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Amber Stark

Implementing SIOP’s Anti-Harassment Policy

By Benjamin Walsh, Grand Valley State University; Carra Sims, RAND Corp.; Dana Kabat-Farr, Dalhousie University

SIOP remains committed to maintaining a safe and inclusive environment following its adoption of a new SIOP Anti-Harassment Policy in April 2020.

Harassment creates a hostile environment that reduces the quality, integrity, and pace of our profession. It marginalizes individuals and communities, damages productivity and career advancement, and prevents the healthy exchange of ideas.

This policy applies to all persons involved in any way in SIOP activities, including—but not limited to—SIOP members, SIOP staff, and SIOP meeting participants. It applies to misconduct committed in any venue or activity connected to SIOP, including conferences, business meetings, workshops, tours, receptions, and other social events. This includes formal and informal settings, such as bars, elevators, and hallways of conference hotels. It applies to harassment and retaliation instigated in any way: in person, in writing, via telephone or text message, through social media, or any other means. 

The new policy defines harassment broadly and seeks to hold all persons involved in any SIOP activities to the highest standards of professional behavior. Several steps are currently being pursued to implement the policy, including establishing a system of ombudspeople to help members understand available options, providing formal and informal reporting options, and developing guidelines for tracking unacceptable behavior.

SIOP is in a unique position to leverage our members’ scholarly and professional expertise to develop and implement an evidence-based policy and procedure around harassment in our community. Collective engagement and efforts were made by a task force in 2019/2020, and several members of that task force participated in a working group in 2020/2021. 

Members can expect to hear more about SIOP’s anti-harassment efforts in the coming weeks and months.

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