Safer Space Policy

TAG is dedicated to fostering a safer space at GAMERella and at all of our events.

This means creating an environment where people who are typically excluded from or marginalized in game-related or academic spaces feel welcome and respected. The goal of safer spaces is to encourage all participants to work together to prevent or reduce harm, particularly for those who are often the targets of violence and harassment, and ensure that marginalized individuals are not being pushed out of the space.

If you feel that someone is making the space unsafe for you, if you notice that someone else is being made to feel unsafe, or if you have any other concerns, please contact an organizer. Organizers and volunteers will be happy to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise help you to feel safe for the duration of the events. We value your attendance.

Participants whose behaviour is making others around them feel unsafe will be asked to cease the offending behaviour and will be expected to comply or leave the space immediately.

Useful contacts

Centre for Gender Advocacy – Gabrielle Bouchard, psa@genderadvocacy.org
GAMERella Organizers – Gina Haraszti, tag.coordinator@concordia.ca
TAG Director – Lynn Hughes, Lynn.Hughes@concordia.ca

Campus Security – 514-848-3717 (Dial 1 for urgent situations, dial 2 for non-urgent situations)
Local sexual assault hot line – 514 398-8500 (sacomss.org)
Local emergency and non-emergency medical – 911
Local taxi company – Diamond, 514 273-6331

Principles For Dealing With Safer Space Complaints

Someone has come to you with a complaint about your own behaviour

  • Stop that behaviour.
  • Listen carefully and respectfully and don’t interrupt or try to defend yourself.
  • Don’t dismiss or minimize their concerns.
  • Apologize sincerely and ask if they have any suggestions for how you can improve your behaviour if the suggestion hasn’t already been made.
  • Don’t act surprised if they don’t have a suggestion ready to hand. Just because they aren’t able to express an alternative in that moment, does not mean their complaint is invalid.
  • Make sincere efforts to change your behaviour, which may include educating yourself on issues affecting marginalized groups.

Someone has come to you with a complaint about someone in the space

  • Your first responsibility is to the person who has come to you. Do not take any action without consulting them and without their full consent.
  • Maintain confidentiality. Do not speak about the incident, even in the abstract, to anyone without the consent of the person who has spoken to you.
  • Don’t dismiss or minimize their concerns, and don’t chastise them for not coming to speak to you earlier. Speaking up in these situations can be very difficult, and this will only make it harder.
  • Be prepared to intervene on their behalf. If it’s an issue that you think can be dealt with by speaking directly to the people involved, offer to do so on their behalf. You can also offer to accompany them into a space if they do not feel safe. Again, do not act without their consent.

The text for this policy is adapted from:
http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Conference_anti-harassment