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DisNet Code of Conduct

Adapted, in part, from the guidelines of the Popular Culture Association, Modern Language Association, and American Library Association

Last revised 22 May 2023.

DisNet is dedicated to inclusivity, diversity, and multi/interdisciplinarity within our community. At any of our events, you will find a supportive and considerate environment where you are safe to express diverse views and encounter knew ways of thinking. While we hope you have a good, fun, and scholarly time as part of this network, we ask that you follow our Code of Conduct (known as Mousekeeping). 


DisNet’s ethics and values are based on a firm belief in the value of civil discourse and the exploration of ideas and concepts (competing or otherwise). We also hold fundamental respect for the rights, dignities, and values of all people. As such, DisNet is committed to creating, providing, and establishing an inclusive and harassment-free environment – regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, physical appearance, ethnicity, religion, geographic location, age, or other group identity. All DisNet members and participants at any DisNet function or event are expected to treat all persons with consideration and dignity.


Statement of Policy


As DisNet wishes to provide such a welcoming space and guarantee freedom of intellectual expression, it then ascribes to the code of conduct (Mousekeeping) as outlined below. This code applies to all in-person and virtual events and any correspondence (including social media). As such, it also applies to any volunteers, participants, speakers, staff, attendees, and others who are participating in any and all DisNet events. A breach of our code of conduct can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Behavior of any kind that demeans, humiliates, or embarrasses anyone, including physically or verbally threatening, annoying, unwelcoming attention, stalking, pushing, shoving or use of physical force, which in any way creates a disturbance that is disruptive or dangerous, as well as any lewd or generally offensive behavior or language, using sexually explicit or offensive language or conduct, or racial, religious or ethnic slurs (all considered harassment).

DisNet reserves the right to ask you to leave and refuse to refund your membership fee if you behave improperly. For more, see our Unacceptable Behavior section.


It is important to note the following:

  • Critical examination of beliefs and viewpoints does not, by itself, constitute hostile conduct or harassment. Similarly, the use of sexual imagery or language in the context of a professional discussion might not constitute hostile conduct or harassment. 

All attendees at any DisNet event, conference, virtual meeting, social event, etc., are expected to follow the above guidelines in all and at all venues. 


We would like to remind speakers at our events that they should attempt to frame discussions openly and inclusively. We would also like for them to be aware of language and images used and how they may be perceived by others. Should they be using any media, language, or imagery that may come across as breaching our Mousekeeping policy, they are to contact the appropriate person to aid in further proceeding with the use of said media, language, or imagery. If said media, language, or imagery is deemed as unusable, it is not to appear. Should it appear, it will be considered a breach of our Mouskeeping policy, and the person will be reprimanded as DisNet seems fit.


However, attendees may always exercise their option to leave a session or a conversation. If a hostile altercation should arise, participants may be asked to leave and must do so at the request of the DisNet representative.


Unacceptable Behavior


While the previous section outlines some of the behavior which breaches our Mousekeeping policy, the following describes behavior that will be met with swift reprimands and possible expulsion from the DisNet event, a revoking of the membership without any fee refunds:

  • Harassing, demeaning, humiliating, bullying, or intimidating others.

  • Discriminating against, harassing, or intimidating others based on gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, physical appearance, ethnicity, religion, geographic location, age, or other group identity.

  • Engaging in sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact. If people tell you “NO,” your business with them is done. If you continue contact with those people, you may be removed from the premises and your membership revoked.

  • Shouting down, threatening, or defaming others.

  • Plagiarizing or presenting material that is not your own without proper attribution. The victim may also choose to pursue legal recourse. 

  • Sharing others’ personal information or intellectual property without consent. The victim may also choose to pursue legal recourse.

  • Misrepresenting your rank or identity on the website or through any other official means (e.g., conference registration and/or presentation). 

  • Failing to appear for scheduled event presentations without notifying DisNet leadership in the case of non-emergency. Note: this does not apply to attendance of events you are registered to attend as an audience member; the inappropriate conduct solely applies if you are registered as the presenter.

  • Financial malfeasance.


DisNet Responses to Suspected Violation


Should anyone be asked to stop hostile or harassing behavior, they are expected to comply immediately. If a participant or exhibitor engages in harassing behavior, DisNet leadership may take any action they deem appropriate. This ranges from a simple warning to the offender, to expulsion from any DisNet events, or other organization spaces (social media platform included), as well as revoking of membership without fee refunds.


Contact members of the DisNet Executive Committee if you believe you have been harassed or that a harassment problem exists. All such reports will be directed immediately to the Executive Committee, who will determine and carry out the appropriate course of action and who may consult with and engage other DisNet staff, leaders, and legal counsel as appropriate. Event security and/or local law enforcement may be involved, as appropriate, based on the specific circumstances. A follow-up report will be made to individuals who report being harassed. 


Reports of any physical assault or threats to any attendees, speakers, volunteers, staff, DisNet members, or other DisNet representatives, will be sent to local authorities. 


Consequences of Violations


DisNet reserves the right to bar participation in any and all organizational activities for violations of its Mousekeeping policies. This includes barring the individual(s) from holding any position within DisNet, such as Executive Committee Member, staff member, volunteer, etc.


Revocation or suspension of membership may be for a limited time period (e.g., one year) up to a lifetime ban.


Other penalties may include a limited ban from events, expulsion from the event for several hours or for the rest of the conference; expulsion from DisNet social media platforms; and/or notification of the violation to the violator’s college, university, or employer. 


Anyone who breaks the law—city, state, or federal—may be arrested. 


All violations of the Code of Conduct (Mousekeeping policies) will be evaluated by the DisNet Ethics Committee, which is composed of selected members of the Executive Committee and general members. After a thorough investigation, the committee shall make the decision as to whether any Mousekeeping policies were violated. If so, then the committee shall make a recommendation to the President and/or the Executive Committee regarding the violation and its consequences. The President and/or the Executive Committee will then approve the consequences. If they do not approve of the consequences, the following will occur:

  • The President/Executive Committee will be informed as to why the consequences were not approved, and they will meet to discuss new consequences, and/or the President/Executive Committee may make alterations.

Once the consequences have been determined for the violation, they will be dealt with swiftly and are expected to take immediate effect. 


In following these rules, we hope to create and maintain a safe and inclusive environment for the sharing of intellectual and creative ideas and discussions. 

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