Like all other SBL members I just received John Kutsko’s message about the new policy. These are the links to the policy and procedure documents. Somehow I think this will engender some vexatious comments.
Harassment may be defined as vexatious comment or conduct in relation to a person or group of persons on the basis of personal characteristics (i) which has the effect or purpose of creating a hostile or intimidating environment; or (ii) which has the effect or purpose of offending or demeaning a person or group of persons; or (iii) which functions implicitly or explicitly to limit participation in a professional program, activity, or opportunity. It is also the case that the victim of harassment can be anyone affected by the offensive conduct, not just the individual at whom the conduct is directed. In other words, what one or two persons may consider joking around may be unwelcome to and offensive to a bystander.
There is more, do read it all. Such policies are never easy to write and there will always be backlash. SBL is a private organization and, as such, can make its own rules. The devil is always in the exegesis, as I like to say. How people interpret and apply this new policy will be the test and fascinating to watch.
See you in Atlanta next week!