Harassment and Bullying Policy
The SCA prohibits harassment and bullying of all individuals and groups.
Harassment and bullying includes, but is not limited to the following:
- offensive or lewd verbal comments directed to an individual;
- the display of explicit images (drawn or photographic) depicting an individual in an inappropriate manner;
- photographing or recording individuals inappropriately to abuse or harass the individual;
- inappropriate physical contact; unwelcome sexual attention; or retaliation for reporting harassment and/or bullying.
Participants violating these rules are subject to appropriate sanctions. If an individual feels subjected to harassment, bullying or retaliation, they should contact a seneschal, President of the SCA, or the Kingdom’s Board Ombudsman. If a participant of the SCA becomes aware that someone is being harassed or bullied, they have a responsibility pursuant to the SCA Code of Conduct to come forward and report this behavior to a seneschal, President of the SCA, or Kingdom’s Board Ombudsman.
For other grievances, follow the corporate policies here:
Be understanding. There are many valid approaches to Society activity. Members should make room for each other to explore anything that supports the Society’s goals, abides by its rules, is legal and does not actively interfere with the environment it attempts to create. Communication is the key to finding common ground.
Look for common ground. It may be possible to find compromise by taking up both alternatives, either together or at different times.
Keep a sense of perspective. There are always two sides to an issue. Make an effort to listen to the arguments of the other side with good will and honesty, and look for a solution everyone can live with.
Go through the chain of command/appeal. If you can’t solve the problem yourself, your requests for assistance should follow a line of authority without skipping anyone, and without spreading laterally through the organization any more than absolutely necessary. For example, when you reach a level that has royalty or royal representatives, include them on your copy list, but don’t start out by copying all the royalty in your corner of the Known World and the board on your initial complaint. Try to be circumspect and polite.
Be patient. Allow each level time to try to deal with the situation, and avoid the temptation to be aggressive to the people you’ve asked for help if they don’t seem to be moving fast enough to suit you. Remember we are a volunteer society.
a. Try to work things out face-to-face. When someone does something that interferes with your appreciation of the Society in a way you can’t ignore, or that seems to be contrary to the rules, talk it over. Explain the problem as you see it, and listen to the reply. (Likewise, if someone comes to you, listen carefully before you frame your answer.) Hopefully this will resolve the matter. If you can’t communicate, ask someone you and the other party both respect to help, either by relaying messages or by moderating a meeting between you. Try not to go to an officer in charge of the area in question, as such an officer may be tempted or compelled to make a ruling instead of letting you reach an informal agreement.
b. Write to the person you’re having difficulty with. Describe the way you feel you’re being damaged, without insults or threats. Ask for the action you feel would set things right, and indicate how long you feel you can wait for a reply before making further distribution of the complaint. Do not send it to anyone else at this time. Hopefully this letter, or a series of direct letters and replies, will eventually lead you to a solution. As long as you feel you’re making progress either in understanding or in getting your way, do not go on to step c.
c. Write a formal letter to the other party. Outline any new points you may have thought of and refer to your previous correspondence. Send a copy to the officer in charge of the area in question, or to the royalty or royal representative nearest the level where you have a dispute. Depending on the situation, it may be a good idea to send copies of the letters you’ve already written or received on the matter with the copy of the current letter you send to the superior; if you are doing so, be sure to mention it in your letter. (It is very important to proceed openly as you pursue your complaint; things are tense enough already without adding a new–and justified–charge of sneakiness to the general dispute!) Again, set a reasonable time for a reply, and consider it carefully when it arrives. As with step b, continue at this level as long as it looks like there’s any progress.
d. Write directly to the officer in charge of the area in question, with copies to the subject of the dispute, the next higher officer, and the appropriate royalty or royal representative, if any. Explain how you feel you’re being mistreated, and ask for specific help. Include the entire previous correspondence if you have not already shared it with the officer–and mention the enclosures in the text. Evaluate the reply or replies before you decide to go forward.
e. Repeat step d, moving up the organization and including everyone you’ve involved on your copy list. Follow your correspondents’ advice as to whether or not anyone else at or below their level needs to be consulted. Eventually, you run out of levels.
f. If no one else has managed to find a solution, the Board will do so. However, there is no guarantee that you will like what they come up with, and there is nowhere else to turn. Even if you get something resembling what you originally asked for, the effect on the Society may well be regrettable, as the Board finds it almost impossible to deal with a specific situation without touching anything else.
g. While it appears cumbersome, this technique should reach some sort of resolution in a matter of months. The greatest number of levels between you and the Board is five, assuming a dispute between members of a canton whose barony is part of a principality. The important thing is getting a solution, NOT getting to the Board, and the approach outlined in this article will probably let you settle the matter without involving the corporate administration at all.