USASP is committed to promoting diversity. Some examples of diverse perspectives include race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origin, religious commitments, age, (dis)ability status, and political perspective.

This Code of Conduct Policy outlines our expectations for all those who participate in any USASP virtual or in-person meeting as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior.

We expect all participants in USASP meetings to create safe and positive experiences for everyone. In doing so, we forge the best possible environment to advance USASP’s mission and support our core values. This policy is intended to prevent harassment and other misconduct.

“Participant” in this policy refers to anyone present at an USASP-sponsored meeting, including staff, contractors, exhibitors, venue staff, members, and any other attendees.

Expected Behavior

We expect all participants to abide by this Code of Conduct Policy at all USASP meetings, including ancillary events and official and unofficial social gatherings. The following is not an exhaustive list but is meant to guide attendees in interactions.


  • Demonstrate respect and consideration for all people.
  • Listen thoughtfully to others when they are speaking. Make room for a diversity of perspectives in group discussions, on panels, etc. Facilitators should invite, but be sensitive not to pressure, those who have not yet actively participated to do so.
  • Be collaborative. Be mindful not to exert dominance over others. Consider the effect of relationship, position, experience, and privilege power differentials, and other factors to avoid dominance.
  • Demonstrate that differing perspectives are valued — critique ideas (not people), don’t make it personal.
  • Welcome the diversity characterizing individuals and their identities — pay attention to whether individuals of many identities and roles are included on panels, leading sessions, being called on when they raise their hands, and having their points considered.
  • Report conduct concerns to a meeting official, such as a Scientific Program Committee member or USASP Board Member, so that concerns can be addressed responsibly and in a timely manner.
  • Respect confidentiality of the identities of any individuals involved in a conduct concern, while it is being reviewed and addressed.
  • Answer questions about conduct concerns in a forthright and complete manner (e.g., when registering or during a review of concerns); and
  • Immediately comply if any leader or facilitator of an activity/session, any official of the venue, or any USASP official directs a participant to stop a behavior or comment. Please comply when directions are made to implement this Policy or the venue’s policies. After participants comply, they may raise any questions or concerns to a meeting official.


  • Engage in biased, demeaning, intimidating, coercive, or harassing/hostile conduct or commentary, whether seriously or in jest. Be aware that others may perceive conduct or commentary in this manner because of the presence of a power differential, actual or perceived gender difference [sex, identity, expression], or differences in sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or national origin, religion, marital status, veteran status, age, body size or other physical appearance, disability, or other identities. This is the opposite of respect and welcoming conduct.
  • Engage in personal attacks.
  • Intentionally talk over or interrupt others.
  • Retaliate against or disadvantage anyone for reporting a conduct concern or assisting in its resolution. Do not make bad faith accusations.
  • Disrupt the meeting or engage in violence, threats of violence, harm or threats of harm of any kind. Do not create/contribute to a safety threat or an unsafe or exclusionary situation. Firearms, knives and other weapons are not allowed at meetings unless specifically allowed by local laws.
  • Invade the personal privacy of individuals, at times or in places where people can reasonably expect privacy. Meeting participants should not view, photograph, audio- or visual- record, or distribute photographs or recordings of, individuals (in any medium) where privacy can reasonably be expected.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior from any participant at a USASP event will not be tolerated.

If a participant engages in unacceptable behavior, USASP may take any action they deem appropriate, including removal from a meeting (without refund) at which the harassment occurred. USASP believes home institutions and employers of our event attendees, including research institutions, companies, and other organizations, are best equipped to investigate allegations or violations by their faculty members, trainees, employees or affiliated individuals, and to evaluate and determine appropriate actions consistent with their employment and academic obligations.

In the event of an allegation of unacceptable behavior at a USASP event, USASP will document and refer allegations to an attendee’s institution for its review and sole determination regarding possible actions. To the extent possible, documentation will be held in confidence by USASP’s executive staff and legal counsel.

As appropriate, USASP staff will help event participants contact meeting venue security, health services, or local law enforcement, to help them feel safe during events. An online resource center supported by the Office on Violence Against Women——will be widely communicated for information and resources on how to respond to and prevent unacceptable behavior, harassment, and assault and for local support in annual meeting cities.

In the event that credible findings of misconduct are brought forward concerning a USASP member, officer, committee member, invited speaker, or award recipient, the USASP Board would reserve the right to withhold or revoke the membership, volunteer leadership position, invitation, or award. The decision to withhold or revoke the membership, volunteer leadership position, invitation, or award would require a discussion and unanimous vote of a quorum of the USASP Board of Directors.

If You Are Subject to or Witness Unacceptable Behavior

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact one of the meeting staff immediately. 

If possible, provide the following information, preferably in writing: 

  • Identifying information (name/badge ID, appearance) of the participant about whom you have the concern;
  • The behavior that was in violation;
  • The approximate time of the behavior (if different than the time the report was made);
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident;
  • Other people involved in or witnessing the incident.

The meeting staff are trained on how to deal with the incident and how to further proceed with the situation. 

If needed or requested, meeting staff will help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the meeting.


If the person raising the concern, any identified individual target, or the accused (each an “individual most directly involved”) or a particular witness asks the meeting staff for confidentiality of their identity while the concern is being addressed, reasonable steps will be taken to do so unless there is a question of safety or investigation requires otherwise

Investigations and Appeals

If you are accused of or being investigated for unacceptable behavior, this complaint will be processed fairly.  You may contact USASP Chief Administrative officer to describe your perspective.