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Harassment Policy

Any action or behavior that causes significant interference with convention operations, excessive discomfort to other attendees, or adversely affects the convention’s relationship with its guests, its venue or the public is strictly forbidden and may result in suspension of current membership or permanent suspension of membership.

What is harassment?

Harassment is generally any behavior that causes discomfort or alarms or threatens another person or group.

Here are some examples of harassment:

  • Offensive verbal comments about sex, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, sexuality or marital status.
  • Offensive verbal comments about physical or mental disability, physical appearance or body size.
  • Offensive verbal comments about race, color, ancestry, national origin or religion.
  • Offensive verbal comments about age, genetic characteristics, or a history or diagnosis of cancer.
  • Sustained disruption of classes, talks or other events.
  • Leering, staring or suggestive gestures.
  • Stalking or following someone around a public area without their consent.
  • Repeated requests for dates or requests for sexual favors.
  • Showing sexual images or carrying out sexual activities in public spaces.
  • Epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, offensive jokes or offensive visual materials related to a protected characteristic.
  • Any written, visual or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion to an individual or group because of a protected characteristic.
  • Photographing or recording someone when you have been asked not to.
  • Uninvited physical contact, including touching, grabbing, patting, pinching, hugging, kissing.
  • Threatening to physically attack someone.
  • Sexual assault.
  • Graphic verbal commentaries about an individual’s body, sexually degrading words used to describe an individual, or obscene letters, notes or invitations.
  • Harassing communications via letters, phone calls, e-mails, text messaging or social media.

Prohibited harassment includes gender-based harassment of an individual of the same sex as the harasser.

What should I do if I see someone else being harassed?

Ask the person being harassed if they are okay. Offer to help them find an appropriate Chair, Committee Member or Convention Operations volunteer to report the problem to, or stay with them while someone else finds help. These people are identifiable by their ribbons or yellow vests for operations volunteers.

What can I do if someone accuses me of harassment?

Participants asked to stop harassing behavior must comply immediately. These requests may appear as but are not limited to:

  • Please stop saying that
  • Don’t call me that
  • Don’t use that word
  • Actually, my preferred pronouns are…
  • Stop touching me
  • Stop following me
  • I did not say you could take my picture
  • Leave me alone
  • I did not ask for assistance
  • You are making me uncomfortable

Please remember these are just a few examples and anti-harassment requests may appear in many forms not explicitly stated above.

If someone makes a complaint against you, listen, and be aware that your actions may not have come off as you intended them. If this has occurred, be prepared to apologize, sincerely, without qualifiers and then disengage and respectfully avoid similar situations in future. Please understand that, in such a situation, the safety of members is the highest priority.

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