Feedback and Incident Response

Boundless is committed to responding to feedback about the conduct of community members. The Conduct Committee is part of the Boundless team that is responsible for addressing problems or potential problems within our event. In our policies and procedures we make every effort to honor the values of safety, accountability, restorative healing, privacy, and transparency.

Who can report a problem?

Anyone who was directly affected by or who witnessed behavior that was dangerous or harmful to anybody present.

What sort of problem can I report?

Any behavior or pattern of behaviors that you feel is unsafe or harmful to you or others, that makes you feel afraid or threatened, or that could endanger Boundless’ ability to continue to hold events.

Who can I make a report about?

Anyone whose behavior causes you concern. All reports will be handled equitably regardless of who is involved or that person’s role within Boundless.

Boundless does not exist in a vacuum. The Bay Area kink and sex-positive worlds are deeply interconnected and attendees at various events overlap. Therefore, the Boundless Conduct Committee will accept reports about anyone, whether or not that person has attended Boundless events in the past.

When can I report a problem?

At any time, by contacting consent@boundlessevents.org. Reports will be taken seriously and handled appropriately regardless of when they are made. During the event you can contact the Conduct Committee member on duty by picking up a radio at the greeter station, dungeon, or medical tent.

Can I make a report about events I observed outside of Boundless?

Yes. If you feel any individual’s behavior in other contexts suggests that he or she might present an ongoing problem for the Boundless community, please express your concerns at any time.

How do I report a problem?

At any time, you can report an issue by sending an email to consent@boundlessevents.org.

During the event you can make a report by contacting an organizer. If you don’t know who to contact, you can pick up an open radio at the greeter station, dungeon, or medical station and ask for an organizer on duty.

If you have questions about how or whether to make a report, contact the Conduct Committee at consent@boundlessevents.org or ask a committee member for advice.

What will happen when I make a report?

The Conduct Committee is a deliberative and investigatory group that will look into your report, talk to the people involved, and present recommendations to the Boundless Organization Team.

Will I find out the results of my report?

It depends.

In the interest of privacy, we will not report back to you if you do not attend Boundless events. We protect the privacy of our guest list and will not confirm or deny whether the reportee attends our event, and we will not disclose any actions taken.

In some circumstances, we may disclose some parts of our investigation and outcome. In doing so we will place a high priority on the privacy of our attendees.

What can result from making a report?

Following an investigation, the conduct committee can recommend one of the following actions to the team:

  • Have a conversation with the participant expressing concern
  • Issue an official warning
  • Bar a participant from volunteering in either specific capacities or any capacity
  • Ban a participant from Boundless events for a period of time or indefinitely
  • Archive the information and recommend no action

In addition, the Boundless Organizational Team reserves the right to take the following actions at any time:

  • Revoke tickets to events (in this case the cost of the ticket will be refunded)
  • Involve venue security
  • Involve law enforcement

While some of these actions may be taken by event organizers at the time an incident occurs, others may result from investigations and discussions undertaken by the team and the Conduct Committee. We will do our best to balance the needs of all involved parties and the needs of the event if the two conflict.

What will NOT happen if I make a report?

If you make a report we will not reveal your identity or any details related to the report without your explicit consent.

We will not take any sort of retaliatory action against you for reporting (or not reporting) a problem in good faith.

We will not make a recommendation for action without interviewing the person the report is about (the reportee).

What will happen if someone makes a report about me?

While we will always err on the side of safety and treating all reports as true, we will not assume that a report being made automatically means that action needs to be taken.

The Conduct Committee will receive the report and assign investigators. They will interview you, explain all possible outcomes in detail, and outline next steps. The investigators will also interview the reporter and any witnesses. The Conduct Committee will not recommend the team take any action without first interviewing you. You will be informed of any action the team takes in connection with the report, including taking no action.

If someone deliberately makes a false report about you, the team will take appropriate action in response.

Goal of a Conduct Committee Investigation

Our goal is to gather enough information to be able to make a fair and reasonable recommendation as to whether to allow an individual continued access to events or to volunteer infrastructure.

Our responsibilities are the following:

  • To document each report
  • To determine whether a report is actionable
  • To gain sufficient understanding of the situation for a recommendation to be made to the team

Our goal is NOT to determine guilt or innocence.

Again, our goal is to gather enough information to enable us to make a fair and reasonable recommendation whether to allow someone continued access to events or volunteer infrastructure.

While the Conduct Committee may choose not to recommend action based on a single report, multiple reports about an specific individual suggesting a pattern of misconduct can result in a recommendation of action. We do not label anybody as a criminal or determine whether reports are true beyond a reasonable doubt.

Procedures

Anonymity

If a reporter provides information to the Conduct Committee but does not want us to talk to the person or persons involved, we may not be able to take action. We will retain the information and may contact the reporter in the future.

If requested, we will not disclose the identity of the reporter during our investigation. We will make every appropriate effort to protect anonymity.

Timeline

The Conduct Committee must often assess multiple perspectives on a single, complex issue, and just like all reporters, reportees, and witnesses, our volunteers may have busy schedules. It may take multiple conversations to provide a full understanding of the circumstances underlying a report. If you are interacting with the Conduct Committee (as a reporter, subject of a report, or witness), you can help keep our process moving by responding to messages from investigators in a timely fashion, and you are welcome to check in with investigators at any time regarding the status of a report.

Typical Step-by-Step Procedure

  • Conduct Committee leads are automatically notified of any report submitted to consent@boundlessevents.org
  • Members of the Conduct Committee contact the reporter to discuss the report and possible outcomes
  • Investigators talk to witnesses and the subject of the report
  • Investigators consult with character witnesses (such as other event hosts) and follow up on any leads that suggest a larger pattern of the reported behavior
  • Investigators bring the results of their investigation back to the Conduct Committee for consensus on a recommendation
  • Conduct Committee team recommends action(s), including the following possibilities:
    • Have a conversation with the participant expressing concern
    • Issue an official warning
    • Bar a participant from volunteering in either specific capacities or any capacity
    • Ban a participant from Boundless events for either one year or indefinitely
    • Archive the information and recommend no action
  • Team pursues one of the following options:
    • Accept the recommendation
    • Request additional details or further investigation
    • Pursue an alternate course of action
  • Team representatives contact the reportee with an official notice
  • Conduct Committee may contact the reporter to notify them of the team’s action
  • Tam determines whether to announce the decision to the Boundless community or other events

Confidentiality Policy for Conduct Committee Members

In order to ensure the safety and privacy of all Boundless participants involved in a Conduct Committee process, it is the policy of the Conduct Committee to protect the confidentiality and privacy of those participants who are involved in investigations of reports submitted to the Conduct Committee, and to hold confidential all personally identifying or individual information, communications, observations, and information made by, between, or about participants, including the identity of the reporter.

The Conduct Committee shall not disclose any personally identifying information or individual information collected in connection with Conduct Committee investigations or reveal any individual participant information without the informed, written, reasonably time-limited consent of the person about whom information is sought.

The Conduct Committee will avoid any inadvertent release of personally identifying information or individual information about any participant. The obligation to maintain confidentiality does not end when the investigation is concluded. Confidentiality extends to all current and former investigation participants, including those whose complaints were not investigated.

Actions taken as a result of a report may at times be shared with the greater community only when all personally identifying information has been excluded and in accordance with the Boundless team’s oversight.

Conduct Committee members understand that their volunteer positions are contingent on adherence to confidentiality.

Possible Exceptions

Emergencies which are life threatening or could result in serious bodily harm

To the extent possible, emergency services should be contacted without revealing any confidential information about any program participant. In many cases, the participant should be conscious and able to speak with Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT). It is important to remember that even if it is appropriate to call 911, it is never appropriate to share a participant’s entire case history or file. In addition, it is not appropriate to specifically comment on any ongoing cases that the participant may be involved in with the Conduct Committee.

Staff may disclose confidential information when there is a clear and imminent danger that is life threatening or that could result in serious bodily harm to an individual. When appropriate and possible, this determination should be made by a Boundless team member. If time is of the essence, staff should first call 911 and notify a team member as soon as is reasonable.

Citations

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom. “Consent Counts Project – Consent Statement Summary,” accessed May 10, 2017.

Firefly Arts Collective. “Investigatory Philosophy and Procedure,” accessed May 21, 2017.


Contact the Conduct Commmittee
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Conduct Committee at consent@boundlessevents.org at any time.

Further Reading