We have decided that we will turn the Chaostreff Bern into a formal association. The formal founding will be done at the meeting on Tuesday, 2016-10-25.
We are currently working out the details. There are two different drafts for bylaws of the organisation 1 2 and also a list of agenda items for the meeting. All three documents are located on our Git server where anybody can engage in their further development.
Discussions outside of our regular meetings are held on our mailing list. We have ongoing discussions on all sorts of details which need to be sorted out when forming an association. One week before the event, on Tuesday, 2016-10-18, we will have a discussion round on the bylaws at our regular meeting.
The Chaostreff Bern was founded almost two years ago. For reasons of simplicity, chaos and privacy, we abstained from forming an association back then. However, we always kept it an option.
On Thursday, 2015-03-12 the Chaostreff Bern's first meeting took place. Since then, a whole lot has happened; We have met regularly, although we changed the intervals and times of the meetings several times before finally arriving at the current scheme. In and around the Chaostreff Bern, presentations were given and workshops held. We have become part of the Chaos Computer Club Switzerland (CCC-CH) and have organized two gettogethers to meet with the people from this organization. We have had many discussions and even a few presentations on the topics of security and encryption and have also organized keysigning parties where people could get some hands-on-experience with practical cryptography. On the political front, we supported the referendums against the NDG and the BÜPF.
From this it is clear that even without the formal structure of an association, we undertook quite some ventures, met interesting people and have engaged in the larger community.
Reasons for forming an association
But why then do we want to form a formal association? And why now?
There is no easy answer for this questions and there is not just one single answer, either.
Of course, having an association brings a number of advantages and the question to ask is whether these advantages overbalance the additional work which has to be done to manage the association. For a while now it has shown that eventually we would reach this point with the Chaostreff Bern and now we think that we are finally at this critical point.
The Chaostreff Bern is in possession of a number of things, all of which have been donated over time, and also a small sum of cash. Most of these things are easy to deal with, but others not so much. We also seek to have an account with a finance institution to better manage our spendings.
At the moment, our regular meetings are held in the common room of the Warmbächli at Güterstrasse 8. We rent this room per evening, one evening per week. We like it a lot at the Warmbächli but the current situation is sub-optimal especially since the common room is not really meant for this kind of usage. A group of renters has offered us to join them in renting a room adjacent to the common room. This would significantly lower our costs for the meetings which is why we have decided to join the other groups renting the room. To manage this properly, we need an association.
Over the past few months we had the pleasure to find that the Chaostreff Bern has many active members who are ready to put both time and effort into the tasks that need to be done to keep the Chaostreff going. For a successful association it is of course essential to have people who are willing to share the work load and spend some of their free time. For this reason we believe that now is the right time to turn the Chaostreff Bern into a formal association.