The code of conduct outlines our expectations for participants within the OpenCon community, both online and in-person, as well as steps for reporting unacceptable behavior. We are committed to providing a welcoming and inspiring community for all and expect our code of conduct to be honored. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be asked to leave the community. All participants are required to review the Code of Conduct when registering for the conference, whether attending in person or online.

What should a Code of Conduct Include?

The code of conduct communicates that harassment is not tolerated in the community, and lists types and examples of harassment (e.g. discrimination on the basis of identity and background, sexual harassment, intimidation, etc.) Sections of the OpenCon 2016 Code of Conduct included:

  • - Diversity statement
  • - Anti-harassment policy
  • - Definitions of harassment
  • - Outline of collective community values and goals

Access the full OpenCon Code of Conduct here.

Reporting Process

A clear reporting process is included in the Code of Conduct webpage. Conference attendees are given a list of people they can contact to report violations of the Code of Conduct including their email addresses and phone numbers. We also specify what to include in a report: the reporter’s contact information, names of the individuals involved, an account of what happened, and a link if there is documentation of the incident. We communicate that all requests for confidentiality will be respected. We would suggest having multiple code of conduct contacts, of different genders, seniority levels, and racial backgrounds to help ensure those who have a violation to report feel comfortable doing so. We encourage organizers to be thoughtful about who they are choosing as point people in the reporting process: what kinds of complaints might you receive, and who would people feel comfortable reporting these violations to? For instance, a female participant may feel more comfortable reporting sexual harassment to a female point person.

Areas for Improvement

Based off participant feedback, we noted a few key areas for improving the OpenCon Code of Conduct in 2017:

  • 1. Clear method of on-site reporting for urgent issues (including at social events)
  • 2. Clearly displayed print copies of Code of Conduct on site
  • 3. Clear communication of Code of Conduct in pre-conference communications and statement at the beginning of the conference in person
  • 4. Stronger enforcement process, decided and communicated in advance to participants
  • 5. We recognize the importance of anonymity in reporting code of conduct violations. In the future, we will allow the option of submitting anonymous reports through a form.

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Additional Factors to Consider