This Code of Conduct sets out the standard of conduct expected of delegates at CASA (Canadian Alliance of Students Associations) Conferences, Official Events, and Privately Organized Events. All Conference/Official Event attendees must review and agree to abide by this Code as a condition of attendance at any CASA Conference and/or Official Event. Violations of this Code of Conduct will not be tolerated, and may result in disciplinary action.
This Code regulates conduct during the course of CASA Conferences and/or Official Events, as well as Privately Organized Events in the course of a CASA Conference or Official Event. This Code applies to all attendees, Board members, CASA employees, venders, presenters, and all other persons attending CASA Conferences, Official Events, and Privately Organized Events.
While the attendee specifically acknowledges and agrees that CASA is not liable or responsible for delegate misconduct outside of official CASA Conference activities and Official Events, CASA reserves the right to address violations of this Code that take place at Privately Organized Events during the course of any CASA Conference or Official Event that is clearly geared toward Conference or Official Event delegates (such as “networking suites”).
Role of the Code of Conduct Officers
Each year, two individuals will be appointed as the contact persons for the purpose of receiving and addressing confidentially, insofar as is reasonably possible, any Complaints regarding violations of this Code, and for ensuring compliance with the Code more generally [the “Officer” or “Officers”]. The Officer’s contact information (i.e. phone, email etc.) will be provided to all attendees at the outset of each Conference/Official Event.
Officers shall ensure that they are always fit to fulfill their role throughout any Conference, CASA Official Event, or Privately Organized Event. This includes ensuring that they are not impaired at any point while acting in their capacity as a Code of Conduct Officer. In the case that an Officer is unable to perform their duties as outlined in this Policy or the Operating Procedure for any reason, they will defer their responsibilities to another Officer, a member of the Board designated by the Board Chair, or a CASA staff member designated by the Executive Director.
Officers will be required to go through a brief orientation with staff shortly after they are appointed to understand their role and what is expected of them during the conference.
“Board” means the CASA Board of Directors.
“Conference” includes CASA’s annual conferences, as well as CASA-related business activities, including, but not limited to: committee meetings, plenary sessions, lobbying meetings, or any session relating to the affairs of CASA.
“CASA Official Event” means an event that is endorsed or hosted by CASA. It does not include events or meetings that are organized privately by individuals attending at CASA Conferences/events.
“Privately Organized Event” means an event that is privately organized by individuals attending CASA Conferences or events. This could include, but is not limited to, spontaneous excursions, hotel gatherings, or visits at a local bar/pub.
“Substance Misuse” means consumption of substances to the point of impairment or to a level which, in the sole discretion of the Officer or Board, is excessive.
“Substance Use” refers to the consumption of legal or prescribed substances that is acceptable to the extent that a reasonable person would consume in the same circumstances. The standard of conduct is centred around safe and responsible usage.
Enumerated Grounds for Violation of the Code of Conduct
The following is a list of actions that may constitute a violation of this Code of Conduct.
1. Violation of Human Rights
CASA supports and abides by the principles articulated in the various pieces of the Human Rights legislation applicable in the Provinces in which it meets and operates. It supports diversity, and mandates equal treatment of all without discrimination on the basis of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, social origin, social condition, ethnic origin, source of income, political belief, affiliation or activity, religious belief, association, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, same-sex partnership status, family status and physical or mental disability [each an “ enumerated ground”].
Attendees will not engage in behaviour that, in any way, discriminates, demeans, or treats other people adversely on the basis of any of the enumerated grounds. Examples of discriminatory treatment may include inappropriate use of language during CASA Conferences/Official events, denial of a benefit based on any enumerated ground and/or any other conduct which in any way differentiates or distinguishes attendees on the basis of any enumerated ground.
Attendees shall not harass anyone on the basis of any enumerated ground. ‘Harassment’ for the purpose of this Code of Conduct includes a course of unwelcome conduct or comment that is known, or reasonably known, to be unwelcome.
This includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment. Examples of sexual harassment may include:
- Unwelcome physical contact
- Unwelcome sexual remarks or jokes which denigrate one’s gender
- Unwelcome sexual solicitations or advances
- Displaying derogatory materials such as pictures etc. that denigrate a gender
2. Substance Use
During CASA Official events, as well as Privately Organized Events organized during the course of a CASA conference, substance use is permitted to the extent that a reasonable person would consume in the same circumstances. The standard of conduct is centred on reasonable and responsible drinking. No one is permitted to attend CASA Conference plenary or committee meetings while impaired.
Substance misuse, however, will not be tolerated in the any capacity. Any person found to be engaging in substance misuse may, in the discretion of the Board, be suspended from the Conference or Official Event without reimbursement of any registration or other conference related fees, and/or may be banned from future attendance at CASA-related events and Conferences.
Attendees who become aware of substance misuse during the course of a CASA Conference or other Official Event must report that misuse to the Officer immediately. The Officer will take appropriate steps to address any such conduct.
3. Criminal Behaviour
Attendees shall not engage in any conduct that violates the Criminal Code of Canada, nor any other federal or provincial laws that apply in the circumstances. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to harassment, assault, sexual assault, the improper use of controlled substances, or possessing a weapon.
4. Business Practices
CASA, as a non-profit, non-partisan, federal lobbying organization, mandates a high standard of ethical business practice and integrity among its delegates. All delegates, staff, observers, and guests must conduct business in an ethical manner that promotes honesty, fairness, consideration, and enlightened professionalism. An infringement of business best practice conduct includes, but is not limited to, knowingly misrepresenting, for personal gain or otherwise, an issue of importance to the membership/other attendees at a Conference or Official Event.
Grievance Process and Reporting
Those who become aware of violations of this Code of Conduct must report that breach of conduct to the Officer immediately. The Officer will take appropriate steps to address any such conduct.
Where someone believes they have experienced discrimination or harassment by another individual, that individual should:
- a) If the attendee feels safe and comfortable in doing so, raise their concern and attempt to resolve it directly with the individual involved; AND/OR
- b) Bring their concern to the attention of the Officer either personally, by phone or by email.
2. Complaints Process
Upon receipt of a complaint (whether written or verbal) by an individual, the Officer will take appropriate steps to investigate and address the matter. These steps may include, but are not limited to:
- Where a verbal complaint has been received, asking the complainant to put their concerns in writing;
- Requesting that the respondent reply to the complaint in writing;
- Investigating the allegations of discrimination/harassment;
- Meeting with the concerned parties;
- Mediating the dispute;
- Involving the Board for the purpose of suspending the perpetrator from the Conference and any other disciplinary action which the Board, in its discretion, may decide, and/or;
- If the circumstances require, the Officer may make interim orders to protect the safety and health of the complainant and other attendees, including temporary suspensions from specific spaces or facilities pending the resolution of the complaint, any of which must be reported immediately to the Board.
3. Enforcement of the Code of Conduct
Reports regarding the violation of the Code of Conduct will be reviewed by the Board of Directors and Code of Conduct Officers.
Behaviours considered violations of this Code of Conduct could result in various repercussions, ranging from a verbal or written notice, suspension, or other disciplinary measures. More than two written notices of violations, or any criminal behaviour committed at a CASA conference, will result in an immediate suspension from the conference, and all participation in CASA events for that individual will be revoked while a proper investigation is undertaken.
In circumstances where an attendee is suspended from a Conference, that attendee shall be required to leave the Conference and the Conference facilities immediately upon being requested to do so.
In such event, the attendee shall not be refunded any registration or conference related fees, nor shall CASA bear responsibility for assuming any costs associated with such early departure - whether arising from the requirement to alter travel arrangements or otherwise.