Ann Arbor Science Fiction Association
The AASFA is a nonprofit corporation founded by the Stilyagi Air Corps in the late 1970s to be the official sponsor of ConFusion after the concom began to include grown-ups with houses and other assets to lose if the January con were sued or bankrupted by a blizzard.
By that time, the Stilyagi Air Corps, though still nominally a University of Michigan club, had only token student membership. Interested members of the club remained extensively involved with the con, electing its chairman and choosing its gohs; however, the AASFA board made financial decisions, typically conservative ones (maintaining a blizzard fund, for example).
Trouble was brewing. The Stilyagi Air Corps prided itself on being informal -- "spontaneous" -- and very 70s and had no particularly clear rules nor in any case paid what rules it had much attention. (Hence the need for adult supervision in the guise of the AASFA, though it should be noted that the AASFA's membership was no more than a decade older.) In particular, two of the the SAC's traditions combined to trigger a confrontation: First, anyone who ever attended an SAC meeting was a member for life and, secondly, any member could provide a proxy for voting at meetings.
The selection of ConFusion Guests of Honor and -- most importantly -- the convention's chairman was the result of an election where a significant number of votes were by proxy from people who no longer participated in the club, but were willing to provide their proxies. Proxy wars ensued and after Tara Edwards defeated Nancy Tucker to chair another Confusion, the AASFA acted to remove the SAC from control of Confusion.
There was further confusion (the condition, not the convention) over the role in all this of Waldo and Magic Inc., a club in neighboring Ypsilanti, and of the Southern Michigan Organization of Fans, which was bidding for Detroit in '85.
In 1983, a minority of members of the club, unhappy with those decisions and committee assignments made by duly elected con chairman Nancy Tucker, whom they had been unable to unseat, used the university affiliation to disenfranchise many nonstudent members and force a Stilyagi vs. AASFA lawsuit over control of the AASFA funds and the convention, plunging all Ann Arbor fandom into war. Larry, whose life basically revolved around Stilyagi and ConFusion, was devastated; Leah was in any case moving away; and Nancy and Jean were disheartened. So the lawsuit concluded with an out-of-court settlement, giving all control of the con to the Stilyagi plaintiffs as of 1985, and left much bitter feeling.
In the 2000s, Stilyagi chose to put ConFusion under the control of a reconstituted AASFA, which now has a self-electing board of directors, and no legal obligations to Stilyagi. The relationship between concom, club and corporation seems complicated. AASFA's website says: "AASFA provides guidance and support to the convention, and appoints the ConChair every year." The Stilyagi website confusingly (!) conflates the two organizations, but presents separate bylaws.
Also involved: - AASFA - Aasfa - Ann-arbor-science-fiction-association - Anne Gray - Detroit, MI - Tara Barber
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