Code of Conduct

The BC Humanist Association (BCHA) is committed to providing an open and welcoming community that respects every member’s personal integrity and reasonable participation. BCHA activities, whether organized or informal, should be fun, friendly and informative.

  1. This policy covers conduct by persons attending BCHA-sponsored events or in BCHA-sponsored printed or electronic media or when formally representing BCHA at other venues. It also covers all staff and volunteers in the performance of their duties and members’ interactions with staff and volunteers.
  2. The consequences of violation can include but are not limited to loss of membership and participation privileges with BCHA and its hosted and co-hosted activities, as well as with collaborating organizations (at their discretion).
  3. The general rule of conduct is friendly interactions without harassment.
  4. Discussion and disagreement are encouraged as part of free inquiry, but must not take the form of personal attacks, and must respect each member’s right to withdraw from debate and organizers’ authority in managing events.
  5. When possible, members should give each other the benefit of explaining behaviour found offensive or unwelcome. But explanations do not redeem violations, and those asked to stop any prohibited conduct — non-consensual or harassing — are expected to comply immediately.
  6. Prohibited conduct may include but is not limited to:
    • harassment[1] related to gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, ancestry, nationality, familial status, marital status, military status, pregnancy, socioeconomic status, or religion;
    • sexual images or displays in public spaces (except as appropriate to announced presentations or activities);
    • threats, abuse, or deliberate intimidation;
    • stalking;
    • harassing photography or recording;
    • sustained disruption of talks or other events;
    • inappropriate physical contact;
    • unwelcome sexual attention; or
    • any form of unwanted attention initiated or continued without reasonable grounds for mutual interest or consent.
  7. In addition to the above prohibited conduct, as a registered Canadian charity, we are required to remove any partisan comments on our social media platforms that endorse or oppose a politician or political party.
  8. In general, members should seek explicit consent prior to directly messaging another member unless sender and recipient already know each other personally or it is an appropriate continuation of an BCHA conversation or activity.
  9. Promotion of other organizations and/or distribution of any promotional materials at a BCHA event or in any BCHA online forum requires prior approval from an BCHA organizer. Also please do not promote BCHA at any other organizations without first obtaining approval from that organization.
  10. Where video recordings and photographs are used for BCHA publicity or documentation of events, members may request that they not be tagged by name, or that photos and videos be modified to remove them, with no specific justification required.
  11. It is incumbent upon all employees, volunteers and members engaged with the BCHA not to condone or tolerate behaviour which constitutes workplace harassment. There is a duty upon all individuals to prevent workplace harassment by discouraging inappropriate activities and reporting all incidents of harassment including when such incidents may be by third parties.
  12. The BCHA takes a zero-tolerance approach to any acts of harassment perpetrated against or by employees for any reason. An employee that subjects another person to harassment may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination for just cause.
  13. Please report potential offenses to the relevant online or event organizer or to any BCHA staff or coordinator. Organizers may ban offenders from their activity at their sole discretion and shall inform BCHA staff as soon as possible for further action. BCHA staff may at their sole discretion ban offenders from any specific activity or suspend them from membership and future activities. Reports, bans and suspensions shall be recorded and shared with the full BCHA Board within seven days, and be handled at all levels with confidentiality and with anonymity of the complainant preserved unless otherwise agreed. Potential offenses may also be reported by phone (604-265-9298) or email ([email protected]). Such reports must include return contact information.
  14. Suspension from membership and participation in events must be resolved by the BCHA Board within three months, by reinstatement, probation as defined by the board, or expulsion according to the BCHA by-laws, or else the suspension ends. Appeals, whether for further investigation of potential offenses or for reinstatement, can be initiated by contacting any member of the BCHA Board. Appeals will be resolved by the full BCHA Board, or delegated to a non-leadership investigative committee, as appropriate to ensure a fair process and safe BCHA community.
  15. BCHA prohibits retaliation against any staff or member who reports or participates in an investigation of a possible violation of this Code, policies or the law.

[1] Harassment, as defined by the BC Human Rights Clinic, is generally “conduct or comment that a reasonable person would consider to be objectionable or unwelcome. The conduct or comment typically humiliates, intimidates, excludes or isolates individuals and is often accompanied by threats or promises regarding opportunities and conditions. Harassment can be a single, serious incident or a series of repeated incidents.” via

Adapted from the Washington Area Secular Humanists

Approved: September 27, 2017, Latest amendments: July 15, 2019

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