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MPSA Anti-Harassment Policy

(Adopted 4/6/2017; Revised 8/31/2018; Revised 8/30/2019)

The Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) is committed to upholding the highest standards for respectful, professional norms and behavior and to fostering an inclusive climate.  Consequently, harassment and unethical behavior at MPSA events is considered to be a serious form of misconduct.

The following Anti-Harassment Policy, modeled closely on the American Political Science Association’s Anti-Harassment Policy, outlines expectations for all who attend and participate in MPSA events and meetings.  

1. Purpose  

MPSA is committed to fostering a safe, inclusive, respectful and welcoming environment for all members and participants, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, religion or belief.  “Participant” in this policy refers to anyone present at MPSA meetings or other sponsored events, including staff, contractors, vendors, exhibitors, venue staff, MPSA members and all other participants.

 2.  Expected Behavior

All participants at MPSA meetings or events are expected to abide by this Anti-Harassment Policy in all meeting venues, including ancillary events and official and unofficial social gatherings.  Compliance with this policy includes the following:

  • Abiding by the norms of professional respect that are necessary to promote the conditions for free academic interchange 
  • Agreement to alert relevant MPSA staff or security personnel if a situation arises where someone might be in imminent danger

 3.  Unacceptable Behavior

Behaviors that violate the Anti-Harassment Policy include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Threats or actions that cause or threaten personal harm
  • Threats or actions that cause or threaten professional harm, punishment or retaliation
  • Intimidating, harassing, abusive, derogatory or demeaning speech or actions
  • Prejudicial actions or comments that coerce others, foment broad hostility or otherwise undermine professional equity or the principles of free academic exchange
  • Unwelcome solicitation of emotional or physical intimacy
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Sustained, unprofessional disruption of talks or other events
  • Other intentionally disruptive behavior

 4. Reporting Procedure for the Anti-Harassment Policy

If harassment is observed or reported to any MPSA staff member, Council member, conference attendee, or venue employee, and there is a question of immediate physical danger, steps should be taken to ensure immediate safety of all attendees and staff, regardless of any complaint procedure that may follow.

 Participants who believe they have experienced or witnessed harassment or have been the target of unprofessional conduct, in violation of MPSA Anti-Harassment Policy, have two options. The first is to consult with the Ombuds of the MPSA, who is available for confidential consultation about a wide range of concerns, including but not limited to sexual harassment. The second is to submit a complaint using an online form or emailing cope@mpsanet.org. This can be done confidentially. An individual needing guidance on making a complaint can contact the MPSA Executive Director, Membership Director, or Conference Director. All complaints made are referred to the Committee on Professional Ethics (COPE).