Twin Oaks Intentional Community
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Membership Policy

Approved by Community Planners 9/96
Clarifying corrections made 11/96



Anyone wishing to join T.O. must be a three-week visitor in the Visitor Program, approved by the Visitor Manager. The prospective member is expected to have made quota for cos entire visitor period. At its discretion, the Community Membership Team (CMT) may excuse a labor shortfall in one week, but in any event, the prospective member is required to have made quota for at least two weeks.

1. When a 3-week visitor wants to join Twin Oaks:

a. Co is given an informational briefing about the membership process.

b. This is followed by a membership meeting with the CMT. At least two members of the Team must be present.

c. A 3X5 card is posted requesting input on the prospective member.

d. Generally the Team will make a decision based on the meeting and the input. (Sometimes a non-binding poll is used to help the Team decide. The options on provisional membership polls are: ACCEPT, REJECT, VISIT AGAIN. Provisional member polls are distributed to all members.) Members will have up to ten days to give input or respond to a poll. Confidentiality will apply to all input and polls. There are no set restrictions on interpreting input or poll results. No formula determines the Team’s answer. Flexibility and consensus are valued in making Team decisions.

2. If a prospective member has debts or assets which are an impediment to membership because of the Property Code, co must make arrangements with the Legal Manager to the satisfaction of the CMT.

3. If an applicant is asked to visit again, the CMT will determine how much time must pass before a second three-week visit may occur. One year is the maximum time away that will be required before a second visit. If an applicant is rejected, co can reapply only after one year.

4. Those accepted for provisional membership must go away from Twin Oaks for at least one month before joining. The month away is 30 days and begins when the visitor leaves the community after the visitor period. The Membership Team can make exceptions in cases of hardship.

5. If more than six months passes between invitation to join and the proposed arrival date, co must visit again, reapply, and be re-accepted before joining. This six-month acceptance period can be extended under some circumstances. See the section on Waiting List, Section I(C)(3) of this policy.

6. All incoming members are required to have a medical exam and must send back a completed medical exam form to our Health Team before they return to the community as members. The community provides medical exam forms and instructions to prospective members. (Provisional members who can't afford an exam can have one done at Twin Oaks. They will be charged on a sliding scale.)

7. During the month away, all incoming members must also have a dental checkup and have all the necessary and recommended work done, unless they have already done this within six months prior to joining. Eyeglasses and contact lenses must be brought up to date.

8. Exceptions, such as setting aside money to have dental work, etc. done while at Twin Oaks, must be worked out with the Dental Manager/Health Team and Legal Manager, as appropriate.

9. Also during the month away, the prospective member should tie up loose ends, make arrangements for pets not approved for trial membership and procure whatever supplies the community doesn’t usually furnish for provisional members but which co is likely to want or need (for example, new boots, medicines, vitamins, stereo, etc.).

10. If the CMT learns significant new information about a visitor who has been accepted for provisional membership but has not yet joined the community, and this information causes the team to question cos membership, the CMT may suspend the acceptance decision until the team has a chance to talk with co. If, after this talk happens, the CMT feels the Community was not aware of significant information when they gave input, a new input period will happen after the new information is put out. The person in question must be given a chance to present cos views. If, on good authority, the CMT learns that serious bad faith declarations were made during an interview, the CMT may, at their discretion, revoke an acceptance decision before provisional membership has begun.