Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct sets the standard of conduct expected of participants in the MI OER Summit and its related online spaces. It sets the expectation that all participants will actively work to create a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment and strictly prohibits discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment. Participation in MI OER Summit activities is conditional upon acceptance of the Code of Conduct.
This Code of Conduct applies to all aspects of the MI OER Summit activities where individuals’ behavior affects the ability of others to participate. This includes conference sessions, planning meetings, informal side meetings associated with the conference, social platforms, email discussion lists, and other related interactions within the virtual conference platform. This Code of Conduct applies to all participants, including attendees, speakers, proposal authors, sponsors, scholarship recipients, volunteers, reviewers, conference staff, and vendors.
III. STANDARD OF CONDUCT
The MI OER Summit seeks to offer a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space for learning and sharing, guided by the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. These values can only thrive in an environment free from harassment, sexual harassment, and discriminatory behavior.
The standard of conduct at the MI OER Summit and related spaces is set forth below and is further defined in Section VIII. Anyone asked to cease behavior in violation of this Code of Conduct is expected to comply immediately. Engaging in prohibited behavior is subject to enforcement action, including being removed from the conference or its online spaces.
Behavior that is expected and encouraged:
Be respectful, inclusive, and accepting of others. Actively seek to challenge your personal biases, assumptions, and preconceived stereotypes and approach differences with openness and curiosity.
Be conscious of how your words and actions (including unintentional ones) might harm others. Take time to educate yourself on how to be more inclusive and listen when someone takes the time to educate you.
Be aware of privilege and power dynamics. If you find you are talking or commenting a lot, consider stepping back to leave more space for others. If you share the work or ideas of others, give credit where it is due.
Be considerate of privacy and personal boundaries. Give others a chance to “opt-in” to personal interactions, and respect limits when they are set.
Be constructive in offering criticism and be gracious in accepting it. Consider “calling in” rather than “calling out,” and direct critiques toward ideas rather than people.
Behavior that is strictly prohibited:
Discrimination, including unfavorable or disparate treatment to others because of any aspect of their identity, appearance, or protected class.
Harassment and harassing behavior, including use of epithets and slurs, derogatory or hostile comments, repeated attempts to make contact, or any behavior that interferes with another person’s participation in the conference.
Sexual harassment, including the use of sexual images, jokes of a sexual or gendered nature, or any unwelcome contact of a sexual nature in any medium.
IV. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The MI OER Summit Steering Committee (“Steering Committee”) bears ultimate responsibility for ensuring that this Code of Conduct is enforced. The Steering Committee will delegate this responsibility to a Code of Conduct Committee, comprised of Code of Conduct Officers (“Officers”) that must include at least one active Steering Committee member who will serve as coordinator and liaison. The number of Officers is at the Steering Committee’s discretion, and the process for selecting Officers will consider diversity and representation.
The current officers are:
Any matters regarding the actions of the Code of Conduct Committee or reports regarding any of its Officers may be sent directly to any member of the Steering Committee. If a report is submitted regarding any member of the Steering Committee, Code of Conduct Committee, or other person involved in organizing the conference, the person reported will not be allowed to view the report or participate in the investigation.
V. REPORTING PROCESS
The process for reporting violations of this Code of Conduct and how we respond to reports is laid out in this section.
1. How to Report a Violation
Reports may be submitted in the following ways:
Directly to any individual Officer.
The Code of Conduct Committee via an Online Form (which includes the option to submit anonymously).
To the Code of Conduct Committee via firstname.lastname@example.org
Reports may be submitted by:
Individuals who have been harmed by a violation of this Code of Conduct.
Witnesses to a violation of this Code of Conduct.
Third parties in possession of information regarding a violation of this Code of Conduct.
Information that is helpful to include in reports:
Identifying information of the person who has violated the Code of Conduct.
A description of the behavior that violated the Code of Conduct, including what, where, and when.
Other people involved in or witness to the incident and any available contact information.
Links to any publicly available records (e.g., tweets, session recordings, etc.) or other relevant information.
2. How Reports are Processed
As a general rule, an Officer will follow the following steps upon receiving a Code of Conduct report:
Assess the situation to determine whether immediate action is necessary to prevent further harm.
Contact the person making the report (if possible) to gather any additional information and determine how anyone harmed by the violation can be best supported.
Investigate the report to the extent that the details provided allow, including reviewing any documentation, interviewing the parties involved, interviewing witnesses, and gathering additional evidence.
Convene the Code of Conduct Committee to review the investigation findings and decide what, if any, enforcement action to take.
Notify the Steering Committee of the decision, withholding confidential details if necessary, and consult any intended action with the person making the report (if possible).
Communicate the outcome of the investigation and any sanctions to the person reported for violating the Code of Conduct.
Inform any other relevant parties or participants, if applicable.
In general, the Code of Conduct Committee will begin to process a report as soon as it is received by an Officer. The procedure and length of time it takes to fully process a report will depend on the circumstances of the report. There is no time limit or statute of limitations on when reports may be submitted.
All formal reports will be documented along with any action taken and the records held by the Code of Conduct Committee.
3. Confidentiality and Anonymity
Those submitting Code of Conduct reports may request confidentiality. The Code of Conduct Committee takes confidentiality seriously and will protect confidentiality in the reporting process to every extent possible. Confidential information will be circulated to the minimum number of people necessary to process the report, and documentation will be handled with the utmost sensitivity.
Reports may be submitted anonymously. While anonymous reports will be taken seriously, reporting an incident anonymously or wishing not to disclose critical details (e.g., the name of the person being reported) may inhibit the Code of Conduct Committee’s ability to take enforcement action.
VI. ENFORCEMENT AND SANCTIONS
Engaging in harmful behavior has consequences. The Code of Conduct Committee may impose sanctions depending on the severity of a violation.
Examples of potential actions by the Code of Conduct Committee may include:
Issuing a written or verbal warning.
Removing comments, materials, or recordings with harmful content.
Ending a presentation early.
Removing a person’s volunteer or committee responsibilities.
Expelling a person from a session.
Expelling a person from the conference.
Blocking or reporting a person on online platforms (Facebook, Twitter, email lists, etc.)
Imposing a ban on future participation.
Reporting a person’s behavior to the appropriate authorities.
A person sanctioned for violating the Code of Conduct is expected to comply with the terms of the sanctions, and non-compliance may be grounds for further sanctions.
VII. DEFINITIONS OF PROHIBITED BEHAVIOR
This section provides further definitions for what constitutes prohibited Behavior under Section III.
Discrimination occurs when a participant is denied equal opportunity and suffers unfavorable or disparate treatment because of that individual’s identity, which may include their race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, ability, religion, veteran status, or other protected categories under the law.
2. Harassment and Harassing Behavior
Harassment is unwelcome conduct (whether physical, verbal, written, or via technology) that is based on a person’s identity or protected class, which may include their race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, ability, religion, veteran status, or other protected categories under the law. Moreover, harassing behavior not based on any of the above discriminatory factors that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment also is unacceptable and subject to enforcement action under the Code of Conduct. Harassment and harassing behavior has the purpose or potential effect of interfering with an individual’s ability to participate in the MI OER Summit.
Some examples of harassment include (but are not limited to):
Offensive comments related to a person’s identity or protected class
Using epithets, slurs, or stereotypes
Mocking, ridiculing, or mimicking another’s culture, accent, appearance, or custom
Deliberate intimidation, threats of violence, or incitement of violence (including encouraging self-harm)
Stalking or following
Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes
Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease
Publication of private information, including private communications (unless publication is necessary to protect oneself or others from intentional abuse) or deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent
3. Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment encompasses unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical behavior of a sexual or gendered nature that interferes with an individual’s ability to participate in MI OER Summit activities or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Sexual harassment can include such behaviors as unwanted touching or unwelcome conduct (whether physical, verbal, written or via technology) of a sexual or gendered nature.
Some examples of sexual harassment include (but are not limited to):
Unwelcome and repeated flirtations, propositions, advances, staring, or other sexual attention
Unwelcome physical contact
Use of sexually suggestive language, gestures, or sounds (including whistling)
Display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures
Offensive, insulting, derogatory, or degrading remarks related to sex or gender
Unwelcome comments about appearance
Deliberate misgendering, including deadnaming (referring to someone who has changed their name by their previous name) and intentional use of pronouns that do not correspond to a person’s gender identity or specified preference
Sexual jokes or use of sexually explicit or offensive language
Gender- or sex-based pranks
Demands for sexual favors in exchange for favorable or preferential treatment.
This Code of Conduct was adopted by the MI OER Network from the Open Education Conference. Details of the attributions are below:
This Code of Conduct was developed by members of the Open Education Conference Steering Committee and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.
Sections V-VII of this Code of Conduct were adapted from the OpenCon Code of Conduct, which is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. OpenCon attributes the TODO Group’s Open Source Code of Conduct (which includes contributions from Django, Python, Ubuntu, Contributor Covenant, Geek Feminism, Citizen Code of Conduct), Geek Feminism’s “Conference Anti-Harassment/Responding to Reports” page, the Conference Code of Conduct, the New Venture Fund, and members of the OpenCon community.
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