Pseudoparliamentary Reform for OCESS Hierarchy

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The Pseudoparliamentary Reform for OCESS Hierarchy was a proposal created in early March of 2020. It is one part of the multi-faceted OCESS RTA Project. It seeks to boost club engagement, introduce wider perspectives into discussions, and fully replace the old Director positions within the club.
This proposal exists in a largely incomplete state.

Original Text

OCESS Pseudoparliamentary system idea

NOTE: this is all an IDEA and is subject to a drastic amount of change. this is just generally an outline for what i think would improve the club.

OCESS is full of extremely passionate and dedicated students, but a large roadblock to productivity is a lack of direction for a lot of work delegation or responsibilities. A parliament-style system of open discussion and individual specialization will allow each club member to feel like they help the club just as much as everyone else, and that they can bring their unique skills to the table.

'Core' OCESS Members (people who attend regularly and participate actively) are able to apply for positions within the parliament. These positions are not set in stone like OCESS directors, they are something that is created by individuals that appeal to their niche and are something that they'd be interested in.

Application would include: Position Title Brief description of position Why this position would benefit the club Responsibilities and goals of position (remember SMART goals! They don't have to be huge)

EXAMPLE: Jane Doe's Application 2020/2021 Custodian The custodian ensures that each worksession ends with w027 cleaner than when we arrived. This position would benefit OCESS because a lot of our work involves making messes, and sometimes club members don't remember to clean up after themselves. As custodian, I would ensure that all cleaning materials (paper towel, broom, alcohol wipes, etc.) are stocked and in an easy-to-find location. I would also remind taskforce groups to clean up after themselves, and would do a final sweep and clean at the end of each worksession, since I always stay until 10.

Positions would be decided upon as a group (somehow) and a 'parliament' formed in May/June as an end-of-year activity. Members of parliament are allowed to form 'parties' based on shared responsibility, opinion or mission role if they desire, but since nothing is political or high-stakes, remaining independent is a perfectly acceptable and much simpler option. Decisions within the club will start from anywhere in the chain of command, anyone in any position can propose things such as taskforces, outings/events and can call group votes at any time. Previously, votes were only held for naming of things and mission destination, though in 2019, no votes were held at all.

Parliamentary discussions can be called one of two ways:

In person: This is to be used for big decisions and large changes that affect many people, such as mission destination, club reform and such. These will be held at worksessions, where any who wish to participate will move to the Pit to discuss. These discussions will be civil, quiet, and mediated by one or more Commanders, though they may also participate. Those who attend may group themselves how they like, and everyone is entitled to a chance to speak. If an individual does not care about a certain issue or its outcome, they do not have to attend. Discussions will have a (mildly flexible) time limit based on the size of the topic. At the end of a discussion, a decision will be made, either by vote or by a group compromise.

Online: Anyone on the Google Classroom can post a discussion thread for small things such as organizing a stargazing trip, what to bring for SARP, or what to train in next worksession. Discussion can happen in the comments, or it can be brought to #discussion in the discord server for further talks. If a vote is necessary, the proposer can ask a Commander to post a classroom poll to hold a vote.

Club members who did not apply for parliamentary positions, or who joined in the new year after the cabinet selection, are still eligible to apply for positions at any time. Those who do not hold, nor want positions, are still welcome to participate in discussions and votes. Multiple club members are permitted to hold the same position at the same time, as long as they agree to split duties and create two 'sub-positions', both with clearly defined and different responsibilities.

PROS Gives each club member a sense of agency and responsibility Encourages teamwork and participation Allows for a diverse array of opinions, ideas and viewpoints More likely to end up with decisions that the whole club appreciates Spreads club responsibilities more evenly Allows for niche specialization from passionate high-skill individuals Helps ease divide between Astros, MC, and Simmies Good for learning about one another and forming connections

CONS Discussions take time away from worksessions More complicated than any hierarchy system in OCESS history People may not fulfill their promises Could lead to large-scale arguments Niches could still go unfilled People may be reluctant to accept new and drastic change


The proposal received almost universal support, the only criticisms being that it was 'too complex' and that one individual was 'suspicious, but hopeful'. Several submissions for roles within the parliament were received not long thereafter. The system will be unveiled for live testing, and hopefully future full implementation, in the 2020-2021 year.

This marks the first hierarchy reform in OCESS since 2011.