Code of Conduct

The Washington Area Secular Humanists (WASH) is committed to providing an open and welcoming community that respects every member’s personal integrity and reasonable participation. WASH activities, whether organized or informal, should be fun, friendly, and informative.

  • This policy covers conduct by persons attending WASH-sponsored events or in WASH-sponsored printed or electronic media or when formally representing WASH at other venues.
  • The consequences of violation can include but are not limited to loss of membership and participation privileges with WASH and its hosted and co-hosted activities, as well as with collaborating organizations (at their discretion).
  • The general rule of conduct is friendly interactions without harassment.
  • Discussion and disagreement are encouraged as part of free inquiry, but must not take the form of personal attacks, and must respect each member’s right to withdraw from debate and organizers’ authority in managing events.
  • When possible, members should give each other the benefit of explaining behavior found offensive or unwelcome. But explanations do not redeem violations, and those asked to stop any prohibited conduct — nonconsensual or harassing — are expected to comply immediately.
  • Prohibited conduct may include but is not limited to: harassment related to gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, ancestry, nationality, familial status, marital status, military status, pregnancy, socioeconomic status, or religion; sexual images or displays in public spaces (except as appropriate to announced presentations or activities); threats, abuse, or deliberate intimidation; stalking; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; unwelcome sexual attention; any form of unwanted attention initiated or continued without reasonable grounds for mutual interest or consent; or open carry of lethal weapons. Directly messaging a member should be presumed unwanted unless sender and recipient already know each other personally or it is an appropriate continuation of an WASH conversation or activity.
  • Promotion of other organizations and/or distribution of any promotional materials at an WASH event or in any WASH online forum requires prior approval from an WASH organizer or Board Member. Also please do not promote WASH at any other organizations without first obtaining approval from that organization.
  • Where video recordings and photographs are used for WASH publicity or documentation of events, members may request that they not be tagged by name, or that photos and videos be modified to remove them, with no specific justification required.
  • Please report potential offenses to the relevant online or event organizer or to any WASH officer. Organizers may ban offenders from their activity at their sole discretion, and shall inform an WASH officer as soon as possible for further action. WASH officers may at their sole discretion ban offenders from any specific activity, or suspend them from membership and future activities. Reports, bans, and suspensions shall be recorded and shared with the full WASH Board, and be handled at all levels with confidentiality and with anonymity of the complainant preserved unless otherwise agreed.
    Potential offenses may also be reported by phone (202-657-6346) or email (inquire@wash.org). Such reports must include return contact information.
  • Suspension from membership and participation must be resolved by the WASH Board within three months, by reinstatement, probation as defined by the board, or expulsion according to the WASH By-Laws, or else the suspension ends. Appeals, whether for further investigation of potential offenses or for reinstatement, can be initiated by contacting any member of the WASH Board. Appeals will be resolved by the full WASH Board, or delegated to a non-leadership investigative committee, as appropriate to ensure a fair process and safe WASH community.
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