The SAA is dedicated to providing a harassment-free meeting experience for everyone, regardless of sex, gender, identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, ethnicity, religion, or age. Harassment is unwanted attention that a recipient experiences as offensive or disruptive to their wellbeing. Harassment not only sabotages the individual; it also damages the SAA’s community by discouraging participation in the Society and compromising the exchange of ideas that is at the center of SAA’s mission to promote and stimulate interest and research in the archaeology of the Americas.
Sexual harassment is behavior that demeans, humiliates, or threatens an individual on the basis of their sex or gender and can include crude behavior (such as offensive statements, jokes, or gestures); dismissive or insulting modes of address (such as referring to a woman not by her first name but as “babe”); unwelcome sexual attention (such as unwanted touching or repeated requests for dates); and coercion. Sex-based harassment also takes nonsexual forms when an individual is targeted because of their gender expression. It singles out some members of the community as acceptable targets and as unworthy of respect.
All of the spaces into which SAA’s professional meetings extend are professional, and the values of respect, equity, multicultural pluralism and non-discrimination should inform conduct in formal sessions, meetings, and informal conversations over coffee and over drinks. All members should aspire to treat each member as having an equally valuable contribution to make. All members should remember our society is enriched from multicultural differences.
This policy applies to all attendees of SAA-sponsored conferences, meetings, or workshops including presenters, students, guests, staff, contractors, and exhibitors throughout the conference space whether participating in the program, tours, meetings, social event, or other function. The SAA principles of Archaeological Ethics equally apply.
However, should an incident occur while at an SAA-sponsored conference, meeting, workshop, tour, or social event, or other function, the SAA President, the SAA Executive Director, SAA Staff, or any SAA Officer may be considered safe authorities with whom incidents can be discussed. The SAA will have mechanisms at each Annual Meeting to keep our conference a respectful environment for all its participants.
Anti-harassment procedures at 2019 Annual Meeting
The SAA President, the SAA Executive Director, SAA Staff, or any SAA Officer may be considered safe authorities with whom incidents can be discussed. These individuals will wear green “Talk to me” buttons at the 2019 Meeting. SAA Staff is available at the staff office (located in Maya room) and at the registration booth (in the West Lobby) during registration hours. Individuals coming forward with concerns will be asked to provide details of the incident or incidents, time and place, names of individuals involved and names of any witnesses. Please note that a sufficient amount of detail is needed in order for SAA to respond.
Upon the receipt of a complaint of offensive behavior by a SAA conference attendee, SAA will undertake the following procedure:
- If the allegations involve what is likely to be criminal conduct, the SAA Executive Director shall notify the local police, contact SAA legal counsel and so inform the complainant. SAA shall not undertake further review of the matter once it has been reported to local authorities but may later evaluate the outcome of any criminal investigation in order to determine whether the alleged harasser should be permitted to participate in any future SAA programs and conferences;
- If the allegations do not likely constitute criminal conduct, the SAA Executive Director shall attempt to verify the offensive behavior in a confidential manner as recommended by SAA legal counsel;
- If the offensive behavior cannot be verified, SAA will so inform the person making the complaint and remind the person that they can report the behavior to the Register of Professional Archaeologists and/or to the alleged harasser’s institution or employer;
- If the offensive behavior is verified in a manner deemed appropriate by the SAA Executive Director and SAA legal counsel, the SAA Executive Director shall so inform the SAA President and, in conjunction with SAA legal counsel, determine the appropriate course of action taking into account various factors including, but not limited to, the following: a) the severity of the offensive behavior; b) the setting of the offensive behavior; c) whether the alleged harasser appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and d) the duration remaining in the conference;
- The courses of action which may be taken by SAA include, but are not limited to, any or all of the following: a) immediate removal from the conference; b) an onsite discussion with the alleged harasser to inform them of the complaint, to advise them that this behavior violates SAA’s anti-harassment policy, and to direct that such behavior must cease immediately or the person will be removed from the conference;
- Following the conference, the SAA Executive Committee shall meet to review all complaints received during the conference to determine whether SAA should modify the conference program, the submission process, the anti-harassment policy and procedures, and whether any of the complaints warrant further monitoring by SAA and/or the individual to be informed that they may no longer attend SAA programs and conference for a set period of time or indefinitely;
- In all cases, SAA will limit disclosure of information and to only such information necessary to verify the offensive behavior and only to those on a “need to know” basis; and
- Should any complaint allege offensive behavior by the SAA Executive Director, the above procedure shall be undertaken by the SAA President instead or, if the SAA President is also alleged to have engaged in offensive behavior, by any other SAA officer.
SAA is not an adjudicating body. An informant can file a complaint with the Register of Professional Archaeologists and/or has the right to complain to the offenders’ employer (university, government agency, etc.)