This document is a general guideline of our expectations for all members of Boston DSA. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of problematic conduct; just because something is not explicitly listed here does not mean it’s permissible.
Offenses and violations of the code conduct will result in consequences which may include: a conversation with the Resolutions Team; an education and accountability process; a restorative justice process; suspension from the local chapter; expulsion from the local chapter.
For those in positions of leadership, we ask that you make an extra effort to uphold the expectations outlined below. Positions of leadership includes members of the Executive Board, point people for working groups and teams, and active mobilizers and organizers.
In addition, while our coalition partners are not beholden to our Resolutions Process, we will remove endorsements or void partnerships that are in violation of the Code of Conduct. Similarly, while non-DSA members are unable to file a Formal Concern, we understand that an event or action undertaken by a DSA member towards a non-DSA member may strongly affect our members. Those situations will be discussed by the Resolutions Team on a case-by-case basis.
If you are aware of any blatant violations, please refer to the Resolutions Procedure and/or the Harassment Resolution Officers. We do encourage you to initiate a private discussion with the offender -if you are comfortable doing so- before escalating to the Resolutions Team. You can read more about filing Formal Concerns and the RT on our website here.
It should also be noted that this Code of Conduct is not just limited to behavior at DSA-sponsored events; we expect members to uphold this agreement in all participation with, or on behalf of, DSA. This can include digital spaces, such as Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
Code of Conduct
We will be respectful to fellow DSA members and our coalition partners. We expect all our members to act in good faith. We will assume good intentions unless there’s reason to believe otherwise, although we also recognize that merely having good intent does not mitigate the impact of problematic speech/behavior. In such instances, we will strive to privately dialogue with the person-at-hand, and learn more about their intent, while educating them about their impact.
We will be sensitive to others with whom we are sharing the same space. In concrete terms, this includes speaking less if we find ourselves talking too much at the expense of other, unheard voices. We will not disrupt meetings or interrupt people when they are speaking. We expect those in positions of leadership to proactively promote marginalized voices, and to make the space more accommodating.
We strive to make DSA an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone, especially for new members, and as such, we will refrain from exclusionary behavior. This can include everything from inside jokes to hosting meetings in non-wheelchair accessible spaces. In addition, leaders and mobilizers of Boston DSA will strive to make networks and resources accessible for all members.
We will respect our comrades’ privacy and not reveal personally-identifiable information without permission, including events where a member has requested privacy.
We are committed to actively dismantling the social structures of domination and oppression. We should not engage in behavior or speech—even ironically—that reinforces systems of oppression based on gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, body size and physical appearance, disability, race, ethnicity, caste, color, religion, national origin, class, age, or profession. Harassment will absolutely not be tolerated. Examples of harassment and abusive behavior include: unwelcome attention, slurs, hate speech, physical or verbal intimidation, stalking, inappropriate physical contact or proximity, etc.
We recognise that other verbal and physical conduct not listed above constitutes harassment when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a member’s continued affiliation with DSA.
- Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for organizational decisions affecting such individual.
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile environment interfering with an individual’s capacity to organize within DSA.
We encourage members to make an effort to intervene if you witness any of the above behavior at DSA-sponsored events, if you feel safe and comfortable doing so, and in a way that respects the agency/autonomy of those who have been affected. Please report such behavior to the Resolutions Team if you wish to make a formal concern.
We are a socialist organization, so we expect members to be socialists or leftists interested in learning more about socialism. At a minimum, we expect each other to be open-minded about socialism. We want to create a vibrant space of open debate and discussion, but we see little to be gained by engaging with apologists for capitalism, neoliberalism, and imperialism. We will not tolerate far right-wing ideologies, such as fascism. We will take seriously actions grounded in white supremacy and heteropatriarchy, such as Blue Lives Matter and Pro-Life politics. This especially applies to active leaders in Boston DSA.
Passed at Boston DSA General Member Meeting on 11/11/17