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 conferences, events, meetings, or in NEA’s online spaces including but not limited to the listserv, website, and wiki. 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 designated NEA Community Advocate(s).

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) at

Definition and Examples

Criticism and rigorous examination of beliefs and viewpoints does not, by itself, 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
  • 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 disruption of discussion
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent, except as necessary to protect other NEA members or other vulnerable people from intentional abuse
  • 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
  • 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 law

Policy Regarding Presentation and Discussion of Sensitive Material

Content presented at NEA conferences or meetings or via online forums/listserv posts may at times deal with 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 NEA event or NEA virtual or physical space who experiences or witnesses conduct they believe violates the NEA Code of Conduct is encouraged to report the incident either personally or anonymously (see details below) to the organization.

If you are reporting a violation after the conclusion of an event and/or are unable to find a designated Community Advocate to speak with, you may contact the Inclusion and Diversity Committee (IDC) at, or complete our online incident report form. The form may be completed either with contact information or anonymously.

Making a Personal Report

If 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 designated NEA Community Advocate(s) responsible for the event or space in which the violation occurred.

If you feel that you are in immediate danger at any time contact law enforcement (by dialing 911) or, if applicable, the facility front desk without delay.

For all other incidents of harassment, please contact the designated CA and/or IDC for assistance.

At the NEA spring meeting or fall symposium

Go to the meeting registration or quiet room and ask the NEA representative there to contact one of the designated Community Advocates on duty. You may be asked for a cell phone number at which the CA can reach you.

Other NEA events

Discuss any concerns with the designated CA, instructor, moderator and/or contact the Inclusion and Diversity Committee at

In NEA online spaces

Contact the website administrator or the IDC (, or complete an incident report.

Anonymous Reporting

Anyone may submit an anonymous report of conduct they believe violates the NEA Code of Conduct by completing this form. Simply indicate on page one that you are “A member or guest who experienced or witnessed harassment,” and on page two choose to report anonymously. These reports are collected, reviewed, and documented by the Inclusion and Diversity Committee.

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.

Addressing Violations

NEA Community Advocates (CAs) have received bystander intervention training and been given guidance in how to respond to Code of Conduct violations. They are also responsible for submitting written incident reports to the IDC.

Community Advocates’ first responsibility is to ensure the physical and emotional safety of the individual or individuals experiencing harassment. If appropriate, the Community Advocate will put the individual in contact with local law enforcement or local support services, provide escorts, or otherwise ensure the individual feels safe for the duration of the event.

CAs have a number of options for responding to Code of Conduct violations, depending upon the nature and severity of the violation. CAs are 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. 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 responding CAs, or may be denied access to the online space at the discretion of the site administrator.

All such actions will be documented by the CA 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 responding CA or the IDC believes follow-up action(s) may be necessary. 

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. To initiate such an appeal, please contact the Inclusion and Diversity Committee (

Communication & Training Policy Online

The Code of Conduct is available for reference on the New England Archivist website. New England Archivists’ online spaces -- including but not limited to the listserv, website, and wiki -- 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 NEA-sponsored conference, event, and/or meeting in program booklets and displayed at registration tables. 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 registration table and quiet room.


Any updates to the Code of Conduct will be issued through the NEADiscuss listserv.

Training for Community Advocates

Guidelines for, and training in, enforcement of the CoC policy, and documenting any reported violations, will be provided to all designated NEA Communicate 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.

Approved as of ballot closing: November 30th 2016 (12pm)

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

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