Con policies

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David A Harvey
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Con policies

Post by David A Harvey » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:49 am

Hi Everyone,
I don't know if anyone else has been following the Elise and Scalzi stand on harassment in fandom.
It's left me saddened, disappointed and disturbed that my view and experience of fandom as a wonderful supportive safe place is not universally true.

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/06/28/r ... on-how-to/
http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/07/02/m ... nt-policy/

I think it is important that ArmadaCon reassures and confirm that this, and other forms of harassment, aren't acceptable, and won't be tolerated.

To this end, to quote a friend I've been discussing this with, "I think having a published policy would be good, with a clear - any trouble, tell us - message"
If you feel it appropriate, I would be happy to help draft something.

Geoffrey(aka Jasper)
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Re: Con policies

Post by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:02 pm

It sounds like a good idea.

But . . .

It's just that the definition of harrassment can be extremely wide ranging. Okay we don't want to have indecent assault passed over as "just a bit of harmless horseplay," but equally well we don't want "Hello girls" being taken as grounds for nailing someone to a wall.

Okay I have ever confidence that Armadacon goers can tell the difference between the baby and the bathwater so I'm probably being needlessly concerned, but just take care when drafting policies.


Edited for worm use.
Last edited by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) on Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Spudgun
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Re: Con policies

Post by Spudgun » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:34 pm

I feel the need to echo what Japer has said. Harrassment is all about persistance, rather than one-offs. I could give examples of my own experience at the Con (so could a number of others), but it would serve no purpose as it wasn't actual harassment (All one-off high sprited larks). We Brits think differently than the Americans, so tread carefully here.
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David A Harvey
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Re: Con policies

Post by David A Harvey » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:11 pm

Very much agree with you both and that's one of the reasons for policies.
Alas part of my discomfort has been that this is a growing concern at UK conventions.

Liz W
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Re: Con policies

Post by Liz W » Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:29 pm

Hi all

We have always had our 'code of conduct' which is in the Con Books; however it seems we may need to go into more detail

I have asked the rest of the committee to read what has been posted and i will put it on the agenda for the next committee meeting

Cheers

Liz
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Geoffrey(aka Jasper)
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Re: Con policies

Post by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:12 am

Barry - If a one-off incident is serious enough - as in the link David provide - it counts as harrassment.

The deciding factor is the effect it has on the (alleged) victim, not persitence, and - controversially - the intentions of the (alleged) perpetrator don't matter either.

Adding another two-creditsworth of IMHO to the thread: I suspect that a lot of "Harrassment Policies" in outside organisations, be they private companies or government departments, are an unholy melding of PC & CYA.

For Armadacon the purpose of a Harrassment Policy wouldn't be to create a PC atomosphere with everyone walking on eggshells, or to cynically CYA the Con, but to remind people that while we are all here to enjoy ourselves so is everyone else, so be careful not to spoil anyone else's enjoyment.

And to reasure people that if there are problems, the comittee will take them seriously and try to resolve them. And I suspect, or at least hope, that *almost* any problem that does not involve deliberate malice, can be dealt with by the proverbial friendly quiet word.

Anyway we'll see what the comittee comes up with at their next meeting.
"I Want My Chirfugging Goose Back!"

Spudgun
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Re: Con policies

Post by Spudgun » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:59 pm

One small point. There are two Legal definitions of harrasment. Civil and Criminal. You'd be correct in saying that if an incident was bad enough (Even though it was a one-off), that would fall under Criminal Harrasment. For Civil Harrasment, the word "Persistance" forms part of the definition.

Anyway, this is getting a bit silly. Perhaps we're overreacting.
Frau Nydor is watching YOU!

Geoffrey(aka Jasper)
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Re: Con policies

Post by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:36 pm

Barry - Perhaps we are.

However I was dipping into my workplace's definition of harrassment.

Anyway the point that I was making was that just because something is a one off doesn't make it all good clean fun. In the linked example, whatever happened to Elise was a one off incident, but it was enough to make a friend come over to check that she was alright, and she considered it serious enough to raise an official complaint.
"I Want My Chirfugging Goose Back!"

David A Harvey
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Re: Con policies

Post by David A Harvey » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:13 am

Thanks Liz.
Good point about the Code of Conduct. It may be as simple as posting that on the website and agreeing in writing what steps will be taken if a concern is raised.
Geoffrey(aka Jasper) wrote:For Armadacon the purpose of a Harrassment Policy wouldn't be to create a PC atomosphere with everyone walking on eggshells, or to cynically CYA the Con, but to remind people that while we are all here to enjoy ourselves so is everyone else, so be careful not to spoil anyone else's enjoyment.
And to reassure people that if there are problems, the committee will take them seriously and try to resolve them.
Thanks Jasper that 's pretty much what I'm hoping for.

Liz W
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Location: Plymouth

Re: Con policies

Post by Liz W » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:33 pm

Hi all

Just to let you all know we have a new harassment policy.

It has been purloined (with permission) from a convention called 'Nine Worlds' and it is very compresensive.
We have tweaked it accordingly, to fit ArmadaCon

As soon as I get a copy, I will put it on here and on the website.
It should also be in the Con books

Hugs

Liz
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