There are several key policies that attendees must follow when attending the retreat:
The University of Texas at Dallas maintains a comprehensive Resident Handbook which covers all of their policies. These policies apply to guests in addition to regular residence. Please make sure you review the policy handbook.
The policies below augment any policies as stated in the Resident Handbook. In any instance where there is a conflict between any of the policies below and the Resident Handbook, the Resident Handbook takes precedence except where noted. Note that some handbook policies may not apply to retreat attendees.
2.1 - Alcohol Use -- Alcohol consumption is not allowed during workshop hours. Additionally, alcohol is not allowed in the residence halls.
2.2 - Tobacco Use -- The University of Texas at Dallas is a tobacco-free facility; no tobacco use, including the use of vaping devices, is permitted.
2.3 - Please Respect the Property -- Do not deface or intentionally damage any of the property. Please treat the property and its contents with respect.
2.4 - Please Report Damage Immediately -- If anything is broken as a matter of course (i.e. a chair was frail and it broke when you leaned back, you accidentally dropped a glass), please let us know immediately so we can report the damage.
2.5 - Please Keep Your Rooms Tidy -- If you make a mess, please clean it up. There is no housekeeping service while you are on the property: clean up your trash, hang towels properly (or wash them if you need to), and please return shared resources to the person or location they are at.
2.6 - No parties. -- No exceptions.
2.7 - No guests -- No guests are allowed in retreat-associated spaces under any circumstances. This is a further restriction which supercedes university policy.
3.1 - Please Don't be a Jerk -- Everyone has moments when they're not at their best. Hunger, fatigue, and stress can all lead someone to be less than considerate of the people around them. This workshop will be a week in close quarters under a lot of stress. If you're feeling snappish, think about what you're about to say or do and ask yourself if (a) it's constructive, and (b) you would want someone else to say or do that to you. If you only catch yourself afterwards, that's okay! Apologize as soon as possible. Be understanding of your fellow students: they're going through the same stresses you are. We're all in this together!
If you're concerned about your own jerkiness coming out, this article presented by Psychology Today might be something to review and keep in mind during the event: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mind-tapas/201006/stop-being-such-jerk
3.2 - The Love You Take is Equal to the Love You Make -- In the end, what you put in to the retreat is what you will take away when you leave. If you want something specific, whether it's to become better at self-editing, additional beta readers, a sense of community, or some additional writing skill, work on developing that at the retreat: reach out to your peers, talk to the instructors, focus on writing, ask for feedback or pointers, give actionable feedback, be proactive.
3.3 - Bedrooms Are Personal Spaces -- Bedrooms are personal spaces for the individuals assigned to them. Individuals may only visit a bedroom space that
is not assigned to them with the permission or invitation of an assigned occupant.
If a shared bedroom space is occupied by more than one occupant at the time an individual would like to visit, all occupants present must give permission or consent.
When the loft space is being used as a bedroom space, the rules of accessas stated above apply.
3.4 - Conversations are Dialogues, Not Shouting Matches -- if a discussion escalates into a shouting match (figuratively or literally), it will be halted. See Rule 3.1.
4.1 - Mandatory Attendance -- Attendance at Lectures and Critique is mandatory. Additionally, the Icebreaker Lunch/Dinner is a mandatory event.
4.2 - Strongly Encouraged Attendance -- Attendance is strongly encouraged for the following events: The Farewell Lunch, social events.
4.3 - Optional Attendance -- Attendance is optional for the Facilitator's Dinner.
4.4 - Escalations -- Should you have a problem, suggestion, comment, or concern during the retreat, please speak with the event facilitator. Off-site talks are available if required to resolve onflicts and feedback and suggestions are provided anonymously during the retreat post-mortem.
The event facilitator for RAWR is Alkani (firstname.lastname@example.org).
4.5 - Content Warnings -- On the cover page of your story, please place content warnings as appropriate. Examples of content warnings and a good explanation of why content warnings are useful, implementation, and common warnings is provided by The University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts:
The short version of the anti-harassment policy is as follows:
1. You should be cordial, professional, and respectful towards each other at all times during the retreat. Some of us get grumpy in the morning before we've had coffee. Some of us have low and high energy times. That's fine. Just remember Rule 3.1.
2. If someone asks you to stop doing, saying, or discussing something that could be considered sensitive, touchy, political, religious, or something that might otherwise be disruptive if discussed in public or in the workplace, stop immediately. You may take the activity or conversation somewhere else (like a room or to Telegram, Skype, &c).
It is the Regional Anthropomorphic Writers Retreat's policy to treat all attendees, volunteers, staff, and instructors with dignity and respect and to provide a learning environment free from harassment and discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, veterans status, marital status, genetic information or any other factor protected by federal, state or local law.
No individual should be subjected to harassment or discrimination by another attendee, volunteer, staff member, or instructor, and all individuals should be aware of what harassment, both sexual and non-sexual, and discrimination are and what steps to take if harassment or discrimination occurs.
RAWR will take immediate steps to address complaints of discrimination or harassment based on any characteristic protected by law. This policy applies to all retreat-related events and attendees, volunteers, staff, and instructors at said events.
Discrimination in general
Discrimination includes unfavorable treatment of an individual based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, veterans status, marital status, genetic information or any other factor protected by federal, state or local law.
Harassment includes behavior that demonstrates hostility toward another individual based on any protected characteristic. Conduct constitutes harassment where:
1) Such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment. Harassing conduct may include, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts, denigrating jokes; and written or graphic materials that denigrate or show
hostility or aversion toward an individual or group, material circulated in, or generally published in a manner so as to be viewed by participants.
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other conduct of a sexual nature, or conduct based on an individual’s sex or gender identity. Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender identity or sex. These behaviors may include, but are not limited to: unwanted and unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; open display in public areas of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature; or conduct based on an individual’s sex or gender identity.
Note that the above generally excludes stories submitted to the workshop for the purposes of critique, discussions of an honest, open nature related to sexuality for the purposes of story or character research, and other discussions entirely related to the creation, planning, and crafting of stories containing erotic or adult content.
RAWR encourages individuals who believe they are being subjected to harassment or discrimination to address the issue. RAWR has established the following procedure to facilitate the investigation and resolution of claims of harassment or discrimination:
1) If possible, the individual affected should politely but firmly advise the offender that their behavior is unwelcome and request that it stop immediately. The offender may not realize that their behavior is offensive and often this action alone will end the unwelcome advances or behavior. It is not necessary for an individual to speak directly to the offender if they feel uncomfortable or believe that negative consequences may result.
2) If for any reason an individual does not wish to address the offender directly, or if such action does not end the offensive conduct, the individual should notify a staff member, a volunteer, or the facilitator. If the alleged wrongdoer is the facilitator, the behavior should be reported to another staff member or an instructor.
Any complaint of harassment or discrimination received by any RAWR volunteer, instructor, or staff member must be submitted to the facilitator for further investigation. In the event the offender is the facilitator, the complaint must be submitted to either an instructor or another staff member.
The appropriate party will conduct an investigation of the complaint. To the extent possible, the complaints, interviews with colleagues, and any documents discovered or generated during the investigative process, will remain confidential. The results of the investigation will be reported to the appropriate party, who will then determine a course of action. The response can include various kinds of action: for attendees, this would be removal from the event; for volunteers, instructors, and staff, this would be separation from the retreat.
Upon completion of the investigation, RAWR will notify the attendee who made the complaint of the results of the investigation. If the alleged wrongdoer is the facilitator, the staff or instructors will confer with the steering committee. The committee will be charged with initiating the investigation, conducting the investigation, and determining a response or course of action within a reasonable period of time.
Prohibition of retaliation:
Retaliation against any individual who, in good faith, opposes harassment or discrimination, files a complaint, testifies or participates in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is prohibited and may result in either removal from the event or separation from the retreat. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately.
Consequences for violations:
We consider harassment, discrimination or retaliation to be an act of misconduct and subject to appropriate action, up to and including either removal from the event or removal from RAWR staff. False and malicious complaints of harassment, discrimination or retaliation may be the subject of appropriate action. On the other hand, an attendee, staff, volunteer, or instructor will not be subject to action because the complaint is found to be without merit.
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