Anti-Harassment Policy
&
Professional Code of Conduct

 

The NPSA prides itself on fostering a professional, inclusive, and amicable annual conference. Our meeting is convened for the purposes of professional development, scholarship, and educational interchange in a spirit of academic freedom and free inquiry. Harassment and unprofessional behavior directed at colleagues, students, or other conference attendees at NPSA meetings are considered to be serious forms of professional misconduct.

This Anti-Harassment Policy and Professional Code of Conduct outlines expectations for all participants at NPSA annual meetings. These guidelines and procedures closely model those that govern the American Political Science Association and other regional political science association meetings. These guidelines remind us that our association and our annual meeting are governed by professional academic ethics and norms that apply as standards of behavior and interaction at our meetings.

Purpose
The NPSA is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, respectful, and welcoming conference environment for all participants, regardless of actual or perceived gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic status, age, religion, or belief.  “Participant” in this policy refers to anyone present at NPSA meetings, including staff, contractors, vendors, exhibitors, venue staff, NPSA members, and all other attendees.

Expected Behavior
All participants at NPSA annual meetings are expected to abide by this Anti-Harassment Policy and Professional Code of Conduct in all meeting venues, including official and unofficial social gatherings. All participants are expected to comply by:

  • Abiding by the norms of professional respect that are required for free academic interchange.
  • Being proactive in helping to mitigate or avoid harm in situations of potential harm to conference participants.
  • Agreeing to alert relevant NPSA staff or security personnel if a situation arises in which an individual may be in imminent danger.

Unacceptable Behavior
Behaviors that violate the Anti-Harassment Policy and NPSA Code of Conduct include, but are not limited to:

  • Sustained, unprofessional disruption of talks or other events
  • Threats or actions that cause or threaten personal harm
  • Threats or actions that cause or threaten professional harm, punishment or retaliation
  • Intimidating, harassing, abusive, derogatory or demeaning speech or action
  • Prejudicial actions or comments that coerce others, foment broad hostility or otherwise undermine professional equity or the principles of free academic exchange
  • Prejudicial actions or comments related to gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, socioeconomic status, age, or religion
  • Unwelcome solicitation of emotional or physical intimacy
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Other intentionally disruptive behavior 

How to Submit a Grievance or Complaint to the NPSA
If harassment is observed or reported to any NPSA staff member, Council member, conference attendee, or venue employee, and there is a question of immediate physical danger, action should be taken immediately to ensure the safety of all attendees and staff, regardless of any complaint procedure that needs to be followed.

Participants who believe that they have experienced or witnessed harassment or have been the target of unprofessional conduct in violation of NPSA’s Anti-Harassment Policy and Professional Code of Conduct can submit a complaint to Ethics@northeasternpa.com.

Individuals should be prepared to provide the NPSA with as much detail and documentation as possible (preferably in writing). The NPSA will treat reports as confidential to the extent possible to allow the NPSA to assess the incident.

Upon receiving a complaint, the NPSA President and Executive Director will refer the complaint to an Ad Hoc Complaint Committee (recusing any individuals from the Complaint Committee with a prior relationship to any party involved).

The Complaint Committee will conduct an appropriate investigation, which may include interviewing all parties and any witnesses to the incident, as well as reviewing all relevant documentation. The Complaint Committee may consult legal counsel or refer matters to the appropriate authorities where criminal or civil remedies may be warranted. The Committee will write a brief preliminary report stating its findings and determination and the factual basis of its decision. The Committee will provide the respondent and complainant with thirty days to respond to the preliminary report in writing prior to submitting to the NPSA Executive Board a final report and any recommended sanctions.

When an individual is found to have engaged in inappropriate conduct under this policy, possible sanctions may include:

  • Issuing a warning to cease the discriminatory or harassing behavior and retaining a record of that warning in case of future violations;
  • Terminating current NPSA conference participation and any NPSA responsibilities or appointments held;
  • Barring the person from assuming any future governance positions within NPSA;
  • Barring the person from participating in future NPSA conferences or events; and/or
  • Revoking NPSA Membership.

The NPSA Executive Board will vote on the actions recommended by the Committee and will notify all parties of the relevant decisions.