Worldcon 75

The 75th World Science Fiction Convention, 9-13 August 2017, Messukeskus, Helsinki, Finland

Code of Conduct


Worldcon 75 is an international gathering and subject to Finnish law, which can differ from the law many participants may be used to. We want all participants to be as happy and as comfortable as possible, and strongly recommend you read this Code of Conduct carefully, as it attempts to outline some differences in the law, set some behavioural expectations, and provide basic guidelines for participation at Worldcon 75 and associated events and spaces. All participants (including, but not limited to, supporting and attending members, staff, dealers, and guests), are expected to abide by this Code of Conduct.

Worldcon 75 is an ask-first convention with an emphasis on consent; what we mean by this is that people, particularly strangers to each other, should ask and receive explicit consent for interactions between them. This will assist in avoiding misunderstandings caused by cultural or regional differences in social expectations and can be as simple as "Is that seat free, may I join you?" or "That costume is fantastic, may I take a photo?".

To encourage an environment of safety for everyone, this Code of Conduct is to be followed at any Worldcon 75 associated events or spaces, physical or virtual, up to and during Worldcon 75 itself.


General Expectations

The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to help all our members and staff enjoy Worldcon 75 and make sure everybody has a fun, safe and comfortable experience. We do not aim to list every example of acceptable or unacceptable behaviour, but we ask members and staff to use common sense and remember to be excellent to each other:

  • Racist, sexist, ageist, sizeist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or any other form of exclusionary/offensive speech or actions are unacceptable.

  • Do not evaluate aloud or insult other people’s looks, clothing, or any aspect of their appearance.

  • If someone states their discomfort with the current discussion topic or the kind of jokes, please save those jokes for another time. Jokes do not always translate well.

  • Do not make unwelcome sexual remarks at or about other convention members, venue staff, or any associated personnel.

  • It is not acceptable to keep talking to someone after they tell you to stop.

  • It is not acceptable to follow or continue seeking interactions with someone after you have been told to stop or they have otherwise indicated that further contact is unwelcome. Stalking behaviour is unacceptable.

  • Do not touch someone without their permission.

  • It is not acceptable to touch people’s belongings or clothing without their permission. This includes people ‘joking’ with skirts and kilts. An exception applies if taking an unattended item directly to lost property.

  • No pets are allowed on site, only service animals.

  • Do not touch people’s service animals or accessibility devices without their permission. Any animal on site is presumed to be a service animal by attendees, and should be treated respectfully as such.

  • Do not pressure someone to eat or drink anything. If they are uninterested in what you offer, do not press the issue.

  • Do not advocate for or encourage violation of the Code of Conduct, Finnish laws, or venue regulations.

  • Finnish law prohibits the publication or distribution of personally identifiable photographs without the permission of all involved, except for purposes of journalism or artistic or literary expression. Publishing pictures of a person in a public space, eg a group shot, may also require their consent, unless the person clearly is not the main subject of the image and the picture does not cause them any damage, suffering or harm. Please do not take pictures or video of individuals without their explicit permission.


During Events

Please respect the participants and audience members at all times. It is never acceptable to disrupt a programme item or other event. The moderator/organiser of any event has the right to ask anyone to leave the room if they believe they are being disruptive. Please ensure any photography is non-disruptive, and respect the moderator and/or panelists’ wishes regarding taking of photos and/or video.

If you believe the topic of a programme item or event is inappropriate, please raise this with the moderator, if you can do so without disrupting the event, or with Programme Ops. If you believe a guest, listed participant, moderator, or audience member is acting inappropriately, please raise this with the moderator, if you can do so without disrupting the event, or with Programme Ops.


Props and Weapons Policy

Finnish law prohibits the carrying of weapons of any kind in public, including concealed weapons and replica weapons. This includes knives of any kind, which means that Leathermans, Swiss Army Knives or other multi-tools are not allowed in public places, including the convention centre. If you believe you need a knife or multi-tool for a specific work related purpose at Worldcon 75 (eg for Move-In / Move-Out), please pre-arrange this with our Turva team. Turva contact details will be added closer to Worldcon 75.

Carrying any kind of weapon or an item that could reasonably be mistaken for a weapon is forbidden in the Convention Centre, other than for the Masquerade. Items like this include air-soft guns (BB gun, Nerf gun, etc), other gun replicas, ornamental swords, and all types of knives. If your costume prop could be considered a weapon, please check in with the security desk when you arrive.

During, or when heading directly to and from the Masquerade only, a contestant can carry an obviously artificial gun or weapon if it is part of their costume. The prop should be left in the cloakroom if the contestant is not heading directly to the Masquerade. Please remember safety during the show, and while transporting the prop to and from the Masquerade.


Alcohol and Other Intoxicating Substances

Carrying and consuming alcoholic drinks or other intoxicating substances is strictly forbidden in the Convention Centre and in its close proximity unless purchased from licensed vendors on site. If needed, security personnel will confiscate alcohol and other intoxicating substances. All controlled substances (such as illegal drugs) will be handed over to the local police.

Please notice that in accordance with Finnish law, persons under 18 years of age are not allowed to purchase, carry, or consume any alcoholic drinks. For strong spirits (over 22% alcohol by volume) persons under 20 years of age are not allowed to purchase from a liquor store, or carry around in a bottle, but may purchase and consume in a restaurant or bar.


Smoking

Worldcon 75 is a non-smoking (including vaping) event. In accordance with Finnish law, a person must be 18 or older to smoke, and smoking is not allowed indoors at any time. It is also forbidden to smoke close to the entrances of the venue or close to “No smoking” signs. There are designated smoking areas, for those who wish to smoke or vape. Please make sure any smoking waste (ash, butts, etc) ends up in the ashtrays of the designated smoking areas.


About the Venue

Littering, making a mess, or otherwise damaging the venue is strictly forbidden. Members of Worldcon 75 are restricted to the areas of Messukeskus facilities which have been rented by our convention. Do not touch or move furniture or devices being stored by the venue (for example, if covered by a drape).

Obstructing the corridors of the venue is not allowed. Please avoid sitting on the stairs or otherwise obstructing access areas or doorways. Moving furniture meant as an obstruction is not allowed.

Attaching posters, ads, or other papers or items to the walls of the venue is allowed only with permission from Info Desk and only in the designated areas indicated by the Info Desk staff.


Reporting an Incident

Please report incidents, misbehaviour, and other problems, as soon as possible. Pre-convention concerns or reports can be emailed to <safety@worldcon.fi>. At-convention safety contact details will be added closer to Worldcon 75. If someone attempts another method of contact with a Worldcon 75 staffer about their concerns due to lack of access or knowledge about the <safety@worldcon.fi> email, attempts will be made to route the concern to the Code of Conduct Listeners (the team responsible for taking reports) promptly. All concerns brought to the convention staff will be taken seriously, and confidentiality will be maintained within Finnish legal requirements.

If a Code of Conduct concern is raised, a trained Listener will document relevant details and discuss as needed. A person reporting a concern may choose to have someone they trust with them at any point during this process. Any breach of this Code of Conduct will be discussed separately and privately with the individuals involved, where possible. Best efforts will be made to make same-day decisions regarding the situation and to take appropriate action, with priority given to the safety of convention members.

Appropriate action includes, but is not limited to, verbal or written warning, requiring a guarantee regarding specific behaviour, dismissal from committee, staff, programming or volunteering, banning from one or more areas of the convention for anywhere from an hour to the rest of the convention, or complete revocation of membership. If any of the involved parties are dissatisfied with the action(s) taken, they can appeal this with the Staff Services co-Division Heads <staffservices@worldcon.fi>, co-Chairs of Worldcon 75 <chairs@worldcon.fi> or to Maa ja Ilma ry <hallitus@worldcon.fi>, the parent organisation of the convention.

Instructions issued by security personnel (licensed "Järjestyksenvalvoja" staff of the convention and/or Messukeskus convention centre), venue staff, convention committee, police and other authorised personnel are to be followed in all situations. According to Finnish law, licensed security personnel have the right to remove any person from Worldcon 75 for violating the Code of Conduct, harassing other people, or in other ways behaving inappropriately.


In Conclusion

The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to help ensure the safety of all participants at Worldcon 75, which will enable people to have fun at the convention. The goal of the Code of Conduct is not to list everything that is forbidden, as an exhaustive list would be unwieldy. Rather, this Code of Conduct is meant to foster a common understanding of acceptable behaviour between people of various different backgrounds and nationalities, gathering together at Worldcon 75.