I have never been a rep. But today after seeing the reps program reject an application that I endorsed, I realized the arrogance with which the entire program operates. I am going to give some feedback regarding the program which you may choose to ignore based on my tone (I’m not going to tone this down. Sorry ) or think over.
Reps program is required for India
India is a country in which many people are motivated by titles and bragging rights. The success of campus representative of Microsoft, Google, etc maybe proof. It is definitely a carrot that can motivate people (especially students) to lead groups into contributing towards Mozilla.
Reps in India are not all mission driven
From my experience interacting with the few reps I’ve actually been able to meet at community events, I have reasons to believe that not every rep is mission-driven. In fact, I would say a large number of reps are not aware of Mozilla’s mission or manifesto. You may disagree here and I will be happy to stand corrected. But, many of the reps join the reps program because they know about Mozilla as a cool organization and want it on their resume to get their job.
How many reps remain as reps after they get their job? How many reps remain even as a non-rep volunteer after they get their job? Do you have stats on the number of people who had to be removed from the reps program because they were inactive?
I don’t think anyone who’s mission driven can suddenly become too busy to care after they get a job. Especially when our mission is facing continuous assault from monopolies and governments world over.
Reps program is still valuable for India
You cannot change the people of India or the culture of Indians. People are always going to remain carrot-driven rather than mission-driven. And that’s not bad. In the fiercely competitive market of college-goers’ attention, sometimes you have to play carrot-on-a-stick strategies. That’s totally fine.
But for heaven’s sake:
- stop being so arrogant.
- stop rejecting sincere contributors for the reps program.
- save some money for better things (I know that mozilla is already reducing the expenses in the reps program, and I congratulate you if that’s true.)
- stop this secrecy around the reps program.
- make the events related bugs open. (Why can’t I see how much money is being requested for events? Why can’t I see how much swag is being requested and why they aren’t getting shipped?)
- make the applications to be rep bug open (Why can’t I see who endorsed a rep)
- make the other bugs that have nothing to do with NDA-ed information open.
- ask for feedback about the reps program to the wider community. (I was rude enough to start a thread here. Not all people would be)
- have better accountability structures for reps
- transparency to the community (like opening the bugs above)
- well-defined roles for reps
- open forum to discuss issues in the reps program (the suggestion now is to email the reps council. The reps council is elected by the reps themselves and the emails that are sent there are like they are sent to black holes)
Before you feel the need to defend
There is no need to defend. What the reps are doing and are not doing is known to everyone who contribute to Mozilla (although the latter may not be obvious to many).
I know that this does not apply to all the reps. There are gems. There are people who did wonderful job in the past and had to move on and would still love to be back. I know there are people who are passionately engaging with communities and leadership and making it all possible. Without all of them, there wouldn’t be a community at all. So, you don’t have to defend that way.
There is no need to defend by saying you’re aware of some of these things and are taking measures. I’ve heard these enough times in the past. Whatever measures you are taking is not good enough/fast enough. Sorry for that. You may be trying your best, but you aren’t doing enough.
There is no need to tell that I’m only complaining and not helping. I’ve given you at least two practical suggestions above. Try to be helpful before complaining that I’m not being helpful.
There is no need to justify that the things can only be this way. Things “can only be this way” because you are too comfortable with the way things are.
There is no need to attack me that I’m being rude and offensive. I am being rude and offensive. I am sorry for that. This seems like the only way to engage.
Who is this addressed to?
I don’t know. All the reps? The reps leadership? The people who are running the entire structure to begin with? Whoever feels like this is useful, please make use of this feedback. Whoever feels like this is hurtful, I am sorry things had to be this way. I would have told these things nicely if you had asked nicely.
Why am I doing this?
Apart from the event I described in the first paragraph which is the immediate trigger, I’ve had multiple people independently communicate (to me, or in groups) about all the things that are going wrong in the reps program. I feel obliged to take up the slack.
Do I have specific examples?
I do have. But this is not about specific examples. Specific examples were tried in the reps-council mail and was probably not bothered about. This is about the program itself.