December 4, 2010 17 Comments
The Ubuntu community embraces and encourages diversity.
It’s important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. We expect members of the Ubuntu community to be respectful when dealing with other contributors as well as with people outside the Ubuntu project and with users of Ubuntu. ~ from the Ubuntu Code of Conduct
At UDS-N there was a call to take additional steps to help further encourage diversity at UDS. One of the ideas was to create an anti-harassment policy. I offered to draft a potential policy for UDS. Doing so involved reading existing policies from other conferences and getting a better of idea of what kinds of harassment exists at tech conferences. I have been gathering policies for the last four weeks, but put off reading them and the associated stories until today.
I am disgusted with what I have read about taking place at other conferences. Given my positive experience at UDS-N it is inconceivable to me that this behavior is not only present, but tacitly allowed, at other conferences. While these incidents happened at conferences other than UDS, they do show a need for UDS to lead by example and have an anti-harassment policy.
The Ubuntu community has always been a place I felt comfortable in and the experience I had at UDS was a fantastic and open one. Due to the positive nature of UDS I am currently reflecting on if an anti-harassment policy or an inclusion policy should be created that includes an anti-harassment policy Certainly there still needs to be negative results for those that misbehave, but perhaps seeking positive behavior in-line with the Ubuntu Code of Conduct would work to better meet the goal of a community open to all. UDS was a very positive experience for me and I would like to help ensure that it is for all future attendees as well.