MM: What does the Hall look for in raisings?
One of the key things that is looked for in each applicant is whether or not they have been a contributing Community Member. While a couple of things that are valid contributions are mentioned in this manual, it is not a complete listing. Please view the portion of the Membership Manual about Contributions for a more complete discussion of what contributions are.
Applications for Novice or Recruit
After an application has been submitted to join the Tower, the Mayor contacts the two Senior Members referenced in the Citizen’s application. After the recommendations on the particular Citizen have been received, the Mayor takes the application to the Hall. This takes place in a private forum "Hall of the Tower."
To give an example of the application process: If Egwene al’Vere were up for raising, the Mayor would post a thread entitled “Egwene al’Vere for Novice.” The post would include her avatar, real first name, birth date, join date and link to her forum profile. Underneath are her answers to the questions in the application. Underneath that are her two references from Senior Members, Moiraine Sedai and Lan Gaidin.
When up for consideration of raising to Novice/Recruit, a Citizen's post history will be evaluated by members of the Hall. An issue often raised in the Hall is that of post activity. While there is no specific number of posts which is ideal, a Citizen should have a great deal of who they are represented in these posts. One thousand posts of nothing but an emoticon or a congratulations are not nearly as helpful as 100 or 200 posts that give more insight into one's personality.
One should keep in mind that the purpose of becoming a Community Member of the Tower (i.e. ‘Junior Member’) is to put oneself into a position ideal for contributing to positive interactions within the Tower, as well as having a greater opportunity to benefit from strengthened personal bonds. The Hall very carefully votes upon each member's raising, accepting those who are both friendly and dedicated. One may be friendly, but dedication is hard to discern from too few posts - or too many, if the post history consists of 'spam,' i.e. throw-away posts which show little to nothing of the Citizen's character. Either raise a red flag and could be grounds for denying the raising until the Citizen has contributed more posts which represent who he or she is as a person. A particularly positive recommendation from a Senior Member is also taken into consideration.
An ideal candidate for Novice or Recruit would be one who is familiar with the Tower rules (i.e. Chat Guidelines, Membership Manuals). He or she would already have had positive experiences interacting within the boards and among the Community Members. Communication in a respectful and mature fashion is key to any candidate's application. One who deliberately acts in a disruptive and/or disrespectful manner is not likely to be approved.
The process of acceptance/denial through the Tower takes an average of two weeks but could be longer or shorter. If the candidate is denied, the Mayor will tell him/her so in private and discuss what factors might be considered before applying again after a time. If the candidate is approved, the Mayor will post a thread with the subject of the Citizen’s name in the City Hall forum. This is the call to report oneself at the Tower. New novices report to the Master/Mistress of Novices and Recruits.
Applications for Accepted or Soldier
The rank of Novice or Recruit is fundamentally a learning process. One is assigned a mentor, partakes in classes, and gets to know what interactions in the Tower are like on a day-to-day basis. After three months’ time, the novice or recruit has fulfilled the minimum amount of time required for raising and is eligible to be brought forth to the Hall, if the Mistress of Novices or Captain of Recruits has deemed them ready for raising to Accepted or Soldier. Once the Mistress of Novices or Captain of the Guard has received an application for Accepted/Soldier and s/he feels that the novice/recruit is ready, s/he starts a thread in the private forum “Hall of the Tower.”
To give an example of the raising process: If Gawyn Trakand felt he were ready for raising, he would send in an application to the Master/Mistress of Novices and Recruits (see the Office for details as to the particulars of this application). If he felt Gawyn was ready, the Master/Mistress of Novices and Recruits would start a thread in the Hall with the subject “Gawyn Trakand for Soldier.” Within the post would be his avatar, real first name, joining date, raising date, and link to his profile. Underneath this would be a statement which Gawyn would have sent the Master/Mistress of Novices and Recruits, explaining why he believed he was ready and willing to be raised to the rank of Accepted or Soldier. Underneath this would be a personal recommendation from his mentor, and below this would be the personal recommendation of the Master/Mistress of Novices and Recruits.
One of the major factors of being raised to Accepted or Soldier is the level of interaction which one has had with other Community Members of the Tower. The step up in rank is one which greatly advances the Community Member’s capacity to intermingle among different Ajahs/Companies. One is granted privileged access into their respective sitting rooms or great halls as a guest and at times observes some of the more personal aspects of various Community Members in that Ajah or Company. Being raised to Accepted or Soldier is therefore an indication of trust and commitment.
Before one is raised to this level, then, the Hall must be sure that the member is committed, trustworthy, understands how the Tower is run and gets along well with others. The Hall also evaluates where the candidate has been posting.
A novice or recruit who has mostly remained in the Junior Member forums during tenure in the Tower is less likely to be approved for raising than a member who has posted in both the Tower and also in the general forums (such as General, Technology & Media etc., in places where one may interact with Community Members of all groups and ranks). Likewise, a Novice or Recruit who has not posted in the Junior Member forums, or hardly at all, posting only in the general forums, is less likely to be approved for raising, as he or she has not yet interacted altogether much with the groups to which he or she would one day aspire. Interaction with all groups available is highly recommended, so as to wholly realize one’s prospects.
It is therefore recommended to take full advantage of the access to the Tower which one has as a Novice or Recruit, but to also keep in mind that overall, the decision is based upon the way which one relates to others throughout the forum and with all ranks of membership. The majority of Hall members search for evidence in one’s posting history that this Community Member is involved, dedicated, genuine, friendly and, above all, forging worthy relationships among one’s fellow Community Members. The Tower is a community based upon mutual respect and friendship, and these values would ideally be evident in one of a mind to be raised to the level of Accepted/Soldier.
Another characteristic which sets some apart from others is activeness in the Classrooms. While not required, participation in the Classrooms is a positive indication of that Community Member’s interest in The Wheel of Time series, from which our community was established. In addition, Classroom participation often signifies to the Hall that the candidate is enthusiastic about the features available within the Tower and respectful of the structure set up for the various ranks.
An issue often raised in the Hall is that of post activity. While there is no specific number of posts which is ideal, a Novice/Recruit should have a great deal of who they are represented in these posts.
The Hall very carefully votes upon each Community Member's raising, accepting those who are both friendly and dedicated. One may be friendly, but dedication is hard to discern from too few posts - or too many, if the post history consists of 'spam,' i.e. throw-away posts which show little to nothing of the candidate's character. Either raise a red flag, and could be grounds for denying the raising until the Community Member has contributed more posts which represent who he or she is as a person. A particularly positive recommendation from a mentor is also taken into consideration.
One situation which also raises a red flag for those considered for raising to the level of Accepted/Soldier is that of a Community Member recently returned from a leave of absence. All too often, a Novice or Recruit has gone on leave of absence for a month or longer, and then come back, posted quite a lot for a week or two, and then submitted him/herself for raising. The majority of the time, this causes Hall members to deny their application, with the recommendation that he or she mingle a while longer and show that they are indeed still dedicated over a longer period of time (a month or two, depending upon the situation).
Once a Community Member is Accepted/Soldier, he or she is indeed ‘sealed to the Tower’ and has greater forum access than novices and recruits. The privilege of attaining this rank, which is just one step below Senior Member, is for those who have clearly proven themselves to be constant and committed members.
If a Community Member’s application is turned down, the Mistress of Novices or Captain of the Guard will tell him/her so in private and discuss what factors might be considered before applying again after a time. If the candidate is approved, the Mistress of Novices or Captain of the Guard will send a PM to that Community Member, with a summoning to take the raising test with a link.
Candidates for Senior Membership
When the Hall is asked to consider a candidate for Senior Member, one may be certain that the Community Member has been, in the eyes of his or her Community Membership administrator and Ajah/Company, a faithful, respectable and contributing member of the community for a substantial amount of time. For one to be raised through the ranks from new citizen to Senior Member takes seven months at the very least, though that short a time period occurs very rarely. It is not unusual for a Junior Member to have been an enduring and steadfast contributor to the site for years at a time.
There are many reasons why one might remain a Junior Member for an extended period of time. Some of the more common reasons for this are indecisiveness about choosing one’s Ajah/Company, waiting for the minimum age requirement for Senior Membership (seventeen), lacking the maturity expected from a Senior Member (which frequently has little to do with the member’s age), not being active enough in a broad enough spectrum of forums (i.e. only interacting within the threads and forum intended for one’s Ajah/Company – or only very few besides these), and going on an extended leave of absence (a month or longer) and only just returning.
The Hall determines each candidate's merits for raising in the specialized private forum, “Hall of the Tower.” To give an example of the raising process: Nynaeve al'Meara has been an Accepted for over the minimum period, and her Head of Ajah has decided that she is ready to take the final steps of becoming a Senior Member. The Head of the Yellows posts a locked thread in the forum seen only by Yellow Aes Sedai, stating that she planning to put up Nynaeve for raising to Aes Sedai, and that she is compiling recommendations to send to the Hall. It should be noted that this is not a vote; a unanimous agreement by the Ajah/Company members is neither required nor needed to put someone up for Senior Member. This thread is created for the purpose of receiving recommendations from other Community Members of the Ajah/Company to put forth for Hall consideration, as well as to obtain any important and relevant information about the candidate which might have been previously overlooked, which might bring into question the candidate's readiness for Senior Membership.
The Head of the Yellows then sends the raising packet to the Director of Membership, who examines the packet and draws her/his own conclusions about the candidate. If the Master/Mistress of Accepted Soldiers and Director of Membership also feel she is ready, the Master/Mistress of Accepted and Soldiers would start a thread in the Hall with the subject “Nynaeve al'Meara for Aes Sedai.” Within the post would be her avatar (and also, at times, a link to a real-life picture), real first name, and link to her profile. Underneath this would be a statement which Nynaeve's Community Membership administrator would have sent the Director of Membership, explaining why she believed Nynaeve was ready to be raised to the rank of Senior Member. Underneath this might be personal recommendations from some of her Ajah mates, and below those would be the personal recommendations of the Master/Mistress of Accepted and Soldiers and the Director of Membership.
Significantly important to the Hall's decision is whether the candidate has proven to represent him/herself in a conscious and mature manner, as a dedicated Servant of All. One who acts as a Senior Member should act (i.e. comporting oneself in a conscious and mature manner, being helpful to others, contributing to the Tower through word and/or deed) while still being a Junior Member will likely not have much opposition in the Hall when it comes time to be raised to the level of Aes Sedai/Gaidin.
The Hall expects this Community Member to have had an active, continuous presence in within the community. This activity can mean that the Community Member is always in our chat rooms, has a significant posting history across many forums, or attends as many official and local functions as possible.
An issue often raised in the Hall is that of post activity. While there is no specific number of posts which is ideal, an Accepted/Soldier should have a great deal of who they are represented in these posts.
The Hall very carefully votes upon each Community Member's raising, accepting those who are both friendly and dedicated. One may be friendly, but dedication is hard to discern from too few posts - or too many, if the post history consists of 'spam,' i.e. throw-away posts which show little to nothing of the candidate's character. Either raise a red flag and could be grounds for denying the raising until the Community Member has contributed more posts which represent who he or she is as a person.
One who is being raised to Senior Member should not be expected to have socialized with every person in the Tower, by any means. However, it is unlikely that an Accepted/Soldier who is active enough to be raised would go unnoticed by the majority of the Hall members. If there are a number of members of the Hall who do not recognize the candidate due to the candidate’s limited activity in more than a few areas, this raises a red flag. In this case, the candidate might be denied raising, with the recommendation that he or she endeavor to broaden his or her interactions in more areas of the board.
Another characteristic which sets some apart from others is activeness in the Classrooms. While not required, participation in the Classrooms through either teaching a class or studying in another's class is a positive indication of that Community Member’s interest in The Wheel of Time series, from which our community was established. In addition, Classroom participation, especially that of teaching a class, often signifies to the Hall that the candidate is enthusiastic about the features available within the Tower and respectful of the structure set up for the various ranks.
Particularly positive recommendations from one's membership administrator and fellow Ajah/Company mates, as well as that of the Director of Membership, is also taken into consideration. By the time one is up for raising to Senior Member, one should be appropriately comfortable within one's Ajah or Company; settled into one's niche, per se. Any adverse situations mentioned in the raising thread by anyone giving a recommendation will be carefully considered by the Hall.
Once a member is Aes Sedai/Gaidin, he or she is a 'Senior Member,' and enjoys much more freedom from the strictures placed upon Junior Members. The privilege of attaining this rank is for those who have clearly proven themselves to be committed to the Tower through their interactions within it, as well as by the level of contribution given to the Tower through participation in Tower endeavors within the forum and also (if applicable) at real life functions, and any projects/activities one might have worked on independantly or with other members in the effort to make the Tower a more dynamic environment.
If the applicant is turned down, his or her Community Membership administrator will discuss what factors contributed to the applicant being denied so that the applicant may improve his/her chances at being raised at a later date. If the candidate is approved, the Master/Mistress of Accepted and Soldiers will send a PM to that member with a link to the raising test.
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