MSA Code of Conduct for In-Person Events

MSA Code of Conduct for In-Person Events

MSA values the diversity of views, expertise, opinions, backgrounds, and experiences reflected among MSA members and the broader mycological community. We are committed to providing a safe, productive and welcoming environment for all participants of MSA meetings and events. MSA meetings and events can serve as an effective forum to consider and debate sciencerelevant viewpoints in an orderly, respectful and fair manner. This Code of Conduct is important to promoting diversity and creating an inclusive, supportive, and collaborative environment for all people.

All MSA meeting and event participants – including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, MSA staff, members of the media, vendors, and service providers (hereinafter “participants”) – are expected to abide by this MSA Code of Conduct and by the MSA policy for harassment and discrimination (Appendix B of the MSA manual of operations). This Code of Conduct applies in all venues, including ancillary events and social gatherings, as well as online forums, social media, and discussions associated with the MSA.

Expected Behavior: 

  • Treat all participants with kindness, respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions (including those you may not share).
  • Communicate openly, with respect for other participants. Constructive, respectful criticism of science is of course welcome and a part of the joy of our meetings. Dialogue and discussion bond us as a community and help to make mycology better. Please do not avoid scientific controversy and do ask questions. Just consider how others may interpret or receive your words and actions.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech directed toward other participants.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert event staff or a Myco Ally (see below) if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules and policies of the meeting venue, hotels, MSA-contracted facility, or any other venue.

Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable Behavior Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form is unacceptable behavior. Harassment includes speech or behavior that is demeaning or is personally offensive. Behavior that is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another, so use discretion and be certain to communicate respect. Harassment intended in a joking manner still constitutes unacceptable behavior.

Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical or verbal abuse of any participant
  • Unwelcome or offensive verbal comments or exclusionary behavior related to age, appearance or body size, employment or military status, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, individual lifestyle, marital status, national origin, physical or cognitive ability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, race, or religion
  • Inappropriate physical contact – Unwanted sexual attention
  • Use of sexual or discriminatory images or similarly inappropriate statements, whether in jest or for other reasons, in public spaces or in presentations
  • Deliberate and repeated intimidation, stalking, or following another person without consent or legitimate purpose
  • Photographing, video- or audio-recording of another person without their consent, or after being asked to not photograph or record them, within the confines of MSA meeting spaces or event areas (Note: This does not apply to individuals contracted to provide video or photographic services to MSA during the meeting)
  • Sustained or repeated disruption of talks or other events
  • Bullying behavior
  • Retaliation for reporting unacceptable behavior

Immediate serious threat to public safety:

Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety at any time should contact local law enforcement (by calling 911) and immediately notifying meeting staff or facility security.

Reporting Unacceptable Behavior

  • If you are not in immediate danger but feel that you are the subject of unacceptable behavior, have witnessed any such behavior, or have other concerns, please notify an MSA “Myco Ally” (as soon as possible) who has been trained to help with harassment claims, and who will work with Rees Group and MSA leadership to resolve the situation. If you do not see a Myco Ally, go to the meeting registration desk (during normal hours) and they will put you in contact with a Myco Ally. We will take all reports seriously and will give them a prompt response. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.
  • If you need to report incidents and are unable to make it to the registration desk or to find a Myco Ally, please look for CoC posters dispersed throughout high-traffic areas, or refer to the CoC within the meeting program. These will include an email address for messages regularly checked during each meeting day (from 9am-4pm). For immediate assistance, especially late at night, there will also be a phone number listed to report harassment via text or call.
  • Once you notify MSA of an incident, staff will discuss the details with the individual filing the complaint, any identified witnesses, and the alleged offender, before determining an appropriate course of action. Please maintain confidentiality so that it does not compromise the rights of others. Practice rumor control by not sharing any information.
  • Although you may not be seeing immediate action, please know that the MSA is actively investigating and properly handling the situation. There is no need to take matters into your own hands and act as a Code of Conduct vigilante.

Remediation and Action

  • MSA expects everyone receiving a request to stop unacceptable behavior to comply immediately.
  • Where we deem a situation as urgent or presenting an immediate danger, the MSA, event management, or security personnel may take immediate action to protect the safety of the attendees or public. This may include removal from the event and being barred from further participation in any event proceedings, including sponsored social events.
  • Upon review of a reported incident, in accordance with MSA established procedures, MSA reserves the right to remove and bar any person or persons from further participation in any event or meeting proceedings, including sponsored social events.
  • Further consequences may include prohibition from attending future meetings and events.
  • Reports involving discrimination or harassment may require sharing with an appropriate institutional authority as defined under US34 C.F.R. Part 106, (Title IX) for follow-up action and investigation. Reports involving assault will require immediate reporting to the police.
  • Administrative actions taken in response to reported incidents under this policy, and in accordance with the procedures established by MSA for addressing reported incidents, are not exclusive of other remedies that victims can seek, including making reports to appropriate law enforcement agencies