Article VII: Disciplinary Action
Article VIII: Elections and Voting
Article IX: Merchandising and Promotion
Article X: Charter Amendment Procedure
Article VII: Disciplinary Action
The Dark Empire is a volunteer based organization created for the joy and celebration of Star Wars. This charter has been created in order to ensure a safe, just, and enjoyable experience for its members, and to preserve the best interests of the Star Wars franchise, its fandom, and the general public against complications, internal or external. Should any violation of our Code of Conduct occur, corrective courses of action will be taken, as outlined below.
A) Classifications of Charter Violations and Corrective Measures
When a complaint is received by the Council about a TDE member, or if a club officer encounters a TDE member in violation of this Charter, the complaint or violation will be investigated by a member of the TDE Council, usually the Tyran'ari, and dealt with as indicated below. It will be the responsibility of the TDE Council to investigate the matter and bring charges against the accused, if deemed necessary, and to provide all evidence to the accused and to the tribunal panelists, should a tribunal of club officers be needed (see below).
The disciplinary action process for violation(s) of this Charter shall not exceed a period of ten days from the date the accused member is informed of any allegations or complaints against them, unless any new evidence is introduced within the final 72 hours of the ten (10) day period of this process. If new evidence is introduced within the final 72 hours of the ten day period of this process, then an additional 72 hours may be taken to deliberate evidence and vote on a verdict, if no verdict has yet been reached. Should the ten day period elapse, (or thirteen day period elapse, if additional evidence is received within the last three days), without a verdict being reached, then all charges are to be automatically dropped.
All violations, minor or major, will be treated confidentially while the disciplinary process is in motion. The outcome of the process will not be announced, unless there is an absolute need for the public to be informed. The accused shall not contact, during the course of this process, anyone at all regarding the disciplinary process taking place.
Witnesses: If the accused has one or more witnesses, the witness must be named in the rebuttal being submitted by the accused. The witness may be contacted by a Council Member (such as the tribunal moderator), but not by the accused during the course of this process.
Tribunal Moderator: The moderator of the tribunal (see below) shall be a Council Member, independent of the tribunal itself, and is the entity that informs the accused, provides evidence, and delivers the final verdict. The tribunal moderator ensures that the tribunal process operates fairly and in accordance with rules set forth within this charter. The tribunal moderator has no voting power during the course of the disciplinary process.
Tribunal: A tribunal, usually formed in cases involving one or more major offenses (but can be formed in cases of one or more minor offenses), is comprised of three club officers (non council members), appointed by the council, consisting of any combination of a club Jen'ari, Co-Jen'ari, and/or Sedriss. The tribunal reviews all evidence and votes on a verdict / final outcome of the disciplinary proceedings, concerning the accused.
• Once the accused is informed of the Article VII charge(s) and is presented with the evidence against them, they will have no more than 72 hours to submit a written rebuttal in their defense. The rebuttal may be written and submitted in the “Article VII Procedures” section of the TDE forums, or via another means, such as email, as deemed appropriate by the TDE Council.
CLASSIFICATION / TYPES OF OFFENSES
Infraction – a minor offense, consisting of false statements, insulting another TDE member, etc. An infraction is any violation that does not do damage to other people or to the image of The Dark Empire directly, although it may have the possibility to do so if left uncorrected. Repeat complaints or violations of this Charter may be deemed as a more serious offense, and upgraded to the Malfeasance category.
Malfeasance – a major offense, consisting of a crime, or serious complaint or charge that directly causes damage to another TDE member, and/or the image of The Dark Empire itself. Any inappropriate or unprofessional behavior toward another person while representing The Dark Empire at an event or convention can be considered a Malfeasance Violation of this Charter.
POLICY OF CONFIDENTIALITY DURING DISCIPLINARY PROCESS
The accused, witness(es), tribunal members, or Council Members, shall not divulge any information or have contact with anyone not involved in this process concerning matters undergoing Article VII procedures. A violation of this policy by the accused shall constitute automatic removal of the accused from the club, regardless of the verdict of the tribunal. A violation of this policy by a Council Member or tribunal member shall constitute removal of that member's leadership title and responsibilities, but not status as a member within the club.
B) Zero Tolerance Policy
As stated in Article III of this Charter, The Dark Empire maintains a policy of zero tolerance against reports of criminal activity, or complaints of inappropriate conduct of our members toward other people. Such reports or complaints received about any TDE member while representing The Dark Empire will be treated as Malfeasance Violations of this Charter.
C) Vote Of No Confidence
This procedure is designed to maintain order within Council leadership. A “Vote of No Confidence” may be called against any Council member by another, should it be determined that a member of the Council is not performing their duties adequately persuant to this Charter. Only members of the TDE Council may call a “Vote of No Confidence” against another Council member. A “Vote of No Confidence,” if declared by a Council member, must also be seconded by another member of the Council, before the procedure may take place.
Members of the TDE Council may also apply this procedure to positions of office that are not part of the TDE Council, such as the Webmaster, Merchandise Officer, and Temple Masters.
Vote of No Confidence procedure
When a Council member feels that another Official Member of TDE that holds a position of office within the organization is not performing their duties adequately enough to satisfy the requirements of that office, the council member may call a “Vote of No Confidence” in one of two ways:
• At a regular Council meeting, the Vote of No Confidence is declared against a specific member; the reasons why must also be stated. The declaration must then be seconded by another member of the Council that agrees that the reasons for declaring the vote are valid.
• The “Vote of No Confidence” may also be declared by a member of the Council in a separate thread in the private Council forum. In the same way, the reasons for the declaration must also be stated, and seconded by another agreeing member of the Council.
In either scenario, the Council must vote on the matter immediately, or set a specific date and time for the vote to take place, in order to investigate the validity of the accusations made, should it be deemed necessary. Once the vote is completed, the person whose position of office was vacated must be informed within a 72-hour period. That position of office will then be temporarily filled by an appointed Council member until an election to fill that vacancy can take place.
TDE Forum members and Official members alike must remember to be professional and respectful at all times toward others while representing The Dark Empire in costume, or while posting in our forums.
Article VIII: Elections and Voting
The Dark Empire recognizes a democratic practice in the selection of the leadership roles within its organization. The following is a description of the election and voting procedures to fill these offices. Elections for all positions are held once per year, on specific dates to be announced.
1. Elections and Voting Procedures for positions of office
a. Notice of upcoming elections will be posted on the forums and be sent out by a mass email at least one week or more prior to the election by the Council. However, notification of any elections to individual members of a Temple is ultimately the job of local Temple leader.
b. The Council and members are nominated and elected by a simple majority vote of the Official Membership. Candidates for any position must be nominated and seconded, and then the candidate must accept the nomination to be included in the election. Voting is conducted in special “Poll” thread in the forums for the specific election taking place. Only Official Members of TDE are eligible to vote in Council elections, or any election for an office of responsibility within The Dark Empire.
c. Regional elections of TDE are limited to the Jen'ari (Temple Master) of a Temple region, and the Sedriss (leader) of a Temple Spire. Temple Officers may be appointed by a newly elected Jen'ari, and Temple Spire Officers may be appointed by a newly elected Sedriss, as needed.
1. Only a new Jen'ari and/or a new Sedriss may be elected in regional elections, conducted annually on the TDE forums.
2. If a new Jen'ari or Sedriss is elected, then the new Jen'ari or Sedriss has the right to keep the current roster of Temple Officers, or appoint new ones to their Temple administrative staff.
3. The Nominated Leader MUST reside within the local Temple for which he/she will serve.
4. Only members of a specific Temple may vote in elections being held for a position of office within a Temple, such as “Temple Master”.
d. A Jen'ari or Sedriss that is elected or appointed is not required to run for re-election until after having served a minimum of one year in office. Persons appointed to an office by the TDE Council prior to an election will not be subject to re-election until the following election / voting period.
2. Nominations Procedure
a. All nominations must be seconded. An Official Member may nominate themselves, and that will require a second and third nomination. Standing officers must post their desire to seek another term or decline to seek another term (no response is considered a decline). No second is required for incumbent officers.
b. If no nominations are made for a particular office, then the officers holding these positions will remain in office.
c. If a standing Temple Leader does not seek another term and no nominations are made for that temple, the Temple Second in Command must accept or decline being promoted to Temple Leader. If the Temple Second in Command declines (no response is considered a decline) then the Council is empowered assume governance over the Temple until new Temple leadership can be formed.
d. Any person nominated for a position of any kind within TDE has the right to decline the nomination; The Dark Empire will never force a position of office and/or responsibility upon anyone that does not desire it.
3. Incumbent Council Members
a. If an incumbent TDE Council Member desires to remain in office during an election, that Officer has the right to remain unopposed during an election, provided the majority of the Council agree to such a stipulation.
• TDE Council positions shall become vacant and therefore available in an election when a position is voluntarily vacated, or when a TDE Council Member is removed (see “Vote of No Confidence Procedure” in Article VII).
b. This Incumbent policy shall be limited to the TDE Council only. The TDE Council also shall appoint election dates and reserves the right to vacate and temporarily fill any elected position outside of the five-member TDE Council.
4. CAMPAIGNING NOT PERMITTED WITHIN T.D.E.
There shall be no attempt by T.D.E. members to campaign for any position of office, as outlined in Article III, Section 17 of this Charter.
Article IX: Merchandising and Promotion
The Dark Empire is a non-profit organization, and does not seek to gain financially in any manner. The sale of all products that are listed for sale are for specific purposes, as outlined below. There are two categories of goods/products pertaining to The Dark Empire.
• The Dark Empire
All products bearing The Dark Empire logo, consisting of a red Sith starburst, Imperial cog and Sith holocron, are not to be sold publicly under any circumstances. All items bearing the TDE logo are to be manufactured under approval by the TDE Council and/or Lucasfilm. Items for sale to TDE members are to be created and sold for an amount equal to or less than the cost of creating said item(s); no markup or profit of any kind shall be incurred. Sales of items that bear the TDE logo to members of The Dark Empire are final when conducted; there is no refund policy.
CAP ON NUMBER OF TDE ITEMS PRODUCED IN A SINGLE PRODUCTION RUN:
A production limit of 100 items, per each run of said item, shall be enforced. Should there be a necessity for more that 100 items in a run of an item, then a second run of no more than 100 items shall be conducted at an appointed time.
A. TDE LOGO
The main TDE logo, as illustrated on the first page of this Charter, is the official logo for The Dark Empire costume club, as approved in writing by Lucasfilm. Ltd. The TDE logo without the Sith holocron at center, as depicted below, is also authorized for official use on club merchandise, banners, and other items upon which The Dark Empire is represented. The TDE Council must approve all uses of this logo before it is affixed to any item of merchandise, website, or other insignia upon which TDE is to be represented as an organization.
Official TDE Logo, option omitting Sith holocron at center.
B. TDE Temple Logos
All Temples within The Dark Empire may, at their discretion, design their own Temple Logo. The final (or any updated) version of the Temple logo must be approved by the TDE Council. TDE Temples that design their own Temple patch or other product must include the approved logo on the product.
C. TDE Temple Banners
As with Temple logos, TDE Temples may also design their own Temple banners. Temple banners must be approved by the TDE Council before being manufactured, and must also include an image of the corresponding TDE Temple planet name. The Temple planet must be depicted in place of the circle on the Sith logo, shown here. For example, the Coruscant Temple banner shows the following image, with the planet Coruscant at center, with the starbursts on either side of the planet on fire (not required, but encouraged):
1. TDE Temple Spires are not required to incorporate this logo onto banners representing their Temple Spire, however, are required to include a graphic, with Council approval, that represents their Spire name. Refer to Article V , Part "C" for further information on Temple Spires and Spire banners.
2. The Sith logo, as to be depicted on TDE Temple banners, may also be used to represent The Dark Empire as an organization, under conditions set forth in Part "A" above, and upon approval by the TDE Council.
D. Charitable Donations
The Dark Empire works to encourage and promote donations to individual charity organizations, and does not accept monetary donations of any kind on behalf of any charity, except in cases where charitable funds are raised at a specific event. In such cases, a responsible member designated by The Dark Empire will directly bring funds collected to the charity itself. TDE may not post any links on any internet site requesting donations, however, direct links to charitable organizations themselves are permitted. Money collected by TDE for a charity at an event (such as a raffle at a convention) shall be delivered by a TDE Officer (Council Member, Temple Master, or specifically appointed Official Member) directly to the charity itself.
Article X: Charter Amendment Procedure
This Charter was designed to be amended, as deemed necessary by the TDE Council. A majority vote of the five-member Council shall be required on all decisions pertaining to amendments of this Charter. Once an amendment decision is made by the Council, the change must be posted to the Charter within a 72-hour period.