Code of Conduct


The RASC Virtual General Assembly 2023 provides a safe environment for everyone.  All participants must adhere to the following policies:

Anti-Harassment Policy

This policy applies to and protects all members, guests, staff, contractors, exhibitors and others (collectively, “Participants”) who attend or participate in any meeting or other activity of The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (the “RASC” or the “Society”). It is the policy of the RASC that all Participants in the Society or Centre meetings and other activities will enjoy an environment free from all forms of harassment and discrimination. This includes being free from retaliation for making a complaint or participating in an investigation of a complaint made under this policy. The RASC is committed to providing an atmosphere that encourages free expression and the exchange of ideas. In pursuit of that principle, the RASC is dedicated to equality of opportunity and treatment for all Participants, regardless of sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, age, marital status, disabilities, or any other characteristic that is not related to scientific merit. These are collectively referred to in the policy as “Protected Characteristics”. Harassment, sexual or otherwise, is misconduct that undermines the integrity of the RASC and is disruptive of Society activities. Such misconduct is prohibited, and violators of this policy will be subject to discipline.

Definition of Harassment and Discrimination

Harassment and discrimination is denigrating or hostile conduct that is directed to or is based on Protected Characteristics of an individual or group, and that can reasonably be expected to cause humiliation or embarrassment. It includes, but is not limited to, the following: epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, threatening, intimidating, bullying or hostile acts, denigrating jokes, and display or circulation of written or graphic material containing any of the foregoing content. As is set out in Section G of this policy, retaliation and bad faith complaints are also violations of this policy and are prohibited.

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment means verbal or physical behaviour of a sexual nature that a person knows or ought reasonably to know is unwelcome, including sexual advances or requests for sexual favours. Behaviour and language that are welcome or acceptable to one person may be unwelcome or offensive to another. Consequently, individuals must exercise good judgment to ensure that their words and actions are respectful of others.

Emergency Action

If, in the opinion of the Board of Directors of the Society, a serious emergency situation occurs where:

(i) there is good reason to believe that there has been a violation of the anti-harassment policy, and
(ii) the nature or consequences of such apparent violation are sufficiently serious as to warrant immediate action, then the Board of Directors of the Society, as appropriate, may take immediate action for the purpose of preventing a further violation or further serious harm. Such action, which will be considered preventive and precautionary rather than disciplinary, may include
(i) an order that the Alleged Offender not engage in specified conduct,
(ii) removal of an Alleged Offender from a Centre or Society event, or
(iii) such other action as may be necessary in the circumstances.

Before taking such action, if it is reasonable and possible in the circumstances, the Alleged Offender will be informed of the alleged violation of the policy and given the opportunity to present their version of events and their arguments as to whether emergency action should be taken.