AIGA Austin is committed to providing a safe, and welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, or religion. We have a zero-tolerance harassment policy that applies to all everyone who participates in AIGA events or digital interactions.
Be open-minded. We can find strength in diversity. Different people have different perspectives on issues, and that can be valuable for solving problems or generating new ideas. Being unable to understand why someone holds a viewpoint doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. We all make mistakes, and blaming each other doesn’t get us anywhere. Instead, focus on resolving issues and learning from mistakes.
Be patient and courteous. AIGA Austin is operated by a board of unpaid volunteers. All work is done on an extracurricular level. The board operates as swiftly as possible, but please keep in mind that most board members maintain full-time jobs, support families, and have other personal commitments outside of AIGA. Expect delays from time to time. Unless there is an “immediate action ask,” work will be accomplished when the team has the time to attend to it.
Be kind. Choose your words carefully and do not harass others. Always conduct yourself professionally. Do not insult or put down others. In general, if someone asks you to stop something, then stop. When we disagree, try to understand why. Differences of opinion and disagreements in a community of designers are going to occur. What is important is that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively and professionally.
Harassment*, generally defined as any behavior that alarms or threatens another person or group, or any behavior that causes excessive discomfort to other people, or breaks any applicable law, is not tolerated.
We appreciate your help in making this a safe environment for everyone.
*Note: harassment may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Harassing, physically or verbally threatening, or physically or verbally abusing any person because of, but not limited to, that person’s race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, or viewpoint.
- Conducting oneself in a manner endangering the health or safety of another person.
- Exhibiting disorderly conduct, including but not limited to, abuse of controlled substances or overt drunkenness.
- Bringing weaponry, firearms, dangerous chemicals, or any materials specifically banned by the chapter and/or venue space to an AIGA sponsored activity or event.
- Defacing property.
- Any social media posting reflecting any of the above behavior
- Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
In addition to the above, we also will not tolerate any form of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment, which includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment also can occur when a person is subjected to discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, or insult by another person, that is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it creates an abusive environment or an environment where the person feels uncomfortable. Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Other examples of behavior that might constitute sexual harassment, depending on the circumstances, include, but are not limited to, publicly indecent behavior; repeated and unwelcome sexual jokes, innuendo, advances, or propositions; repeated and unwelcome graphic commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; repeated leering or insulting or obscene comments or gestures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.
The safety, well-being and professional reputations of our members and participants are of the utmost importance. If someone engages in behavior that violates this Code of Conduct, you are urged to address the situation.
If you feel comfortable doing so, you are encouraged to first speak to the person directly, asking them to cease the misconduct. If you are not comfortable confronting the person directly, or if the misconduct continues, you are urged to report the behavior to a board member or through the online reporting form found on austin.aiga.org.
If the behavior you are reporting includes a member of the Executive Board, you are urged to report to a Chapter Advisory Council (“CAC”) representative (an AIGA group consisting of former chapter presidents each serving a region of AIGA chapter leaders).
You may reach the CAC South contacts via email:
Kyle Larkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dallas Franklin at email@example.com
If such a complaint occurs, please see aiga.org/aiga/content/about-aiga/aiga-code-of-conduct/ for details on the investigation process.
Compliance and Results
Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Remember that “no means no”. If someone asks you to stop speaking about a particular subject or to leave them alone, please do so.
Violations of the Code of Conduct may result in immediate removal from an event or suspension from a digital space. Board members on-site are responsible for enforcing the Code of Conduct in a timely manner. Any additional consequences will be evaluated through an investigation and can include but are not limited to the following:
- Removal and/or banning from an event
- Removal from digital workspaces
- Blocked from AIGA Austin social media accounts
- Recommendation to the association for removal of AIGA membership
Violations of the Code of Conduct will be investigated by the Executive Board or appropriate party. An investigation is not always necessary when the violation is apparent or done publicly. Board members are responsible for acting swiftly based on their knowledge of this Code of Conduct at events.
- If the accusation involves a non-board member, the Executive Board will investigate and create a recommendation to bring to the Board of Directors.
- If the accusation involves a board member, the Executive Board will investigate along with 2 advisory board members.
- If the accusation involves a member of the Executive Board, the Chapter Advisory Council Representatives will investigate and share their findings with the Board of Directors.
- At times, an investigation may not be necessary and the complaint can be brought straight to the Board of Directors or the appropriate party.
GUIDELINES FOR SPECIFIC ROLES
Board members, speakers, workshop leaders, sponsors, volunteers, and any other AIGA Austin associated individuals are held to an additional standard outlined below.
If a speaker, workshop leader, or otherwise invited guest of AIGA Austin participates in any of the outlined behavior outside of an AIGA Austin event, the Executive Board may deem them to be held responsible for those actions. If you are uncomfortable with someone we have invited to speak or lead an activity, please report the behavior as soon as possible. Guests of AIGA Austin may have their invite rescinded to represent the chapter if they are found to have harassed individuals in the past or have engaged in behavior that makes our members uncomfortable.
Board members are held to the highest standard as representatives of the AIGA Austin chapter. In addition to the behavior outlined above, board members are also responsible for the following:
- Protecting AIGA Austin assets and finances. Board members are given the responsibility of making purchases, handling money, and caring for AIGA equipment. Remember, AIGA Austin is a registered 501c3 and board members are accountable not only to the chapter but to the State of Texas for financial abuses.
- Creating a safe environment for all participants. Board members are in the position of managing committees, volunteers, partnerships, and events. Abuse of power or bullying will not be tolerated. Additionally, board members should address any inappropriate behavior they see between other members of the community by either reporting it to the appropriate party or intervening directly.
- Representing AIGA Austin with integrity. Board members are expected to carry themselves day in and day out representing the values of the chapter. Defaming the chapter or sharing private information entrusted to board members is unacceptable. Board members should also avoid engaging in conflicts of interest that can put the chapter at risk.
Violations by board members can result in impeachment from one’s position. This requires a ⅔ vote by the Board of Directors. If deemed necessary, a board member can be suspended by the Executive Board while they are being investigated.
Volunteers and Committee Members
Without our robust team of volunteers, AIGA Austin would not be able to operate as we do today. Volunteers and committee members are at times exposed to similar information and responsibility as board members. Due to this responsibility, they are held to a similar, but more limited, standard.
- Do not make any purchases unless given the explicit permission of the chair you are reporting to. For volunteers, this is the Volunteer Chair. For Committee Members, this is their Committee’s Chair or Director.
- If you are entrusted with private information, keep it private. Protecting the information of our community is of the utmost importance.
- Do not abuse any additional responsibilities given to you such as managing a social media account or access to equipment. If there are additional responsibilities not covered by this Code of Conduct, it is up to the Committee Chair to provide expectations for these.
Violations can result in removal from your volunteer position. This must be approved by the Chair and Director the Chair reports to. For example, the Volunteer Chair reports to the Programming Director and all removals would need to be approved by both parties.