IUF Ind. Memberships

Dear Unicyclists, This message is being sent to the IUF officers and workers on
the net, and also to the Unicycling Mailing List, because I’d like to hear what
you people out there, around the world, think. You will not get the full story
here, but if you’re interested, you are welcome to join us in working out the
future of the non-profit, volunteer-run IUF.

    First, my vote. In its present description, with the current level of
    detail, I have to vote no on individual membership. I have read all of
    the correspondance from the past few weeks, and had to put it all into a
    single text file to keep track, so I think I have most of your opinions
    and ideas in my head at the moment. In theory, the IUF members should
    consist of the NA's (national organizations). Someday this may be the
    case, but in the several years since we came up with this theory, there
    has been almost no progress in this area. All of the larger NA's have
    not connected with us, for various reasons. One reason might be that IUF
    offers no product, and has little credibility. In the interim,
    publishing some kind of IUF newsletter would serve well to spread
    unicycling information, and the IUF name, around the world, hopefully in
    many languages. When IUF's purpose is more clear, perhaps then we can
    connect with the NA's in the way we want. The problem is in the
    countries with thriving NA's. I will speak of the USA, because I'm most
    familiar with our USA Inc. Details will be different for each of the
    other big unicycling countries. If we have individual membership like we
    did in the past, it will create a rift, and a duplication of activities,
    that our small organizations were unable to afford at the time.
    Unicyclists will have to choose to which organization to belong, and
    might most likely pick the cheaper one. In any case, they would not be
    getting all that they should get, which, in my opinion, is all available
    printed matter on unicycling. There would have to be a way to link the
    individual IUF members to their USA memberships. I think it should be a
    requirement, at least in this country, to be a USA member to get the IUF
    mag. For other countries, this will not be true. Perhaps a USA member
    pays an additional $5 or $10 on top of USA membership to get the IUF
    product. Even better, USA agrees to affiliate, and make all members IUF
    members as well, by a financial agreement that pays for the IUF portion
    (plus IUF overhead). This would take care of the U.S., or the English
    speaking world. Problem: USA would have to make a decision, which I
    predict will take them at least 1 1/2 to 2 years. We have to start
    something before this. Here are some choices for IUF members in the USA:
  1. Pay additional money on top of USA membership. This money goes directly to
    IUF, which handles and mails it’s newsletter separately. Less desirable
    because of much duplication of effort and postage.

  2. Pay additional money on top of USA membersip and have IUF newsletter stapled
    inside, or otherwise mailed together with ON ONE WHEEL. This involves a more
    complex arrangement between USA and IUF.

  3. IUF newsletter for the USA gets included within ON ONE WHEEL, at USA’s
    expense. All USA members are also IUF members. USA pays a token fee per
    member for IUF operating expenses. This is my favorite solution. We can
    start doing it right away, and live cheap while USA decides if it is going
    to help IUF out. Hopefully, they will set an example for the rest of the
    world, and do so.

    That covers the USA. For English speaking unicyclists in other
    countries, I will continue to urge them to be USA members. Our
    newsletter will be different now, with a new editor, and I can't help
    thinking it will be more interesting for overseas people. If they don't
    want to get ON ONE WHEEL, USA can sell us copies of our English insert,
    to mail to these individual IUF members at a small profit.
    For Japan, Germany, and other organized countries, details will have
    to be suggested by the people more familiar with those organizations.
    Those national organizations may not be interested in IUF until we
    have a product

(i.e. a newslette in the appropriate language) to show them.

    How am I doing? I'd like to hear the opinions of you people out there in
    unicycle-land. Please don't feel you have to send your responses to the
    whole mailing list. To cut down on pollution, please just send to the
    people cc'd at the top of this letter. If you'd like to stay in on this
    discussion, I can add you to the list of people I send these things to.

Stay on top!

John Foss, President International Unicycling Federation unifoss@cerfnet.com

Re: IUF Ind. Memberships

John Foss wrote:

I discussed the individual membership problem with Ken in China, and at the time
it seemed to us a good way to strengthen the IUF. Now after reading John’s and
some other opinions, I am not so sure any more. It is clear that John’s various
suggestions for IUF-USA relations will not necessarily work in other countries.

I am willing to go along with the others and vote for individual member- ship
for the moment, but I don’t really see how we are going to solve the following
two problems:

  1. Where does we get operating expenses? The arrangement between IUF and USA is
    not likely to work in other countries.

  2. Who do we send the foreign language editions of the newsletter to? Some
    countries don’t even have a NA, so including it with a national newsletter is
    not an optioni.

Say I begin to issue a Japanese newsletter. Who do I send it to? Do I pay all
production and mailing expenses out of my pocket. I could try to negotiate with
JUA before I give up on this, but even if I succeed, what do you do in the UK,
Germany, Denmark etc.?

|> Ken Fuchs wrote:
|> We seem to be coming to a consensus that the IUF should NOT seek individual
|> members or publish its own newsletter direct to IUF members in any country
|> were there is an established National Unicycling Association and/or
|> newsletter. So for countries with an established National Unicycling
|> Association, unicyclists can become IUF members and receive IUF news only
|> through their National Unicycling Association and its newsletter. Individual
|> National Unicycling Associations must freely agree to this arrangement.

Even if an NA was cooperative, expecting members to pay additional fees for IUF
is unreasonable. In Japan, it would not be a question of money, but a lack of
interest and motivation.

My idea was that we do as in the past. Require every participant in UNICON to
become an individual IUF member (I would say for at least two or three years),
and then we could have hundreds of individual members. Remember, Unicon
participants are highly motoivated – otherwise they wouldn’t be there.
After spending perhaps thousands of dollars to travel, etc., I don’t think
that $50 or $100 for a 2 to 3 year membership would make much of a difference.
It is hard for me to imagine that a large number of unicyclists would actually
not participate in a Unicon simply because they don’t want to be forced to
become a member.

We have lost an enormous potetntial income by not requiring Uniocn participants
to become IUF members. How about a compromise. You don’t need to become a
member, but you pay a fee, say $40, to contribute to IUF expenses.

As you can see from the above, I am hesistant about voting no to ind. members,
but I will go along if someone could give me a reasonable answer to the two
issues I raised above. I simply can’t see myself producing a Japanese newsltter
with no one to distribute to.


Jack Halpern

Kanji Dictionary Publishing Society 1-3-502 3-Chome Niiza Niiza-shi, Saitama 352
JAPAN Voice: +81-048-481-3103 Fax: +81-048-479-1323