Arisia Problem Reporting Process

(Last updated Oct 29, 2018)

Arisia acknowledges that parts of this process are presently inadequate. We will be working with an independent consultant to review all of our incident reporting and disciplinary process documents and policies. The timeline for that review will appear here.

Arisia has a process to address issues that arise at the convention or other Arisia sponsored events (e.g. Relaxacon and Gaming Days). These include, but are not limited to, violations of the Arisia Code of Conduct.

At The Annual Arisia Convention

The Operations Division (Ops), The Watch (our security team), and the Incident Response Team (IRT) can help you with a complaint or problem to report. If there is an immediate danger, call 911. Please notify The Watch after calling 911 so that convention leadership and the Westin security are informed.

  • Operations can assist with basic First Aid and can answer, or direct you to the department that can answer, any other questions or concerns regarding the convention.
  • The Watch assists with line management, crowding issues, badge and ID checking, oversight of closed areas (such as the Dealer's Room overnight), and general de-escalation needs.
  • The IRT is specifically tasked with intaking and addressing any reports of violation of the Code of Conduct or other member behavior issues.

Arisia staff with a black ribbon on their convention badge are people empowered to help you as well. Black-ribbon wearers include Con Chairs and Assistant Con Chairs, Division Heads and Assistant Division Heads, members of The Watch, members of the IRT, and Hotel Liaisons. The person you approach might take the report themselves or might help you find someone else who can respond to the problem.

How To Report a Problem at the Convention

Operations, The Watch, and the IRT are located in the Stone Room on the west side of the lobby level of the Westin, past Starbucks. The Watch and the IRT are available at all hours throughout the convention. The Watch staff also stationed throughout the convention wearing distinctive "The Watch" fluorescent vests and photo-identifying badges.

During the convention you may also call or text The Watch or the IRT; the numbers for each are located on the back of every badge. To email the IRT regarding a Code of Conduct violation or member behavior issue, send to @email.

To make an anonymous incident report, you may use the Contact form on the convention website. Select "Incident Reports" in the dropdown menu and put "Anonymous" in the name and "@email" in the email field.

If you talk to the IRT in person, by phone, or by email, and you wish your report to remain anonymous, we will not include your name or contact information. If you make an anonymous report, we will not follow up with you about our actions, or to gather additional information, as people investigating the report will not know who to contact.

At Any Other Time, Or Other Arisia-Sponsored Events

To make a report regarding a Code of Conduct violation or behavior issue, you can always email the Arisia Executive Board (EBoard) and the sitting Con Chair team at @email.

What to Expect When Making an Incident Report at Any Time

  • We will make a written report and ask you for the details needed to understand and resolve the problem and to prevent further harm.

    If you give us your name and contact information, we will follow up with you as requested; this is not required - we will accept anonymous reports.

  • Your report will be taken seriously and treated confidentially.

    Reports are reviewed by the Arisia EBoard, the sitting Con Chair team, and the IRT. If an individual from any of those groups is the one whose behavior is being reported, they will not be included in any of the follow-up activities, and may be excluded from all work on incident reports.

  • We will tell you what our next steps will be and the action(s) to be taken, if any.

    Our first steps are to gather more information. This may require us to discuss incidents with other members of Arisia including, but not limited to:

    • staff in charge of the area where the incident occurred;
    • witnesses named in the report;
    • the person whose behavior is the subject of the report.

When conducting follow-up, we will never disclose who made the report. We will limit the release of details regarding the incident, including the name of the individual who was on the receiving end of the behavior being reported. We may need to share details with people we talk to while gathering information, and we may need to share with Arisia staff members whose responsibilities are directly impacted by the report.

If you, as the reporter, state that you do not wish for any actions to be taken, we will honor that request except under extreme circumstances where there may exist immediate danger to others. The information provided will be logged solely for the purpose of potentially establishing a pattern of unacceptable behavior in the future, and no follow-up will be conducted.

At any time after submitting a report and requesting no action to be taken you may change your mind. If you later decide you wish for Arisia to take action on your report, you may reach back out to @email to submit that request.

What Happens Afterward

After gathering information, actions that Arisia may take include, but are not limited to:

  • Take no action;
  • Issue a verbal or written warning;
  • Remove an individual from panels, events, and gaming;
  • Remove an individual’s staff and volunteer privileges;
  • Remove an individual from the convention for the day or the weekend.

At the convention, the IRT will follow processes laid out in the Arisia IRT Handbook, which is available to review in this Google document.

The IRT is only empowered to take actions that impact the convention at which the report is taken. At the end of the convention, all incident reports are handed off to the Incident Report (IR) Committee of the Arisia EBoard for review, complete with all follow-up conducted at the convention, any actions already taken, and any recommendations from the IRT for further actions.

The IR Committee decides whether the organization needs to follow up further, including cases where Arisia may wish to take longer-term action. If your problem was solved at the convention, we may take no further steps. If your problem requires additional action, and your report was not anonymous, you will hear from the EBoard by early February.

If your report was made directly to the IR Committee (i.e. it was not reported during the convention), the IR Committee will be the group organizing any follow-up activities. After the EBoard has collected as much information as they deem possible and necessary, they will review the findings and decide on actions to be taken. More information about the EBoard’s process is outlined at the Disciplinary Process Information page.

You may email the EBoard (@email) or the IR Committee (@email) at any time and ask about the status of a report that you filed. Please allow 3-4 days for response.