starlady: a circular well of books (well of books)
[personal profile] starlady
[personal profile] coffeeandink has a post, Sexual Harassment at Readercon, that details the harassment of author Genevieve Valentine by "a well-known fan," Rene Walling. Despite its stated policy of zero tolerance towards and lifetime bans for harassers, the Readercon board has banned Walling for…two years.

I'd previously heard that Readercon was snooty and inaccessible, but I can safely say that after this I will never go myself and will actively discourage women and people who don't believe that harassment is acceptable behavior to avoid the con like the plague. There are plenty of other great SFF conventions.

Finally: I fully support the decision of several people who were at the con to name Walling as Valentine's harasser. Protecting the anonymity of someone who has demonstrated a pattern of harassment only enables Walling to continue easily preying upon unknowing people. 

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-29 03:03 (UTC)
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
From: [personal profile] seekingferret
It's a con I've heard good things about- particularly that it was one of the most Jew/Shabbat-friendly cons around.

But yes, failing to uphold their own policy on harassment is a terrible statement about making their con a safe place to attend. I hope the decision gets revisited.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-29 14:05 (UTC)
elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Default)
From: [personal profile] elf
The concom runs the convention. The board runs the company: files taxes, allocates profits (if any). (Or "surplus income," I suppose, if it's officially a nonprofit org.)

The concom tends to be comprised of con-experienced fen. Boards tend to be comprised of more-or-less retired fen. (Boards comprised of non-fen tend to kill conventions; conventions are not known for their profit-making abilities.)

The exact relationship between them is different for each con.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-29 14:11 (UTC)
megaptera: Megaptera novaeangliae (Default)
From: [personal profile] megaptera
I used to volunteer for a not-for-profit organization that ran a convention. Concom did the front-line boots-on-the-ground work of liaising with guests, scheduling panels and events, dealing with the hotel and vendors, making the program book, all the stuff that would be visible to attendees. The board of directors took care of financial and legal aspects and were largely invisible. Since it was a not-for-profit these people were not paid, and many of them were concom or had been in the past. Members of a board of directors can also be financially and criminally liable, personally, if anything goes seriously wrong with the organization.

I'm surprised to see as much of a disconnect between Readercon's concom and board as is being described. Yeah, a board can make decisions without concom, and concom has to live with them. But this goes into the realm of whether to allow criminal activity at the convention. It's the sort of thing that boards are supposed to be careful about and avoid, if I understand correctly.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-07-30 16:58 (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Photo of baby wearing huge black glasses  (eyeglasses baby)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
There's also divergent time streams.

Concom members these days are accustomed to communicate via phone, instant message, skype &c. As conventions near, they'll meet weekly or more often. Board of Directors meetings (at least in Wisconsin) have to be held in person. Members of the board of directors operate at a one-meeting per month (or quarter, or year) pace.

In recent memory, the difference between "Internet speed" and "board speed" complicated decision making for WisCon.