Chapter 4 Code of Conduct

A Code of Conduct is a set of basic ground rules that we ask participants in lab spaces to follow. The goal is to create an open and inclusive space for our work that helps us achieve our collective goals. Along with our lab culture/philosophy, it also provides a benchmark for self-evaluation and helps better define our identity as a community.

Our code of conduct has been reviewed by the SMAST Dean’s Office and by UMassD Human Resources and office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

We expect all lab members to adhere to the policies and guidelines outlined here.

Additional information and resources can be found in the SMAST Code of Conduct and Diversity Statement.

4.1 Short version

The Fay lab is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form and prioritize marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort.

This code of conduct applies to all Fay lab spaces, including group and individual meetings (face to face and remote), workshops, social events, email correspondence, and web channels and code repositories, both online and off. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned and referred to the university’s academic policies. Some Fay lab spaces may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.

4.2 Longer version

The Fay lab is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment of group members or others in our larger communities in any form. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Equal Opportunity and Anti-Harassment policies, complaint procedures and form provides definitions and examples of harassment and sexual harassment.

This code of conduct applies to all Fay lab spaces, including group and individual meetings (face to face and remote), workshops, social get togethers, email correspondence, and web channels and code repositories, both online and off. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned and referred to the School’s and university’s academic policies.

Some Fay lab spaces may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.

Harassment includes:

  • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names.
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behaviour in spaces where they’re not appropriate.
  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop.
  • Threats of violence.
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
  • Deliberate intimidation.
  • Stalking or following.
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
  • Sustained disruption of discussion.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
  • Publication of non-harassing private communication.

The Fay lab prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. The PI (Gavin Fay) reserves the right not to act on complaints regarding:

  • ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
  • Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial
  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions

4.2.1 Reporting

If you are being harassed by a member of the Fay lab, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact the PI, Dr. Gavin Fay, at gfay@umassd.edu. If you do not wish to contact Dr. Fay, please contact Department Chair Dr. Steve Cadrin scadrin@umassd.edu and/or SMAST Assistant Dean Mike Marino mmarino@umassd.edu. If the person who is harassing you is on the team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. We will respond as promptly as we can.

Lab members who believe they have been subjected to any kind of discrimination that conflicts with the University of Massachusetts’ policies and/or the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ should seek assistance from a supervisor or an HR representative. Information about the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Equal Opportunity and Anti-Harassment policies, complaint procedures and form.

Confidentiality: Please remember that by way of his position at the university, Dr. Fay is a mandated reporter under Title IX. This means that he is not allowed to keep matters falling under Title IX confidential, and is required to disclose these incidents to the administration. You are welcome to discuss matters with Dr. Fay, but please keep this in mind when doing so. Gavin will do his best to remind you of his responsibilities at the start of conversations anticipated to relate to these topics. If you would prefer to discuss incidents of harassment that fall under Title IX with a confidential source, you can contact David Gomes, UMass Dartmouth Director of Diversity and Inclusion.

This code of conduct applies to Fay lab spaces, but if you are being harassed by a member of the Fay lab or another member of the SMAST community outside our spaces, we still want to know about it. We will take all good-faith reports of harassment by Fay lab members seriously. This includes harassment outside our spaces and harassment that took place at any point in time. The abuse team reserves the right to exclude people from the Fay lab based on their past behavior, including behavior outside Fay lab spaces and behavior towards people who are not in the Fay lab. The University Counseling Center provides a range of services to help students develop improved coping skills to address emotional, interpersonal and academic concerns.

To protect our team members from abuse and burnout, we reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith. Reports intended to silence legitimate criticism may be deleted without response.

The above caveats noted, we will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse when possible. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of the Fay lab members or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.

4.2.2 Consequences

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, Dr. Fay may take any action they deem appropriate, which includes referral to the Department Chair and Dean’s Office under the SMAST policy, and also including expulsion from all Fay lab spaces.

4.3 License and attribution

This anti-harassment policy is based on the example policy created by the Geek Feminism community. It has also been written to fall within the SMAST Code of Conduct and Diversity Statement, and has been reviewed by the SMAST Dean’s office and UMass Dartmouth Departments of Human Resources and Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion.