Author Topic: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?  (Read 18043 times)

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Nanny Ogg

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Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« on: October 26, 2011, 03:49:01 AM »
Hi, I was hoping to get a little perspective on this issue.

My sister recently joined a large martial arts club which meets 3 times a week. Because the members spend so much time together (they tend to go to the pub after jitsu) they have all friended each other on Facebook.

One member, a longstanding personality within the club, created a invite-only, very secret, Facebook group for a few close friends that she'd made through the club (maybe 15% of the club?). No other club members know about the group, and they don't mention it to other people. The leader was not Invited to be in the group, because they didn't want her to feel obligated to make the group official- it's just a load of friends with one common hobby, and really very benign.

When the club Sensei found out about the group (through some fairly dedicated snooping), she lost it and started asking various people for information. When that didn't work, she decided to ban anyone who may be in the group from attending the club. It's left a bit of a sour taste in people's mouths to say the least, as it was only very rarely that the club was even mentioned in the group.

How far can this club leader go to restrict club members behaviour online, away from the club? Is it fair?



RingTailedLemur

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Re: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 03:57:17 AM »
She can't.  That's bonkers.

Miss Vertigo

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Re: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 04:00:10 AM »

How far can this club leader go to restrict club members behaviour online, away from the club? Is it fair?

Um, no. File under 'megalomania'.

katycoo

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Re: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 04:03:42 AM »
That's so clearly unreasonable.

I'd suspect that that kind of attitude would adversely affect members who weren't even a part if the FB group. I would want to train under someone who was so obviously insecure.

I'd also wonder if they were discouraging personal friendships or something.

I wonder if the sensei was jealous they were left out? Or though the members of the group didn't like them?

FoxPaws

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Re: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 04:17:01 AM »
Unless there was something in the bylaws of the original club that prohibited having friendships outside of it (I'm sure there is now :P), the leader is off her rocker.

The only reason I can think of that she'd be so upset is if she felt they might be using the subgroup to syphon off members to start their own club. Even if that were the case, the way she went about discovering and handling it was poor form, and as a previous poster noted, I'd think twice about training with such a person whether I was involved in the situation or not.
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Eisa

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Re: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 04:34:26 AM »
That's a bit bonkers, yes! I don't think the leader really has any control over the club members' lives online or offline, to be honest. They can try, but it's not like it's a business where perhaps a more professional code of conduct might be in order (and even then, their behavior would be over the top). Perhaps the leader is jealous she didn't get invited? That's all I can think of.
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Re: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2011, 05:12:49 AM »
  I think a club can make almost any rules without being rude. Now arbitrarily creating a new rule might be nuts but I'm not  sure not wanting a secret sub club is nuts, it depends a great deal about the clubs activities and structure.  If the club collects dues and/or makes promisses have a small subgroup of members secretly have an additional relationship with each other might lead to the appearance of impropriety.  If there is any thing members get to judge on , I might want to know if they judge members have an additional relationship. ie there are 20 availble spaces at an event 50 people wish to attend , if subgroup member is in change of picking which 20 people get to attened will they give a priority to the sub-group members? I might be concerned that the apparent leader of a "Secret" elite group may garner special treatment forms those who want invitation.  As a club leader I might be concerned that subgroup was planning to start there own club (totally within their right ) and may want them to leave before cherry pick my clubs members to go with them.    I think what your friend did was just invite a few people to be closer friends which likely was already apparent to most people. People in a group with can normally say " Mary , Sue and Tim are friends , they always socializing together" and not be suprise that Mary , Sue and Tim are also facebook friends.   I think part of the issue may be the super secret nature, but trying to not offened anyone people got curiuos.

Shores

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Re: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2011, 06:05:35 AM »
Wow, that's weird. Why would the leader of the official group even CARE that a bunch of students have become close enough to be FB friends? And if she did care, why wouldn't she be happy that her place of business has created these bonds? I mean, I know the "point" of her place is Martial Arts, but aren't creating friendships a part of any club? And unless this FB group is running around disparaging her club to other clubs, what's the harm? How sad that by becoming friends, these people have now lost that club.
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Bethalize

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Re: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2011, 06:09:35 AM »
Leader is out of line. I have a private Facebook group involving friends I met from a club. I don't use the name of the group. The leader of the group has no jurisdiction over me and  my friends outside club hours.

Crazy.

blarg314

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Re: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2011, 06:10:17 AM »
If the secret Facebook group were being used for club activities, I could see having a problem with it - if you had general club activities, and special club activities that only certain people knew about, and you had to be on the secret list to hear about them.

But in this case it sounds like several of the people in the club had a friendship outside the club, and had a Facebook group to organize/communicate among themselves. That's perfectly fine. In the same vein, if two people in the group started dating they'd be communicating and socializing outside the parameters of the club. The leader banning them from the club is way over the top, and sounds like a bad case of high-school level petty jealousy and control issues.

Personally, even if I weren't in the small group of friends, I'd consider walking out of a club where the leader was so inappropriately controlling, on general principle. And I'd tell them and the other club members exactly why. This sort of behaviour only continues when the non-banned people support it by inaction - if the rest of the club staged a general revolt, the leader would either have to back down or would have no club.

Ms Aspasia

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Re: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2011, 06:40:15 AM »
Perhaps the leader thought this contradicted the philosophy or ethics of the martial art.  I can imagine that splinter groups might be against the ethos, and possibly the leader interpreted the Facebook group in that way.

As a leader, I'd be disappointed to hear about a super secret group.  Apparently it isn't all that super secret after all, and once word gets around, a kind of in-group and out-group feeling might grow.

I think it would be worthwhile spending time to understand the leader's concerns in depth. 

Two Ravens

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Re: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2011, 06:49:17 AM »
To be honest, I can see where a club leader would not like this at all.  Having a super-secret group for a special 15% of the club sounds very clique-y to me, and cliques can be very corrosive to group dynamics, especially if the club is trying to foster a open, friendly atmosphere.

She is probably not going about it the right way, but I can see her wanting to get rid of it.

Nanny Ogg

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Re: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2011, 06:51:20 AM »
Maybe I should be a bit clearer on the dynamics, which might explain why it's so weird.

The club is not-for-profit, it is much more social than serious or competitive.

A lot of the members of the club who are in the secret group have been members for 6+ years. They are very much the long time members who tend to want to make sure that the newer members are in it for the long haul before getting closer to them. With this sort of sport, it is easy for people to turn up to 1-2 months of classes and then drift off.

None of the admin/leadership/subs people were invited to the group- not to exclude them, but because that would have turned the club a bit cliquey. The group members are not in any position of power.

The club is very casual, holds gradings with the Jitsu foundation but does little external competition. There has never been a case of someone being excluded from an outing. The members of the group do not speak about the group in front of other people, and it does not colour their behaviour in regards to other members of the group- ie. There is no clique behaviour in real life.

There is already an official club Facebook group open to everyone.

The leader has been known to be a bit of a megalomaniac in the past, and it looks like she's exercising her right to piss in her own sandbox again.

Thanks  for the input guys. I'm going to pass these opinions along.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2011, 06:53:26 AM by Nanny Ogg »



Miss Vertigo

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Re: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2011, 07:23:03 AM »
To be honest, I can see where a club leader would not like this at all.  Having a super-secret group for a special 15% of the club sounds very clique-y to me, and cliques can be very corrosive to group dynamics, especially if the club is trying to foster a open, friendly atmosphere.

She is probably not going about it the right way, but I can see her wanting to get rid of it.

But it doesn't sound like that at all. From the information in the OP, the Facebook group doesn't seem to be for club activities, and is not excluding members who don't belong to it from any activities concerning the club.

To me (correct me if i'm wrong, OP), it seems like a way for several members, who have become close friends simply by way of meeting at the club, to communicate outside of the club. I don't see what's wrong with that, and it's certainly not anything that the club leader should have any jurisdiction over at all. And if I understand correctly, the leader is stopping them from attending the club simply because they're friends outside of it and have a private way to communicate with each other? That's all kinds of controlling and wrong that I just don't even have the words for.

If they were sending around private emails between each other instead of using Facebook, would there still be a problem?

I belong to several community music groups. Many of us are close friends outside the weekly rehearsals and communicate and socialise privately with each other away from the band setting. If the chair of the band got her knickers in a twist and dared to inform people that they were no longer welcome at the band because they have a social life outside it... well, a) there'd be no band left and b) no, just no; she doesn't get to tell me what I can do in my spare time.

Two Ravens

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Re: Policing what members of a club do in their spare time?
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2011, 07:37:07 AM »
To be honest, I can see where a club leader would not like this at all.  Having a super-secret group for a special 15% of the club sounds very clique-y to me, and cliques can be very corrosive to group dynamics, especially if the club is trying to foster a open, friendly atmosphere.

She is probably not going about it the right way, but I can see her wanting to get rid of it.

But it doesn't sound like that at all. From the information in the OP, the Facebook group doesn't seem to be for club activities, and is not excluding members who don't belong to it from any activities concerning the club.


IDK, "a longstanding personality within the club" creating a super secret group for "her" friends within the club, all long term members, sounds like a clique to me.