Madison DSA Code of Conduct and Resolutions Procedure

Introduction

As socialists, we are committed to build a better world through working in movements of working people and the oppressed. DSA Madison expects its members to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with this commitment. As we work toward destroying capitalism, we believe it is important intentionally to create inclusive spaces that reject racism, classism, bigotry, sexism, heteropatriarchy, ableism, and other oppressive power structures.

The scope of this code of conduct and resolution procedure is interactions between members of Madison Area DSA. Issues that arise from external conflict (i.e., non-members) should be dealt with by the organization democratically.

At all official DSA events, participants (members and non-members) are expected to abide by community guidelines for appropriate discussion and the code of conduct as a condition of participating in the meeting.

Code of Conduct

The following speech or actions are violations of the code of conduct:

  • Sexual assault or threat of sexual assault
  • Physical violence or threat of physical violence toward another member
  • Threatening speech or behavior toward another member
  • Harassment, whether behavioral, verbal, written, physical, or via electronic communication, that has the intent or effect, because of its severity and/or persistence, to be intimidating, hostile, or offensive.
  • Discrimination, harassment on the basis of a particular oppression. Harassment of an individual in connection with a stereotyped group characteristic, or because of that person's identification with a particular group, is not permitted.
  • Any other action, behavior or demeanor that makes member feels uncomfortable or unsafe based on the speech or actions of another member.
  • Uncomradely behavior
    • Willful or deliberate misrepresentation i.e., attending Madison DSA functions with the intent to defraud, implicate, or pull members away from Madison DSA
    • Personal attacks

While the above list cannot describe every situation, the general rule is that members will not engage in unwanted behavior.

Resolution Procedure

Structure

Following the the 2017 Convention's Resolution 33, Madison DSA shall elect two Harassment and Grievance Officers (HGOs). Grievances shall be addressed by these two officers. If the HGOs decide that a grievance requires greater attention, they may convene and select an ad hoc committee of up to seven (7) total members, including the two HGOs. This ad hoc committee should strive for racial and gender balance.

Process

A grievance shall be any difference or disagreements with the principles, practices, and persons within Madison DSA, as espoused in our code of conduct, the local's bylaws, or in national DSA policy. Grievances submitted to the HGOs must contain detail about the date, time, and location of the perceived difference and or infraction and must state clearly the name of the parties involved. The person submitting the grievance shall be known as the concerned member. Since this resolution process is internal, non-members are not allowed to represent.

Concerns that are submitted shall be handled according to the following stages and timelines, and any violations on either side of the concerned or the committee shall cause the concern either to be advanced by the concerned or to be considered resolved and dismissed by HGOs.

Steps Of Grievance Procedure

  1. If a member feels comfortable/able, they should "call in," which is when the offended party approaches the other party in good faith and lets them know the specific action that offended them. At this point, the party who made the error should cease the problematic behavior. If the call-in procedure does not resolve the issue to the offended party's satisfaction, if they believe that the call-in is not appropriate, they can file a grievance, in the process specified in the resolution procedure below.
  2. The offended party will submit a grievance to the HGOs via email.
  3. The HGOs will address the grievance at their discretion. Grievances should be dealt with by HGOs within 30 calendar days. In cases where more time is needed, the HGOs will inform the complainant. Complainants may take their grievance to the next step within 15 days if they are unwilling to accept the extension. In keeping with the values of restorative justice, mediation will be emphasized whenever appropriate. Potential courses of action include:
    1. Mediation
    2. Education
    3. Recommendation of discipline
    4. Recommendation of no action
  4. If discipline is recommended, the recommendation shall be reviewed by the executive committee. Alternately, if the concerned party is not satisfied with the outcome, they can request a hearing with the relevant parties, the HGOs, and the Executive Committee. This step shall end with the decision to accept or reject the recommendation by the Executive Committee. Disciplinary actions may include:
    1. Suspension
    2. Expulsion

If the parties are not satisfied with the resolution, they can appeal to the NPC and follow the DSA National grievance procedure.

DRAFTED 1/5/18 by Sarah C, Alex G, Ted G, Kai FV, Andy S