In 2019, the moderators overhauled the Minky bylaws to better fit our values and needs and with an eye towards organizational sustainability. This was again revised in 2023 to ensure that the bylaws more accurately represented the way that the group runs in actual practice. That governing document outlining moderator conventions and responsibilities can be found here:
ARTICLE I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Section 1. Mission Statement
I.1.1 Minky is a queer Twin Cities-based, sex positive, and body positive kink community geared towards adults aged 18-35. We are education focused, consent forward, and operate in service of membership of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions.
I.1.2 We make all our organizational decisions in order to serve our core beliefs. We believe that safe sexual exploration and identity should be available to everyone. We believe we need to work to create a community where members can comfortably, consensually, and safely get to know themselves and one another.
Section 2. Leadership Values
All Minky leadership must affirm and commit to governing in service of the following value statements:
- Sexual expression is an important form of self expression
- Kink can exist both as recreation and resistance
- All bodies are good bodies and all deserve respect and pleasure
- Trans rights are human rights
- HRT is healthcare
- Trans women are women
- Trans men are men
- Non-binary identities are valid identities
- Black lives matter
- White supremacy is violence
- Queer love, sex, and family are real, needed, and important
- Sex work is real work
- No human is illegal
- It is both our responsibility and a boon to our safety to believe survivors
- Vaccinations, testing, and safer sex are key to public health
Section 3. Organizational and Leadership Accountability
I.2.1 At our core, Minky aspires to be a culture of care: we believe that a commitment to trans rights, racial justice, gender equity, and sexual freedom do more to determine the safety of communities than a traditional rule-based code of conduct could alone.
I.2.2 Minky shall make its membership, leadership, and policy decisions, host community gatherings, and organize play parties that are accountable to these values. Additionally, leadership commits to developing and hosting educational opportunities for our membership, raising funds and organizing volunteer opportunities for like-minded groups, modeling consent-forward and social justice-informed administration, and engaging in community outreach and service.
ARTICLE II. TYPES OF STATUS WITHIN MINKY
Section 1. Minky Moderators
II.2.1 Moderators are the primary leadership of Minky. Articles I, III, IV, V, and VI outline what the role entails.
Section 2. Senior Moderators
II.2.1 Moderators who have served more than three years shall be known as Senior Moderators.
II.2.2 Henceforth, Senior Moderator will be a position that comes with no additional voting privileges or executive status. Senior mods have no specifically designated powers.
II.2.3 Senior Moderators’ actions will be considered part and reflective of the historical memory of the group, and they are subject to be held to the highest standard.
II.2.4 Senior Moderators are responsible for bolstering the efforts, acclimation, and success of new moderators, especially those from underrepresented groups. It is not enough to bring the right folks into the room, we must commit to enabling new and shared success in driving our community forward and toward further safety and inclusivity.
Section 3. Associate Members and Volunteering
II.3.1 Associate Members include members recognized as vital contributors to the success and safety of the Minky community, and members who have directly applied for the role.
II.3.1a Associate Members will not have voting powers or privileges, nor will they be held to the attendance standards and contribution expectations of moderators. Associate Members will not have official Minky email addresses, nor will they have access to Moderator-only correspondence. Associate Members will be held to the same cultural standards that Minky Moderators are.
II.3.1b Associate Members may assist with a variety of tasks and duties. These may include helping with party set up and tear down, taking a door duty shift at a party, Dungeon Monitoring duties, assisting moderators at munches, and logistical support as needs arise and Associate’s schedules allow.
II.3.1c In exchange for their support, Associates will be granted priority to party RSVP confirmation, a role on Discord, and access to exclusive Minky leadership patches.
II.3.1d While not required, it is recommended that anyone interested in becoming a Moderator is an Associate Member for a year. During that time, Moderators should be ensuring mentorship of interested Associate Members, helping them to learn what the role of a Moderator entails. However, Associate Membership is not a direct track to becoming a moderator–Minky is not required to “promote” Associate Members after any period of time or at all.
II.3.2 Minky also welcomes Minky Members to volunteer to help support our group and moderation team at events. This support could include the same responsibilities Associates may perform as outlined in prior section 2.3. Those interested in volunteering should usually contact the moderation team prior to the event, or can be requested to assist by moderators.
II.3.2a Volunteering is both helping the group, and a form of mentorship. Moderators should make an effort to encourage participation from members whose contributions are valuable to our community so that they can continue to learn and practice new leadership skills. Members that are exceptionally helpful volunteers may be encouraged to apply for Associate Membership for further mentorship.
II.3.3 Any Associates or volunteers acting as Dungeon Monitors will be trained thoroughly, including being partnered with a Moderator DM trainer on DM shifts until they are comfortable proceeding on their own.
Section 4. Minky Members
II.4.1 A Minky Member is someone who has met a moderator at a Minky event and is approved to RSVP for parties. In Minky, we sometimes refer to this as a “vibe check” or just “meeting a mod.” This role does not represent a thorough background check or “vetting” of an individual, nor is it an endorsement of an individual by Minky.
II.4.2 Minky Membership can be removed at any time by Minky leadership. Minky Members are bound by our code of conduct, rules, moderation decisions, cultural standards, consent policy, “We Believe” statement and safer space commitment. Violation of any of the aforementioned, or actions representing a danger or damage to our group members or group culture, may result in removal of Minky Member status, suspension from group activities, and other disciplinary measures. Minky is under no obligation or requirements to allow membership to any individual, and may remove Minky Member status, suspend from group activities, or enact other disciplinary measures, for any reason we deem necessary, with or without explanation being provided.
II.4.3 Minky Member is an encompassing status–Associate Members are also by extension Minky Members.
ARTICLE III. MODERATOR PROCEDURES
Section 1. Eligibility for Moderator Appointment
III.1.1 Any active organizational member in good standing is eligible to apply for a moderator position.
III.1.2 Moderators will be selected from a pool of members known to exemplify the leadership agreement and code of conduct.
III.1.3 Applicants will be asked to self-audit their agreement with Minky Leadership Values (I.2) , their agreement with the Diversity and Equity Statement (VII.1-2), and their ability to make all governance-based decisions in service of these mandates.
Section 2. Changes in Moderator Status
III.2.1 All seated moderators will be asked to vote on the appointment of incoming moderators. Any applicant requires a supermajority of “yay” votes in order to be onboarded: a ⅔ majority in favor if the seated moderator team has 10 or fewer members, and a ¾ majority in favor if the team has 11 or more members.
III.2.2 Moderators eligible to join the Steering Committee (V. 1-2) must receive a supermajority of “yay” votes in order to be appointed: a ⅔ majority in favor if the seated moderator team has 10 or fewer members, and a ¾ majority in favor if the team has 11 or more members.
III.2.3 Moderators may request a leave of absence at any point in their tenure. In order to be reinstated, the motion to reinstate must receive a supermajority of “yay” votes: a ⅔ majority in favor if the seated moderator team has 10 or fewer members, and a ¾ majority in favor if the team has 11 or more members.
III.2.4 From time to time, a moderator may need to resign. Resignation will not forfeit membership privileges, nor will it change the former moderator’s status as welcome at any parties or events. Past moderators in good standing may also be invited to moderator social events.
III.2.5 Though they may be consulted for advice on best practices or to provide organizational historical context, no confidential information will be shared with moderators who have stepped down or been removed from being a moderator.
Section 3. Removing a Moderator
III.3.1 Moderators may be removed for violating the member code of conduct, abuse of power, questions of consent violation, failing the organizational commitment to community safety, or organizational mismanagement.
III.3.2 In the event that it becomes necessary to remove or discuss the removal of a moderator from the leadership team, a new email thread or a Discord private message with all other mods will be established to discuss the situation and, if necessary, schedule a meeting before voting.
III.3.3 Any moderator who is aware of a potential indiscretion, violation, or otherwise needs evaluation in moderatorship, is expected and required to make a report to the remaining members of the mod team through an email thread or a Discord private message.
III.3.4 Moderator removal is not something to take lightly, nor is it something to shy away from as we build a more accountable, robust, and safety-oriented team.
III.3.5 In order to remove an acting Moderator, a supermajority of votes is necessary: a ⅔ majority in favor if the seated moderator team has 10 or fewer members, and a ¾ majority in favor if the team has 11 or more members.
III.3.5.a Votes to remove a Moderator will be taken anonymously, unless a supermajority votes otherwise.
III.3.5.b At least one round of discussions is allowed between at least two rounds of voting.
III.3.5.c Any Moderator may abstain from this vote, either before voting or during anonymous voting.
III.3.5.c.1 Any Moderator may choose to abstain in a subsequent round of voting after having earlier voted, or may choose to vote after having abstained in an earlier voting round
III.3.6 Once a vote has been taken to remove a moderator, a decision will be made about who will inform the removed moderator. It will be ensured that the rest of the moderator team is kept informed of all relevant communications.
Section 4. Moderator Application Process
III.4.1 Every 18 months, the application interview form shall be reviewed and, if necessary, revised.
III.4.2 At the time of this republishing, a public announcement will be made soliciting new moderator applications.
III.4.3 Invitation to apply may be given by current moderators to individuals at any time. Moderators also have a duty to actively seek out talent within the group and encourage interested and values-aligned person(s) to apply.
III.4.4 Applications are usually open on an on-going basis, but Minky has no responsibility to approve all applications. If the moderation team feels an applicant requires further mentorship, but that Minky would benefit from their leadership contributions, they may be encouraged to instead apply for Associate Membership.
ARTICLE IV. MODERATOR RESPONSIBILITIES
Section 1. Allocation of Responsibilities
IV.1.1 We recognize that the work it takes to keep this community growing takes many forms: along with running events and communications, moderators do a lot of logistics, policy drafting, planning, and emotional labor. These tasks must be done for organizational success. Leadership is most successful when the team is psychologically safe, has good working relationships, and can divide work equitably. We do the best for the community when the leaders bring a diversity of experiences, skills, and identities.
IV.1.2 Moderators shall work together to ensure that all efforts of moderators are seen and celebrated. Moderators shall take into account these labor loads, the outside obligations, and the scheduling capabilities of each member of the team as they allocate the moderation responsibilities created by new tasks and share the burden of staffing any organization events. Moderators are responsible for advocating for their own needs, and placing the highest priority on their mental health.
Section 2. Meetings
IV.2.1 Moderators will gather for quarterly meetings to review any queued applications, hear reports from ongoing work outside of events, discuss upcoming event planning, and update any necessary communications and logistics.
IV.2.2 Moderators will gather annually for a Team Summit, a lengthier meeting designed to help clear the agenda and define goals for the year.
IV.2.3 From time to time, it will be necessary to meet outside of the projected meeting schedule to discuss something urgent or sensitive.
IV.2.3.a. Under these circumstances it is understood that not all moderators will be able to meet or vote. While present moderators should do their best to summarize discussion and action items for the absent moderators and strive to include their vote via email when possible, urgency will sometimes preclude inclusion.
IV.2.4 Moderators are encouraged to meet socially and recreationally as they can, in order to foster strong relationships outside of the stress of moderation.
Section 3. Voting
IV.3.1 Most operational decisions can be made via public vote and simple majority. Any moderator may ask for a vote for a decision to be made via supermajority or via anonymous vote. The request for supermajority vote must itself be ratified by majority vote.
IV.3.2 Matters that need to be voted on via email or Discord or other moderator chat will generally need a vote within five days.
IV.3.3 Any moderator may ask for a 24 hour grace period before a vote is finalized to think over or change a vote.
IV.3.4 If a matter is urgent, sensitive, or otherwise needs a response more quickly, the Steering Committee will call for an urgent vote and attach a timeframe necessary for response.
IV.3.4.a It is understandable that a response will not always be possible for all moderators under this circumstance. It is acceptable not to be able to respond within this timeframe so long as moderators understand this leads to forfeiture of voting.
IV.2.4.b If response is not able to be given in that time, the responsibility for decision and action will go to the Steering Committee.
IV.3.5 Appointing new moderators, reappointing moderators from leaves of absence, removing moderators, changing bylaws, contacting another group about a banned member, and appointing the Steering Committee require a supermajority vote to proceed. A supermajority is constituted as a ⅔ majority in favor if the seated moderator team has 10 or fewer members, and a ¾ majority in favor if the team has 11 or more members.
IV.3.6 All votes via supermajority will be taken anonymously, unless it is otherwise proposed and so voted. Methods include tools and bots on Discord for anonymous voting, and anonymous digital polls.
IV.3.7 All votes taken anonymously will include a discussion portion after an initial vote and tally. This discussion portion may be repeated after subsequent votes as is necessary prior to finalizing a decision.
Section 4. Party Responsibilities
IV.4.1 In order to safely and successfully host a party, there must be at least two Moderators and two Associates OR at least three Moderators on site. Moderators are not required to perform all of the outlined duties at every party, but should be fulfilling the responsibilities they are suited to.
IV.4.2 Moderators are asked to be present for seven parties a year and to fill in as necessary when the team is smaller or schedules conflict.
IV.4.2.a A smaller leadership team will likely need to attend and facilitate more than this number to meet the minimums specified in Section 3.1 above and maintain organizational operations safely and reasonably. Moderators are responsible for ensuring that these overages are shared equitably and with respect for team members’ outside obligations and duties performed outside of events in accordance with IV.1-2 and VI.
IV.4.3 Moderators are responsible for ensuring that party set up and tear down is completed and is low stress for the party hosts.
IV.4.4 Moderators are responsible for watching the door to collect donations and verify identities.
IV.4.5 Moderators are responsible for providing the safest possible party environment. This includes DMing, monitoring safer sex supplies, ensuring that all guests know party rules both in advance of and at the party, and introducing new members and guests to the space.
IV.4.6 Moderators are responsible for scheduling Associates and volunteers, and managing their efforts during the party.
Section 5. Munch Responsibilities
IV.5.1 Moderators are asked to attend several munches a year. There should be no fewer than two moderators at any munch.
IV.5.2 Moderators will establish the safety and cultural norms at a munch. Be mindful of volume and dress.
IV.5.3 Moderators should be engaging with new members at munches, to approve them to RSVP for parties as a Minky Member, as described in Article II.
Section 6. Organizational Commitments Outside of Munches and Parties
IV.6.1 Outside of Munches and Parties, further moderation tasks are required to effectively run Minky. Most of these tasks are outlined in section Article VI.
Section 7. Internal and External Communication Responsibilities
IV.7.1 All Moderators will receive a Minky domain email. Moderators will check their Minky email several times a week and respond as necessary.
IV.7.2 Moderators will be added to a group chat. The chat may be used for logistics or to alert the team that there is email, a vote, etc that requires attention.
IV.7.3 Moderators should, as able, assist in moderating online Minky spaces such as Fetlife and Discord, and in facilitating community interaction on the Discord. As these are official spaces of Minky, they must be moderated to the same safer space standards.
ARTICLE V. STEERING COMMITTEE
Section 1. Steering Committee
V.1.1 A Steering Committee has been established as the overall planning and response leaders for the Moderator Team.
V.1.2 The Steering Committee is responsible for the scheduling of quarterly meetings and the yearly summit, as well as for setting of the agenda of said events in coordination with the subcommittees.
V.1.3 The Steering Committee shall oversee and ensure communication of ongoing tasks outside of Minky events.
V.1.4 The Steering Committee shall ensure that applications for new moderators and Associate Members are processed on an ongoing basis. All applications should be discussed by the entire moderation team.
V.1.5 As different members will learn best from different moderators, all moderators should be engaged with mentorship and training of volunteers, Associate Members, and new moderators. However, the Steering Committee should ensure they take extra-effort to share their knowledge and experience with membership.
V.1.6 One member of the Steering Committee shall act as organization treasurer.
V.1.7 Moderators on the Steering Committee do not have votes weighted differently than the rest of the moderation team, nor do they have exclusive executive power over any matters presided over by moderators.
V.1.8 In order to be appointed to the Steering Committee, a moderator must have served for at least 18 months, submit their name for consideration, and be approved by a supermajority of the moderator body. A supermajority is constituted as a ⅔ majority in favor if the seated moderator team has 10 or fewer members, and a ¾ majority in favor if the team has 11 or more members.
Section 2. Subcommittees and Duties Outside of Events
V.2.1 Subcommittees shall henceforth be a term to describe moderators fulfilling the duties outlined in Article VI. A prior version of Minky bylaws described specific duties of various subcommittees. Should this version be needed again, such as if the moderation team grew to a size it would be beneficial, it can be reimplemented or restructured into formal subcommittees by a supermajority vote.
V.2.2 Not all moderators need to do all tasks, but all moderators should be aware of the labor that happens outside of Minky events. Moderators have different skill sets that may be suited to different tasks at munches, parties, and other events, as well as outside of them.
V.2.3 Moderators may fulfill some or none of the duties outlined in article VI, but should endeavor to help where they can when they can.
V.2.4 Communication for these duties outside of events can be done via private email chains, discord threads, forums posts or DMs, and loop the rest of the team in as-needed.
V.2.6 New duties may be defined by simple majority vote.
ARTICLE VI. DUTIES OUTSIDE OF EVENTS
Section 1. Operations
VI.1.1 Operations duties include maintaining an updated inventory of party supplies and ensuring that any necessary replenishment occurs before each months’ party.
VI.1.2.a Operations duties include assigning moderators to do all necessary purchasing.
VI.1.2.b Operation duties are often entwined with treasury and budget, so purchases should be made with the treasurer’s knowledge.
VI.1.2.c Operations duties include taking special care to track the expiration date and consistent supply of safer sex supplies.
VI.1.3 Operations duties include ensuring that all party supplies arrive at the party at the beginning of setup and that they are all reassembled and stored at the end of a party.
VI.1.4 Operations duties include ensuring the successful set up and tear down of all parties, including liaising with hosts, securing adequate volunteer or associate help, and maintaining and updating party location specific set up and tear down checklists.
VI.1.5 Operations duties include liaising with the treasurer to secure the hosting gift and for giving the hosting gift.
VI.1.6 Operations duties include handling party and munch communications, including those on Discord, the website, and Fetlife.
VI.1.6.a Operations duties include announcing parties and munches, managing RSVPs, and managing the party channels on Discord.
Section 2. Technology and Publication
VI.2.1 Technology and Publications duties include maintaining and updating the website, moderator email operations, the Discord, and any applications used for organization operations.
VI.2.1 Technology and Publications duties include monitoring any policy or technology changes made by external websites or applications used by the organization and updating procedure accordingly.
Section 3. Outreach
VI.3.1 Outreach duties include communications with outside groups, vendors, or locations, as well as designing programming for new members.
VI.3.2 Outreach duties include designating community partners to benefit from fundraising and volunteer activities.
VI.3.3 Outreach duties include communicating with munch locations in advance of each munch and presiding over munch scheduling.
VI.3.4 Outreach duties include maintaining relationships with other community groups, as to help ensure a safer community both within Minky and at-large. Good relationships with other groups benefit everyone involved with increased safety, and additional opportunities for collaboration.
Section 4. Education
VI.4.1 Education duties include organizing regular party workshop programming, which may include networking with and scheduling presenters, managing workshop materials, and publishing advance information about the workshops.
VI.4.2 Education duties include connecting membership with any specific play or practice questions to resources as possible.
VI.4.3 Education duties include developing protocol for any presenter or workshop.
Section 5. Communications
VI.5.1 Communications duties include handling all public facing and sensitive organization communications. In general, important communications should be reviewed by the entire moderator team before being posted or committed to public record.
VI.5.2 Communications duties include orchestrating all communications regarding consent reports.
VI.5.3 Communications duties include reviewing and updating the Code of Conduct annually.
VI.5.4 Communications duties include reviewing and updating the application interview for new moderators every 18 months.
VI.5.5 Communications duties include official updates to Fetlife Group, the website, or the Discord.
VI.5.6 Communications duties include writing and publishing any new governance policies.
VI.5.7 Communications duties include culture setting within the group and communicating culture to the community.
ARTICLE VII. DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION INITIATIVE
Section 1. Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
VII.1.1 Minky values and strives toward a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community. We aspire for this to be a community where all members and leadership feel safe, valued, and respected within all of their identities, including gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, national origin, education, or disability.
VII.1.2 We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and strive to value and hear all member and potential member voices.
VII.1.3 The moderator team is committed to reflecting and modeling the diversity we see and inclusion we demand in our communities and strives for a membership and leadership of representation, equity, and justice.
Section 2. Diversity and Equity Action Plan
VII.2.1 To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, Minky moderators shall:
VII.2.1.a See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our membership and communities.
VII.2.1.b Invite our membership, communities, and moderators to hold us accountable to acknowledge and dismantle the inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report organization progress.
VII.2.1.c Commit to accountability for potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with equity and safety.
VII.2.1.d Advocate for and support leader-level thinking and public communications regarding how systemic inequities in our larger communities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
VII.2.1.e Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader in our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.
VII.2.1.f Practice and encourage transparent communication in all possible interactions.
VII.2.1.g Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our leadership, membership, and larger community.
VII.2.1.h Commit time and resources to liaise with, learn from, and support communities specifically designed with the safety and community of marginalized membership.
VII.2.1.i Design any and all future governance documents with the safeties and comfort of marginalized membership especially in mind.
VII.2.1.j Advocate for public and private-sector policy that promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity. Challenge systems and policies that create inequality, oppression and disparity.
VII.2.1.k Specifically solicit leadership applications from non-traditional candidates and then work to ensure the success of new moderators on their own terms.
ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENTS
Section 1: Amendment Procedure
VIII.1.1 As necessary, amendments may be made to the bylaws. Minor language revisions may be made with simple collaborative approval among moderators, provided they do not substantively alter the bylaws.
VIII.1.2 After an amendment has been proposed, a supermajority vote in favor is necessary. The motion to amend must receive a supermajority of “yay” votes: a ⅔ majority in favor if the seated moderator team has 10 or fewer members, and a ¾ majority in favor if the team has 11 or more members.
VIII.1.3 Once the recommended amendment has been approved, the final language shall be drafted and then verified by a majority vote of the full moderator team.
Section 2: Amendment Documentation
VIII.2.1 These bylaws are intended as both a living document and a historical record. In the interest of accountability, prior major versions of the bylaws should be kept available on our website and/or to the moderation team.
ARTICLE IX. ADOPTION OF BYLAWS
We, the undersigned, are all of the moderators of the organization and we consent to and hereby do adopt the foregoing bylaws, consisting of the preceding pages, as the bylaws of this organization.
We adopt these policies with the intent and knowledge that this document and all codes and systems therein are designed to act in the service of our mission statement, leadership values, and the success of the leadership team. These bylaws are designed to be revised and updated as often as necessary to adapt to the needs of a growing organization and leadership team.
ADOPTED AND APPROVED by the Minky moderators on this 24th day of November, 2019. (https://minkymn.org/bylaws-archive/)
REVISED, ADOPTED AND APPROVED by the Minky moderators on this 26th day of September, 2023