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03.18.2016 | SSP News & Releases

Supporting Diversity and Inclusion through a Code of Conduct

Each year the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) Annual Meeting brings together a diverse group of individuals with various professional and cultural backgrounds, divergent views and unique perspectives—this is largely what makes the event so appealing to our members and attendees. SSP is committed providing a safe and productive meeting environment that fosters open dialogue and the free expression of ideas. Earlier this month, the SSP Board of Directors approved the adoption of a Code of Conduct for Annual Meeting attendees, speakers, exhibitors, staff, contractors, volunteers, and guests as a declaration of the organization’s values and a show of support for diversity and inclusion. This Code will be in effect at the 2016 Annual Meeting.

Code of Conduct
The Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) is committed to diversity, equity, and providing a safe and productive meeting environment that fosters open dialogue and the free expression of ideas, free of harassment, discrimination, and hostile conduct. We recognize a shared responsibility to create and maintain that environment for the benefit of all. SSP promotes equal opportunities and treatment for all participants, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, physical or mental ability, disability, physical appearance, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, or nationality. All participants are expected to treat others with respect and consideration, follow venue rules, and alert staff or security of any dangerous situations or anyone in distress. The SSP Annual Meeting can serve as an effective forum to consider and debate relevant viewpoints in an orderly, respectful, and fair manner. The policies herein apply to all attendees, speakers, exhibitors, staff, contractors, volunteers, and guests at the SSP Annual Meeting and related events, including off-site social events (involving meeting participants or staff) and online venues. SSP prohibits any form of harassment, sexual or otherwise.

To view the full policy including information about what defines harassment, reporting, procedures, sanctions, retaliation and appeals, visit: https://www.sspnet.org/events/annual-meeting-2016/code-of-conduct/.

“More and more organizations, including many of SSP’s member organizations, have adopted a code of conduct for their events. Implementing an anti-harassment policy for meetings is a tangible way to demonstrate an organization’s commitment to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all participants,” said Melanie Dolechek, SSP Executive Director. “Our attendees expect—and deserve—to feel safe and respected at our Annual Meeting. Continuing to provide a healthy environment for the exchange of ideas requires the participation of all those involved in the meeting. The Code of Conduct is a transparent and concrete way to ensure all attendees are aware of the expectations regarding appropriate behavior and provides for a clear procedure for reporting and addressing incidents.”

While there has never been a history of harassment reported at SSP events specifically, the Board felt this was a positive proactive step toward demonstrating our commitment to both our members and the vitality of our Annual Meeting. The Code is intended to ensure the safety and well-being of our attendees and staff and is in no way an attempt to stifle free speech or the expression of ideas and opinions. Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the SSP Executive Director, Melanie Dolechek, mdoelchek@sspnet.org.

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