Zero Tolerance Policy

Zero Tolerance Policy

Mind’s Eye Society is committed to providing members with a social environment that is welcoming, enjoyable, and safe. Specifically, Mind’s Eye Society is committed to keeping the organization free from behavior that creates an intimidating, non-inclusive, hostile, or offensive atmosphere.

Acts or conduct that violate this policy are those that have the purpose, intention, or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or unreasonably offensive environment for other members of the organization; that have the purpose, intention, or effect of interfering with a member’s enjoyment of or participation in the organization; or that otherwise adversely affect a member’s opportunities within the organization because of the individual’s membership in a protected class.

Acts or conduct prohibited under this policy include, but are not limited to the following, when based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender or gender expression, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or disability:

• Epithets
• Slurs
• Jokes
• Pranks
• Innuendo
• Comments
• Written or graphic material
• Stereotyping
• Other threatening, hostile, or intimidating acts

As it is impossible to know for certain what one person may interpret as a joke and what another person would interpret as harassment, it is better to err on the side of caution, discretion, and respect. Ultimately, members should always use good judgment and be respectful towards fellow members. Thus, it is critical to note that these examples are dependent upon the use of attacks against protected classes noted above. The Mind’s Eye Society includes groups of friends that may tell jokes, play pranks, use innuendo, etc., but who do so in the spirit of fun and enjoyment of all involved, not with the intent or desire to harm or belittle.

When in doubt, members are encouraged to ask questions before assuming an intent to harm. Take a moment to notify the member that their conduct is unwelcome or hurtful; or have an officer do so for you. Should a member or officer relay such a statement to you as a member, you are obligated to make a best effort to cease that behavior in their presence. This is how we create a safe environment for all.

Definition of Unwanted Sexual Contact.

While all forms of unwanted contact are prohibited in the Mind’s Eye Society, special attention is paid to those of a sexual nature. “Unwanted Sexual Contact” is generally defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct or behavior of a sexual nature. Other sexually oriented conduct, whether intended or not, that is unwelcome and has the effect of creating an environment that is hostile, offensive, intimidating, or humiliating to members may also constitute a violation of this policy.

The following are some examples of behavior or conduct that, if unwelcome, may constitute a violation of MES policies, depending on the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness:
• Unwanted sexual advances, whether they involve physical touching or not;
• Sexual epithets, jokes, written or spoken references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one’s sex life, comments about an individual’s body, comments about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess;
• Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, or cartoons;
• Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing up against the body, sexual gestures, or suggestive or insulting comments;
• Inquiries into one’s sexual experiences; or
• Discussion of one’s sexual activities.

Engagement in any kind of unwelcome conduct is prohibited and all allegations of violations of this policy are taken seriously.
This policy governs conduct among members of Mind’s Eye Society when in attendance at announced Mind’s Eye Society functions. In the context of a Mind’s Eye Society convention, the entirety of the location (e.g. the entire hotel) of the convention is covered under this policy.

Mind’s Eye Society games involve role playing situations where members portray characters in a dark, fictional world. Players may encounter game situations in which characters are verbally abusive to other characters. It is acceptable for characters to verbally abuse other characters, but not for players to abuse other players. MES policies regarding appropriate behavior and conduct always remain in force.

Additionally, physical contact between Mind’s Eye Society members is specifically limited to consensual touch. This means that both parties must be willing participants in the contact and provide knowing consent. Players must be sure other participants are willing and provide knowing consent before engaging in physical contact. Players shall not use their characters’ words or actions as a pretext to justify unwelcome attention, physical or otherwise. Such behavior is unacceptable and constitutes grounds for disciplinary action. Be mature, look after your fellow members, have fun, and do not harass other members.

It is critical to highlight that the first line of action regarding unwelcome conduct is with individual members. Members must immediately tell the individual(s) when their conduct is unwelcome or tell an officer to inform the individual on their behalf. This step is critical to avoid unnecessary involvement of organizational officers. In many cases, there is no malicious intent or desire on the part of individuals and people may not be aware that their behavior is offensive. Informing someone that their behavior or conduct is unwelcome, or offensive is one way to help to make sure that the offending member is made aware of his or her behavior and given the chance to stop it. Members who are informed that their conduct is unwelcome, or offensive must immediately stop when they are so informed. Any reprisal, retaliation, or adverse action against members who tell or inform individuals their conduct is unwelcome is also prohibited and can be grounds for additional disciplinary action.

If additional action is necessary, complaints of unwelcome conduct must be reported to either the lead coordinator on scene or to the nearest available officer. All such complaints will be promptly investigated in accordance with current Mind’s Eye Society policies. Investigations will be conducted discretely and as confidentially as possible with limited information disseminated using the guidance outlined in Chapter 8 of this Membership Handbook.

Reasonable efforts will be made to respect the confidentiality of both the complainant and the accused but, given the nature of such investigations, absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. If it is determined that violations of this policy have occurred, the organization will take immediate and appropriate action designed to prevent further and future violations against the complainant and other members. This action by the organization will be in the form of an appropriate disciplinary action and/or immediate corrective action. Appropriate disciplinary actions against the offenders can include a 3-month suspension of membership privileges, but may range up to, and include, a recommendation to the Board of Directors for termination of membership, depending on the severity, pervasiveness, and frequency of the conduct and the action required to prevent recurrence.

Taken from the Membership Handbook by the MES.