MM: Leaving a Community Group
If a Senior Member no longer feels at home in their current Ajah or Company, they have the option to leave their membership group to find one which fits them better. A Senior Member who wishes to leave their membership group may apply by emailing the Director of Membership with the reasons they wish to leave. Once the Director of Membership receives the application, there will be a two week waiting period before a decision is made. The applicant may change their mind at any time during the waiting period. If the applicant is approved to leave their group and this is their first or second time leaving a Senior Membership group, they will be given three options: they may remain a Senior Member, demote to Accepted/Soldier, or demote to Citizen. If this is their third (or higher) time leaving a Senior Membership group, they will demote to Accepted/Soldier and go through counseling with the Director of Membership to find out if there is a root cause that needs to be identified.
Anyone who Leaves a Community Group
Whether the applicant chooses to remain a Senior Member or to demote to Accepted/Soldier, they are encouraged to take their time deciding and to not rush the process. Likewise, a member who has demoted or left their community group should not feel that they are being rushed through the process by any other member. If you feel that you are being pressured to choose (or to not choose) a particular Ajah/Company and that you are not being allowed to fully enjoy guesting, please contact your Membership Admin.
Remaining a Senior Member
If the applicant chooses to remain a Senior Member, they will become an Unaffiliated Aes Sedai or Gaidin, retaining their previous title. In place of a Head of Ajah/Company Commander, their Membership Admin will be the Director of Membership. They will retain their status as a Senior Member, any existing bonds, and access to the communal Senior Member forums.
The changes they will experience are as follows. The colored banner behind their forum title (indicative of the Ajah or Company one belongs to) will be removed. They, and any bondmates, will lose access to their previous group's forums. They will also lose access to the forums of any bondmates, as well as any groups where they are an Invited Guest. They will gain access to a forum exclusive to Unaffiliated Senior Members. They will be able to guest as though they were a Junior Member. While Unaffiliated, they may not form any new bonds or become an Invited Guest of any group.
The first time a person leaves a Senior Membership group, they will be required to spend at least 12 weeks before they may Aspire, and at least 24 weeks before they may become a full member of that group. These time requirements are concurrent. Thus, the minimum time for such a member to spend as an Unaffiliated Senior Member is a total of 24 weeks.
A person who has left a Senior Membership group on two occasions will be required to spend at least 24 weeks before they may Aspire, and at least 48 weeks before they may become a full member of that group. Again, these time requirements are concurrent. Thus, the minimum time for such a member to spend as an Unaffiliated Senior Member is a total of 48 weeks.
Once an Unaffiliated Senior Member Aspires to a group, their title of Aes Sedai/Gaidin will be changed if needed to reflect the group they have chosen. Once they are eligible to become full members of the group, the group's Head of Ajah/Company Commander will confer with the current members of the group. If approved by the group, the Head of Ajah/Company Commander will email the Director of Membership to have them officially added to the group. If they are not approved by the group at that time, they will remain an Aspirant to the group until such time as they are approved. Access to any bondmates' forums, as well as bondmate access to their new forum, will be restored upon becoming a full member of a new group. If they were formerly an Invited Guest of a different group, access to those forums will not automatically be restored. Instead, any group with whom they were an Invited Guest must decide whether or not to extended a new invitation to the member.
Demoting to Junior Member
If the applicant chooses to demote to Accepted/Soldier or Citizen, they will have the MoAS or Mayor as their Membership Admin, respectively. The voluntarily-demoted member will be a Junior Member in truth, rather than an in-between rank. Although they will not be required to perform an additional contribution to the Tower, in all other ways they are to be treated in the same manner as any other Accepted/Soldier. They will be raised through the Hall and will be subject to all the inherent strictures of the Junior Member rank. At the same time, the voluntarily-demoted member should bear in mind that this will not be the same Junior Member experience as one has as a first-time Junior Member. They have already formed a history with many other Senior Members, and this does not just disappear. Voluntary Demotion should not be perceived as a clean slate, do-over option. It is, rather, a shift from one situation to another. Community members who choose voluntary demotion are not eligible for raising until six months after they have demoted, at minimum. For a number of reasons, it frequently takes longer for voluntarily-demoted members to be raised again to Senior Member than the minimum required time.
The voluntarily-demoted member must appreciate that other Ajah/Company members might have a challenging time getting used to them under a different affiliation. Members of the new Ajah/Company to which the member would Aspire might be especially cautious. In some cases, the current group members may simply wish to feel certain that the Aspirant will not change their mind again before fully warming to the concept of them as a member of the Ajah/Company.
At the same time, it should be respected that the Junior Member chooses the Ajah/Company, not the other way around. Raising to Senior Member for a voluntarily-demoted Junior Member is not up to a vote within the new Ajah/Company. Members of the new group will have input which might be included in the raising packet gathered by the Membership Admin and presented to the Hall, as usual. Ultimately though, raising is up to the vote of the Hall, like any other raising.