NCAS Volunteer Code of Conduct

Revision Number0001
Last Revised2019-10-20
Policy ContactThe NCAS Board of Directors, or any committee of the Board appointed to maintain the NCAS Code(s) of Conduct.

Purpose

This North Carolina Anthropomorphic Society, Inc. (“NCAS”, also the “Organization”) Volunteer Code of Conduct is in place to ensure that all Volunteers may enjoy our events safely and to foster an environment of mutual trust and respect.

Scope

This Code of Conduct is in effect for any Volunteer of NCAS for any time they are acting as a volunteer for the Organization. This includes both virtual and in-person conduct: 1) while attending any NCAS sponsored or affiliated event and 2) outside of any NCAS sponsored or affiliated event for as long as Volunteer activities are being engaged in.

Definitions

General Volunteer, Volunteer: A (general) volunteer is an individual who has signed up with the Volunteer Coordinator to aid NCAS for a specific event or activity. Such volunteer positions are limited in responsibility and duration, and last only for the duration of said event or activity, potentially including tear-down tasks after it closes to members.

Additions and Addendums

Additional Code(s) of Conduct documents or Event Rules may be applied in addition to or in addendum to regulations in this document depending on the tier of membership or other roles held within NCAS. In such a case as a conflict arises between such documents and this one, the superseding regulation shall be that which is from the most relevant role in regards to the situation or violation. Any questions or uncertainty on what regulation is in effect should be directed to the Policy Contact listed at the beginning of this document.

Please Do Not

The following actions are prohibited and constitute a violation of the NCAS Volunteer Code of Conduct.

Any Volunteer found to have committed a violation of these conduct regulations is subject to the sanctions outlined in this Code. A claim of lack of awareness of any Code of Conduct or related procedures does not excuse any violations of such.

  1. Personal
    1. Disorderly Conduct​. Examples of disorderly conduct include but are not limited to the following:
      1. Engaging in conduct that disrupts or obstructs the orderly functioning of NCAS events, including but not limited to:
        1. Shouting excessively above general area volume.
        2. Noises or music excessively above general area volume.
        3. Sitting in walkways or other areas of movement, ingress, and egress.
      2. Physical abuse, battery, fighting, and/or other physical contact that:
        1. Threatens or endangers the health or safety of another person.
        2. Puts another in reasonable apprehension or fear for their safety.
        3. Is used to coerce Organization membership.
      3. Verbal abuse, whether vocal or in text communication, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion, bullying/cyber bullying, and/or other conduct that:
        1. Threatens or endangers the health or safety of another person.
        2. Puts another in reasonable apprehension or fear for their safety.
        3. Is so severe or pervasive that it deprives an individual the benefits of any membership event or activity.
        4. Is used to coerce Organization membership.
      4. Conduct or behavior that is obscene, including but not limited to public exposure of one’s own sexual organs and voyeurism, including, but not limited to, video or other electronic voyeurism.
      5. Failure to comply with directions of NCAS event officials, moderators, or law enforcement officers acting in the performance of their duties. Failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
      6. Intentional obstruction that unreasonably interferes with freedom of movement or emergency egress (pedestrian or vehicular) on event grounds.
      7. Sleeping or camping in unapproved locations.
      8. Entering an athletic contest, dance, social, or other NCAS event without the proper credentials for admission (e.g., ticket, identification, invitation).
      9. Circulating any advertising media without approval from proper NCAS officials or in a manner that violates or is contrary to policies of NCAS and state or local law.
      10. Unauthorized recordings (audio/visual/other related devices) without permission of the applicable NCAS official or individual being recorded. In recognition and support of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, freedom of speech and expression shall be considered in investigating and reviewing these types of alleged conduct violations.
    2. Other personal behavior policies​:
      1. Expression​. NCAS is a private Organization. As such, acceptability of speech/expression is at the Organization’s discretion. This means you cannot use the “Free Speech and Expression” exemption to defend obscene, vulgar, discriminatory, or otherwise uncouth speech or expression.
      2. Sexual Misconduct​: Please keep all consensual acts behind closed doors. Public displays of affection in excess of what would be considered acceptable in a public space are strictly prohibited in any general venue.
    3. Acts of Dishonesty​. Volunteers of NCAS are expected to engage in their business in an ethical, honest manner. Do not misrepresent yourself or NCAS in any way. Examples of specific prohibited actions include but are not limited to the following:
      1. Willfully furnishing false information about or to NCAS, its Staff, Volunteers, members, affiliates, etc.
      2. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any NCAS Documents, records, or instruments of identification.
      3. Causing, condoning, or encouraging the the dishonest completion of any NCAS records, documents, or forms, printed or otherwise.
      4. Offering or causing to be offered any bribe or favor to an NCAS Staff, Volunteer, or Voting member in order to influence a decision.
    4. Illegal Actions​. No illegal activities, as defined by local, state, or federal law, are permitted by NCAS. Any and all illegal activities will be reported to the authorities and are grounds for sanctions up to and including IMMEDIATE revocation of Membership and Volunteer status.
      1. No alcohol for those under 21. No illegal drugs as defined by the State of North Carolina and the US Federal Government. No prescription drugs shall be in the possession of those who do not have a prescription for said drugs. This includes ingestion or otherwise “using” said drugs. Violation(s) of this policy will result in a call to the police and an ejection from the event space.
      2. Do not destroy or damage the event facilities, or any property belonging to NCAS. NCAS is not responsible for any damage you cause to any event facilities or property.
      3. All forms of gambling are prohibited unless authorized by state law, the venue, and NCAS, and only as provided explicitly in the event rules.
    5. Harassment​: NCAS aims to provide a safe space in which all attendees can feel welcome and secure, regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, religion, or age. If consent is not expressly given or is revoked, it is harassment. We have a zero-tolerance stance on harassment, and will investigate all such claims seriously and thoroughly.
      1. Scope​. Harassment of any kind, including, but not limited to, physically or verbally threatening, annoying, unwelcome attentions, stalking, pushing, lewd or generally offensive behavior or language using sexually explicit or offensive language of conduct, or profanity, obscene gestures or racial, religious, or ethic slurs will be considered harassment.
      2. Hazing.​ NCAS does not condone hazing in any form. Hazing is defined as any intentional, negligent, or reckless action, activity or situation that causes or has the potential to cause another pain, embarrassment, ridicule, or harassment, regardless of the individual’s willingness to participate. Such actions and situations include, but are not limited to, the following:
        1. Forcing or requiring the consumption or deprivation of edible or non-edible solids, liquids, alcohol or other substance.
        2. Forcing or requiring nudity or other acts of intimacy at any time.
        3. Forcing or requiring the violation of NCAS policies, Venue or Event rules, federal, state or local law.
      3. Sexual Harassment​: A Volunteer of NCAS may not engage in unwelcome sexual advances or conduct towards another Volunteer, Staff, Member, Venue Staff, Patron, or any others not defined in this document. Sexual Harassment includes, but is not limited to, inappropriate or unwelcome:
        1. Comments (verbal or non-verbal, such as sign language) or gestures.
        2. Physical contact.
        3. Photography and/or recording.
        4. Handling of others’ cosplay, costumes, props or personal property.
  2. Representation​: Misrepresentation or Impersonation of NCAS representatives, its events, its partners, or its affiliates is prohibited. Official representation is not to be conducted without prior explicit written consent from NCAS. Examples of specific prohibited actions include but are not limited to the following:
    1. Use, modification, or distribution of Organization intellectual property without prior authorization.
    2. Falsely representing Organizational roles, policies or status.
    3. Accepting money or other items of value on behalf of NCAS, its events, its partners, or other affiliates.
    4. Invoicing or billing anyone on behalf of NCAS, the event, the charity, or other partner(s).
      1. Do not spend money expecting to be reimbursed by the Organization without prior approval in writing. NCAS is not obligated to reimburse volunteers for funds spent without prior and explicit authorization.
    5. Volunteers may not authorize an individual, group, or entity not under the direction and control of NCAS to act as representatives of NCAS in any form or format.
  3. Event Specific:​ Some regulations, such as below, are specified as a baseline across all NCAS events. These regulations can be added to, amended, or excepted if explicitly stated within posted Event Rules for a particular NCAS hosted or affiliated event.
    1. Tobacco, Vape, and Alcohol consumption​.
      1. Consumption of tobacco products, including vapes, will not be allowed outside of a venue’s marked smoking area.
      2. Consumption of alcoholic products are only allowed in venue approved areas, including hotel rooms.
    2. Weapons​. Except as permitted by law, location, and event rules, possessing weapons as defined in this regulation is strictly prohibited.
      1. Prohibited devices include but are not limited to firearms, ammunition, explosives, dangerous chemicals, air guns, sling shots, zip guns, knives with a blade of two inches or more from hilt to blade tip, knives having a switchblade or automatic blade opener, blackjacks, bolo knives, machetes, swords, spears, any club-type hand weapons, pyrotechnics, throwing stars, nunchucks, throwing knives, or any objects or materials capable of causing and/or used by the offending person to cause or threaten physical harm.
    3. Attire and Costumes​. Clothing, attire, costume elements, or apparel that is disruptive, provocative, revealing, profane, vulgar, offensive, obscene, or unsafe is prohibited. This includes:
      1. Exposed undergarments.
      2. See-through or excessively short, tight, or revealing clothes.
      3. Clothing with lewd, indecent or vulgar messages or illustrations.
      4. Clothing that advertises products or services that are illegal.
      5. Chains, spikes or other accessories that could be perceived as or used as a weapon.
      6. Any costume or attire so large, heavy, or cumbersome that the wearer cannot safely move without the aid of another person.
    4. Props​. Props that interfere with or disrupt duties performed by you or other volunteers are prohibited. Including but not limited to:
      1. Any prop that can release a projectile of any kind, including squirt guns, Nerf guns and rubber band guns.
      2. Any prop that can be easily mistaken for a real weapon.
      3. Any prop that is too large to carry in one hand or that may pose an obstacle or tripping hazard if set down.
    5. Solicitation​. Unauthorized solicitation generates excess waste, can detract from members’ enjoyment of events, and can potentially infringe on the rights or privacy of a volunteer or member. As such, the following actions are prohibited without prior written consent of NCAS or its affiliates:
      1. Market research, surveys, or other methods of information-gathering.
      2. Distribution of flyers, handouts, or other informational material.
      3. Solicitation of tips, fees, or donations for any reason.
  4. Role Specific:​ The following regulations specifically apply to Volunteers in effect to their role and actions fulfilling this role as a Volunteer of NCAS. These regulations supercede any conflicting regulations within NCAS when a Volunteer is acting in the commission of their duties as a Volunteer or attending any Volunteer events hosted by NCAS, its partners, or affiliates.
    1. Appropriate Conduct. Volunteers should not engage in or conduct Organization business in a manner that does not reflect and exemplify the Organization’s mission.
    2. Abuse of power. Volunteers should not attempt to use their Volunteer position to unduly gain benefit or influence others (Staff, other Volunteers, Attendees, Voting Members, etc...).
      1. Being a Volunteer cannot be used to gain unauthorized entry to events.
      2. Do not coerce or otherwise influence others against their will.
    3. Badge/Credentials. As a Volunteer, you’ve been entrusted with certain privileges and responsibilities attached to your Volunteer badge and/or apparel. Do not allow anyone but yourself to use your Volunteer badge and/or apparel to gain access to the event or represent NCAS.
    4. Confidentiality. Information disclosed to Volunteers within the context of their duties is generally considered privileged information and has an impact on the Organization if that information is made public or shared with outside parties.
      1. For the purpose of this regulation, Confidential Information shall be considered any information or discussion communicated:
        1. Within any official NCAS Volunteer communications platform.
        2. In any official NCAS Volunteer email, letter, or other memo.
        3. At any NCAS Volunteer meeting or function.
      2. Do not disclose information unless it has been clearly marked as clear to be disclosed. If unsure, assume it is confidential. If you have a need to disclose the information, obtain permission from the NCAS Leadership (Operations Director or above) first.
      3. Streaming or recording meetings aside from that which is officially done by NCAS is strictly prohibited.
    5. NCAS Resources and Information: Access to NCAS Resources (ex: credentials, Information Technology Resources, or information) is issued on a need-to-have basis. If you have access to this, utilizing it for reasons other than approved by NCAS is strictly prohibited. Misuse of these items includes, but is not limited to:
      1. Using NCAS IT devices for personal use.
      2. Using NCAS credentials to gain access to things you wouldn’t normally be allowed to access. (PII, financial data, etc.)
      3. Using NCAS Resources for personal gain. (Including mining data for advertising purposes outside of NCAS-approved usage.)
      4. Using NCAS Resources or Information to harm NCAS or its members.
    6. Disparaging Remarks: Remarks made by a volunteer, or are propagated, endorsed, or encouraged by the volunteer, that are disparaging to the Organization, its policies, volunteers, partners, or guests are prohibited from being made in public or private outside of confidential direct feedback to the Organization.
      1. Refrain from publicly disparaging fellow volunteers, staff, or members of the organization, and refrain from condoning or engaging in misrepresentation or unethical practices in any manner.
      2. This includes, but is not limited to, in-person communication, electronic communication, and online interactions of any nature.
    7. Bribes & Gifts: A volunteer may not, under any circumstances, receive, give, or permit compensation of any kind, from any source, in exchange for improper influence over NCAS operation or undue privileges.
      1. Bribes include but may not be limited to: money, gifts, favors (including sexual), employment, goods, rights in action, property, preferement, privilege, emolument, objects of value, advantage, or promise to induce or influence an action or vote.
      2. Gifts of $100 value per gift or more are not to be accepted under any circumstances.
      3. Gifts given for even the smallest expectation of privilege is still considered a bribe. Such privileges include those listed under Special Treatment Section H below.
    8. Special Treatment: A volunteer may not show special treatment to anyone at our events due to relations or position beyond the specific benefits of their membership or role within NCAS. This especially applies to previous volunteers, staff, employees, or contractors as well as friends, family, or persons the volunteer is in a relationship with.
      1. Special treatment may be defined as but not limited to: Letting someone skip in line, allowing access without admission, allowing access to restricted events, giving out discount codes without authorization, giving priority access to reservation systems.
    9. Conflict of Interest: A conflict of interest occurs whenever you have a private or personal interest that may interfere with your ability to make an objective decision for NCAS. Conflicts of interest may be actual, potential or even just a matter of perception. Since these situations are not always clear-cut, you need to fully disclose them to your supervisor, the Risk Management Department and the Ethics Committee so that we can properly evaluate, monitor and manage them. If you are not sure if something is a conflict of interest, ask your supervisor, the Risk Management Department, or the Ethics Committee. A failure to disclose a potential conflict of interest constitutes a violation of the NCAS Code of Conduct for Volunteers.

Please Do

Volunteers are expected to behave in a professional manner both during our events as well as any volunteer functions or activities outside of member events. To that end, the below regulations are required of volunteers at any time they are acting as a Volunteer for NCAS.

  1. Conduct:
    1. Professionalism: Treat your fellow volunteers, staff Volunteers, and our event members in a professional and courteous manner. We’re all here for the same reason; respect and professionalism go a long way.
    2. Ethics: Act with integrity, honesty, respect, and kindness to everyone, this is for the good of the event/Organization, as well as your fellow sentient creatures. As a Volunteer you are responsible for helping NCAS to meet the needs of those in our community and should act as a representation of the best our community has to offer.
    3. Conflict Resolution: Please utilize the relevant Organization policy to resolve internal conflicts. Failure to do so may be a violation of the Code of Conduct.
    4. Attendance: Please show up for your assigned volunteering shift. If you cannot show up for your assigned shift, will be late to your shift, or have to leave early from your shift please inform your Volunteer Coordinator before as well as the manager of the team you’re assigned to before your shift starts or as early as possible.
    5. Hygiene: Practice basic clean personal hygiene. This includes showering regularly, washing hands after each restroom visit, as well as avoiding excessive use of perfume, cologne, or body spray.
  2. Reporting Structure:
    1. Volunteer Coordination: As an NCAS volunteer, you will be directly reporting to and taking instruction from the Volunteer Coordinator.
    2. Team Assignment: The Volunteer Coordinator may assign you to another team or department in which case you will be following the instructions of that department or team’s manager.
    3. Communication: If, for whatever reason, your immediate manager or coordinator is unavailable, refer back to the Volunteer Coordinator. If the Volunteer Coordinator is also unavailable, refer to Director of Event Operations.

The following are actions and behavior that are strongly encouraged and expected of Volunteers. While we do not generally enact sanctions for not performing the below activities, failing to do them may result in a violation of the regulations in the sections above. We find the below activities and behavior crucial to enjoying your position as a Volunteer as well as attending our events.

Reporting violations, Investigation Process, Enforcement, and Appeals

Please refer to the NCAS Policy document regarding policies and procedures for reporting a suspected violation of these regulations or event rules, reference and information on our investigation process, our procedures and policy on enforcement, and the process for appealing enforcement actions performed.

To obtain this policy please contact the Policy Contact in the header of this document.

Sanctions

NCAS reserves the right to suspend or revoke, without refund, access to event spaces, attendance passes, volunteer positions, or even memberships at any level. If any individual violates these regulations, breaks the rules of an NCAS event, or permits or encourages another to do so, they may be barred from the event, from as little as an hour up to the remainder of the event or even subsequent events. If an individual’s access, attendance, or membership is revoked they will be asked to leave any active NCAS event space immediately. If this request is refused or ignored the Organization will contact law enforcement to report criminal trespass and the individual will be banned from any future NCAS event or function.

If the individual breaks the law – city, state or federal – they will be reported to the authorities and NCAS will assist those authorities as the Organization is legally able to do so.