NEA taking the past into the future

Code of Conduct

In Fall 2016, the NEA membership voted overwhelmingly to adopt a proposed Code of Conduct (CoC), the full text of which is below. Please direct any questions or concerns to the Inclusion and Diversity Committee (IDC) at

Code of Conduct

In keeping with our Inclusion and Diversity Statement, New England Archivists (NEA) welcomes everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, nationality, or professional status. We do not tolerate harassing speech or acts at NEA-sponsored in-person and virtual conferences, events, meetings, or in NEA’s online spaces including but not limited to the listserv and website. Those who violate these rules will be asked to modify their behavior and may be sanctioned, asked to leave the space in which the incident took place, or expelled from the event at the discretion of the Inclusion and Diversity Committee and the Code of Conduct Committee Members.

Persons who have been sanctioned, removed from a space, or expelled from an event may appeal to the NEA Executive Board in writing. For information on initiating an appeal, please contact the Inclusion and Diversity Committee (IDC).

Definition and Examples

Criticism and rigorous examination of beliefs and viewpoints do not, by themself, constitute harassment or hostile conduct. Harassment is the act of subjecting an individual or group to hostile or prejudicial remarks or actions, pressuring or intimidating a person or persons such that they are made to feel unwelcome or unsafe in virtual or in-person spaces. Examples of speech or actions that will not be tolerated include, but are not limited to:

  • Derogatory comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, or professional status
  • Patterns of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food and drink, health, intimate relationships, parenting, drugs, and employment
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of "dead" or rejected names
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behavior in spaces where they’re not appropriate
  • Sustained intentional disruption of discussion
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent
  • Public distribution of non-harassing personal communications or other materials shared with the expectation of privacy
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes
  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact without consent or after a request to stop
  • Threats of violence, abuse, or harassment
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm
  • Deliberate intimidation
  • Stalking as defined by Massachusetts Law

Policy Regarding Presentation and Discussion of Sensitive Material

Content presented at in-person or online NEA conferences, meetings, symposiums, workshops, or via online forums/listserv posts may at times deal with the sensitive subject matter, ranging from visually sensitive historical material (such as images related to acts of genocide) to sexually explicit language or images (such as in archival letters, nude photographs, or film or audio recordings). Participants are reminded that all sessions/communications have the potential to include discussion on these topics. Those presenting such subject matter are asked to be as clear and upfront as possible about session content so that attendees may make an informed decision regarding their participation.

NEA seeks to create online and in-person spaces in which diverse participants may learn from, network with, and enjoy the company of colleagues. The code of conduct is not intended to constrain scholarly or professional presentation, discourse, or debate, as long as these exchanges are conducted in a respectful manner.


Any participant in an in-person or virtual NEA event or space who experiences or witnesses conduct they believe violates the NEA code of conduct [link] is encouraged to report the incident either personally or anonymously (see details below) to the organization so that we may address your concerns.

If you are reporting a violation after the conclusion of an event, you may always contact the Inclusion and Diversity Committee or complete our anonymous incident form to make a report.

Making a Personal Report

IIf you witness or experience harassment you believe violates the NEA code of conduct, and are comfortable speaking to an NEA representative personally, please report the incident as soon as is feasible to the Inclusion and Diversity Committee.

If you feel that you and/or another person are in immediate danger at any time contact emergency responders (by dialing 911) and/or, if applicable, the facility front desk without delay. The Code of Conduct form is not intended or designed to report emergency situations requiring an immediate response.

For all other incidents of harassment, please contact the Inclusion and Diversity Committee.

NEA Meetings

If you are attending in person, go to the meeting registration desk and ask the NEA representative there to contact an IDC member on duty. You may be asked for a cell phone number or email address at which the IDC can reach you. If you are attending virtually, email the Inclusion and Diversity Committee. You can also contact the virtual session host/monitor and ask them to contact the Inclusion and Diversity Committee representative.

Other NEA events

Discuss any concerns with the instructor, moderator and/or contact the Inclusion and Diversity Committee.

In NEA online spaces

NEA online spaces include the listservs, online meetings, online channels, or any NEA designated space. Please contact the Inclusion and Diversity Committee.

Anonymous Reporting

Anyone may submit an anonymous report of conduct they believe violates the NEA Code of Conduct by completing this form. These reports are collected, reviewed, and documented by the Inclusion and Diversity Committee and Vice-Chair.

While we will be unable to follow up with you directly in the case of an anonymous report, NEA will monitor such reports for incident patterns and do what we can to ensure the issue is addressed moving forward.

Disclaimer: In the event of a report being made against an individual who acts in a(n) illegal, violent, or dangerous manner, we ask that submissions not be made anonymous so the IDC can follow up directly.

Addressing Violations

The IDC is designated to respond to Code of Conduct violations and is responsible for submitting written incident reports to the Chair of the IDC.

In the case that violations need to be addressed, the IDC will form a temporary Code of Conduct Response Committee involving 2 members of the NEA Executive Board and 3 members of the IDC uninvolved from the incident. This Committee will also consult the reporter of the addressed violation to determine whether they would like to share in decision-making.

The IDC’s first responsibility is to ensure the physical and emotional safety of the individual or individuals experiencing harassment. If appropriate, the IDC will put that individual in contact with local law enforcement, local support services, provide escorts, or otherwise ensure the individual feels safe for the duration of the event. If the violation does not happen during an event, the IDC will take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and comfort of the individual.

The temporary Code of Conduct Response Committee has a number of options for responding to code of conduct violations depending upon the nature and severity of the violation. The Committee is empowered to take immediate action to address the violation by supporting the targeted individuals, requesting an immediate cessation or change in harassing behavior, issuing a verbal warning, and/or if necessary asking the violator to leave the event or space in question. In the case that a violation happens in an online space, the individual will be removed from the space until an appropriate decision is made by the Response Committee.

If the reporter of the violation opts in to make a shared decision, they will be consulted before any action is taken. Conference, event, meeting, and online participants who are asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Those who violate the Code of Conduct may be expelled from the conference, event, or meeting at the discretion of the designated committee and the Chair of the IDC, or may be denied access to the online space, whether that be the NEA ListServ, Zooms, or NEA Executive Slack.

All such actions will be documented by the Committee as an incident report and submitted to the IDC. Reports will be reviewed by the IDC and forwarded to the NEA Executive Board for additional review if the designated committee and/or IDC believes follow-up action(s) may be necessary. If a member of the NEA Executive Board is involved in an incident, reports will be sent directly to the NEA President who will assign members uninvolved to review. If an incident involves the NEA President, they will be expected to recuse themselves from the proceedings and the Executive Board representatives to the Code of Conduct Response Committee will communicate with uninvolved members to review.

Appeals Process

If a person believes they have been wrongly found to be in violation of the code of conduct and as a result of that finding has been expelled from or denied access to NEA spaces or events, that person may appeal to the Executive Board.

The Code of Conduct Response Committee and Inclusion and Diversity Committee have adopted a three-strikes violation process. If a violation happens one or two times, the violation can be appealed. If there is a third violation, it cannot be appealed, and the individual may be subject to removal from the organization altogether.

communication & training policy


The Code of Conduct is available for reference on the New England Archivist website. New England Archivists’ online spaces -- including but not limited to social media, online meetings, and website -- will link to the Code of Conduct for users’ reference.

Conferences or Events

The short-form Code of Conduct will be included in registration materials for each in-person or virtual NEA-sponsored conference, event, and/or meeting in program booklets and displayed at registration tables. For virtual and hybrid events, it will be posted in the platform (e.g., Zoom, Google Meet) chat at the beginning of each event session. All participants including presenters, workshop leaders, vendors, or others involved in the conference, event, or meeting will be asked to review and acknowledge the Code of Conduct upon registration and/or when confirming attendance. The long-form Code of Conduct will be available to meeting attendees at the registration table and quiet room.


The IDC will present any updates to the Code of Conduct to the NEA Executive Board for approval. Approved updates will be distributed through Wild Apricot directly with members.

Training for Community Advocates

**As of 2024, the Community Advocate program is on hold. The IDC is working hard to secure training, funding, and volunteers to become Community Advocates and announcements will be made once this is achieved. **

Guidelines for, and training in, enforcement of the CoC policy, and documenting any reported violations, will be provided to all designated NEA Community Advocates by the Inclusion and Diversity Committee. Training will be required for all designated CAs in advance of assuming their role on behalf of NEA in any physical or online context. All members of the Executive Board will receive CA training upon assuming their seat on the board.

For individuals who serve as a CA in multiple contexts, annual confirmation that they have reviewed and are comfortable with the guidelines will be required in order for the individual to continue serving as a designated CA on behalf of the organization.

Source Note:

The language and content of this code of conduct policy were inspired and informed by the policies of the Society of American Archivists, Ada Camp, and the model policy made available at the Geek Feminism Wiki.
The Code of Conduct was written in 2015 and established in 2016. The current Code of Conduct reflects the changes that have been built upon to this point.

Approved as of ballot closing: April 26, 2024

For a complete list of policies and procedures that have been voted on by the Executive Board, as well as those that the Board has agreed to by consensus (as a “Sense of the Board”) please contact the NEA Secretary.

Our most commonly referred to policies and procedures may be found by clicking the links below.

Board Procedures
Financial Information
Minutes (board and business)
Organizational Chart
Privacy Policy
Registration Policy
Records schedule and finding aid at UConn (how to donate materials)
Vendor Policy

Questions? Feedback? Contact us

   Contact Us  Donate to NEA  Policies  
  Facebook icon Twitter icon Linked-in icon Vimeo icon Pinterest icon  

© New England Archivists. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software