Story Arts of Minnesota
STANDARDS OF CONDUCT & HARASSMENT POLICY
Story Arts of Minnesota (sometimes referred to herein as "SAM") is seriously committed to maintaining a safe and supportive environment. SAM's mission is to promote the art of storytelling and to develop and support storytellers. The following policy is in support of those goals and the values necessary to sustain a supportive educational and creative environment.
It is the policy of SAM to maintain an educational, performing and working environment free from sexual, racial, ethnic, religious, age-based, disability, sexual orientation, and gender expression harassment and bullying. Such harassment is expressly prohibited.
SAM DOES NOT TOLERATE DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT, BULLYING, OR SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
No individual should be subjected to any unwelcome conduct that is or should be known to be offensive because of his or her gender, race, age, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity and/or expression.
SAM is within its rights to revoke membership and/or permanently ban anyone from participating in some or all of SAM related activities. Current or prior permission to attend, take classes, or perform at any SAM-sponsored event is not a promise or guarantee of future permission. The reinstatement of any permission to participate in any SAM related activity will be at the sole discretion of SAM's board of directors.
WHAT ARE HARASSMENT & SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
Harassment means any form of unwelcome, repeated or ongoing, written, verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct that has the effect of interfering with a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from programs of SAM or makes SAM an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive environment.
Sexual Harassment means any form of unwelcome, repeated or ongoing, written, verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature (including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors) that has the effect of interfering with a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from programs of SAM or makes SAM an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive environment.
Sexual Harassment can be verbal (using language of an overtly sexual nature, making sexual comments about a person’s body, making sexual innuendos to a fellow storyteller, board member, volunteer, intern, employee or audience member, talking or asking about sexual preferences or history, making unwanted advances), non-verbal (looking a person up and down in a suggestive fashion, giving unwanted personal gifts, displaying sexually suggestive visual materials, offensive jokes, gestures, comments, or emails), or physical (unwanted touching of a person’s clothing, hair, or body, standing close or brushing against a person, giving unwanted massages.) Sexual Harassment also includes sexual assault.
No one connected with SAM (member, volunteer, intern, employee, etc.) may request or require someone to submit to sexual harassment as a condition of receiving any benefit such as selection for a performance, preferential information about opportunities, nomination for awards, raises, etc.
Harassment & Sexual Harassment may be subtle, manipulative, and are not always evident. All forms of gender harassment are included – men can harass men, women can harass women, people can be sexually harassed by anybody else no matter what their gender identity. Sexual Harassment also includes sexual assault which will be reported to authorities.
WHAT IS BULLYING?
Bullying is repeated or ongoing aggression conducted by an individual or a group against others. Such aggressive behavior may be verbal, cyber, psychological or physical. For the purposes of this policy, the term bullying also encompasses harassment and sexual harassment. Bullying likewise has the effect of interfering with a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from programs of SAM or makes SAM an intimidating, hostile, degrading, or offensive environment.
Types of Bullying Behavior that are not tolerated:
Damage to property
The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other materials with the effect of intimidating another person
Isolation and exclusion
Harassment or bullying based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, or disability
A combination of any of the types listed
WHERE AND TO WHOM DOES THIS POLICY APPLY?
This policy covers conduct that takes place at any SAM sponsored events in any location, including but not limited to membership meetings, board meetings, social events, performances, conferences, festivals, and workshops. This policy applies to everyone present or participating in such events, including persons who are not SAM members. This policy also pertains to any electronic communication that occurs on social media accounts or pages involving, hosted by, or about SAM or its activities.
TO WHOM DO I REPORT INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT?
If you become aware of discrimination or harassment in violation of the policies stated above, you are responsible for immediately reporting the matter to the producer or organizer of the event or activity. You may also report the matter to the SAM board of directors at Storyartsmn@gmail.com.
SAM's board will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of all complaints of harassment or discrimination. The committee convened to conduct the investigation may include board members and outside perspective committee members. The scope of the investigation will depend upon the specific circumstances, but may include interviews with the person making the complaint, the person against whom the complaint is made, any potential witnesses identified by either person, and any others whom the investigating committee believes may have relevant information. The person making the complaint will be requested to put his or her complaint in writing.
You are expected to cooperate in this process, if asked to do so, and to provide truthful information. SAM will make every effort to respect the privacy of those involved in an investigation under this procedure. However, it should be understood that SAM may need to disclose certain information to complete our investigation or otherwise address the matters raised in the complaint. A request not to investigate a reported violation of this policy cannot be honored.
The results of the investigation will be discussed with those individuals involved, the committee will make a recommendation to SAM's board, and SAM's board will determine whether any action is warranted in response. Individuals who are found to have violated this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including warnings, probation, and termination of employment or affiliation with SAM. The specific action taken will be consistent, reasonable, fair, and match the severity of the incident.
Any person who knowingly provides false or fabricated information in connection with an investigation under this policy may be subject to appropriate discipline or other corrective action at the discretion of SAM.
SAM will not retaliate against any person for making a good faith complaint under this policy, regardless of the outcome of the investigation. Similarly, SAM will not retaliate against any person for providing truthful information in connection with an investigation under this policy. Any SAM member or other person covered by this policy who retaliates against another for utilizing in good faith the procedures in this policy will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of their affiliation with SAM, as the circumstances warrant.
Please note that if in the course of an investigation SAM learns that a crime has been committed, SAM may be obligated to report that crime to the relevant authorities. Similarly, SAM will comply with any requests for records or information made in connection with any Police investigation as required by law, or with any subpoena issued lawfully in any legal proceeding.
This policy is in effect as of January 13, 2018, the date it was approved by the Board of Directors of Story Arts of Minnesota. It will be reviewed every three years and may be revised at any time by the Board.