Over the last year, there have been some changes to how we do things here at BWW, especially behind the admin curtain. Last year we started a Conflict of Interest Committee to make sure everything we do here at BWW is in BWW’s best interest. Now the Ethics Committee is up and running.
The Ethics Committee was put in place to help BWW’s community with bigger than life issues within the community. It is not for reporting something you disagree with or disapprove of in someone’s piece. But sometimes things like bullying, inappropriate statements/comments, etc. can be hard to deal with. So we have created the Ethic Committee so members can report things they are uncomfortable reporting to their workshop or need help beyond what a host can do. It’s created for hosts who feel in over their heads dealing with a problem in their workshop. Everyone on the Ethics Committee is a member and train professional for dealing with conflict.
To start us off, they have created the Burlington Writers Workshop Code of Conduct. Going forward from today, anyone who registers as a member will be agreeing to follow the Code of Conduct. Anyone who signs up for a workshop or goes to any of our events is also agreeing to follow it.
Why do we need a Code of Conduct or an Ethics Committee? Well when BWW started out in people backyards and living rooms, if someone behaved inappropriately everyone knew exactly who said what, and they either stopped or weren’t welcome anymore. Now we are online. It’s harder. We are also in many countries now, which means different customs. That makes it harder too. We now have over 1000 members registered, although only about a 1/3 of them are really active. The Leadership Team is working on having written policies, and a few committees to help if a challenge should arise.
Where do you find them? Keep an eye on the What We Do menu – you can find it in the bar menu across the top of our webpage, under About. There we have listed our DEI statement and resources, our Content Advisory policy, and now the Code of Conduct with reporting access.
As we continue to grow, the Leadership Team is working to keep things running smoothly.