Center for Inquiry Announces Policy on Hostile Conduct/Harassment at Conferences

June 28, 2012

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) has adopted a policy on hostile conduct/harassment at conferences. CFI’s policy will apply to “any educational meeting or gathering organized or sponsored by CFI or its affiliates to which nonemployees are invited.” The policy applies not only to CFI, but also its two operating affiliates, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) and the Council for Secular Humanism (CSH). 

CFI has already had in place a policy prohibiting harassment or other inappropriate conduct by its employees, which governs employee conduct both on and off CFI premises. CFI had also previously implemented a policy regarding disruptions at meetings, which authorizes staff to remove or bar disruptive individuals. However, there was no prior policy specifically addressing harassment by attendees or speakers. 

“CFI wants all its conferences and meetings to take place in an atmosphere that promotes productive discussion and cordial interaction among conference participants. Intimidation and harassment interfere with these objectives, in addition to having other harmful consequences,” explained CFI President & CEO Ronald A. Lindsay in issuing the policy. 

The policy is effective immediately. Staff will receive training on administering the policy. 

The policy will be posted on the websites for CFI, CSI, and CSH, as well as the websites for all national conferences. An abridged version will be also printed in conference brochures.