- Article I – Club Mission
- Article II – Membership
- Article III – Offices
- Article IV – Elections
- Article V – Code of Conduct
- Article VI – Costuming Standards
- Article VII – Disciplinary Action
The Avengers Initiative (hereafter referred to as “The Avengers” or “Initiative”) is a Marvel Comics fan club dedicated to celebrating the Marvel Universe through costuming. The Avengers is an all-volunteer organization formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts under a collective identity within which to operate. The Avengers seeks to promote interest in Marvel Comics through the building and wearing of quality costumes, and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Marvel Comics-related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work.
The Avengers recognizes it holds no claim over the costumes and characters it portrays. The members of the Avengers acknowledge and accept that while in costume, we represent the Marvel Entertainment brand and will do so professionally and responsibly at all times.
This Charter serves to define the role and operations of the Avengers, as well as the rights and responsibilities of its members. It is subject to amending as needed upon ratification by its membership.
A. The Avengers is an inclusive, equal-opportunity fan club and will not tolerate discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, sexual orientation, or religion. The only requirements for membership are “ownership” of an accurate, complete, and professional-quality costume celebrating the characters from Marvel Comics films or its expanded universe sources, that the member is able to wear said costume(s) and that the member must be at least eighteen (18) years of age. Membership is granted only after an application is made to the Avengers through a Membership Liaison (ML) assigned to the prospective member’s geographic region. Persons under the age of 18 are not allowed as listed members of the Avengers. The Avengers claims no responsibility for minors at events that are hosted or attended by its members.
B. Upon admission, members are assigned a unique numerical identification number. Preceding this number is a two-character prefix code denoting the costume of the member (Iron Man referred to as IM). Members owning more than one costume still have only one identification number but are referred to using whatever prefix codes are applicable. Identification numbers will be maintained by the Avengers Membership Officer and are permanently assigned. If members convert to inactive status, their numbers will be retired until such time as the member returns to active status.
C. Active vs. Inactive Membership Definitions:
An Active Member of the Avengers is defined as a person who meets the following requirements:
1. Meets all Avengers Membership Requirements (i.e. has an approved costume, is over 18 years of age, etc).
2. Has an approved membership record in the Avengers Membership Database
3. Maintains their personal and contact information in the Membership Database (through either their local Chapter CO or other designated chapter Membership Liaison).
4. Meets or exceeds the minimum activity level requirements for an Active Member
An Inactive Member in the Avengers Initiative is defined as a person who either:
1. Does not meet or exceed the activity level for an Active Member
2. Does not have current contact information in the database
3. Is a person who has requested to be placed on “inactive status”.
4. Is placed on “inactive status” as the result of a disciplinary judgment of either their Chapter CO or the Avengers Council. Please note that Chapter level judgments may be appealed to the Avengers Council. See Article VII – Disciplinary Action
An Active member is eligible to:
1. Vote in all matters that come up for a vote/poll of the Active Membership
2. Vote in their local elections for Chapter Officers and Positions
3. Hold Elected or Appointed Offices in the Avengers
4. Coordinate/Host Official Avengers Activities
5. Purchase Official Avengers/Member Only merchandise (i.e. t-shirts, cards, badges, etc.) that are offered only to Avengers Members
6. Have their picture posted on Avengers web sites in the membership section.
7. Participate in Official Avengers Initiative activities (i.e. Charity Benefits, Celebrity Appearances, Guest Escorts, etc).
An Inactive Avengers Initiative Member:
1. May NOT vote in any Avengers election or poll
2. May NOT hold Elected or Appointed Office
3. May not coordinate Official Avengers Activities
4. May not purchase Official/Member Only merchandise
5. Will not have their picture posted in Avenger Initiative membership section.
6. Will have their membership information and ID number saved/maintained in the Avengers Initiative database with the member from cradle-to-grave, unless otherwise reassigned by a judgment of the Avengers Council through a 2/3 majority vote of the Avengers Initiative Council members.
D. Minimum Activity Level Requirements
1. Maintain active contact with his/her Chapter CO or designated ML. Active contact and participation will be confirmed during the annual Avengers Initiative Census held each year during the month of October.
2. Maintain their contact information/membership record in the Avengers Initiative Database (either through their Chapter CO or their designated representative (Membership Liaison)).
3. Participate in at least ONE Avengers Initiative activity per year while wearing an approved Avengers costume owned by said member. One year is defined as a rolling 12-month window from last activity so, for example, a member costuming on June 30 will have to costume on or before June 30 the following year to be considered active. Costuming in non-owned costumes is allowable, but not for maintaining basic membership requirements. Examples of an activity include, but are not limited to conventions, charity events, or any event designated as an official event by an administrative unit of the local Chapter. Those who serve in their nation’s military branches are exempt from activity level requirements if their service renders them unable to meet these requirements.
These Minimum Activity Level Requirements should be administered as justly and with as much common sense as possible.
E. A Chapter CO may determine that a member is “Active” even if they DO NOT meet the normally established Activity Level Requirements. However the reverse is not true, if an Active member meets all membership and activity level requirements they MAY NOT be classified as “Inactive” except by a Judgment by the HCO or by their own request. A CO may consider organizing events, support roles during events, assisting new members, and participating in an Avengers Initiative charity event as grounds for a member to remain active even while not participating in their Avengers approved costume. It should be noted such activity is not to be used indefinitely. A member who has been placed on inactive status at the local level may submit an appeal to the Avengers Initiative Council after he/she has exhausted all local means of appeal at the Chapter level.
F. Costumes eligible for membership and their associated code prefixes are assigned as the applicant submits his/her request to join the Avengers Initiative
G. The Avengers Initiative reserves the right to deny or revoke membership at any time, based on any past criminal history in accordance with the laws of the applicable country or region within. Notice of such denial or revocation will be filed with the Avengers Initiative Council.
A. Three types of offices exist within the Avengers Initiative: Head Command, Chapter Command, administrative. Head Command and Chapter Command offices exist to oversee the organization and deployment of members and to set and enforce policy. Command offices include the Avengers Head Commanding Officer (HCO), Avengers Head Executive Officer (HXO), Chapter commanders (COs), and chapter executive officers (XOs). Administrative offices exist to perform the administrative duties required by the club and are appointed by the Avengers Initiative Commander within the Avengers administrative staff, by Chapter commanders within a chapter’s administrative staff, and so on. Avengers’ administrative officers must be ratified by the Avengers Initiative Council by simple majority. If a candidate for an administrative office is not ratified, the HCO must make a new selection until the candidate is ratified by the Council. Avengers administrative officers (listed below) are seated on the Avengers Initiative Council and are allowed to vote.
Avengers Initiative Command and Administrative Staff
B. Avengers Head Commander (HCO) – The Avenger Head Commander operates as the top policy maker and administrator for the club. The HCO appoints an HXO and administrative staff to help him/her with every aspect of running the club. Working with the HXO and administrative staff, the HCO represents the club as a whole to the public, formulates policies to be reviewed and approved by the Avengers Council, moderates the Council, helps with the induction of new chapters, helps with the induction of new components to the club, reviews merchandising, and organizes partnerships with outside organizations.
C. Avengers Head Executive Officer (HXO) – The HXO serves the HCO in whatever capacity the HCO needs for better administration of the club. This may involve taking over whole components of club administration as the HCO requires it. The HXO reports directly to the HCO on all issues of import and can serve as a liaison between the Council and the HCO on occasion.
D. The Captain of the Guard (COG) serves to maintain order in the Avengers Initiative. The COG makes sure the Charter is followed so that all Avengers Officers (including Head Command) do not abuse their authority. They also serve as an observer during Chapter level hearings, assisting Chapter personnel with procedural matters, ensuring the accused has a fair trial, and assessing the prescribed penalty for fairness and consistency with other Chapters. The COG also makes sure the hearing is properly documented, and files a copy of the hearing at the Avengers Initiative level for the purpose of review and any subsequent appeals. He/she monitors the official Avengers Initiative map for accuracy and completeness, taking into account all Chapters, and boundaries, and arbitrates all territorial disputes. He/she reviews all applications for new Chapters, ensuring that the requirements are met, and that the territory described is well defined and does not infringe on existing unit boundaries. And he/she oversees all Avengers Initiative head command level elections (and where asked, Chapter elections), to include enforcing any campaigning policies prior to the elections, setting up and monitoring the poll, and certifying the results.
E. The Avengers Membership Officer (MO) is responsible for receiving and processing applications for membership. In doing so, it becomes his/her responsibility to issue and track all identification numbers (i.e. “IM numbers”), guaranteeing their uniqueness. The MO uses the accompanying application photos to make a determination as to the initial qualifying costume as well as all subsequent requests for additional costume recognition and approval. This approval is based upon the official costume list based on the Marvel Universe web site. The MO is the immediate supervisor to all Chapter Membership Liaisons (MLs). The MO will conduct (via the MLs) an annual census of the membership for the purpose of verifying contact information and costume status, and to make the appropriate status assessment and classification. The MO will respond to initial membership inquiries and handle all issues where membership and/or costume status are concerned.
F. The Avengers Initiative Webmaster (AWM) is in charge of managing the Avengers Initiative web sites and message boards. In regards to the public web site, the AWM is responsible to make sure the appearance and content of the site are accurate, up-to-date, and reflects well the image and integrity of the Avengers. In regards to the membership forums, the AWM is responsible for their functionality and content. As head of the web team the AWM coordinates all activities, projects, content management, and moderator actions. The AWM works with other administrative officers to incorporate information for web use such as membership photos, PR items, etc. The AWM has the authority to call and release additional auxiliary personnel and form committees and teams as needed to facilitate the demands on the web team, but all appointments, dismissals, and formations must be reported to the Council and Command prior to such action being taken.
G. The Merchandising and Branding Officer (MBO) monitors all merchandising within the Avengers in regards to Chapter and Avengers branded merchandise. All merchandising projects at both the Chapter and Avengers level must first be approved by the MBO. The MBO makes sure that copyrights are not flagrantly violated, and that pricing follows the Legion’s non-profit philosophy. The MBO also responds to infringements of the Avengers Initiative names and logos.
Titles commonly used and recognized within the Avengers Initiative:
Head Commander (HCO)
Head Executive Officer (HXO)
Chapter Commander (CO)
Chapter Executive Officer (XO)
H. Avengers Council
Decisions regarding Avengers policy and procedure are handled by the Avengers Council, a body made up of the HCO, the HXO, the Administrative Staff, and two representatives from each Chapter. This council is moderated by the Avengers Head Commander. Avengers members may bring issues of contention or concern before the Council through their Council representative (Chapter CO and 2nd seat designee), or in cases where their problems are with their Council representatives, through any other member of the Council.
Issues of policy or contention brought before the Council should be deliberated for a period of two weeks. A call for an official vote on said matters requires the support of any three Council members. Upon a call to vote, Council members will have ten (10) days to cast their votes via the designated poll in the Council forums, which will be overseen by the Avengers Captain of the Guard. Each member of the Council holds one vote. Calls to vote can be on any topic.
I. Amendments to the charter may be proposed by any Council member (or general member via their Council representative). The outcome of any subsequent votes by the Council will be determined by simple majority. Approved proposals must be posted to the Avengers membership in a seven (7) day period opened for questions and comments, after which a ten (10) day poll and a simple majority vote decides if the proposed amendment is ratified.
A. The Avengers Head Commanders and Chapter commanders are all elected positions within the Avengers except in the case of opening a new chapter, where the HCO reserve the right to appoint a CO for said new chapter. All other positions are appointed by their respective commander or leader. Only those in good standing are eligible to run for and maintain an elected or appointed position. Elections for leadership positions are held once a year. Nominations for commander and leader offices may be made by any active member once a year during the month of January. If no nominations are made for a particular office by 11:59pm PST February 1st, the officers holding these positions will retain their positions.
Voting begins at 12:01am GMT on February 19th. Votes are cast via the Avengers official online ballot. The voting will be open for exactly one week (7 days) after which no more votes will be accepted (ending officially on midnight PST February 25th). Winning candidates assume their positions at 12:01 PST March 1st. Every active member in good standing may vote for their respective leaders. Members that are classified as inactive may not vote unless their status has been changed back to active before voting begins. Notice of upcoming elections will be posted on the main mailing list one week prior to the nomination period beginning. Notification of any elections to individual members is ultimately the job of garrison and outpost commanders for members in their region and detachment leaders for members in their detachments.
B. The Avengers Head Commander is elected by popular vote of the entire Avengers. The offices of Chapter commander are all voted on by members of each respective chapter by popular vote. Annual elections are mandatory for every unit. If no one challenges the current leader of a unit, an election may be waived. If a member of a unit suspects impropriety in a campaign or subsequent election within their unit, they may appeal to the Captain of the Guard, who may intervene or audit an election. All Avengers administrative officers are appointed by the Avengers Head Commander and or Head Executive Officer, each of whom must be confirmed via a poll by the Avengers Council prior to taking office. No such confirmations are required at the Chapter level.
C. In the event a commanding officer or leader of any Chapter is unable to continue in their office, that Chapter must hold an immediate election for a replacement. Said election will follow the schedule of 5 days for nominations, 5 days for Q&A, and 5 days for voting [note: these time frames may be altered by the COG as necessary].During this time period the standing XO (if applicable) is the acting commander until the elections are completed. If there is no XO or both the CO and XO resign, the Avengers Captain of the Guard will assume the role of commander or leader for that unit until the prescribed elections are completed, and will administrate said elections. A determination of inability to serve may be deduced from either voluntary self-removal or a period of 30 days of unresponsiveness in office
D. Any Chapter of the Avengers (including the Avengers itself) may redress problems in leadership by calling for a vote of no confidence of their elected leader. A vote of no confidence against a Chapter commander requires three members. A vote of no confidence against the Avengers Head Commander requires five members, all of whom must be Chapter commanders. If a call for a vote of no confidence is made, the Captain of the Guard will be called in to oversee the process and will temporarily assume command of the unit in question (with the exception of squads, which default to the CO). The COG will open a forum for 5 days to discuss the charges. After this, a poll will be opened for 5 days and a vote taken of the members of that unit (with the exception of squads, which includes the entire Chapter membership), with no minimum number of voters required. If at least two thirds of the voting members of that unit vote to remove their leader from office, they are immediately removed. Otherwise the officer will retain their office. If a vote of no confidence does result in a removal from office, the Captain of the Guard will administer a special election as prescribed above.
No officer may be called to a vote of no confidence more than twice in a single one-year term. A vote of no confidence can only come from the members of the unit whose leadership is in question. Appointed officers serve at the discretion of the elected official who appointed them, and are subject to being relieved of duty once the officer who appointed them is no longer in office. The incoming officer will have the option of retaining or replacing them.
With any election, in the event of a tie the poll will be reopened for three additional days in hopes that un cast votes will break the tie. In the event of no nominees or an unbreakable tie, the Avengers Council will deliberate for 5 days and vote for 5 days to appoint a new interim leader for the unit in question until regular elections are held (with the exception of squads, which default to the CO for appointment).
The Avengers Initiative recognizes that its costumes represent characters from the Marvel Comics films and as such, costume-wearers carry the responsibility of portraying these characters professionally and tastefully while in public. For these reasons, all members are prohibited from acting in a manner disrespectful towards the image they are portraying, towards fellow club members, or towards the public at large while in costume at an event expressly organized as an Avengers Initiative event.
Foul language, obscene gestures, and use of alcohol or tobacco are prohibited while in costume in view of the public (children especially) as they jeopardize the club’s image. Any convention or gathering where adult content is prevalent can be considered a private venue and a non-Avengers event and behavioral standards may be relaxed.
Acting in a threatening or violent manner, sexual harassment or misconduct, theft, and illegal substance abuse are all prohibited as they are unacceptable behavior. This applies to members in or out of costume at Avengers events or otherwise.
In short, crude behavior is discouraged; threatening behavior is prohibited completely. Members who engage in such conduct may be subject to disciplinary action, including expulsion from the Avengers Initiative.
This code is not meant to restrict freedom, but to give fair warning what behaviors may require action to correct. When out of costume, members are still required to observe reasonable behavioral standards towards fellow club members, as these actions affect one another. Your private life is your own.
Article VI – Costuming Standards
A. COSTUMING STANDARDS – The Avengers Initiative promotes creating, owning, and wearing the costumes from the Marvel Universe featured in films, comics, and expanded universe. To capture the magic of these characters, the goal will always be the accurate presentation and portrayal of these costumes. However, we recognize that this hobby centers around fun and creativity. Therefore, the Avengers make allowances for the creative modification of these costumes within the confines of decency (defined as being without profane or vulgar features or statements and must be viewable by young children).
An official Avengers Initiative Event is defined as a gathering of one or more active Avengers members with a specific goal (i.e. fundraising, promotion, awareness) that does not adversely affect the intellectual property of Marvel Comics, where the members have identified themselves as representatives of the Avengers Initiative. Different events, however, may call for different standards. For this reason, two categories are identified to help Avengers members recognize what standards will be in place for any given event, whether hosted by or attended by members of the Avengers. These categories are “formal/canon” and “informal/non-canon.”
B. FORMAL/CANON – Costumes must be accurate, authentic-looking costumes from the movies or licensed media (games, books, etc.). Costumes must be devoid of stickers, ornamentation, or any other decoration not found on the original costumes. Costumes must be complete, containing all parts in good working order and appearance (unless item is supposed to be worn or deteriorated). If a member has a question whether his or her costume meets the specifications of a formal/canon costume, they should refer to the Reference Library through Marvel Universe’s web site for the costume, or contact their ML. Formal/canon events include any event involving Marvel or its affiliates, or any other event where formal presentation is expressly asked for, expected, or required. An example of this would be escorting celebrities associated with Marvel Comics. This would be considered an official event, as it calls for our members to represent the Avengers Initiative in formal dress (unless the event organizer has specified that informal/non-canon costumes are acceptable).
C. INFORMAL/NON-CANON – Costumes may be authentic, canon costumes or non-authentic, non-canon costumes never seen in any licensed Marvel Comics media, and may be decorated and ornamented as the owner desires (again, within the confines of decency as previously defined). Costumes can be painted alternate color schemes, adorned with stickers or cosmetic changes, or supplemented with articles not found in licensed media. Informal events include public parties or conventions or wherever members of the Avengers are not officially representing the club.
* The default for any public appearance of the Avengers is informal/non-canon.
* The Avengers code of conduct applies at ALL events, formal or informal.
* Events must be designated formal/canon for those standards to apply.
* The final decision on the applicable costuming standard for a given event is left to the HCO for Avengers events or the CO for local events, with full consideration being given to the event organizer.
Article VII – Disciplinary Action
A. In situations where the Avengers’ standards of conduct are violated, it is an unfortunate necessity to address them. While the Avengers recognizes that membership is voluntary and should be fun, it also recognizes that there must be some protection afforded its members from abuse and injustice. To this end, the Avengers adhere to the following prescription for disciplinary action.
B. All commanders are expected to enforce the rules of the Avengers Initiative in their respective jurisdictions. Any member behaving in an unacceptable manner or violating the tenets of this Charter is subject to disciplinary action. This process generally begins at the local unit level. Disputes within chapters must be handled by the commander(s) of the disputing parties at the local level. Barring any involvement or clear conflict of interest on their part, commanders are expected to handle disciplinary issues within their units and not simply pass them on to the Avengers Initiative council to handle
C. Any current member may bring a charge against another member of the Avengers. Said charge(s) must be brought to the attention of their immediate commander, who should assess the validity of the charge and if founded, initiate an Administrative Action Record and take appropriate action. This action may or may not be a formal hearing. Parties in a hearing or other disciplinary action will be identified and classified as follows:
NOTICE: the use of familiar legal terms or phrases is for the purpose of reasonable familiarity only, and is not suggestive of any actual legal rights or prescriptions under your local laws or judicial practices.
* Defendant: the person accused of wrong-doing. There may be multiple defendants. In such cases, they may be given separate hearings or, if the defendants agree, take part in a joint hearing. Joint hearings are preferred when and where possible.
* Plaintiff: the person bringing the complaint to the Avengers. This person may or may not personally be a victim of the offense(s) in question.
* Victim: a person directly harmed by the defendants action(s). There may be more than one victim in any given case.
* Witness: someone who has personal information relevant to the charge(s). This information may be direct or ancillary. Witnesses may be called by either party in a hearing, or may be called by the presiding officer.
* Presiding officer: the chief hearing officer and panel foreman. This is typically the local commander. It may also be the Legion COG in Avengers cases or local cases that have been elevated to the Avengers level. In cases not warranting a hearing, this is the foreman of any deliberation.
* Hearing panel: those tasked with a judging role in the hearing. This panel is typically (but not necessarily) comprised of all of the local unit officers. In cases not warranting a hearing, this is the deliberating body. All members of this panel must be detached from the situation and able to render an unbiased opinion in the matter.
* Observer: anyone who is given access to a hearing, but does not have a direct role in it. The Avengers COG (or an assigned Avengers Guard) must be given this status and subsequent access in all hearings. Observers may also be other concerned unit members, or may even be members of outside units.
In the event a conflict or complaint involves members of different units, the commander of the primary plaintiff serves as the presiding officer and holds a combined hearing with a panel comprised of officers from all involved units. If one of the parties involved in a dispute is an officer of the unit, the hearing must be either conducted locally by the Avengers COG (or an assigned Guard), or must be escalated to the Avengers Initiative Council level and overseen by the COG.
During a hearing, testimony is given by all parties and supplemental witnesses according to the procedure outlined in the Administrative Action Record. A hearing must run for a minimum of seven full days and may not be shortened for any reason without the prior consent of the Avengers’ COG. The presiding officer may close the proceedings at any time after the prescribed minimums have been met. Once the hearing is closed, the presiding officer must poll the hearing panel for a disposition. A simple-majority vote determines this disposition, to include any punishment and/or required restitution or reparations.
The official Administrative Action Record must be completed by the presiding officer, detailing all testimony, the vote results (listing the identities of all members who voted), and the final verdict (to include details of any punishment or restitutions, including timeframes). This completed form must be submitted to the Avengers COG within one week of the close of the hearing.
A defendant may file an appeal of the verdict and/or their subsequent punishment. To do so they must submit a formal request to appeal to the COG and HCO within thirty (30) days from the date they were notified of the verdict. The combined Avengers officers will review all appeals (under the direction of the COG). The determination of this Avengers-level appeal is final.
* A statistical summary of all hearings is to be maintained by the Avengers COG and be displayed for the membership at large via the Avengers forums “Reports” feature.
* The official Administrative Action Record for all hearings are maintained by the Avengers COG, and are always available to any member of the Council at all times.
* No member may be removed from the member database or from the Avengers Initiative without the knowledge and approval of the HCO, MO and COG.
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