I avoided commenting on this matter because it had degenerated into a flame war, and I detest flame wars. In fact, it has kept me away from the site for a few days. I will say this though:
I don't know any of the people on the board, I don't know Fred and I don't know about the finances and other behind the scenes events of Male Survivor. I don't imagine that they would sacrifice their time and energies to this organization if they didn't care about survivors or our issues. Certainly I can't imagine that there is a whole lot of benefit for them, this is a non-profit organization which seems primarily based on volunteerism after all. But as I said, I don't know.
This is what I do know. This site has probably saved my life. It has helped me in ways that I cannot even articulate. Mostly, I just read the discussion boards (with the odd post here and there) and occasionally drop into the chat room. Both have helped me immeasurably. I will miss the chat room. I want the chat room to remain. I have found a great deal of help in there. But if my options are "no chat but the rest of the site remains" or "MS over all goes under" then chat has to go. It sucks, no question about it, but life is often unfair (we here know that better than anyone) and it isn't the fault of Fred Tolson, who came to be president a few months ago and likely inherited the problems he's trying to fix.
I became a full fledged member during their emergency drive. I would have liked to send more money, but "graduate student" is a decidedly non-lucrative occupation (who knew?
) The help that I have received from this site, however, was easily worth every cent.
That said, I stand ready to help the site where and when I can. I ask the board, or Fred Tolson or whomever needs to be asked "what can we do to make the chat room viable for this site?" If I can do what is needed I certainly will. Given the vehement response from many about the chat room, I would hope that they would too.
In closing I want to say that rage and hurling insults will not help, nor will it bring back the chat room. It wasn’t taken away for shits and giggles, it was a financial necessity. Rather than screaming at the people who had to make the unfortunate decision, find out what can be done to make its removal unnecessary.
I will step off my soap box now and anxiously await an answer to my question of what I can do to help.