sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2018-10-26 01:55 am

Safety concerns at Arisia

Dear Arisia Info and Programming,

I am deeply distressed to read of this convention's handling of the safety concerns raised by Crystal Huff regarding Noel Marc Rosenberg.

I have been attending Arisia as a program participant since 2008; I consider it one of my two home conventions. My other is Readercon, where I have served on the safety committee since 2014. As a safecom member, I understand the complexity of recommendations that touch on interactions that may occur under the aegis of a convention but not technically at-con. I am also somewhat stunned by the dismissal of behavior that has been so well documented as code-of-conduct-breaching at multiple fandom events including Arisia, whose list of unacceptable behaviors explicitly includes stalking and non-verbal intimidation. Like all attendees of Arisia, I am given an expectation of safety by the convention's Code of Conduct and Behavior Policies. It is difficult for me to put much confidence in the code and policies of a convention that is not prepared to ensure the safety of even one of their own longtime staff.

As a member of the Readercon convention committee in 2012, I had a ringside seat when the similar failure of a convention to abide by its own stated policies led to the creation of its safety committee, the total overhaul of its code of conduct as well as incident report protocols, and the resignation of all members of the Readercon board. All steps including public statements of apology and accountability were necessary to restore the trust of a membership built over decades and burned in hours. I do not joke when I say it was a near-death experience for the convention. We still work to make its reputation inclusive, responsive, and safe, as opposed to tarnished by double standards and more tolerance for perpetrators than victims.

It is my sincere hope that the executive board of Arisia can heed the lesson of Readercon in choosing from this moment forward which kind of convention it wishes to be.

Thank you for your time and attention,


I just sent the above e-mail to Arisia Info and Programming. Thanks to [personal profile] kate_nepveu, [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, and [personal profile] swan_tower for the heads-up on the situation.

The near-immolation of Readercon is not even a decade past. My faith in historical memory is getting fainter all the time.
choco_frosh: (Default)

[personal profile] choco_frosh 2018-10-27 11:49 am (UTC)(link)
Apparently you raised enough hell.