Locus Science Fiction Foundation Code of Conduct & Policy on Harassment in Locus Venues
The Locus Science Fiction Foundation (LSFF) is dedicated to providing a safe, comfortable, and harassment-free environment for everyone at the Locus Awards Weekend and other LSFF events, as well as spaces managed by LSFF, such as digital platforms. By attending a LSFF event, all individuals are required to abide by LSFF anti-harassment rules, venue policies, and all municipal, state, and federal laws.
Sharing space with other people requires the active exercise of respectful behavior. Good examples include leaving other people a clear path to an exit, moderating the volume of one’s voice, limiting the expansiveness of gestures, and/or maintaining an appropriate physical distance.
If physical contact is wished, a person could express this verbally or with a friendly gesture. Avoid proceeding unless a positive verbal or physical response is given. For example, extend a hand for a handshake or open arms for a hug, then wait for the other person to reciprocate before proceeding.
In general, people should be aware of receiving and maintaining consent, and observing non-verbal and verbal clues that the other party may wish to end the interaction. When in doubt, create physical space and/or end the interaction if necessary.
Prohibited behaviors include, but are not limited to:
- Slurs and derogatory comments about a person, group, or category of people. This includes comments based on characteristics such as, but not limited to, actual or perceived race, national origin, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, physical appearance, age, religion, ability, disability, family structure, marital/domestic partnership status, citizenship, or socioeconomic class.
- Touching of a person or their personal effects — including, but not limited to, hair, clothing, assistive devices, bags, and service animals — without express invitation or consent.
- Physical harm or endangerment or threats of physical harm or endangerment of any person or their personal effects.
- Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical, verbal, or written conduct of a sexual nature.
- Stalking, intimidation, or coercion of a person or persons.
A hostile environment can be created by, among other things, unwanted jokes, gestures, and unwelcome comments and repartee; unsolicited bodily contact such as scratching, rubbing, or patting a person’s back, backside, or chest; grabbing another person around the waist; deliberately interfering with a person’s ability to move; repeated requests for social or physical contact or other unwanted flirting; filming, transmitting or posting any communication (such as chats, direct messages, and emails, etc.) or video and/or pictures of a sexual or other harassment-related nature.
If the situation is safe, and the person experiencing harassment feels comfortable to do so, they should communicate with the individual engaging in the offensive behavior to let them know that the behavior is inappropriate and request that it immediately cease.
If such behavior does not immediately cease, or if direct communication is insufficient, unsafe, or uncomfortable, the behavior may be reported to the Locus Ombudsman, the LSFF President (Liza Groen Trombi) or any other Locus Event Organizer. In addition to notifying the individuals identified above, a complainant may also request assistance from any Locus staffer, employee, or volunteer. Such report should include the substance of the complaint, date(s), and if possible, a list of witnesses and/or, when appropriate, reference URLs.
This policy prohibits retaliation against a member of the Locus Community or attendee of a LSFF event for reporting harassment, intimidation, or discrimination, and for participating in an investigation relating to same. The sanctions for retaliation are the same sanctions available to address any other violation of this policy.
Sanctions for Violation of Policy
Should conduct believed to be in violation of this policy occur at a LSFF venue, the Locus employees or volunteers in charge of the Venue at the time of the conduct may take reasonable action to stop the apparent harassment and ensure the safety of participants by the following actions:
- Warning one or more parties involved that specified behavior is inappropriate
- Requiring a formal apology on behalf of the complainant(s)
- Ejecting the offending party from the premises
- Banning or blocking from Locus online channels
LSFF will make every reasonable effort to conduct all investigations into allegations of harassment, intimidation or discrimination in a manner that will best protect the confidentiality of all parties.
LSFF Reserves the Right to update this policy at any time and without notice.
[Thanks to SFWA and Balticon from whose codes of conduct we borrowed heavily.]