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GCN Member Policy

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Note: GCN is using the old SEAKnet membership policy for now.

Gustavus SEAKnet Membership Policy

September 18, 1998


There are a few things that everyone should keep in mind about Gustavus Seaknet. It is built on an educational rather than commercial platform, with connections and e-mail services maintained through the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. For that reason, private business may not use Seaknet directly for business purposes (there are alternatives that have worked so far!).

It is a non-profit organization. While the original equipment and administration costs were provided through federal and state grants, those funds were only seed money to get things going. There is no funding support other than what Gustavus Seaknet generates from the $25 monthly membership fees and donations. Expenses for the coming quarter will be an estimated $4,705, payable December 31, 1998. We will come close to being able to pay that bill with current revenues. To continue after that date, Gustavus Seaknet need to boost the membership to 64 (we presently have 61 members) or will need to raise the monthly membership fees by about $5.

Gustavus Seaknet is now run entirely by volunteers, who are donating time and often personal funds as needed. Most members volunteer simply to keep the seaknet service in Gustavus going and to keep in touch and learn with like-minded folks who use the Internet. The Board now consists of Nate Borson, Judith Challoner/Wood, Bruce Tedson, Chuck Schroth, and Bruce Paige, but it really consists of the most active and supportive members who provide input, and major decisions are made through polling the membership, either at meetings or through e-mail. The Accounts Administrators are Bruce and Sharon Paige. 1998/99 winter training is organized by Nate Borson and Tom McCabe. There is a technician pool of about eight individuals who have volunteered to assist new members in connecting and/or in trouble-shooting problems.

Gustavus Seaknet uses six modems with six dial-up lines, a server and an additional faster connection for the school's use, all located at the Gustavus Library. Additional modems will be added when needed as funds allow.

As approved on 9/98, membership fees may be paid in three ways; $30 by the month; $80 quarterly (three months); or $150 semi-annually (6 months). Checks should be made payable to Gustavus Seaknet, sent to Bruce Paige, P. O. Box 114. There is a one-time$25 connect fee for new members. If the connect fee is paid after the 15th of the month, then the remainder of the month is free. Payment is due on the first of each month (eg. October 1 for October). E-mail billing notices are sent on the 22nd of the month. If necessary, a second e-mail on the 7th and a phone call on the 10th will be made. Accounts not paid by the 16th will be deactivated. A deactivated account may be reactivated at any time by paying the $15 connect fee. Payments in multiple months are usually easier for the member and for account administration.

Membership applications forms are available at the Gustavus Public Library or from Bruce Paige or on the SEAKnet web site. Once these applications are completed and the $55 (connect fee and first month) payment is received by Bruce, the member will be notified when their account is activated and ready to use. Assistance is available to configure the new member's computer to access Seaknet. Discs and instructions are also available at the library for those who wish to do it themselves.

Once the member is on-line, they may use their e-mail and the internet as much or as little as they wish, however, doing most work off-line makes the best use of the modems, means Seaknet members encounter fewer busy signals, and delays the need for the expensive purchase and installation of additional modems. See our article on busy signals for suggestions.

Once an account is activated, it is the member's responsibility to keep their computer on-line and to pay the monthly fee until the Accounts Administrator is officially notified by the member to deactivate the account. Should a sustained problem occur Nate Borson or Bruce Paige should be contacted immediately so that a solution may be found. If the problem is with the member's computer, Seaknet technicians will help, but it is incumbent upon the member to seek that assistance. Other circumstances are in the hands of the member to correct (as in coffee spilled on the CPU, a child loading a conflicting disc, moving the computer to another room/house and not hooking it up for a while). Remember, your account is active no matter how much you use it unless you notify Bruce to deactivate. For those taking extended vacations, it's the member's choice whether to officially deactivate, then pay the $15 re-connect fee upon return.

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