• REACH Code of Conduct

    (Last updated 11/24/2018)

    The Berkeley REACH is intended to be a welcoming place for everyone in the Effective Altruist and Rationalist communities, as well as people interested in these concepts. Some people in and around these communities have differences in social expectations, communication style, and preferences about physical environment. This can lead to competing access needs.


    This document is intended to give guidelines for how to approach and work through those issues. It is not intended to spell out exactly what behaviors are or aren't ok, but rather to help de-escalate and resolve conflict in a productive and net positive way.

    In this document, the term REACH Host (or just Host) refers to REACH staff and volunteers who have been explicitly authorized to have the door code and host events. REACH Stewards are Hosts who can also make temporary decisions relating to Code of Conduct. Anywhere that you see “Host” in this document, it also applies to Stewards, but not vice versa. See the REACH Host and Steward mandate doc for details of the authorization process. Every pre-planned event should include at least one Host as a co-facilitator, and if non hosts are in REACH, at least one Host must be present, with a Steward on call.


    Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative

    • Take other people’s needs and preferences into account
    • Work with others to solve issues
      • Try amicable negotiation first
      • Ask for mediation if direct negotiation is unsuccessful
    • Do not be a rules lawyer or look for loopholes in this Code of Conduct
      • Try to come to agreement rather than holding others to the letter of the law
    • The document exists to give a sense of what to expect, but it can’t account for all possible eventualities and is likely to need updates in the future
      • If any REACH Steward seems to be contradicting the document, please defer to the steward in the moment and request clarity later


    Work proactively to prevent and de-escalate conflict

    • Consider asking someone to mediate in cases of strong disagreement
    • If you notice something that seems problematic, try to calmly raise the topic before it escalates, or find a REACH Host, Steward, or Panel member and report the issue


    Clean up after yourself

    • Wash any non-disposable dishes you use
    • If you create a mess, clean any soiled surfaces
    • Throw away disposables in the appropriate bins
    • Take out the waste if the bin you want to use is full
      • The outdoor bins are around the back through the gate in the red fence
    • If you put anything in the fridge, write the current date on it
      • If you want it for yourself for later, put it in the small black fridge and label it with your name and the current date
        • Remember that it’s there and consume or throw it out within a week or so
      • If you want it to be available for anyone, put it in the top two shelves of the large fridge
      • Toss anything that has obviously gone bad or has been in the fridge for more than 2 weeks (don’t toss long lasting items like ketchup)


    Ask for accommodations

    • If you are uncomfortable, it is always ok to ask for accommodation that would make you more comfortable
      • Possible accommodations include asking someone to move an interaction to a side room, stop an activity, or leave the space
      • REACH can't promise to always give the accommodation, but people visiting REACH are expected not to punish people for asking for accommodation
    • In the case of competing access needs, please attempt to find and follow the course of action that leads to the least harm/discomfort
      • If you have the spoons (physical and/or emotional energy) to accommodate someone with fewer spoons, please try to do so
    • If there is disagreement about which course of action would best fulfill the request for accommodation, defer to decision of the REACH Host or on-call Steward and raise the issue for discussion later if you disagree with the decision
      • If no REACH Host is present, use Discord to inform a Steward about the issue (this should be rare)
      • If immediate action is needed, text or call

    Avoid active harm

    • Try to avoid actions that have a high likelihood of harming others
      • Note: some events may explicitly involve activities you find uncomfortable -- if so, take care of yourself by leaving the space if the activities are harmful to you
    • If you are unsure if an action would cause harm or discomfort but would like to do it, check with a REACH Host
      • If you’re on the fence, err on the side of caution
    • Try to avoid making loud sounds while others do focused work

    If asked to stop an interaction with another person, do so promptly

    • If someone asks you to stop doing something to or with them, stop immediately (or as quickly as safely possible)
      • If you feel that your activity is or should be acceptable in the current context, you are welcome to ask why you’ve been asked to stop
    • Overt aggression, name calling, and raised voices in response to being asked for accommodation are usually interpreted as escalation; please try to avoid these when possible
    • If asked to leave the space by a Host, please comply without delay

    Serious or repeat infractions are grounds for opening a REACH Panel case

    • REACH Stewards have the authority to enact suspensions in the moment
      • Steward suspensions can range from a day to a week.
      • The panel will at least briefly discuss the suspension within two weeks, deciding whether to leave the temporary suspension up or not.
      • The panel may not be able to fully resolve the suspension immediately, but will communicate with the suspended person every two weeks about the status of the decision until a formal formal decision can be made.
    • Reports of serious infractions or repeated infractions will result in an investigation by the REACH Panel
      • If the reports are found to be substantiated, the reported party may be asked to take specific actions before being allowed back in the space
    • Repeated problematic behavior without successful resolution may be grounds for a permanent ban from the space
      • Problematic behavior includes actions you've been asked multiple times to stop by a REACH Steward
    • Depending on severity, behavior outside of REACH may also be grounds for a suspension or ban, following an investigation.

    Communicate with REACH Stewards

    • Help REACH Hosts keep the space safe by letting them know about harmful or disruptive behavior
      • Please avoid reporting things that you think *someone* might find disruptive or harmful -- only report things that are harmful or disruptive to you, or which someone else has told you is harmful/disruptive to them
    • Do not try to impose or enforce bans without explicit go-ahead from a REACH Steward

    Defer to the decisions of REACH Hosts in the moment

    • You can request further clarification later, including asking for mediation with the Host(s) facilitated by members of the REACH panel or by a mutually agreed upon third party
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