WCBR Code of Conduct

1. Introduction

The Winter Conference on Brain Research (WCBR) is dedicated to providing a safe, productive and discrimination-free experience for all participants during the Annual Meeting regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, physical or mental disability, perceived disability, ancestry, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, citizenship, past, current or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local laws. WCBR does not tolerate discrimination or any form of harassment and is committed to enforcing this Code of Conduct Policy. As a professional society, the WCBR is committed to providing an atmosphere that encourages the free expression and exchange of scientific and educational ideas. Furthermore, WCBR upholds the philosophy of equality of opportunity for, and treatment of, all meeting participants, including but not limited to, attendees, guests, speakers, exhibitors, contractors, staff, and volunteers at all venues and events, including all ancillary and unofficial social events held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting (collectively “Annual Meeting”).

2. Scope of Code of Conduct

WCBR seeks to create a diverse, inclusive and respectful environment for the exchange of scientific information.

WCBR requires compliance with this Policy by all meeting participants throughout the period of the Annual Meeting, whether in public or private facilities. This policy is an expression of WCBR’s values and commitment to a safe and productive experience for all participants at the Annual Meeting. This policy is not an acknowledgement, admission, or description of WCBR’s legal obligations with respect to any of the subject matters addressed herein, nor does it create any such legal obligations on WCBR, its Board Members, and committee members.

3. Prohibited Conduct

Prohibited conduct at the WCBR Annual Meetings include, but is not limited to:

  1. harassment and discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, physical or mental disability, perceived disability, ancestry, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, citizenship, past, current or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local laws;
  2. demeaning comments or harassment about a person’s professional status, qualifications, or affiliations;
  3. sexual harassment, as defined in Section 4;
  4. abusive conduct that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with another person’s ability to benefit from and enjoy or participate in the Annual Meeting;
  5. undue or excessive interruption of any event, speaker, or session; and
  6. violence or threats of violence or physical harm.

4. Harassment Defined

Prohibited harassment includes any conduct that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile environment whether that conduct be verbal, physical, or visual. Harassment can take many forms and includes, but is not limited to, the following: slurs, epithets, derogatory comments, insults, degrading or obscene words, jokes, demeaning statements, offensive gestures, or displaying derogatory or demeaning pictures, photos, drawings, or cartoons based upon an individual’s race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, sex, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, physical or mental disability, perceived disability, ancestry, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, citizenship, past, current or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local laws. Sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual attention including expressions of romantic or sexual interest that are unwelcome, unreciprocated, and/or offensive to the target; examples include unwanted touching, hugging, stroking, and persistent requests for dates or sexual behavior despite discouragement. Sexual harassment also includes gender harassment which includes verbal and nonverbal behaviors that convey insulting, hostile, and degrading attitudes about members of one gender as well as crude harassment.

Sexually harassing conduct can be by a person of either the same or other sex. Conduct that begins as consensual in nature may become harassment if one party withdraws his or her consent. Sexual or other harassment prohibited by this policy is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

The above list of prohibited behaviors is not a complete rendering of what may be deemed sexual or other harassment prohibited by this policy. It is impossible to define every action or word that could be interpreted as harassment or discrimination. However, WCBR has a “zero tolerance” policy toward discrimination and all forms of harassment. WCBR reserves the right to discipline meeting participants who engage in any inappropriate conduct, even if it is not specifically referred to or defined in this Code of Conduct, or is not legally actionable as sexual or any other form of harassment.

5. Filing a Formal Complaint

If you feel you have been subject to or have witnessed a violation of this Code of Conduct, a formal complaint can be filed with an authorized representative from our meeting management company, Parthenon Management Group, LLC. This individual can be contacted through the registration desk, or if after the Annual Meeting, at 615-324-2365. No participant will be retaliated against for making a good faith claim of harassment or discrimination, for opposing harassment or discrimination, or for participating in, or cooperating with, the investigation of a complaint. A designated member of the Parthenon team will gather information and put together a summary report, which will then be forwarded to the Conduct Subcommittee of the Executive Board of WCBR for a decision. If the decision of the Subcommittee is contested, it can be appealed to the full Executive Board. The decision following appeal is final and not subject to further appeal. We will strive to keep the identity of the complainant and any witnesses, as well as the accused individual, confidential throughout this process. All participants of the Annual Meeting are bound by the decisions of the Conduct Subcommittee of the Executive Board. If it is determined that an individual has engaged in conduct constituting harassment or discrimination, discipline may be imposed, up to and including exclusion from participating in the WCBR Annual Meeting, and/or future meetings.

Code of Conduct Attestation:

The WCBR Annual Meeting is committed to supporting discovery and scientific dialogue, and providing an atmosphere that is safe, respectful and welcoming to all those present in order to encourage the free expression and exchange of scientific and educational ideas. This commitment applies to the WCBR Annual Meeting, at all venues and events, including all ancillary and unofficial social events held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting (collectively “Annual Meeting”) and anyone present, including but not limited to, attendees, guests, speakers, exhibitors, contractors, staff, and volunteers.

To that end, the WCBR Annual Meeting strictly prohibits and does not tolerate unlawful harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender (including nonconformity and status as a transgender or transsexual individual), gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, perceived disability, citizenship, marital status, genetic information, past, current or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other basis recognized by applicable federal, state, or local laws. WCBR upholds the philosophy of equality of opportunity for, and treatment of, all individuals present at the Annual Meeting and thus, does not tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. We expect all those present at the Annual Meeting of the WCBR to help us in ensuring a productive, safe and positive environment for all.

By registering for the meeting, I confirm that I have read the Code of Conduct for the WCBR, and agree that it is my responsibility to be familiar with, and to abide by, its terms. I also attest that I will cooperate with any formal or informal inquiry into my behavior and/or actions at the Annual Meeting. I agree to be bound by the decisions of the Executive Subcommittee on Meeting Conduct, which may take any action that it deems appropriate, including but not limited to exclusion from a current Annual Meeting (without refund) or from future meeting.