About the Society Governance Documents Professional Conduct, Collegiality, and Harassment Policy

Presenters, exhibitors, staff, members and other attendees at Society events should strive to create a professional, collegial, harassment-free environment that is welcoming to all. Conference attendees are expected to behave in a courteous, professional, and civilized manner and to respect volunteers, SVP staff, convention center/hotel staff, and one another.  Conduct that is unprofessional, offensive, or harassing should be avoided in both personal and electronic interactions at all Society events, whether formal or informal.
Harassment is any action that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s professional standing or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.  Harassment includes verbal or visual comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, and age; sexualized, derogatory, or demeaning images and slogans in presentations, on clothing, or in public spaces; deliberate intimidation or haranguing; stalking and following; invasive photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention. 
Collegiality is the expectation that professional, rational, and mutually respectful lines of discourse be constructively maintained. Collegiality includes civility in discourse and mutual respect for differences in background, expertise, and points of views.  Collegiality does not imply agreement on scientific, social, or personal issues.  Society events are venues in which professional, sometimes heated debate is expected and encouraged.  Collegial disagreements such as “John Doe is wrong because...” are appropriate, whereas an attack such as “Jane Doe is a fool” is unprofessional.  New participants who lack the depth of knowledge of a seasoned researcher in the field – students, hobbyists, artists, or researchers from other disciplines – may benefit more from simple constructive suggestions rather than prolonged debate, but nevertheless, participants at all levels should be prepared to defend their work and to respond constructively to criticism from their peers.  Collegiality includes respect for the intellectual property of others: photographs, recordings, or other reproductions of material in talks, slides, posters, or artwork should not be disseminated without permission of the author.
To report unprofessional, offensive, or harassing conduct encountered at Society events, contact the Society’s Ethics Committee.  All attendees are expected to cooperate in any inquiry regarding, and resolution of, alleged misconduct.   Sanctions for persons found to have violated this policy may include a verbal warning, expulsion from an event without refund, prohibition on attending certain future events, or in especially egregious cases, loss of membership from the Society.