeting, the Alternate GSR participates in the GSR’s place as a voting member.  Alternate GSR’s may also serve on area subcommittees.  Alt. GSR’s, in place of GSR, shall bear the same responsibilities of GSR.

 

The Alternate GSR’s main tools are: A Guide to Local Service, the 12 Traditions, the 12 Concepts of World Service, and EVANA ASC policy, or a willingness to learn.  (adopted 9/08)

 

-          Chairperson

Three years clean

Two years NA service experience

Working knowledge of the 12 Traditions, the 12 Concepts and the ASC policies and guidelines or a willingness to learn (adopted 9/08)

Responsibilities:  Conducts all business as stated in the agenda to provide better communications of items to be addressed.  The Chairperson’s primary tools are the rules of order, a firm hand, a calm spirit and a clear mind.

 

-          Vice-chairperson

Two years clean

One year NA service experience

Working knowledge of the 12 traditions, the 12 Concepts and the ASC policies and guidelines, or a willingness to learn (adopted 9/08)

Responsibilities:  Conducts the business meeting if the Chairperson is unable to attend.  Calls on persons during open discussion.  Notifies Chairperson of violation of policy and/or rules of order.

 

-          Secretary

Two years clean

One year NA service experience

Responsibilities:  Working knowledge of the 12 Traditions, the 12 Concepts and the ASC policies and guidelines, or a willingness to learn (adopted 9/08)  The secretary’s first responsibility is to take clear and accurate minutes of the ASC meetings and to distribute them to all on the mailing list, to all trusted servants, all sub-committee chairpersons, and anyone else who requests a copy, within a reasonable amount of time after each meeting.  The secretary is responsible for assisting the policy chairperson in updating a log of policy changes.  The secretary is responsible for maintaining the ASC mailing list.  Copies of the mailing list should be mailed to WSO once per year so that WSO is able to provide groups, subcommittees, and administrative officers, with information pertinent to their area of service.  Secretary is to be reimbursed for postage/copies/etc. by submitting a receipt to ASC treasurer, who will then issue the secretary a check.

 

-          Treasurer

Three years clean

Two years of NA service experience

Responsibilities:  Working knowledge of the 12 Traditions, 12 Concepts and the ASC policies and guidelines, or a willingness to learn (adopted 9/08)  Signer on bank account; makes payments and deposits on behalf the ASC; gives written report of expenses and income at all ASC meetings, and whenever requested by any member of EVANA.  The treasurer’s main tool is the Treasurer’s Handbook distributed by the World Service Office, and the ASC policies and guidelines.

 

-          Regional Committee Member and Alternate Committee Member

4 years clean, 3 years for Alt. RCM

Two-year term

Two years of NA service experience

Responsibilities:  RCMs serve as the core of the regional service committee, a body that coordinates service forums throughout the region.  The RCM is responsible for keeping his/her area in touch with the larger world of NA by providing information on activities in neighboring areas and regional functions.  The RCM reports relevant information to sub-committees, and important issues being discussed at various levels of service.  The RCM should be well versed in NA service practice and principles.  The RCM should also have a working knowledge of the ASC policies and guidelines.  RCM’s should be closely acquainted with the 12 Traditions, 12 Concepts, and the fundamentals of service in Narcotics Anonymous, or a willingness to learn (adopted 9/08).  The RCM shall attend all regional business meetings.   The RCM is responsible for sharing the ASC experiences with the RSC.  The RCM is responsible for taking the ASC position of voting items to the RSC meetings.  The RCM will be reimbursed gas money for travel (voted $0.40/mile) to the RSC meetings.  The Alt. RCM has the same responsibilities in the event that the RCM is unable to attend ASC meetings or RSC meetings.  In the event that the RCM is unable to attend RSC meetings, he/she will be reimbursed gas money for travel. RCM must submit receipt to Area Treasurer for reimbursement. The RCM’s main tool is the Guide to Local Service, distributed by WSO.

 

 

-          Subcommittees: 

-          All subcommittees are autonomous.  However, they are accountable to the ASC.    Each subcommittee chairperson is required to attend EVANA ASC meetings.  If the chairperson is unable to attend, a proxy may be sent.

-          Each subcommittee chairperson is responsible for bringing a written report, and submitting said report to the secretary for inclusion in the ASC meeting minutes.

-          Discussion from each subcommittee will be no longer than 15 minutes. 

-          Each subcommittee chairperson should have a working knowledge of the 12 Concepts, 12 Traditions, and the ASC policies and guidelines.

-          The chairpersons for the subcommittees are to be elected by the ASC.  Each subcommittee can have a co-chair or vice-chair, if desired.  The vice-chair will move to the chair position in the event of the chair’s resignation/removal.

-          If a subcommittee needs reimbursement, a receipt must be brought to the ASC and given to the ASC treasurer.  The exception to this would be a subcommittee that has it’s own prudent reserve.

-          It is highly recommended that all subcommittee chairpersons, or a proxy attend regional business meetings.

-          Each subcommittee is to have it’s own meeting.  The ASC meeting is for reports only.  After the subcommittee meeting, any issues, questions or concerns can be brought to the ASC meeting.  Each subcommittee is responsible for setting up and announcing subcommittee meetings.

-          Updated December 2005:  any subcommittee chairperson, or administrative personal (chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, treasurer, RCM, alternate RCM) not present for 2 consecutive ASC business meetings, said person or persons will be impeached at the 2nd ASC meeting.  A 2/3 majority vote is necessary for approval of impeachment.  Said person may send a proxy.  In that case they will not be considered absent, and will maintain their position.

 

§         Hospitals and Institutions

Clean time requirement is 1 year.  Term is 2 years.

 

The H&I subcommittee is responsible for conducting panels that carry the message to addicts who have no other way of hearing our message.  This includes treatment facilities, correctional facilities, and hospitals.  The H&I subcommittee’s main tool is the H&I Handbook distributed by WSO.  It is suggested that there be at least one male and one female H&I subcommittee member.   H&I subcommittee has its own set of guidelines, available from the H&I chairperson or the Policy chairperson, upon request.  (adopted 9/08)

 

§         Public Information

Clean time requirement is 1 year.  Term is 2 years.

 

The general mission of the PI subcommittee is to inform addicts and others in the community of the availability of recovery in Narcotics Anonymous.  The PI subcommittee is responsible for conducting public information meetings, distributing public service announcements, distributing fliers, etc.  The PI subcommittee also works closely with professionals in the community, with the intent to increase awareness of recovery in Narcotics Anonymous.  The PI subcommittee’s main tool is A Guide to Public Information distributed by WSO. PI will maintain a prudent reserve of $50.00.  ASC treasurer will reimburse PI subcommittee up to $50.00 for purchases.

 

§         Literature/Newsletter/Website

Clean time requirement is 1 year.  Term is 2 years.

 

The literature subcommittee is responsible for maintaining stock of NA literature (books and pamphlets, etc.) that can be purchased.  The newsletter subcommittee is responsible for compiling and distributing the ASC newsletter.  The newsletter subcommittee is required to ensure that the newsletter has a responsible editorial policy.  The newsletter subcommittee’s main tool is the Handbook for Newsletters distributed by WSO.  The website subcommittee is responsible for maintaining the EVANA website.  The fee for the website is to be paid with EVANA ASC funds.  The Webmaster is responsible for ensuring that the website has a responsible editorial policy.

This committee has a reserve of $400.00

 

§         Activities

Clean time requirement is 1 year.  Term is 1 year.

 

The activities subcommittee is responsible for organizing EVANA events, such as dances, picnics, campouts, etc.  The activities subcommittee works closely with other subcommittees for special projects (workshops, special speaker meetings, etc.).  The main purpose of the activities subcommittee is to provide a better sense of community for the local NA fellowship.  It should always be kept in mind that any function is designed to enhance NA’s primary purpose, not to replace group contributions in funding area services.  The activities subcommittee can have fundraising events for RSC (NRCNA). Activities is to have a prudent reserve of $500.00 to ensure funds available to start up upcoming functions.

 

§         Policy

Updated December 2005:  There is a one-year clean time requirement to hold this position.  Term is 2 years.

 

The policy subcommittee is responsible for the development of proposed changes or modifications to the structural guidelines of the ASC.  The committee provides guidance for the understanding and application of group conscience and the relationship of trusted servants to the group conscience.  The committee assists in the development of policies, guidelines and special procedures utilized by the ASC and its standing committees (subcommittees). The policy subcommittee is the general recorder of the policy set by the ASC.  The ASC secretary is to assist the policy chairperson in recording the policy changes made (running log) When the actions of the trusted servants are outside of the policies and guidelines, it is the responsibility of the policy chairperson to inform the ASC chairperson.  The main tools for the policy subcommittee are the 12 Concepts and the Guide to Local Service distributed by WSO.

 

June 2008: Policy subcommittee was voted to be dissolved now that the policy is in place.  Current Policy subcommittee will continue to be responsible for updates to policy.  Secretary will forward running log of policy changes to the chairperson for policy updates.

August 2008:  Policy subcommittee was voted back into existence.

 

Voting positions

 

Updated 5/21/06

-          At ASC meetings, the GSRs have the only voting positions.  In the event of a tie, the Chairperson will have a vote.  If there is a tie after the chairperson votes, the vice-chairperson will have a vote.  2/3 of the GSRs will need to be present in order for a vote to take place.  The GSRs will need to attend all business meetings or send a proxy. The GSRs are responsible for taking voting items and discussion items back to their groups.  They shall bring to the following meeting the results of the vote/discussion.

-          Any group not represented at 2 consecutive meetings of the ASC will forfeit voting privileges.  The GSR will resume voting privileges at the 2nd consecutive ASC meeting attended.

o        Any trusted servant shall be limited to being proxy for only one person required to be at ASC meetings.  Intent is to encourage full participation of trusted servants at ASC meetings; to allow for required 2/3 GSR present for voting issues.  (Updated 8/08)

 

     

 

 

Meeting time/date

-          EVANA ASC meetings are to be held on the 2nd Sunday of each month at 4:00pm.  Each meeting shall take place as scheduled unless prior notice is given.  If it is desired that the meeting time, date or place be changed a simple consensus is all that is needed.

 

Elections and nominations for the ASC

-          The process of electing trusted servants for the ASC shall be as follows:

Notification of need.  The secretary shall keep record of length of each term, and shall notify the ASC of any terms ending months in advance.  Description of the service position shall be read from the appropriate service manual. (1st meeting).  GSRs are responsible for taking notification of need back to their groups for nominations.

Nominations are then presented and qualifications read. (2nd meeting)

Vote taken at next ASC meeting.  If only one nominee, 2/3 majority vote is required. (3rdmeeting).

 

-          Nominations under normal circumstances for Chairperson, Vice-chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer are open every ODD year in July.  All other positions will be filled as needed.  If a nominee cannot be present to accept nomination, a written acceptance letter shall be provided by the nominee, and presented at the ASC meeting.

 

VII.         Resignation or removal of trusted servants

-          Voluntary:  Given in writing to ASC chairperson prior to next ASC meeting.

-          Involuntary:  Two consecutive meetings missed (will require a vote with 2/3 majority to approve), relapse during terms of office, gross negligence or fraud, with 2/3 majority vote.

 

Motions

-          Any member of Narcotics Anonymous may attend ASC meetings and participate in discussion.  Motions can be made and seconded only by the following trusted servants: chairperson (or vice/co chairperson), any GSR, RCM, Secretary, or Treasurer.  Discussion after a motion is made is limited to 10 minutes, with the option to increase by an additional 5 minutes.  The chairperson can extend the debate at their discretion on items requiring clarification.  All voting members (GSRs) shall familiarize themselves with the rules of order for a smooth running meeting.  Motions that require additional input shall be tabled until the next meeting.  The intent of a motion will be included in the motion and will be included in the minutes.  A 2/3 majority vote is required for all financial matters.  When a motion is made as an amendment to ASC policy, the policy change intent is to be announced by the chairperson, or acting chairperson.

o        Any member of the ASC, or visiting members of EVANA, may call for discussion of a motion, for clarification.  Any member of EVANA may call for a motion to be brought back to groups for discussion.(adopted 9/08)

o        All motions that require change to existing policy are to be brought back to the groups for voting (direct polling of group members)  Adopted 9/08

 

 

Rules of order

 

In the following you will find a simple set of rules of order.  They have been adapted from Robert’s Rules of Order, which in turn are based on the rules of the U.S. House of Representatives.  These rules can be adapted or changed to meet a subcommittee’s particular needs.

 

Decorum Statement

 

Meetings will be conducted according to these rules of order, based on Robert’s Rules of Order.  This time honored system for conducting business is the clearest way yet devised for getting a maximum amount of business done in a minimum amount of time, and to get it done, regardless of the degree of disagreement among the participants.  By following these rules of order, we strive to be sure that we are making our decisions on the basis of principle, rather than personality.  In keeping with that spirit, we encourage all members to become familiar with these rules of order and conduct themselves accordingly.  Once the meeting is underway, only one matter will be before the committee at any one time, and no other discussion is in order.  Please respect the chairperson’s right to be in control of the process of this meeting, so that you can have maximum benefit of it’s content.

 

Debate limits

 

Debate is the formal exchange of views or ideas.  Unless otherwise specified, debate on both main motions and parliamentary motions is usually limited to 2 or 3 pros and cons.  Speakers addressing the motion in debate usually have 2 or 3 minutes in which to speak their mind.  In order to be recognized on the floor by the chairperson, please raise your hand.  (See motion section for time limits)

 

 

Motions

 

-          Main motions:  A motion is a statement of an idea by a committee member who wants the committee to put it into practice.  After raising one’s hand, and being recognized by the chair, the member says “I make a motion that such and such be done under these terms” The person making the motion then briefly speaks about why he/she feels the idea is important.  This is called speaking to the intent of the motion.

-          Because the exact wording of the motion shall be included in the ASC meeting minutes, the maker of the motion shall submit it in writing.  The written motion shall be given to the secretary. A written motion shall be given to the policy subcommittee chairperson if the intent of said motion is a policy change.  This is especially important for long or complicated motions.

-          Every motion requires a second – the backing of another person who also wants the idea put into practice, or who simply wants to see further discussion of the idea take place.  After a motion has been made, the chairperson will ask whether the motion has a second.  The person seconding the motion simply raises his/her hand to be recognized by the chair, and says, “I second the motion.”  If no one seconds the motion, the chairperson says, “The motion has died for lack of a second” This means that the idea will not be discussed any further because there is lack of interest in it.  The committee then moves on to other business.  If the motion has been seconded, the chairperson will call for a vote. (See voting procedure)

-          Once a motion has been made, the chairperson may rule it “out of order”.  A motion may be ruled out of order for the following reasons:  the motion goes against the committees standing policy, contradicts the 12 Traditions or 12 Concepts, or is inappropriate at that particular point in the meeting.  Anyone may appeal the chairperson’s decision.  The person making the appeal states “I appeal the decision” and then states on what grounds.  The chairperson then briefly speaks to the intent of his/her ruling.  A vote is then taken to override the chairperson.  A 2/3 majority vote is required to overrule the chairperson.  If no appeals are made, the decision of the chair is upheld and the committee moves on to new business.

 

-          Parliamentary motions:  can be best understood by the term “sub-motions”.  These motions are made during debate of a main motion, which may affect the main motion in some way.

 

1.        Motion to amend:  the committee member states “motion to amend” then states what part of the main motion they wish to amend.  The motion to amend requires a second, and a vote, with 2/3 required to amend the motion.

2.        Call to Vote:  This is a very important motion, and is non-debatable.  It will eliminate lengthy and needless debates of a motion, once the issue is understood by all.  You do not need to be called on by the chair to make this motion.  The chair must recognize you, and a vote must be taken immediately, with no debate.  If everyone feels that additional debate is not necessary, the item is then voted on, with 2/3 majority needed to pass.  If you are confused about an issue it is important that you say so.  This will eliminate half-baked decisions about half understood questions.  The liberal use of this motion makes it unnecessary for the chairperson to be heavy handed in stopping discussion, as he/she knows it will stop soon enough.

3.        Motion to table:  This is one way to dispose of a motion, and is non-debatable.  The member states, “ I move to table this motion until (date and time)” This motion needs to be seconded and voted upon immediately.  If it fails, debate continues.  If it passes, it is tabled until the stated date, and the committee moves on to the next point of business.

4.        Motion to remove from table:  This motion removes the original motion from the table.  The motion to remove from the table is debatable.  Simple majority is needed to remove motion from the table.  If the motion is not removed from the table, the committee moves on to the next point of business.  If it is removed, debate continues.

5.        Motion to refer:  Sometimes the committee does not have enough information to make an immediate decision on a motion.  Such motions can be removed and sent to a subcommittee for further study.  This motion can be made by saying “ I move that such and such motion be referred” If the motion to refer passes (requires 2/3 majority vote), then the motion is referred to the appropriate subcommittee, studied, and information brought back to the next ASC meeting.

6.        Motion to reconsider or withdraw:  At times a motion was made that may prove harmful.  Anyone can make a motion to reconsider.  Only the person who made the original motion can make a motion to withdraw.

7.        Motion to adjourn:  anyone can make a motion to adjourn.  This motion is always in order, is not debatable, and requires 2/3 to pass.  Obviously frivolous motions to adjourn may be ruled out of order.  After all business is finished, the chairperson may declare the meeting adjourned without a motion.

 

Other procedures

 

-          Call to order:  If a committee member feels that discussion is going astray, he/she may proceed with a call to order, by saying “I call to order”.  This means that the chairperson brings the meeting back on track and proceeds, adhering to the agenda.  This does not require a second, is not debatable, and does not need a vote.  The chairperson simply brings the meeting back on track.

-          Recognition on the floor:  In order for the chairperson to recognize any member, the member must raise their hand before proceeding.  The vice-chairperson shall keep track of who has hands raised, and call on them accordingly.

 

Voting procedures

 

-          Show of hands:  this is the most commonly used method of voting.  The chairperson will count all in favor, all opposed, and all abstaining.  The minority shall have a voice.

-          Roll call:  members may call for a roll call vote.  When this is done, it shall be honored, whether or not it was made before or after a show of hands vote.  The secretary then reads off each voting position, and their vote is recorded in the meeting minutes.

-          DIRECT POLLING OF GROUPS.  In the event that an issue comes before the assembly that directly affects the groups or is thought to be of such importance to the NA Fellowship that the groups should be polled directly, a motion to that effect can be made by any EVANA ASC participant.  Intent:  to allow for full participation of all members of EVANA at ASC meetings.  (Adopted 9/08)

 

Finances

 

Motions made regarding financial matters, should be in writing, and must speak to the intent of the motion.  Motions having a financial impact of $50.00 or less do not need to be taken back to the groups for approval.  They may be voted on at present meeting.  Any motion having a financial impact of $50.00 or greater will be taken back to the groups to be voted upon.

 

Anyone requesting reimbursement from the ASC, is to submit a receipt to the treasurer in order to be reimbursed.  No reimbursement will be made without a receipt. 

 

August 2006:  Activities and area bank accounts are to be combined.

Updated September 2007:  Activities is to maintain its own bank account.  2 signatures are required on checks.  See Activities section for prudent reserve information.

ASC voted to send a minimum of $75.00, or 20% of Area funds to Region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHECKING ACCOUNT.

Any EVANA ASC checking account shall require:

(a)  Dual signatures on all checks (Jim stated that as it is there is a co-signer on the account, however for future reference the bank may not want to have a co-signer.  They did this as a courtesy to us because the account was already established.  However, we do, as it is, have the ability to have 2 people sign the checks.  In the event that the treasurer is unable to sign a check, someone else is available.)

(b)  Duplicate statements sent to the Treasurer at his/her residence and the Chairperson (or some other trusted servant that the EVANA ASC decides upon) at the EVANA ASC post office box. 

 (c)  No ATM cards

 

FINANCIAL RECORDS. All EVANA ASC financial records must be kept in a neat, accurate and orderly fashion and be available for inspection at the request of any participant at every regular EVANA ASC meeting.

FINANCIAL REVIEW. Twice a year (or however often EVANA ASC decides), EVANA ASC, through a select committee, will conduct a thorough review of EVANA ASC finances. This select committee shall be coordinated by the Vice‑Chairperson (or whoever the ASC decides) and shall include the Treasurer and five members. If necessary, this committee may hire a professional accountant as a special worker to assist the committee in its review. The committee will present a report of its findings at the April and October meetings of the general assembly.

 

REVOLVING FUNDS: These are funds of a set amount provided to the ASC and each standing subcommittee to cover normal administrative costs for each month. Normal administrative costs include rent for a meeting space, copying of the subcommittee's minutes, etc. but do not include separately budgeted items such as H&I literature purchases or seed money for an Area‑sponsored event. The amount of a revolving fund is determined by the approved budget for each subcommittee and replenished as necessary up to the approved budget limits. No reimbursement shall be made without proper receipts or proof of payment. Questionable items for reimbursement shall be decided upon by the ASC and, if refused, may be appealed to the EVANA ASC general assembly.  (These are the funds that we have available to keep NA alive in our Area.  From this fund we pay rent, buy coffee, pay for the hotline, etc.)

 

FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY. In order to protect EVANA participants, the EVANA Area groups, and NA as a whole, EVANA shall strive to meet its financial obligations to society before its internal needs. To maintain fiduciary restraint, EVANA will make every effort to avoid debt, thereby minimizing the number of financial obligations incurred outside the Fellowship. After meeting its external debts, EVANA will disburse the funds it has been given according to the principles of our 5th Tradition and our 11th Concept (for example, H&I or PI needs, or possible donations to regional and world services would be accommodated before authorizing spending for a social event.). The following non‑deficit spending guidelines shall be used to pay expenses in the order given below:

(a)  Payment of debts or expenses outside the NA Fellowship. (i.e. rent, telephone, etc.)

(b)  Payment of debts or expenses within the NA Fellowship. (reimbursement of RCM to region.)

(c)   EVANA secretarial or administrative expenses. (i.e. stamps, copies, bank fees, etc.)

(d)  Approved budgets of EVANA subcommittees and officers.

(e)   Regional and world service donations.

(f)    All other approved EVANA expenses.

 

MISAPPROPRIATION OF FUNDS. All participants shall be held accountable for funds and merchandise entrusted to them. Misappropriation will not be tolerated and will be grounds for immediate removal from any position. Legal action may be appropriate and required in the fulfillment of EVANA’s fiduciary responsibilities. A decision to take legal action is merely an option and does not compromise the spiritual principles of our Steps, Traditions or Concepts. However, resorting to a legal remedy in an instance of misappropriation should be an action of last resort and undertaken only after having previously followed a number of steps. These steps should include the following:

(a)  Conducting a thorough investigation to determine if misappropriation has indeed occurred.

(b)  Inviting the parties responsible to state their side.

(c)   Working out a plan for restitution with the parties responsible.

(d)  Making it clear that the consequences of not fulfilling the agreement could include legal action being taken against them.

(e)   If the previous four steps have been followed without resolving the matter, the EVANA ASC general assembly may then consider the appropriateness of taking legal action. Such a measure shall be passed only by a two‑thirds majority vote of the general assembly at EVANA ASC meeting. Adopted 9/08

 

 

Miscellaneous

 

-          Only questions of clarification will be allowed during subcommittee reports.  Anything else needs to be brought up during new business.

-          A running log of amendments and/or addendums will be kept by the policy chair, (June 2008- policy subcommittee dissolved. August 2008 policy subcommittee voted back into existence.)  Secretary is to keep a running log, and make such log available to the chairperson for purposes of updating the policy, and make such log available to any committee member, or member of EVANA.

-          Current policy guidelines and running log of amendments will be posted by the Webmaster on the EVANA website.  A paper copy of the policy guidelines shall be available to all committee members, and a copy will be posted on the bulletin board at Trinity.  Any other groups who wish to have a copy, shall request one from the policy chairperson.  (June 2008: policy subcommittee was dissolved.  Any member of EVANA may request a copy of the policy from the Area Secretary.  August 2008 policy subcommittee was voted back into existence).

 

 

AREA INVENTORY

EVANA ASC will conduct a yearly inventory of EVANA Area services. The voting participants of EVANA will decide how and when this inventory will take place (e.g., whether it will occur as part of a regular meeting or as a special workshop or learning day). Voting and non‑voting participants will come to the inventory prepared to review the performance of EVANA over the past year and discuss how the committee can better serve the NA groups and the Fellowship at large.  The main guide and tool for the Area Inventory will be the Area Planning Tool. (adopted 9/08)

 

 

 

 


EVANA ASC GUIDELINES

 

Introduction

EVANA ASC guidelines, like the service committee itself, begin with the 9th Tradition: "NA, as such, ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve." Several observations can be made about the 9th Tradition in this context:

1.   A service board or committee is not "NA, as such."

2.   A service board or committee is, by definition, an organized body.

3.   The organization of a service committee exists solely to help that body be more directly responsible to those they serve, namely the groups and addicts.

The 9th Tradition should not be used to justify lack of organization within a service body. Lack of organization may keep that service body from fulfilling its primary purpose. One way a service committee can help its-self to function more effectively is to develop a clearly written set of guidelines. A service committee's guidelines are a blueprint of its organizational structure and a description of how it functions.

A set of guidelines should do several things:

(a)  Clearly define the aim and purpose of the committee in spiritual and practical terms.

(b)  Set forth a framework of procedures that allow the service committee to conduct its business in a timely and orderly way.

(c)  Allow for continuity of service. A trusted servant stepping into a service position for the first time should be able to learn what is required of him or her from the guidelines and begin to function effectively.

(d)  Attempt to put the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions and 12 Concepts into action.

 

The 9th Tradition states groups may create service committees. The opposite is also true: groups may un-create service committees by not fulfilling the spiritual, personal and financial obligations to those committees. Barring a natural disaster, not achieving a quorum in any month sends a strong signal both to the service committee and the Area groups that something is not working. It is not a time for business as usual. Rather, it is a time to stop and take inventory. Other instances are when lack of group support might bring EVANA ASC activities to a halt.

 

Group Conscience: This section attempts to apply the group conscience principles explained in Tradition 2, and Concepts 6, 8 & 9, specifically to what we do in an ASC meeting. The intent is to clarify what developing a conscience entails and to discourage participants from giving short weight to some of the elements of the meeting which might seem to take up time (such as the sharing session, group reports, or even reading the minutes) but which are extremely important if a conscience developing process is to exist.

 

Voting has been chosen as the "measuring stick" of our group conscience. Our voting process should be more than just counting up the "yes" and "no" votes. We should use voting to read the level of agreement that has been reached concerning the matter being voted on. Voting results can show us several things: (1) complete agreement has been reached; (2) substantial agreement has been reached; and (3) the conscience is divided. Our guidelines, in specifying that we shall strive to develop a collective conscience before making specific service decisions, should further delineate a measurable point at which "substantial agreement" is reached.

 

We should also remember that the group conscience process may sometimes extend beyond the vote itself. Our Concepts invite us to revisit our decisions as necessary. This encourages members who are uncomfortable with decisions that were made, even in accordance with the guidelines, to voice their concern to the body.

 

Participants should be sensitive to votes where there are a significant number of abstentions. Robert's Rules speaks about the right of abstention: "Although it is the duty of every member who has an opinion on a question to express it by his vote, he can abstain, since he cannot be compelled to vote." Participants may have different reasons for abstaining from voting: (1) they wish to remain neutral on the matter at hand; (2) they are indifferent to or don't care about the matter at hand; or (3) they haven't made up their minds enough to express a conscience through their vote. If we should be striving for substantial, preferably unanimous, agreement on the actions we take as a body, and there are significant numbers of people not voting, then the general assembly has every right to question whether the body is ready to make a decision.

 

Regular Business: This section recognizes that it may not be practical for the ASC to achieve complete (100%) agreement on every issue. Every vote that is not unanimous reflects some compromise of the group conscience principle spoken about in Concept 6. However, the body can adopt a voting process that asks for reasonably substantial agreement among participants to pass its resolutions.

 

The word majority means "more than half'. A simple majority is sometimes referred to as a "50% plus one" vote. For practical reasons, a simple majority voting in the affirmative, provided there is a quorum, is considered sufficient to pass most resolutions coming before the body.

 

Robert's Rules gives us more than one way to calculate a majority. The usual way is from the number of votes cast. In this case, abstentions do not affect the outcome. For example, let us consider a situation where there are 20 voting participants present, of which 10 vote "yes", 2 vote "no" and 8 abstain. Since only 12 votes are cast, the majority needed to pass the motion is 7 votes. Since there are 10 "yes" votes, the motion carries. The 8 abstentions do not affect the outcome. Using this method, it is conceivable that a motion could carry with as few as three people voting (2 for; 1 against; 17 abstentions). But the question we should ask is: what would the group's conscience be in a situation like this? If we are committed to basing our decisions on substantial agreement of the participants, this method of determining voting results has obvious shortcomings.

 

The second method, which is less usual and, when adopted by the body, should be set out in the guidelines, is to calculate the majority from the number of voting participants present when the vote is taken, whether they vote or not. In this case, abstentions would always have the effect of a negative vote. Tabulating the voting results of the previous example using this method, the majority needed to carry the motion would be 50% plus one of the 20 voting participants present, or 11 "yes" votes. Since the motion only receives 10 "yes" votes, it fails because it does not achieve the support of a majority of the voting body. 

 

If we accept "substantial agreement" to mean the agreement of the majority of voting participants present, this gives us a clearly defined reliable and consistent way of measuring the vote. No motion can pass without the support of at least the majority (either simple or two‑thirds as the case may be) of those present.  NOTE:  EVANA ASC uses the simple 2/3 majority to carry votes.  The above is simply an explanation.  Don’t wrap your head too tightly around all of this!  Someday things may change, and so an explanation of things is necessary.  Just remember 2/3.  That means if there is 20 voting members (GSR’s) 14 need to be present for the 2/3 majority.  (2/3 of 20 is 13.3, round to 14 or 13 if you really want to!)

 

Policy Changes: On matters that affect the way Area does business (policy changes) or require a significant outlay of time and resources (an Area‑sponsored event), a two‑thirds majority is required to show that there is "greater than usual agreement" among participants on the issue at hand. The voting results are to be measured against a two‑thirds majority of the voting participants present when the vote is taken and not merely from the votes cast. As an example of how the two‑thirds majority rule would work: let's say that there are 20 voting participants present. Two‑thirds of 20 equals 13.3, rounded up to 14. This means it would take at least 14 "yes" votes to pass the motion.

 

Direct Polling Of Groups: A motion that directly affects the groups or which is of particular importance to the NA Fellowship should always be sent back to the groups. The decision to send a matter back to the groups is a matter of the committee's collective conscience and merely requires a member to make a motion to start the process (subject to the usual rules of debate, etc.). How frequently groups will be polled directly will depend on how much authority the GSRs feel they have been delegated to act on their groups' behalf.

 

Voting Procedures: Voting by written ballot keeps secret how individuals vote on an issue, hence can be used for election voting. Voice roll call voting is used when it is desired that the printed minutes show how each participant voted by name. Examples of non-policy matters where a voice roll call vote might be used: voting on a motion for the WSC to change the wording of the Steps, or voting to take legal action against a former trusted servant for theft, etc.  Remember these are EXAMPLES of how we vote.  Doesn’t mean we actually implement voting that way, but we can.  Anyone can call for a vote by a raise of hands, roll call, etc.  See the policy for more information.

 

The following sections are not in the policy, but perhaps at a future time they will be.  This is some good information to know.

 

Fiduciary Responsibility: Fiduciary is a word describing someone who holds something in trust for another. This section outlines how we responsibly utilize the funds that we have been entrusted with by the NA Fellowship. Sometimes it may happen that we will not have sufficient money to do all we would like to do. This section gives us the order in which we take care of our financial obligations. As we go down the priority list, we may find that there are more items on it than we can afford. If the services, activities or subcommittee functions we desire exceed what we can afford, then some or all of these will go un-funded until the level of group donations rises.

 

Misappropriation Of Funds: The guidelines presented here for dealing with situations in which money has been misused by a trusted servant are based on recommendations under consideration by the WSB (World Service Board of Trustees).

 

Area Inventory: There is certainly more than one way for the Area to do an effective inventory of its services. However, any Area inventory process would most likely be a variation on the following scenario. The administrative committee and each subcommittee would prepare reports that would summarize their activities over the past year, showing where they were then, where they are now, and where they hope to be a year from now. Groups would also be welcome to make similar reports. We would also examine the most recent financial review. Finally, there would be an extended sharing session where participants would have an opportunity to offer suggestions, criticisms or solutions to the issues raised in the reports.

 

Parliamentary Authority: This article is intended as a reminder of what we, as an Area, have come together to do. We have our principles ‑ the Steps, Traditions and Concepts; and we have our tools ‑ guidelines, service manuals and parliamentary procedure. We may not all have equal skill in using the tools or applying the principles, but together, we should be able to solve the problems we face, if we do not lose sight of our primary purpose.

 

Quorum: Quorum can be defined as the minimum number of participants that have to be present at a scheduled meeting so that business can be conducted. It’s main component: Two ‑ thirds the number of voting participants from the previously convened regular meeting must be present to establish a quorum.  If a quorum cannot be established, the ASC meeting will not take place that month.  The ASC will reconvene the following month, and the quorum reset.  Please make it a priority to attend if at all possible.  This helps us (ALL members of EVANA) to continue to carry the message of recovery in Narcotics Anonymous.

 

With any quorum requirement, there is always the possibility that the committee might temporarily lose its ability to conduct business because of a lack of member participation.  Assuming that a realistic quorum requirement has been put into place, this should rarely, if ever, occur. On the other hand, the committee's quorum requirement shows the measure of group support for the service body they have created. Concept 1 states that groups may create a service committee to  develop, coordinate and maintain the services the groups wish it to provide. Concepts 2 & 3 state that the groups remain ultimately responsible and have final authority over these services, but they delegate enough authority to the service committee to perform the tasks assigned to it. The groups, on the other hand, are responsible for providing the service committee with human, financial and spiritual resources so that it can do its work. Should support in any one of these areas not be given by the groups to the service committee, the work of the committee will suffer and possibly come to a halt.  If the work of the committee comes to a halt, we all suffer.  Remember our purpose:  to carry the message of recovery in Narcotics Anonymous.  We all need each other to make this wheel turn.

 

Order Of Business: This article presents suggestions for organizing the substance of an ASC meeting and expediting business.

 

Agenda Defined: The agenda lists what occurs at an ASC meeting and in what order. Each meeting begins with an opening prayer and the reading of the 12 Traditions and 12 Concepts in order to remind participants that all service activities have a spiritual purpose. The reading of the minutes gives everyone a chance to come to a common understanding of what occurred in the last meeting and allows all participants, new and old, to start the meeting on an equal footing. The reports section of the meeting builds on this foundation by giving participants new information. This starts a discussion process from which issues may surface. The committee may decide to take action on some of these issues. Motions outlining proposed committee actions are discussed, debated and voted on. The meeting closes with participants knowing what business was completed, what was left unfinished, and what each participant needs to do in the time between meetings. The closing prayer brings us back full circle so that all leave the meeting with the spiritual purpose of our service activities foremost in mind.

 

Introducing New Business:  Participants are encouraged to collaborate with one another to prepare motions they wish the body to consider as new business.

 

Committees Defined: The internal structure of the ASC is defined in this article by committees and subcommittees, not individuals. Each committee and subcommittee has a different function but they come together and interact in different ways.

 

Prudence In Forming Subcommittees: The advice here comes from a passage in It Works: How & Why, p. 194: "There is nothing that will complicate the simplicity of NA, as such, more than a needlessly elaborate array of committees, boards, and subcommittees." Our experience as a new Area thus far shows that deciding what services we want, and finding the people to chair the resulting subcommittees, is not a quick or easy matter. The purpose of this section is to remind us to go slowly in the process of creating new services and subcommittees.

 

Duties Of Officers: The duties listed for each elected position were compiled from a variety of sources: ASC guidelines, service manuals, and Robert's Rules.  The duties required for each position are given in enough detail to allow Area participants and prospective nominees to know what will be required of them, while, at the same time, giving all participants enough knowledge to evaluate both an officeholder's performance and a nominee's qualifications. This is seen as being consistent with the spirit of Concept 4 (carefully considering leadership qualities when electing trusted servants).

 

The Vice‑Chairperson, and the Alternate RCM assist the Chairperson, Treasurer, and Regional Committee Member respectively in carrying out their responsibilities. At the same time, they are also apprenticing or "in‑training" to one day assume the full responsibilities of the position they assist. Persons considering running for an alternate position should realize that their commitment to do service may last beyond their term as an alternate or vice‑chair. Should the Area so choose, these individuals could likely be the Chairperson, or RCM one day. While this type of continuity of service may not always be possible to achieve, it is something for the EVANA Area to strive for.

 

Elected Trusted Servants:  Considerable thought was given to the suggested clean time requirements for each position. The subcommittee asked itself the following questions: Are they realistic? Will the Area be able to fill positions consistently? If the clean time requirements are waived or lowered, will the Area be able to find trusted servants with enough personal recovery and service experience to serve the Area well? Is it fair to the trusted servant to thrust them into a position of responsibility before they are ready? The recommendations of these guidelines were agreed to by the majority of the Policy Subcommittee after a careful review of clean time requirements used elsewhere, thorough discussion of the above questions, and a general assessment of what would be reasonable, practical and desirable for EVANA’s elected trusted servants.

 

Nominations and Elections: The nomination process described in here has been adapted from WSC nomination and election procedures. The important features of this nomination process are that (1) nominations for all positions come from the groups; subcommittee chairs may be nominated by their subcommittee; (2) nominations must be made with the full knowledge and consent of the nominee; (3) nomination forms allowing Area participants to review a nominee's qualifications may be completed and submitted in advance of the election meeting and made available in the minutes (if desired); (4) a position may go unfilled if the groups do not provide a suitable nominee; (5) clean time requirements should not be waived just to fill a position. 

 

Remember, if groups do not provide the human, spiritual or financial resources to the ASC, the regular work of the committee cannot continue. Rather than attempt business as usual in a mad scramble to fill a position or finance a project, the ASC should take time‑out to inventory and address the issue of lack of group support in situations where it has occurred.

 

Financial Review: The financial review is like an inventory of our financial condition. We get to see patterns in the way money comes into the Area and the way we spend it. We learn to address our financial shortcomings through this process. The increased financial awareness we gain helps us in our future budgeting.

 

If you, any of you, need other things, not listed above, defined or refined, or explained please let someone know.  We, the members of EVANA ASC will strive to find the information for you, or better yet, to help you find it!  Then we can include that information here.  That way we all learn, and are better for it. 

 

 

Comments

 

 Participants: "Who participates at an ASC meeting?" is a basic question that guidelines must address. Of the guidelines consulted, most put various restrictions and limitations on who could actively participate in an ASC meeting. Many of these restrictions were seen as arbitrary and contrary to the spirit of the 12 Concepts. The Policy Subcommittee opted for relatively open participation to any member of Narcotics Anonymous. Open participation is seen as a way of allowing the principles of Concept 9 (carefully considering all viewpoints) to operate in ASC meetings so that better group conscience decisions can be made.

 

Of note: Voting Participants. "Who votes at ASC meetings?" is another basic question guidelines must address. The definition of "voting participant" is based on current EVANA policy.

 

A word about the effect of the Chairperson's ability to block a close vote in addition to breaking a tie.  Any close vote, where a motion passes or fails by one vote, occupies a gray area between substantial agreement and a divided conscience. In an instance of a very close vote, the Chairperson may act to either prevent or assist something to pass by tilting the scale more decisively in either direction.

 

Non‑voting Participants: This section allows the nearly full participation of any member of Narcotics Anonymous in EVANA ASC meetings, except that if the person is not representing a group, they do not vote.

 

 

If you, any of you, need other things, not listed above, defined or refined, or explained please let someone know.  We, the members of EVANA ASC will strive to find the information for you, or better yet, to help you find it!  Then we can include that information here.  That way we all learn, and are better for it.