Book of SSADC

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Book of SSADC: A manifesto for student led organization for school community projects

Preface: what is a community project organization

A community project organization (CPO), or in its manifestation in York University - the Student Support Application Development Council (SSADC) - is a student organization that create and maintain projects that benefit the student community.

These project are most common coding projects such as a website or mobile app, but can also be image media, physical tools, or written texts to guide and help whoever needed them.

We are a society of builders, pioneers, and leaders. We give because we can. We contribute to the community because it is fun to do so. And from it, many of us gain valuable experience in skills in our major subjects of studies, be it software development, media design, or social work.

Yes, our club (council) is a party house, it has always been and will always be a party house.

The structure of the organization

The mission of a CPO

The mission of a community project organization is to be a gathering place for all those who are willing to dedicate their free time to create and develop tools for the benefit of the student community.

When SSADC @ YorkU is initially founded we were computer science and engineering students that focused mainly on software development projects (e.g. website that archive link to courses' group chats, app that guides to clean bathrooms, etc.), but in truth our vision extends to the inclusion of all other majors, who can apply their skills to create videos (digital media, film), policies (social work, law), anything that contributes to the overall well-being of the student community (and perhaps staff too).

The main benefit of such a gathering place include:

  • having a community providing mutual help to anyone creating a project who may need it
  • a place for junior years students to gain vocational experience and mentorship from senior years students by working on practical projects
  • the collective bargaining power can gain us official recognition from the school and receive funding and support from professors and staffs

The structure of a CPO

It is recommended that a CPO runs in the form of a council. With the owners and contributors of the projects, and any required supportive and administrative staff, along with casual club members ("observing members") form into a merito-democratic parliament which then elects a president. The constitution of the CPO should codify explicit rules on how to vote on issues, such as deciding allocation of funds, any conflicts between members, etc. To prevent a tyranny of the majority or selfish interests situation, if two incorporated projects are in direct conflict (e.g. over funding allocation, server disc space, advertisement slots, etc.), each of the registered leader and registered developers of either projects cannot vote on the subject, even if they are the president/vice president/etc. of the council.

Incorporated Projects

A community project organization's main 'assets' as well as its 'selling points' are the many incorporated projects under the administration of the organization. An incorporated project is an open source or semi open source software or media that is jointly owned by the organization as its 'common wealth'.

A founder and their project

A project founder is one who creates a project for the benefit of the student community. It is highly recommended that they incorporates it as part of the organization/council’s roster, waiving the sole ownership of it to have the project be jointly owned by themselves and the organization, thus for it to be passed down to the future generations of the organization when they graduate and leave the school.

However, the club’s constitution should also add a clause for incorporated projects, for when the council become dysfunctional or unable to further maintain the project, the original founder can reclaim the sole ownership of the project.

It can also be possible that the original founder voluntarily choose to stay behind after their graduation, to continue their project and as an alumni advisor to future members.

Human Members of Incorporated Projects

An incorporated project should have a registered project leader as the main decision maker regarding its subject matter. It should also have any number of registered developers under it to continuously maintain and develop the project. When a project founder incorporate a project to the council they are immediately its project leader until they resign from the position.

A council member can be a registered developer of any number of projects. However, they should keep in mind they shall be required to forfeit their voting power temporarily should conflict of interest situation arise regarding their project. (see "The structure of a CPO" above)