Updates to the Carpentries Code of Conduct Documentation
The Carpentries Code of Conduct is core to who we are, because it describes how we interact with each other in our community. The Code of Conduct isn’t just a piece of (virtual) paper though; it’s how we communicate about it, the guidelines for how we handle reports, and how the Code of Conduct committee - a group of volunteers committed to working with staff and the Executive Council - responds to incidents and updates guidelines as needed.
Over the last few months the CoC committee updated the Code of Conduct, went through incident response training with Otter Technologies and published its quarterly Code of Conduct Transparency Report. In handling incidents over this time frame, they and the Executive Council identified a need to update reporting and response guidelines, to handle responses more quickly and clarify processes for the community.
The Executive Council therefore authorized a small task force to revise the Code of Conduct documentation. The task force focused on the following: Incident Reporting Guidelines, Incident Response Procedure, and the Enforcement Manual. The members of this task force are Kari L. Jordan (staff liaison to the CoC committee), Tracy Teal (Executive Director), Simon Waldman (CoC member), and Elizabeth Wickes (Executive Council).
CoC Documentation Task Force Objectives
The objective of this task force is to update our Incident Response Procedure, Reporting Guidelines and Enforcement Guidelines. We want all members of our community to understand the process, for reporters to feel safe and supported in reporting an incident and in the community, to ensure a confidential process, and for people under review to have access to a fair and unbiased review. We want to be able to handle Code of Conduct reports respectfully, in a timely manner and with appropriate communication and transparency in accordance with our Code of Conduct. A draft lists of tasks to meet our objective is as follows:
- Identify practices of organizations similar to The Carpentries for reviewing, responding to, and enforcing CoC violations.
- Revise The Carpentries Code of Conduct Enforcement Manual per recommendations and issues with implementation.
- Update the Reporting Guidelines to include a secure collection method.
- Develop guidelines and processes for how reports are collected, stored and shared.
- Offer incident response protocol recommendations.
- Address legal issues that may arise in Code of Conduct incident matters.
- Develop guidelines for communicating with staff and the Executive Council about CoC incidents.
Request for Comments: Code of Conduct Documentation
The task force has done an initial update of the Code of Conduct documentation, consulting with experts experienced in the elements outlined above. Drafts of these documents will be open for comments for 10 days (31-January through 9-February) as in other RFC processes. We would like feedback from the community about the language of the following documents:
We invite community members to either comment directly in the Google documents linked through the GitHub issues, or to leave a comment directly in the GitHub issue. Comments should include (but are not limited to): clarity of language, areas of cultural sensitivity, and ensuring accessibility.
The task force will then review and incorporate comments and feedback. We know our community has experience with CoCs in other communities they work and live in, and really value your input and feedback. The extent of needed revisions will guide next steps, but we plan for a release or close-to-final draft by the end of February.
We welcome your questions and comments as we endeavor to improve our documentation and reporting processes. Feel free to file an issue on the Code of Conduct Guidelines Taskforce Repository, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carpentries Conversation: What Happens During a CoC Investigation
The inaugural #CarpentriesConversation will be hosted by the Code of Conduct Committee: What Happens During a Code of Conduct Investigation? We invite you to learn about and discuss our Code of Conduct procedures. We’ll also be using the Zoom ‘breakout room’ feature for small group discussions. Being on the Code of Conduct committee is also an opportunity to serve the community in important work. We want to rotate these roles to make it sustainable as well, so this is a great chance to learn if you might like to join this committee.
This conversation is open to all, and counts for instructor training checkout.
Sign up to attend on the community-discussions Etherpad.
Guidelines are by and for the community, so thank you for everything our community does to develop, communicate and support the Code of Conduct.
Kari L. JordanTracy Teal
Code of Conduct “Carpentries Conversations”