How is 42l going ?

đź•’ 25 days ago

It's already been four months since we last published an article, though we used to give news every two months. We are not proud of this new record - but we have our reasons, which we would like to share with you.

What happened behind the scenes

Is 42l becoming a dormant association?

We wouldn't say so; in fact, even if the number of activities has significantly decreased in the last two years (since March 2020), we have still organized a few activities since Guillaume Rozier's talk last May, which you can follow on our agenda:

  • on June 11, July 9 and September 17, we had a booth at 42, on the occasion of the entrance tests (the "Piscines" of 42);
  • on June 23, we participated in the presentation conference of the associations of 42.
  • On September 3, the Administration Council of the association met to discuss many questions concerning the activities of the association, as well as its future. You can find the minutes of this meeting here.
  • On September 24, we came to the Camp CHATONS in La Fabrègue, a three-day trip during which we worked on the governance of the CHATONS, the hosting collective of which we are a part.
  • We continued our search for hosting solutions for a more robust server; beyond a simple search on the Internet, it was a matter of applying to calls for projects and contacting structures.

In 2019, when we were still organizing two conferences and one workshop per month, Neil, who was the system administrator, developer and secretary for the association, was spending more than 60 hours per week on associative activities, over several consecutive weeks or even months; this was done in parallel with the educational program of 42, whose flexibility allowed this organization of time.

Finally, reducing the frequency of events also allows our small team to breathe a little, and to find a healthy rhythm of life.

Our activities outside 42l

As students, 42 represents for us a place of passage: this is how half of the board of the association left 42 these last two years, to go on with their studies or a job.

Brume has focused on her pedagogical course at 42, determined to continue her training.

Claire, who is now part of our Administration Council and who entirely organized our last conference, was not able to propose other events because the summer period is dedicated to the entrance exams of 42 (the "Piscines"), during which time the school does not allow us to organize events.

Finally, Neil has just finished a six month internship which did not allow him to give much time to 42l, and now wishes to leave 42 to continue towards other horizons, while envisaging however to come back punctually to co-organize 42l's event activities.

Apart from the members of the Administration Council, whom we regularly solicit for decisions concerning the direction of the association, we do not have any other volunteer member today.

What future for 42l ?

After this difficult observation, what kind of future can we expect for our small student association?

Some discussions during the last Administration Council meeting allowed us to prepare our strategy.

Solution 1 : Recruitment, then recovery

The next intake of 42 will take place on November 20, 2021.

We will seize this opportunity to organize a new conference to present the association, and to start a "recruitment campaign" which will perhaps allow us to find people who will want to help us, in particular on the event plan.

If this solution works, the association could be partially or entirely entrusted to the new student "class" and thus continue its activities.

Solution 2: Take 42l out of 42

The first solution being rather idealistic, and because it is difficult to "let go of the baby", we also consider to detach 42l completely from 42 (thus, to rename the association), to keep the same people in the board and to be oriented towards a much wider public than that of 42.

In order to stay in line with our ideas and objectives, and thus continue to raise awareness in environments where the need is greater, we would keep a 42l "antenna" at 42, which would be administered by students of the new promotion, but which would not have to deal with the administration or the maintenance of the services: only with events.

The association, once outside of 42, could continue its outreach activities in other places (media libraries, colleges, universities, ...) depending on opportunities.

For the moment, the Administration Council is unanimously opposed to the idea of dissolving the association, because we still have the energy and the will to ensure a minimal service and to organize punctual activities.

If you wish to try the adventure with us, to give us a little of your time, do not hesitate to contact us.

Our priorities

Despite these difficult times, we will do our best to maintain this level of service, no matter what:

  • We will guarantee as much availability of our services as possible. After all, we are our first users, especially when it comes to our Mail and Git services.
  • We will keep our software up to date. This is not a detail we intend to neglect; we look for updates for all the software we use at least once a week, and deploy them as soon as they seem stable.
  • We will continue to moderate the Links service, which requires 1-2 hours of Neil's time per week, pending modifications to the software to improve its resistance to spam.
  • In the event that the reins of the association are handed over to other people, we will make sure that a sufficient level of skills is passed on to them so that they can continue our associative activities as they should.
  • We will still hold our annual General Assembly, with the drafting of a financial report and a moral report.

What could be delayed

If we can't devote enough time of our student lives to 42l, all our "creative" works could be delayed again:

  • The rewrite of our web platform, which will allow for unified authentication across our member services;
  • The rewriting of our technical report that we would like to transform into a real documentation;
  • The translation of all our website pages into English and the updating of the website texts;
  • Adding new features to the software we have developed ourselves;
  • The organization of events, whose frequency could fluctuate according to our availability.

What else ?

Migration from Proxgroup to PulseHeberg

Our host, the association Proxgroup, has closed its doors.

Fortunately, they prepared and organized a transparent migration of their servers to PulseHeberg, a French SAS.

This migration did not result in any service interruption.

We thank Proxgroup for offering us a VPS for a whole year, allowing us to start our hosting activity with peace of mind, and we wish them a good continuation.

Camp CHATONS

From the 24th to the 26th of September, we spent a pleasant stay at the CHATONS camp, with about 50 free actors, members of the collective or fellow travelers.

This cultural trip allowed us to recharge our batteries, to regain motivation and to meet people we haven't seen for a long time, because of the health situation.

We hope to participate again in these events when the opportunity arises :)

Donation from Junior 42 Paris

We have received a generous donation of 495 euros from the Junior entreprise de 42 Paris, a student association led by our comrades from 42, one of the first "moral person" members of 42l. Thank you for your support and your interest in our activities!

It's our turn to give!

We would like to end this article on a positive note: after some discussions at the Administration Council meeting on September 3, 2021, following a proposal made at the January General Assembly, we are going to set aside a part of our budget to contribute financially to other structures or people that we wish to support.

We have set ourselves an amount of 15% to 20% of our annual surplus from the previous year's accounting period, i.e. between 125 and 167 euros this year (for a surplus of 839 euros in 2020). We would like to maintain this initiative in the long term.

This amount is only indicative for us, we will not oblige ourselves to respect it: we allow ourselves to give nothing some years, or to give a little more other years, according to our needs and desires.

These structures or persons will be sought, identified and selected by the Board of Directors, which will proceed to an internal vote. The selection criteria will be at the discretion of the Board.

We will publicly disclose the names of the organizations or individuals and the amount of the donations in our financial and moral reports.

If you feel you need financial help, you can contact us via our contact address on the dedicated page but as mentioned above, remember that we will keep the freedom to support whoever we want, and that we are not Santa Claus either: you just have to look at our financial reports to understand that you would rather apply to calls for projects than to us.

We wish you a very good day, and see you soon :)

N&B