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.
SAFETY ISSUES FOR CONVENTIONS
By Howard LaBore, retired Sgt/Hostage Negotiator SDPD
We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time at Costume College. The world has become unpredictable as people are acting out in violent manners due to domestic and terror related issues. Large venues can be targets of these events. Your leadership wanted to share ideas with you in case an event like this happens at Costume College or any gathering you may be attending.
If you are in a situation:
1. RUN Know where the exits are at the event and have several different escape routes in mind in case your 1st choice is blocked. Once you have reached a safe place away from the incident, call “911” and give Law Enforcement any information that could help First Responders (location, number of suspect(s), suspect(s) description, weapons, any injuries).
2. HIDE & BARRICADE If you are unable to exit safely, find a room that can be locked from the inside. Put furniture/items blocking the door. Turn off the lights. Turn off cell phones. Be quiet. Wait till Law Enforcement arrives to escort you to safety.
3. FIGHT If confronted with a person trying to harm you, you need to fight for your life. Use anything available to defend/protect yourself (chairs, books, lamps). Control the hand with the weapon. Work as a team to control the suspect. We have not received any threats against our group and do not anticipate you needing to use these tactic but they are good safety precautions to keep in mind. Have a great time at Costume College.
–Your Leadership Team.
CGW, Inc. Member’s Special is open to all members of CGW, Inc., including those who join now to take the discount. Membership will be confirmed before accepting the Registration Application.
CGW, Inc. Member and Sister Guild Member rates apply to members of Costumer’s Guild West, Inc. and Sister groups only, not to guests and/or family. Membership will be confirmed before accepting any Registration Application with discounted rates.
To join CGW, Inc. now and take the discounted rate, go to https://costumersguild.org, and click the “Join Now” button on the left.
PAYMENT IN US DOLLARS ONLY. Register for Costume College on-line at www.costumecollege.net, then clicking on the “Registration” page.
While the deadline to purchase Costume College® memberships and tickets is 30 days before the conference, memberships and tickets are limited for Costume College, the Time Traveler’s Gala, and the Fantasy Tea. Memberships/tickets may sell out before the deadline.
Limited Attendance classes offered at Costume College are limited in the number of students who can attend; therefore a separate preregistration form is required to be returned (or be completed online) by May each year. (This form is included in the registration packet that will be sent in April, or is found online http://costumersguild.org/limited.htm.) Those registering for Costume College after May will not be eligible to preregister for the limited attendance classes. Seats in certain limited attendance classes not filled during the preregistration process will be made available at a later time. Complete details can be seen in your Registration Book.
All Costume College attendees under the age of 18 must present signed permission from a parent or guardian to attend. If under the age of 16, the attendee must be accompanied by an adult to all classes.
Minors who are 16 or 17 do not need to have an adult attend all the same classes with them, but a parent or guardian must be at the hotel at all times while the minor is in the hotel.
If a parent or guardian of a minor needs to or decides to attend all the same classes as their minor, they must also be a registered student. Please inform the Student Liaison at email@example.com to let them know (so that you can be grouped together for all Limited classes and tours).
Any attendee under 18 who wishes to attend a Tour must be accompanied by an adult (additional fees will apply).
The deadline for all REFUNDS is one day before the conference. Requests must be made in writing, either by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by writing to Costumers Guild West, Attn: Costume College, 1839 Greenfield Dr., El Cajon, CA 92021, and postmarked by the appropriate deadline. Costume College® Registration fees are partially refundable according to the following schedule:
The deadline for all TRANSFERS is 4 days before the conference. For transfers made after July 1st, the Buyer will not be guaranteed a personalized name badge and their check-in packets and/or tickets will be available for pick up at the Information Desk beginning the 1st day of the conference. Those who wish to transfer their Costume College Memberships and/or tickets may do so by submitting a request in writing either by e-mail to email@example.com, or by writing to Costumers Guild West, Attn: Costume College, 1839 Greenfield Dr., El Cajon, CA 92021, and postmarked by appropriate deadline.
The transferring party’s (Seller’s) request must include the name and address of the person the membership and/or tickets are being transferred to (Buyer). By requesting a transfer, the Seller acknowledges that she/he has received full payment from the Buyer and that Costume College® /CGW, Inc. has no responsibility for arranging such payment.
No membership or ticket may be transferred for an amount greater than the original purchase price. If the Buyer is not eligible for the price paid by the Seller (discount), the Buyer must pay the applicable differential to the CGW, Inc. before she/he may participate in the transferred event.
Any Holder of a Costume College membership who sells it for a greater amount than her/his original purchase price, upon discovery of such violation of CGW, Inc. policy, shall be banned from attendance at Costume College for a period of three years.
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:
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.
Costume College engages several professional photographers who act in an official capacity for the convention. Official Roving Photographers take candid pictures at events, classes, and in public spaces. Official Event Photographers take posed portraits of attendees in a designated area. Candid photos are available after the convention and digital copies are included as part of your registration fee. Posed portrait prints are available on demand at the event for a small fee.
As at any public event, 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 Costume College photographers 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, Costumer’s Guild West, Inc. does not list names with the photos on our website. If you would like a photo posted on the Costume College or CGW website removed, please contact the Web Team at firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be taken down.
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. For more information regarding our harassment policies see our harassment policy.
Unofficial photographers (that is, photographers not officially engaged by Costume College) are allowed at the event. Unofficial photography is limited to the public areas of the convention with the exception of the marketplace. No unofficial/professional photography is allowed in the marketplace due to space/crowd flow issues. Unofficial photography may not disrupt events or impede the flow of foot traffic. Unofficial photographers may not monopolize areas intended to be used as photo ops by all attendees.
Unofficial photographers are not required to purchase registration to Costume College, although they are welcome to do so. An unofficial photographer who has paid registration is welcome to enjoy the event, but must follow our general event policies. Unofficial photographers with paid registration may take pictures inside classrooms for personal use only, and then only with the express permission of the individual teacher. An unofficial photographer without paid registration may operate in Costume College’s public spaces only.
Unofficial photographers may not use any equipment other than their camera such as tripods, stand lights, free standing light rings, etc. while taking photographs at Costume College.
Unofficial photographers may not charge money at Costume College or in the hotel for their pictures, though they may hand out business cards to attendees. No financial transactions for goods or services may take place between attendees (whether registered or not) onsite.
Unofficial photographers may be asked to cease taking photos or to leave at any time.
These policies are subject to change at any time without notice.
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.