Our Commitment to a Safer Conference The BECAUSE Planning Committee is committed to creating an environment where all participants feel safe and comfortable and are able to participate. In an effort to ensure this to the best of our ability, we ask that you read and respect the statements below.
Community Agreements for Participation Sometimes we might feel brave or vulnerable, or we might feel so excited that we just can’t hide it. Recognizing the unique learning experiences that will happen over the course of this conference, we ask that all participants actively engage in creating a safe space. As individuals and as a collective, we can support one another by following these guidelines:
Remember that we are all learners and teachers. We all have something meaningful to contribute!
Respect confidentiality. If someone shares a story that really speaks to you, share the lesson from that story but not that person’s identity or details of the story unless you have permission.
Do self and/or collective care as needed so that you may be present. If you need assistance, please reach out to a volunteer or direct a friend to get a volunteer’s attention.
Acknowledge that stereotypes exist and are harmful. A presenter or participant might name and discuss a painful stereotype. It’s okay to have these conversations. Break the silence.
If you do not understand a term or feel confused, ask questions. If you do not feel comfortable asking during the session, ask the presenter if you can email them later.
Think about whose voices are being heard and whose are not. It’s great to be an active participant, but remember to take a look around you. How can you support a welcoming environment for more to be heard, especially those most marginalized?
Feel encouraged to take risks. The most authentic learning we do is when we take risks and push ourselves out of our comfort zones—together.
* Assume good intent, and be accountable if someone gets hurt or your words or actions have an unintended effect. If you feel unsafe or notice someone acting unsafe, please notify a conference volunteer or visit the registration table.
Pronouns & Self-Determination: We encourage BECAUSE participants to refrain from making assumptions about others’ sexual orientation, gender identity, or other cultural and social identities. Out of respect for gender diversity, please use conference participants’ desired pronouns. If you are unsure of someone’s gender identity and preferred pronoun (i.e. she, he, they, ze, or no pronoun) please respectfully ask how you should refer to that individual.
All Gender Restrooms: There are two (2) all-gender, multi-stall restrooms available on the 3rd floor of Coffman Memorial Union. And two (2) single-stall restrooms are available on the 2nd floor (237) and Basement Level (69). If you need assistance finding a restroom, please ask a BECAUSE volunteer.
If you need bathroom assistance or require a transfer table, please ask at the registration desk for directions to the bathroom with a transfer table or an Access Team Member.
"Chill" Zones: The 1st, 2nd, and Basement levels of Coffman all have relaxation spaces available for use throughout the floors. While there are no designated “quiet rooms”, these floors have an abundance of chairs, couches, and open areas that will be “quiet” throughout the weekend. Please be respectful of these spaces!
Sex Positive Statement: The BECAUSE Planning Committee supports sex-positive perspectives and advocates for our event to be a safer space for open dialogue. Sex positivity refers to the notion that sex, or non-sexual relationships can be a positive force both in personal development and society. Consensual sexual expression should be respected regardless of the form that expression takes. It is not appropriate to judge others’ consensual choices regarding whether or not someone is having sex, how to have sex, whom to have sex with, and how one defines their sexual orientation and identity. It is equally important to focus on the positive aspects of sexuality, like sexual pleasure and/or the choice not to engage in sexual activity, and not just on disease prevention, prevention of sexual assault, and unwanted pregnancy. It is also important to not focus solely on sexual relationships as the highest form of partnership, but make room for all kinds of bi+ relationships and partnerships that are not (only) based on sex. Sexuality is largely a social construct and we can learn how we wish to define ourselves and ask for folks to respect our self-identifications.
Scent-Free Request: Please refrain from using scented products while at the conference. People with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) have severe allergic reactions to many of the chemicals commonly found in scented products. Fortunately, there are numerous scent-free alternatives we can wear. We do not expect attendees to purchase new products, but we ask that you at least use the least scented products that you own and refrain from wearing perfumes and colognes while at the conference.
While we cannot guarantee a totally “scent-free” environment, each of us can contribute to making sure everyone is comfortable by not wearing scented products.
Photography & Flash Request: Please ask before taking any pictures as not all participants will be comfortable with their picture being taken. In addition, if you do take pictures, please refrain from using flash as this could be problematic for people with light sensitivities.