A Convention is a private event and, as such, the Committee has always had the right and the ability to remove any attendee for antisocial behaviour. Over recent years, it has become standard practice for such events to publish a Code of Conduct providing guidelines as to what that antisocial behaviour may include.
The Code of Conduct governs not only behaviour at Concentric 2020, but also in certain spaces elsewhere, including but not limited to activity online, such as in messages or replies to Concentric accounts on social media, and posts in Concentric pages and groups.
The Concentric 2020 Committee and code of conduct team bring with them their information and experience from previous convention committees and code of conduct teams, and will carry their information and experience from this convention to condition their approach in future convention committees and code of conduct teams. They also maintain an awareness of activity which has been of concern to other conventions.
All members of the convention are expected to understand the Code of Conduct, to accept its validity, and to agree to be bound by the terms in force at the time of the convention.
The Code of Conduct binds the committee and the guests just as firmly as it does any other member.
For most people, the simple principle of, “Behave like a decent human being,” is enough of a guideline. However, just in case, these are the behaviours we feel lead to that result:
- Be welcoming. We expect all our attendees to respect each other’s right to be at Eastercon. In particular, discriminatory behaviour or harassment will not be tolerated.
- Be courteous and aware we all have different sensitivities. If your language or behaviour is unwelcome to another attendee then stop. Anything else may be considered harassment.
- Be respectful of other people’s boundaries. Physical contact should only occur with all parties’ enthusiastic consent. Remember, not everyone likes being hugged.
- Be aware that communication may be verbal or non-verbal.
Discrimination includes, but is not limited to, discrimination on the grounds of: sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexuality, ethnicity, age, religion and mental or physical disability.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to, any behaviour that can be reasonably expected to disturb or intimidate another convention attendee. It includes the wearing of symbols associated with fascism and racism, independent of the intent of the wearer. Harassment may be verbal or non-verbal.
Other behaviour of interest to the Code of Conduct team not specifically defined herein may also result in action by the team.
Dealing with Code of Conduct issues
If you feel comfortable, address the person and the problem behaviour directly. In most cases this will be all that is required.
If you are not comfortable with a direct approach, or it proves insufficient, then either:
- report the matter to the Duty Committee Member.
They will contact the Designated People named at the foot of the Code of Conduct, one or more of whom will come to talk to you as soon as possible, or
- contact one of the Designated People directly, in person or by calling the number listed at the foot of the Code of Conduct.
Convention Response and Responsibilities
The Concentric 2020 Committee is responsible for enforcing the Code of Conduct and for maintaining confidentiality. This responsibility is delegated in the first instance to a team of three people (the Designated People), who will deal with complaints, and who will be listed at the foot of the Code of Conduct when the version in force at the time of the convention is fixed.
At least one of those three will be a committee member; at least one will not.
The complaint will be heard, in confidence, in a private place, and an appropriate response agreed upon with the complainant. This may include any of the following:
- Arbitration between the parties involved
- One, and only one, verbal warning.
- Rescinding of convention membership without refund, and/or refusal to provide membership.
- Reporting the incident to the police.
The committee’s decision in all Code of Conduct matters is final.
If a complaint is made about you, either to your face via the Duty Committee Member or via the Designated People, your interaction with the complainant is over.
In cases of a dispute with the hotel, the committee will support the hotel and the hotel’s own Code of Conduct.
The standard of judgement in these matters is the “reasonable person” standard as applied by the designated people, and by members of the committee.
Attempts to “rules lawyer” the Code of Conduct will be seen as a sign of bad faith.
This Code of Conduct is considered to be a living document and is expected to evolve as the convention approaches. In advance of the convention, we will fix the Code of Conduct for the convention, and publish the definitive version in the final Progress Report and in the Programme Book. Constructive comments are welcome and will be considered when finalising this Code of Conduct, and when making the text available to future conventions. Please address suggestions to the Code of Conduct team on the email below.
Designated People: contact numbers and email
The names of three Designated People will appear here in the final version.
At least one of those people will be a committee member; at least one will not.
A telephone number will be published at the convention.
Code of Conduct team email: CodeOfConduct@Concentric2020.uk