Code of Conduct at events [and 1 more messages]

Don Armstrong don at
Fri Nov 12 08:37:30 UTC 2010

On Fri, 12 Nov 2010, Anthony Towns wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 14:53, Don Armstrong <don at> wrote:
> > If a model policy of conduct is enacted, it should also include a
> > recommended plan of action for conference organizers so that
> > conference organizers can fall back on a work flow to handle the
> > situation.[1]
> For reference,'s policy is:

[...] This seems reasonable, and I'd be happy with a resolution which
recommended it and/or a few similar policies that organizers could
adopt and/or modify as they saw fit.

> I think it's a bit optimistic to expect to have a procedure that
> will handle these things [...]

I personally wouldn't expect a procedure to handle these sorts of
things perfectly, but a framework which could be used as a guide would
be useful. [In the very few times I've been involved in similar
situations, I've been able to fall back on similar procedures as a
guide, mainly to make sure that the proper people had been notified,
and I hadn't forgotten anything important.[0]] It's always hard in the
heat of the moment to keep everything in perspective.

Even if the procedure ended up being "Contact foo; in cases where foo
cannot be contacted, or there is an immediate threat to life or
property, dial 911[1]", it would be an improvement. Contingency
planning is hard,.

> Having organisers not take up any responsibility to help define
> what's acceptable both before and after events doesn't make things
> better from what I've seen.

Certainly. I'm probably too naïve, and just expect people to know that
they should behave excellently to each other.[2]

Don Armstrong

0: Like resources I should be putting the victim in contact with,
information I should be collecting, etc.

1: Or whatever the appropriate emergency number is coupled with
instructions on how to reach an outside line.

2: Even though I know I've failed to behave excellently on some
occasions myself.
It can sometimes happen that a scholar, his task completed, discovers
that he has no one to thank. Never mind. He will invent some debts.
Research without indebtedness is suspect, and somebody must always,
somehow, be thanked.
 -- Umberto Eco "How to Write an Introduction"    

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