Duty Calls: The Magistrate

Duty Calls: The Magistrate

StarBase 118 is unique in many ways, but most unique in its form of government. Today, we have the pleasure of reading about the specific position of Magistrate, currently held by Emma, player of Quinn Reynolds on the USS Garuda.
Amanda: Hello Emma, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.
Emma: You’re welcome!
Amanda: Now, before we get started, I always prefer to get to know a little bit about the person I’m interviewing – so let’s start at the beginning: When did you first hear about and join SB118?
Emma: I think it was through Google — I’d been getting into forum and email-based RP at the time, and Star Trek being one of my favourite TV shows, I searched for Star Trek RPGs and up popped Starbase 118. That was January 2007, and I’ve been here ever since.
Amanda: What was the first position of authority you ever held?
Emma: Gosh. In terms of RPGs, I suppose it would be as a GM — I was running games for our tabletop group a few months after it formed, which is terrifyingly nearly twenty years ago. In the big, wide world, I was responsible for managing certain departments of several stores in the owner’s franchise.
Amanda: What type of games have you played other than Star Trek?
Emma: Quite a few! I’ve done a lot of tabletop across a variety of systems — Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars, Legend of the Five Rings, 7th Sea, Call of Cthulhu, Vampire: the Masquerade, Werewolf: the Apocalypse, SLA Industries, Buffy the Vampire Slayer… the list goes on. I was a Storyteller in White Wolf’s official New Bremen chats when they were running, I still RP in a couple of MMOs, and I sometimes play in forum-based games as well.
Amanda: What about in SB118? As you increased your rank, what sort of responsibilities did you begin to shoulder?
Emma: I’ve always enjoyed working on the wiki, and I was informally responsible for updating the pages for the ships I served on, and awards/promotions for the characters I served with. Had the Wiki Ops group existed back then, I definitely would have been a member! The Academy was a big focus for me as well, and I used to love helping out with the classes and meeting new cadets — which was why I was so pleased to become one the cadet stewards this year, as well!
Amanda: You currently hold the position of Captain’s Council Magistrate. Would you be willing to describe this office and its duties?
Emma: Sure! The Captain’s Council Magistrate is there to facilitate the discussions that occur on the Captain’s Council. So I help make sure that discussions move forward in a constructive manner, and raise new discussions when appropriate. I’m also responsible for calling a vote when decisions need to be made, making sure that we have enough votes for a consensus and sometimes making sure that the results of the votes are acted on accordingly.
Amanda: Does the Magistrate get a vote on the council or simply the facilitator?
Emma: The magistrate is elected from the voting members of the CC, and remains a voting member of the CC.
Amanda: How long have you held the position and how did you come to settle into this role?
Emma: Not long at all. I was appointed at the beginning of October, after the previous magistrate, Tony (Captain Egan Manno), was appointed to the EC as the Captain-At-Large. So in many ways, I’m still settling in — although with new service ribbons, awards and lots of discussions going on, there’s been plenty of things to learn the ropes on!
Amanda: What would you say is the most challenging aspect of acting as the Magistrate?
Emma: I think the most challenging aspect of the role is prompting discussions that are lagging, but have not yet reached a conclusion about what to do, or what options we have. Apart from that, choosing clear and unambiguous wording for vote questions can be a bit tricky, depending on what the topic at hand is.
Amanda: Are there any special goals you have for the future, either in this position or another?
Emma: Well, I’m always trying to improve my simming and learn from other members of the group. Someone always comes along who’s got a particular technique or skill that I admire and can try to incorporate into my own writing, and I love that about the group — there’s always some way to improve! I’ve often thought about returning to ship command as well, although real life has conspired to make that a goal for the future, rather than the immediate present. In a similar vein, I have the long term goal of one day being a member of the Executive Council.
Amanda: Thank you Emma, it was great discussing this with you.
If you have any questions about Emma or the Magistrate’s position, check out the wiki or ping Emma under Quinn Reynolds on the forum!

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