2021 Call for Community Helpers and Incident Response Team

The Community Safety Working Group has clarified and updated the Samvera Helpers program, and created a special team that will be trained to respond to Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment Policy violations.

Please consider volunteering for the Samvera Helpers and/or the Incident Response Team! The volunteer form is open through September 17, 2021: https://forms.gle/WvPikozBRBuVpMp8A

Who are the Helpers?

The Samvera Community Helpers is a group of volunteers who provide support to others within the Community.

Helper Responsibilities

  • Monitoring the Helpers email list

  • Referring any reports of Code of Conduct violations to the Response Team

  • Participating in reviewing the Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment policy annually for revisions

  • Supporting new Helpers

    • Identifying and nominating new Helpers to keep the Helpers representative of the Community

    • Maintaining onboarding documentation and resources

Helpers also assist at Samvera events in a number of ways, such as:

  • Presenting and explaining the Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment Policy at the beginning of each day of Samvera events

  • Staffing welcome table at Samvera Connect meetings

  • Being available for questions

  • Mentoring new Samverans

  • Coordinating with event organizers (program committee, local hosts) as needed

Helpers commit to serving a term of two years.

What is the Response Team?

Samvera’s Code of Conduct Response Team holds primary responsibility for responding to violations of our Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment Policy.  The Code of Conduct Response Team (“Response Team,” for short) is a separate body from Samvera’s Helpers, though membership may overlap (individuals may serve in both capacities, but do not have to do so). 

Response Team member obligations

  • Complete 4 hours of incident response training (this training is at no cost to the volunteer and is arranged via the Community Manager)

  • Incident reports are infrequent events that require a quick response when they do occur. Response Team members should monitor Team channels for incidents and participate in a response when appropriate.

  • Every Response Team member will not participate in the response to every incident report. When an incident is reported, the Incident Responder will assemble a team based on team member availability, conflicts of interest, and the seriousness of the incident.

  • Response Team membership is not an obligation to be available at all times for an incident response, or to attend every Samvera event. Members are expected to make a good faith effort to participate when they are present and available.

Response Team member responsibilities

  • Onboard to the response process by attending a Response Team training 

  • Participate in an annual review of policies

  • Monitor the Response Team email group for any reports and participate in incident response when appropriate

  • Act as a Response Team member for Samvera events (both in person and online) when available

  • Serve on an Incident Team when appropriate. An Incident Team is a subset of the Response Team formed to address a specific incident. The Incident Team is disbanded when response is deemed complete. The Team includes the Incident Responder who is the primary contact for the report throughout the response process. When the incident is considered handled, the Response Team hands off any related documentation to the Samvera Board, who is responsible for maintaining it as part of the organization’s records.

Each Response Team member serves a two-year term. At the end of the first year, the individual has the opportunity to confirm their willingness and availability to continue to serve their term on the Response Team.

A member can serve up to 3 consecutive two-year terms. If any time, a Response team member needs to step back for a break, three-months notice are requested so there is sufficient time to find, and potentially train, a replacement member.

Please review the Incident Response Manual (PDF) for a complete overview of the incident response process.

How do I volunteer as a Helper, Response Team member, or both?

To volunteer as a Helper:

  1. Read and make sure you can agree to uphold the Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment policy. If you have any questions about these documents, contact the Community Manager.

  2. Fill out the Helper and Response Team volunteer form to volunteer as a Helper.

To volunteer as a Response Team member: The Samvera Community uses a vetting process to ensure that Code of Conduct Response Team members can operate with the trust of the Samvera community.

  1. Read and make sure you can agree to uphold the Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment policy. If you have any questions about these documents, contact the Community Manager.

  2. Fill out the Helper and Response Team volunteer form to nominate yourself.

  3. The Community Manager will inform the Community that someone has been nominated as a Response Team Member, and solicit feedback with a specific deadline. The Community Manager will direct people to provide feedback about the nominee privately. 

  4. If the prospective member is approved to serve, the Community Manager will make an announcement to the Community with a brief introduction to the new Response Team member. 

See the Samvera Code of Conduct Incident Response Manual (PDF) for full details of the vetting process.

A big thank you to the Community Safety Working Group for all their hard work getting this process in place.