Samvera Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment Policy

Expectations for Respectful Communication

The Samvera Community is dedicated to providing a welcoming and positive experience for all its members, whether they are at a formal gathering, in a social setting, or taking part in activities online.  The Samvera Community welcomes participation from people all over the world and these community members bring with them a wide variety of professional, personal and social backgrounds; whatever these may be, we treat colleagues with dignity and respect.

Community members communicate primarily in English, though for many of them this is not their native language. We therefore strive to express ourselves simply and remember  that unnecessary use of jargon and slang will be a barrier to understanding for many of our colleagues.  We are sensitive to the fact that the international nature of the community means that we span many different social norms around language and behaviour and we strive to conduct ourselves, online and in person, in ways that are unlikely to cause offense.

Samvera conversations are often information-rich and intended to generate discussion and debate.  We discuss ideas from a standpoint of mutual respect and reasoned argument.

Anti-Harassment Policy

The Samvera Community does not  tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual or discriminatory language and imagery is not appropriate for any event venue, including talks, or any community channel such as Slack-based chat rooms or mailing lists.

Harassment includes: offensive verbal comments related to sex, gender, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race, religion; sexual or discriminatory images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation; stalking; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

We expect participants to follow the Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment Policy at all meeting venues, meeting-related social events, community gatherings, and online communication channels. Participants violating the Code of Conduct or Anti-Harassment Policy may be sanctioned or expelled at the discretion of the Incident Response Team in accordance with the Samvera Code of Conduct Incident Response Manual (PDF).

Reporting Harassment and Code of Conduct Violations

If you are at a conference or other event, find the on-call Samvera Community Helpers (email) who should be wearing an identifiable Samvera Community Helpers badge or a rainbow lanyard. If you can't find any of these, there will be other staff available to help if the situation calls for immediate action.

If you are in the Samvera Community Slack, contact one of the Samvera Community Helpers via direct message. You can direct message the Community Helper of your choice by clicking the + next to Direct Message and typing in their name.

Read more about How to Report a Code of Conduct Violation and what you can expect in the process.

We value your participation in the Samvera Community and your support in keeping it a safe, welcoming, and friendly space for fellow participants!

Code of Conduct Incident Response 

Reports of Code of Conduct or Anti-Harassment Policy violations will be addressed by the Incident Response Team, which consists of trained and vetted Community members who follow a detailed Incident Response Manual.

Samvera event organizers, Incident Response Team members, and Community Helpers can be identified by their name badges. These volunteers can help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event.


Participants asked to stop any offending behavior are expected to comply immediately. Incident Response Team members will follow the Response Manual process and may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender, expulsion from the Samvera event, or banning the offender from a chatroom or mailing list.

Specific sanctions may include but are not limited to:

  • Warning the offender to cease their behavior and that any further reports will result in other sanctions

  • requiring that the offender avoid any interaction with, and physical proximity to, the incident reporter for the remainder of the event

  • early termination of a talk that violates the policy

  • not publishing the video or slides of a talk that violated the policy

  • not allowing a speaker who violated the policy to give (further) talks at the event

  • immediately ending any event volunteer responsibilities and privileges the offender holds requiring that the offender not volunteer for future Samvera events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period)

  • requiring that the offender immediately leave the event and not return

  • banning the offender from future events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period)

  • Notifying the offender’s institution or organization that the violation has occurred

  • banning the offender from any (or all) Samvera Community channels

  • publishing an account of the offending event as outlined in the Incident Response Manual


This document is licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA.  It is based on a document originally developed by the Open Repositories conference.