Joint Harassment Policy


The AIA and the SCS and their members seek to create an atmosphere at their annual conferences in which participants may learn, network, and converse with colleagues in an environment of mutual respect. The AIA and SCS do not seek to limit the areas of inquiry of their members or to curtail robust scholarly debate. Rather, the aim is to promote critical and open inquiry that is free of personal harassment, prejudice, and aggression. Everyone who attends the annual conference is entitled to an experience that is free from harassment, as well as any kind of bullying or intimidation.


Harassment under this Policy refers to any behavior by an individual or group that contributes to a hostile, intimidating, and / or unwelcoming environment, such as stalking, bullying, hostility or abuse based on age, disability, ethnicity, gender expression, gender identity, institutional affiliation, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or any other category. Such conduct is harmful, disrespectful, and unprofessional.

Harassment includes sexual harassment, such as unwelcome sexual advances, or verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature. Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Any unwanted physical advances;
  • Sexually suggestive gestures or noise;
  • Offensive jokes, teasing, or innuendos directed at other conference participants that are offensive or objectionable to the recipient, or which cause the recipient discomfort or humiliation;
  • Any unwanted sexual behavior directed towards anyone, whether verbal or physical.
  • No attendee should under any circumstance engage in harassment of any kind, either in-person or online, of anyone participating in the conference in any capacity.


All participants and attendees at the conference accept the obligation to treat everyone with respect and civility and to uphold the rights of all other participants and attendees, including AIA and SCS staff, temporary staff, contractors, volunteers, and hotel staff, to be free from harassment.

Attendees should be aware that they are bound by the codes of conduct at their home institutions. This joint AIA and SCS policy, which is consistent with the professional ethics statements of both the AIA and the SCS, does not supersede institutional codes but is intended to reinforce their message.

Individuals who are currently or have been sanctioned for assault or harassment by an adjudicating institution (e.g., a university, court, or other recognized adjudicating body) will be barred from taking part in the AIA-SCS Annual Meeting and will have their registration revoked if they register. Appeals may be requested in the case of advance registration, but onsite registrations will be revoked immediately. The AIA and SCS Executive Directors must approve revocation of any registrations. Any request for an appeal against revocation of advance registration should be sent to the AIA and SCS Executive Directors no later than three weeks prior to the meeting start date. Each appeal will be reviewed by the Executive Directors and the Presidents of both AIA and SCS. The Executive Directors will communicate appeals decisions in writing.


Conference attendees who experience or witness harassment as defined above, or who are aware that a conference participant is currently or has been sanctioned for assault or harassment by an adjudicating body, are encouraged to make contact during the conference with the Joint Annual Meeting Ombudsperson, who will hold regular office hours in a central but private location in the annual conference hotel. The location and hours of the Ombudsperson will be publicized in both annual conference programs, on the AIA and SCS websites, and in the annual conference mobile app. The Ombudsperson will also have a dedicated email address for the duration of the conference and two months after the conference. The role of the Ombudsperson is to provide support to those who witness or have experienced harassment or feel unsafe for any reason at the conference. The Ombudsperson will advise on the formal complaints process described below; however, the Ombudsperson is not authorized to give legal advice, adjudicate cases, or remove any attendees from the conference. The Ombudsperson also serves as liaison to the Joint AIA-SCS Rapid Response team onsite. If warranted, the team members may recommend that the AIA and SCS Executive Directors notify an individual or individuals that they should no longer attend sessions, events, and meetings at the annual conference currently in progress.


Formal complaints that require further investigation after the conference may be submitted in writing either onsite to the Joint Annual Meeting Ombudsperson, or after the conference via email to the Ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson will communicate complaints to the Joint AIA-SCS Harassment and Discrimination Committee.

Formal complaints should be specific as possible about how alleged behavior constitutes harassment as defined in the policy above. Complaints may also make reference to the AIA’s and SCS’s statements on professional ethics ( and  Any report received will remain confidential to the maximum extent possible when the Joint AIA-SCS Harassment and Discrimination Committee considers and investigates the complaint.

The Committee may rule to dismiss a complaint if and only if the complaint falls outside the scope of the annual conference policy or if the alleged incident is already subject to criminal or other investigation, including but not limited to Title IX proceedings. A dismissal of a complaint will be communicated in writing to the complainant by the co-chairs of the Committee. If the Committee does not dismiss the complaint, it will be shared with the accused party, who may elect to file a written response, which must be submitted within thirty (30) calendar days. The Committee, after reviewing statements by the complainant and the accused, and any documents or records provided to the Committee or otherwise reasonably available to it, may, depending on its findings, recommend no further action, a possible resolution via mediation, or a sanction of an individual or individuals. The Committee would recommend for approval any sanction to the governing boards of AIA and / or SCS, depending on the membership status of the individual involved. The Committee co-chairs will communicate their findings, including any sanctions approved by the AIA or SCS governing boards, in writing to both parties.

Approved by the AIA Executive Committee, 8/27/19
Approved by the SCS Board of Directors, 8/29/19


Addendum to the Policy: Personnel

All names and Contact Information will be available prior to the meeting. The AIA Executive Director can be contacted at The SCS Executive Director can be contacted at

Joint Annual Meeting Ombudsperson:
Kathy Canul

Joint AIA-SCS Rapid Response Team:
AIA Executive Director
SCS Executive Director
SCS VP for Professional Matters
AIA VP for Research and Academic Affairs
(ex officio non-voting members of the team: SCS Director of Meetings; AIA Director of Marketing and Professional Services; SCS Communications and Services Coordinator; AIA Communications Coordinator)

Joint AIA-SCS Harassment and Discrimination Committee:
AIA Executive Director
SCS Executive Director
SCS VP for Professional Matters
AIA VP for Research and Academic Affairs
Additional SCS officer (to be designated by the SCS President)
Additional AIA officer (to be designated by the AIA President)

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