May 23, 2019, 07:17:41 PM

The Guardian Charter

Table of Contents
We the proud members of The Guardians online community (TG), unite in brotherhood by choice to live by The Guardian Code, pursue the tenets of The Guardian Creed and to provide each other with friendship in a mature and safe gaming environment. To ensure our common actions toward these ends, we establish, recognize and agree to be bound by this Charter.

Article I – Leadership Structure

The Guardians Leadership shall be divided into two parts: the Guardian Council and the Guardian Officer Corps.

Section I – Guardian Council

The Guardian Council is an administrative and managerial body that provides leadership, guidance and support to the organization in its endeavor to fulfill the Guardian Mission and uphold the Guardian Code. The Guardian Council is comprised of a Guild Leader, Assistant Guild Leader, Webmaster, Director of Development, Director of Personnel and multiple Division Leaders as needed.

Section I.a - Guild Leader

As the lead member of The Guardian Council, the Guild Leader is the final authority on all policy decisions for the organization. The Guild Leader is responsible appointing and dismissing Councilors as well as ensuring that they perform their duties effectively. The Guild Leader is also the final authority on all disciplinary matters up to and including the dismissal of Guardian members. The Guild Leader is elected to office by a majority vote of the Guardian members and can only be removed by stepping down voluntarily, or a 75% vote of Vote of No Confidence by The Guardian Council.

Section I.b - Assistant Guild Leader

The Assistant Guild Leader is appointed by the Guild Leader and is responsible for filling in for the Guild Leader during prolonged periods of absence or taking over in the event that the Guild Leader steps down or is removed from office by a vote of no confidence. The Assistant Guild Leader may also be assigned by the Guild Leader to administer or oversee any other projects deemed to be beneficial to the Guardian Community.

Section I.c - Webmaster

The Webmaster is appointed by the Guild Leader and is responsible for the maintenance, upkeep and day-to-day administration of the Guardian Website. As the lead member of the Guardian Web Team, the Webmaster has the final authority on all issues pertaining to the website, forums and other technical resources of The Guardians. The webmaster is also responsible for the TG Store and the distribution of TG merchandise, which is used to fund our website.

Section I.d - Director of Development

The Director of Development is appointed by the Guild Leader and is responsible for pursuing the expansion of The Guardians into new games and the administration of the Guardian Development Process. The Director of Development also serves as the Council representative for Guardian members who do not participate in an active Division. The Director of Development is the point of contact for members who wish to form a new Division within TG.

Section I.e - Director of Personnel

The Director of Personnel is appointed by the Guild Leader and is responsible for facilitating the Guardian Recruiting Process throughout all segments of the Guardian Community. The Director of Personnel is responsible for checking the website daily to screen all new applications for quality and completeness. The Director of Personnel may assign applicants to Recruiting Officers when applicable or handle applications themselves when no Recruiting Officer is available. The Director of Personnel will also keep track of members who leave the guild and make adjustments to forum permissions and other access when necessary. The Director of Personnel will follow up with Recruiting Officers, Division Leaders and the Guardian Council to ensure that all standards of the Guardian Recruiting Process are being enforced and that all needs of the process are being met.

Section I.f - Division Leader(s)

Division Leaders serve as Guild Masters of their respective games. Division Leaders are appointed by the Guild Leader and are in charge of all aspects of the day-to-day leadership and administration of their respective Divisions. The number of Division Leaders serving on the Guardian Council at any one time directly corresponds to the number of active Divisions within the organization. Division Leaders may appoint and dismiss Division Officers based upon the needs of their individual Divisions.

Section I.g - Council Member Removal

Disciplinary actions involving the Council are the sole responsibility of the GL. Any requests for removal of a Council Members are to be brought up to the Guild Leader. Councilors are a team that works with and for the GL. Any issues as to their performance should be brought up with the GL and extensive reasoning as to why or how the Councilor is presumed to be failing in their designated duties will be discussed. Removal may be warranted, disciplinary measure may be more suitable, or nothing may be done at all. If there is no previous issues, disciplinary action is more prudent than removal. Members are also encouraged to discuss their issues with the specific Council Member they might be having an issue with, utilizing proper chain of command.

Section II - Guardian Officer Corps

The Guardian Officer Corps is comprised of individuals who are appointed by The Guardian Council to carry out specific tasks. All Guardian Officers serve at the pleasure of the Guardian Council and may be appointed and dismissed as necessary. All officer appointments are subject to the approval of the Guild Leader. Upon appointment to the Guardian Officer Corps, all members must swear to uphold and abide by the values written in The Guardian Leader's Code. Guardian Officers are separated into three categories: Divisional Officers, Non-Divisional Officers and the TG Web Team.

Section II.a - Divisional Officers

These officers are appointed by the Division Leader in order to accomplish specific tasks in a certain game. These officers may also be dismissed by their Division Leader or Guild Leader at any time. Examples of these types of officers might be Raid Leaders, Social Officers or Recruiting Officers. The function of these officers may be in a leadership or administrative capacity. The scope of jurisdiction for these officers will mainly consist of the Division in which they serve but may also extend to the various mediums of communication used by the organization as a whole.

Section II.b - Application Officers

Application Officers (AOs) take an applicant through the application process, answering any questions the Applicant may have and forwarding any questions that arise in the application process to the Applicant. These officers report directly to the DoP and are appointed by the DoP with guidence and recommendations of Division Leaders. While any number of these officers can be appointed, that number should never drop below two and should generally follow the number of active Divisions, but reflect the volume of applications expected. Each division should be represented within the pool of Application Officers and DLs are encouraged to put forth a recommendations from among their ranks.

Section II.c - Special Officers

These officers are appointed by any member of the Guardian Council in order to accomplish specific tasks for the guild as a whole. These officers may also be dismissed by their supervising Councilor or the Guild Leader at any time. Examples of these types of officers might be Guild Historian, Ventrilo Administrator or Guild Scribe. The function of these officers may be in an administrative or leadership capacity but is not limited to any particular Division.

Section II.d - TG Web and Media Crew

TG Web and Media Crew members are appointed by the Webmaster. They are divided into two distinct groups. The Web Team and the Production Team. The Web Team is responsible for maintaining and improving all aspects of The Guardians website. The Production Team produces newsletters and videos for the Guardian community. Web and Media Crew members may be assigned to any task deemed necessary by the Webmaster. The function of the TG Web and Media Crew is administrative in nature and their jurisdiction extends to matters regarding the website only. The TG Web and Media Crew does receive increased access to information normally reserved for Guardian Officers, and are therefore sworn to the same set of standards and guidelines as any other TG Leader.

Section III - Election and Removal of The Guild Leader

The Guild Leader is the only elected official within The Guardian Organization. Upon election, the Guild Leader is elected for a life term. If a Guild Leader resigns, the process for a new election will begin immediately. If a Guild Leader abandons his post, becomes inactive or is otherwise deemed to be ineffective, a vote of no confidence may be called for.

Section III.a - Guild Leader Election Process

Process - When the need for a Guild Leader Election has been identified (either from a Guild Leader stepping down or a Vote of No Confidence) the Webmaster will create an election forum on the Guardian website. The Director of Personnel will make a general announcement to the community indicating the election process has begun.

Guild Leader Eligibility - Any Guardian Member age 18 and over, with at least one continuous year of membership is eligible to apply for the Guild Leader position.

Application - The application for the position will be drafted by the Assistant Guild Leader, Director of Development, Director of Personnel and Webmaster with input from the rest of the Guardian Council. The application will be posted in the newly created Election Forum. The application period will remain open for two weeks (14 days) from the date it is posted. Applications will be submitted to the Director of Personnel by private message. At the end of the application period, the Director of Personnel will post all the applications in the Election forum.

Campaigning - Once the applications are posted, the campaign phase begins. A two week time period will be allowed for community members to pose questions to the applicants via the Election Forum. Candidates may also post any additional information about themselves that they would like to share.

Voting - Once the campaign period is concluded a poll will be posted and an announcement will be made that the community may vote for their new Guild Leader. The poll will be open for two weeks (14 days) from the date it is posted. An exact time will be announced for closure of voting. Upon the conclusion of the voting period, the candidate with the largest number of votes (a plurality of the vote) is the new guild leader and shall take office immediately. In the event of a tie for the highest number of votes, the tying candidates will participate in a 7 day runoff election vote to determine the new Guild Leader.

Section III.b - Vote of No Confidence

Any member of the Guardian Council may call for a Vote of No Confidence in order to remove a sitting Guild Leader. In order to begin the process, said Councilor must move for a vote by making a post in the Council forum entitled "Vote of No Confidence." The post must state, in detail, the Councilor's case for removing the Guild Leader. In order for a vote to move forward, the motion must be seconded by another sitting Councilor within twenty-four hours of the original post. Once the motion is seconded, the Guild Webmaster will suspend the Guild Leader's administrative rights to the guild's forum and website until the conclusion of the vote. The Guild Leader may not appoint or dismiss any Councilors once a vote has been called for.

The Council will then conduct a roll-call style vote on whether or not to replace the Guild Leader. The vote will last until the entire sitting Council has voted. Councilors must vote one of two ways: Yea or Nay. In order to remove the Guild Leader, 75% of the Councilors must vote "yea." Councilors are obligated to vote and may not abstain or remain silent.

If the vote fails, all rights of Leadership will be immediately restored to the Guild Leader. If the vote succeeds, the Assistant Guild Leader will maintain control of the organization, make a formal announcement to the membership and immediately begin the process of electing a new Guild Leader. The former Guild Leader will retain full membership status in the organization unless his or her actions warrant removal per the Guardian Disciplinary Process.

Section IV - Leadership and Member Interaction

Guardian Members and Leaders must understand that without one another, neither group would be able to succeed. To foster this understanding, we have implemented policies dictating how members should approach leaders with problems and issues as well as a policy on how leaders should conduct themselves in their dealings with Guardian members.

Section IV.a - Open Door Policy

The Guardian Council and Officer Corps exist to serve the members of our organization. The Guardian Online Gaming Community is dedicated to providing the safest and most enjoyable environment possible for those who participate in our activities. For this reason, an open dialogue must always be encouraged between the membership and leaders of the organization. If a problem or concern arises, no member should hesitate to bring it to the attention of an Officer or Councilor. Members may approach any Councilor or Officer they feel comfortable speaking to through any venue they feel is appropriate. If that Officer or Council member is unable to find a resolution, they will forward the issue to the individual who can. This Open Door Policy exists for all Guardian members and encompasses any issue or problem that may arise.

Section IV.b - The Guardian Leader's Code

The Leader's Code is a set of core values that all members of the Guardian Council and Guardian Officer Corps are expected to follow.

Leadership - A Guardian Leader will strive to lead by example, always serving as a role-model for members to emulate.

Patience - A Guardian Leader will display patience and understanding in all situations. He or she will confront problems and situations with a level of poise and control that exemplifies the Guardian Code.

Honesty - A Guardian leader will be forthright in their dealings with others, representing their positions and intentions to others with honesty and accuracy and without deception.

Empathy - A Guardian Leader will put themselves in the shoes of their members, doing their utmost to recognize, perceive and understand issues as they arise and keep open the lines of communication that solve or prevent such issues.

Trustworthiness - A Guardian Leader will always keep the confidence of fellow Guardians, never divulging information to which their rank allows them access in an inappropriate fashion.

Reliability - A Guardian leader will remain active in their position and in the organization as a whole, conducting their assigned duties faithfully at the direction of the Guild Leader and Guardian Council.

Wisdom - A Guardian Leader will make fair and just decisions for the betterment of TG as a whole, exercising prudence, insight and knowledge of the Code and Policies of this organization.

Article II - Member Conduct

All members of The Guardians are committed to behaving in a manner becoming of the community. In general, this is expected to be in the manner of a mature, courteous adult. Specifically, they shall strive towards behavior in accordance with The Code and The Creed as well as observing the General Rules of Conduct. Members that preside in either a Guardian Officer Corps or the Guardian Council shall further be expected to adhere to the Leadership Code.

Section I - The Guardian Code

The goal of The Guardians is to unite like-minded individuals under a common code in order to form a fun, safe, organized and lasting community for the purpose of gaming and other online activities. The Guardian Code, to which every member is sworn, is a set of six values meant to guide us in our efforts to accomplish this goal.

Camaraderie – A Guardian will treat fellow guild mates with respect and courtesy at all times; never harboring ill will or grudges and always fostering a spirit of brotherhood.

Loyalty – A Guardian will remain loyal to TG and uphold the values for which we stand. Guardians should never conspire with groups who hold values contradictory to our own.

Honor – A Guardian will do his or her utmost to represent TG in all aspects of life. Guardians should refrain from any activity that would bring shame to our organization and be exemplary models of our values for anyone they may encounter in our online activities.

Maturity – A Guardian will be respectful and mindful of others, members and non-members alike. If asked to "tone it down" or stop using inappropriate language, a Guardian will readily comply.

Integrity – A Guardian will always protect information deemed to be private within TG. Guardians should never leak private information to outsiders.

Duty – A Guardian will remain active in our community by participating in any of our online activities or maintaining communication through our website and forums. Guardians who become inactive without notice are subject to removal from our roster.

Section II - The Guardian Creed

I know why I am here. I know why I wake up every morning with the satisfying feeling that I am a part of a greater glory. I walk this path because it is what I have chosen. I am on this path because tyranny has forced me here; as freedom is my mainstay.

I take up arms against the evil in order to remain true to my own values. I ride the edge of a blade and teeter into the depths of peril because it is who I am. I maintain vigilance as a protector because that is my vocation. I exist to serve as the hammer of justice against the enemies of the just, my brethren. I believe in the common spirit that unites those yearning for salvation. I believe in the cause and I believe in me.

I am the liberty that will never be oppressed. I am the cleansing sanitation of the festering contagion. I am the defender of the helpless. I am hope, I am integrity, and I am unyielding in the pursuit of my convictions.

I am the guiding light of truth and I am the retribution of murdered allies and family members. I am the torch of honor and beacon of respect. I am the fiery might of valor and relentless defiance. I am the culmination of a thousand fears of villainy against my beliefs and those of my family. I am the conqueror of darkness and the defender of the weak. I am the pursuer of freedom and I am the stalwart last stand of an ideal.

I am one of many.

I am a Guardian.

Section III - The TG Naming Policy

Guardian Members must never choose names that are offensive to others. Names that are sexually explicit, contain offensive language or include references of an intentionally defamatory or derogatory nature towards any group are strictly prohibited. This policy includes names used throughout any medium of communication used by the Guardian organization.

Section IV - Disciplinary System

The Guardians strive to maintain a safe and fun environment for the members of our organization and the communities we interact with. While we hold our members to the highest standards, indiscretions do happen and situations do arise. Thus we have created a simple and straightforward disciplinary system to handle problems we may be faced with.

Section IV.a - Possible Disciplinary Actions

Guardians who are found guilty of minor rule, policy or code violations by officers or Councilors will be subject to disciplinary action that is suitable for the offense committed. Punishments may include any or all of the following:

  • verbal warning
  • suspension from in-game activities
  • suspension from forum participation
  • temporary removal from TG
  • formal written apology to the organization
  • expulsion from TG
  • Section V - The Guardian Honors System

    The Guardian Honors System is our way of recognizing and awarding our members for their contributions and achievements here in The Guardians. The system is designed to allow the guild and its members to recognize achievements in an efficient and easy manner. It is the responsibility of the Assistant Guild Leader to maintain the system, investigate and approve nominations, and award the honors granted to our members. Any member of The Guardians has the right to nominate a fellow Guardian for an award based on the criteria outlined for the awards below. If the nomination is accepted an announcement will be made and the member may immediately begin displaying their award in their forum signature. The Guild Leader and Assistant Guild Leader also reserve the right to present awards at their discretion if they see actions they feel deserve recognition.

    Section V.a - The Nomination and Award Process

    1. If you wish to nominate another Guardian for an award you need to send a private message (PM) to the Assistant Guild Leader (AGL) with the nomination. (see sample PM format below)

    2. The AGL will contact you to let you know he/she received your nomination and request any additional information required for consideration.

    3. The AGL will then spend about a week’s time investigating the nomination and the validity of the member’s achievements when pertaining to the award he/she has been nominated for. The AGL will keep the nomination confidential if possible however at this step it may be necessary to speak in private with the nominee’s direct leadership or others who may be aware of the actions/achievements in question. The name of the Guardian who submitted the nomination will not be disclosed.

    4. At the conclusion of the investigation the AGL may either a) approve the nomination at which time he/she will inform the recipient and make a news post on the forums, deny the nomination at which point the AGL will PM the nominator and inform them of his/her decision, or c) decide to award the nominee a different award that more appropriately suits their achievement/accomplishment.

    Section V.b - Sample Layout of a Recommendation Letter

    I hereby nominate [Person's Name] for the [insert Mark of Honor here].

    [Next detailed here is how the nominee has made a significant contribution in their particular area of activity. Keep in mind, these should be people of exemplary service with an emphasis on personal achievement, selfless service to the community or individual in need, or of course accomplished something in a way that has brought particular distinction to The Guardians. Please include as much detail as possible, and if possible please have others who witnessed said action or agree with said view included in this statement, so we can contact them for further information and confirmation. Their is no restriction on length, please be as detailed as possible.]

    [Your Name]

    Section V.c - Current Marks of Honor

    Mark of Longevity:
    Age may wear the flesh, but it galvanizes the soul.
    This is the only self administered Mark of Honor in The Guardians Community. It is awarded on a yearly basis on the anniversary of a Guardian's acceptance of membership, and is a mark of length of tenure in the The Guardians. Members are expected to award this to themselves and update it accordingly over time when appropriate.

    Field Achievement Award:
    Those of renown and solitude.
    This award is given to Guardians who have achieved something great in the respective game they are playing. It is intended to award members for achieving something incredibly rare such as a server first kill for a raid team or completing all the achievements in a game where this is incredibly difficult. Getting an outstanding score in a PvP match or 20 headshots in a row, while impressive, is not going to earn you an award.

    Mark of Excellence:
    Dignitas Virtus
    The Mark of Excellence is intended to award those members who excel in what they are doing beyond a shadow of a doubt both in performance and knowledge of their craft. Beyond this they must use their skill and knowledge to help other Guardians excel as well. The nominee should be a walking talking Wiki for the craft in question. Knowing the ins and outs of a game and spending a significant amount of your time helping fellow Guardians excel at the game or having a great knowledge or coding and helping make TG’s website are examples of good reasons for this award.

    Individual Spirit Award:
    You may split their shield, splinter their spear, but you'll never break their spirit.
    Certain individuals stand out in a crowd despite how large that crowd may be, by contributing to the Guardian community through their own unique talents, and their ability to turn themselves into the mortar that holds the Community upright and holding strong. We recognize their spirit through the Individual Spirit Award.

    Guardian Service Award:
    The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons.
    This award is intended to recognize those who sacrifice a significant amount of their resources above and beyond the call of duty to help better The Guardians. A Division Leader spending time writing up rules for their Division does not qualify for this…a member of a division sacrificing their time to create and maintain a specific database useful to the division for 2 years would.

    Mark of Leadership:
    Their commands are part rallying cry, part sermon and wholly undeniable.
    Those who wear this mark have distinguished themselves among their fellows in showing leadership and inspiring those around them. This award is not limited to those holding an officer or official leadership title.

    The Crimson Laurel:
    In the depths of wretchedness, their soul shines like a single torch blazing in the night.
    The highest honor a Guardian can receive, it is awarded to those extraordinary individuals whom personify the values and traits that the Guardians hold most dear, and live the Code through their every action. This award should be reserved for those Guardians who, without question, make TG the guild that it is.

    Section V.d - FAQ for the Award System

    • Old Awards - Guardian Members whom were awarded a award of any type under the older system are grandfathered into the new one, and thus can continue to carry their Mark's of Distinction with pride.
    • Who Can Nominate Someone - Any Guardian Member, regardless of length of membership can nominate.
    • Confidentiality - All nominations are held in confidence, and the nominee should not be informed of any nomination put forth, as it is not fair to raise expectations in case they are not met.
    • Acknowledgment - The AGL should reply to the person Nominating stating that the nomination has been received.
    • Unsuccessful Nominations – If your nomination is denied you have the right to request clarification of the reasons. There is no limit to the amount of awards a member may be nominated for or receive however they may only be nominated once per stated achievement or reason.
    • Creating Additional Marks of Honor - Is possible, a Councilor or Officer should merely make a recommendation to the AGL, and he will open deliberations on the topic. This will occur over time, as we expand and look to recognize members for new and different achievements.

    Article III - Conditions of Membership

    In order to maintain the integrity of our organization, certain criteria must be met in order to maintain membership in The Guardians. The following section addresses the entry of new members into the organization, the requirements for maintaining membership, rules governing membership in other online organizations and circumstances under which membership may be lost.

    Section I - Joining The Guardians

    The Guardian recruiting process is designed to provide a single, simple process for becoming a Guardian Member. Applicants must committ to play in at least one Official Guardian Division, Squad, or a game that is in the Planning & Discussion phase for a future Division. Once an applicant has been accepted as a member, they are a member in all Guardian Divisions. The ten step application process is as follows:
    1. The applicant will register on the TG forums.
    2. The applicant will complete the application.
    3. The applicant will make a post on the Introduction Forum.
    4. The Director of Personnell (DoP) will screen the application for completion and quality, posting acceptable applications in the Recruiting Forum.
    5. The DoP will assign an Application Officer (AO) to the applicant.
    6. The DoP will send a welcome PM to the applicant (and a carbon copy to the AO), informing them who their assigned AO is.
    7. The AO will contact the applicant either in-game, or via forum PM to introduce themselves and put them in contanct with in-game leadership for any Divisions or Squads that the applicant wishes to be involved with.
    8. The application will remain active in the Recruiting Forum for a minimum of seven days. During this time, members will post about their interactions with the applicant and make recommendations for or against granting membership.
    9. At the end of the seven day initiation period, the AO will make a final decision regarding membership.
    10. The AO will then inform the applicant of their decision, conduct a swearing in ceremony in any appropriate venue and make the necessary roster adjustments in-game and on the forums.

    A member who has been removed from the guild due to disciplinary actions must wait a minimum of 1 year before reapplying. If an individual feels that they have a special circumstance that would warrant an earlier reapplication date, they can petition the Guild Leader with their extraordinary circumstance to allow an exception to the 1 year minimum. The Guild Leader will be responsible for making the decision on whether the application is accepted and final say on whether the applicant reapplying is promoted to member status. If the formerly removed member's application is not successful, then he or she must wait at least 1 year before trying again to reapply.

    Section II - Maintaining Membership

    Members must prioritize their activity with The Guardians in games where The Guardians maintain an official presence. Each Squad and Division will maintain a Faction Membership Requirements status post in their respective areas of the forums that make clear any restrictions for membership to opposing or conflicting organizations internal or external to the game. If any member choses to operate contrary to the defined Faction Membership Requirements, the Division Leader or Squad Leader may deny the member access to TG resources within the game and submit that member to the Guild Leader for revocation of membership. Any and all exceptions to Faction Membership Requirements must be approved in advance by the Guild Leader or Leader of the game in question and noted in the Faction Membership Requirements post. In general, members of the Guardians will not be allowed to participate in other guilds or other factions that can come into oppositional conflict with the Division/Squad, but because this can manifest in many ways due to the ever changing nature of games and system designs, leadership will work together to make a clear declaration of how this is to be applied to each game's unique requirements, objectives and conditions. The Faction Membership Requirements declaration should remain static and only be changed with approval from the GL, AGL and DoD.

    A Guardian should do their best to remain an active member of the community. Guardians who are not actively playing a game with one of our divisions should still make an effort to visit the forums and participate in other community activities. If a Guardian wishes to take an extended leave of absence, they should let us know via the Leave of Absence forum on the Guardian website. Members who are not heard from for more than one year and do not leave notice of their absence on the forums will be subject to removal at the discretion of the Guardian Council.

    Section III - Resignation of Membership

    While The Guardians strive to be a lasting organization where members remain for many years, we understand that people will choose to resign their membership from time to time. We encourage any member who wishes to resign their membership to think long and hard about this decision before doing so. Upon resignation of membership, all access to restricted forums and other Guardian assets will be forfeited. A grace period may be given to allow a former member to say their goodbyes, but this is at the discretion of the Guardian Council. Any former member who decides to return to TG wil be required to submit an application in accordance with the normal guidelines set forth in the Guardian Recruiting Process.

    Section IV - Revocation of Membership

    Gross violations of the Guardian Charter, actions deemed to be abusive toward others or actions that threaten to damage the reputation of The Guardian Organization are grounds for immediate revocation of membership and any privileges associated within. If such a situation arises any Guardian Councilor or authorized Officer acting on their behalf may take action to remove the offender’s access to the organization in any game and across any medium of communication reserved for use by Guardian members.

    In the event that a member violates minor rules or their actions negatively impact the overall well-being of the organization, the appropriate Guardian Councilor may temporarily suspend membership and submit a detailed request for revocation to the Guild Leader. Guardian Officers may not suspend membership in this manner unless acting on a direct order from a Guardian Councilor. A request for revocation must describe, in detail, all offensive actions and rule violations perpetrated by the accused member. The Guild Leader will collect any further information needed and make a final ruling either formally revoking or immediately reinstating membership. The Guild Leader may also levy other appropriate disciplinary action in lieu of revocation.

    If a member is removed from the guild, the Guild Leader will document whether the individual can reapply for membership after the 1 year waiting period. If a member is removed due to an action deemed especially egregious in its nature, the Guild Leader can permanently ban the individual from the Guild and issue a forum ban to prevent any further interaction from the individual. If the Guild Leader decides that a permanent ban is needed, he or she will document the reasoning for the action and make it public record for future reference.

    There is a 2 strike rule for members who have been removed from the guild multiple times. If a member is able to regain membership a 2nd time and is subsequently removed a 2nd time, the individual will receive a permanent lifetime ban from the Guild and all guild resources.

    If a member resigns his or her membership after official disciplinary research has started and it is determined that a removal would have been warranted, the individual will be marked has having been removed and not resigned. This is to prevent individuals from seeing the writing on the wall and resigning to avoid having a strike put against them.

    Article IV - The Divisional Development Process

    With the evolution of The Guardians into an expansive, multi-division community, it has become necessary to set forth clear policies and procedures surrounding the creation and maturation of new gaming endeavors. The Divisional Development Process (DDP) will serve as a guide to those interested in beginning a new TG Division, as well as providing the Guardian Leadership with benchmarks for a potential division's success.

    Section I - The Interest Phase

    In this phase a gaming title has been announced and the developers are releasing information on a regular basis throughout the games development. The game is highly anticipated and several Guardians have demonstrated specific interest in this title. If it can be clearly demonstrated (serious interest poll or forum thread) that at least ten current Guardians have plans to sample this title in beta (or as a title that is post-beta and already launched), the game will be given a Planning & Discussion (P&D) forum. The new Guardian endeavor now has a small (or possibly large) following in a Planning & Discussion forum, spawning threads relating to the game mechanics, beta sign ups, developer interviews, release dates, and more. Potential leaders have begun to emerge by way of encouraging internal interest in the game and providing current information on the game's status.

    Goals for this phase:
    • The Director of Development (DoD) will ensure that interested Guardians are providing enough information about the game so that members can make more informed decisions about whether to play (compiling a list of relevant official sites, fan sites, forums, links, screenshots, dev interviews, trailers, etc.) and will assist members in compiling a list of relevant official sites, fan sites, and forums.
    • Interested Guardians will attempt to generate enough interest (ten or more Guardians) to warrant a P&D forum.
    • The DoD will determine whether the game mechanics are designed to support a full-time division (ability to continuously recruit, encourage persistent playtime, etc) and make a formal recommendation to the Council about the future of the project.
    • Finding sufficient interest and feasibility of the game, the DoD will create a P&D forum.
    • The members of the potential division will be polled to provide the most accurate reflection of who they feel is leading them forward in-game. The DoD will use that information to select a Leadership Team (to be reviewed and appointed by the Guild Leader). The newly appointed Leadership Team will consist of a Division Leader and any other officers needed to get the potential Division up and running. This Leadership Team will not be made official until the Division is granted full status, but will be given necessary access to the forums in order to start fulfilling their duties.

    Section II – Division Founding Phase (If Applicable; if game has already launched proceed to Part B)

    In this phase, the game has moved into Beta sign-ups and testing. The Guild will begin to build a foundation for a successful Division, with hopes of getting invited to Guild Testing and enticing new recruits to join the community. The DoD will set the minimum quorum of Guardians that should be genuinely interested in both the game's beta and the games official launch in order to justify granting the new endeavor full division status. The project must also have a clear leader, chosen by the Council, to further organize its efforts, moderate the forums, and shepherd Guardians into the game's release. * The GL and the Council will ultimately decide if the game is viable to form a Division.

    A. Pre-Launch Goals for this phase:
    • The DoD will verify that members interested in Leadership roles work to promote the game to attain a strong membership base for the game.
    • Prior to the division's attainment of official status the DoD will prepare an official report for The Guardian Council with a recommendation on Leadership of the new Division. Upon approval of the Guild Leader, the new Division will be activated and its leaders will be promoted to their respective roles.
    • The new DL will continue recruiting potential Guardians who are active in testing, on the official forums, or other fan sites.
    • Create and maintain contact with any relevant parties heading into beta (major fan sites, other guilds /other guilds interested in the same server, etc.) Ideally this will include getting TG an exclusive interview with a major fan site or even the official site, as an organized community seriously interested in the game.
    • The DoD will work with the members to get as many Guardians into Beta as possible. Seasoned beta-testers should be encouraged to assist newer hands in filling out strong beta applications.
    • The Division Leader will work with the GL, AGL and DoD to define the Faction Membership Requirements for the game and Division.
    Sometimes the Community finds a game that has already left testing and is available to play immediately. In order for a Division to be formed at this point the following goals must be met.

    B. Post-Launch Goals for this phase:
    • The DoD will verify that members interested in Leadership roles work to promote the game to attain a strong membership base for the game.
    • Prior to the division's attainment of official status the DoD will prepare an official report for The Guardian Council with a recommendation on Leadership of the new Division. Upon approval of the Guild Leader, the new Division will be activated and its leaders will be promoted to their respective roles.
    • The new DL will continue recruiting potential Guardians who are active in game, on the official forums, or other fan sites.

    Section III - Maintaining Division Status

    In this stage, the game has been released and the Division is active and thriving. In order to maintain a quality environment for our members, the Division must remain viable within the confines of the content available with the published game. This can be achieved through solid membership numbers or via alliance. Viability can vary per each title and will be determined by the Director of Development. Once a Division shows lack of viability, the following deadlines will be enforced:
    • The Division activity level must maintain viability(content clearing, PvP capable, misc events, etc. as examples). Difficulties maintaining viability over a three month period will lead to the Division being placed on in probationary status.
    • After being placed in probationary status, the Division will have an additional month in order to form a mutually beneficial alliance or recruit enough members to maintain viability.
    • If the Division is unable to recruit or form an alliance with another guild within one month, the guild will be downgraded from an Official Guardian Division to the Planning and Discussion stage.
    • If a former Division remains in the Planning and Discussion stage for more than two months, it will be downgraded to a discussion thread in the Other Games and Interest forum.
    • The GL has the final say in a Division’s downgrade.

    Section IV - Returning to Division Status

    If a division has been downgraded, they may regain official status by meeting the following requirements:
    • In-game numbers must be increased to a level where the Division is viable; viability must be maintained for at least one month. Viability includes but is not limited to: active recruiting, completion of content and weekly progress reports sent directly to the DoD.
    • Upon the completion of one month with adequate numbers and increased viability within the game the previously downgraded division may once again be returned to Official Division Status.

    Article V - The Squad Development Process

    A Squad is an individual entity whose officer-in-charge, the Squad Leader (SL), reports directly to the Assistant Guild Leader (AGL). Each Squad's SL acts as the leadership contact and recruitment officer for the effort and will report directly to the AGL.

    Section I - Structure and Formation

    • Game must be a 'launched' title or in open beta.
    • Activity must show at least five (5) members playing weekly.
    • One Guardian, in good standing, must be available and willing to fill an Officer level role for organization and recruitment. This includes fulfilling the same levels of officer responsibilities and conduct as outlined in Article I, Sections II and IV.
    • Game must be a sustainable continuing multiplayer title allowing player advancement and mechanics that intentionally award teamwork with no end to game play. For example, a fighting game with online multiplayer capability or a game that simply contains a multiplayer campaign would not warrant a Guardian Squad.
    • Game must not already have an active Squad or Division. Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the GL.

    Section II - Approval Process and Life Cycle

    Approval for the creation of a Guardian Squad and appointment of the SL is made by the AGL in conjunction with the DoD and GL. The AGL will work closely with the DoD to determine whether an upcoming title that garners member interest warrants developing as a full division or not. If a title enters open beta, or is launched, and does not meet the requirements laid out in Article IV to achieve or maintain full Division status the AGL will work closely with those interested in still playing the game to determine if a Guardian Squad is warranted.
    • The AGL will work with those Guardians playing the title to establish requirements and appoint a member as the Squad Leader to act as leadership liaison as well as organize game activity and act as the recruiting officer.
    • The Squad Leader may work with the AGL to appoint additional in-game leaders to assist with things such as coordination, guild invites, and other guild management duties. These in-game leaders shall hold no official rank within The Guardians at-large chain of command.
    • The Squad Leader will remain active and be in communication with the AGL in regards to the activity levels and health of the Squad. Should the Squad need new leadership, the Squad Leader will work with the AGL to find an appropriate replacement or retire the squad.
    • The Squad Leader will work with the GL, AGL and DoD to define the Faction Membership Requirements for the game and Squad.

    Section III - Activity and Retirement

    The intent of Squads is to provide a guild supported outlet for members to play games that do not meet the requirements of a full Division. As such, the activity requirements and maintenance of status will not be as strictly enforced or regulated. The requirements will be left intentionally broad so that titles can be judged and interpreted based on individual game mechanics and restrictions.
    • Squads shall maintain a level of activity which can reasonably show that Squad status provides a positive impact on Guardians in the game.
    • The Squad Leader will recruit and work to maintain an active and healthy squad as required per game mechanics.
    • In-game guild membership to Squads will be limited to official Guardian members or active recruits.
    • Should a game with a retired Squads see an increase in activity, a return to Squad status can be achieved by meeting the requirements in Section I of the SDP.
    • If, at any time, the Squad Leader or Squad members feel that the Squad is growing to a point where Division status should be considered, the DDP will be followed. The process, being independent from the SDP, will be followed and handled by the DoD.

    Article VI - Honored Symbols of The Guardians

    The Guardians proudly hold dear several symbols, mottos and colors. As often as possible and appropriate, these should be used within our guilds in the games we play.

    Section I - The Guardian Emblem

    The Spartan Helm, sometimes depicted with a laurel wreath, has been used as the emblem of The Guardians since our inception in 2002. Ancient Spartans united together under a common set of laws in order to form a strong and proud civilization. Their feats and accomplishments are the stuff of legends still today. As Guardians, we also unite ourselves under a code in order to form a strong and capable organization. The laurel wreath, often seen with our emblem, represents the enduring quality of The Guardians and the honor with which we conduct ourselves.

    Section II - The Guardian Motto

    Libertas, Ara, Amplus, loosely translated means Freedom, Protection and Honor. Our motto highlights the benefits of being a Guardian and denotes the traits that set our organization apart from others. Our members choose to follow our code willingly, we protect each other faithfully and we represent one another with honor at all times.

    Section III - The Guardian Slogan

    “Guardians Lead the Way!” is our organization's slogan and can often be heard as the rallying cry used when our members do battle. Adapted from another proud organization, the United States Army Rangers, we feel this slogan is representative of The Guardians because we strive to be front-runners in whatever endeavors we undertake.

    Section IV - The Guardian Colors

    Black and Gold are the colors we use for depictions of our Emblem and other symbols such as in game emblems when the official emblem cannot be used. Whenever a game allows guilds to choose colors for banners and other like guild items, these colors should be strongly considered unless there is particular reason that would make their use inappropriate in that title.

    Article VII - The Amendment Process

    Any Councilor may propose an amendment to the Guardian Charter. Members may propose an amendment directly to the Council by submitting it with the names of at least 10 supporting members. All proposals for Amendment will be posted for a minimum of 14 days in the Member Discussion forum to give members a chance to discuss the proposal and give feedback. At the end of the 14 days, the Guild Leader will call for a Council Vote. Amendments may be passed with a unanimous vote of the Guardian Council. All Guardian Council members must vote with a yea or nay and may not abstain. The results of the vote will be posted for member review.