About the Foundation

Goals, structure and operation of the Hackspace Foundation

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Consequences of Bad Behaviour

Dealing with "bad behaviour" is a rare, but necessary responsibility of the HSF board.

In the most severe circumstances, the HSF board has the authority to ban anyone from participating in the Foundation, and to strip anyone of their membership, but must only do so in circumstances where this is deemed best for the Foundation as a whole.

The board will only ban repeat offenders who persistently demonstrate unwillingness to cooperate. Throughout the process every effort will be made to keep clear and constructive communication between the trustees, the offending party, and any other affected parties.

Introduction

  • This policy applies to both members and non-members who interact with the Foundation, either though the Foundation's various online tools or at physical events/gathering.
  • A person may be banned from the Foundation if they are in violation of the Rules or Code of Conduct, if they are causing persistent annoyance, or if they have the potential to harm other members/guests of the Foundation.
  • Before the formal banning procedure is entered into, the HSF board must make every attempt to resolve the issue informally.
  • However, in the case of direct physical violence towards any person involved in the Foundation, a member has the authority to immediately ban the offender for one month and refer the case to the board.

Warnings

  • It is better to let someone know that their behaviour is liable to break the code of conduct prior to it actually doing so than issue them with a warning.
  • Any member can issue a warning to a person whose behaviour has broken the code of conduct. Warnings should be reported to the board as soon as possible (see Reporting inappropriate behaviour to the board below).

Asking people to leave

Non-members * Any non-member who breaks the Code of Conduct can be asked to leave by any member, this includes non-members who are guests of members.

Members If a board member is present they get to make a decision about whether one (or all) of the member(s) have to leave the space. If no board member is present any two or more members who have witnessed the incident(s) may ask the member (or members) to leave the space. Do not put yourself in danger: if the situation requires it call the police. * Criminal behaviour will not be tolerated.

Restriction of access and termination of membership

Membership of the Foundation may be restricted or terminated by the board for whatever reasons they deem sufficient. However, here are some general guidelines as to behaviour likely to cause restriction or termination of membership:

  • receiving three or more warnings from different sources within 6 months
  • continuing with behaviour after you have been asked to stop
  • a pattern of harassing behaviour, whether or not warnings have been issued
  • a single serious or obviously intentional offence such as taking compromising photographs (e.g. up their skirt), punching or groping someone
  • In the event of a serious accusation the board reserves the right to suspend the accused's access to the Foundation while investigations are carried out.

Reporting inappropriate behaviour to the board

Any member can take a report from someone who has received harassment and pass that information to the board.

When taking a report from someone who has received harassment you should record faithfully what they say and reassure them that they are being taken seriously however, you should avoid making specific promises regarding the actions of the board.

Ask for information the reporter has not volunteered (such as time and place of incident(s)) but do not pressure them into giving details if they do not feel comfortable doing so. Even if the report lacks key details (such as the identity of the person engaging in the harassing behaviour) it should still be recorded and passed to the board. If the reporter desires it arrange for an escort by a trusted person, contact a friend or family member to come and support them and/or contact the local police. Do not pressure the reporter into taking any actions they do not wish to. Respect the reporters' privacy, do not discuss their report outside the reporting structure (don't break the code of conduct yourself).

The report should include (as far as practicable): the identity of the perpetrator (name/nickname/description) time and date of the incident time and date the report was received (if different) the identity of the victim your identity the behaviour - this can be couched in general terms if the report requires it the circumstances surrounding the incident other people involved in the incident

Public statements

As a general rule members of the Foundation should avoid making public statements about the behaviour of individual people in relation to the code of conduct. The board will make as much detail about bans and current warnings as they feel appropriate available to all members (method TBC).

Summary

If you have been asked to stop behaving in a certain way, do so. It's fine to ask what it is you're doing that is upsetting the person if it is not clear, but you shouldn't ask why the person is upset by it, it's enough that they are. If you have to take action to stop someone behaving in a way contrary to the Code of Conduct do so, if possible consult with other members and/or the board, however, if action is required take it and explain later.