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The official PASS Blog is where you’ll find the latest blog posts from PASS community members and the PASS Board. Contributors share their thoughts and discuss a wide variety of topics spanning PASS and the data community.

Clarifying a Campaign Rule

The nomination process to run for the PASS Board is off and running. I sincerely hope that if you’re qualified, and you think you can make a difference, you consider running for the board. We could use your help in these challenging times.

Some of the people who are already looking into running were reading through the rules and guidance, available here, when they spotted the following:

“All campaigning must promote PASS in a positive manner.”

It raised an immediate question: Does this mean we can’t be in any way critical of the organization?


The intent of this statement is absolutely not meant to prevent, limit, or in any way preclude your ability to offer constructive criticism of the direction of the organization.

If you’re considering running for the Board, my assumption is really straightforward: like me, you have received a lot from PASS and you’ve decided that you should pay it back. Does our equal appreciation for the organization mean that we agree on the direction or choices made by the Board? Nope. Not at all.

So, what’s the point of having this rule then?

Putting it into the simplest terms I can, the intent of this can be summarized by the following statement:

We can disagree without being disagreeable.

To expand just a little, it’s entirely possible to be critical of the organization without damaging the organization. It’s also entirely possible to be making horribly damaging statements about the organization, calling for it to be disbanded, broken up, or similar thoughts. If your intent is the former, please, we welcome that criticism, and, better still, guidance on how to do, and be, better. Run for the board and help us out. If your intent is the latter, maybe you shouldn’t be running for the board.

We need your honest input to keep this organization going. We also need the people who are joining us on the board to be able to work with all the board members and all of our various partners. A highly destructive, or personally critical, message won’t help us get the job done and could damage our partner relationships. The board must work together in order to accomplish great things for all the individuals that PASS supports.

I hope this helps to clarify the statement and the intent behind it.

Grant Fritchey
About the author

Grant Fritchey is a Data Platform MVP with over 20 years’ experience in IT, including time spent in support and development. He has worked with SQL Server since 6.0 back in 1995. He has also developed in VB, VB.NET, C#, and Java. Grant has written books for Apress and Simple-Talk. Grant presents at conferences and user groups, large and small, all over the world. He joined Redgate Software as a product evangelist in January 2011.

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