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USENIX Event Code of Conduct and USENIX Event Guidelines for Speakers

USENIX is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable event experience for all event participants, and a welcoming environment for free discussion of ideas. We do not tolerate harassment of event participants in any form.

What constitutes harassment?

Harassment includes—but is not limited to—unwelcome conduct or offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, national origin, or religion; deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, unwelcome or unauthorized photography or recording,sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Similarly, encouraging others to engage in such behavior is not permitted, nor are false accusations of harassment.

Who is covered under this Code of Conduct?

All attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, staff, and volunteers at our events are required to refrain from harassment. USENIX staff will enforce this Code throughout the event, and expects cooperation from all participants. USENIX expects sponsors and exhibitors to avoid sexualized images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualized clothing, uniforms, or costumes, or otherwise create a sexualized environment.

USENIX also requests that event participants refrain from using potentially offensive language in social media posts using our event hashtags.

Guidelines for Speakers

Speakers are responsible for the content of their presentations, but USENIX requests that speakers be cognizant of potentially offensive actions, language, or imagery, and that they consider whether it is necessary to convey their message. If they do decide to include it, USENIX asks that they warn the audience, at the beginning of the talk, and provide them with the opportunity to leave the room to avoid seeing or hearing the material.

How should I handle an uncomfortable situation at an event?

Interpersonal Behavior: If it is safe to do so, we encourage you to request that the person stop the unwelcome or harassing behavior. Participants who are asked to stop any such behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any related concerns, please contact USENIX staff or event organizers immediately. Event staff can be identified by their clearly marked “USENIX Staff” badge holders. You can also phone USENIX at 510­-528-­8649 or email staff members directly; contact information is available at

Sponsor/Exhibitor Complaints: Please contact USENIX staff as described above.

Talks and Presentations: USENIX staff and event organizers welcome comments of all kinds about talks and presentations. Attendee comments are taken seriously when planning future events and will be kept in confidence if requested.

What happens once a report is made?

Interpersonal Behavior: If an incident of harassment is reported, USENIX staff will conduct an investigation. If they determine—to the best of their ability, and in their sole discretion—that a participant has violated this Code, they may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the event with no refund. Under certain circumstances and at their discretion, USENIX staff may contact hotel security and/or local police. To protect all parties involved, USENIX will generally not make any detailed public statements about Code of Conduct incidents.

Sponsor/Exhibitor Complaints: USENIX staff will investigate the complaint. If they determine—to the best of their ability, and in their sole discretion—that action is warranted, they may resolve the matter as they deem appropriate, including removing the exhibit.

Talks and Presentations: Concerns will be relayed to current and future organizers, who will take the information into account when selecting speakers for future events. USENIX requests that attendees understand, however, that determining whether material is “offensive” is a subjective call.

What about behavior on the conference network?

USENIX has a separate network policy. See­policy.

This is a living document

USENIX intends for these policies to meet the needs of our constituents to have a positive event experience, and we welcome comments and suggestions from the community. Please contact USENIX staff on­site or by email/phone if you would like to provide feedback.

rev. 12/14/17