Talk:Affiliate-selected Board seats/2019/Nominations/Shani Evenstein

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Igbo Wikimedians UG[edit]

We strongly would have endorsed the candidacy of Shani Evenstein from WikiProject Medicine Foundation

Her ample experience as a Wikimedian and a leader in WikiProject Medicine Foundation and Shani's achievements as a chairperson in WikiProject Medicine Foundation board distinguishes her for Affiliate-selected Board seat.

With her achievements and experience as a chairperson in Wikimed, we trust she will protect the interest of affiliates if given a chance to serve in the capacity of a board member in WMF.

--Uzoma 09:40, 30 April 2019 (UTC) on behalf of Igbo Wikimedians UG

Thank you so much, Uzoma & Igbo Wikimedians UG! <3 Shani Evenstein. 13:52, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

WikiDonne out of time endorsement[edit]

We were out of time, but we want to inform the community that during the official discussion (via email) of 30 April 2019, the Members of WikiDonne User Group, unanimously decided:

To endorse the candidacy of Shani Evenstein at the election of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), for the reasons you can find here Endorsement

On behalf of WikiDonne UG. --Camelia (talk) 13:34, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

Thank you so much, Camelia & WikiDonne UG! This means a lot. <3 Shani Evenstein. 13:53, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

Wikimedia Serbia endorsement swapped with Indonesia[edit]

On Shani's request I as election facilitator swapped the endorsements of Serbia and Indonesia, see https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2019/Nominations/Shani_Evenstein&type=revision&diff=19061759&oldid=19061612&diffmode=source Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 18:02, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

It's fine for me as long we allow this to be done also by other candidates if they wish to do so. But we need only two endorsements, it does not matter from which affiliates.--Alexmar983 (talk) 20:47, 30 April 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, Alexmar983. It mattered to me, as I wanted to pay my thanks and respect to Wikimedia Serbia - they had a board meeting making this decisijon, and then worked on writing the endorsement, coordinated with me as it was meant to be. The idea was never for endorsements to be "hijacked", even if for good reasons. We just didn't want the candidacy page to be a "popularity contest" that could affect voting. This was actually anticipated in the telegram group, and facilitators encouraged affiliates to contact candidates before endorsing, but some are still used to the old method, in which endorsements were not limited, and only did it with the best intentions of showing support. As I wrote WM-In, while I truly and whole-heartedly appreciated their support, I also wanted to respect Serbia, who has done some work around it, and have asked them to move their support to the talk page, as I did earlier with another unexpected, though very welcome, endorsement. As I have not heard back from them, I have asked Ad to switch them and add the Indonesia endorsement to the talk page. I felt that the diff was not enough and that it is only respectful to add it to the talk page, but that's not my decision to make. In any case, thanks for your consideration and for your work today. I know it's been a long day of deleting 3rd and 4th endorsements. This remains a learning process for all of us. :) Best, Shani Evenstein. 21:02, 30 April 2019 (UTC)
Whoa. -Filipinayzd (talk) 04:02, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
  • It is not fair to WMID to introduce such a change, and while they have to get two endorsements, I don't really believe candidate can decide who can endorse them once two endorsements were filled; there has been few pages where aff had to make their endorsements via talk page and this is (IMO) unfairly biasing toward this candidate. — regards, Revi 04:08, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
Hello, Revi. Thank you for your feedback. I would like to point out a few things for your consideration - 1)The election resolution statement does not include details about endorsements. It only states that there need to be 2 endorsements and only 2, but does not say it needs to be the first 2 necessarily. The request for swap was therefore within the resolution rules. 2) Other candidates have the same right to request that, and should they ask facilitators to swap endorsements that were filed on time, that would be arranged; but none of the other candidates seemed to be in the exact situation I was in. 3) There is no biasing here. It was clear from the get go that since, unlike previous elections, there should be just 2 endirsements, candidates had to obtain endorsements in advance, before posting their candidacy, rather then wait to be endorsed. Again, I followed instructions by facilitatirs and did that. I was thrilled to see so much more support than expected at this stage, and was thankful to everyone who showed support on the talk page or privately, but I have worked hard on my candidacy statement and the endorsements are an important part of that this year, especially as we were limited to half the words this time around. So, from my point of view,I had the right to progress with the original plans of candidacy proposal I made and worked for, as long as I was within the resolution rules, which I was / am. True, the election process is far from perfect this time and it's a learning process for all of us, so this will have to be addressed next time. For now, I'd rather progress with focusing on answering questions people may have for me about my activities, experience and views of the BoT, rather then dwell on this. This was a technical stage in a way, and the more important one, voting, is ahead of us. Let's focus on that. Best, Shani Evenstein. 12:26, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Wikimedia Indonesia decided to revoke the endorsements. Case closed. --Biyanto Rebin (WMID) (talk) 11:42, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
Dear Biyanto, this was never what I was aiming for - all I wanted is for extra endorsements to be on the talk page so I can respect the process I started with another affiliate. I have written to you privately and will be happy to discuss a few things over mail privately. Hoping for your answer. Best, Shani Evenstein. 12:26, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
@Esh77:, @Biyanto Rebin (WMID):, @-revi:, @Ad Huikeshoven:, @Alexmar983:, I would like to comment that I feel very uncomfortable with the situation of swapped endorsement. If Shani had spoken about it previously, Wikimedia Serbia should have edited its endorsement before. Once it was done by Wikimedia Indonesia it should not have been removed, as it is a very violent situation. Precisely because it is not a popularity contest, Serbian Wikimedia could have left its endorsement on the talk page. I hope this will be a learning experience for you Shani, I wish you all the best --Jalu (talk) 23:58, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Hello, Jalu, and thank you for your feedback. I completely understand that it can look like that from the outside to someone who might not have all the details. You are entitles to your opinion, of course, but I would like to offer that some of what you wrote here is based on incorrect assumptions. For example, you wrote: "If Shani had spoken about it previously, Wikimedia Serbia should have edited its endorsement before." First, there's no "if". I did talk to WM Serbia in advance, and as I mentioned, they had a board meeting Wed night, a week before nominations finished. Agreeing to endorse and writing a statement of endorsement are 2 different things. Writing a statement of endorsement, if done seriously, takes time. But more importantly, the reason it was very last minute, is that Filip, the chair of the Chapter, who is also the only one who could have written this endorsement, as he is the one eligible to vote for the group, happened to have been traveling on a trip that was planned months before I decided to run. Filip was in a place with no internet reception during the day, only during the night when he got back to his hotel. I can say for sure that if he wasn't traveling, Serbia's endorsement would have been posted closer to the time that I published my statement, and the whole thing could have been avoided. But he was traveling and that was the situation. Now, I'd like to address the more serious comment you wrote about the switch being a "violent" move. I'll start by saying, not from my POV. From my end this was kind of a "self-defense" after being put in an almost impossible situation, twice that day. The rules this time required that the candidate will approach affiliates and will secure endorsements, as there were 2 and only 2 this time (unlike previous elections). As I wrote, *all* affiliates were specifically asked not to endorse without contacting the candidate. But it happened to me that day twice -- first, with the Igbo Wikimedians UG, and then with Indonesia. I don't doubt that both groups had the best intentions, but they still did something that was requested not to do. The difference is that when I contacted the Igbo Wikimedians UG, they understood and graciously moved their support to the talk page so Serbia can endorse as planned. Imagine my surprise to find yet another endorsement from Indonesia was posted later that day. Unfortunately, unlike the Igbo Wikimedians UG, after making the endorsement WM Indonesia disappeared without answering multiple emails to them. I'm not sure what happened and why they didn't answer me, but the fact is, they didn't (they still haven't till this day). Lack of communication, even if the initial intention was good, is bad practice in a sensitive thing as an election. So even if they meant to do something good, their actions put me in a very awkward position, back to the wall, not only ruining plans I made with another affiliate that have invested time and energy in endorsing me, but also harming my candidacy. The candidacy page is the page that gets translated, and the one most people look at, not the talk page. So, should I just fold and accept that my candidacy page will be weaker because of a well-intentioned affiliate that did not follow instruction and did something without understanding the implication of what they were doing? I do not think so. It is not my character to accept things that don't make sense. So I was looking for a solution within the boundaries of the election resolution. Considering their lack of response, asking for the switch was the only solution I could think of considering the stressed time-frame. My intention was never to harm anyone, and it was always that their endorsement will be switch to a vote of support, like the Igbo Wikimedians UG. The fact that facilitators chose to present it only in a diff was and still is beyond my control, but as I mentioned before, I actually contacted Ad and requested (twice) for it to be rectified, as it didn't make sense to me since it didn't show enough respect to an act of support that I appreciated. So. These were the circumstances that led to my request to switch. I still believe I did the right thing, as I have a right to be presented to the community in the best way possible, like other candidates, who worked on securing endorsements. I agree with you on one thing, though -- this was definitely a learning experience. I have foreseen this exact problem and on April 19th, asked facilitators and the community exactly that question in the telegram group. I did not get an answer and ended up having to face this stressful thing at the last day. This could have been avoided, for sure, and we'll learn from it for the future. But I still think I did the right thing under this weird circumstances. Hope this settles this issue for good now, and looking forward to getting some new questions relevant to my experience and thoughts on WMF / BoT. Best, Shani Evenstein. 17:13, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, Shani, for this context. As a translator, I was surprised to see this kind of change on a nomination page. I also had similar feelings as Jaluj, before I read this. Besides, I can't find any mentions on the election pages that "*all* affiliates were specifically asked not to endorse without contacting the candidate", perhaps I wasn't looking carefully enough. This kind of situation is the one to be foreseen for the next elections in as high a document as the resolution. --Ата (talk) 10:22, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, Ата, for your feedback and for your work helping with translations. Much appreciated. As per your question, the request to contact candidates was officially posted by facilitators in the "All-Affiliates" mailing list, which is supposed to be the most official channel of communication with the actual people who cast the vote, after it being discussed in the telegram group. I agree it could have been highlighted more. But, as we already wrote -- lessons to learn for next time. Best, Shani Evenstein. 11:44, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Hi, Shani, as my humble opinion, I really think this is really a communication problem across the movement. In your comment above, there is this line "As I wrote, *all* affiliates were specifically asked not to endorse without contacting the candidate." However, I don't see any description related to this. Lots of people in ESEAP region are not using English as their native language, I personally translated four pages related to ASBS process into Traditional Chinese, totally 12634 bytes, I didn't remind that I have read any of text mentioned that in the process. Would you kindly indicate where that policy is on the meta? Much appreciated! --Liang(WMTW) (talk) 02:44, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Ah, I see the comments above. That solves my puzzle, thank you Shani and Ата for the discussion. Frankly, I think the affiliate mailing list and the telegram group are really not that official and public accessible, and even more important, both of the above channels are communicating through English. How to make people all around the world to feel informed and invited by something that fits their local context? I feel it is a very serious but deep rooted problem that we may need to resolve in the movement... --Liang(WMTW) (talk) 02:52, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Dear Shani, you are too much. Have you ever thought that your communication skill and cultural understanding is so bad too before referring and pointing to us, I already said "case closed" to make clear that we want to end this conflict, but you accuse as to be like that? If you ever pointed us having "bad communication" skills after you sent the e-mail when it was night in our time and finally we have got the e-mail from Ad with this wording, "On request of Shani I as election facilitator swapped WMID endorsement by WM Serbia endorsement. Candidates need two and only two endorsements. Shani solicited two specific endorsements. You posted an unsolicited endorsement after another unsolicited endorsement was already removed. The dif is posted on the talk page." How do you feel? "Unsolicited" as we understand that "not asked for or requested" per Meriam Webster, you do not need and want that, do you? So, what's the problem if we revoked the endorsements? Although, our endorsements did not write in impeccable English and flourish words that I have read the comment by another candidate why WM Serbia more favour than us. We use "good faith" when discussed internally when deciding to support you, but after reading all the comments here, I am terribly sad. Biyanto Rebin (WMID) (talk) 04:01, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Dear Biyanto, a few comments, and I'll try to keep it short and hope you will accept what I write - 1) I'm repeating again - it was never my intention to insult / hurt anyone, especially not an affiliate like Indonesia that I appreciate and supported me. I was and still am very grateful for your support. 2) What I wrote above as an answer to Jaluj was not meant as an accusation of any type. I was only offering my perspective of what I was going through that day and what led me to request the swap in the first place. I was hoping it will help people see I did not have bad intentionns and that they can understand what happened from my perspective as well, as I keep getting questions about this. 3) I was unaware of the email you received from Ad till you just wrote now. While I did not write that email nor requested it, I am again sorry that the language used in it made you uncomfortable in any way. Again, not my intention. 4) I never asked you to "revoke" your support, just to post it in the talk page. I wrote you 2 emails that day, the first when it was still day in Indonesia. I still wish you had answered me privately and all this could be avoided, but I didn't get a reply on time and so my second email was sent when it was already night in Indonesis (and in Israel as well). 5) I'd like to assure you that the language you used in your endorsement had nothing to do with my request. It was only about respecting a process/I had already started with another affiliate, which I'm hoping you can understand and appreciate. 6) I would still very much like to talk with you privately. I would appreciate 15 min of your time in a hangout / phone, whatever you prefer, so we have a chance to communicate better, not in writing. I remind you that my first language is not English as well, and I do want a chance to talk and make sure we understand each other. If I was a bad person, I probably wouldn't care, but I do care, so I'll be sending you another email requesting that and hope you answer positively. 7) I would like to stress again that the last thing I want is to cause anyone harm in this election (and generally), so please accept my hearty apologies if my actions did that. Again not what I wanted. I explained what happened from my perspective, and at this point would very much like for this to be over and for all candidates, including me, to be able to concentrate on the questions for candidates. Best, Shani Evenstein. 06:32, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

Dear all, I have talked to Shani and the case is closed now; I hope we can learn a lot from this incident and can have a better process in the next election. Thank you and good luck for all of the ASBS candidates. Biyanto Rebin (WMID) (talk) 14:12, 8 May 2019 (UTC)