This post originally appeared on the Geek Feminism blog and is reposted here for posterity.
Recent events show that not everyone has the same expectations for behavior at open source conferences. If you are a conference organizer, having an explicit anti-harassment policy can help prevent unpleasant and embarrassing incidents. But writing (and advocating for) an anti-harassment policy is, frankly, a lot of work.
Over the last couple of weeks, a group of veteran conference organizers put together a customizable anti-harassment policy suitable for most open source conferences. We are now asking for public comments on the draft policy, especially from conference organizers who are speaking from hard-won experience.
From the introduction:
An anti-harassment policy can help your conference in several ways. It can set expectations for participant behavior, publicly state the organizers’ principles, and give conference staff instructions on how to handle harassment. Part of the benefit of an anti-harassment policy comes from publicizing it before the conference, thereby setting expectations and preventing problems from occurring in the first place. It may also increase conference attendance, especially if competing conferences have less savory reputations for participant behavior.
We are also collecting resources for organizers considering adoption of an anti-harassment policy, including speaker guidelines, legal issues, and advice on customizing the policy.
To give feedback on the draft policy, comment on this post or send email to: valerie dot aurora at gmail dot com . We will integrate comments during the next week and release a “final” draft when the comments die down.