Code of Conduct

4th Street Code of Conduct

In an ideal world, no further code of conduct would be necessary for 4th Street other than “Be Excellent Unto One Another.” Unfortunately, the world we live in is not ideal, and misunderstandings and abuses of power do happen.

In the interests of preventing as many of those as possible, and providing an avenue of redress for the rest, 4th Street offers the following Code of Conduct for all members.

We are here to talk about and enjoy a shared passion in fantasy literature. The many different backgrounds and life experiences that we bring with us help make the conversation rich. Unfortunately, sometimes they can also cause conflict between people, which may be intentional (though we hope not!), or accidental, or obvious, or one-sided.

It has long been the tradition at 4th Street that anyone is welcome to join the conversation. As lovers of literature we all understand the power of words. Please consider your vocabulary and inflection as we engage in lively debate. Respect others by refraining from using epithets or inflammatory speech directed at a group (including but not limited to race, appearance, ethnicity, religious affiliation, age, gender, sexual orientation) except in the context of a direct quotation from a text under discussion.

Please respect the personal space, belongings, physical comfort levels, right to express a different viewpoint from yours, and state of mind of your fellow members. This does not mean you are responsible for reading minds. It does mean being alert to verbal and non-verbal signals that you may be encroaching upon someone else’s physical or emotional space. These may include but are not limited to requests to stop doing what you are doing, body language, physical shielding of the body with hands or objects, pushing away or stepping away from an unwanted touch, attempts to leave, and so forth. Please remember that somebody who is uncomfortable with a situation may soft-pedal their refusal or say “No” in a joking fashion in an attempt to defuse. If you are unclear on whether they mean it, the appropriate behavior is to stop what you are doing and ask.

This also applies to photography and other recording devices. If someone asks that their photo not be taken, that you not use flash photography, or that you not record them, you should respect their privacy and comply with their request.

All laws and statutes of the State of Minnesota and the United States of America remain in application throughout the duration of the con, and everybody expects everybody else to refrain from criminal conduct.

4th Street is a member event. Please wear your badge at all times during the convention.

Please treat the hotel staff and property with respect. If you make a mess, clean it up. Members are liable for any damages they cause. Please respect the hotel’s rules with regard to pets, weapons, smoking, and so forth.

If you feel you have been the victim of harassment, stalking, or other inappropriate behavior, there are a number of forms of redress immediately available to you.

If you feel comfortable doing so, you or a friend can point out the inappropriate interaction to the person performing it. Often this will solve the problem immediately.
You are always free to walk away from an inappropriate or uncomfortable interaction. Should the person who you are attempting to avoid pursue you, that becomes harassment. If you have told someone that you are offended by their actions and they continue the behavior, that becomes harassment.
If you do not feel comfortable talking with the individuals involved, or if talking to them once does not work, immediately report the situation to any 4th Street staff member. If possible provide the badge name and a physical description of the person or persons involved.
If you feel that you have been a victim of criminal conduct, notify the local police immediately, and if necessary, seek medical attention. Please contact a member of the 4th Street Board of Directors or the hotel staff if you need help in obtaining emergency services.
Remember, a problem can not be addressed if it isn’t reported.
The 4th Street Board of Directors reserves the right to administer disciplinary action to those found in violation of this code of conduct ranging from mediation or a verbal warning up to and including revoking memberships and/or a lifetime ban. The Board will maintain confidentiality on the matter.

Abuse of this Code is a form of inappropriate behavior. Do not use this Code to pursue a vendetta or to bully anyone.

By registering for 4th Street, you agree that you have read this Code and intend to honor it.

The 4th Street Board of Directors reserves the right to recognize violations of this code that may occur outside the bounds of 4th Street itself. In particular, actions taken by other conventions with similar codes of conduct will be noted and may result in preemptive decisions.