COWORKING CODE OF CONDUCT
Cogs is committed to maintaining an atmosphere of creativity and inclusion and to bringing the diversity of our industry to the forefront. We believe that everyone who participates in coworking events deserves respect and an experience free from harassment or discrimination. Likewise, everyone also deserves a clear and direct way to report and deal with any form of harassment, discrimination, or other grievances, whether it involves other participants, sponsors, organizers, speakers, or staff.
Cogs Coworking is committed to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religious affiliation. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Members of Cogs Coworking or event participants violating these rules may face consequences including, but not limited to, expulsion from the membership without a refund. By becoming a member or attending any events of Cogs Coworking, you are agreeing to abide by these guidelines. We expect our community to help us realize a safe and positive experience for everyone.
WHAT CONSTITUTES HARASSMENT
Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
• Verbal comments that reinforce discrimination based on gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion.
• Sexually-charged jokes, statements, or comments.
• Creation or display of sexual images in public spaces.
• Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or unwanted following.
• Harassing photography or video/audio recording.
• Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
• Inappropriate physical contact.
• Invasion of personal space.
• Unwelcome sexual attention.
• Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
These behaviors, as well as others described below, are not conducive to a welcoming environment and are therefore prohibited from this event.
If a member or participant engages in harassing behavior, Cogs Staff retain the right to take action in order to maintain a welcoming environment for other members and participants. This includes warnings, expulsion from the facility without a refund, or other measures deemed appropriate. Cogs Staff are authorized to address anything designed to, or with the clear impact of, making the environment hostile for any members and participants. We expect members and participants to follow these rules onsite and at all event venues and event-related social activities, and we encourage members and participants to follow these guidelines outside of event-sanctioned activities.
If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, we encourage you to report it as soon as possible. Cogs Staff will be identifiable by their attire or badges, and they will be instructed on how to respond to harassment. All claims are taken seriously and will be handled by Cogs Staff. You can make a report either personally or anonymously, both detailed below.
Cogs Coworking has set up an online form to report harassment HERE [include link to form]. We promise to fully investigate and act on information we receive through anonymous reporting.
You can make a personal report by: Contacting our Administration Office at Cogs Coworking. Emailing us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Calling us: 361-345-2647. When taking a personal report, our Staff will make sure that we discuss your issue privately and securely. They may involve other Cogs Staff to ensure your report is managed properly. At this point, we will ask you to go over the details of the harassment. This can be a difficult process, but we’ll handle it as respectfully as possible, and you are welcome to bring someone with you for support. We will never ask you to confront someone, and we will not relay your name or information to the accused. Our team will be happy to put you in touch with security, law enforcement, or any other local services you request. We want you to feel safe and comfortable. Your membership is important to us.
All event photographers will seek to obtain permission for reposting. Participants are free to ask that photographs of themselves are withheld from any promotional materials. To maintain privacy and personal boundaries, all participants must ask before taking any photographs that are clearly meant to highlight a small group or single person.
As language is both a reflection of and a contributor towards culture, we do ask that all participants use language that demonstrates the best aspects of coworking culture and avoid language that could alienate or disparage others. This means we ask that you follow these guidelines for what constitutes disrespectful language.
There is no place at Cogs Coworking and its events for language that is openly or casually degrading to a person or group. Any words or phrases, no matter how seemingly innocuous, that perpetuate negative stereotypes and communicate exclusion are not allowed. Some of these can be subtle and said without any ill-will, which is why we encourage members and participants to examine their own language and use this guide as an opportunity for learning. For some examples of language that we are trying to avoid, please see the below examples.
Racism is deeply rooted across societies globally, exists among all social classes, and is connected to a long history of violence, oppression, and domination. Addressing individuals or a group of people in a diminutive, derogative, or malicious way based on their (assumed) race and ethnic background is racist, disrespectful, and harmful. We do not tolerate any racist behavior, slurs, statements, or jokes.
Words like “crazy,” “dumb,” “insane,” or “lame” are examples of language that devalues people who have physical or mental disabilities. Many people use these words not because they seek to be hurtful, but because they are attempting to describe something they perceive to be outside of the norm, which reinforces harmful stereotypes and impacts real people. Instead, try to broaden your vocabulary and find ways to express yourself that are more appropriate, inclusive, and elegant.
We strongly advise avoiding gendered pronouns as well as any gendered terms. Everyone is expected to respect each other’s chosen pronouns. Try to avoid using words like “dude” or “guys” to address groups. This shorthand contributes to linguistic barriers that drive exclusion and an unwelcoming environment.
If you feel you have been falsely or unfairly accused of violating this Code of Conduct, you should notify Cogs Staff with a concise description of your grievance. Your grievance will be handled in accordance with Cogs Coworking’s existing governance policies.
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