Code of Conduct and Reporting Violations- READ THIS (if nothing else here)
An unfortunate part of being a social organization is the reality that sometimes, there will be conflict, misunderstanding, and sometimes even bad actors. There is no higher priority than the safety, physical and emotional, of our members. So, to that end, we have here taken the consent and grievance focused sections of our Standard Operating Procedures and laid them out in a more accessible format.
Expectations and Code of Conduct:
Consent is opt-in
This means that only yes means yes, and should be obtained before touching, beginning play, or initiating sexual conduct of any kind. Waiting for a “no” is not acceptable, and soft nos like “maybe later” should be treated as no.
Consent is enthusiastic and un-coerced
If a person has to say no repeatedly, or if they feel their options to give a no safely are limited (like if they are cornered), any consent they give may be invalid. The best consent is freely given. After all, do you really want to play with someone who isn’t into it?
Consent applies to everything, including conversations, disclosure of information, and photography
Being socially pushy makes others feel uncomfortable. If someone leaves a conversation, don’t follow them. Accept no gracefully when someone does not wish to join a conversation. Respect others’ personal space. Photography, even in a social space like a munch, requires the consent of everyone who might be in the picture. Outing people (mentioning that they are kinky to those outside the community) is a violation of their consent.
We do not tolerate intolerance
Demeaning others based on their race, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, body type, country of origin, religion, or relationship status will not be tolerated. In our diverse community, mistakes like misgendering can happen, but please apologize and correct yourself.
Practice patience with those who are new
Many of our cultural norms differ from the dominant culture. We share a collective responsibility to educate ourselves on these topics. But we recognize that mistakes happen, and encourage everyone to assume good intentions when standards are violated in minor ways, and encourage our membership to help educate one another. That said, the board does want to know if and when something untoward happens so that we also can help educate and protect our membership as necessary.
Inebriation is no excuse
These standards apply to everyone, regardless of any substances they choose to imbibe. Some of our events may be dry, because they are higher risk events, like play parties. If you can’t behave yourself tipsy or high, then stay sober.
These rules are not an exhaustive list. A lot of things are a judgment call. Our overall goal, however, is an environment that is as safe as we can help make it, and as fair as we can hope to be.
When Things Go Wrong
RCTNG primarily uses a reporter-centered model to deal with consent violations. Our procedure is as follows:
1) Receive a report, whether to the Fetlife account, the email account, or to an individual board member. Reports must be written, so the whole board can receive it, and must be first-person, to avoid misunderstandings. The report is then distributed to the board. It can be anonymized, if necessary.
2) Discuss, either in person or by email, within a week.
3) If further information is needed or mediation is requested, contact the other party or parties to discuss.
4) Decide on a course of action and inform all relevant parties.
We want to receive reports, even for things that seem really minor, even for things that did not happen at our events. First, it helps us to educate people with a fuzzy understanding of consent. Second, it allows us to keep track of people who may be becoming “missing stairs”, and are racking up a number of minor violations. These people often become bigger problems if not dealt with early. Third, someone may already have been disciplined for similar behavior, and repetition indicates they are not learning.
Possible courses of action after a consent incident or violation of the code of conduct include:
No action from the board, either because of lack of information or lack of wrongdoing
Education on the nuances of our community standards
Ejection from an event
Suspension, for a period determined by the board
What course of action the board chooses is determined in part by the wishes of the accuser, in part by the circumstances of the event, and in part by the severity of the offense. But, when in doubt, we prefer to err on the side of a safer community. That means that, among other things, the accused does not have a right to face their accuser. We are happy to hear information that may help us reach a fair decision, but, unlike the criminal justice system, we would rather people get unfairly excluded than have predators in our sandbox.
We do maintain a ban list. It will not be published online or posted at events. However, if an attendee would like to know if an individual is banned, we will answer their questions to the best of our ability. Representatives from other groups that would like to share information are welcome to contact our leadership to discuss our ban list.
Rain City TNG
Standard Operating Procedures
Proposed: December 9, 2015
Approved: December 13, 2015
Rain City TNG is a social and educational organization based in Seattle, WA for those 18-35. We organize social, play, and educational events and strive to provide a safe space for young people to explore and understand the complexities of human sexuality. We welcome people from all backgrounds and communities, including the LGBTQ, Polyamorous, Non-Monogamous, and BDSM communities.
Rain City TNG strives to provide:
• A comfortable space for young people to learn and explore among their peers.
• Networking and connections between people who are at similar life stages.
• Recognition that younger members of the community make valuable contributions
• Opportunities for young presenters and leaders to gain experience and serve their community.
• A stepping stone into Seattle’s broader sex positive community.
II. Eligibility of Members
• All attendees at all Rain City TNG events must be at least 18 years of age (or 21 years of age if required by a venue used by Rain City TNG). Under no circumstances are minors (individuals under the age of 18) ever allowed to attend Rain City TNG events.
• Unless accompanied by a partner (romantic, sexual, or play) within the 18-35 age range, no attendee at a Rain City TNG event may be over the age of 35. “Over 35” partners are encouraged to exhibit respect for our community and mission while they are with us. There are only two exceptions to this policy:
o Exception: Rain City TNG may, at its discretion, choose to co-host events with other organizations with different age ranges. At those events, the acceptable age range will be negotiated with the other organization and clearly communicated to attendees in advance of the event.
o Exception: Rain City TNG may, at its discretion, invite presenters, lecturers, performers, or educators of any age to attend events to share their expertise
• Board Members of Rain City TNG may request government issued photo ID from any individual who they believe to be in violation of this policy. Attendees who are challenged in this way but choose not to show ID will be required to leave the event.
• Although it is not ideal, some venues may have members of the public present who may differ in age. All members are encouraged to be mindful of their surroundings at our events.
• Rain City TNG events and membership are open to everyone as described above in the “Ages” section, without regard to their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, marital status, family/parental status, prior military history, political beliefs, play style, sexual interests, relationship model, or anything else irrelevant to the safety of our community.
III. Board of Directors:
Selection of Board Members:
• The Board of Directors shall have the power to select its own Board Members from within active members of the Rain City TNG community.
• The Board of Directors shall, every July and August, invite members of the community to apply to join the Board of Directors. Interested applicants must speak with at least one Board Member about their interest, skills, and qualifications, as well as email email@example.com with a statement about the same, no later than 24 hours before the August board meeting.
• The Board of Directors will review all received applications at the September Board meeting and promptly notify all applicants of the decision on their application. New Board Members will start their terms at the October Board meeting, and conclude their term at the next October’s Board meeting.
• Current Board Members may renew their term by communicating their intention to do with the rest of the Board of Directors so no later than the September Board meeting.
• The previous points notwithstanding, the Board of Directors may add or remove Board Members at any time, should it deem it necessary to do so.
• The Board of Directors should at all times have at least four Board Members, and should never have more than ten Board Members.
Removal of Board Members:
• Any Board Member who ceases to be an active or welcomed member of the Rain City TNG community shall be automatically removed from the Board of Directors.
o No vote needs to be taken to remove a Board Member who has been removed from the community, nor is it necessary to allow them to present an argument against their removal.
• Any Board Member who fails to attend two consecutive Board Meetings without communicating the reason for their absence in advance shall be automatically removed from the Board of Directors.
• Any Board Member may resign from the Board of Directors at any time, but they must make sure that all institutional knowledge they hold (such as passwords) is shared with the Board of Directors prior to their departure.
• Any Board Member may be removed from the Board of Directors, and any Officer may be removed from their position, by the consensus of the Board of Directors for good cause, including, but not limited to, conviction of a serious crime, consent violations, breach of these Standard Operating Procedures, or dereliction of their duties.
o Any Board Member or Officer being considered for removal shall be offered the opportunity to present a defense to the rest of the Board of Directors.
o An Officer may be removed from their position and allowed to stay on the Board of Directors.
o If an Officer is removed from their position, a replacement shall be selected by consensus at the same meeting of the Board of Directors.
• The Board of Directors of Rain City TNG shall serve terms of one year, with no limitations on the number of terms which may be served.
• The Board of Directors shall select by consensus Board Members to serve as its Officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary). The legal names of these individuals will be shared with governmental bodies as necessary to comply with all applicable laws.
• The Board of Directors shall have select by consensus a Board Member to serve as Managing Director, who will preside over Board Meetings and function as a project manager to make sure that all necessary tasks are getting completed. This Managing Director may also hold serve as an Officer.
• The Board of Directors may also select by consensus other Officer roles for Board Members (including, but not limited to, Education Coordinator, Event Coordinator, Social Media Coordinator, or other roles as deemed necessary).
• Regardless of whether or not they are an Officer, each Board Member shall be entitled to exactly one vote on all matters.
• The Board of Directors shall make decisions on all matters, including the amendment of these Standard Operating Procedures, by consensus. In the event that consensus is not possible after extensive debate, a decision may be made by a 2/3 majority vote of the Board Members present.
o The Rain City TNG consensus model does not depend on all Board Members agreeing on a particular course of action as being the sole best solution. Rather, it depends on all Board Members agreeing that a particular course of action is appropriate and not likely to cause harm.
• A majority of Board Members must be present at a Board Meeting in order or decisions to be made (quorum). Decisions made by the Board of Directors do not need to revisited solely for the sake of Board Members who were absent.
• Unless determined otherwise in advance, the Board of Directors shall meet monthly on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00PM.
• Any Board Member who needs to step away from Rain City TNG for a period of time may request exactly one “leave of absence.” If granted by the Board of Directors, the Board Member is not entitled to a vote, and does not count as a member of the Board of Directors for the purposes of determining quorum during the leave of absence.
• All Board Members shall take good care of all institutional property of Rain City TNG, including, but not limited to, passwords, notes, and tangible goods.
o All departing Board Members must ensure that they return all tangible property belonging to Rain City TNG and pass on all institutional knowledge that they are holding.
o Passwords to all Rain City TNG email and social media accounts shall be changed whenever a Board Member leaves the Board of Directors.
IV. Standards of Conduct
• Rain City TNG subscribes to a “yes means yes” philosophy, not a “no means no” philosophy. This means that it is the responsibility of all members to obtain explicit consent before touching or beginning play or sexual activity with another person.
• In many other communities, it is socially acceptable to ask for certain forms of physical intimacy by initiating that contact (think of the “stretch and reach” maneuver sometimes seen in movie theaters). We recognize that different people have different comfort levels and cultural boundaries, but this type of behavior is not acceptable at Rain City TNG events.
• We recognize that we all have a collective responsibility to educate ourselves on topics such as this one. We also recognize that these standards may differ from the ones our members are used to from other settings, and that it can be easy to accidently violate this standard. While adamantly protecting the right of victims, we encourage our members to assume good intentions where reasonable and educate one another on the concepts of touch and consent.
• As one part of a multi-faceted approach to safety, Rain City TNG strongly encourages all of its members to clearly agree upon a safe word (a word, phrase, or action that immediately ends all activities) prior to any sort of sex or play activity. Unless otherwise negotiated in advance, we also encourage the use of “plain English communication,” in which statements like “no,” “stop,” and “slower” are to be taken at face value.
• At all Rain City TNG events, the use of the phrase “safe word” will immediately cause all individuals involved in the scene to stop what they are doing. There will be no exceptions to this policy.
• Rain City TNG encourages its members to engage in sexual or kink activities only when sober. Members are also encouraged to remember that their conduct reflects on the entire Rain City TNG community and to make responsible decisions accordingly.
• The use of illegal substances, as defined by Washington law and the age of the individual involved, is not permitted at Rain City TNG events.
Photography and Recording Devices:
• As with all other things, we consider consent on photography, videography, and audio recordings (herein referred to as “recordings”), to be “opt in,” not “opt out.” Specifically, recordings are not allowed to be taken at Rain City TNG events unless the person obtaining the recording has obtained the express consent of everyone in the recording, stated how they intend to distribute the recording, allowed ample time for those not wishing to be in the recording to leave the area, and obtained the permission of the host or person in charge of the event.
• Cell phones and other recording devices are allowed at Rain City TNG events, but people should use their good judgment about when to display them so as not to cause others to believe they are being recorded against their will.
Outing and Privacy:
• No attendee at any Rain City TNG event should share any information about other attendees or interact with them outside of Rain City TNG events without first obtaining their explicit permission. Please remember that many of our community members are not 'out' and there may be serious consequences for violating someone's privacy.
• Rain City TNG takes confidentiality extremely seriously and will only share information about members under the following circumstances:
o In response to a legal subpoena or search warrant, or with law enforcement officers after the express consent of a crime victim has been obtained
o In order to keep our entire community safe, information about suspended or banned members may be shared with the leaders of other similar organizations.
o In order to facilitate some events, some information may need to be shared with trusted partners and vendors. The Board of Directors shall select such partners with extreme caution and a dedication to finding partners who take privacy and security extremely seriously.
• Members of Rain City TNG should assume that any communication they share via firstname.lastname@example.org or via Rain City TNG social media channels may be seen by the entire Board of Directors.
• Members of the Rain City TNG community who wish to hold events of their own that are marketed to our community may refer to their events as “Rain City TNG Community Events,” provided that all of the following conditions are met:
o A plan for the event is submitted to, and approved by, the Board of Directors.
o The event organizer(s) agree to uphold these Standard Operating Procedures at their event.
o The event organizer(s) agree to bar any individual currently barred or suspended from Rain City TNG from attending their event.
• Event organizer(s) may have their own ban list or rules in addition to these Standard Operating Procedures.
V. Complaints and Grievances:
• Any person who believes that a member of the Rain City TNG community has violated the standards of conduct outlined in this document, either within or outside of the Rain City TNG community, should email email@example.com or approach any Board Member with their concerns.
• The Board of Directors will then meet, in person or online, as soon as possible to discuss the situation.
o The Board of Directors will make every possible effort to meet prior to the next upcoming Rain City TNG event.
o If the accused person is a Board Member, they will be excluded from the meeting, and may not even be notified of it.
• The Board of Directors, after examining the facts of the situation and all prior knowledge about the accused person to the best of their ability, will take one or more of the following courses of action:
o Decide that the accused person did nothing wrong.
o Decide that there is insufficient evidence to believe that the accused person violated any rule.
o Decide that the accused person made a mistake and speak with them to educate them about how not to violate the rule in the future.
o Decide to give the accused person a formal warning that repeating the violation will result in more serious action.
o Decide to suspend the accused person from all Rain City TNG events for a set period of time.
o Decide to permanently bar the accused person from all Rain City TNG events.
• The Board of Directors will handle all complaints as discretely as possible. No retribution against people who make complaints in good faith will be tolerated. The Board of Directors will also make every reasonable effort to support the victim.
• The Board of Directors will thoroughly document all of its investigations, and the results of those investigations may be considered in future investigations.
VI. Separability Clause:
• If any provision of these Standard Operating Procedures, or the application thereof to any person, partnership, or corporation, or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of this document, and the application of such provisions to any other person, partnership, corporation, or circumstance, shall not