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Jul 30 2012

More Policies in Place

Regardless of the ongoing pushback against anti-harassment policies, they continue to be put into place. I mentioned that the Minnesota Atheists would be adopting a policy for their meetings and social events. They’ve completed it.

The policy does contain a restriction on sexual images. I know there’s been talk about this before, with regard to its appropriateness for presentations on sexuality. All I have to say is that there will be plenty of time to change the policy if and when the Minnesota Atheists overcome their institutional conservatism enough to host presentations that would require such a change.

Then, yesterday, I got more good news. Tanya Smith of Atheist Alliance International sent me an email to let me know that they have adopted a policy for conventions. Their situation is a little unusual, though that’s true of every group that has adopted a policy. AAI doesn’t directly host conferences. Instead it works with local groups, who are the actual conference hosts. It intends to work with these groups to have policies in place for all its conferences as well.

This means that the AAI policy is public in all its details. You can read the definition given for harassment. You can look at the examples. You can see how they intend to administer the policy and how they intend for violators to be treated.

Once again, I’m generally happy with these policies. I’m very happy that progress continues to be made on this issue.

8 comments

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  1. 1
    Pteryxx

    *cheers*

    ..okay, I actually linked a comment in Jason’s timeline THEN cheered, but still. ~;>

    Thank you so much for leading this charge.

  2. 2
    Vasha

    I love AAI’s version.

  3. 3
    Pteryxx

    AAI’s actually got the first example AFAIK of a policy about handling information gathered from harassment complaints.

    AAI’s use of information contained in harassment reports

    The Designated Representatives or [name of convention] committee must provide a copy of all reports of harassment to AAI promptly after the conclusion of the convention, after removing identifying information related to all the people involved in the incident.

    AAI will respect the confidential nature of the information contained in harassment reports and comply with relevant legislation regarding privacy and/or data protection. AAI may disclose information contained in harassment reports where requested to do so by law enforcement officials or, subject to any relevant legislative restrictions, to officers (or the equivalent) of other atheist groups or events where the AAI Board considers that such disclosure would assist the other atheist group or event to minimise the risk of harassment to its members or attendees.

    as far as I can tell, that seems like a good way to address the conflicting principles involved.

  4. 4
    Pteryxx

    (posted on Pharyngula too, now I’ll behave)

    …Wow. The AAI policy is heavy-duty. Obviously they’ve synthesized many of the best points raised over the months of ongoing discussion. I highly recommend checking it out.

    For example, their version of the no-hug rule:

    Attendees are expected to respect people’s personal space and accept “no” as a definitive answer to a request for any activity.

    and this… (emphasis mine)

    If an attendee harasses another attendee at the convention, on the premises of the convention or at a convention-organised event the [name of convention] organisers may take any action they consider appropriate, including warning the harasser, sanctioning the harasser or expelling the harasser from some or all of the convention without (in the case of a paying attendee) a refund or (in the case of a speaker attendee) the payment of any speaking fee.

    They laid it out. They LAID IT OUT in plain text that speakers will be expected to comply, too, or else. Wow.

  5. 5
    crocswsocks

    Woohoo! Thunderfoot can suck our collective metaphorical cocks!

  6. 6
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    It smells like… victory.

    One day this war will end…

  7. 7
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    You mean two more personal attacks against TAM, right? Spiteful little policy creators, all. </snarkasm> (just to be clear)

  8. 8
    Stephen Beesley

    Another day, another policy, another email asking that age be included in the list of protected characteristics. Good policy otherwise, though.

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