EIC/CASCA Guidelines

29 April 2022

The following guidelines aim to encourage constructive communication, promote goodwill, and mitigate and/or effectively address conflict when it arises within the Equity and Inclusivity Committee (EIC) and within CASCA as a whole. As such, every effort will be made to respect and adhere to the following guidelines, first drafted by members of the EIC in 2022. It is recommended that these guidelines be revisited every year and posted on the CASCA website alongside the EIC Terms of Reference.

  1. Communicate in a manner that reflects patience, curiosity, clarifies assumptions and is compassionate toward others.
  2. Communicate in a manner that is clear and consistent. More specifically, ensure that all relevant details are consistently and clearly conveyed to all Committee members.
  3. Communicate in a manner that is respectful and appropriate. In this context, interruptions and accusatory language can be considered as inappropriate and unacceptable.
  4. Communicate verbally (either in person or virtually) whenever possible to avoid the overuse and potentially inflammatory misuse of written communications such as email, texting, tweeting. It is especially important to avoid written communication when sensitive or difficult issues are discussed.
  5. Engage in active listening. If necessary, repeat what is perceived to have been said before proceeding to respond. It is especially important to consider how different perspectives and lived experiences can impact what is heard when sensitive or difficult issues are discussed.
  6. Provide Committee members with an opportunity to reflect on sensitive or difficult issues before requesting a reaction or response. Consider that sensitive or difficult issues which are spontaneously raised may be triggering to some members. Provide a clear but reasonable timeframe that allows for reflection while not hindering timely discussion.
  7. Ensure there is respect for confidentiality when and where appropriate as it pertains to the role and responsibility of Committee members and/or other CASCA members.
  8. Resolve issues informally at the earliest possible opportunity to avoid the unnecessary escalation of conflict. Seek assistance from another Committee member, the EIC Chair, or a CASCA Board member if necessary.
  9. Take initiative to intervene wherever and whenever possible should a Committee member or other CASCA member require support to address sensitive or difficult situations (ie demonstrate pro-social bystander behaviour).
  10. Work toward the development of collaborative relationships in partnership with other committees operating under the auspices of CASCA. Encourage the inter-committee cooperation deemed necessary for optimal organizational functioning.
  11. Work toward securing opportunities for professional development for Committee members. Possible areas of focus include issues related to equity, diversity, inclusivity and indigeneity (EDII), bystander training, conflict management and/or the creation of informal dispute resolution processes aligned with the values shared by the EIC and CASCA.
  12. Demonstrate a committed effort to focus on the positive and create opportunities for informal social interactions and efforts to celebrate successful outcomes whenever possible.
  13. In keeping with the spirit of these guidelines, collectively commit to support one another as committee members, as CASCA members, and as colleagues within the Canadian astronomical community.

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