Charter of the Order of The Laurel
In The Kingdom of Caid


I . PEERAGE REQUIREMENTS AND QUALITIES.
This section lists the requirements for elevation to the Order of the Laurel and the additional qualities that the Companions of the Order in Caid consider before making a recommendation to the Crown.

A. General Requirements:
All candidates for the Order are expected to meet the minimum standards set forth in Corpora VII.A.l and VII.A.4.b, to wit:
- 1. They shall have been obedient to the governing documents of the Society and the laws of the Kingdom;
- 2. They shall have consistently shown respect for the Crown of the Kingdom;
- 3. They shall have set an example of courteous and noble behavior suitable to a Peer of the Realm;
- 4. They shall have demonstrated support for the aims and ideals of the Society by being as authentic in dress, equipment and behavior as is within their power;
- 5. They shall have shared their knowledge and skills with others;
- 6. They shall have practiced hospitality according to their means and as appropriate to their circumstances;
- 7. They shall have made every effort to learn and practice those skills desirable at and worthy of a civilized court. To this end, they should have some knowledge of a wide range of period forms, including but not limited to literature, dancing, music, heraldry, and chess, and they should have some familiarity with combat as practiced in the Society. They should also participate in Society recreations of several aspects of the culture of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

B. Caidan Requirements:
By custom and agreement, the Companions of the Order of the Laurel of Caid expect all candidates for the Order to meet these additional standards (July 2003):
- 1. They are motivated by an interest in their particular art form. They would continue to practice their art form even if there were no awards or rewards to be gained. (July 2003).
- 2. They are considerate of others, aware that it is easy to hurt or intimidate newcomers and beginners. (July 2003)
- 3. They are modest, and do not publicly proclaim their own deservedness. (July 2003)
- 4. They are humble, and can listen to and learn from others. (July 2003)
- 5. They demonstrate excellence in at least one area combined with competence in at least one other field. (July 2003)
6. They instruct others in their areas of excellence and competence. (July 2003)
7. They have earned sufficient reputation that others working or researching in their field, Laurels or not, might know of their work and regard it favorably. (July 2003)
8. They have produced a reasonable body of work within the Society. (July 2003)
9. They are discreet. (July 2003)
10. 10. They are actively participating in the activities of the Society. (July 2003)

The Companions of the Order in Caid further expect these standards to be maintained by themselves and their fellow Companions. (July 2003)

 


II. DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES.
The following statements describe the duties and privileges of a Companion of the Order of the Laurel in the Kingdom of Caid:

A. Duties:
1. A Companion is expected to be a current member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., and to continue to meet all of the criteria set forth above for the Order.

- 2. A Companion is expected to make every reasonable effort to attend the meetings of the Order. If unable to attend, a Companion wishing to have his or her opinion considered must write that opinion to the Secretary of the Order before the meeting date.

B. Privileges:
- 1. A Companion is entitled to wear the badges of rank delineated in Corpora, Kingdom Law, and the rulings of the Herald's Office.
- 2. A Companion is entitled to the title "Master" or "Mistress of the Laurel" as declared in Corpora, Kingdom Law, and the rulings of the Herald's Office.
- 3. A Companion may, if he or she chooses, swear fealty to the Crown and the Kingdom of Caid, as is traditional.
- 4. It is the privilege of a voting Companion of the Order of the Laurel to be consulted by the Crown on the suitability of candidates for membership in the Order of the Laurel. To this end, Companions of the Order are expected to engage in such activities as to create an informed opinion, including attending events at which major arts/sciences-related activities are planned and taking classes from candidates to become aware of their level of expertise and teaching ability.
- 5. A Companion is entitled to wear an Order Robe, as delineated by the Order, during elevation ceremonies and when the Order swears fealty or makes a presentation to the Crown.

None of these privileges may be exercised by proxy.

C. Participation:
All voting Companions of the Order of the Laurel are entitled to be notified of all meetings of the Order, and to have their opinions solicited on all matters brought before the Order for consideration.
- 1. A Companion of the Order who does not wish to participate actively in the deliberations of the Order may so advise the Crown and the Secretary of the Order in writing, and be placed on non-voting status.
- 2. If a Companion of the Order does not attend meetings or respond to written requests within 30 days of the sending, the Secretary will remove the Companion from voting status, and notify the Crown and the Companions of the Order.
- 3. All voting Companions are expected to pay dues as determined by the Order every six months, payable the day after Crown Tournament, in order to help defray the expenses of the Order. Failure to pay said dues may result in being moved to non-voting status.
- 4. All voting Companions of the Order are expected to maintain the same minimum levels of activity that are required of entrants in Crown Tournaments by Law, to wit:
- - a. Current membership in the Society.
- - b. Attendance of at least six events during each regnal. Attendance at a meeting of the Order may be substituted for one of these events.
- 5. Non-voting Companions of the Order retain all of the privileges of the Order listed in Section II.B.l, 2, 3, and 5 above.
- 6. If at any time an non-voting Companion wishes to be returned to voting status, the Companion may be returned to the mailing list by notifying the Secretary and the Crown, paying the appropriate dues, and attending the requisite events.

D. Resignation:
A Companion may resign from the Order by notifying the Board of Directors, the Crown, and the Secretary of the Order, in writing, and stating his or her intent, as provided in Corpora.

 


III. OFFICERS OF THE ORDER.
There shall be two officers of the Order, the Secretary and the Moderator of the meetings. The methods of choosing these officers and their duties and responsibilities are as follows:

A. The Secretary
- 1. The Secretary shall carry out all of the duties listed in Section IV, below.
- 2. The Secretary shall handle additional correspondence relating to the Order, as necessary.
- 3. The Secretary shall present each new Crown with a copy of the Charter, and acquaint each new Crown with all current concerns of the Order, including recommendations not yet acted upon.
- 4. The term of office for the Secretary is one (1) year, which may be continued if the current Secretary and the Order agree.

B. The Moderator.
- 1. The Moderator guides the meeting according to the agenda, introducing the topics, keeping the discussion moving, maintaining order, and calling for votes.
- 2. The Moderator makes sure that each Companion gets a chance to express an opinion on an issue. The Moderator is also in charge of the mailed-in opinions and reads them as appropriate to the discussion. The Moderator may delegate this responsibility to the Secretary.
- 3. The Moderator is chosen by majority vote at the beginning of the meeting, and serves for that meeting only.

 

IV. MEETINGS.
Meetings of the Order of the Laurel of Caid are held to discuss candidates for membership and the general business of the Order. The number of formal and informal meetings to be held will be determined by the needs of the Crown and the Order, but there must be at least one formal meeting each reign.

Companions of the Order of the Laurel, and only Companions of the Order, are entitled to attend meetings of the Order. The Order may invite others to attend.

A. Formal Meetings.
- 1. Notice of and agendae for meetings shall be sent to all voting Companions by the Secretary at least four weeks in advance of the meeting, so that those who are unable to attend may comment in writing.
- 2. Items not on the agenda may be discussed, but may not be voted upon. The minutes of the meeting shall be taken by the Secretary and constitute written notice of the discussion for non-attending Companions. Minutes of the meeting shall be sent to all voting Companions in a timely fashion, usually within 14 days.
- 3. In addition to the minutes, absentee ballots shall be sent by the Secretary to non-attending Companions for all matters on which the Order voted. Said ballots must be returned to the Secretary within 14 days of the sending of the ballots. (July 2003)
- 4. The results of any voting will be mailed by the Secretary at the end of 30 days to all Companions of the Order on voting status and to the Crown. A separate, formal letter of recommendation, if appropriate, will also be sent to the Crown and the Order so notified. This in no way limits the rights of individuals to make comments or recommendations to the Crown.
- 5. A Companion who neither attends a meeting of the Order nor responds in writing relinquishes the right to be sought for consultation on the matters discussed at that meeting.


B. Informal Meetings.
- 1. An informal meeting occurs when the Crown or one or more of the Companions of the Order discuss business of the Order, without prior notification of the Companions of the Order.
- 2. Individual Companions may recommend candidates for the Order to the Crown at these informal meetings. These recommendations are not to be construed as the recommendation of the Order.

 


V. CONFIDENTIALITY OF MEETINGS.
It is the custom of the Order of the Laurel that the candidate discussions of the Order be kept confidential both to protect candidates, and as a courtesy to the Crown to whom we act as counsellors. Thus, the discussion of candidates, and the results of discussion, are considered privileged information. Suggestions for the improvement of candidates' skills may be discreetly made, as the opinion of the speaker only, but must never contain attributed comments derived from discussions of the Order. Overt, conscious breaches of confidence, formal or informal, written, verbal, or electronic by a Companion of the Order will not be tolerated by the Order of the Laurel of Caid. Any member of the Society who receives privileged information or hears rumors concerning peerage discussions is encouraged to speak to the Secretary of the Order or the Crown about them. The Secretary shall investigate such rumors. If the Secretary believes that action is warranted, the Secretary shall bring the incident to the attention of the Order. (Jan 2003)

The Order as a body shall decide on a case-by-case basis what shall constitute appropriate action. This system is not progressive in nature nor formal, and the Order may, in its sole discretion, take whatever form of action, if any, is deemed appropriate under the circumstances. This may include, but not limited to: a verbal or written warning, the temporary or permanent suspension of access to confidential information, and/or a recommendation to the Crown that steps be taken to revoke the Companion's peerage and that it convene a Court of Chivalry. (Jan 2003)

The foregoing is not intended to limit the Crown's right to conduct its own investigation or act in such matters. (Jan 2003)

 


VI. PERSONAL OPINIONS.
The Companions of the Order of the Laurel are entitled to personal opinions, which they have a right to express. The Companion must remember that his/her statements may be perceived to be more than merely a personal opinion, however, and moderate their expression accordingly.

 


VII. NOMINATION PROCEDURE.
To clarify the nomination process, the Order in Caid has established the following procedures, which can be used by any member of the Society. It should be borne in mind that a recommendation does not constitute an automatic award; that is reserved to the Crown. Even after the Crown has decided, it may be some time before the award is made, so the nominator should be discreet. (See Section V.)

A. Nominations from the Crown. The Crown may nominate a candidate at any time and in whatever manner it chooses: by phone, in writing, or at a formal or informal meeting of the Order.

B. Nominations from Companions of the Order.
- 1. The initial nomination of a candidate to the Order should be in writing.
- 2. The nomination should include the candidate's name (Society and modern) and address.
- 3. The nomination should include a detailed list of what the candidate has done to deserve consideration for the award. (See Section 1 for qualifications and requirements.)
- 4. If possible, the letter of nomination should include a photograph of the candidate and his/her work. This is especially important if the candidate does not travel.
- 5. Companions of the Order may add nominations to the agenda at meetings of the Order with the consent of the Companions present.

C. Any member of the Society may make nominations to the Crown and to the Order of the Laurel.
- 1. The nomination should be in writing. (See Section VII.B, above.)
- 2. Recommendation letters from the populace should be signed with SCA name, modern name, and address.
- 3. The letter should be sent to the Crown and to the Secretary of the Order.

 


VIII. PROCEDURE FOR DISCUSSION, VOTING, AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE CROWN.
The Companions of the Order of the Laurel recognize that the Crown must consult with the Order regarding a candidate per Corpora. By tradition, a Peer is not made without the favorable recommendation of the Order.

Recognizing that, per Corpora, the Crown may elevate subjects to the Peerage by granting membership in one of the Orders conferring a Patent of Arms, after consultation with the members of the Order within the Kingdom, and that
the duties of the members of the Order of the Laurel include advising the Crown on the advancement of candidates for the Laurel, the Companions of the Order of the Laurel in Caid acknowledge that when all procedures for nomination, discussion, and subsequent notification, as outlined in Sections VII and VIII of this Charter have been satisfied, and the minutes of that meeting have been distributed, then the Corpora-granted opportunity to advise the Crown has been exercised, and that the Crown has indeed consulted in fulfillment of their requirement to do so. "Consultation" need not result in a recommendation from the Order to Their Majesties. (July 2004)

A. Discussion
- 1. The Moderator will read the name of the candidate to be discussed.
- 2. Letters of recommendation pertaining to that candidate will be read.
- 3. The pertinent portions of letters from absent Companions will be read. Each Companion of the Order present may state reasons supporting or opposing a candidate, on the basis of the items in Section I; the Order is not required to further discuss that candidate.

B. Voting
- 1. At the completion of the discussion, the Moderator will call for a vote. The Order is not required to vote on all persons recommended to it.
- 2. All votes on candidates at meetings shall be by written secret ballot. The tally of votes shall be read aloud by the Secretary following the voting. Absentee ballots shall be sent to non-attending Companions as set forth in Section IV.A.3 above.

- 3. The Companions of the Order may vote one of three (3) ways: (a) Yes; (b) No; (c) Abstain.
- 4. Companions who, for any reason (e.g., personal prejudice or unfamiliarity with the candidate or his/her work) feel that they cannot fairly judge the candidate, may abstain from voting.

C. Recommendation to the Crown.
- 1. A recommendation for admission to the Order is made for a candidate who receives a "yes" vote from 75% of the Companions of the Order who voted yes or no, and 60% of the total votes cast.
- 2. The Secretary will send a letter of recommendation to the Crown and so notify the Order.
- 3. The Order, when submitting a recommendation to the Crown, may also propose a specific event for the elevation.
- 4. In the course of the discussion, candidates may be recommended for Kingdom awards other than the Order of the Laurel; it is not the responsibility of the Order to make such recommendations. Individual Companions of the Order are encouraged, however, to make recommendations to the Crown regarding other Orders as they see fit.

D. Reconsideration of Recommendations. Once the Order has made a recommendation to the Crown, only the Crown can decide to reject the recommendation or reverse the decision to elevate a candidate, whether or not the candidate has been informed of the Crown's intention. Should a Companion of the Order discover sufficient reason to reconsider the recommendation, they must request that the Crown take such action.

- 1. Recommendation rejected without cause.
- - a. Should the Crown decide not to act upon the Order's recommendation, or reverse the decision to elevate a candidate, for personal or unstated reasons, the Secretary shall inform the succeeding Monarchs of the recommendation.
- - b. Should four (4) succeeding Monarchs decide not to act upon the Order's recommendation, the recommendation shall expire. The candidate may immediately be nominated to the Order again, and the consideration process started over.

2. Recommendation rejected with cause: Should the Crown decide not to act upon the Order's recommendation, or reverse the decision to elevate a candidate, for stated cause, it shall constitute a request to review the candidate's actions as set forth in Section X.

 


IX. PRESENTATION.
1. Inviting Candidates for Elevation to the Order
It is the custom in Caid that Candidates are invited by the Monarchs to accept elevation to the Order before an elevation ceremony is planned. Mindful that not all Candidates accept the invitation, the Order recommends that the Monarchs arrange a private opportunity to issue the invitation, and permit the Candidate time to reflect before responding. Companions of the Order customarily accompany the Monarchs when the invitation is extended, and encourage the Monarchs to communicate with the Order's Secretary to coordinate a mutually convenient time. (June 2005)

The Crown should notify the Secretary when it has decided to make an elevation to the Order, so that the Order may be notified and arrangements made to notify the candidate. Arrangements should be made ahead of time for the candidate to receive a medallion of the Order during the ceremony, as a gift, or as a loan until a permanent arrangement can be made.

Should the Crown decide not to act upon the Order's recommendation, the Secretary will inform the succeeding Monarchs of the recommendation
The Order recognizes that not everyone will agree to every candidate's elevation to the Order. Those Companions of the Order who disagree with the elevation are asked to be discreet.

X. COMPANION and CANDIDATE REVIEW.
The Order of the Laurel in Caid has established the following procedures to review the actions of a Companion or candidate for whom a recommendation has been made to the Crown. The Order shall consider only the actions reflecting the requirements for achieving and maintaining a Peerage as set forth in Section I.a.

A. Request for Review. The Crown or any Companion of the Order may request that the Order review the actions of a current Companion of the Order. The Crown may request that the Order review the actions of a candidate for whom a recommendation has been made to the Crown, either directly or as set forth in Section VIII.D.2.
- 1. The Secretary shall call an emergency meeting of the Order, by telephone or mail, with two (2) weeks' notice.
- 2. At the meetings, a simple majority vote shall be taken to determine whether to investigate the actions of the Companion or candidate. Proxy votes for this purpose may be conveyed through the Secretary.
3. If the vote is negative, the matter is considered closed. In the case of a candidate, the recommendation shall be renewed as set forth in Section VIII.D.I
4. If the vote is positive, the Order shall appoint a committee of two or three (2 or 3) impartial Companions to investigate all sides of the issue as fairly as possible. The Order shall set a meeting date in two or three (2 or 3) weeks to review the findings of the committee. The Secretary shall inform the Order of the meeting by telephone or mail.
5. At the second meeting, the Order shall hear the findings of the committee. The Companion or candidate shall be given an opportunity to speak to those issues if they wish. A vote shall be taken to determine whether to consult with the Crown to request further action, or consider the matter closed. Minutes of this meeting shall be taken, absentee ballots sent, and results published as set forth in Section IV.A.2-5. The vote shall be tallied as set forth in Section VIII.B.2-C.2.
6. The candidate or Companion shall be informed of the results of the vote.


XI. ACCEPTANCE AND AMENDMENT OF THIS CHARTER.
A. This Charter came into force when it was endorsed by three-fourths of the participating Companionship of the Order of the Laurel in Caid, and approved by the Crown.

B. This Charter can be revised or amended by a three-fourths vote of the Companionship of the Order in Caid, and with the approval of the Crown.

C. This Charter is only intended to apply to the governance of the Order of the Laurel within the Kingdom of Caid, in accordance with the established laws and customs of this Kingdom.

Laurel Charter current as of August 1, XL A.S. (2005).


APPENDIX: POLICY STATEMENTS.

The following policy statements are not part of the Charter proper, but are included here for ready accessibility.

1. Scope of the Order: The primary scope of the Society is defined to be "pre-17th Century Western culture" (By-Laws III). The Order of the Laurel in Caid recognizes, however, that many non-European cultures had an artistic impact in and on Europe in our period. Therefore, the Order considers that within our scope are those ethnic groups who had a significant cultural presence in Europe prior to 1600.





 

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