Code of Conduct
The Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society (NESACS) is dedicated to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment which is free from discrimination or harassment based on age, race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or belief, political affiliation or ideology, or marital or family status. NESACS expects its volunteers and local meeting/event attendees to display the highest qualities of personal and professional integrity in all aspects of their NESACS-related activities. As such, all NESACS members and guests are expected to comply with this code of conduct during all meetings, outreach activities or other NESACS-sponsored events and in all forms of NESACS-related communication.
It is anticipated that adopting the NESACS Code of Conduct will help participants identify harassing behaviors and clarify ambiguities regarding unacceptable behaviors. Both should help prevent future instances of unwanted or harassing behavior.
Discrimination is an interpersonal interaction that involves unequal access to benefits, educational opportunities, mentorship, employment, performance evaluation, or professional advancement.
Harassment is a type of discrimination or unwelcome conduct consisting of one or more acts that are abusive, demeaning, offensive, intimidating based on or due to an individual’s protected characteristics, including race, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, etc., or other behavior that a reasonable person would find unwanted or unwelcome.
Sexual harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome behavior, comment, gesture, or treatment that is of a sexual nature. ACS considers sexual harassment to include, but not be limited to, any unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; verbal comments or physical actions of a sexual nature; sexually degrading words; sexually explicit jokes; and offensive, unwanted physical contact; physical or verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, efforts to annoy others, harassment, stalking, pushing, shoving or use of any physical force whatsoever against any person.
NESACS Code of Conduct should be posted:
- at registration: participants must acknowledge reading the Code of Conduct and agree to abide by its terms.
- Onsite: the NESACS Code of Conduct and Definitions shall be read before the meeting begins; that the policy is enforced; the statement is displayed in high visibility, high traffic areas and on a slide before the speaker presentation
- in program
In the event that a member or guest of NESACS is a victim of, or a witness to, discrimination and/or harassment, that person should either report it to a designated contact person (identifiable by their name tag) as soon as possible. The member or guest should report pertinent information including date, time, location, and nature of the incident, the individual(s) involved, the names of witnesses, and any additional information that they deem important.
The contact person(s) should be:
- a good listener
- able to calm people
- gathers facts without traumatizing anyone involved
- objective and free of conflicts
- can make the target feel safe
- can directly contact on-site security and law enforcement
Alternatively, an anonymous reporting application for cell phones will be made available if members or guests may not feel comfortable speaking to someone directly in person.
If the guest or member is in immediate danger, call 911 or on-site security immediately.
Review and Remediation
The purpose of remediation is to put an end to the harassing behavior and to reassure the target can be safe and welcome at section events. If feasible, the incident should be resolved immediately, or as soon as possible. When reported to a contact person or anonymous reporting application, the contact person or designated person should notify a partner and assess whether incident needs to be referred to 911 or on-site security. If the incident can be managed by contact persons, the contact persons will gather facts objectively, sensitively, and discreetly. Contact persons will attempt in good faith to mediate best resolution between the target and actor to stop unwanted behavior. The incident shall be reported to a member of the NESACS Board of Directors, who must report the incident to a Committee comprised of Chair, Past-Chair, Chair-Elect, and Secretary. The Committee shall meet within 14 days of notification to review the incident. The Committee shall review the evidence and statements from the all parties involved and take actions as they deem appropriate, including but not limited to:
- admonish the offender with a reprimand or verbal warning
- require the offender to make a private or public apology
- require the offender to leave the venue immediately
- require NESACS volunteers to leave their volunteer position(s)
- precluding NESACS volunteers from serving in volunteer roles in the future
- preclude meeting attendees from attending future NESACS meetings and sponsored events
NESACS reserves the right to pursue additional measures as it may deem appropriate. If the Committee decides that an incident is not amenable to mediation at this level, the Committee may elect to engage the ACS Secretary and General Counsel. The ACS Secretary and General Counsel will be informed of all conduct policy investigations and reserves the right to assume responsibility over an investigation as appropriate. Before being subject to disciplinary action(s), the accused shall be afforded the opportunity to respond to charges and present witnesses in accordance with due process requirements of the Constitution and Bylaws of ACS.