Statement from the President on Conduct at RMA Conferences

I wanted to bring members of the Association up-to-date with our latest deliberations on an RMA Code of Conduct, following discussions at Council and at the last AGM.

Firstly, for the BFE/RMA Research Students’ Conference at Sheffield in January we have jointly adopted the British Forum for Ethnomusicology Conference Code of Conduct:

The BFE/RMA are committed to delivering harassment-free conferences for everyone, regardless of sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, age, disciplinary affiliation, or religion or belief. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference at the discretion of conference organisers (with additional consequences for BFE/RMA membership at the discretion of the BFE Committee or RMA Council).

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, disciplinary affiliation, or religion or belief. It also includes intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Note that what is said online (for example on social media and blogs) is just as real as what is said and done in person at the conference. Note also that we expect participants to follow these rules at all conference venues and conference-related social events.

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

If a participant engages in harassing behaviour, conference organisers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or asking them to leave.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have other concerns, please contact a conference organiser or a designated assistant, who will be happy to contact university security or police, to arrange for an escort, or otherwise help participants feel safe for the duration of the event.

All delegates are expected to conform to this Code, and continuation of RMA membership for anyone violating these rules will be referred to the RMA Council.

In parallel with this, Council is also reviewing a broader Code of Conduct which will, in addition,  address issues of academic responsibility, integrity and confidentiality. This will be sent out to members for consultation in the New Year.

If you have any comments or further points you would like me to consider, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Simon McVeigh
December 2018

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