Equity policy Lund Open 2020
Equity Officer: Linsey Keur
This Equity Policy is partially based on the LDU equity policy, many thanks to Adrienne Huisman for sharing this with me.
We believe that Lund Open should be a competition where everyone feels safe and welcome, not only during the debates but also during all other aspects of the competition also including the crash and the social. Equity, therefore, is mainly an attitude towards each other that goes beyond this policy. However, sometimes situations may occur in which people do not feel safe and welcome. If any of these situations happen to you, you can contact the Equity Officer in person, via Facebook, WhatsApp or by calling her.
Name: Linsey Keur
Phone number: +31 6 81 38 05 67
The main concern of the Equity Officer is the general well-being of the participants. For that reason, all issues regarding equity should be reported through the Equity Officer. If you are unable or unwilling to speak to the Equity Officer, any member of the CA-team or the organisation committee may act as a substitute.
Code of conduct
Any behaviour that attempts to exclude someone from meaningful participation in a debate or the tournament as a whole is not appreciated at this tournament. This includes, but is not limited
– Bullying: Bullying is the repeated, unreasonable behaviour by an individual or group, directed towards another individual or group, either physical or psychological in nature, that intimidates, offends, degrades, humiliates, undermines and/or threatens. This includes pressuring another individual or group to do something that they are uncomfortable with.
– Direct Discrimination: Direct discrimination is treating another individual or group less favourably on the basis of a protected attribute than someone without that attribute in the same circumstances or circumstances not materially different. Protected attributes include, but are not limited to; age, appearance, disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, personal background, religion, sexuality and social status.
– Harassment: Harassment is any unwelcome, offensive, abusive, belittling or threatening behaviour that humiliates, offends or intimidates an individual or group on the basis of any part of their identity. Note that sexual harassment has a specific meaning as any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favours or any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that humiliates, offends or intimidates a person and which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would anticipate making the person humiliated, offended or intimidated.
– Offensive language: Sometimes words can hurt a lot regardless of the intention behind these words. Therefore it is import to avoid language that can attack someone’s identity. This includes but is not limited to – gender, sex, sexual orientation, sexuality, disability, religion, race, nationality, ethnicity, educational background, age, appearance, class or debating skills. Furthermore, keep in mind that some topics such as violence and sexual assault can be painful for some people. Therefore, avoid overly graphic language and be extra careful with the words you pick when talking about sensitive topics.
– Undermining the equity policy: Attempts to undermine and/or belittle the equity policy, or parts of it, will also be an equity violation.
– Victimisation: Victimisation means to cause detriment to a person because that person has made a complaint or taken part in complaints proceedings.
Any other form of behaviour that can reasonably make people feel unwelcome and/or unsafe at this tournament will also fall under equity violations.
How do we solve issues regarding equity?
It goes without saying that we hope that the Equity Officer is the least needed person at the tournament. However, in the case of equity violations do occur we advise the following procedure.
- First of all, try to talk to the person that might have committed the violation. In most cases, equity violations are unintentionally committed and people might not be aware of the consequences of something they did or said. Therefore just pointing these things out can result in awareness and a simple apology to solve the matter.
- In the case that you are the subject of or the witness to an equity violation and you do not feel comfortable to resolve the issue yourself, you can come talk to the Equity Officer.
- The Equity Officer will investigate equity complaints and will talk to all parties involved.
- We believe that most equity violations are accidents and that the person who might have committed this violation did not intend to hurt anyone. That is why it is most likely that issues can be resolved with awareness, an apology and the commitment to be more careful in the future. Therefore a mediation most of the time will be enough to resolve the issue.
- Unfortunately, there might occur cases in which all of the above will not solve the issue. In those cases, more serious sanctions might be needed. The Equity Officer might then decide to do things such as prevent people from breaking, cut people from the tab, make sure the subject and object of the complaint do not have to interact with each other anymore, or in the worst case expel people from (parts of) the tournament. The sanction will be proportionate to the severity of the equity violation. In this process, the Equity Officer will be discrete and keep all issues confidential. The decisions from the Equity Officer are final.
Since we debate about a lot of different and important issues, it can be possible that some people are closely involved in a certain topic. Therefore it is important for everyone to be sensitive in the debates. We can never know what is or was going on in someone’s life, so please do take that into account during your speeches. Furthermore, if anyone knows a topic that would be entirely uncomfortable to discuss in a debate for them, please contact the Equity Officer before the tournament. This way we can try as much as possible avoid setting upsetting motions.
It is possible for speakers to opt-out of a debate for physical or mental issues. If this happens, the team partner will give both the speeches and will receive the higher of the two speaker scores. The scores for both the speeches and the position in the debate will be rewarded to the team. The speaker that opt-out will be rewarded 0 speaker points. In line with the EUDC guidelines, each team can use the opt-out option twice in the inrounds and regardless in the out rounds. If this opportunity is used more often during the rounds, the team will lose the possibility to break.
Preferred gender pronoun policy
The preferred gender pronoun policy exists to make sure everyone feels welcome at the tournament, especially those who might struggle with their gender identity. This policy allows both debaters and judges to be referred to in the way they feel most comfortable with. The policy is easy to implement and shall be demonstrated during the equity briefing, but it is also outlined below;
- The chair of the round should introduce themselves by saying their name and preferred pronoun. For example; “Hi, my name is Linsey and I would prefer to be referred to as she or they”.
- Afterwards, the chair should invite the judges in the panel to do the same.
- When everyone from the panel is introduced. The chair should ask all the teams for their speaking orders and preferred pronouns. After this, the debate will start.
A few more things are important to note regarding the preferred gender pronoun policy. First
of all, speakers are not required to state a preference. This means that if someone introduces themselves without stating a gender pronoun the chair should not actively ask for this or push speakers to give their preferred pronoun. Secondly, we encourage the use of non-gendered language, for example; ‘panel’, ‘speaker’ or ‘the government whip’. Last but not least, in case a mistake is made in the use of pronouns, please apologise and remember these things can happen but should be avoided as much as possible.
It might be the case that, due to personal reasons, you might feel uncomfortable to be or debate in the same room as someone else who attends the tournament. In these cases it is possible to clash this person. You can clash someone by letting me know that you want to clash this person.
You can clash someone at any point during the tournament. Please note that the possibility to clash someone is a tool to make people feel more welcome and safe at the tournament. We will not ask people for a reason if they clash someone, but please do not clash people because you had a bad call or think a judge is not a good judge. If you have issues with quality of judges you can talk to the CA-team about this or fill in feedback.
Outside the debates
Equity is not only important during the debates, but also at all other moments during the weekend where there will be interaction with one another. This includes, but is not limited to mealtime, travelling between venues, crash, social and the time in between rounds.
There are two important aspects we want to emphasise. First of all, the social. The use of alcohol or drugs is never an excuse for commit equity violations. If you know that after a certain amount of alcohol, you might violate the equity policy, we encourage you not to drink so much. All actions taken under the influence of alcohol or drugs are still your own responsibility. Also, keep in mind that pressuring others to drink alcohol can also be seen as harassment. Therefore it can also be an equity violation.
Secondly, please keep in mind that your crash host is very kind for letting you stay at their place. They are definitely not obliged to do so, so please take their wishes into account in your behaviour at their place. This also includes respecting their privacy, not taking anyone back with you and be back at the place at the agreed upon time.
We hope that the Equity Officer will be the person least needed at the tournament and are confident that we will barely need this equity policy. However, in the case that any issues occur we will follow this policy. We want to wish everyone the best of luck during the competition and we look forward to a lovely weekend.
Lund Open 2020