MM: Merit Badges
For a long time, the administration sought a way to recognize those who contribute greatly to our community, often in ways that are unrecognized at a visible level. At the 2010 administrative meeting, it was decided to implement a system that would accomplish this recognition as well as rewarding those who truly go above and beyond.
Figuring this system out wasn't an easy task. A focus group helped examine the different areas that people could contribute, different levels of recognition, and other aspects of the program, and the administration took their thoughts and came up with the initial system. It's something that will be a work-in-progress, and different Merits are likely to be added as the administration realizes that an area of contribution has been neglected. The rewards and privileges may change at any future time as well.
The system currently keeps a record of people's contributions. When certain milestones are reached, a Merit may be awarded. Some of these Merits are received automatically; others must be granted by the administration. Specific privileges are associated with certain merits and/or combinations of merits. The Silver Merits are designed to recognize the top 25%, while the Gold Merits are meant to recognize a much smaller percentage, sometimes as little as 1%. Not everyone will have even one Merit, much less several, and that's expected.
- Badges – When you receive a Merit, you will receive the link to badges that you can show in your Drupal profile and your signature. You will also have the ability to choose up to five badges denoting your Gold Merits to show underneath your avatar as well.
- Official Events Discount – Once you have the Events Attendance Gold Merit plus one other Gold Merit related to Official Events plus three other Gold Merits of any type (though only one Gold Merit from the Membership Category counts towards your three other), you will receive a 10% discount on tickets to our Winter Euro, Anniversary, Summer Euro, Fall Ball, and South Pacific events for the rest of your membership at TarValon.Net.
- Extra Bond – When you have the Senior Membership Gold Merit plus four other Gold Merit (not including the Membership Gold Merit), you will have the ability to bond one person above your current limit. This means that Green Aes Sedai will be able to bond three Warders, Red Aes Sedai will be able to bond one Warder, and all other groups will be able to have two bondmates.
The Awards historian, working under the Director of Research and Records and the Tower Archivist collects and collates records related to Merits. These are announced quarterly. If you think you have earned Merits, please email the Merits team with the information requested for the specific Merits you believe you may qualify for. Be sure to include your Tower name, and having a relevant subject will likely get you through the system more efficiently. The Merits team will gather that information and go from there.
If you feel you or another member have been overlooked, please don't hesitate to contact us and let us know! This is a system meant to recognize our members and what they do for our community, and we don't want to overlook anyone who may deserve that recognition!
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