Conferences bring a large group of diverse people together. Even though we all have a love of costumes in common, we come from varying backgrounds. Remember that someone that you see only once or twice a year or have only just met, may have a different comfort level – verbally, visually, and physically – than you do.
Any action or behavior that causes significant interference with convention operations, excessive discomfort to other attendees, or adversely affects the convention’s relationship with its guests, its venues or the public is strictly forbidden and may result in permanent suspension of membership.
What is harassment?
Harassment is generally any behavior that causes discomfort or alarms or threatens another person or group.
Here are some examples of harassment:
- Offensive verbal comments about sex, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, sexuality or marital status.
- Offensive verbal comments about physical or mental disability, physical appearance or body size.
- Offensive verbal comments about race, color, ancestry, national origin or religion.
- Offensive verbal comments about age, genetic characteristics, or a history or diagnosis of cancer.
- Sustained disruption of classes, talks or other events.
- Leering, staring or suggestive gestures.
- Stalking or following someone around a public area without their consent.
- Repeated requests for dates or requests for sexual favors.
- Showing sexual images or carrying out sexual activities in public spaces.
- Epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, offensive jokes or offensive visual materials related to a protected characteristic.
- Any written, visual or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion to an individual or group because of a protected characteristic.
- Photographing or recording someone when you have been asked not to.
- Uninvited physical contact, including touching, grabbing, patting, pinching, hugging, kissing.
- Threatening to physically attack someone.
- Sexual assault.
- Graphic verbal commentaries about an individual’s body, sexually degrading words used to describe an individual, or obscene letters, notes or invitations.
- Harassing communications via letters, phone calls, e-mails, text messaging or social media.
- Prohibited harassment includes gender-based harassment of an individual of the same sex as the harasser.
What do I do if I am being harassed?
In some cases you may find the harassment stops if you clearly say ‘no’ or ‘please leave me alone’, or simply walk away. We would appreciate it if a Costume College Committee or CGW Board member was informed right away to help us identify any repeat offenders.
If you continue to be harassed, don’t hesitate to ask for the Dean or the President. We will mediate the situation, help you contact venue security or law enforcement, or otherwise assist you to feel safe during the conference.
Costume College will not retaliate against an individual for coming forward with a complaint of harassment.
What should I do if I see someone else being harassed?
Ask the person being harassed if they are okay. Offer to help them find an appropriate board or committee member to report the problem to, or stay with them while someone else finds help. During the registration process on site, look for the photos of board and committee members, so you will know who can help in case such a need arises.
What can I do if someone accuses me of harassment?
Participants asked to stop harassing behavior must comply immediately.
If someone makes a complaint against you, listen, and be aware that your actions may not have come off as you intended them. If this has occurred, be prepared to apologize, sincerely and without qualifiers. Please understand that, in such a situation, the safety of guests is the highest priority.
When you are in classes, you don’t need to wear a costume, as they can be a distraction to other students and keep you from getting the most out of your class. Dress for comfort. It is always recommended that you have a sweater, jacket, or wrap. Hotels can get very cold.
When donning a costume or deciding what to wear to an event, in the hallways, and public spaces, try to think of Costume College as a PG-13 event.
As is customary at many of our events, photographs of participants and their guests are taken and posted online. There are so many people taking photos that there is a real possibility that your photograph may be taken by us or attendees and thereafter posted on the Web. By attending Costume College, you give your consent to the posting of such photographs by us or others and waive all rights and claims with respect to the posting of such photographs.
While we have no control over other peoples’ websites, CGW, Inc. does not list names with the photos on our website. If you would like your photo removed, please contact the Web Team.
It is harassment to continue to photograph someone who specifically asks you not to take photographs of them or their belongings. If someone asks you not to take such a photo, please comply with their request.
Costumes sometimes come in the form of characters with weapons, and in many cases, these weapons look quite real. Convention operations prefers that these items be peace bonded. A peace bond is a very visible lock or tie on a realistic looking weapon to make clear to security and to police that it is not intended to be used for violent purposes. The peace bond will usually come in the form of a zip tie over the trigger such that it couldn’t be pulled or holding a bladed weapon in the sheath. If you have a costume with a realistic-looking weapon, please stop in to Ops to have them check it.
- All weapons must conform to state and federal law.
- All weapons must be non-functional.
- Weapons may not be pointed at another person except in a non-threatening manner for the purposes of exhibition or photographs.
- Weapons or Costumes that are deemed by Ops to be a safety hazard for any reason will be banned.
- Use of a weapon in an inappropriate, negligent or threatening manner is forbidden and may result in suspension of membership.