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Respectful Behavior Policy


The open exchange of ideas, freedom of thought and expression, and productive scientific debate are central to the mission of the American Nuclear Society (ANS). These require an open and diverse environment that is built on dignity and mutual respect for all participants and ANS staff members, and is free of bias and intimidation. Therefore, ANS is dedicated to providing a safe, welcoming, and productive experience for everyone participating in Society events and other Society activities, regardless of age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, marital status, military service status, national origin, parental status, physical appearance, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. ANS will not tolerate harassment of or by participants (including ANS volunteers and ANS staff) in any form, including discriminatory harassment. Participants in ANS activities who violate this principle are subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from membership.


Harassment is behavior that is hostile or offensive. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Verbal or written comments that are insulting, degrading, or threatening
  • Verbal or written comments that are sexually graphic or sexually suggestive
  • Unwelcome and targeted photography or recording
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
  • Display of offensive or sexually suggestive objects, pictures, or graphics
  • Initiation of inappropriate physical contact (contact of a violent or sexual nature)
  • Unwelcome sexual attention, including repeated flirtations or advances
  • Advocating for, encouraging, or intentionally concealing any of the above behavior

Harassment does not require intent to offend; harassment includes actions above that are intended to be jokes, "kidding," or "teasing".

Harassment does not include consensual personal and social relationships conducted in private spaces.


All participants in ANS events and other Society activities are expected to treat other participants with professionalism and respect. Participants are expected to refrain from all harassing behavior toward any individual. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately, whether or not the request comes from someone in an authority position.

Creation of a safe and welcoming environment is a shared responsibility held by all participants. Harassment and other violations of this policy reduce the value of participation for everyone, not just those on the receiving end. Participants who believe they are witnessing or experiencing harassing behavior are encouraged, though not required, to ask the offender to stop the unwelcome behavior by referencing this policy. Often, this action alone will stop the problem. Participants are equally encouraged to exercise their option to leave a situation that makes them feel targeted or unsafe.

If you or someone else experiences harassment, regardless of how you otherwise choose to initially handle the situation, you are encouraged to report the situation to ANS. (See Section V, "Reporting and Enforcement.") It is possible that the behavior you experienced is part of a larger pattern of repeated harassment. Please alert ANS to behavior you feel to be harassment regardless of the offender.s identity or standing in the Society.

Additionally, if you have an incident to report, please report it as soon as possible. The most effective method of resolving actual or perceived harassment is early identification and intervention. Timely reporting helps ANS to take constructive action before relationships become irreparably damaged.


This policy applies to all ANS volunteer leaders, staff members, and event attendees, including speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and vendors.

This policy applies at all official ANS events and other Society activities, such as national and topical meetings, training courses, committee and other business meetings, and public speaking engagements. For in-person events, participants are expected to follow these rules at all event venues and event-related social activities. For remote activities, participants are expected to follow these rules in all non-physical spaces associated with the activity (e.g. teleconferences, group emails, online comment threads).

For example, sponsors and exhibitors shall not include sexualized images, activities, or other material in their promotions. Booth staff at an exhibit (including volunteers) shall not use sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualized environment.

This policy also applies to all vendors and other outside parties that work for ANS.


If you have an incident to report at an event, you may contact the designated person listed in the event program. You may also contact ANS Executive Director Robert C. Fine, JD, CAE or 708-579-8200 or the ANS President at any time, including during and after events.

The complaint and investigation will be handled with respect for the privacy of all involved, and will be confidential to the extent practical, given the circumstances. Upon receiving a complaint, the matter may be further investigated by the Executive Director and/or the ANS President. Details of the complaint may later be shared with members of the Executive Committee and/or the Board of Directors, depending on the case. Individuals to be notified and actions to be taken will be discussed beforehand with the recipient of the harassing behavior, where possible.

Please note that ANS believes in respecting the wishes of those directly involved in the incident. While you may report an incident if you are not the target of the harassing behavior, ANS reserves the right to discontinue enforcement if it determines that no harassment existed, that the recipient of the behavior does not wish to further pursue a complaint, or that the information provided is not complete enough to allow an investigation to be made.

Disciplinary action for participants found to have violated this policy may include reprimand, expulsion from an event or activity with or without a refund, temporary or permanent exclusion from all ANS events and activities, suspension or expulsion from volunteer leadership positions or groups, and/or suspension or expulsion from Society membership, as appropriate.

For more detail on the complaint resolution procedure, or if you have other questions about the Respectful Behavior Policy, please contact ANS Executive Director Robert C. Fine, JD, CAE or 708-579-8200.

icon Download: Respectful Behavior Policy

Last modified May 6, 2016, 3:48pm CDT

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