Members’ Handbook

TGA Members’ Handbook

I.                        Purpose

  1. To help new and existing members understand what is expected of them, and what they can expect, as members. There are multiple documents available that outline the working of The Galactic Alliance. These not only address how the club functions, but also what members’ roles are. For the most part, we like to think of this as the written version of what we would tell you in person.
  2. In an effort to keep from having intimidatingly long documents, we have tried to not repeat the same information over and over again in each. While there is some slight overlap of information in this document, it’s not presented in the same fashion as found in the others. There is also a level of “fluidity” purposefully associated with each.
  3. The first document to read is the “TGA Constitution”. This is the backbone on which everything else is built. It’s intentionally a little bare. It’s the core and we purposefully designed it to be very difficult to make changes to.
  4. The second document is the “Standard Operating Protocol”, which expands and adds to the information/guidelines/rules presented in the Constitution. This document is a little more fluid in that it does not require the approval of the entire membership to change.
  5. The final main document is this Handbook. Our goal with this is to present TGA in less formal terms and to help guide Members.

II.                        What We Are/Do

  1. We are a Star Wars costume club with characters from all over the galaxy. We are currently unaffiliated with Lucas Film Ltd. or Disney. That means that if there is an “officially” sanctioned LFL/Disney event, we would not attend as TGA.
  2. Everything we do is for charity. We attend sporting events, fundraisers for local charities, and conventions where we collect money on behalf of one of our chosen charities. The exception to this is that we will attend certain community awareness/goodwill events even if no money is being raised. An example of this would be going to the children’s cancer ward in the hospital.

III.                        Membership

  1. Members are defined as Active, Retired, Suspended, Discharged, In Memoriam, Honorary and Founder. All members in good standing have access to the forum message boards and the right to vote. Retired, Suspended and Honorary members cannot vote, but can access the forums. Suspended members can’t vote or use the forums.
  2. The “Consent to Troop Form” is basically to give reassurance to those in charge of events/venues that all members understand they are volunteers and are there of their own freewill and will not be holding anyone liable if an accident should happen. We don’t expect any problems, and so far, have had none, but better safe than sorry.

IV.                        Staying Informed

  1. We have “Meet & Greet” meetings (normally monthly) where club business is discussed. This includes upcoming events, status updates, and so forth. Non-members are always invited to join us.
    1. The first place we announce events is in facebook chat and/or the forum to get an idea of how many people are interested in attending.
    2. This is normally followed by creating a facebook event that can be shared to promote the event.
    3. The website also has a calendar. This can be subscribed to based on category. For instance, “all” will notify you of any addition to the calendar, where as “troops” will only add new trooping opportunities.

V.                        Rostering

  1. Once a trooping opportunity is announced, you will need to “roster” for it. As of right now, we are asking people to reply with yes/no/maybe for all events. In the future this will be done via the forum under its own heading. For now, it is done via our excel spreadsheet and “roster chat” on facebook.
    1. Saying yes means you will be there as an official member of TGA and will help with the table and so on.
    2. Saying no does not mean you cannot be at the event, it just means that you are choosing to attend in an unofficial capacity so are not required to be at the table, but will also not get credit for that event as a troop.
      1. We still encourage you to hand out cards and promote the group!

VI.                        Costumes

  1. We provide extensive information on the requirements for any given kit in the “Costume Reference Library” found on the Alliance website. In additional to these, the forum has a place just for posting questions about your kits and a listing of tutorials and resources. Our Meet & Greet meetings are also a good place to ask questions and get help. If you’re not sure if the kit you have in mind would be approvable, post a sketch or speak with the Membership Magistrate, ideally before you make it.

VII.                        How to Survive a Troop

  1. So you have passed the trials and are now a trooping member of The Galactic Alliance, now what? Here are some helpful tips and suggestions to make your trooping experience more enjoyable.
    1. Drink fluids, specifically water, prior to an event. Continue to drink fluids during the event to avoid dehydration.
      1. Although we always request venues have water available to us, and the officers always try to bring extra, it doesn’t always happen. We ask that everyone bring at least something for themselves to drink and if possible, extra to share.
    2. Bring a snack or plan on buying a meal at the event.
    3. Ensure your footwear is durable and comfortable enough to withstand several hours of standing, walking, kneeling, etc.
    4. Test fit your costume in advance to ensure it fits and is in good repair.
      1. An officer will perform a quick inspection of everyone’s kit before events start. They have the authority to decide if something is not presentable enough for use.
      2. If the situation cannot be easily addressed, you could be remove your kit and assist as an aide for that event.
      3. Carry some sort of emergency repair kit for you costume just in case (sewing kit, tape, glue, safety pins).
    5. Be prepared for pictures, more pictures, and possibly more pictures.
      1. Just because you are in costume, does not mean people will want you in every picture. If the person taking the picture has not specifically invited you to be in the shot, please ask if you can join before inserting yourself.
    6. Take breaks. 10 minutes for every hour is recommended (more frequently in outdoor events). You may be dressed as a superhero but you still need to rest to be at your best.
    7. Know your limits and the limits of your costume. If you don’t have maximum range of arm motion, do not volunteer for a football toss. If you cannot bend at the waist, events that require bending down are not the best idea.
    8. If you do not feel well, please do not force yourself to go to an event. We value the health of our members and will not penalize you for taking a “sick day” (see required number of troop events in the SOP).
    9. Most of all, HAVE FUN. Relax and enjoy the attention while you interact with the fans.

VIII.                        Dual Club Designated Kits

  1. For a kit to be eligible for dual club designation, it must be approved by not only the Alliance, but also another recognized Star Wars costuming club.
    1. You must submit proof of kit approval from another club to the Membership Magistrate.
  2. Although the Alliance encourages membership with other clubs, you are still requires to attend the required number of troops for membership as only an Alliance member.

Section 8.01 A Non-Alliance Troop

  1. A non-Alliance troop is a troop at which The Galactic Alliance was not formally invited.
  2. If you are attending a troop with a club wearing a kit that is designated with both the host club and The Alliance, and that club / Garrison / Base / Clan / etc. does not approve of dual club representation, then you may not represent The Alliance in any way, shape, form, nor fashion.
  3. That means you may not post up a troop report or any images of you from that troop as an Alliance member onto any of Alliance websites or social media pages.
    1. Example: Your kit is designated with both The Galactic Alliance and The 501st.
      1. If you are at a 501st specific event in your dual approved kit and the host Garrison does not approve of dual club representation at said troop, that means you would not claim to be there as both a member of The Galactic Alliance and The 501st.

Section 8.02 An Alliance Troop

  1. An Alliance troop is at which The Galactic Alliance is officially in attendance.
  2. If you are attending the troop in a kit that is dual approved, the Alliance will recognize you as being present as an Alliance Member.
  3. You will be expected to wear your badge and promote that you are an Alliance Member.
    1. You are expected to be available to help run the table at specified times. If you are not scheduled at the table, you are free to come and go as you wish.

(a)     The Other Club Approved

  1. If the other club to which you belong does approve of dual club representation, then it is up to you to know what their requirements are for dual trooping.
  2. Any conditions that must be met for you to dual troop are your responsibility to handle.
    1. Example: Your kit is designated with both The Galactic Alliance and The 501st.
      1. If the 501st requires that they be formally invited to a troop so that you can dual troop and the host of the event has not already invited them, you may assist in getting them invited, but the Alliance itself will not invite them solely so that you can dual troop.

(b)    The Other Club Does Not Approve

  1. If the other club to which you belong does not approve of dual club representation, then you cannot represent both at the same time. In this instance, your options are:
    1. To split up your time and therefor only represent one club or the other. In this case, The Alliance requires at least forty percent (40%) of the troop must be spent representing the Alliance for it to count on your trooping record.
    2. Attend on before of only one club. Should you choose to not represent the Alliance at the troop, please note you will not get any Alliance troop attendance points.


Original: 5/18/2017