The code of conduct is a set of guidelines that help establish shared values and ensure that behaviour that may harm participants is avoided.
This document equally applies to Varia's members, visitors and contributors, including organizers of events in the space. The document also applies to users and contributors to Varia's on-line channels. When the word "we" is used in this document, it applies to all of the above.
We acknowledge that we come from different backgrounds and all have certain biases and privileges. Therefore, this Code of Conduct cannot account for all the ways that people might feel excluded, unsafe or uncomfortable. We commit to open dialogues, and as such this Code of Conduct is never finished and should change whenever needed. We amend this document over time so it reflects the priorities and sensitivities of Varia as it changes. It is a collective responsibility for all of us to enact the behaviour described in this document, and bring it to the physical and digital space of Varia.
Varia is a complex collective-space. We are a multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary group. At Varia we mostly speak English and Dutch. We recognize that most members and visitors are not native speakers of these languages. We also recognize that there are multiple ways of speaking and interacting (words, gestures, acts, etc.), depending on cultural backgrounds, educations and practices. As such, we recognize that situations might arise where misunderstandings or conflicts happen. We strive to overcome these misunderstandings through a commitment to open dialogue: we prefer to assume good faith, and ask members, participants or visitors to express their concerns directly to each other when possible. When this is not an option, this Code of Coduct can be consulted for further actions.
Varia is a learning environment. It accommodates a whole range of practices. Working together means bridging gaps: between different practices, levels of technical expertise, personal preferences and political or ethical orientations. We strive to create an environment for participants with different ranges of experience, while allowing complex topics to be discussed.
We want Varia to be a space where all members can develop their practices in a collective setting and people feel safe and comfortable to participate, to express themselves, to learn and to work together. The vulnerable nature of collective work means that uncomfortable situations will occur. These situations ask for mutual respect and care. We hope that everyone participating in Varia is respectful, feels able to be vulnerable and exercises care. In the interest of making an inclusive environment, we will not tolerate harassment, exclusion or any other harmful behaviour.
We expect each other to ...
be open and generous
foster an inclusive environment
No structural or personal discrimination,
No violation of privacy,
No unwelcome sexual conduct,
No destructive behaviour,
Immediate intervention (help is needed now!)
If you are feeling unsafe, you can immediately contact the Varia members who are tasked with making sure the code of conduct is respected. These contact people are members of Varia who will do their best to help, or to find the correct assistance if relevant/necessary.
For example, something happened during a still-ongoing event and needs to be acted upon right away. Action is taken immediately when this violation of the code of conduct is reported. This could involve removing an attendee from an event.
Non-immediate intervention (a situation that requires more time)
Other violations need to be considered and consulted upon with more people or in a more measured way. For example: If you experience an ongoing pattern of harrassment; if you witness structurally unacceptable behaviour; if somebody keeps "accidentally" using discriminatory language, after being asked to stop.
If you feel comfortable or able, discuss the issues with the involved parties before consulting a mediator. We prefer to constructively resolve disagreements together and work to right the wrong, when it is possible and safe to do so. However, if the problems still persist, those who are responsible for enforcing the code of conduct can help you deal with these kinds of problems. Contact the members listed above. Information will be handled with sensitivity.