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BIG Code of Conduct

We at BIG believe that everyone has the right to feel safe, have a fulfilling experience and be in a welcoming environment when attending our conferences (socials and programmed sessions), Skills Days and events. With this Code of Conduct, we want to commit to creating an open and safe environment where all attendees feel able to participate.

Everyone involved with BIG’s activities (attendees, volunteers, staff members, organisers and so forth) is subject to the Code of Conduct. Failing to comply with this Code of Conduct could result in the immediate exclusion from any of the programmed events without a refund.

Being part of a BIG activity means:

      Respecting and listening to each other’s views;

      Using welcoming and inclusive language;

      Treating everyone equally;

      Respecting each other’s choice of pronoun, as outlined on name tags (if in doubt, please ask);

      Respecting event attendees, venue staff, organisers and volunteers;

      Respecting each other’s personal space;

We will NOT accept:

      Violent behaviour;

      Harassment;

      Discrimination;

      Display of inappropriate content.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to, offensive verbal or written comments related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention or sexual jokes.

If what you’re doing is making someone feel uncomfortable, that counts as harassment and is enough reason to stop doing it.

We encourage people to pay attention to potentially harmful language patterns, such as:

      Using gendered terms like “dude” or “guys” to address a mixed-group of people. This contributes to furthering exclusion of underrepresented individuals, as does using gendered terms in contexts where the gender is unspecified (i.e. you can use “they” if the person hasn’t clearly stated their pronouns).

      Using words like “crazy”, “dumb”, “insane”, “lame” or using terms such as “OCD” out of context. These are examples of ableist language, devaluing people who have physical or mental disabilities. Its appearance often stems not from any intentional desire to offend, but from our innate sense of what it means to be normal. These words can be avoided by using more fitting, clearer descriptions of what we want to communicate.

Making a complaint:

If someone is violating the Code of Conduct and you are either the subject of the harassment or a witness, there are three options:

A.    We do not intend formal procedures to replace discussion between BIG members. If you feel able to discuss someone's behaviour aimed at you or someone else directly with them, please do.

B.     Discuss the matter informally with a member of the Executive Committee, they can act as a mediator before starting the process for a formal complaint.

C.     File a formal complaint: if you intend to file an official complaint, it is important that you give as much detail as possible about what you have witnessed or experienced.

Please bear in mind that all reports are confidential and we would appreciate if information about the incident was not disclosed publicly until BIG’s Executive Committee has had time to address the situation.

You can report an issue following the two processes below.

1.     Face-to-face:
You can approach any member of the current Executive Committee to file a complaint. Current members of the committee can be found here (
https://www.big.uk.com/Exec). You will be asked to provide a written version of your complaint. If all current members of the committee are the subjects of the complaint, please approach the Event Coordinator or Membership Services Manager.

2.     Electronically:
Please send an email to complaints@big.uk.com. This address is monitored by the current Event Coordinator of BIG and not by the executive committee members. If you prefer the complaint to be reported anonymously, please mention this in your email. The email will be forwarded to the Chair, who will then discuss matters with the committee unless:

1. The Chair is the subject of the complaint (in this case, the email will be forwarded to the Vice-Chair).
2. The Vice-Chair and Chair are the subjects of the complaint (in this case, the email will be forwarded to the Treasurer).
3. … And so forth.

In the case all members of the Executive Committee are the subjects of the complaint, the matter will be handled by the Event Coordinator and Membership Services Manager.

What to pay attention to when reporting an incident:

-        Identifying information (name/badge) of the person doing the harassing;

-        The behaviour in violation;

-        The approximate time of the incident (if different from the time the report was made);

-        The circumstances surrounding the incident;

-        Other people involved in the incident.

If you feel someone is at imminent risk for their life and you feel that police or emergency services need to be involved, please don’t hesitate to contact 999.

Credits:

This Code of Conduct is based on and adapted from the Dot Everyone Code of Conduct (CC BY 4.0) and the PHP Conference Code of Conduct (CC BY 3.0). The latter was based on and adapted from the PyCon Code of Conduct (CC BY 3.0).

Date last reviewed:

06 July, 2019


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