[Lingtyp] Building consensus for a Code of Conduct

Maia Ponsonnet maia.ponsonnet at uwa.edu.au
Wed Nov 22 00:11:50 UTC 2017

I am not sure the demultiplication of Codes of Conduct is a solution.

As Sebastian points out, drafting such things require skills and experience.

Perhaps it is wise to leave it to the larger institutions that we are part of anyway (our activities fall under their umbrella in any case).

As a matter of fact, the ALS CoC is an abridged version of the University of Sydney policy.

We could replace them by less binding statements and opportunities for discussion and reflexion.


Dr Maïa Ponsonnet
Senior Lecturer in Linguistics
ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Fellow

Social Sciences Building, Room 2.47
Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education
The University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Hwy, Perth, WA (6009), Australia
P.  +61 (0) 8 6488 2870 - M.  +61 (0) 468 571 030

From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Sebastian Nordhoff <sebastian.nordhoff at glottotopia.de>
Sent: Wednesday, 22 November 2017 4:11 AM
To: LINGTYP at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: [Lingtyp] Building consensus for a Code of Conduct

Dear all,
my personal summary of this long thread is:

1) all participants agree that harassment is a problem. No one denies
that harassment needs to be addressed. Good. I have seen other
communities where this is very different.

2) all participants agree that a Code of Conduct can be a useful option
to address 1). No one says that CoC are useless, a waste of time, or
similar. Good.

3) People have expressed opposition to particular portions of the
proposed text, but have also signalled that they would be willing to
suggest and discuss amendments.

For a Code of Conduct to work, it has to be accepted by the community.
The community has to accept it as "their" Code of Conduct. As such, a
majority vote is the WORST POSSIBLE PROCEDURE to arrive at a Code of
Conduct. DON'T DO THIS! Imagine that the result is 51:49 in favour. Do
you think anyone who voted against will feel bound by the CoC in such a
case? Such a result will actually *strengthen* the position of
harassers, since they can say that it is actually not a true majority etc.

I believe that the ALT community consists of very sensible people, and I
believe that it will be possible to arrive at a Code of Conduct which
will be approved by 80% or even 90%. I do not want to see this important
topic burned by a premature vote on a text which has not received the
discussion which this topic merits.

Best wishes

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