AIA and SCS are pleased to announce the first-ever joint harassment policy for the AIA-SCS Annual Meeting. A joint AIA and SCS working group, including staff and officers of both organizations, developed the policy in response to events at the 2019 annual meeting and at other academic conferences, including the meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. The working group took into account feedback that AIA and SCS received via email, social media, and the annual meeting survey from members and attendees after the San Diego meeting. The group also considered policies and best practices in place at other scholarly societies. The policy has been reviewed by legal counsel representing AIA and SCS, and approved by the AIA Executive Committee and SCS Board of Directors.
The policy applies to all annual meeting attendees. Registrants will be asked on the registration form to check a box on that form indicating that they have read and will abide by the terms of the policy. We will also share the policy with our annual meeting hotels as part of ongoing collaborations designed to foster mutual respect among all involved in any capacity with the annual meeting.
The major innovation in this policy, apart from the fact that it is a joint initiative of AIA and SCS, is the addition of an ombudsperson who will be available at and after the meeting to receive complaints of harassment and advise complainants. We realize that this is the first version of a joint policy and that, as such, there will be room for improvement in future years. We will seek member feedback after the 2020 meeting and revise the policy accordingly.
In September, SCS will formally revise its Regulations so that they are consistent with the new joint policy. The revision of the SCS Statement on Professional Ethics, currently a referendum item in the 2019 summer elections, notes that SCS will issue a policy on harassment at the meeting each year and that this policy may be joint with AIA.