What are the group rules? Please be polite and respectful to others. And don't be creepy. Thanks. (Please note: if you have any experiences that violate the spirit of these guidelines, inform Jason).
Which organizer should I contact if I have a question/suggestion?
For suggestions, concerns, or complaints, you can always contact Jason. For specific events, you can email the event organizer. Jason allows members to contact him during sane hours and during events by cell phone, but not all organizers are comfortable with this, so please us the "contact" link on each organizer's profile, or their email address. Please remember that organizers are volunteers for the group and remember to respect their time and privacy.
What should I do if my plans suddenly change and I'm unable to attend an event?
If you RSVPed "Yes" already, please try to change your RSVP to "No" as soon as you know. We usually need to make reservations for our group so it's always helpful, and often important, to have an accurate count of people attending. If you make a habit of missing events that you say "Yes" to, we may not hold a seat for you. If you are unsure you can attend, or if you expect to be more than, say, 45 minutes late, please reply "no" with an explanation.
If you are RSVPing for a space-limited event, we consider it bad form to cancel with less than 24 hours notice. If there's a fee for materials, admission, carpooling, or other costs, and you're canceling with less than 24 hours notice, you'll be expected to contribute that amount to the event organizer if we cannot find someone to take your spot.
Are there any formal lesson plans? No, we think most people will prefer a more casual environment. If there's something specific you're working on mastering, you're welcome to bring any textbooks or references you need. Most everyone is glad to help.
What levels of Japanese skill are welcome? Every level is welcome. Many of the non-native Japanese speakers have an intermediate or advanced level of Japanese, but beginners are welcome as well. If you're a complete beginner, you'll probably find people most hospitable if you're making an earnest effort to learn Japanese.
I just started learning Japanese. How can I get the most out of this meetup? If you're trying to learn Japanese in a structured way, you'll need to take some initiative and bring some learning materials and ask questions. We aren't running a classroom, and our Japanese members are usually not trained as teachers, so it's not the place to do grammar drills, but you're always welcome to ask clarifying questions.
I can't attend events. Can I just email people and try to meet them directly?
Most members will consider this kind of behavior awkward or creepy. If you aren't motivated to come to events, this isn't the group for you. It's important to develop a rapport in the group setting before you contact someone to meet privately. We don't have a problem with people developing friendships outside the group, but you should expect basic social norms to apply. Aggressive or inappropriate contact with people in the group is not welcome, and may result in removal. You're welcome to contact organizers with general questions about the group or about specific events.
Someone is sending me inappropriate messages or harassing me. What should I do?
If you receive unwelcome contact from someone you've actually met in person, unless the message contains threatening or intimidating language, please let the person who contacted you, without ambiguity, that you aren't interested in hearing from them. If contact persists after you've made this clear, please contact Jason or another organizer.
If you receive messages or calls that involve threats, intimidation, or hostile language, please contact Jason or another organizer, and consider calling the police.
If you receive unwelcome contact from someone you have not met, please contact Jason or another organizer.
If possible, please provide copies of emails that you have received, and/or any available information about the circumstances. In general, we've found that social pressure is an effective mechanism for controlling bad behavior, but it is not always sufficient. Also, organizers do not always hear about problems that occur, so please make an effort to let us know about inappropriate types of contact. In appropriate cases, we will remove members who violate our basic rules and social norms. In extreme cases, we may report illegal or threatening behavior to authorities.
I don't want to receive emails from the group anymore. Remove me from your list!
You manage which groups you are a member of. You originally signed up for the group by yourself; you can edit your email preferences by clicking on "Account" at the top of the meetup site. Please don't send email to the entire list asking to be removed; nobody can do this unless they know your member ID. If you send such an email to the group, you authorize us to execute you by firing squad, but you'll still be on the mailing list. Sorry. That's why you have an "Account" page when you sign in to Meetup.com.
I want to attend the dinner events but I have special dietary needs. How does that work?
Most dinner events involve a shared order and we divide the food bill equally among all attendees, and drinks are generally handled based on what each person orders. On occasion, we'll go to a place where ordering separately is allowed, but this creates a lot of extra work for the organizer unless the restaurant is cooperative about such things, and most restaurants are less flexible after 6 or so people are in the group, which makes special orders your organizer's problem. So shared meals are far more likely. We understand that not everyone will eat every dish that comes out, which is why we consider this system fair.
If you have special dietary needs and you note them in your RSVP, we will do our best to accommodate them and your host will direct the staff to place things especially meant for you near where you sit. You'll still be expected to pay an equal share of the food bill. Jason is vegetarian, and shared meals nearly always include plenty of vegetarian options. If it's not practical to accommodate the requests in your RSVP, the event host will contact you as quickly as possible; however, it's always best to RSVP early.
In general, when you go out to a restaurant, you are spending more on the restaurant's rent, utilities and staffing costs than on food, so please remember that you are paying for the experience of enjoying time and food with a nice group of people, rather than buying groceries.
I'd like to come but I don't want to have dinner. Is this OK?
At events held in restaurants, this is bad form. We take up more space and time than most diners in the casual restaurants where we usually meet, so we need to make it worth the venue's while.
Consider coming only for nijikai if you are unable to participate in dinner, which is typically at a bar, where most locations are flexible about how much you consume. Or choose events held in coffee shops or other more casual locations.
Which events should I attend?
We now typically have a large number of events each month. Most are open to everyone, though you'll occasionally see exceptions like "Girls' Night" or sometimes venue-enforced restrictions such as age 21 and up. Come to the ones that are most appealing to you. The regular events include:
|Page title||Most recent update||Last edited by|
|Maybe RSVPs||July 2, 2009 12:36 PM||Jason T.|
|Useful Resources||November 17, 2007 2:50 PM||Jason T.|
|Suggestion Box||July 24, 2007 5:50 PM||Jason T.|
|HowToFindTheGroup||May 1, 2008 2:03 PM||Jason T.|
|About Open Seattle Japanese Language and Culture Meetup Group||March 1, 2016 11:12 AM||Jason T.|