[Owasp-board] Starting a chapter questions

Noreen Whysel noreen.whysel at owasp.org
Wed May 27 03:31:01 UTC 2015

If the request is from someone in the Philippines, the "Patrick" may be John Patrick Lita, who leads the Manila chapter. 

I don't see anything in the bylaws that state a chapter leader must be a member. 

The Chapters page does mention that A request to start or restart a chapter should be submitted by the founding member or group to the OWASP Request Form. It is unclear if this means that the requester is assumed to be a member of the OWASP Foundation or is simply a member of the local group making the request. The Chapter Leader Handbook seems to use the term "member" rather loosely to mean participants in local chapters. Perhaps the term should be changed to participant.

Chapter 5: Governance of the Chapter Leaders Handbook also uses the term "member" but the context, again, appears to be member of the local group, not of the chapter. There is nothing there that says a chapter leader must be a dues paying member.

Chapter leaders may be conferred honorary membership but my understanding is the occurs at a specific calendar period by request or nomination and is not automatic.

We have several open and pending requests from community members to split chapters or create new chapters with an existing country chapter. The bylaws section 5.02 states that you can create a new chapter within a chapter that already exists, but that you can't change the boundaries of an existing chapter without approval by the Foundation. This is at odds with the chapter leader handbook which does not mention creating a chapter within an existing country chapter. In fact the section on Geographic Region in Chapter 3: How to Start a Chapter conflicts directly with the bylaws. It states that you cannot overlap an existing chapter. To manage chapter growth we should allow a country chapter to split into chapters serving local municipalities or metro areas. Sweden has done this successfully and as I said, we have a few like this that are pending. 

The bylaws say nothing about creating a chapter that does not yet exist in an area that does not have a local or country chapter. It only mentions creating one within an existing country chapter. This is rather odd and probably should be reviewed.

Noreen Whysel
Community Manager
OWASP Foundation

> On May 26, 2015, at 10:52 PM, Andrew van der Stock <vanderaj at owasp.org> wrote:
> Hi all, 
> This might be a question for the Foundation staff, but I have been in contact with a gentleman who wants to start a local Philippines chapter. He applied through the standard process, but was asked to become an OWASP member by a "Patrick". I'm not sure which Patrick asked for this. 
> He doesn't have $50 USD to spare. 
> I looked at the starting an OWASP chapter page, and I didn't see any requirement to be an OWASP member. In fact, I'm fairly sure that being an OWASP Chapter leader is one of the ways of obtaining honorary membership. 
> Questions. 
> 1. Do you need to be an OWASP member to start a chapter? If so, we need to change the by laws and the public pages leading to the start a chapter process. 
> 2. Doesn't being a chapter leader confer honorary membership?
> 3. For developing nations, I had thought that OWASP has a lower membership fee than $50 USD, which is quite a sum for many and a barrier to entry. 
> thanks
> Andrew
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