Apereo Welcoming Policy 1.0

Archived: Apereo Welcoming Policy 1.0

16th July 2013. Minor update providing Duty Officer contact details May 2018. Archived in January 2020.

This policy is under review and was most recently updated by the Apereo Board in May 2018.

1.  Organizational Anti-Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedure


The Apereo Foundation exists to further its core mission, “to assist and facilitate educational organizations which collaborate to foster, develop, and sustain open technologies and innovation to support learning, teaching, and research.” We believe that this mission is best advanced in a community that is open, welcoming, and supportive to all who might contribute. Innovation requires the participation of a broad and representative community.

Normal, courteous, mutually respectful, pleasant, non-coercive interactions among community participants are valued.  The projects, events, and working groups in which community members participate will maintain environments that assure that all participants are treated with dignity, decency, and respect.  Apereo will not tolerate harassment of any kind.      


This policy prohibits harassment of any kind within the projects, events, and working groups affiliated with or sponsored by Apereo.

The definition of harassment is verbal or physical conduct designed to threaten, intimidate, or coerce.  Verbal taunting, racial and ethnic slurs, comments that are degrading or unwelcome regarding a person's nationality, origin, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, body physical or intellectual disability, or appearance are examples of harassment.  

Sexual harassment in any form is prohibited under this policy.  Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, verbal sexual innuendos, suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, requests for sexual favors, distribution or display of sexually suggestive graphic materials, and other verbal or physical conduct of an unwanted sexual or intimidating nature and contributing to an unwelcoming environment.  

These descriptions are intended to share understanding of prohibited conduct.  The descriptions are not presented or intended to be exhaustive lists.  


Any person electing to utilize this complaint resolution procedure will be treated courteously.   The complaint will be handled as confidentially as possible.  Apereo will take appropriate action to the extent possible to address any violations of this policy.  Groundless, untruthful, or malicious complaints will result in comparable sanctions.

The following complaint procedure will be followed in order to address a complaint regarding harassment. 

The Apereo Board of Directors will designate two Standing Duty Officers members to receive complaints at any time. These Standing Duty Officers can be reached at duty-officer@apereo.org. Whenever possible, a Standing Duty Officer will be present at all Apereo Events. If a Standing Duty Officer cannot be in attendance, the Executive Director or the event organizers shall designate a person in attendance to serve as Duty Officer Likewise, any onsite Apereo Board Member can always receive a complaint.   

If an onsite Duty Officer is not feasible; a report of harrassment can be sent to duty-officer@apereo.org where that report will be reviewed as quickly as possible and event organizers will be notified along with a suggested response, if needed.

  • A person who feels harassed should report any concerns to one or more Duty Officers.
  • Upon receiving the complaint, the Duty Officer will thoroughly record and evaluate the reported activities and provide a detailed review of the situation to the Apereo Executive Director.  If the Apereo Executive Director is unavailable, the Board Chair or a named proxy will act in place.
  • For incidents determined to be actionable the Apereo Executive Director, Chair, or named proxy will decide and execute appropriate sanctions, possibly including but not limited to:
    • Verbal warning.
    • Removal from the event without refund or removal from a working group.
    • Prohibition from attending future events or participating in other working groups.

Nothing in this policy shall prevent the complainant or the respondent from pursuing formal legal remedies or resolution through appropriate agencies or the courts.

2.  Event Policy

Apereo Event and Open Apereo Conference Code of Conduct

Copies of this notice should be posted conspicuously at all Apereo events and included in event websites, registration documents, etc.

The Apereo Foundation events are working conferences and meetings intended to present perspectives, develop an understanding of other academic enterprises, organize community-wide projects, promote and engage in collaboration, and develop partnerships in the Apereo community. Attendees are expected to behave according to internationally expected professional standards, in accordance with local relevant laws and customs, and in accordance with their employer's expectations for appropriate workplace behavior. Events include all face-to-face conferences, meetings, etc. as well as online webinars, meetings, collaboration sessions, etc.

While at Apereo events or related social networking opportunities, speakers, presenters, and attendees should not engage in speech or actions that may be considered harassment or unwelcoming. 

The Apereo Foundation reserves the right take appropriate action, to warn an offender, to deny entrance to an offender, or to expel an offender without refund. 

We value your attendance at this event and want your experience to be positive and welcoming. 

Please report any concerns to the immediate attention of:  Apereo Standing Duty Officers: duty-officer@apereo.org

3.  Internal Process

Complaints should be reported to a Duty Officer and will be reviewed promptly.   A report will be recorded and promptly shared with the Apereo Executive Director.

The report should include:

  • Identifying information (name/badge) of the participant experiencing harassing behavior
  • Identifying information (name/badge) of the participant perpetrating the harassing behavior
  • The time of the behavior in question
  • The time the report was received
  • The behavior that was in violation
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in or witnessing the incident
  • Name of the group or session, if appropriate

Presentations or similar events should not be stopped for one-time gaffes or minor problems by a presenter, although a Duty Officer should speak to that presenter afterward.

If a Board member or a Duty Officer attends a presentation that contains repeated material violations, they should take immediate action to politely and calmly stop any presentation or event that repeatedly or seriously violates the anti-harassment policy. For example, simply say, "I'm sorry, this presentation cannot be continued at the present time" with no further explanation.”  The Board member or Duty Officer will immediately have a private conversation with the presenter to explain why the presentation was stopped.

A Duty Officer who witnesses an incident of harassment, or who receives a complaint about an incident during a presentation should intervene as quickly as possible to prevent disruption of the presentation. If necessary, the Duty Officer may request a person leave the presentation to discuss the incident.

Duty Officers taking a report from someone experiencing harassment should record what is said.  Duty Officer should reassure the reporter they are being taken seriously, but avoid making specific promises about what actions the organizers or the Apereo organization will take.

Ask for any other information if the reporter has not volunteered it (such as time, place) but do not pressure them to provide it if they are reluctant.  Even if the report lacks important details such as the identity of the person taking the harassing actions, it should still be recorded and passed along to Executive Director.

If the reporter desires it, arrange for an escort by event staff or a trusted person. Do not pressure the reporter to take any action if they do not want to do it. Respect the reporter's privacy by not sharing unnecessary details with others, especially individuals who were not involved with the situation or non-staff members.

A minor violation, a misunderstanding, or a first violation may be sanctioned with a verbal warning.  If behavior is perceived to be repetitive, of an immediate threat, or violent, the Executive Director may expel a participant from a group, project, or event.

A participant may be expelled, from an event or a working group, for whatever reasons Apereo deems sufficient.  Some general guidelines for when a participant should be expelled:

A third offense resulting in a warning   

  • Continuing to harass after any "No" or "Stop" instruction
  • A pattern of harassing behavior, with or without warnings
  • A single serious offense (e.g., punching or groping someone)
  • A single obviously intentional offense (e.g., taking up-skirt photos)
  • A physically threatening or intimidating response (e.g., making a fist, air punching, shoving).

Hotel/venue security and local authorities should be contacted when appropriate.

As a general rule, no one affiliated with Apereo should make any public statements about the behavior of individual people during or after the event.

In general, consult with other staff members when possible but act when necessary.

If you would like to optionally attribute it, you could use the text below and link to http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Conference_anti-harassment:


This anti-harassment policy is based on the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers.