CAST and CASTx Code of Conduct

All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at our conferences are required to agree with the following Code of Conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout our events. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.

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The Quick Version

Our conferences are 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 organizers.

The Less Quick Version

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, technology choices, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

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. Sponsor staff are also protected by the anti-harassment policy.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of conference staff immediately. Conference staff can be identified as they’ll be wearing branded clothing and/or badges.

Conference staff will be happy to help participants experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference in any way required.  We value your attendance and will ensure that harassment stops immediately when you report it. As warranted by the offense, we will contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement on your behalf, provide escorts, and/or otherwise assist you to enjoy a harassment-free conference experience.

We expect participants to follow these rules at all conference and workshop venues and conference-related social events, in person as well as online: preceding, during, and immediately following the conference.

Debate and Open Season

CAST and CASTx are known for encouraging open, vigorous discussions and debate. We want to preserve those opportunities for discussion, even if they might sometimes be contentious. By clearly spelling out our code, we hope to help increase participation in discussions and debate. All ideas are worthy of examination and testing, and CAST/(x) is designed to provide a forum to do just that.

Speaking at CAST means you will be asked questions about your presentation, and some of them may be tough. If you participate in a discussion following a talk (Open Season), someone may disagree with you, perhaps vigorously. Unless you are a speaker, participation in these discussions is optional.

Outside of Open Season and other periods specifically programmed for discussion and debate, it is not appropriate to continue to confront or challenge anyone who has said they do not want to talk with you. If you are informed that someone does not want to continue a conversation yet persist in challenging them, you are in violation of this Code.

It is more than possible to disagree and debate with someone in a respectful and professional way, while avoiding being disrespectful or unwelcoming to your colleagues. We must trust each other to debate in good faith, to criticize ideas honestly and fairly, and to hear criticism of ideas as just that. All attendees are responsible for building and keeping that trust.

Pointing out that a tools vendor works within a specific context, or is framing a problem in a specific way they can solve in order to be commercially successful is not inherently disrespectful. Questioning the value of a tool, certification, standard, practice, or process is one of the things that will happen at CAST. Harassing people working on or for one of these enterprises (or any person) is not acceptable.

Feedback and Improvement

We will review the effectiveness and implementation of this policy after each conference, and update it as necessary. Please share your feedback with the conference staff and help us create the community you want to be a part of.

– AST Code of Conduct Committee: Fiona Charles (lead), Maria Kedemo, Eric Proegler, Justin Rohrman, Jesse Alford, Matt Heusser

References

https://adainitiative.org/2014/02/18/howto-design-a-code-of-conduct-for-your-community/

https://www.ashedryden.com/blog/codes-of-conduct-101-faq

http://confcodeofconduct.com/