Convention Problem Report Process

Convention Problem Report Process

(Last updated for Arisia 2018, January 7, 2018)

Arisia has a process to address issues that arise at the convention. These may include but are not limited to violations of the Arisia Code of Conduct.

Operations, The Watch (Security), and the Incident Response Team (IRT) can help you with a complaint or problem to report. Any Arisia staff member with a black ribbon on their convention badge should be able to assist you as well. The person you approach may take the report themselves or may help you find someone else who can respond to the problem. You may also call or text Arisia's The Watch (Security) or the IRT - the numbers are located on the back of every badge.

We will make a written report and ask you for the details needed to understand and resolve the problem or prevent further harm.  If you give us your name and contact information, we will follow up with you as needed, but we also will accept anonymous reports.

We will tell you what our next steps will be and further action(s) to be taken, if any. If you request, we will follow up with you and let you know the outcome of our actions.

If other people are named in the complaint, they will be told that there is a complaint against them, but you will not be named.  

Your report will be taken seriously and treated confidentially.

If your problem requires post-convention follow-up, you will hear from Arisia by early February at the latest, if you gave us your contact info.

The Watch, the IRT, and Operations are in the Stone Room on the first floor of the Westin. The Watch and the IRT are available around the clock (24 hours). The Watch staff also roam the convention wearing distinctive "The Watch" fluorescent vests and photo-identifying badges.

Black ribbon wearers include Con Chairs and their assistants, The Watch (Security), the IRT, Division Heads and their assistants and Hotel Liaisons.

Convention Problem Report Process - for STAFF

(Last updated for Arisia 2018)

As a staff member of Arisia, you are an important part of assuring our attendees are safe and happy. Our problem resolution process is designed to help accomplish this.

If someone approaches you with a problem that is either too complicated for you to solve or appears to be a Code of Conduct violation, stay with the person and help them find someone with a black ribbon to address the current situation. If there is an immediately dangerous situation, call 911 first. Notify The Watch after calling 911 so that convention leadership can stay in the loop.

Read the guidelines below and please ask the Con Chair team (email @email) for any clarification you may need. This process is meant to address a wide range of concerns, from the minor to the serious. Not all steps may be necessary.

If you are a member of the Incident Response Team and are taking a report:

  1. Establish the safety and well-being of the person in front of you. Make sure their immediate needs are met. Call The Watch if their presence will help defuse the current situation.
  2. Maintain a calm, professional demeanor. Do not touch the reporter without explicit permission. If you are not sure about your ability to handle the situation, or if you are emotionally involved yourself, call the Ops Desk (phone number not available yet) to summon the IRT Manager on Duty.
  3. Ask the reporter if they need to go someplace private to have the discussion with you and another Arisia staff member. If they are comfortable giving their report wherever the conversation is taking place, that is also fine.
  4. If possible, start off using the form provided by the IRT. Otherwise transcribe your WRITTEN notes of the conversation to the form immediately after taking the report.
  5. If the reporter is willing, record their name and contact information. Make sure they know we will take and act on an anonymous report, but we will not be able to tell them the actions taken.
  6. Get a full description of the events or perceived problem that took place, including times and places, according to the reporter. Do NOT attempt to “correct” any of the reporter’s words or opinions even if you have other information. You can add additional information to your own write-up of the incident.
  7. Find out if there is a specific action being requested or an action that would remedy any harm that has taken place.
  8. If necessary, ask the reporter to wait while you consult with others (The Watch, IRT, Con Chair on Duty) about next actions. Be explicit about what we will do next and when the person can expect follow-up. Thank the person for making their report.
  9. Confirm that we (Arisia staff) have a specific plan of follow-up actions (if necessary), and write down that plan in the report, including who and when.
  10. File the written report with The IRT.