Statement on Exclusions from BurnT Events
BurnT strives to hold its events to the 10 principles of Burning Man, with Radical Inclusion being a key principle that we pride ourselves on. Unfortunately, that is not always possible and there are sometimes situations where some people need to be excluded from events in order to maintain a safe and enjoyable space for others.
In the past, deciding on who should be excluded from an event has been at the sole discretion of the event lead, based generally on personal knowledge, community comments and other intangible things. While the number of people excluded has historically been low (under 5 total), this did give the impression to some that Radical Inclusion was not being followed and lack of transparency didn’t help.
Since the BurnT Board overhaul and expansion last year, a lot of new people have joined with the desire to better organise and provide process to BurnT actions. The Board has swelled from an initial 5 people to 13 and processes are being put in place to better organise, provide transparency and share knowledge within the community. One of those steps and processes has been the creation of the Code of Conduct and the Conduct Committee in order to more clearly outline expected behaviour of participants and to install a process for investigating reports of misconduct.
You can read the Code of Conduct and about the Conduct Committee here http://burntoronto.ca/connect/conduct-committee/code-of-conduct/
Criteria for Exclusion
Based on the Code of Conduct, criteria were laid out to clarify when someone should be excluded from an event. This is a complicated matter and one that BurnT Board members are keen to clarify and revise to make it as inclusive and safe as possible, but for the purposes of Hyperborea, the criteria for bans are:
1. If a person has been charged with or convicted of an offence that can put our event or participants at risk. This includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault, physical harm, harassment, and stalking.
2. If a person exhibits any behaviour that would put the ability to hold the event at risk. This includes, but is not limited to making threats against the legal entity, community members, or event organizers.
If a BurnT Board member feels like a person that is likely to attend the event breaches either of the above points, that person passes a motion to the rest of the board for a vote.
If Board members feel there is ambiguity in the evidence, they can request an investigation by the Conduct Committee. However, as noted in the Conduct Committee operating documents, the Conduct Committee will not investigate cases where law enforcement is involved, and any recommendations they make are then passed back to the BurnT Board for voting on a final outcome. The responsibility for a ban lies solely with the members of the BurnT Board.
If it has been deemed that the person is to be excluded from the event, and they demonstrate an intention to attend the event, they are contacted privately to explain the ban and the reason for it. Information on bans is not publicly posted out of respect for the individuals involved.
Bans can either be for a single event, or lifetime bans. If a person has been banned for a single event, the Board will review the ban prior to the following event.
Excluding people from events is not something that anybody enjoys, or having imposed on them, and the BurnT Board is open to review of some cases if the banned person feels suitable growth and personal development has occurred since the initial ban.
It should be noted that single-event bans are unlikely to be reversed due to the time consumed in reviewing ban cases, however people with lifetime bans can request their ban to be reviewed once per calendar year.
As no previous process existed around misconduct, there is a feeling that incidents had previously gone unreported and historical knowledge was not being maintained.
The intended purpose of the Conduct Committee is to quietly and impartially investigate complaints of misconduct from the community, and report concerning behaviour to the BurnT Board for consideration.
You can read more about the Conduct Committee, its Mission Statement and Procedures of Operation on the BurnT website here – http://burntoronto.ca/connect/conduct-committee/
Disputes & Feedback
The BurnT Board is open to and encourages direct communication with participants to resolve issues. We are also aware that these guidelines may not be perfect and are keen to hear feedback on how they might be improved in order to better serve our community.
The BurnT Board members can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org