Talk:Wikimedia Serbia EduWiki Conference 2014 Scholarship

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Discussion (Moved from the Water Cooler 04/01/2014 9:13am)[edit source]

This scholarship proposal comes across as a bit strange to me. "We'll pay for you to go, but only if you represent what WMUK has decided are the most pertinent topics". Are the volunteers here to further WMUK's agenda, or is WMUK here to further the volunteers'? In honesty, I suspect this is just a hiccup in the wording of the announcement; if you'd instead suggested the applicants cover these topics, you'd have got many applications that would've done so. In my work at the WMF, I run a lot of my public announcements past a community advocate, to make sure I've not accidentally worded it badly; perhaps people should run things by Stevie quickly in future. --Deskana (talk) 21:35, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't see the words you put in quotation marks in my original announcement, so I'm not sure what you're actually reacting to here. There have been discussions with another WMUK member of staff about this scholarship as well as a trustee (some of which has happened on the Education Committee mailing list), so I don't think this is something I worded badly. Perhaps just not clearly enough. This scholarship is to cover a proposal made directly by the chapter in relation to its main Education-related activities for the Learning Day. We simply need a volunteer to present the main Education-related work of the chapter at this event.
Individual proposals (i.e. not about WMUK's Education projects) for this event are open until Monday 6 January (as per the email circulated by WMRS on the Education mailing list). This scholarship proposal does not exclude us from considering a request for support from any other individual, should their proposal be accepted for this conference in Serbia. I hope this discussion has clarified things a little more. Thanks. --Toni Sant (WMUK) (talk) 22:11, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi Toni. I read this along the same lines as Deskana - the relevant text here is "WMUK is offering one scholarship [...] to an active volunteer [...] willing to give a 15-minute presentation at the Learning Day about at least three of the following topics:" - by saying that you've defined what the volunteer would have to present about, rather than them being free to present about their own activities. It also implies that this is the only scholarship opportunity available, which I don't think was your intention here. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:28, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Mike. That's a very useful insight. I think I'll add some text from the second paragraph in my response to Deskana to the original call to clarify this point. Thanks again. --Toni Sant (WMUK) (talk) 22:56, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks all, that change is definitely a useful clarification. Thanks Toni for putting something together on short notice over the break. Could you confirm that you've had info the conf day will be mostly in Serbian? Any detail on translation facility for that? Sjgknight (talk) 23:12, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
(ec) It is great to see proposals being created, we definitely could do with more coming from unpaid volunteers. When I first read the proposal it appeared to be better suited as a grant to a preselected individual. Off the top of my head I find it hard to imagine that of the small number of active volunteers working with WMUK in all these areas that there would be more than one or two potential applicants with the required experience or interest (and presumably you could write down a short list without blinking), though perhaps the intention is to be a bit more flexible than the text implies. -- (talk) 23:19, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Simon. I think it depends in large part on what sort of proposals they get, but they're mainly aiming for Serbian contributions for the Monday session. We can ask about translation facilities, of course, but I haven't even found a wiki page in English about this event yet. --Toni Sant (WMUK) (talk) 23:27, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
(ec) Thanks Toni - that's a good improvement. :-) I see that Leutha has set up a page at Wikimedia Serbia EduWiki Conference 2014 Scholarship, which I think is a good approach - it's better to have a separate page for this sort of thing than including it in the water cooler as it makes it much easier to cleanly link to in a lasting way. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 23:30, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Toni, the bit in quotes in my original message is an illustration of how your announcement was coming across to me, and was not intended to be taken as a quote. My apologies for the confusion there. Anyway, now that the announcement has been altered slightly, I feel like my issue has been sufficiently addressed. Thanks! --Deskana (talk) 23:38, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Hi all (after 2 edit conflicts!), a couple of points:
I have just changed the link to that of the English language version for the conference. Whether that indicates that English will play a significant role in the conference remains to be seen.
Toni is accurately reflecting the discussion we have had on the WMUK education mailing list, where we highlighted the priorities and agreed that this should be funded as a scholarship. Just to respond to Deskana's point, the Education Committee is very much volunteer led, and as a volunteer I am supporting this proposal. Part of the purpose and function of the WMUK Edcom is precisely to facilitate volunteer engagement in formulating the agenda. It was also agreed that the opportunity for a volunteer to take on this role should be made available by a posting here. While I appreciate Mike's point, the decision made by the WMUK Edcom was that we wanted just one person funded to fulfill this particular role which is to represent WMUK. If there are other proposals falling outside this remit, well, they can be considered on their merit by the Grants Committee (which I imagine fulfills the role of the "ad-hoc panel" mentioned here). However as the opportunity to submit a proposal to the conference has been around since August 2013, perhaps they are cutting it a bit fine? :Personally, I feel having a scholarship which specifies a clearly identified role to play, i.e. representing WMUK, and clearly identified expectations is a step forward from how the way in which the Berlin Diversity Conference was handled. I like to think we learnt from that. On the other hand, I do not think that scholarships should be restricted to this sort of format. The important issue is that it should be made clear what expectations go with the role.
As regards Fæ's point (I had an edit conflict here), no-one has been identified for the role and maybe proposals will come from people who want to negotiate the role somewhat. But as I said above, I think having some formality about the role of a representational delegate is a useful step forward, even if people are currently not so familiar with such an approach. Leutha (talk) 23:32, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. By the way, with regard to formality, I do not know where Sebria is, though I have been to Serbia and enjoyed meeting the chapter folks there (who seemed very keen to take me out to a gay nightclub; they love to party). -- (talk) 23:38, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I think it's in the Former Yugoslaiva. I shall be visiting Novi Sad in February and hope to catch up with the WMRS when I am there.Leutha (talk) 23:53, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Mike for fixing the water cooler transclusion...I knew I'd forgotten something :(. This is probably a discussion for the Engine room but if people have feelings about how useful/not transcluding pages like this is it'd be good to know (I favour it). Sjgknight (talk) 07:57, 8 January 2014 (UTC)