EEGS' Anti-harassment Policy for SAGEEP Meetings and Activities

Statement of Policy

The Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society Board at its 2017 annual meeting voted to adopt the American Geophysical Union’s Code of Conduct. The adoption of the Code of Conduct establishes an anti-harassment policy for the SAGEEP meeting and associated activities. It is the policy of SAGEEP that all participants enjoy an environment free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. EEGS is committed to providing an atmosphere that encourages the free expression and exchange of scientific ideas. In pursuit of that ideal, SAGEEP is dedicated to the philosophy of equality of opportunity and treatment for all members, regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, veteran status, or any other reason not related to scientific merit. Violators of this policy will be subject to discipline.

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Behavior and language that are welcome/acceptable to one person may be unwelcome/offensive to another. Consequently, individuals must use discretion to ensure that their words and actions communicate respect for others. This is especially important for those in positions of authority since individuals with lower rank or status may be reluctant to express their objections or discomfort regarding unwelcome behavior.
Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior that is not welcome, is personally offensive, debilitates morale, and therefore, interferes with work effectiveness and social interaction. The following are examples of behavior that, when unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment: sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; verbal comments or physical actions of a sexual nature; sexually degrading words used to describe an individual; a display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; sexually explicit jokes; unnecessary touching or touching that is known to the alleged harasser to be culturally unacceptable.

Definition of Other Harassment

Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. This conduct includes, but is not limited to the following: epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and display or circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward a particular group or an individual based on inclusion in a particular group. As part of the adopted Code of Conduct, the following definitions of Expected and Unacceptable Behavior are provided:

Expected Behavior
• All participants, attendees, EEGS staff, and vendors are treated with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.
• Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.
• Communicate openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
• Avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, EEGS staff, and suppliers/vendors.
• Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert EEGS staff if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
• Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, EEGS contracted facility, or any other venue.

Unacceptable Behavior
• Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form will not be tolerated.
• Physical or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, EEGS staff member, service provider, or other meeting guest.
• Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, or threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, EEGS staff member, service provider, or other meeting guest.
• Recording or taking photography of another individual’s presentation without the explicit permission of EEGS is not allowed.
• Disruption of talks at oral or poster sessions, in the exhibit hall, or at other events organized by EEGS at the meeting venue, hotels, or other EEGS-contracted facilities

Scope of Policy

This policy applies to all attendees at SAGEEP and its associated activities, including scientists, students, guests, staff, contractors, and exhibitors, participating in the scientific sessions, tours, and social events.
This policy for anti-harassment associated with the SAGEEP conference does not preclude contacting local law enforcement for any flagrant illegal acts of violence and/or physical assault.

Reporting an Incident

Any individual covered by this policy who believes that he or she has been subjected to harassment should contact any of the EEGS Board members or provide information in writing on the Harassment Complaint Form that can be downloaded and printed or found at the SAGEEP Registration Desk.  The complainant is not required or expected to discuss the concern with the alleged offender. All complaints will be treated seriously and investigated promptly. Confidentiality will be honored to the extent permitted as long as the rights of others are not compromised.

The Investigation

Upon receipt of a written and signed complaint, the EEGS Board will select an impartial investigator, usually a Society Officer or Board member. Any person with a real or perceived conflict of interest may not serve as an investigator. If a criminal or civil case is pending or under investigation by law enforcement regarding the alleged incident, no action will be taken by EEGS until the case is resolved.

The investigation, if deemed warranted, will proceed as follows:
1. In most cases, the complainant will be interviewed first and the written complaint reviewed.
2. The details of the complaint will be explained to the alleged offender by the investigator
3. The alleged offender will be given an opportunity to respond to the evidence of the complainant and to bring his or her own evidence.
4. If the facts are in dispute, further investigatory steps may include interviewing those named as witnesses.
5. If, for any reason, the investigator is in doubt about whether or how to continue, he or she will seek appropriate counsel.
6. When the investigation is complete, the investigator will report the findings to the EEGS President and/or Board, as appropriate.

Retaliation Is Prohibited

EEGS will not tolerate any form of retaliation against persons who file a complaint, serve as witnesses, or otherwise assist in the investigation. Retaliation is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, may be subject to disciplinary action.

Disciplinary Action

Individuals engaging in behavior prohibited by this policy as well as those making allegations of harassment in bad faith will be subject to disciplinary action. Such actions range from a verbal warning to ejection from the meeting or activity in question without refund of registration fees and revocation of their membership. Repeat offenders may be subject to further disciplinary action, such as being banned from participating in future SAGEEP or affiliated society meetings or other activities.

Questions

Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to the EEGS board at staff@eegs.org.