Code of Conduct for ASG Members

29/01/2020 

1.0    General

a.     All Members shall be required to commit to the Code of Conduct.

 

b.     Annual renewal of membership will imply agreement to adhere to the Code. 

 

1.1  This Code of Conduct is a mandatory requirement of the ASG and includes the procedure to be followed when a breach of the Code is alleged.

1.2  It is expected that some Members may disagree with others about some matters, or with some aspects of the Society’s activities, and that they may participate in a robust dialogue intended to settle the issues.  However, in pursuing activities that impinge on the affairs or reputation of the Society, Members are required to conduct themselves in accordance with the Code of Conduct laid down by the Society.

1.3  Failure to do so may lead to a formal investigation and action being taken by the Society against the Member concerned, in accordance with the process set out in Clause 7.0 of this code of conduct. 

2.0   Acceptance of the Code of Conduct  

 

By becoming or continuing to be a member of the Society you are bound to the Code 

of Conduct for ASG Members.

 

3.0   Objectivity, Integrity and Selflessness

   

Members must at all times endeavour to act in the best interests of the Society. Members should exercise their decision-making, influencing and representational roles related to the Society on the basis of fact, recognised constitutional procedure and sound professional judgment.  

 

4.0   Member Conduct

  

4.1  Members must observe the Code of Conduct of the Society and must conduct their activities honourably, with integrity to the highest standards. They should act to preserve the interests of the Society in its efforts to further Astronomy and other closely related subjects.  

General conduct

4.2  Members must endeavour to promote the overall best interests of astronomy, to inspire others to take pride in the Society’s achievements and to work within its ethos and constitutional provisions.   

4.3  They must conduct themselves in a manner which does not damage or undermine the reputation of the Society or members, and should not take part in any activity which is in conflict with the overall objects of the ASG or which might, without just cause, damage the reputation of, the Society.   

4.4  They should not engage in activities that undermine the effectiveness of the Society, or of those elected or appointed to further such effectiveness through the proper exercise of their judgement or conduct of their duties.  Members should remain publicly respectful of other Members and trustees of the Society. Members, who have concerns about the conduct of another Member, or of a Society trustee, must raise their concerns constructively and objectively in accordance with the procedure set out in the “Procedure for Investigating Alleged Breaches of the Code” section.  

4.5  Members must at all times refrain from actions or statements towards Members, prospective Members and visitors that might be construed as discrimination on the basis of their sex, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, gender reassignment, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, belief, disability, being pregnant or having a child or age (all of which are considered as 'protected characteristics' by law) and also from discrimination based upon other features such as physical appearance and level of intellectual achievement.  

4.6  Harassment, victimisation and bullying are prohibited. Harassment is unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating someone's dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. Victimisation is less favourable treatment of someone who has complained or given information about discrimination or harassment, or supported someone else's complaint.

Conduct at meetings

4.7  Whilst at meetings organised or sponsored by the Society, whether at the Society’s Lectures, observatory, or other events, all Members are bound by the Code of Conduct.

Society property

4.8  Members must respect the property of the Society, such as the Observatory, telescopes, equipment and also other Members own equipment.  

 

 

Code of Conduct for ASG Members Attending Meetings

5.0  Code of Conduct for attendees of the Astronomical Society of Glasgow Meetings and Events in    Strathclyde University and elsewhere:-

5.1  The Astronomical Society of Glasgow Council and Members value the participation of everyone at events and want all attendees to have an enjoyable experience. Accordingly, all attendees are expected to show respect and courtesy to other attendees, members, and speakers. 

5.2  Any ASG meeting/event will be a discrimination and harassment-free environment for everyone. Discrimination on the basis of, for example, sex, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, gender reassignment, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, belief, disability, being pregnant or having a child, age, physical appearance and level of intellectual/professional achievement will not be tolerated.  

5.3  The Society does not tolerate harassment of attendees in any form. Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race or religion; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.  

6.0   Expected behaviour of participants/attendees at all ASG meetings.

All Participants/attendees should:

6.1  Be on time for the start of a session.  

6.2  Refrain from loud conversations outside the door of the lecture theatre/meeting room and switch off mobile phones. 

6.3  Refrain from making or receiving calls using mobile phones and laptops during lectures, and all such devices must be put into ’silent’ mode, or its equivalent, for the duration of the lecture.

6.4  Remember that lecturers give their time freely. Some are very distinguished; some are early career scientists giving a lecture at this level for the first time. All deserve a fair and encouraging hearing. 

6.5  Be kind to others.  

6.6  Not insult or put down other attendees. 

6.7  Respect all ASG Council, Members and Visitors 

6.8  Behave responsibly. 

6.9  All communication (given by lecturers, organisers and attendees) should be appropriate for the audience. Sexual language, sexist, racist, or exclusionary jokes and imagery is not appropriate for any event. Participants/attendees asked to stop any discriminatory or harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately. Attendees violating these rules may be asked to leave the event. Participants/attendees are entitled to raise a complaint. The Code of Conduct for ASG Members will apply if those involved are Members. Otherwise the matters should be raised with the ASG council who will involve the President if required.   

Thank you for helping to make all ASG meetings and events welcoming for all.

 

 

Procedure for Investigating Alleged Breaches of the Code

 

7.0     Resolution of problems

 

7.1  Members should use their best endeavours to work with the Council to resolve informally any complaint about the conduct of a Member or any actual or potential dispute with another Member or a member of the Society’s Trustees.   

7.2  If the problem cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties by such informal means, or if the matter is so serious as to risk compromising the overall stability, reputation or probity of the Society, the complaint or dispute shall be resolved by means of the formal procedure set out below.  

8.0   Making a formal allegation  

8.1  Formal allegations against Members must be made in writing and sent to the President or to the Council if the President is personally involved and would have a conflict of interest in the matter. The formal allegation must set out how the Member concerned is alleged to have contravened the Code of Conduct, or otherwise brought the Society into disrepute, and the nature of the evidence on which the allegation is based.  

8.2  Any Member (or group of Members) may make a formal allegation, including Members of Council. Apart from providing evidence for the investigation, the Member(s) making the allegation shall take no further part in the investigation, determination of the matter, or any appeal process.  

8.3  Formal allegations against Members can also be received from Visitors who will be provided with information on the Code of Conduct for Members and the procedure for investigating alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct. In such cases the investigation will be carried out as if the individual who made the allegation was a Member.   

8.4  The Member against whom the allegation has been made shall be informed promptly and sent a copy of the formal allegation, including the name of the person(s) bringing the allegation. 

8.5  All communications with the accused Member in relation to the allegation, any investigation and any hearing shall be posted, using a ‘Signed for’ (or equivalent) service to the address the Society holds on record, and also by email, if any email address is held by the Society.  

9.0   Investigation

9.1  At the first meeting of the Council held after receipt of a written formal allegation, Council shall determine whether there is, prima facie, a case to answer.  

9.2  If following the initial investigation the Council decides there is no case to answer, the complainant and the Member against whom the allegation has been made shall be informed of the decision and the reasons for it.  

9.3  If, however, the Council decides that there is a case to answer, the complainant shall be informed. The Member who is the subject of the allegation shall also be informed and given a copy of any written report made by the Council. The Council shall cause the President to institute a hearing with a Panel formed of a minimum of three of the Council members of the Society, one of whom shall be appointed to chair the hearing. The hearing shall be administered by the President. It shall be the Presidents responsibility to advise the appointed Panel members on conducting a fair hearing and to ensure that a written record is made.  

9.4  Once the Member has been notified that a formal allegation has been made against them, the investigation and any subsequent proceedings may be continued even if the Member chooses to resign. The former Member shall be informed of the Council’s decision on whether to proceed with the investigation or not. The former Member shall be entitled to respond to the allegation and engage in any proceedings on the same basis as if they had remained a Member.  

9.5  The Member shall be entitled to submit written observations or representations to the Panel on the subject matter of the allegation and, if the Member desires to do so, to appear before the Panel in person. The Panel may require the Member to attend before them and to produce any documents which they consider to be relevant to the investigation; they can also request the attendance of witnesses. The Member and potential witnesses will be given reasonable notice of any such requests. The Society will reimburse reasonable travel expenses of those who are asked to attend the hearing.

9.6  If, given reasonable notice, the Member fails to attend or otherwise to avail themselves of their rights to participate in the investigation and hearing, the Panel may proceed in the Member’s absence.

9.7  Following the investigation, the Panel will conclude the examination with a written report which will include recommendations as to what action, if any, the Society should take to resolve the matter of the dispute, and to uphold its Code of Conduct and its reputation. The report must give the reasons why the Panel have reached their conclusions. The Panel may make any of the following recommendations: 

a.     That the allegation be rejected.  

b.     That the allegation is upheld and that the Society should adopt one or more of the following courses of action in relation the Member concerned: 

                                i.     take no further action 

                               ii.     require the Member to apologise in writing for the behaviour found to be contrary to the Code of Conduct 

                              iii.     require the Member to give an undertaking in writing to refrain from continuing or repeating the conduct which is found to have breached the Code of Conduct 

                              iv.     expel the Member from the Society subject to clauses 26 and 43, 44 of the Constitution 

 

9.8  If there is a significant time delay before the next Council meeting then the Panel can provide the written report and make a recommendation to Council by email, out of Committee.

10.  Decision  

10.1     After reaching their conclusions, the Panel shall submit their report and recommendation(s) to the Council for its consideration. 

10.2     The Council shall consider the report and recommendation(s). If the Council concludes that the accused Member has indeed acted materially in contradiction to the Code, then the Council shall take into account the recommendation(s) on any sanction to be imposed. The final decision shall be a matter for a vote by the Membership in accordance with clauses 26 and 43, 44 of the constitution.  

10.3     A record of the investigation, of the recommendation of the Panel, and of the decision of Council shall be kept. The Member and the complainant will both be informed of the conclusions of the investigation, the recommendation of the Panel, and the decision of Council.  

11.0  Expulsion  

11.1     If a Member is expelled their name shall immediately be removed permanently from the register of members of the Society and they shall thereupon cease for all purposes to be a Member of the Society. The Member shall not be entitled to use any designation or description which implies membership or former membership of the Society nor attend ASG meetings or events as a non-member.   

11.2     In the case of Expulsion the return of any membership fee shall be at the discretion of the council

12.0  Appeals procedure  

12.1     A Member who has had an allegation against them upheld by the Society may lodge a written appeal against the decision of Council with the President within 28 days of the date on which the letter informing them of that decision was posted.  

12.2     When an appeal is received, the President shall appoint an Appeals Panel consisting of three previous (non-serving) Officers or Councillors of the Society who have had no prior involvement in the allegation or investigation. The Appeals Panel shall consider the appeal. After reviewing all the information that was available to the Council and Officers, the written report and recommendation by the Officers, any written representations to them by the appellant or by the Officers of the Society, and, if they think fit, after conducting further enquiries, the Panel may affirm or vary the decision of Council. The Appeals Panel must provide written reasons for its decision.

The Council:

The Astronomical Society of Glasgow

 

PANEL

A group of Council Members convened by the President to investigate any allegations of Breach of Conduct

 

APPEALS PANEL

A group of Council Members convened to investigate any appeal against a Council Decision. This panel will be comprised of Council Members not involved in the initial investigation