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Disciplinary Process Information

Revised: June 24, 2020


Summary of Arisia's Disciplinary Process - Disciplinary Process - Incident Reports - Disciplinary Process FAQ - More Information


Summary of Arisia's Disciplinary Process

Per the corporate disciplinary process policy, "a request to consider disciplinary action against a person or persons may be brought to the Eboard by any corporate member." An incident report (IR) may be submitted directly to the Incident Response Team at the convention or may be emailed to the IR committee for referral to the Eboard via incidents@arisia.org

When following up on an IR, the Eboard shall reach out to the reporter, as per policy, acknowledging receipt of the IR and setting expectations for next step. This shall include a timeframe for a decision as to whether the incident will be addressed through the corporate disciplinary process, and for notifying the reporter of the decision. If an incident is not referred to the disciplinary process, no follow-up will be conducted.

When the Eboard conducts follow-up on a matter referred to the corporate disciplinary process, they should outline the plan for follow-up to the person who filed the incident report or submitted the disciplinary process request.  At that time, they should also ask the person who filed the report for any other information they would like to add including the names and contact information (if available) for anyone else that they think should be contacted (such as witnesses of an altercation).

If the report involves a member of the Eboard, that Eboard member will not be involved in or be copied on any email conversations related to the investigation of the incident, per policy.

If the person whose behavior is reported is a volunteer or staff member, the Eboard should reach out to that volunteer’s supervisor for general feedback about the volunteer, and to staff services for any information about the volunteer they may have on file.

If the person whose behavior is reported is a panelist, the Eboard should reach out to programming to see if there has been feedback or other notes about that panelist. If the report involves a panel, the Eboard should get contact information for all the panelists on the panel to follow up with them.

If the person whose behavior is reported is a dealer, event participant or organizer, game master, or any other sort of member with an additional role, the Eboard should reach out to the relevant department and gather any information they may have about that person, as in the other examples laid out above.

When conducting follow-up, the Eboard should clearly communicate the timeframe within which they need to receive a response. This timeframe should generally be about two weeks, although the Eboard may shorten or lengthen it at their discretion.

After gathering other information, the Eboard shall reach out to the person whose behavior was reported, letting them know about the report with as much detail as possible so that the person understands the context of what is being reported.  The Eboard can name people involved in the incident, including the individual on the receiving end of any inappropriate behavior, but will not ever reveal which individual filed the report.  The Eboard will give the person whose actions have been reported a chance to respond to the report, including asking for the names and contact information of other people who may have relevant information related to the incident reported.



DISCIPLINARY PROCESS

  1. A request to consider disciplinary action against a person or persons may be brought to the Eboard by any corporate member. The Eboard will look into all such requests in as confidential a manner as possible.
  2. After investigating, the Eboard will notify the person(s) involved, and then report their decision to the Corporation with twelve days notice including action to be taken. Any Eboard member involved will be automatically recused from participating in the investigation and decision. The confidentiality of other person(s) involved in the complaint including those making the request will be protected in this report. If the only action taken is a warning (whether verbal or written), the Eboard may vote to keep the name(s) of the person(s) warned confidential in the report given at the meeting. If no action is taken, the confidentiality of all person(s) involved in the complaint will be protected in this report. Possible actions include but are not limited to a ban from attending, volunteering, staffing, or otherwise participating for a number of year(s) or permanently.
  3. When reporting decisions, the following format should be used whenever possible:
    Arisia received [a/multiple report(s)] that a/an [attendee/staff member/etc.] had engaged in [behavior] [location] [time period]. After looking into the report, the Eboard has decided [action/lack of action] [duration].
    For example:
    Arisia received a report that an attendee was seen kicking puppies in the lobby during Arisia 2016. After looking into the report, the Eboard has decided to restrict this attendee from volunteering for the convention until after Arisia 2018.
  4. The names of people whose behavior was reported through the Disciplinary Process will not be published in Mentor.
  5. If the governing body of another convention (or similar fannish group) asks Arisia about a person who may have been the subject of an Arisia disciplinary action, the Eboard may vote to release decisions about that person under the Disciplinary Process, as reported in Mentor including the date(s) of the decision(s), or to report that there was no such action. Any information released must protect the confidentiality of everyone else involved in the report, including the reporter. The Eboard will report all such requests, and the Eboard’s response, to the corporate membership at the next corporate meeting.
  6. If the Membership wishes to overturn this decision of the Eboard under bylaw 4.4, a motion to do so shall be in order only during New Business of the corporate meeting at which this decision is reported or the corporate meeting immediately after. After that, the decision is binding on future events but may be appealed to the Eboard after at least one year. Such appeals will be heard by the then current Eboard and will be handled in the same fashion as original requests.
  7. The convention chair or their designee may revoke convention membership because of actions reported at or involving the current year’s convention. Revocation of membership should otherwise use the disciplinary process. A Convention Chair may always choose that they do not wish a particular person or persons working on their con.
    1. Through the end of Arisia 2019, while investigating an IR, the Eboard may take provisional actions up to and including restricting the attendance or participation of the person (or persons) whose behavior was reported in the IR.
    1. All disciplinary process decisions will be posted to a single webpage in list format on the Arisia corporate website, in addition to being reported out in Mentor. Except for decisions where a person has been permanently or indefinitely banned from attending Arisia Inc. sponsored events, names will not be published on this list.
      [The list of Disciplinary Process Decisions can be found at https://corp.arisia.org/DisciplinaryProcessDecisions.]
    2. This page will consist of a list of individuals who have been banned from attending Arisia Inc. sponsored events, sorted alphabetically by name, and a separate list of reasons for disciplinary action, sorted chronologically, without dates attached to either list.
    3. If a disciplinary process decision to permanently or indefinitely ban a person is later overturned, their name shall be removed from the webpage listing all disciplinary process decisions, and a note will be created noting that the decision was overturned which triggered the removal of their name.


DEALING WITH INCIDENT REPORTS

Arisia's Incident Report Committee as defined in Arisia's Policies

  1. The Eboard will appoint a committee of at least three people to review and manage incident reports, with preference given to appointing Eboard members-at-large.
    Those people should select one of the Eboard members among their number as chair of the committee to:
    1. To take physical responsibility for reports, log books, and related materials from the ops div head at the end of the convention
    2. To be the point of contact for incident reports received by email and to ensure they are archived and referred appropriately
    3. To acknowledge all incident reports within two weeks of receipt if warranted.

    Based on their review of the incident reports, the committee shall bring complaints as needed to the Eboard for investigation and possible disciplinary action.

    Incident reports are not to be shared with other people or organizations other than the people in Arisia who take the reports or participate in the investigation or with a need to know as it affects their Arisia duties. Actions taken as a result of the report can be shared with others under the restrictions given elsewhere in corporate policies. Incident reports that are referred to the Eboard are handled in accordance with the Disciplinary Policy above.



Disciplinary Process FAQ

1) What is the disciplinary process for?
The Disciplinary Process is intended to prioritize community safety and the ongoing wellbeing of Arisia; it is not intended to be punitive. Arisia also has a Code of Conduct whose primary goal is to keep the Arisia community safe, and whose other goals include maintaining our relationships with venues and other vendors. When Arisia members engage in behavior that jeopardize one or more of these goals, the Disciplinary Process is one of the tools that we use to address that behavior.

2) What is an incident? What is an incident report?
An incident is any behavior that potentially jeopardizes community safety or the ongoing wellbeing of Arisia and its individual members. An incident report is a notification to Arisia that an incident may have occurred.

3) What are some examples of things which can trigger an incident report?
Noise from a hotel room; smoking in the hotel; underage drinking; interpersonal conflicts; verbal harassment; racist, sexist, or other discriminatory comments or language; intimidation; stalking; unwanted physical contact or assault.

4) How do I file an incident report? What can someone expect to happen in the course of filing the report?
Incident reports can be filed via email to incidents@arisia.org, via the contact form on the website, or via a formal in-person report at an Arisia Inc. sponsored event.

The full incident reporting process, including how to file a report as well as what will happen in the course of filing the report, is on our Problem Reporting Process page. In short, (1) We will make a written report and ask you for the details needed to understand and resolve the problem and to mitigate further harm; (2) Your report will be taken seriously and treated confidentially; (3) We will tell you what our next steps will be and the action(s) to be taken, if any.

5) Can bystanders or witnesses file incident reports? Can I file a report if I was impacted by an incident even if I was not the primary target of the behavior?
Yes. We encourage bystanders and witnesses to file reports, especially if they felt impacted by the incident that they witnessed.

6) Can reports be made anonymously? Can I ask a friend to make the report on my behalf, and keep my identity confidential?
Yes, reports can be made anonymously. Yes, you can ask a friend to make a report and keep your identity confidential. Additionally, anonymous reports can be made directly via the contact form. Please note that we will not be able to follow up with you for further questions or to let you know the resulting actions if we do not have contact information. For more information about anonymous reporting, see the Problem Reporting Process page.

We take anonymous reports because we believe that it is important to provide mechanisms that reduce the risk of retaliation against people who make reports.

7) Who has access to incident reports that have been filed?
After the convention, incident reports are referred to the Eboard for follow-up and investigation. If the person whose behavior was reported is a member of the Eboard, that Eboard member will not be included in or be copied on any conversations related to the investigation of the incident.

In following up on incident reports, the investigation team will never disclose who made the report. They may need to specify the person(s) who was the target of the behavior that was reported.

For information about who has access to the incident reports at the convention, see the Problem Reporting Process page.

8) What is Arisia Corporate and who are the Eboard?
Arisia Corporate refers to Arisia Inc., the non-profit corporation that puts on the annual Arisia convention. The Eboard refers to the Executive Board, which functions as the Board of Directors for the corporation. It is made up of: the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Clerk of the corporation, three At-Large members, and several non-voting members who are current and future convention chairpersons and convention treasurers.

9) Do I need to be a corporate member to make a report?
No. Anyone can make a report.

10) What does Arisia do if the person(s) who was the target of the behavior in an incident does not want to officially report it? What if a bystander or a witness reports an incident, but the person who was the target of the behavior does not want Arisia to take action? Can this person who is the target of the behavior stop the process?
Anyone, including the target of the behavior that has been reported, may decline to participate in the investigation. Although Arisia will take the preferences of targets of behavior into account, our consideration of community safety may mean that we move forward with an investigation anyway. If the investigation moves forward, the person(s) declining to participate will not be involved in this process.

11) What if the Incident did not happen at the convention?
We encourage you to file a report, although the actions we can take in response may be more limited than if the incident were to happen at an Arisia, Inc. sponsored event.

12) It says that "if an incident is not referred to the disciplinary process, no follow-up will be conducted." Does that mean that the IR committee can just decide to ignore my report and not tell me anything?
The IR committee may decide that an incident was addressed sufficiently via the response that occurred at con, or that they do not have enough information to move forward with the disciplinary process. Regardless, if your report included contact information, the IR committee will contact you with information about whether they are moving forward.

Incidents which can be resolved at the convention may not require additional disciplinary follow ups.  These cases do not trigger an investigation post-convention.

13) What is the policy on publishing disciplinary actions?
Disciplinary decisions, including actions, warnings, and decisions to take no action, are published in the Arisia corporate newsletter Mentor.

These decisions will also be posted on a page on the Arisia website. Names of people against whom disciplinary action was taken will only appear on the web page if the action taken was a permanent or indefinite ban.

This is the policy for incident reports received after December 19, 2018. For reports received before that date, all that will appear on the web page are the names of permanently or indefinitely banned persons and the date that ban went into effect.

14) How do I appeal a decision that was made? Can I request that Arisia take stronger action in response to an IR? Can I request that Arisia rescind an action?
Like all decisions of the Executive Board, the Disciplinary Process decisions are subject to governance by the Corporate membership of Arisia, Inc. A decision is reported out at a monthly meeting of the corporation, and a motion to overturn may be made by any corporate member at that meeting or the one following it. After one year, a decision may be appealed directly to the Eboard, at which point it will be handled in the same fashion as a new request.

Information about becoming a member of Arisia, Inc may be found at https://corp.arisia.org/membership.

B - 15) How has the Disciplinary Process changed since the fall of 2018?
The largest changes to the Arisia Disciplinary Process policies are the increased transparency of disciplinary actions and reports via publication in Mentor and on the website https://corp.arisia.org/DisciplinaryProcessDecisions. In addition, in response to the large numbers of reports received in fall 2018, we enabled the Eboard to take short-term provisional actions through the end of Arisia 2019. In response to the workload, the Incident Report Committee has been expanded to include more members, who do not need to be members of the Eboard.

16) If an Incident Report isn’t substantiated, does the reporter suffer any repercussions?
No. The lack of substantiation of an Incident Report is not sufficient to trigger any repercussions.

17) Who will be notified once a decision is made?
The person whose behavior was reported, the person who filed the report, and the person who was the target of the reported behavior, if applicable. Decisions made through this process are reported at meetings of the Arisia corporation.
C - 18) If a person appeals a decision, does information concerning the results of that disciplinary process remain on the website pending the appeal?
Yes. Alterations to the website will only be made if the appeal results in a change of that decision.

If an appeal results in a change of a decision, a note to the original decision will be added, to reflect that change. If an indefinite or permanent ban is rescinded, the name of the person previously banned will be removed from the website.

19) Suppose that shortly after I make an incident report these policies change. To what extent do those changes become retroactive?
Any changes to Arisia policies typically includes guidance about how those changes apply retroactively.

20) When does Arisia reach out to staff members to gather information about the person whose behavior was reported?
If the person whose behavior is reported is a convention staffer, or is a panelist, dealer, event participant, or gamemaster, then in the process of investigation, the Eboard should contact the person’s supervisor, if a staffer or volunteer, or the relevant department head (Programming, Dealers, Events, Gaming, etc) to ask whether there is feedback about this person that the Eboard should take into account.

21) Does Arisia publish lists of people whose participation in the con is restricted?
Arisia will publish a web page with the names of those persons who are permanently or indefinitely banned from Arisia events. However, Arisia does not publish a list of those people whose participation in Arisia events is limited or restricted in other ways.

22) If I have a restraining order about a potential Arisia attendee, how do I let Arisia know about it?
Send an email to incidents@arisia.org.

A - 23) Why did it take so long to respond to my complaint? Why am I being contacted now about something that happened months ago?
The process of gathering information about a reported incident often requires several rounds of correspondence between the investigation team, the reporter, the person whose behavior was reported, and any witnesses or other people with relevant information. In order to allow people time to respond carefully and thoughtfully, and to account for other stuff going on in their lives, we generally ask people to respond to a given request within two weeks. This process can expand to take several months or even longer. While we acknowledge the value of timely completion of this work, we believe it is more important to do this correctly than to do it quickly.

If you have further questions, please contact us at incidents@arisia.org.



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