Policy Example – AnthroCon
Policy Example – AnthroCon
AnthroCon is “the galaxy’s largest furry convention” – a convention for those involved or interested in the large and varied anthropomorphic or “furry” fandom. (Check out What is Furry? for more information).
AnthroCon organisers have put a lot of work into their comprehensive website, which offers valuable tips for attending the con that would be valuable information to newcomers to all kinds of conventions. They’ve also put a lot of thought into the policies and procedures that make AnthroCon successful, including their anti-harassment policy. You can read their full Rules of Conduct here.
The harassment section reads:
Anthrocon is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable convention experience for everyone. Harassment of any kind, including physical assault, battery, deliberate intimidation, stalking, or unwelcome physical attentions, will not be tolerated. If people tell you “no” or to leave them alone, your business with them is done. Leave them alone. Do not follow them or attempt to disrupt their convention experience in any way. If you continue to attempt to have contact with those people, you may be removed from the premises.
Anthrocon is not responsible for solving any interpersonal problems that may arise between individual members. In general, we can take no action to prevent a person from attending the convention unless that person has made a specific and credible threat toward the convention itself. If you feel that a threat exists against your person, we advise you to seek a restraining order against the individual in question and to present it to the chairman in advance of the convention; otherwise, we recommend simply avoiding that individual. If that individual stalks, harasses, or attempts to assault you at the convention itself, you may report that individual to a member of the security staff and the appropriate action will be taken. Conversely, any attempt to have an innocent person removed from the convention by falsely accusing him or her of threats will be itself treated as an act of harassment and will be dealt with appropriately. The responsibility for settling interpersonal disputes lies solely with the individuals involved, and Anthrocon will not tolerate being used as a leveraging point in such disputes.
This policy includes clear guidelines to unacceptable behaviour, and offers clear steps for harassed persons to take to indicate their discomfort (“say no; if they don’t leave you alone after that, inform us”). It also guards against the minor possibility of false harassment complaints by promising to treat those as an act of harassment.
Douglas Muth, Operations Director, writes:
A copy of [the Rules of Conduct] is also printed in our convention book which every member receives at registration. Also at registration is a very large printout of that same document which is placed on poster board.
We require all members (including staff) to sign a form upon receiving their conbadge which states that they have read and understood our Standards of Conduct.
I’m not 100% certain, but I believe the back of our conbadges have language that says something along the lines of, “purchase of this membership requires you follow our Standards of Conduct”.
Our security has an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. (That number changes for each convention year, of course).
Security also maintains a presence in our Operations Office, and a logbook is kept of any incidents that are reported during the convention. The Operations Office is staffed 24 hours a day throughout the convention.
While, of course, every convention will want to make its own specific policies, AnthroCon is a great example of a convention prepared to establish, articulate and act upon anti-harassment policies.
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