Draft for Drupal Community Working Group charter

(This blog post is cross-posted in the governance issue queue; see http://drupal.org/node/1822314. I disabled the comments on this blog post so that we can centralize all feedback in one place.)

In the summer, we organized the very first Drupal Governance Sprint. We sat down and discussed how to evolve Drupal's governance structure to support the Drupal community's continued growth. The result of that meeting was a proposal on how to evolve our governance.

As a first step towards implementing this proposed governance structure, we set out to charter the "Community Working Group" (CWG), one of different groups we'd like to set up. Inspired by the Fedora Community Working Group, the mission of Drupal Community Working Group would be to maintain a friendly and welcoming community for the Drupal project on the different drupal.org websites, official IRC channels, and mailing lists. Specifically, the Community Working Group's purpose is to defuse tense situations, to keep discussions productive, and to act as a point of escalation and final arbitration for intractable conflicts within the Drupal community.

With the help of Randy Fay, Greg Dunlap, David Strauss, George DeMet, Donna Benjamin, Jeremy Thorson, Jennifer Hodgdon, Angela Byron and others, we drafted a charter for the Community Working Group. Before we officially launch this group, I would like to get your feedback. We'll iterate on the draft charter based on all your feedback. Thanks!


Community Working Group Charter (DRAFT)

Mission

The mission of the Community Working Group (CWG) is to maintain a friendly and welcoming community for the Drupal project on the different drupal.org websites, official IRC channels, and mailing lists.

The CWG acts as a group to defuse tense situations, to keep discussions productive, and to act as a point of escalation and final arbitration for intractable conflicts within the Drupal community.

Scope / duties / responsibilities

The goal of of the CWG is to facilitate discussion, provide conflict mediation assistance, and (if all else fails) punitive action against individuals/groups who are not able to resolve conflicts by themselves. Its scope extends to Drupal community members, regardless of medium (e.g. Drupal.org, IRC, Twitter) or location (e.g. local meetup, DrupalCon).

Specific duties of the CWG include:

  1. Facilitation: Enable community members to resolve their own conflicts in most cases, by maintaining conflict resolution process, the Drupal Code of Conduct, and other documentation.
  2. Mediation: When presented with a conflict that cannot be resolved using the conflict resolution process, the CWG may provide mediation resources either for individuals to resolve conflicts directly or with a mediator provided by the group.
  3. Arbitration: In the event that conflict mediation breaks down, the CWG is empowered to perform binding arbitration. For example, the group may enforce a temporary ban or “time out” on drupal.org websites, official IRC channels, and mailing lists if conflict resolution between community members fails.
  4. Escalation: Alerting law enforcement and/or other appropriate bodies in the case of extreme conflict that is beyond the CWG's ability to handle (e.g., harassment, stalking).

The following items are not within the scope of the CWG’s charter:

  • The CWG does not get involved with conflicts until members have tried and failed to resolve the conflicts themselves using the Community Conflict Resolution Process.
  • Barring extreme cases, the CWG does not respond to requests to ban someone. All conflicts must go through the conflict mediation process first.
  • Individual members of the CWG cannot arbitrate conflicts on their own unless empowered to do so by the group as a whole.
  • The CWG cannot make technical policy decisions (this is the responsibility of the Technical Working Group) or community-wide governance decisions (this is the responsibility of the Governance Working Group)
  • The CWG cannot change or extend its own charter; at present that authority lies solely with Dries Buytaert.

Process

To bring a matter before the CWG, send an e-mail to community@drupal.org. The CWG will respond with its decision within two weeks. The CWG may also evaluate requests and choose to redirect the involved parties to a more appropriate resolution method if a request has not gone through the conflict resolution process, or is deemed by the group to be frivolous.

The CWG aims to be as transparent as possible by documenting its decisions publicly when possible. In sensitive situations, however, the group may omit details out of respect for the privacy of involved individuals.

If any of the involved parties feels a decision of the CWG is unreasonable, they can escalate it to Dries Buytaert, who will review the decision and can choose to either uphold or change it. In the meantime, the decision of the CWG stands.

Only Dries Buytaert can make changes to the CWG's charter, and he can make changes at any time. At least once a year, the charter for the CWG meets with Dries Buytaert to review the charter.

Membership

For now, Dries Buytaert will appoint and remove members to this group as needed. In the future, the charter may be revised to adopt a more formal process.

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