Our Commitment to All Members
Sasquan strives to provide a safe, hospitable, harassment-free convention experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental ability or disability, physical appearance, coloration, physical attributes, age, body size, body shape, race, ethnicity, citizenship status, employment, socioeconomic status, familial status, military or veteran status, achievements, national origin, ancestry, worldview, political party preference, political belief, political affiliation, creed, or religion (or lack thereof). The purpose of this policy is to deter harassment and harmful conduct and lay out the consequences of such actions.
We expect all attendees, participants, guests, members, volunteers, and staff to act responsibly, courteously. and considerately, and to follow this code of conduct during the convention, convention-related events, and convention staff meetings. We further expect all staff to follow this code during all staff interactions, virtual or in-person.
Reasonable and objective examination of beliefs, including critical commentary on another person’s views, does not by itself constitute harassment. One of the underlying rationales of this policy is to promote – not inhibit – discussion and free exchanges of ideas between persons of differing views. Furthermore, the responsibility for settling interpersonal disputes lies solely with the individuals involved. Harassment, however, is something that is the responsibility of everyone, including Sasquan, to address, and it will not be tolerated.
During the convention, you may report an incident by
- sending email to Operations
- bringing information to the Operations office at the convention
- telephoning the Operations division (a phone number will be provided during the convention at the information desk, via this web page, and published in the convention newsletter).
- simply reporting the issue to any member of the Sasquan staff, who are instructed to immediately refer such issues to Operations.
Anyone witnessing what they believe to be a violation of this policy is encouraged to report it to Convention Operations who will follow up on reports at their discretion.
The Operations division is tasked with responding and taking action regarding incidents of harassment and other issues that might interfere with the convention or the safety of attendees. After an issue has been reported, Operations will communicate updates and actions taken to parties involved in the issue, as outlined in more detail below.
Please note that we only commit to responding to issues which are reported directly to the convention. Complaints reported to various blogs, mailing lists, or other third-party channels may not be seen or acknowledged. Also note that Sasquan’s Marketing division, including social media, will not discuss specific issues that may involve confidential or personal information; they will simply refer any issues they become aware of on to Operations.
No touching or photographing other people without their consent to the extent possible by your surroundings. We do not expect photographers to chase down people who may wander into their shot of another person or who are standing in the background. However, we do expect photographers to ask permission before photographing that really neat person in a costume. Being in costume does not imply consent for photographing.
Obtain permission before posting images of people online.
Sasquan members and convention staff have the right to be free from unwanted harassment at the convention and while performing convention-related duties throughout the year. Harassment is behavior which focuses unwelcome attention on a person and either inappropriately crosses reasonable expectations of social boundaries, or continues after a clear showing of disinterest or a request to desist. The following list of behaviors and rules is intended to be a guide and is not an exhaustive list of all possible forms of harassment.
No touching other people without consent. This includes glomping, hugging, kissing, fondling, and hands on knees, backs, shoulders, and hair – ask first! The fact that someone is in costume does not imply consent for touching – ask first! Do not assume that physical contact will be welcome or appreciated. Some folks do not like to be touched and will respect and like you more if you respect their personal space. You are encouraged to ask for unequivocal consent for all activities.
Other behaviors that constitutes harassment include:
- following someone without a legitimate reason
- making threats of any type against a person
- deliberate intimidation of another person
- unwelcome sexual remarks, jokes, or taunting
- repeated requests for dates or sexual favors, or
- leering, staring, or suggestive gestures.
Harassment can also involve assault. Assault is a very serious crime, and any report of such will be immediately reported to law enforcement.
Persons asked to stop any harmful conduct or harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. The exact remedy for harmful conduct or harassing conduct will depend on an evaluation of all relevant circumstances, such as the severity of the conduct and prior violations by the person engaging in prohibited conduct. Anyone violating this policy may be expelled from the meeting, event, or convention without a refund at the discretion of the convention organizers.
If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed or engaging in harmful conduct, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of convention staff or convention security immediately. Convention staff can be identified by special badges.
Convention staff or security will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the convention. Any staff member wearing a convention badge may receive a report of harassment, and it is each staff member’s responsibility to treat a person making such a report with respect. Convention staff are also required to report all incidents brought to their attention. These incidents should be reported to convention security as soon as possible but no later than 4 hours after reported.
Upon receipt of a harassment report, convention security will develop a full report of the incident. This development will include interviews with all participants and any witnesses. This report shall be completed as soon as possible after the report is made but no later than 24 hours after the report is made.
Upon completion of their report, convention security shall forward their report to the Chair of the Convention who shall, upon evaluating the totality of the circumstances, decide upon the appropriate disciplinary action. As noted above, disciplinary action may include a verbal warning or even expulsion from the event.
Marijuana is legal in the State of Washington; however, it is still prohibited by federal law. And, public consumption of marijuana products is still illegal under the new Washington State law. Therefore, marijuana use is not permitted in any convention space including open parties and parties on the party floor. For more information regarding the new regulations and law, please refer to the Washington State Liquor Control Board FAQs on the matter.
Harassment during the year may be reported to the Chair or one of the Vice-chairs or the person’s immediate supervisor.
Persons asked to stop any harmful conduct or harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. The exact remedy for harmful conduct or harassing conduct will depend on an evaluation of all relevant circumstances, such as the severity of the conduct and prior violations by the person engaging in prohibited conduct. Anyone violating this policy prior to the convention may be expelled from the meeting, asked to stop working as staff, or be barred from attending the convention.
Upon receipt of a harassment report, the Chair or Vice-Chair, or person they designate, will develop a full report of the incident. This development will include interviews with all participants and any witnesses. This report shall be completed as soon as possible after the report is made but no later than three weeks after the report is made. See Exhibit A for a report template.
Upon completion of their report, the Chair of the Convention shall, upon evaluating the totality of the circumstances, decide upon the appropriate disciplinary action. As noted above, disciplinary action may include a verbal warning, being asked to leave staff, or even banning from the convention.
All incident reports shall be treated confidentially except to the extent that Sasquan may be required by law to disclose.
All incident reports shall be treated as personally identifiable information and be subject to the same protections as other personally identifiably information held by the convention.
All incident reports shall be filed and kept as business records of the convention and retained for the same period of time not to exceed seven years.
No weapons whether edged or projectile firing or replicas (weapon props) thereof may be carried in any part of the convention center unless they have been peace-bonded by the Convention staff in Operations. This may be checked by the Operations team from time to time during the convention. Real firearms are not allowed in the convention area at any time. Light emitting Laser devices are not permitted in the convention area unless being used in a program to point items out as part of the Program item. The convention reserves the right to decide what constitutes a weapon/weapon prop depending on the attendee’s use of the article. Operations shift supervisors will have final say on what constitutes a weapon or weapon prop.
Anyone found carrying a non-peace-bonded weapon or weapon prop will be asked to return it to their room.
The Masquerade Director must approve the use of a weapons prop during the Masquerade. If you wish to use live steel or real non-firearm weapons (e.g. whips), you will need to also notify Operations staff. Weapon props (or real weapons) for the Masquerade must be wrapped when being transported to and from the Masquerade. The Masquerade Director must be informed in advance of any weapons props or real weapons being used. In the case of real weapons, which may not include firearms of any sort, an Operations supervisor will attend the pre-Masquerade meeting to ensure that all safety precautions are being adhered to by those who will be wielding those weapons.
Weapons and weapon props sold in the dealers’ room must be wrapped by the dealer and taken away by the purchaser and not unwrapped until off site, in the buyer’s hotel room or in the Operations room if the purchaser wishes to peace-bond the weapon or weapon prop. Please remember that no firearms will be peace-bonded and take them away wrapped. Dealers must make customers aware of the need to keep weapons wrapped until they have been approved and peace-bonded by the Operations team.
And, while it is true that more people see weapons about on the streets in the US, it is also true that a great many fans find the display and use of these intimidating. This policy is basically intended to ensure members feel that their safety is being taken into account.