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BiCon Code of Conduct

How to keep BiCon a safe and welcoming place

Context

By its nature, this can sound like a long list of "Do this, do that, don't do this, please do that". We hope you will read it in the spirit it's meant: having these guidelines spelt out from the start is intended to prevent a sticky moment or misunderstanding which might spoil someone's BiCon.

This is the code of conduct from BiCon 2007: 2008's is unlikely to have any significant changes

Your responsibilities

Everyone has a part to play in making BiCon a safe space. If you notice an incident of harassment, or anything else that doesn't belong at BiCon, please report it to BiCon Reception or the nearest organiser as soon as possible. (If you don't feel comfortable bringing an issue to us directly, you can still put a note in the organisers' postbox.)

BiCon organisers' responsibilities

The organisers have final say. We will try to deal fairly and respectfully with any issue which you bring to us. Breaches of this Code of Conduct will in most cases be met with a warning from a member of the organising team. We reserve the right to ask anyone to leave BiCon, and if asked to leave you will not receive any refund.

Respecting difference

  • People are welcome to attend BiCon regardless of how they define their sexuality.
  • Transgender people are accepted at BiCon as the gender they choose to present.
  • Remember that some people are new to BiCon. Be helpful if you can. Racism and other bigoted behaviour will not be tolerated at BiCon.
  • Respect the choices people have made regarding their beliefs, gender or sexuality, and how they choose to express them.
  • Access is not just a matter of wheelchairs. Different aspects of the environment affect different people, e.g. some people may be lipreading, some need smoke-free space, some find busy crowds difficult. You can't always know without being told, but try to be aware of what the people around you might need to make BiCon accessible to them.

Boundaries / harassment

No means no

No-one at BiCon should be put under any pressure to join in with things they don't want to. Obviously this includes any sexual behaviour, but it also includes hugs, touching, playing a game, being in a photo, disclosing information or even having a chat.

It's fine to ask someone once if they would like to do something. Pestering someone counts as harassment; if someone asks you to leave them alone, do so.

BDSM games or scenes should not be carried out in BiCon public spaces. BiCon welcomes BDSMers but it is not primarily a BDSM space and consent involves onlookers as well as participants. BDSM scenes and games can be distasteful or frightening to some people.

In public, "no", "stop", and "don't do that" will be taken at face value by the BiCon organisers.

Personal space

Don't invade people's personal space without being invited to. A useful phrase is "Would you like a hug?".

Public behaviour

Please keep any public behaviour legal. Remember that consent includes any audience.

Confidentiality


Within BiCon

Not everyone at BiCon wants to be "out" about their sexuality to the whole world.

If you take a photo, it is your responsibility to make sure everyone in it is happy to be photographed and knows what you intend to do with the photo. Everyone includes people in the background / in the distance / facing away from you.

Similarly, ask permission before identifying anyone in a public write-up of BiCon. For the avoidance of doubt, "public" includes personal web sites and blogs.

Within discussion sessions

No photography, recording or filming is permitted in programme sessions unless it's specifically stated in the programme.

Feel free to discuss the content of sessions with people who weren't there. But don't name names, and don't describe someone in a way that identifies them.

Press policy

Members of the press should identify themselves to BiCon Reception and at any sessions they attend. If not everyone is happy with their presence in a session, the session organiser may ask them to leave.

Who's who

People attending BiCon should wear their pass to all events; if you don't, your right to attend may be challenged.

People wearing sashes are involved with the organisation of BiCon and are 'on duty'.

Health and safety


Smoking

Smoking inside public buildings is now illegal in England, Scotland and Wales, .

You cannot smoke inside any University buildings. In particular, please do not smoke in the flats, as these are protected by smoke detectors, and the whole building will have to be evacuated if the alarm goes off.

It is illegal not only to smoke in a public building, but also for those who manage the premises to permit smoking in such a building. Please help us and the venue to comply with this legislation by smoking outside (if in doubt, ask a member of the BiCon team or venue staff). If you are smoking outside, please dispose of cigarette ends etc in the bins provided.

Wellbeing

Party responsibly; don't use the amazing BiCon environment as an excuse. Take care of yourself, and make sure you eat and sleep when you need to.

Animals

We can't allow animals on-site, except for registered assistance animals. If you know you are bringing an assistance animal please let us know so we can ensure you are accommodated in a flat with people who are not allergic to animals.

Sessions programme


Age limits

Some sessions may have age limits, such as over-16s or over-18s. These will be indicated in the programme and/or on the door of the session room. Parents are responsible for knowing where their child is, and giving or withholding their permission as they consider appropriate.

Babes in arms are welcome at all sessions unless otherwise stated.

"Only" sessions

A few sessions may have other restrictions on the people that may attend: for example, 'women only' or 'bisexual men only'. This will be indicated in their description in the programme. If you're not included, please don't gatecrash. If it's not clear who is or isn't included or you are unhappy with the 'restriction' please confer with the session organiser in good time before the session. People at BiCon Reception can help you find them.

Session facilitators reserve the right to ask anyone to leave a session at any time.

Content

Some sessions will deal frankly with topics that some people find offensive or difficult. It's fine to leave quietly if a session isn't what you expected, or you realise you're not in the mood for it. If you feel that the content breaches this Code of Conduct, please tell the BiCon organisers.

Mobile phones

Unless you are on call as a volunteer counsellor or First Aider, please turn off your phone before joining a programme session.

Confidentiality

As stated above under 'confidentiality': feel free to discuss the content of sessions with people who weren't there, but don't name names, or describe someone in a way that identifies them.

It's also good manners not to assume that just because someone talked about a particular issue in a session, they'll want to carry on talking about it somewhere else later.

When a session is "closed"

Some sessions may become 'closed' either when a certain number of people have arrived or after a certain amount of time. This will be indicated by a notice on the door. If a session is already closed, please don't try to join it.

Additional tips for good manners in sessions

  • Turn up on time, or slightly early.
  • Don't interrupt or talk over other people.
  • In discussions, be aware of how much you're speaking, compared to other people. Help the session organiser to make sure that the quieter people get a turn to speak if they want to.

Last changed 11th May 2008


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