Event Timing: July 6th-12th, 2018Event Location: Narrm (Melbourne) Venue: Melbourne Polytechnic, Fairfield Campus101 Yarra Bend Road, Fairfield, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3078Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The participants agreement outlines a safer spaces policy. While it is not intended as a strict set of rules, it is a vision and an experiment that we hope to observe for the duration of the conference. Please read carefully as you will be asked at the end of the Agreement to provide your approval.
What we need to do to create a safer space at this gathering: ● Respect people’s physical and emotional boundaries.
● Understand that this is no space for violence, for being intolerant of someone’s religious beliefs or lack thereof, for being creepy, sleazy, racist, ageist, sexist, heterosexist, transphobic, whorephobic, queerphobic, ableist, classist, sizist, or engaging in any other behaviour or language that may perpetuate oppression.
● Always get explicit verbal consent before touching someone to prevent crossing personal boundaries.
● Be respectful in meeting spaces. Don’t talk over others or interrupt. If you disagree with someone, engage in respectful debate.
● Be responsible for your own actions. Be aware that your actions do have an effect on others.
● Take responsibility for your own safety and get help if you need it from the grievance team or organisers.
● Look out for kids at all times and try not to leave anything around which may endanger them.
● The SOS space is drug & smoke free, and alcohol-free (aside from a dedicated wet space for alcohol) Only people over 18 will engage in drinking alcohol if they wish. Please smoke away from the main conference areas if you wish to smoke
● Noise should be kept to a minimum after 11:30pm, so that people can sleep peacefully. There will be space in the main marquee area where people can hang out later. Any individual or group engaging in violence (including sexual violence and harassment) within the space will automatically be excluding themselves. The gathering will be asking them to leave the conference space.
In designating this event a safer space, we are making an explicit political decision to prioritise the voices of people who are experiencing oppression at the hands of another person and/or systems so that they feel empowered to participate and feel supported by the community. We are a community with shared ideals about the rights of people to feel free of oppression, we will hold ourselves and each other accountable for our actions and attitudes. We say ‘safer’ realising that no space can be entirely safe for everyone. Although there is often discourse on ‘equality’, we realise that not everyone experiences spaces in the same way as others.
Conflict is an opportunity for change and growth. We acknowledge that there will be conflict but that at this conference we are creating a space for opposing views to listen and learn from one another. Safer spaces aim to be welcoming, engaging and supportive. We want this gathering to be a space where people take care of one another. We want people to feel that they can let their hair down and be themselves, knowing that they will be supported. We are asking people to be proactive in creating a safer space. This safer spaces document & the Participants agreement will be available in the SoS program booklet, at registration & will be printed up and on display in a few locations at the conference.People attending this gathering are asked to be aware of their language and behaviour, and to think about whether it might be offensive to others. This is no space for violence, for touching people without their consent, for being intolerant of someone’s religious beliefs or lack thereof, for being creepy, sleazy, racist, ageist, sexist, heterosexist, transphobic, ableist, classist, sizist, whorephobic or any other behaviour or language that may perpetuate oppression. The importance of a safer space policy comes with an aim to be the people imagined in the policy. It is important to confront people on their behaviour if you feel it is inappropriate as well as consciously analysing your own behaviour, the things you say and working to be open to others confronting you on that. It is essential to look out for people, asking how they feel and thinking of ways to approach people if they look uncomfortable or out of place.
Care is not the exclusive domain of a few. Too often the responsibility of care falls on the same shoulders. It is important that as a group we take responsibility for caring for each other and create a culture of collective care. To properly care for each other we all need to be involved. At this conference and in our progressive movement we need to remember to be kind and continue our practice of collective care.
For more information on our safer spaces policy visit the SoS website herehttp://www.studentsofsustainability.org/policy.html