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Online Communications Policy

Intentions

 

We have established an communications policy to try to help reduce the frequency of unnecessarily hurtful and disruptive conflict breaking out and spiraling out of control.

 

We have found, over the years, that online communication can suddenly erupt into heated emotions and conflict, and that people sometimes say things that can't be unsaid and cause rifts that become impossible to repair. We've seen the fate of organizations and of people's lives change as a result of what was originally a fairly trivial online conflict.

 

We also find that approaching these conversations in person helps us to have empathy and care for each other, and dramatically increases the chance that we show up as our best selves and navigate the conversation as gracefully as we can.

 

Conversations in our Discord

 

  1. If at any point, a representative of studio leadership feels a conversation in Discord is becoming too contentious or heated, we reserve the right to call a time out and pause all conversation on that topic. Any TA is authorized to exercise their judgment on this at any time if Zach or Cheryl is not available or doesn't see the issue developing. We'd rather this happen when it wasn't actually necessary than not happen when it was. 
     

  2. This is a fairly common practice in many online communities - we see it in the Facebook cat groups we frequent. -Once this happens, any subsequent messages posted that fail to respect the time out will be deleted.
     

  3. Students or community members who repeatedly fail to respect this policy may be removed from the Discord and/or from the studio at my discretion.
     

  4. After a time out is called, we will encourage folks to take some time to process and settle, and to find a time to meet at the studio to try to resolve that conversation and find a place of comfort together.
     

  5. Studio leadership may contact people directly to try to help facilitate that outcome if we have capacity and feel that's what's best for the community. Online communication between studio leadership and students Similarly, we have also found that attempting to have sensitive or difficult conversations about issues that come up in kink communities online frequently ends up being unnecessarily harmful and destructive to the participants and the community.

Conversations Between Teaching Staff and Students

  1. All conversations that we deem sensitive or potentially challenging between any of the instructors or TAs and students must be in person. We reserve the right to exercise our judgment and discretion about what falls into that category.
     

  2. We know folks have different communication preferences and will accommodate that as much as possible. If you're not comfortable just walking into an in-person conversation, here is what we can offer:

    1. Giving you time to write up your thoughts and email them to us to read before we meet

    2. Empowering you to suspend the meeting/conversation and reschedule another one if anything comes up that you don't feel comfortable talking about at that moment.

    3. Offering you the opportunity to bring a support person(s) to the conversation (though we reserve the right, in rare circumstances, to set boundaries on who that can be to avoid being forced to interact with someone we have chosen not to engage with)

    4. We'll be open to considering additional suggestions proposed if students have requests for how to approach communicating.

 

Thank you and we hope this will help us continue to build a school and community that is sustainable for us and as positive a place as it can be for as many people as possible.