Update on New Policies and Expert Support

As an update, we have reviewed our policy with several professionals experienced in writing, implementing, and enforcing policies for handling harassment complaints. Our policy reiterates our “zero tolerance” for offenses and makes clear the consequences for the various levels of offense, including when offenses will result in automatic removal and banishment from our events.  We seek to ensure that our policy is properly enacted and enforced consistently and that complaints are handled quickly. 

Our strengthened policy also gives more specific parameters for rapidly responding to complaints. We have met with a wide variety of experts on a range of important issues, including by conducting the first session of our promised workshops with our experts and looking forward to our continued work and engagement with them. 

To our extended community, we reiterate that we are in full agreement with all who have commented that trust is earned not through words and policies but by a proven track record of action and implementation over time.

We are therefore excited to announce the formation of our community council. While still a work in progress, it currently includes highly qualified members representing a broad and diverse cross-section of our community, and we are actively seeking even more qualified people to join. Each member will be subject to appropriate confidentiality agreements to protect anyone reporting harassment, and the name and identity of anyone submitting a complaint will have the highest confidentiality. Through this council, we will be able to quickly and confidentially receive, evaluate, and investigate any report of inappropriate conduct and ensure our policies are enforced.  As a result of our commitment to continuous progress and improvement, our work will never be done, and we look forward to watching the council grow and evolve over the years to come.

Because it is also important that our League of Utah Volunteers (LUV) is active throughout the year—not only during peak events at FanX—our community council intends to interface with and further mobilize LUV to safeguard and protect our community. This will affect many events beyond the purview of FanX, meaning that our influence will be felt through better, safer, and more inclusive environments at many other events that would otherwise not have the protection of a consistent and well-thought-out response to harassment and bullying issues. Importantly, the council and our LUV organization have the full support and attention of both of our founders, Bryan Brandenburg and Dan Farr. 

In another key step, we have implemented an online form that allows participants to easily submit complaints (even anonymously) of inappropriate conduct that we will handle quickly, efficiently, and confidentially through our community council.  We are also taking steps to ensure that every guest and participant is aware of our program and progress, including by holding a panel on consent at our 2018 conference.

And lastly, we promise to have signage around the event promoting “Consent Is Key.” It will be included in our program guide, our website, on social media, and highlighted before our panels. It will become our new mantra as we move forward to make this the most progressive convention in the industry with regards to safety and harassment.

We invite and challenge all within our reach to join with us. Let’s use the language of learning and inclusiveness to take our FanX culture and environment into a higher level of safety, comfort, fulfillment, and fun for everyone involved. We thank you all for your continued support.