Southern Maine DSA Code of Conduct Policy

Statement of Purpose

DSA of Southern Maine is committed to creating meeting spaces that live up to the ideals of social democracy. In keeping with the principles of the national organization, we assert that the equal right of all people to have their voices heard is both a necessary pre-condition of our work and also its highest purpose. Events at which each member is valued, respected and able to fully contribute ideas, skills and labor yield better and more culturally inclusive outcomes, attract and retain critical membership from marginalized communities and strengthen our mission at large. We therefore adopt the following anti-harassment and anti-discrimination Code of Conduct.

Harassment or discrimination in any form will not be tolerated during the exercise of DSA Southern Maine events. This policy applies to all meeting spaces, physical and virtual, public or private, formal and informal. It includes group communication as well as direct, one-on-one communication. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned and permanently expelled from these events.

Harassment

Harassment includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Offensive comments, jokes, behavior or images related to age, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, immigration status, race, religion, or other identity marker.
  • Violence, threats of violence, stalking, intimidation, or sustained disruption of discussions after requests to cease

General Rules of Conduct

All members shall abide by the following ethical standards of meeting conduct:

  • Adhere to parliamentary procedure as set forth in Robert’s Rules of Order
  • Silence cell phones and electronic devices
  • Speak one at a time
  • Keep comments focused and brief
  • Understand that a diversity of opinions is what empowers us
  • Actively welcome, encourage and remove obstacles to the voicing of opinions by individuals from marginalized groups. If you are from a group that generally enjoys a privileged status in society, be willing to limit your own participation in order to permit participation by members of groups that have not enjoyed a similar privilege. Be aware that lack of privilege often is based on race, religion, age, sexual orientation, immigration status, or disability. We value the safety of members from marginalized groups more than we value the comfort of privileged individuals.
  • Refrain from dominating any discussion
  • If you usually speak a lot, try to speak less. If you rarely speak, try to speak more
  • Recognize that we all have privilege in certain situations and that, despite our best intentions, all of us hold biases we’re not aware of
  • Understand that awakening to one’s own biases and privilege can feel like oppression
  • Respond to disagreements and difficult feelings with the goal of understanding yourself and others better so that we may move forward in solidarity

Conflict resolution

Differences of opinion are an inevitable part of the democratic process. We encourage all of our members to approach the work of trying to better understand each other through open dialog. In the rare instance that significant conflicts arise that cannot be solved through courteous and consensual discussion, the organization may, though is not required to, appoint someone to arbitrate the dispute.

Safety, Confidentiality and Reporting

If you are being harassed or discriminated against, or notice that others are being harassed or discriminated against, and you do not feel comfortable voicing your objections directly with the offending party, please contact a member of the executive committee directly. We will treat all such communication as confidential and will not reveal the identity of harassment or discrimination victims without their express consent.