Code of Conduct

(This code of conduct is adapted from http://confcodeofconduct.com and the Django Code of Conduct).
Please see also the ICT4S Conference Sustainability Policies.

We expect all attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at ICT4S to abide by the following code of conduct to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.

Overview

ICT4S is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, Twitter and other online media. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organisers.

Appropriate Conduct

Diversity is one of our huge strengths, but it can also lead to communication issues and unhappiness. To that end, we have a few ground rules that we ask people to adhere to. This code applies equally to attendees, invited speakers, organisers and volunteers.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of things that you can’t do. Rather, take it in the spirit in which it’s intended – a guide to make it easier to enrich all of us and the technical communities in which we participate.

This code of conduct applies to all spaces relevant to the ICT4S conference, including meeting rooms, public spaces, social events, hotels, student residences, and online social media. In addition, violations of this code outside these spaces may affect a person’s ability to participate within them.

Be friendly and patient.

Be welcoming. We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, colour, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability.

Be considerate. Your contributions to the conference will be valued and used by other people, and you in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision you take will affect users and colleagues, and you should take those consequences into account when making decisions. Remember that we’re a world-wide community, so you might not be communicating in someone else’s primary language.

Be respectful. Not all of us will agree all the time, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behavior and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It’s important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. Members of the ICT4S community should be respectful when dealing with other members as well as with people outside our community.

Be careful in the words that you choose. We are a community of professionals, and we conduct ourselves professionally. Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other participants.

Harassment and other exclusionary behavior aren’t acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Violent threats or language directed against another person.
  • Discriminatory jokes and language.
  • Posting sexually explicit language or images in public spaces.
  • Personal insults, especially those related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, or technology choices.
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording.
  • Inappropriate physical contact and unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Sponsors are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, sponsors should not use sexualised images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualised clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualised environment.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of conference staff or student volunteer immediately. Conference staff can be identified as they’ll be wearing ICT4S tie-dye T-shirts and/or organiser badges.

Conference staff and volunteers will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.

We expect participants to follow these rules at all conference and workshop venues and conference-related social events.

Reporting Guidelines

If you believe someone is violating the code of conduct, we ask that you report it either by emailing the conference chair at sme@cs.toronto.edu, or, during the main conference, speaking to our code of conduct officer, Sarah Lavoie, at the conference registration desk. All reports will be kept confidential. In some cases we may determine that a public statement will need to be made. If that’s the case, the identities of all victims and reporters will remain confidential unless those individuals instruct us otherwise.

If you are unsure whether the incident is a violation, or whether the space where it happened is covered by this Code of Conduct, we encourage you to still report it. We would much rather have a few extra reports where we decide to take no action, rather than miss a report of an actual violation. We do not look negatively on you if we find the incident is not a violation. And knowing about incidents that are not violations, or happen outside our spaces, can also help us to improve the Code of Conduct or the processes surrounding it.

In your report please include:

  • Your contact info (so we can get in touch with you if we need to follow up)
  • Names (real, nicknames, or pseudonyms) of any individuals involved. If there were other witnesses besides you, please try to include them as well.
  • When and where the incident occurred. Please be as specific as possible.
  • Your account of what occurred.
  • Any extra context you believe existed for the incident.
  • If you believe this incident is ongoing.
  • Any other information you believe we should have.

What happens after you file a report?

You will receive an email from our code of conduct officer acknowledging your report. We promise to acknowledge receipt within 24 hours (and will aim for much quicker than that).

The conference chairs will meet to review the incident and determine:

  • What happened.
  • Whether this event constitutes a code of conduct violation.
  • Who the bad actor was.
  • Whether this is an ongoing situation, or if there is a threat to anyone’s physical safety.

If this is determined to be an ongoing incident or a threat to physical safety, the conference chairs’ immediate priority will be to protect everyone involved. This means we may delay an “official” response until we believe that the situation has ended and that everyone is physically safe.

Once the chairs have a complete account of the events they will make a decision as to how to response. Responses may include:

  • Nothing (if we determine no violation occurred).
  • A private reprimand to the individual(s) involved.
  • A public reprimand.
  • A request for a public or private apology.
  • Expulsion from the conference with no refund.

Once we’ve determined our final action, we’ll contact the original reporter to let them know what action (if any) we’ll be taking. We’ll take into account feedback from the reporter on the appropriateness of our response, but we cannot guarantee we will act on it.