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Message from Arisia President - Arisia Convention

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February 9th, 2014

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07:41 pm - Message from Arisia President
Hi folks,

There's been a lot of conversation online lately about a few incidents at Arisia 2014, and our response to them as an institution and a culture.  Absent specific details, we'd like to say that investigations are definitely in progress, and while we're always saddened any time things go poorly for our members, we also feel honored at the level of faith recently expressed in us as an organization.

Without commenting on any particular incident, I'd like to reiterate some principles we have that I think are important:

* Arisia takes harassment, and reports thereof, seriously.  For the last couple of years we've been hosting trainings on how to deal with reports, both official and unofficial, of sexual harassment and sexual assault, and we've made those trainings available to the whole community.  We want Arisia to be a welcoming, safe, and awesome space for everyone who wants to be here, and we recognize that that requires culture, and the work to maintain it.

* Each of us is a member of this community; each of us is responsible for our own actions.  Intoxication doesn't make unacceptable behavior somehow acceptable, whether it's from alcohol or convention-related sleep deprivation.

* It's hard to balance the desire for swift action and the desire to make sure we do The Right Thing.  We're big fans of due diligence, but we know that justice too long delayed is justice denied.  Please be patient while we go through our process, which we're still feeling out and developing.  We want to make sure we do right by all our members, now and in the future.

On a more personal level:
For years now, I've thought of Arisia and the people who go to it as (for lack of a better word) my tribe.  It's always been satisfying to me to say, "Hey, look at that, I'm a part of that" about both the event and the community.  But in the last couple of weeks, I have felt surpassing pride to be a involved with a community and an organization that inspires such an incredible level of confidence.  Thanks to all of you for being part of it.

Thank you,
Conor Walsh
President, Arisia, Inc.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:February 10th, 2014 05:58 pm (UTC)
*wild cheering*
[User Picture]
Date:February 11th, 2014 03:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks Conor,

I really appreciate that the staff is handling situations with care and understand that this takes time. I am sorry for all the trouble and scrutiny that the Arisia staff has undergone and really appreciate that, as far as I can tell, you have been as graceful under pressure as anyone could expect.

Thank you also for making a clear statement of values, particularly regarding alcohol and unacceptable behavior. It means a lot to me that my community is willing to take a stand on such matters. I sincerely hope that all your good work does not go unnoticed by folks who care. It has certainly been noticed and appreciated by me.

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