Code of Conduct

PENGUICON 2021 CODE OF CONDUCT

A photo of a consent poster and a feedback poster at Penguicon.

Penguicon retains the right, at any time and with or without refund, to remove anyone determined to be disrupting the event or in violation of this Code of Conduct. This could also result in a ban of the person from future events.

Penguicon is committed to fostering an environment of comfort and safety for everyone. To achieve this, attendees should refrain from actions that a reasonable person would feel would limit, or threaten to limit, the safe enjoyment of the convention by another person.

We will not tolerate any form of misconduct toward convention participants. This includes, but is not limited to, targeting based on gender, sexuality, relationship status, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, national origin, or religion.

Violations of this policy can be reported to any on-duty Ops staff member and will be addressed by a Penguicon Convention Committee member or Penguicon Board member.

WHAT IS MISCONDUCT?

  • Misconduct includes:
  • Making disrespectful and unwelcome verbal comments
  • Facilitating an unwelcoming environment
  • Preventing any attendee from entering or participating in con events (except in accordance with con policies)
  • Showing sexual images or conducting discussion about sexual topics in public spaces when the images or discussions do not allow attendees the opportunity to leave beforehand or are not presented in a respectful manner.
  • Intimidating, stalking, or following
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Uninvited physical contact
  • Uninvited sexual attention
  • Making an individual the focal subject of a photograph or recording, against their consent. (Penguicon considers recording and photography of group activities to be part of the purpose for which we have come together to enjoy activities in public. If you do not wish to be photographed as part of an audience or group, please show consideration to others by wearing a costume, or make a special request that the activity not be photographed or recorded until you leave the frame.)

WHAT IS HARASSMENT?

Harassment is a category of misconduct, defined as “a pattern of misconduct toward a target over time.”

Penguicon’s Board tracks reports of misconduct over multiple years, and takes patterns of misconduct into consideration for multi-year disciplinary action, regardless of whether incidents occurred at Penguicon. We need your help to identify whether the incident you experienced was part of a pattern you do not know about. Isolated single incidents of misconduct have sometimes received a multi-year disciplinary action, based on the best judgement of the Board of Directors.

Harassment applies to electronic communication as well as physical. Participants must not engage in misconduct at any convention venues or convention-related social events, not just the Penguicon weekend. Participants asked by the Board, Conchair, Convention Committee, or Staff to stop misconduct are expected to stop immediately, or it rises to the level of harassment.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IN CASE OF MISCONDUCT?

If you feel comfortable attempting to resolve the situation yourself, try asking the person to stop, saying “no” or “please leave me alone,” or walking away. We would appreciate it if Operations was still informed to help us identify any repeat offenders. If you feel threatened or unsafe, or if your attempts to resolve the situation yourself are unsuccessful, please seek help immediately.

If you are in a confrontation, or notice someone else in a confrontation, go to Operations for help. Operations will help participants contact venue security or law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist in creating a positive space for the duration of the con. Penguicon encourages participants to consider the possibility of reporting any rape, assault, or other unlawful activity to law enforcement. We ask that all attendees try to foster an environment where speaking out is fully supported. Retaliating against a person who reports or complains about misconduct will not be tolerated.

Should you choose to report misconduct to Penguicon, you can expect a member of our ConCom to be called in to provide support, investigate, and take the necessary actions to ensure that the situation is handled with the utmost care and concern with clear and concise actions. Penguicon reserves the right to remove attendees from the con and/or ban future attendance if conduct and safety guidelines are not followed. The Penguicon Board will maintain a record of misconduct reports.

SOCIAL INTERACTIONS

  • People commonly wear costumes at conventions. Please be respectful by not touching them or their costume without a clear invitation. Silence does not equal consent.
  • Please keep your public displays of affection rated PG-13.

ATTIRE

  • The display of bondage gear or fetish clothing in public is controversial, but acceptable at the convention. We would recommend that it is most appropriate in the evenings. However, please keep kink play in a private room to avoid non-consensual experiences for others.
  • Proper attire shall be worn at all times in public and function areas which includes covering all bits that would have to be covered if one were outdoors. Further, all attendees must wear footwear on the main floor at all times. Failure to be properly attired could mean immediate removal from the premises by the hotel without refund.

BADGES

  • All Penguicon attendees must purchase a Penguicon badge and wear that badge at all times when attending Penguicon events or using convention event spaces.
  • Forging, duplicating, or sharing Penguicon badges is not permitted.

PARENTAL CONCERNS

Children ages 12 and under are welcome at the convention. However, parents should be aware that Penguicon does not provide any programming or services for children age 12 or under, and requires that a registered convention attendee always accompany these children.

Unaccompanied children are not allowed into non-public convention areas and functions. Please also consider that some convention topics may not be appropriate for young children, and that some evening and night convention functions may involve attendee costume and activities possibly inappropriate for children. Penguicon cannot be held responsible for any unaccompanied minors.

ALCOHOL

Penguicon recognizes that the use of alcoholic beverages by those of legal age is a matter of personal choice. Penguicon requires that those who choose to drink during the Penguicon weekend and at other Penguicon sponsored events abide by state law and Penguicon Code of Conduct. We expect such individuals will conduct themselves responsibly and respectfully in regard to others and to their environment, including the physical property of the host location.

As part of our hospitality, Penguicon may serve alcoholic beverages in the Consuites. There may also be other events that will do so. We require that everyone observe the law and follow these rules:

  • Penguicon will be checking IDs before serving any alcoholic beverages. You must be 21 or over in order to drink in Michigan.
  • Proof of age will be required to be served alcohol at the point of service, not during registration. In other words, you must bring your ID to the ConSuite in order to drink. Con badges will NOT be accepted as proof of age. Acceptable forms of ID are drivers’ licenses, state issued picture IDs, military IDs, and passports.
  • Violations of state drinking laws will not be tolerated.
  • Each room party will need to decide how to handle appropriate alcohol management. Penguicon asks only that everyone comply with hotel rules, and that all parties follow state drinking laws. We hope that everyone has a wonderful time!
  • Please follow the law and hotel rules in regards to open containers of alcohol. Do not take open alcoholic beverages out of the ConSuites or private rooms where they are served. Caffeine, however, may be consumed in any location.

WEAPONS

  • Bladed weapons and replica firearms are often found at Penguicon either as parts of costumes, or as part of dealer displays or pre-arranged martial arts displays. Please follow the law and hotel rules in regards to weapons.
  • Fire-related items are prohibited except within previously approved official events. No explosives or exploding items are allowed at Penguicon. Costume items that contain or use an open flame or heating element are not allowed.
  • Weapons, real or simulated, should remain secured and not be brandished about.
  • The Convention may contain weapons related events such as sword-fighting demonstrations, the “Geeks with Guns” event, or weapons sales in the dealer room. Items for these events are specifically allowed. Be aware that using a weapon is dangerous and should only be done in approved areas. Swinging a sword at a dealers’ table should never be done.
  • Replica and toy firearms are allowed for public display, but not weapons which can actually fire any potentially damaging projectiles (or which could ever have). This means that actual pistols, rifles, BB guns, crossbows, and any similar weaponry are not allowed, even if they have been altered so that they can not be fired. Convention staff cannot take responsibility for making an error in evaluating the weapon.
  • No weapon can be brought to the convention if it contains gunpowder or any other explosive in any quantity. This means that caps for cap guns, blanks for starter pistols, bullets, or anything else with potential for explosion or fire will not be permitted outside of officially sanctioned events.

SWIMMING POOL

  • Pool hours will be posted, please pay attention to them!
  • If you have children, please supervise them.
  • Don’t drink and swim.
  • Be courteous to other users of the area.
  • Be safe.
  • Try to keep your swim attire on, please.

GAME ROOM

  • Win or lose, please play fair and have fun.
  • Please be very careful with our game library.
  • Please respect the staff in the game room and comply with any requests, or you will be asked to leave.
  • Anyone under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Additionally, anyone under the age of 18 must carry contact information for a parent or legal guardian at all times. Gaming staff will ask anyone who is unwilling to comply to leave.
  • Eating and drinking are allowed in gaming, but please take extra care not to spill, and please properly dispose of all empty containers and waste materials.

CONSUITE

  • The ConSuite and Food Room have no public restrooms.
  • Shoes and Shirts are required for entry.
  • Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • Please do not sleep in the ConSuite.
  • Dispose of any pop cans in recycle bins and your trash in trash cans. We need your help to keep the ConSuite clean for everyone.
  • Alcohol may not leave the ConSuite’s doors. Period. Even if you carry it into the ConSuite, once it is in our ConSuite you must consume it, or dispose of it prior to departure, no exceptions.
  • The ConSuite is not meant to provide meals, and cannot provide for all dietary restrictions.

GUEST CANCELLATION

Our Guests of Honor and other invited Guests commit to attending Penguicon long in advance of the actual event. Along the way (and generally at the very last moment!) circumstances beyond everyone’s control may happen, resulting in the Guest not being able to attend the convention as planned. Penguicon can make no guarantee that a particular guest will be able to attend the convention, and can not be liable for the results of a Guest’s cancellation.

LOBBY USE

No sleeping in the lobby is permitted. Volunteers in need of a place to sleep can use their hours to purchase a place to sleep in the Penguin Pit.

FINAL WORDS

Penguicon has a multi-year governing body, the Board Of Directors, who have created a bare minimum set of eight Permanent Rules, listed below. Each year, Penguicon’s Convention Chair and Convention Committee have complete discretion to expand on the rules in detail to become the full Code Of Conduct which they are willing to commit to uphold. Every member of the Board of Directors and Convention Staff, commit to uphold this code of conduct.

Staff List

The Permanent Minimum Rules

  • You must be 21 or over and legal to drink in the state of Michigan to be served alcohol.  We will be checking ID.
  • To use the hospitality areas you must comply with Michigan state drinking laws.
  • Any weapons or potentially dangerous items should be handled with care.
  • Smoking is only permitted in designated areas.
  • The convention might include discussions or demonstrations of an adult nature; these may be inappropriate for children. Parents are responsible for their children; the convention is not.
  • Be respectful of others. If someone asks you to leave them alone, do so.  Seriously.
  • The Convention retains the right to remove anybody from the Convention at any time, with or without refund.
  • Have fun, but comply with hotel rules and the law.