In order to make our community and events safer and more transparent, the
members of the Board of Firefly Arts Collective have developed a Code of
Conduct <http://fireflyartscollective.org/firefly/policies/> and related
Policies & Procedures. These were primarily drafted by Sadiya Carr and Dan
Snyder. The policies and procedures were reviewed by current board members
of Firefly Arts Collective, representatives of the Boston Area Rape Crisis
Center (BARCC) <http://www.barcc.org/>, several lawyers, and alt sex
community hosts and moderators. The policies were also informed by Zay
Thompson's investigatory procedures for incidents in Burner communities, as
well as policies recently adopted by local conventions such as Readercon
In order to resolve open reports the current Board elected itself to act as
Interim Conduct Committee in the month leading up to the 2014 Firefly
Festival. Experience on the Interim Conduct Committee suggests that each
reported instance takes about two weeks to resolve. This translates to
anywhere between 5 to 15 hours per report. Types of reports and complaints
that have been handled include: non-consensual dosing, threats of
violence, sexual assault, physical assault, abuse of power, and unsafe
behaviors at Firefly events that could cause us to be shut down.
Going forward we would like to invite community members--Fireflies--to take
part in this important work by serving for a year-long term on the Conduct
Committee. At this time Firefly Arts Collective is requiring that each
Committee member have taken the BARCC training on responding to disclosures
of sexual assault. The organization will schedule and pay for the training.
As the committee evolves there may be need for additional trainings or
workshops that the committee is empowered to ask for.
In particular, Fireflies serving on the safety teams (Rangers, Medical,
Sanctuary, and FAST) are encouraged to apply, as are Fireflies that have
related training (Social workers, BARCC trained advocates, counselors,
facilitators etc). The current Board of Directors will review applications
for membership. There will be a sufficient number of Board members serving
on the Conduct Committee to reach quorum on recommendations made by the
Please email us at conduct-committee(a)fireflyartscollective.org
<conductcommittee(a)fireflyartscollective.org> to express your interest.
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Firefly Arts Collective
Background about the Conduct Committee:
The goal of the Conduct Committee is to:
Receive reports of behavior potentially contravening the Code of Conduct
from affected participants.
Document the report, and, if appropriate, speak further with the reporter
Determine whether the report is actionable by speaking to witnesses and
reviewing available evidence
Determine whether there is enough evidence to indicate that someone is
endangering a participant, or Firefly Arts Collective’s ability to hold
Develop enough of an understanding of the situation that a
recommendation can be made on how to handle it
The goal is NOT to determine guilt or innocence. We do not have the
resources that the criminal justice system has to solve crimes. Multiple
reports about an individual can result in action for having a pattern of
complaints against them. We do not label people as criminals or determine
whether reports are true beyond reasonable doubt. We simply want to gather
enough information to be able to make a fair and reasonable decision
whether to allow someone continued access to events or volunteer
Working procedure for the Conduct Committee:
Conduct Committee Lead(s) or public contact receives a report
Conduct Committee Lead(s) assigns two responders to investigate report,
confirming these are acceptable to reporter. Responders will be members of
Conduct Committee and/or involved in the initial reporting process (e.g.
Ranger, Medical volunteer, Sanctuary volunteer, or BARCC trained advocate).
Responders review what has been reported and contact reporter to gather
further information. Responders explain possible outcomes to reporter.
Responders talk to subject of report.
Responders talk to witnesses, look at photos of event, gather other
information as available.
Responders consult with Rangers, other event hosts, and follow up any
leads of similar behaviors to establish if there is a larger pattern
Responders bring the results of their investigation back to the Conduct
Committee for discussion
Conduct Committee makes a recommendation to the Board
A quorum of the Board may:
Confirm the recommendation
Request further detail or investigation
Agree on a different course of action
Refer the matter to a meeting of the entire Board
Board representatives contact the people involved in the original report
officially with the decision
If recommended, the Board determines whether to announce the decision to
the Firefly community or other events
Further details can be found at