Code of Conduct Overview

Purpose – To govern members’ actions via rules and regulations for the comfort and safety of all involved (members and allies)

  1. #Students_Against_COVID (SAC) members and associates must strive towards forwarding the mission and professional vision of SAC. 
  2. SAC activities must fall within international ethical guidelines and align with widely recognized scientific principles. We encourage all our members to follow the rules set by established bodies, such as the WHO, the Geneva Convention, the CDC, etc. 
  3. Before engaging in any activity or initiatives through or in affiliation with SAC, please check local laws and executive orders. SAC does not take responsibility for any violations of international, federal, or local laws, and we reserve the right to reject any initiatives that are found to be within violation. 
  4. SAC promotes social accountability as well as encourages professionalism, common courtesy, tolerance, integrity, respect, responsibility, honesty, teamwork, and civility amongst members and allies. We are mindful of the diversity of members in SAC and welcome the different cultural backgrounds with open arms. 
  5. SAC reserves the right to remove any members from any SAC channels at any point or disaffiliate due to violation of code of conduct or significant concerns generated by other members.

  1. Examples of violation include, but not limited to – harassment
    1. Discriminatory Harassment: racial, gender, disability-based, sexual orientation-based, age-based
    2. Power Harassment: intimidation, excessive demands, demeaning demands, intrusion into personal life
    3. Psychological Harassment: isolating, belittling, discrediting, rumor-spreading, disproportionately opposing/challenging
    4. Cyberbullying: humiliation, spread of lies/gossip, harassing messages 
    5. Retaliation: harassment of someone for revenge 
    6. Sexual Harassment: sharing sexual photos, posting sexual photos, making sexual comments, jokes, questions, inappropriate gestures
      1. Further discussed below
    7. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment: “this for that” exchange-based sexual harassment, sexual favor for benefit
    8. Third Party Harassment: pertains to harasser not recognized as part of the organization; this becomes a responsibility of Core Team 
    9. Verbal Harassment: unpleasant remarks, threatening, insulting, cursing, insinuative/subtle snide remarks 
  2. To ensure fairness, a protocol will be in order to handle raised concerns/accusations as follows
    1. We encourage prompt and confidential reporting (via direct message) of violations to Core Team members Faisal Nawaz or Christos Tsagkaris. 
    2. Depending on the severity of the incident, the initiator will be either given a stern warning from a team lead mediator confidentially or will be dismissed immediately if the core team decides the incident poses a serious risk to the safety and well being of #Students_Against_COVID members and allies. Any warned members will be given one chance to adjust their behavior appropriately. Should another incident that can be characterized as violation of the Code of Conduct emerges after the first warning, team leads have the authority to remove the warned member from all #Students_Against_COVID communication channels and projects.
    3. Confidentiality will be guaranteed but sufficient proof should be provided if requested.
    4. People should be alert towards such behaviors. Mediating or reporting to a facilitator is up to their discretion.

Sexual Harassment Definition and Overview:

  • Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, digital or physical harassment of a sexual nature. 

  • Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex or sexual orientation. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general. 

  • Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex. 

  • Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment. 

Protocol for dealing with sexual harassment incidents

  1. Any conduct that would classify as sexual harassment as outlined above should be immediately reported confidentially (via direct message) to a team lead mediator (Faisal Nawaz or Christos Tsagkaris) so they may intervene if needed/requested.
  2. Depending on the severity of the incident, the initiator will be either given a stern warning from a team lead mediator confidentially or will be dismissed immediately if the core team decides the incident poses a serious risk to the safety and well being of #Students_Against_COVID members and allies. Any warned members will be given one chance to adjust their behavior appropriately. Should another incident that can be characterized as sexual harassment emerges after the first warning, team leads have the authority to remove the warned member from all #Students_Against_COVID communication channels and projects.
  3. Confidentiality will be guaranteed but sufficient proof should be provided if requested.
  4. People should be alert towards such behaviors. Mediating or reporting to a facilitator is up to their discretion.

Romantic/Personal Relations

  • We understand that it is possible for people joining the Students Against COVID movement to connect and form friendly and romantic partnerships. We want to encourage consensual relationships while ensuring nothing happens that may make anyone feel uncomfortable early on. This includes phone calls to others without proper informed consent between the parties, making comments about anyone’s physical appearance or traits, (etc.). Absolutely refrain from engaging in any personal discussions with those <18 years of age without prior approved consent from a core facilitator (including if you are <18 yourself); no exceptions. 
  • If at any point (at present or in the future) a SAC member feels as if they have the potential for a “romantic connection” with another SAC member, please inform Christos or Faisal. Christos and Faisal are core facilitators in SAC who have agreed to act as “neutral mediators” between the parties interested in pursuing such a relationship. This will ensure that both parties involved feel comfortable before continuing. 

Sources:

National Council of Non Profits, Sexual Harassment in the Non Profit Workplace, Accessed on April 12, 2020