Learning Community Guidelines

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Rethink's Learning Community is intended for networking and collaboration as well as learning. We value the participation of every member and invite all members to help us create safe and positive experiences for everyone.

To make clear what is expected, everyone taking part in the community is required to conform to the following guidelines.

These guidelines and related procedures also apply to unacceptable behaviour occurring within and outside the scope of community activities, in all community venues— online and in-person— as well as in all one-on-one communications, and anywhere such behaviour has the potential to adversely affect the safety and well-being of community members.

Expected Behavior

  • Be welcoming.
  • Be kind.
  • Look out for each other.

Unacceptable Behavior

The following behaviors are considered harassment and are unacceptable within our community:

  • Violent threats or language directed against another person.
  • Discriminatory jokes and language.
  • Posting sexually explicit or violent material.
  • Posting (or threatening to post) other people's personally identifying information ("doxing").
  • Personal insults, particularly those related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, appearance, or disability.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Inappropriate contact. You should have someone’s consent before speaking to them.
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following (online or in person).
  • Repeated harassment of others. In general, if someone asks you to stop, then stop.
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

  • Unacceptable behavior from any community member, including contributors, patrons and those with decision-making authority, will not be tolerated.
  • Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.
  • If a community member engages in unacceptable behavior, the Enforcement Committee may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including a temporary ban or permanent expulsion from the community without warning.

Reporting

If you are the subject of, or witness to any violations of this Code of Conduct, please contact us directly by writing to volunteers@rethinkfoundation.in (v@r). v@r is a closed group consisting of only trusted members. We assure that all communication in this regard will be treated as confidential.

Enforcement Committee

The Enforcement Committee deals with violations in the Community Guidelines.

Name Position
Sandeep Zachariah Co-chair
Arya Murali Co-chair
Gokul K S Member
Zacharias Manual Member
Roopa Aravindakshan Member
Aby James Member
Sijo Kuruvilla George Board Observer

Definitions

These are the definitions of few terms used in the document, published here to ensure that our understanding of this guideline document is akin.

Harassment

Harassment is a form of discrimination. It involves any unwanted physical or verbal behaviour that offends or humiliates you. Generally, harassment is a behaviour that persists over time. Serious one-time incidents can also sometimes be considered harassment.

Harassment occurs when someone

  • makes unwelcome remarks or jokes about your race, religion, sex, age, disability or any other of the grounds of discrimination;
  • threatens or intimidates you because of your race, religion, sex, age, disability or any other of the grounds of discrimination;
  • makes unwelcome physical contact with you, such as touching, patting, or pinching.

Examples of Harassment

  • A colleague repeatedly makes fun of your hijab
  • A manager regularly makes inappropriate comments about your physical appearance
  • An employee threatens your safety following a heated discussion
  • A colleague repeatedly asks for your private phone number despite your denial.

Inappropriate contact

Unwanted/inappropriate contact is any type of online communication that you find unpleasant or confronting.

Unwanted contact can include:

  • contacting you on your private contact number without consent
  • being asked inappropriate or personal questions by someone you don’t know or approve of
  • being sent offensive, confronting or obscene content
  • being asked to send intimate pictures or do things online that make you feel uncomfortable.

Violence

Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.

Discrimination

It is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

Consent

  • Consent is when someone agrees, gives permission, or says "yes" to an activity with other persons.
  • Consent can be withdrawn by either party at any point.
  • Consent must be voluntarily given and may not be valid if a person is being subjected to actions or behaviors that elicit emotional, psychological, physical, reputational, financial pressure, threat, intimidation, or fear (coercion or force).
  • Consent should never be assumed and a person’s silence should never be considered consent.
  • Consent to engage in one activity, or past agreement to engage in a particular activity, cannot be presumed to constitute consent to engage in a different activity or to engage again in the previous activity.

Stalking

  • Stalking is unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group towards another person.
  • Cyberstalking is the use of computers or other electronic technology to facilitate stalking.

Insult

To speak to or treat with lack of respect, esteem or courteous behaviour.

Sexual attention

This is any sexual attention that makes you feel uncomfortable or intimidated.

Sexual attention becomes sexual harassment if:

  • the behaviour is persisted in, although a single incident of harassment can constitute sexual harassment; and/or
  • the recipient has made it clear that the behaviour is considered offensive; and/or
  • the perpetrator should have known that the behaviour is regarded as unacceptable.

Editor's Note

Writing this document posed a unique challenge. Most similar guides are written on the assumption of an in-person event. However, the Rethink Learning Community doesn't exist in one place, and most of the time we're spread out across the world and interact online. This makes trying to define and enforce community standards a different type of challenge. This document is adapted from the Citizen Code of Conduct and the Django Code of Conduct for Handling Harassment Incidents but changed to reflect the nature of our community. It is our expectation that this will be a living document and change as we grow to understand how to meet this challenge and best serve our community and ideals.

Notes

  1. Research Notes