The Honourable Sôgmô Gaius Soergel Publicola has granted the Collegium Sacerdotum (Latin: “College of Priests”) a new charter, almost ten years after það first established the coöperative and on a day that is auspicious according to Tibetan astrology. Founded on 27 May 2011, the Collegium Sacerdotum was the first coöperative in the State of Sandus and was charged with representing the religious and philosophical beliefs of Sandum citizens. Since then, the college has widely defined Sandum Philosophy, particularly the definition of Sancta and also its cultural movement, and has been the site of culture in Sandus.
Since the college’s foundation, however, the college’s definition of labour has been widely restrictive, meaning that only activity done by the college’s members with the express purpose of doing labour for the coöperative has been defined as activity. This has led to the assumption that the College of Priests has been inactive, while citizens otherwise produce a substantial amount of cultural output. The new charter reflects an ongoing movement in Sandus of the last year to significantly redefine what labour is and means in the State of Sandus, reconciling activity and labour done that used to be parsed out between “macronational” and “micronational.”
The new charter also expands the purpose of the college, recognising its historic role as Sandus’s premier cultural coöperative and granting the college the charge to organise “cultural leisure” in the State of Sandus. The charter has widened the official cultural prerogatives of the college.
The new charter also reorganises the college somewhat, adding a new rank of membership and seeking a more robust organisation of the coöperative. Historically, the college has only had one rank of membership, that of flamen, a Latin term for an exclusive type of priest dedicated to the worship of a particular god that is also etymologically related to the term “brahmin.” Each flamen under the former system had to have a particular responsibility to oversee.
Under the new charter, each member is also called a sacerdos, “priest” or more generally a “doer of sacred things” in Latin, and a sacerdos does not necessarily have to have a particular responsibility. Membership in the college is also, unlike most other Sandum coöperatives, open to non-citizens. The rank of flamen has been kept but is now reserved for members who exercise authority over a certain charge given to them by a by-law or over a sodality. The chief of these flamines is the Sôgmô in a position now-called the Flamen Minervalis, or the “Priest of Minerva,” recognising Sandus’s matron goddess.
Sodalitates—work groups located in the college with a particular religious, philosophical, or cultural charge—now have increased autonomy to determine their membership, their activity, and even pass by-laws concerned with their own charges. They may even determine how they will each be organised now and in the future, allowing for the possibility of each sodality to adopt its own constitution. There are two existing sodalities that the charter recognises, the Church of Sandus and the Sandum Sangha, while the charter also creates a new Sancta-focused sodality called the sodalitas sacris faciundis (the “Sodality for Doing Sacred Things”).
The college now also has a formal convocation, the first assembly of its kind for the coöperative, that includes all members. The collegiate convocation may meet for important state events that are relevant to the college and may ratify college-wide by-laws that are decreed by the Flamen Minervalis.
Two new concerns of the college are now its own record keeping, with a focus especially on managing its own administration independently from the Sôgmô’s office, and the purposeful and well-intentioned creation of “certain special rituals and ritual acts that can be defined and modified by by-laws.” These rituals—defined by categories of formal rites, individual rituals, broader ceremonies, and Sancta-defined sacra—will be set up by subsequent by-laws by the sodalities involved.