Code of Conduct of Charlotte Writers Club, Inc.

Charlotte Writers Club

Mutual Code of Conduct

 

Members like you represent the best of the Charlotte Writers Club. Any time you participate in CWC events and contests or accept any CWC role, such as, a member, volunteer or staff role, a speaker or workshop facilitator, you help to promote CWC’s mission: to celebrate the written word by supporting the work of writers and promoting their development through education, recognition, and community. In addition to complying with all laws, regulations, and CWC policies, participants, volunteers and employees are expected to follow the code of conduct outlined below in all CWC activities.

 

This policy is intended to deter and prevent any unhealthy behavior or practice;  prevent  harassment, discrimination, violence, and other risks that may harm the health, safety, and well-being of participants, employees and volunteers. The method of delivery is meant to be all encompassing.

 

CWC has a ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY which means that any breach of the rules or standards will result in immediate and severe consequences, including but not limited to being banned from attending club events or volunteering, being dismissed from Board or Advisory positions or membership, or legal action. Should complaints be made, the board has the duty to investigate, and their decision is final.

 

The CWC Board has a specific responsibility for operating within the boundaries of this policy, ensuring that all participants, volunteers and employees understand the standards of behavior expected of them and taking action when anyone violates this Code of Conduct. Board members have the right and obligation to prohibit anyone from attending or participating in a group meeting or event.

 

CWC embraces a “see something, say something” culture. If you become aware of potential misconduct, help reinforce our culture of courage and accountability by sharing your concerns with a CWC Board member at president@charlottewritersclub.org; president-elect@charlottewritersclub.org; secretary@charlottewritersclub.org; membership@charlottewritersclub.org; webmaster@charlottecharlotteclub.org

 

CWC volunteers, officers, and employees are expected to:

1. Promote a respectful community: We expect the members of our community to treat all event participants, volunteers, employees, audience members and the general public with respect, courtesy, and dignity. This includes avoiding the use of humiliating, demeaning, offensive or otherwise insensitive language that fails to respect the dignity of the person. Intimidation, physical, sexual and/or emotional manipulation, and violence toward others will not be tolerated.

 

2.Harassment Policy: Harassment is conduct which makes fun of, belittles, or shows hostility or dislike to an individual because of his or her race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability (or perceived disability), sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy status, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law. 

 

The CWC will not tolerate any behavior that:

    • Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
    • Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with another individual’s performance or otherwise adversely affects an individual.

 

Harassing conduct may include, but is not limited to:

    • Epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, degrading comments, or threatening, intimidating or hostile acts (even if claimed to be “jokes” or “pranks,” and even if not directed at a particular individual) which relate to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability (or perceived disability), sexual orientation, pregnancy status, marital status, veteran status, or any other status protected by law.
    • Written or graphic material (including, but not limited to, computer images) displayed, shown, or circulated which makes fun of, belittles, or shows hostility or dislike toward an individual or group because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability (or perceived disability), sexual orientation, pregnancy status, marital status, veteran status, or any other status protected by law.
    • Bullying may rise to the level of harassment and is therefore prohibited. Bullying is defined as unwelcome or unreasonable behavior that intimidates or humiliates people, either as individuals or as members of a group. Bullying behavior is often persistent and part of a pattern, but it can also be a single occurrence. Some examples of bullying behavior include, but are not limited to, abusive and offensive language, insults, teasing, and spreading rumors. It can also include manipulation of the environment or psychological manipulation.

 

Harassment of event participants, volunteers, employees, or other members will not be tolerated.

 

Stalking: Stalking is never an acceptable behavior toward or by CWC members. Stalking behavior includes but is not limited to:

    • Willfully following or harassing another person without a legal purpose and doing so with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety,
    • Causing another person substantial emotional distress by placing the person in fear of death, bodily injury,
    • Willfully engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person knowing that the course of conduct or harassment would cause a reasonable person fear or emotional distress.

 

Stalking can be done through any action, method, device, or means. The action can be direct, indirect, or enacted through third parties who, in the physical presence of the victim, monitor, observe, surveil, threaten, communicate to or about the victim, or interfere with the victim’s property.

 

Retaliation: Retaliation against event participants, volunteers and employees for exercising their rights in good faith under this policy is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. This includes retaliation for inquiring about one’s rights, making an honest report or complaint of a violation, or truthfully assisting in a complaint investigation.

 

Open Mic Policy: All work presented at our Open Mic Events must be original and must be read by the author. Readers must be mindful that this event is held in a public place and is open to a general audience which may include minors. We do not want anyone to feel excluded, offended, or attacked. Although some material may deal with mature or provocative subjects, it must be suitable for a general audience and appropriate for all ages. 

Open Mic Night is not a forum for religious or political debate, nor is it a place for stand-up comedy, pornography, obscenity, racism, sexism, or personal rants of any kind. We expect readers to provide a receptive, supportive audience for one another. While a writer’s material and point of view are open to different interpretations, audience members are expected to show respect for the writer and the work. Any violation of these guidelines whether as a reader or as a member of the audience will result in the offender being cleared from the stage or audience. Repeated offences will cause the member to be banned from future sessions and/or being dismissed as a member of CWC. 

 

Critique Group Policy:

Critique Group Members should be aware of and compliant with the contents of this document. If a member says something that violates the guidelines laid out in this Code of Conduct or in the Critique Group Guidelines, members should be allowed and encouraged to respond directly and honestly, not allowing the offender to think what he or she has said is acceptable.

 

Critique Group Leaders are required to follow safe meeting guidelines including but not limited to:

    • Meeting in a public place accessible to the general public,
    • Never meeting with fewer than three people present,
    • Encouraging participants to let someone else know where they are and the names of others expected to attend,
    • Not sharing addresses until such time as the members of the group are comfortable doing so.

 

The Leader should encourage anyone who feels unsafe or uncomfortable to leave and should evaluate the members of the group for suitability. A critique group leader has the right to disqualify anyone from attending or participating in a group meeting. The Leader’s decision is final.

 

Exception: The Board is aware that the founders of CWC met in private homes for decades and that critique groups follow that tradition. They are exempted from the requirement to meet in public with the understanding that this exemption applies only to critique groups already in existence as of December 1, 2023.

 

Contest Policy: Submissions must not include material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality disability, and/or sexual orientation. Submissions may not be of an overly sexual nature. Submissions which do not follow these guidelines will be excluded from the contest and the writer will be banned from future entries.

 

Social Media Policy: CWC encourages the responsible use of social media, but understands the need to be clear about what we expect from volunteers, employees and members when using social media. It is important to remember that we are all ambassadors for CWC, and that social media is never private.

 

This policy is intended to:

    • Provide clear guidelines on what volunteers, employees, and members can say on behalf of or about the CWC;
    • Encourage volunteers, employees, and members to comply with relevant legislation;
    • Protect volunteers, employees, and members;
    • Help volunteers and employees draw a line between their private lives and their volunteer and/or work duties;
    • Protect CWC against liability for the actions of volunteers, employees and members.

 

It is important that anyone representing the CWC exercise good judgment and common sense when speaking as a representative of the CWC.

 

Inappropriate use of social media can pose risks to our confidential and proprietary information, CWC’s reputation, and our ability to attract and keep members. Also, it can jeopardize our compliance with legal obligations.

 

Scope and purpose: This policy deals with the use of all forms of social media, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, X, all other social networking sites and all internet postings, including blogs.

Volunteers and employees may be required to remove internet postings or photography which refer inappropriately to CWC and are deemed to constitute a breach of this policy.

 

Personnel responsible for implementing the Policy: CWC Board members bear the specific responsibility of operating within the boundaries of this policy, ensuring that all volunteers,  employees, and members understand the standards of behavior expected of them and taking action when an individual’s behavior falls below our standards. Should complaints be made, the board has the duty to investigate, and their decision is final.

 

Guidelines for responsible use of social media:

    • Volunteers, employees, and members are prohibited from posting disparaging or defamatory statements about: CWC as an organization, our staff, speakers, volunteers, and members past or present; workshop facilitators, suppliers and vendors; and other affiliates and stakeholders. We expect volunteers and employees to avoid social communications that might be misconstrued in any way that could damage our reputation, even indirectly.
    • Volunteers, employees, and members are responsible for what they communicate in social media both on sites controlled by the CWC and on personal sites. It is important to remember that anything posted to social media goes out to the general public and lasts forever. CWC does not permit tagging of vulnerable adults or anyone under the age of 18, unless students are participants in the CWC Student Writing Contest.
    • Anyone who sees content in social media that disparages or reflects poorly on CWC and/or our stakeholders should report the post to a member of the CWC board.

 

Protection of CWC assets: The CWC expects volunteers, employees, and members to use reasonable care to protect our resources. Stealing, misappropriation or diversion of CWC funds, property, or other assets for personal benefit are not permitted, nor is engaging in any fraudulent activity regarding CWC’s assets and operations.

 

Confidentiality Policy: Volunteers and employees are not permitted to access CWC databases without authority from the Board. The CWC expects volunteers, employees, and members to respect the privacy of those with whom they come into contact as a result of CWC activities: volunteers, staff members, event participants, and members of the general public. Confidential information includes but is not limited to unpublished details about our work, details of current projects, future projects, financial information, and other private information regarding our supporters, staff, participants, volunteers, or other members. No private information should be disclosed without prior written approval from the CWC Board.

 

Representation Policy, internal or external: Volunteers who serve on the Executive Committee or Advisory Board are not to claim an active affliction with the CWC once they leave their position.

With the exception of current Board members, no current or former CWC member may claim by word or implication that he or she represents CWC without express written approval of the Board. Members seeking such approval should write for permission to one of the following officers at least 14 days prior to an engagement date: president@charlottewritersclub.org

president-elect@charlottewritersclub.org

secretary@charlottewritersclub.org

or membership@charlottewritersclub.org

 

As of February 14, 2024