The San Fernando Valley Young Democrats are committed to fostering an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment. The SFVYD Executive Board expects that all members, including officers and board members, and our associated party allies will conduct themselves in a respectful manner to ensure that all events and meetings are places where members feel welcomed and comfortable.
The Executive Board and affiliated agents of the club are dedicated to doing everything in our power to ensure this is the case. Our goal is to guarantee that any club member or ally who comes forward to share their story about harassment, assault, or a violation of any kind can expect their story to be taken seriously – regardless of who the perpetrator is, whether a club member, a club leader, a party leader, a candidate, a staffer, or an elected official.
Discrimination— The unfair treatment of a person or group because of that person’s or group’s category status, including race, religion, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability status, national origin, veteran status, and immigration status.
Harassment—Physical or verbal hostility, or any unwelcome or offensive conduct or communication, directed toward someone or toward a group of individuals, because of their category status.
Sexual harassment—Unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; or any other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature.
Sexual assault—any physical sexual act (including touching and grabbing) perpetrated upon a person:
- without their consent;
- where the assailant uses physical force, threat, coercion, or intimidation to overpower or control another,
- where the victim fears that he or she, or another person, will be injured or otherwise harmed if he or she does not submit;
- where the victim’s ability to give or withhold consent is impaired due to the influence of alcohol or other drugs;
- or where consent is otherwise not freely given.
Reporting Violations & Disciplinary Action
SFVYD strongly encourages all survivors to report violations to a trusted person or to the authorities. We also strongly encourage and expect third parties, when and if possible and not endangering individual safety and/or emotional wellbeing, to report knowledge of violations of this code of conduct. Violation of this code of conduct will be codified in the bylaws by a vote of membership and may include disciplinary action up to and including termination of rights to SFVYD membership, and leadership positions, attendance at club events, consideration for endorsements, and other applicable privileges.
Misconduct Investigation Guidelines
At the outset of each investigation, the SFVYD Misconduct Subcommittee will consider the following questions and follow the below guidelines:
What is the scope of behaviors under scrutiny?
- We are concerned with severe cases of assault/harassment as well as one-time misconduct, suggestive language, etc
- At the outset of each investigation, the committee needs to determine the scope of the behaviors under scrutiny and stick to that scope throughout the investigation or explain why the scope deviated
- Survivor must agree to the case being investigated with the knowledge that penalties could result from the outcome
How do we get the facts right? How do we get to the bottom of what really happened?
- All sides of the story should be consulted to the greatest extent possible with equal attention paid to both
- Every attempt should be made to corroborate details
What information do we trust/not trust in trying to figure out what happened?
- Information pertinent to the case should always be received first-hand
- The board will not discriminate on the source of the information based on perceived motives
- Information should be taken at face-value and examined objectively using corroboration and paying equal attention to investigating both/multiple sides of the story
What should punishment or accountability look like?
- Accountability and punishment will be decided by misconduct subcommittee and brought to the board for a full vote
- Outcome of the investigation will be announced at the full board meeting
- Disciplinary options include reconciliation between both parties, suspension from certain or all board and membership activities for a set period of time or removal from the club