News & Notes 660:On Feedback procedure

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660 icon.jpg   News & Notes 660
13 August 2016

On Feedback procedure

Dear community members,

We recently reviewed from the AVCouncil and the WCom 2 cases of rescinded Newcomers. One of the main things we noticed in our review as a snag in both these processes is the feedback procedure.

While we welcome and need feedback from everyone in Auroville on those who wish to join the community, we must be careful not to confuse our personal feelings of likes and dislikes with actual feedback based on truth and accuracy of experience. This is not to say that feedback has to be backed up by hard proof and unquestionable evidence, but that the feedback giver must be willing to take responsibility for the information he/she is passing on, which has the potential to impact someone else's life in Auroville. We acknowledge that in exceptional cases of threat of violence or threat to life, feedback must be kept confidential, but in most cases this is not so.

For the future, and in this new process with mentors where the mentors will be responsible for handling feedback, we must empower each other to be able to openly discuss the issues that crop up during one's Newcomer process, so that there is space for expression of the opposite point of view as well as space to resolve conflicts. This will give us a genuine way forward of solving negative feedback rather than to have it set in stone that brands the person as "fit" or "unfit" for Auroville.

In that light, we propose that there will be a "feedback form" made available online or at the Entry Service that must be filled out and sent, in the case of both positive and negative feedback. In this form will be the option to ask for confidentiality and the reasons for the same. If the Entry Service and/or the Auroville Council find the reasons valid, then confidentiality will be assured. If not, the person giving the feedback will be informed that the feedback cannot be considered confidential, and that s/he can choose to either withdraw the feedback or agree to non-confidentiality. All non-confidential feedback will be shared with the Newcomer/ applicant for any of the other statuses, and space will be given for clarification before a decision is taken.

We are working on this form and will make a fresh announcement once it is ready and uploaded.

We hope you join us in this effort to make our processes reflect more truth, accuracy and fairness.

AVCouncil, Working Committee