SMOFCon Europe – Code of Conduct
Last Update: 21 Nov 2021
This Code applies to all SMOFCon Europe Attendees (both in-person and virtual), including Committee, Staff, Volunteers, Members and all others otherwise participating. We will also expect those working for the Hotel to act, and to be treated, in line with the principles of this Code of Conduct.
You will find references to our Listener Team throughout this Code of Conduct. This is a small group of people, including co-chair Vincent Docherty and head of CoC & Access Paul Anthony Shortt, whose mandate is to receive reports on potential violations of the Code of Conduct. They can escalate issues appropriately, discuss them in a totally confidential manner, and/or act as mediators, according to the wishes of the person raising the issue. They are contactable at email@example.com or in-person at-con.
Expectations and Policy
Short form: We expect everyone to behave as mature, responsible and considerate adults.
Everyone involved with SMOFCon Europe is expected to show respect towards the convention Attendees, as well as venue staff, the general public, and the various communities associated with the convention.
SMOFCon Europe is dedicated to providing a harassment-free convention experience for all Attendees, regardless of ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual identity or sexual orientation, neurodiversity, disability, physical ability or appearance, race, age, religion, or fiction/fandom preferences (this list is not exhaustive).
We do not tolerate harassment of convention Attendees in any form. Behaviour that will be considered harassment includes, but is not limited to:
- Intimidation, stalking or following
- Unwelcome physical contact and/or sexual attention
- Comments that belittle, offend, or cause discomfort
- Targeting individuals or groups with abusive comments
- Photographing or video recording members without their consent (including screenshots)
- Treating cosplay/costumes as consent for contact or interaction
- Sustained disruption of talks, panels or other events
- Displaying or wearing offensive clothing or badges that are known to be offensive or otherwise inappropriate, or refusing to remove items that are pointed out to the wearer as offensive. (This includes backgrounds and items therein.)
- Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour
We require Attendees to follow this code in online programming and interactions with the convention (including the Volunteer mailings, wiki, and other online facilities), at the convention venue, and convention-related social activities. In addition, we are bound by Portuguese Equality/Anti-Discrimination Law, which can be viewed here. (Note that SMOFCon Europe cannot and will not make decisions based on behaviour occurring outside of SMOFCon Europe, as these should be reported through the appropriate civil and criminal channels.)
Attendees who are asked to stop any harassing behavior must comply immediately. A variety of actions are available to the committee who will not hesitate to de-badge or escalate as appropriate to ensure compliance.
SMOFCon Europe recognises that racism is an ongoing active issue in all sections of society and in our own fandom community. SMOFCon Europe is committed to being as close to oppression free as possible, and central to this is our policy on racism, including prejudice, bias, the expression of privilege, aggressions, and microaggressions. This includes contributions made in discussion sessions and also things said to and about other SMOFCon Europe Attendees.
At SMOFCon Europe we want to ensure no one is talked over, ignored, or dismissed, and we are committed to making SMOFCon Europe as accessible as we can to people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Problems non-white Attendees of fandom events often reference include, but are not limited to:
- Having their lived experiences dismissed
- Being expected to be an authority on non-white characters in various fandoms
- Being talked down to or assumed to be less knowledgeable about topics being discussed
- People critiquing their cosplay costumes without being asked
- A presumption by some members of fandom that people of colour do not belong in fandom and that they should not be centered in storytelling
- The use of “Social Justice Warrior” or “SJW” or similar as a pejorative term meant to demean or belittle the idea of diversity and inclusion in fandom and storytelling
- The use of social media to target people of colour and allies for harassment and abuse as an outgrowth of their participation in panels, discussions, or when commenting on their participation in fandom
- Being targeted in person or through social media with acts of aggression, harassment, or retribution for calling out harassers and abusive behavior
- Using racial epithets to describe any ethnicity or category of person.
This behaviour will not be tolerated at SMOFCon Europe.
(For full disclosure, this statement on racism was not written by a person of colour, but was edited, added to, and reviewed by several people of colour within the fandom community in December 2020. However, if anyone with personal experience with racism would like to share suggestions for or criticisms of this Code of Conduct, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Before the convention: You can report harassment or other Code of Conduct violations by email to email@example.com. This address will be monitored by our Listener Team both prior to, and for the duration of, SMOFCon Europe.
At the convention: If someone has harassed you or breached this Code of Conduct in any way, or if you have witnessed or become aware that harassment or a Code of Conduct breach has taken place, please ask that person or persons to stop – as long as it is safe to do so and if you feel comfortable enough to make the request. To help us identify patterns of behaviour and possible repeat offenders, please also report the harassment as set out below.
If you do not want to speak to the person(s) directly, or if you engage with them and the harassment or Code of Conduct breach does not stop, please report the issue as soon as possible to a Volunteer Member or Listener Team Member. They can be identified at the convention by their Listener badge. There will be an on-duty Listener who can be contacted via the Info Desk at the convention and you can also ask any member of SMOFCon Europe staff to call a Listener. Alternatively, you can report by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This address will be continuously monitored by our Listener Team before, during, and after SMOFCon Europe.
Harassment and other Code of Conduct violations reduce the value of SMOFCon Europe for everyone – we want you to be happy at our convention, so please do speak to us if needed.
What will happen if you make a report?
When taking an in-person report, our Listener Team will first ensure that you are safe and cannot be overheard. They may involve other event staff to ensure your report is managed properly. Once you are safe, we’ll ask you to tell us about what happened, and what you would like to happen next. We understand this can be upsetting, but we’ll support you and handle it respectfully. You can also bring another person to support you if you wish.
If you submit a report by email, our Listener Team will respond to you as quickly as possible, and proceed at their discretion, based on the content, context, and wishes expressed in your email.
However you choose to report an issue, you won’t be asked to confront anyone, and we will do our best to protect your identity if we take action as a result of your report. Details of your complaint will only be disclosed to the team or Committee members who are dealing with it. We will keep you advised of the progress we’re making in handling the issue, and of any actions we decide to take. We will take into account your views when deciding on any action. However, please be aware that, if you report a serious criminal matter, or we believe that you or someone else may be in danger, we reserve the right to contact the police. We will take into account any concerns you may have in involving them.
The SMOFCon Europe Team has the right to take any actions needed to keep our event a welcoming environment for all Attendees. Measures taken may include warning the offender, mediating solutions between parties, or taking any other action the team considers necessary, up to and including expulsion from the convention with no refund, at our discretion.
If you wish to take further steps following your report and our response, our team will be happy to help you contact hotel/venue security, local law enforcement, local support services, or otherwise assist you to feel and be safe for the run-up to and duration of the event. Above all, we want you to feel valued, safe, and included at our convention!
Summary of our complaint process:
- We are informed that someone is violating the code
- We interview the person making the allegations, the person alleged to have committed the infraction, and anyone else who witnessed the incident
- We look at how serious the violation was, whether the alleged perpetrator’s attitude is one of remorse or “what did I do?”
- We check what the person who has alleged the incident wants done about it
- If the victim of the violation is someone other than the person alleging the problem, we ask their input
- We impose an appropriate response, which could be (but is not limited to):
- requiring an apology
- mediating between the parties
- removing the violator from the current and/or any future panel participation (if they are on a panel)
- taking away the violator’s right to “attend” the rest of the convention
- passing information about the issues and outcomes to future conventions,
- no action, if we find the allegation was groundless or the matter was an agreed behaviour between all parties.
- We will report consequences resulting from the complaint process to all parties.
How can I help?
- Read and follow this Code of Conduct. Ask your friends to read it as well.
- Support others: if you see someone who looks like they need help, ask if they’re OK or engage a Volunteer.
- Ask first! The easiest way to avoid issues is to check before doing something, and it only takes a second.
- Remember that the Attendees of SMOFCon Europe come from all over the world; cross-cultural misunderstanding can easily happen. Consider this in your humour and interactions, both online and in-person.
- Credit: This Code of Conduct is based on the Dublin 2019 CoC, itself loosely based on Geek Feminism’s example anti-harassment policy, created by volunteers.
SMOFCon Europe in Lisboa is also SMOFCon 39.