A little over six months ago now I.C.E., or the International Council of Elders was born and at the time we featured the initiative and spent a little time with its founder and Chairperson Elect, Stefan Resurrectus of Clan Resurrectus.
After developing, refining and streamlining the online facilities for The Council it has arrived at the point where it’s ready to receive general applications for membership.
The Council is arranged on three levels, firstly the Executive Council, a body of thirteen seats that oversees and develops strategic goals for The Council.
Secondly, the Council of Representatives which is to be the home for members who are representing their Houses, Courts, Covens, Temples etc.
The third level but by no means last, is the Alpha Council. In the Alpha Council the independent members are received and form working groups to examine, propose and pursue the goals of The Council. It is also envisioned that the Alpha Council will contain individual “enclaves” such as Sanguinarian, Psi etc.
Today, we are joined by Stefan Resurrectus, Head of Clan Resurrectus and Founder of I.C.E. and Lady Alexandra, Director of Human (and non-human) Resources at I.C.E. and Head of Clan Resurrectus Chapter Chicago, to spend a little time with us again and give us a little insight into the progress and developments at The International Council of Elders.
RVL: Good Evening, Stefan, a great pleasure to catch up with you again.
SR: Thank you again for having me. It’s always a pleasure.
RVL: It’s taken some time to put the framework, as far as policies, procedures, charters, etc together for I.C.E. – how do you feel about the progress to date?
SR: I am thrilled and impressed. There’s been a good deal of trial and error, but we have a dynamite staff that is beginning to run like a well-oiled machine. Each department is taking on responsibility, taking care of business and reaching out to help other departments when they can. We’ve adopted more of a corporate mentality; no micromanaging. Everyone stick to the plan and everything will be alright. It’s definitely picking up steam.
RVL: With the membership drive kicking off, what is I.C.E. looking for in prospective members?
SR: Well, first and foremost we’re looking for people who are in agreement that unity amongst us is possible. This is something I’ve been working towards for nearly two decades. I’ve seen a lot who say that we as a community can never be unified, that we’re too different, there’s too many differences, etc. On the same note, there are some who say we’re trying to take over the VC, strip away freedoms and diversity, etc., et al. This could not be farther from the truth. If anything, ICE celebrates our differences and meets us all on our common grounds of who and what we are. We are looking for people who feel this ideal is worth working for, to help us move forward and reach out to our community, to open doors of communications and help us all meet on the basis of despite any differences we have, we can meet our full potential. Differences are good. They help us learn and grow. If ICE was trying to strip away any of that, we might as well call ourselves the Nazi Council of Elders, or the The Vampyre SS. *laughs*
With all our knowledge and abilities, we look for those whose first and foremost goal is to seek peace, unity, brotherhood and knowledge.
We then asked Lady Alexandra to give us a little insight into the membership criteria and process for the I.C.E. organisation.
RVL: Good evening Lady Alexandra, can we ask what the main focus of the membership processes at I.C.E.?
A: As chair of the Human Resource Department for I.C.E I have the utmost faith in the mission of our group as a whole, and in particular, of our application process. At I.C.E we are always building and molding the things we do to stay the most current and efficient.
RVL: …and how would you sum up the application process for people wishing to join I.C.E.?
A: Currently, we follow a multi-step interview process. Our members are screened for 90 days before moving from one level of membership to another. All applicants are asked to fill out a pre-interview form which inquires about many different aspects of their lifestyle and place within the community. If the applicant moves to the next step they then are asked to participate in a personal (real time chat) interview.
RVL:…and your belief in the organisation and its goals obviously sits well with you?
A: I myself have been a part of the Vampire subculture and community for over ten years now. That time has allowed for me to walk many different paths and meet many different people. I.C.E aims to unify and assist all those who wish to have a voice within the subculture. It is a project led by some of the most distinguished members of our community and one in which any individual identifying as “vampire” would be proud to belong. I believe this is in large part because of our application process.
RVL: Thank you very much Lady Alex…
RVL: So, Stefan, in the past it has been noted that “councils” never work out because there are too many ego’s/characters involved that prevent anything from getting done. What mechanisms are in place to alleviate any potential problems at ICE?
SR: The one thing that really stands out in your question is the word “councils.” This term has been used and abused so much that everyone associates it with “authority,” and in our case it can be translated as power, tyranny, agenda, ruling class, upper class and many other terms that basically send the signal “I don’t want anything to do with that.” The usage in this case simply means “collective of individuals.” In this, we have people that represent many different organizations, which is our primary goal. We’re not some ruthless band of power hungry individuals whose goals are power and domination. *laughs*
As far as any potential problems, due to the collective we have wide and varied experience with other organizations and have a pretty good idea of what does and doesn’t work. When we established the Charter, we were sure to pay heed to those elements experienced in the past that caused chaos. ICE is established more like a corporate mind on paper, establishing clear-cut goals, positions, responsibilities, restrictions, term limits and even removal of any member or Councilperson if necessary. It’s based not on one person or group of individual having authority, but rather the consensus of the Council based on hard facts and discussion. Don’t get me wrong, there is a hierarchical system, but that is essentially to run the day-to-day part of the organization, not a power tier. Each department runs itself based on goals and assignments, and meets periodically to discuss progress and direction. Let’s face it, even a Glee Club has a president, vice-president, etc. It’s important to have a form of structure to guide any organization. But many checks and balances are in place to ensure that no one person is over all and abuse of authority is checked.
Membership is a process, especially to any Executive position. Our HR department is headed by an M.A. of Psychology, who is able to point out any potential problems or signs to consider in the future. Any and all information gathered is proprietary and after a trial period, it is deleted. Our policies and procedures are in place to protect not only the organization, but organizations that join and the members of all, not just the few.
So you see, it’s not just “Hey! I want to join!” That’s all good and fine, and we would like you to. There is an application and review process as I mentioned before. We encourage everyone to at least consider. The idea is for everyone to have a voice in the community. As we grow, we will adapt to ensure that’s possible. For too long we’ve had councils and organizations that wanted to stuff their ranks in order to wield authority, control, dictate, dupe money from our community to suit their own purposes and cause chaos amongst us all. We say that time must come to an end and we can only do so by coming together in reason and open communication.
RVL: In general, are you happy with phase 1 of the establishment of the initiative?
SR: I’m ecstatic. I can honestly say we’ve come a long way from where we started and I’m anxious to see where we’re going as we grow. It’s been a lot of trial and error, late nights, long meetings and not a few disagreements, but it’s all been worth it. I can honestly say we have a fantastic staff, a tremendously talented and educated council of individuals who have worked very hard to bring this ideal to fruition.
RVL: With a hopefully growing number of members, what do you see as the next, most important step for ICE?
SR: It’s hard to say where to start exactly. Our growing numbers are in different time zones and countries. It’s difficult at times to get schedules to match for meetings and discussions, not to mention our everyday lives and responsibilities can make finding time difficult. We are considering different forms of diversification, starting with the Alpha Council and Council of Representatives. In the future, I can see divisions of ICE to better attend to the needs of specific areas such as Europe, East and West United States, Canada, etc. However, that will take a great deal of discussion and adjustment to ensure the Charter and Policies proper reflect what is needed to do so. It will be a massive undertaking. *laughs*
Fortunately, that’s the future and I don’t have to think about it for now. I have enough on my plate as it is.
RVL: Thanks for your time, Stefan. As I say, always a pleasure.
SR: Again, thank you for having me. It’s always a pleasure and I look forward to future interviews. What you do here is a great thing. Everyone should be kept informed on issues, so thank you for that.
(Further information can be found at I.C.E. on Facebook )
There can be no doubt that this undertaking is big, it’s going to difficult and it’s going to be complicated. With so many outlooks, perceptions and point’s of view to draw together into a cohesive unit for forward thinking and proactive action, there is always going to be the potential for problems but if the members who build, from solid foundations, can maintain the calm, the focus and the ideal in mind… well, who knows what’s possible and let’s face it, the real modern vampire world needs something that we’re just not seeing at present.
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