Why does Ytterbium need an anti-harassment policy?
We’ve implemented an anti-harassment policy in response to widespread reports of harassment in geek communities and at conventions around the world. There are a multitude of reports and references that are easily searchable on the Internet.
Eastercon is intended to be a safe place for all the diverse people in our community to spend a weekend talking, watching and interacting with all things SF&F related.
We define harassment as including (but not limited to) the following:
- uninvited physical contact
- uninvited attention
- deliberate intimidation, stalking, following
- offensive verbal comments. These may be related to (but not exclusively related to) gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion; and include rape “jokes”.
- wearing t-shirts or badges that are well known to be offensive, or the wearer has been asked to remove in the past; refusing to remove items that are pointed out to the wearer as offensive by the committee or a representative of the committee.
- taking a photograph or recording someone without their express permission
- sustained disruption of talks or other events
- targeting with abusive comments through social media or other electronic means
We ask you to be sensitive to the fact that what you do not see as harassing behaviour, others may view as such and you could be asked to stop what you are doing. You must do so immediately. However harmless your initial intent i.e. believing it was a mutually enjoyable joke, if you persist, then your intention is to harass.
If we receive a formal complaint, we will ask the harasser to stop. If they don’t, we will take further action.
Ultimately, we ask you to please be on your best behaviour.
Where to go if you’re being harassed.
If you are being harassed, or you notice that someone else is being harassed, or you have any other concerns, please contact Ops immediately. The Ops Room will be found at the front entrance of the Blue conference centre at the front of the hotel.
At the time of writing, we are working to provide some form of service whereby you can, if you want to, talk to someone about your harassment without necessarily making a report. This will either be a Listening Service, or a mobile number of someone you can speak to confidentially.
Convention staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the convention.
You do not have to give us details of the harassment, and can choose whether or not to report. If you wish to report, we will take details of the harassment and work with you to respond to the issue in a way that assists you in feeling safe and maintains the safety of the wider convention environment, as well as enforcing our anti-harassment policy. If you report a serious criminal matter, please be aware that we may be obliged to contact the police. We would however take into account any concerns you may have around involving them.
We expect participants to follow these rules throughout the hotel and at all social events.
Should anything come to a dispute (which we fervently hope it will not), the committee will remain the final arbiters of what is harassment. In the unlikely event that someone is asked to leave the convention because of a dispute, this will be done without refund of membership or any other costs incurred.