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Code of Conduct

Introduction

The Green Chemistry Teaching and Learning Community (GCTLC) online platform is a community-based space that aims to connect green chemistry educators, leaders, and enthusiasts from across the world. This platform has been developed by a Leadership Committee that includes representatives from K-12, higher education, non-profits, and industry, as well as information management experts. The Code of Conduct was created by the members of the Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Respect (DEBR) Subcommittee of the GCTLC Leadership Committee to inform, protect, and sustain community spaces for all users across the platform.

 

The core mission of the DEBR Subcommittee is to recommend ways to create and sustain a sense of belonging on the GCTLC platform. As a subcommittee, we have defined this to mean that users of the GCTLC are:

  • Representatives for the community as a whole, both on the platform and off the platform, and are expected to treat it and everyone with respect;
  • Valued and respected for who they are, and feel welcome to share their ideas from their own unique perspectives and experiences;
  • Supported in their goals and ideas;
  • Comfortable challenging systemic issues and biases;
  • Able to easily find mentors and role models; and
  • Appreciative of and value the differences between people. 

Throughout this Code of Conduct, whenever we refer to a “sense of belonging”, we are referring to the above ideals.

 

By participating on this platform in any way, you have agreed to uphold the standards of behaviour outlined in this Code of Conduct. Please note that this document is separate from the Terms and Conditions of Use but ties intimately to it. Users must agree to both documents before they can register an account on the GCTLC platform.

 

If you have any questions or comments regarding this document, please contact the Conduct Administrator at conduct@gctlc.org. This Code of Conduct was uploaded to the platform on 20/07/2023, and is considered a living document. The last updates made to this document were on 10/01/2024.

 

Purpose

The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to:

 

Uphold our community’s mission, vision, core values and community philosophy.

Links to each of the items above are available here:

 

Protect the safety of users and the platform. We aim to ensure this by:

  • Making participation in the community inclusive and free of harassment for everyone;
  • Assuring community members that they will feel safe and supported, and will be treated equitably;
  • Enforcing and regulating conduct with transparency and authenticity;
  • Making sure that the platform is welcoming and inclusive for all; and
  • Providing the best possible user experience and maintaining the long-term functionality of the platform.

 

Foster a sense of belonging on the platform to ensure we build an inclusive community together.

 

Establish expectations and guidelines for acceptable and unacceptable behaviours, the reporting and consequences of unacceptable behaviours, and navigating the appeals process. We aim to ensure this by:

  • Providing guidelines for users, moderators, and leaders on the platform;
  • Defining roles and behavioural expectations for all users on the platform, and requiring users to agree to these guidelines upon registering;
  • Making clear the intention, spirit, and tone of collaboration, ethics, and communication present on the platform by encouraging collegial and good faith discourse;
  • Accepting users’ different backgrounds and communication styles; and
  • Enforcing the Code of Conduct equitably.

 

Standards of Conduct: Expected Behaviours

The GCTLC is a community platform and shared collaborative space. Users of the GCTLC are expected to adhere to guidelines for acceptable standards of conduct, including but not limited to:

 

Empathy and cultural awareness

The GCTLC is a community of users from diverse backgrounds, geographic regions and countries, ethnicities, races, gender identities, and more. Every user is therefore expected to:

  • Assume that others are writing with empathy and the best of intentions;
  • Be welcoming, non-judgmental, empathetic, and kind;
  • Understand that not everyone will speak the same language or use the same vocabulary, and that language is constantly evolving;
  • In conversations with others, to approach language or vocabulary differences respectfully and from a place of learning;
  • Focus on what’s best not just for them as an individual but for the whole community; and
  • Respect others’ backgrounds and experiences, including different cultural norms.

 

Guidelines for discourse

When participating in discussions and collaborative group spaces on the GCTLC, users should:

  • Actively listen and be mindful of the space they occupy (i.e., avoid dominating discussions and make sure to give space for other voices);
  • Give and gracefully accept constructive feedback;
  • Be willing to listen to alternate views;
  • Actively open the dialogue to make room for improvement and growth;
  • Share their green chemistry ideas, thoughts, and experiences freely;
  • Collaborate and work together with the community; and
  • Try to contribute something back to the space for everything they take away.

 

Leadership/role model behaviours

All users on the GCTLC are expected to act as role models and leaders in the community. As such, users are expected to:

  • Lead by example and hold themselves accountable;
    • “Accountability means being responsible for yourself, your intentions, words, and actions. It means entering a space with good intentions, but understanding that aligning your intent with action is the true test of commitment.”[1]
  • Accept responsibility, apologize to those impacted by mistakes, and learn from the experience;
  • Make others feel included in conversations, discussions, and participation;
  • Bring their perspectives, listen actively, and encourage others to do the same;
  • Acknowledge that healthy disagreement or differences of opinions are normal, and to keep conversations and interactions respectful and professional; and
  • Adopt a growth mindset: keep their minds open to learning new things (not just green chemistry subject matter).

 

Administration

The administrators, group leaders, forum moderators, and peer reviewers on the GCTLC work to uphold the behavioural expectations above. Many of them are volunteers and generously provide their time, expertise, and service. As such, we ask all users to:

  • Respect the leaders, moderators, and administrators of the platform and the work they do in maintaining and improving platform use and function; and
  • Use the reporting and/or appeals process (see “Reporting of Prohibited Behaviours” and “Appeals Process” below) to address and/or discuss concerns that arise.

 

Standards of Conduct: Prohibited Behaviours

The following behaviours are prohibited on the GCTLC online platform. The behaviours outlined below are not intended to be an exhaustive list and users of the platform understand that behaviours deemed inappropriate will not be tolerated and will result in consequences (see “Consequences of Prohibited Behaviour” below), even if they are not explicitly outlined here.

 

Hurtful/harmful behaviours

  • Discrimination on the basis of a person’s identity/identities is strictly prohibited.
    • Identities include, but are not limited to: sex, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, Indigenous identity, invisible and/or visible disabilities, cultural and/or religious upbringing, nationality, socio-economic status, body size and appearance, and/or intersections of these identities
    • Discrimination means personal insults, slurs, profanity directed at a person, derogatory comments or posts, unsolicited commentary made to or about a person, harassment of an individual or group of people, and other related behaviours
    • Harassment is not tolerated, including, but not limited to: in public or private, online or in-person, sexual in nature (e.g. the use of sexualised imagery or language, unwelcome sexual advances and/or attention, etc.), trolling (e.g. provoking others into displaying emotional responses, or manipulating others' perception, gaslighting, etc.), passive-aggressive behaviour, bullying, and other related behaviours.
    • Sharing other people’s personal and/or private information without explicit permission (“doxxing”) is strictly prohibited. This includes but is not limited to: personal online or offline addresses, phone numbers, social media information of users that they have not shared themselves, etc.
    • Sharing private content without explicit permission is strictly prohibited. This includes but is not limited to: emails or other communications sent privately between users or posted to other online forums.
    • The use of violent imagery and/or language of any kind, towards another person/people, or in general on the platform, is strictly prohibited.

 

Off-topic discussions, posts, or commentary

    • Commentary and discussions which can reasonably be deemed irrelevant to green chemistry education are prohibited.
    • Posting messages or uploading documents irrelevant to green chemistry education is not allowed.
    • Unless otherwise approved, posting the following types of messages is not permitted: commercial product advertisements, promotion of events or services irrelevant to green chemistry education, self-promotion for financial gain or similar purposes, etc.
    • Spam messages, such as those made by bots, are not permitted.

 

Legal infringements

    • Users are prohibited from distributing files, articles, or other information subject to trademark, copyright, or other proprietary rights. The only exception to this rule is with the explicit permission of the owner of the rights. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Use document for more details.
    • Users are prohibited from engaging in any other form of illegal activity on the platform, including activities outlined in the Terms and Conditions of Use document.

 

Advocating for or encouraging any of the above behaviour(s) is prohibited. Lastly, any other conduct which can reasonably be deemed inappropriate in a professional setting is not permitted.

 

Reporting of Prohibited Behaviours

Users are encouraged to report instances of inappropriate behaviour as outlined in the section above. All reports by users will be treated anonymously (unless otherwise requested) and evaluated on a case-by-case basis. All reports will be taken seriously. Users who make reports are not obligated to, nor will they be asked to, address their report with the accused. There are no consequences for a user making a report in good faith.

GCTLC administrators and leaders (including group and forum leaders, moderators, reviewers, editors, etc.) have a proactive role in addressing instances of unacceptable behaviour(s) and are able to remove spam comments, inappropriate posts or comments, commercial advertisements, and any other inappropriate or irrelevant comments or posts. If a post has not proactively been addressed within 3 days by a GCTLC administrator, please follow the steps below:

 

  1. To report a comment, post, or other instance of prohibited behaviour(s) (see the section above), first complete the reporting form here.
  2. In the form, choose one of the following options to specify the nature of your report:
    1. “Technical Issue”: issues with platform technical function and use (e.g. issues logging in or accessing your account, inability to post or comment, resource upload issues, broken links, fields that do not save properly, images that don’t load, etc.)
    2. “Spam Comment/Post”: comments that are not harmful, but are irrelevant to the platform and/or promotional in nature. See “off-topic posts, discussions, or commentary” above (e.g. advertisements, irrelevant comments or posts, nonsensical comments or posts, etc.)
    3. “Inappropriate and/or Harmful Behaviours”: comments, posts, and/or general behaviours that are harmful to others. See “hurtful/harmful behaviours” above (e.g. discrimination, harassment, stalking, violent imagery, etc.)
    4. “Copyright, Trademark, or Intellectual Property Infringement”: any content on the GCTLC (including but not limited to Learning Objects, shared files or resources, forum comments, and job postings) that violates copyright, trademark, or intellectual property laws or regulations (at any level).
    5. “Other”: any other concerns that are not covered by the categories above
  3. Fill out the remaining details of the report and submit the form. If you have any questions about the form, please contact admin@gctlc.org.
  4. Submitting this form will automatically send you a confirmation email and will send an email notification to either the Chief Moderator, Chief Editor, Conduct Administrator, or site administrator (depending on the issue at hand).
  5. In the case where your report concerns the Conduct Administrator or (a) member(s) of the DEBR Subcommittee, please email the site administrator directly at admin@gctlc.org
  6. Please allow some time for your report to be addressed. You can email the Conduct Administrator at conduct@gctlc.org any time for a status update on your report or with any additional concerns.

 

We reserve the right to contact outside agencies (e.g. law enforcement), if warranted based on the severity of the situation.

 

Consequences of Prohibited Behaviour

In all cases where a report is made against a user, a record of the report is kept on file. As a result of engaging in unacceptable behaviour(s), users can be subject to consequences. These consequences are at the discretion of the reviewers of the report, and can include, but are not limited to:

 

  • A warning email to the user from GCTLC administrators and/or leaders, the Conduct Administrator, or the DEBR subcommittee;
  • Escalating a report to the DEBR subcommittee if the user’s unacceptable behaviour is not addressed;
  • Restricting or banning user access to groups;
  • Restricting or banning a user from administrative roles (e.g. moderators, forum and group leaders, reviewers, etc.);
  • Blocking a user account temporarily from accessing the GCTLC platform; or
  • Banning the user from the GCLTC online platform entirely.

 

We reserve the right to ban the user from the GCTLC platform. We additionally reserve the right to reconsider or re-evaluate a report made against a user at any time for any reason. Finally, we reserve the right to inform third-party individuals or organizations (including organizers of virtual or in-person conferences or events) about users banned from the GCTLC platform, especially if there is a risk to any partnership or collaboration between the GCTLC and the third-party individual or organization.

 

Appeals Process

Users can appeal reports of their unacceptable behaviors up to one month after they have received notification of an infraction. To appeal a report, please use the following procedure:

 

  1. Submit a written appeal by email to conduct@gctlc.org. The user’s email should include all relevant information to understand the appeal.
  2. The user will receive an email notification that confirms their appeal has been received by the DEBR subcommittee, who will oversee their appeal.
  3. Users must allow one month for the DEBR subcommittee to review their appeal. The subcommittee will either accept or reject the appeal on a case-by-case basis, upon which further action may be requested of the user.

 

Note that the GCTLC Appeals Process is a not a legal process or forum. The Administrators (including Beyond Benign) reserve all rights to manage the GCTLC in accordance with its internal policies and any applicable laws. 

 

[1] E. Ahenkorah (she/her), “Safe and Brave Spaces Don’t Work (and What You Can Do Instead)”, https://medium.com/@elise.k.ahen/safe-and-brave-spaces-dont-work-and-what-you-can-do-instead-f265aa339aff, (accessed 11 July 2023).