Right now, most of America is paying close attention to reports out of the entertainment industry (and elsewhere) about sexual harassment and other forms of bullying and intimidation. Indeed, Gallifrey One has already been planning to do our part to help with cyberbullying and harassment through the announcement of our support for the Pop Culture Hero Coalition as our 2018 charity.
But at-convention harassment, especially sexual harassment, is something that has been disclosed more and more of late, and something we consider to be a very big deal. Although we have always been readily available to deal with any harassment reported at our convention, we want to do our part to ensure that all of our attendees feel Gallifrey One is a safe environment in which to enjoy what we have to offer. And most of all, we want every one of our attendees to feel their complaints about harassment are heard, understood, investigated and acted upon.
That’s why, effective with our 2018 convention, we have elected to modify our procedure just a bit to make things a lot easier on attendees who feel they need to report poor behavior to the convention. This begins with a central point of contact: we have appointed Joyce Lloyd, our Facilities & Hospitality Director, to an additional role as our Convention Harassment Ombudsperson.
During the Gallifrey One convention each year, our Ombudsperson will be available to meet with individuals who wish to report incidents of harassment. The process will be very simple:
- During the convention’s regular hours of operation, our Member Services desk is always your first point of contact should you ever have an issue to report. The Member Services team will radio our Ombudsperson if the issue concerns harassment of any kind. Our Ombudsperson will then arrange a quick meeting with you at a private location, along with a member of our ConOps/UNIT team, to hear your concerns.
- When Member Services is closed, there will be a posted phone number at their kiosk. Those with harassment complaints are welcome to call when the desk is closed; if no one answers, please leave a message along with a number you can be reached at, which will lead to arranging a private meeting as noted above.
Your meeting with our Ombudsperson and our ConOps representative will be private and confidential. A course of action will be determined from this meeting, and it will either be dealt with directly by the convention or, if warranted, referred to proper law enforcement authorities for investigation. We do ask, however, that you keep your issues specific to our event, and be willing to meet in a comfortable private setting behind the scenes with our staff members (instead of out in the public areas).
It is our hope that Gallifrey One can help make a successful and enjoyable weekend for everyone, including those people who may one day find themselves subjected to sexual or other forms of harassment. That is not in the spirit of our convention, and that is certainly not acceptable to those of us who run it.
This information will be available in our convention Program Book and also posted on signs at the convention. We invite your comment or questions via our website’s Contact Us page. Thank you.