Membership Agreement for the Code of Conduct (CoC) Committee

This document describes the responsibilities that the members of the Code of Conduct committee (CoCc) must agree to meet in order to fulfill the requirements of their roles on the committee.

The committee is what turns a code of conduct from a written document into meaningful action.
Valerie Aurora, FrameShift Consulting

Core Membership Agreement:

The main purpose of the CoCc is to: establish, maintain and uphold the Code of Conduct; educate members of the community of policies and behaviors that can help create a more inclusive and welcoming environment; and protect all members from harm in community spaces.

In order to uphold the CoC, the CoCc members will:

  • support the objectives and mission of The Carpentries by abiding by its CoC and other policies and procedures.

  • learn about the Code of Conduct and reporting guidelines, and as CoC advocates, bring awareness of it into any Community spaces that they are part of.

  • understand and be comfortable to act on CoC related reports as per the enforcement guidelines put in place for the relevant community spaces.

  • actively help develop and maintain existing and new documents to facilitate the work of the CoCc.

  • avoid conflicts of interest [1] when processing CoC related reports. Failure to declare a conflict of interest may be considered a breach of the CoC.

  • maintain the confidentiality of any reported incidents, the identity of persons involved and discussions that take place within the committee.

  • not make any comments about any matters that they have been informed of as part of their duties as a CoCc member unless authorized to do so.

  • hold themselves accountable for their responsibilities as trustees and understand that they are expected to follow through on their commitments.

  • respect and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the community and act in the best interests of the Carpentries community impartially, putting aside any individual affiliations such as organizations or other Carpentries committees, and personal biases.

Further Roles and Responsibilities:

In addition to the core membership agreement, CoCc members will be required to:

  • support the committee chair and the designated Core Team liaison in collective decision making. In order to do so, they will prepare fully for meetings, which will include reading reports and related documents carefully, querying anything they do not understand, thinking through issues before meetings and completing any tasks assigned to them.

  • attend in the order of 75% of all CoCc Business meetings [2]. In these meetings, CoCc members will actively engage in discussion, voting and contributing in a constructive way, listening carefully, challenging sensitively and avoiding conflict.

  • promptly respond to emails, or, if they realize they will be out of touch for a while, inform the committee chair.

  • participate in any training that is organized to support the work of the committee, and to responsibly use any technical solutions that the CoCc is asked to use in order to maintain the security and privacy of personal information conveyed to the committee.

[1] Note on Conflicts of Interest:

A conflict of interest is a situation where a member of the CoCc could be perceived to not act in the interest of the Carpentries and the members of the community. Such situations can, for instance, occur when the members have close ties with one of the parties in a CoC incident (e.g. family relationships, close friendships, business ties, or even personal considerations). Such conflicts of interest may make it difficult to fulfill their duties impartially.

If any member of the committee happens to face a conflict of interest while handling a case, they are expected to:

  • inform the chair of the CoCc and/or the full committee of the conflict of interest,

  • not be involved in the case, and if required, temporarily leave their position as a CoCc member to avoid any bias.

[2] Note on the CoCc Meetings:

The committee conducts two types of meetings:

  • Business meetings: these are meetings where we discuss the status of current documents, issues brought to us by the community and other CoC related matters.

  • Incident report related meetings: in these meetings those that have volunteered to decide the course of action for a reported incident meet and discuss the situation. To decide on an issue, a minimum of 3 members must participate, thus not all members need to participate in every case.

Onboarding of new committee members:

New committee members will be included in committee discussions only after they have fulfilled the onboarding requirements specified by the CoCc and The Carpentries Executive Council.

Leaving the Committee:

  • If a CoCc member wishes to leave the committee at any time, they will inform the Committee chair in advance (giving enough notice to hand-over their responsibility) in writing, stating their reasons for leaving.

  • Breach of any part of the CoC by any CoCc member may result in a fair procedure being put in motion that may result in them being asked to resign from the CoCc. Should this happen they will be given the opportunity to be heard. In the event they are asked to resign from the committee, they will accept the majority decision of the committee in this matter and resign at the earliest opportunity.

Relevant information: