Posted: July 21, 2019
Code of Conduct and Ethics
West Coast Swing Addicts Dance Society (WCSADS): General Populace
West Coast Swing Addicts Dance Society is committed to conducting business in an open and ethical manner. This is accomplished by creating and maintaining a dance community built on the strengths of trust, accountability, and integrity in all our dancing activities. This Code of Conduct and Ethics (the “Code”) is intended to protect the Society’s integrity and reputation, its people, its resources, and its organizational processes.
This code applies to Board members, volunteers, dancers, instructors, and attendees. By attending our events, you agree to adhere to the behavioural expectations as outlined below.
About the Code
All Board members, volunteers, dancers, instructors, and attendees are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the values and ethical standards of the Society and to promote the mission, vision, and objectives of the Society in all dealings with any external person, organization, or group on behalf of the Society and within the Society. We should act with fairness, honesty, integrity, and openness, while respecting the opinions of others and treating all with equality and dignity.
Each of us is responsible for reading, understanding, and complying with this Code and all other applicable Society Statements of Policy and Procedure and observing rules of conduct that are normally accepted as standard in social dancing communities. Failure to comply with this Code, or other Society policies, may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination or removal from the club.
Discrimination and Harassment
The West Coast Swing Addicts Dance Society is committed to providing and maintaining an environment free from discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment, where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, can contribute fully, and have equal opportunities. All relationships among persons in the dance community must be free from bias, prejudice, and harassment.
The Society prohibits any form of unlawful discrimination or harassment based on race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin/identity, disability, citizenship, creed, sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status, and/or record of offences. The Society does not tolerate harassment (including sexual harassment) and will treat all incidences seriously.
The Alberta Human Rights Commission defines sexual harassment as including:
- Unwelcome staring, comments, or teasing.
- Questions or conversations about sexual activities.
- Offensive humour or language related to gender.
- Displaying or showing suggestive material.
- Unwanted sexual requests or demands.
- Unwanted physical contact or closeness such as patting, pinching, rubbing, leaning over or standing too close.
- Physical assault.
Bullying can have an impact on an individual’s health and affect their ability to do their role on the board or participate in WCSADS events. Bullying is characterised by persistent and repeated negative behaviour directed at or toward a Board member, volunteer, dancer, instructor, or attendee that creates a risk to health and safety. Bullying is a form of harassment. Bullying behaviour includes:
- Unfair and excessive criticism.
- Ongoing teasing or name calling.
- Putdowns or comparisons of a negative nature.
- Spreading rumors.
- Purposeful exclusion of others; leaving board members out of discussions.
- Disrespectful behavior towards others.
- Physical violence and or threats to harm another person.
- Publicly insulting Board members, volunteers, dancers, instructors, or attendees.
- Undervaluing a Board member’s efforts for the society.
- Non-verbal bullying e.g. exclusion, ignoring.
- Cyber bullying via electronic devices such as computers; to abuse, harass, or intimidate through mobile phones, Twitter, email, test messages, Messenger, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or any other social media site.
Harassment is unwelcome conduct that humiliates, offends or intimidates people. It is not only harmful to the victim, but also to the success of our dancing community.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission defines personal harassment as including:
- Verbal abuse or threats.
- Unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendoes, or taunting about a person’s body, attire, age, marital status, ethnic or national origin, religion, etc.
- Displaying pornographic, racist, or other offensive or derogatory pictures.
- Practical jokes which cause awkwardness or embarrassment.
- Unwelcome invitations or requests, whether indirect or explicit, or intimidation leering or other gestures.
- Condescension or paternalism which undermines self-respect.
- Unnecessary physical contact such as touching, patting, pinching, or punching.
- Physical assault.
The Society does not tolerate violence in the dance community perpetrated by or against Board members, volunteers, dancers, instructors, attendees, or other Third Parties. Any action, conduct, threat, or gesture of a person towards a Board member, volunteer, dancer, instructor, or attendee that can reasonably be expected to cause harm, injury, or illness must be reported immediately.
Compliance with the Law and our Policies
Board members, volunteers, dancers, instructors, and attendees are obligated to comply with all applicable federal, provincial, and local laws, rules, and regulations.
Report a Concern or a Breach of the Code – Whistleblower Policy
It is important to speak up if inappropriate behaviour is observed or experienced. Volunteers, dancers, instructors, and attendees are strongly encouraged to immediately notify the Board of any possible breach of this Code. Board members or volunteers in positions of authority must take action when a breach of the Code is reported or suspected.
Enforcement actions can include:
- Verbal warning.
- Immediate removal from event.
- Suspension from future events.
- Contacting law enforcement.
Roles and Responsibilities
Every Board member, volunteer, dancer, instructor, and attendee of West Coast Swing Addicts Dance Society is responsible for and must comply with the Code of Conduct. Any board member is empowered to enforce the Code of Conduct. Volunteers, dancers, instructors, and attendees, if they feel safe to do so, are encouraged to speak out against harassment and unsafe behavior, and we ask that they report any incidents they witness to a Board member.
The role of a Safety Samaritan is to be fun, friendly, approachable, and professional, while also being responsible for the handling of any incidents at an event regarding the Code of Conduct. A Safety Samaritan is at a WCSADS event to make sure the event is fun, friendly, and safe. They are to always wear a button identifying themselves as a Safety Samaritan, and it is their job to keep an eye out for any problems, as well as to be welcoming and encouraging to guests. Safety Samaritans will bring all concerns to the Board for discussion and action if required. At least two Safety Samaritans are to be present, available, and visible at all WCSADS events.
West Coast Swing Addicts Dance Society supports the idea that dance roles (lead and follow) do not need to be tied to gender. We encourage all dancers to avoid assumptions regarding dance roles and to check in with their partners about their preferred roles. Feel free to ask anyone to dance!
As a policy, all West Coast Swing Addicts Dance Society instructors are expected to avoid specifying gender when referring to any role in a general sense (e.g. “Leads”, “Follows”; not “guys”, “girls”, “gents”, “fellas”, “ladies”, etc.). Use of gendered pronouns are allowed when referring to a specific individual, as long as the gender is consistent with how that individual identifies – and it is strongly encouraged to avoid this and simply use the individual’s name.
Loss Prevention and Safety
The Society prohibits the misuse of any property of the Society or belonging to Board members, volunteers, dancers, instructors, and attendees. This includes the following actions:
- Unauthorized concealment or removal of Society property from Society premises.
- Tampering with, defacing, destroying, borrowing or taking the personal property of another person without their consent (including any unclaimed property).
- Failure to pay a debt owed to the Society.
- Misuse of staff complimentary tickets to performances, including receiving payment for tickets.
- Any activity detrimental to the safety or security of Board members, volunteers, dancers, instructors, attendees, or Society assets (including, but not limited to, physical violence, threats of violence, physical security infractions, defacing or destroying property belonging to the Society, an attendee or another Board Member, and possession of firearms or other dangerous weapons on Society property or at Society-sponsored events).
- Negligent or intentional acts, omissions to act or recklessness resulting in damage to Society property, financial loss to the Society or injury to others.
- Unauthorized use (including misuse) of Society equipment, facilities, supplies, documents or systems (including electronic/communication systems, such as email, the internet, the intranet and phone systems). This includes using Society computers to access, send or download information that is illegal or could be insulting or offensive to another person, such as sexually explicit messages, cartoons or jokes, unwelcome propositions, ethnic or racial slurs or any other message that could be viewed as harassment.
Alcohol and Drugs
Do not bring or consume alcohol at dances, practices, or lessons. West Coast Swing Addicts Dance Society always holds dry events so the use of alcohol or illegal substances at an event is not tolerated.
Thank you to Swing-Out Edmonton for providing much of the content for this policy.