Equinox Report: For A Familiar Autumn

Autumn has long been considered a season for us that has held much cultural importance. It is a cosy time, a time well spent betwixt rouge falling leaves, with hot drinks on a cool night, and socialising with friends and family during celebrations of our holidays like the Armilustrium or the National Day of Socialism. It is a season spent with our family, which in Sandus is a combination of our ascribed and chosen family. It is a time spent in the wonders of nature and rejoicing and being thankful for our humble lives—lives we labour for and we control in our small, fiercely-independent country.

This equinox marks not just the beginning of Autumn, a season which is very joyful and nostalgic to many Sandum people, but today also coincides with a Sandum holiday celebrated now for five years: Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Celebrated here since 2013, this is a holiday that has been part of Sandus’s cultivation of a distinct culture, as here it is a day to not just celebrate bisexuals but also celebrate bisexual themes in art and in our lives. A third of Sandum citizens are, after all, bisexual, while a half of Sandus are LGBTQ+.

This celebration during a time of equal day and night relates our country to themes of liberality, to openness and tolerance, to a conscious, purposeful, intentional life. It is a calm life, spent without reservations and without regrets.

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Charity Taxes: $1,600 USD, 88 hours volunteering
With only a few charity tax declarations in, this past Summer has been another record breaking season for the State of Sandus. Of only three charity tax declarations so far, Sandum citizens have donated $1,628.71 USD to charity in the past season, as well as volunteered their time for 88 hours total. This means that this past season was the second most charitable to date, and puts the State of Sandus within $100 of donating more than $5,000 USD to charity in the last year!

As more declarations are made, this section will be updated.

Three Officers of State support Council Reform
Over the last season, the Facilitator of the Council and the Sôgmô have prepared plans for a reform of the Council, Sandus’s democratic assembly. On 11 July, Facilitator Hatsu Ryuhu published a four-point plan for the Council’s reform, which include:

  1. The Sôgmô has a ceremonial and emergency role as head of state and chairperson of the Council, while the Facilitator will become Speaker.
  2. The Speaker will be elected for six months.
  3. Citizens who are members of the Council will be known as Councilors.
  4. There will be an annual Speech from the Throne on the State of the State, sometime near the Spring Equinox.

The Sôgmô has produced a bill which has been shared with the other Officers of State that builds on this plan, with some modifications. In it, all three Officers of State have a role to play in the Council, a new office of a chargé·e d’affaires where councillors are deputised to perform and exercise a function, and an established constitutional convention has been written down. This plan will be presented at the upcoming Party Congress in November 2018.

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Party Congress 2018: For the Sandum Cultural Worker
The 2018 CPS Party Congress now has a set date, 3 November 2018. The congress will focus on the election of the Party Secretary and especially on the theme of cultural production. While last year’s theme was focused on the subject of the Sandum identity, relatively close to this year’s theme, the theme of this CPS Party Congress focuses on the production of culture and specifically on how Sandum citizens construct culture in Sandus.

The sitting Party Secretary has begged the question about how we shall commemorate our tenth anniversary “in a way that aligns with the Sandum philosophy.” To what extent is Sandum citizenship about producing culture? How is culture a production, and how does that production relate to the intellectual production prevalent in Sandus today?

All these questions and concerns will be the subject of the Party’s congress in November.

State Media Cooperative plans Council, Party logos
The SMC has planned logos for the Council and the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, which are meant to focus on simplicity and on the symbols related to the constitutional organs. The proposed logo for the Council features a letter C in the shape of a Roman comitium, an architectural structure that was used for elections and assembly meetings during the Roman Republic. Thus, the symbolism of the Council’s logo reflects the classical republican nature of the Sandum constitution.

The Party’s logo features the English abbreviation of the name of the Party, CPS, in lower case below the Party flag. The simple logo is meant to reflect the wordmark for the State of Sandus with changes in font and style, which is meant to represent a cohesive political vanguard in the State of Sandus.

These logos are expected to be presented and possibly approved by the relevant organs by the end of the season.

Preparing for October: Armilustrium Planning and Getting the Public Involved
During this season, the Sôgmô introduced an informal Facebook chat group meant to encourage discussion with many Sandum citizens at once, and the group has already led to some changes in how Sandus is run. In a discussion on how to encourage citizens to take part in Sandum holidays, Sisenna Melville recommended encouraging people to create rituals for the holidays and publishing them in advance of the holiday.

Only important holidays are expected to follow these programmatic ends, and these may include:

  • the Armilustrium, 19 October
  • Athena’s Day, or Sandum Thanksgiving, 29 November
  • Christmas, 25 Decemer
  • Festival of Peace, mid-January
  • Losar, or Tibetan New Year, February
  • Regifugium/Matronalia, or Sancta New Year, 1 March
  • Minervalia, 19 March
  • Passover, March-April
  • Easter, March-April
  • Veneralia, or Sandum Love Day, 1 April
  • Lemuralia, part of Remembrance Day, 7-15 May (on only the odd numbered days)
  • Lammas, 1 August
  • Yom Kippur, September

These holidays, and maybe more, will be some of the first examples of rituals produced under this new system. Sisenna Melville has offered to produce the first ritual for the Armilustrium, and the Collegium Sacerdotum is taking offers for the others.

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