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ASC Harassment Policy

The Atheist Society of Calgary (ASC) seeks to provide a safe, healthy and rewarding environment for its members. Harassment will not be tolerated at any events associated with the ASC.

Definition of harassment

Harassment occurs when an attendee is subjected to unwelcome verbal or physical conduct because of race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, physical or mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation. Alberta human rights law prohibits harassment based on these grounds.

Prohibited conduct may include, but is not limited to, harassment related to gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, sexual images in public spaces (not related to convention sessions or materials), deliberate intimidation, stalking, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Atheist Society of Calgary also will not tolerate the display of pornographic, racist or offensive signs or images; practical jokes that result in awkwardness or embarrassment; and unwelcome invitations or requests, whether indirect or explicit.

Atheist Society of Calgary recognizes that derision of religion is common at its events and welcomes such discussion. However, the harassment of individuals for his or her religious beliefs will not be tolerated. Racist, sexist, homophobic, or trans-phobic conduct will not be tolerated.


Definition of sexual harassment

The Alberta Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on the grounds of gender, including sexual harassment. Unwanted sexual advances, unwanted requests for sexual favours, and other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature can include such things as pinching, patting, rubbing or leering, "dirty" jokes, pictures or pornographic materials, comments, suggestions, innuendos, requests or demands of a sexual nature. The behaviour need not be intentional in order to be considered sexual harassment. All harassment is offensive and in many cases it intimidates others. It will not be tolerated at our conferences or events.

We understand that human interaction can be complex and confusing. Please give each other the benefit of explaining behavior you find offensive or unwelcome. However, participants asked to stop any prohibited conduct are expected to comply immediately.


A) Procedure if you are being harassed:

  • Tell the harasser that their behaviour is unwelcome and ask them to stop. 

  • Keep a record of incidents (date, times, locations, possible witnesses, what happened, your response). You do not have to have a record of events in order to make a complaint, but a record can strengthen your case and help you remember details over time.

  • Make a complaint. If, after asking the harasser to stop their behaviour, the harassment continues, report the problem to one of the Directors of the Atheist Society of Calgary. 

  • You also have the right to contact the Alberta Human Rights Commission to make a complaint of sexual harassment and you can report any incident of assault that has occurred to the police.


B) Dealing with a complaint:

  • Once a complaint is received, it will be kept strictly confidential. An investigation will be undertaken immediately and all necessary steps taken to resolve the problem. If appropriate, action taken may include conciliation. 

  • Both the complainant and the alleged harasser will be interviewed, as will any individuals who may be able to provide relevant information. All information will be kept in confidence.

  • If the investigation reveals evidence to support the complaint of harassment, the harasser will be disciplined appropriately and information handed over to appropriate law enforcement. 

C) Responsibility of attendees

  • It is the responsibility of any person attending Atheist Society of Calgary events to take immediate and appropriate action to report incidents of harassment of any type, whether brought to their attention or personally observed. Under no circumstances should a legitimate complaint be dismissed or downplayed nor should the complainant be told to deal with it personally.

  • Report such incidents to a Director of the Atheist Society of Calgary.

Failure to abide by our code of conduct will result in ejection from the society without refund at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors.

Please note: A complaint must be made to the Alberta Human Rights Commission within one year after the alleged incident of discrimination. The one-year period starts the day after the date on which the incident occurred. For help calculating the one-year period, contact the Commission.

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