A day after Crystal Huff posted “Why I’m Not At Arisia Anymore: My Rapist is President. Again.” charging the convention with failing to enforce its code of conduct in situations where she had been the victim, Arisia’s president resigned, and the convention’s executive board issued this statement on Facebook:
Effective immediately, Noel Rosenberg is no longer President of Arisia, Inc. On October 26th, at an emergency meeting of the other members of the Arisia Executive Board, the first step we took was to ask Noel to resign as President of Arisia Corporate and we have accepted that resignation. The Arisia 2019 Conchair has informed the Eboard that Noel is no longer the Operations Division Head, and will not be placed in any other staff positions.
Yesterday we issued a short statement that “the Arisia Executive Board takes our Incident Response process and the safety and concerns of our community very seriously.” We mean that, but we acknowledge that we failed severely in this case. We will work harder to live up to our values going forward, and in order to begin to regain the trust of our community, we are going to acknowledge and apologize for our failures, and take immediate and decisive action.
We failed by allowing Noel to be part of any Incident Response process while he was the subject of a serious incident investigation. To be clear, he was not a part of the investigation which related to him. He was not privy to any information collected, nor was he involved with the discussion or voting on the results. He was still, in his capacity as President, participating in other incident investigations. That was an error of our judgment and we apologize for this. We will work with the Corporation to improve our policies so that this does not happen again.
We failed by mentioning a subject’s name at the September corporate meeting. We apologized at the time. However we understand that can’t make up for the error. We have ensured that the person’s name is not recorded in the minutes or printed in Mentor.
We failed to give the corporate membership sufficient transparency ahead of the 2018-2019 officer elections, and we apologize for this. While we did mention the Incident Report at the election meeting, we did not give the Corporation sufficient notice or detail to make an informed decision. Again, we will visit this with the Corporation to ensure it cannot happen again.
We have accelerated the creation of a webpage to act as a centralized, public location for our disciplinary policy process. This is intended to clarify and and make more transparent our processes as well as codifying, when possible, best practice into procedure. Please keep in mind that putting this together correctly takes time but the work in progress can be found here: https://corp.arisia.org/DisciplinaryProcessInformation.
We are conducting a review of our Code of Conduct and Incident Response Process to ensure that it meets its goal of ensuring the safety of our community. We are reaching out to a third party consulting company for review and assistance and will report back to the Corporation.
Please send further questions about this situation, our Code of Conduct, or disciplinary policy in any capacity to firstname.lastname@example.org. This email goes to the Incident Response Team Heads, Conchair team, and Executive Board. We are working on additional steps that we will announce in the coming weeks.
The Arisia Executive Board
However, there was nothing contrite about Rosenberg’s resignation email to the corporate list.
Date: Fri, Oct 26, 2018, 15:56
Subject: [Arisia DH] My role in Arisia
To: Arisia Corporate <email@example.com>, Arisia Divheads List </firstname.lastname@example.org>
I take issue with what Crystal has said, both about me and about Arisia, most of which is at best misleading and at worst flat out untrue.
Nevertheless, it is clear that I cannot lead Arisia at this time and I have become too much of a distraction. Therefore, in the interests of Arisia I am resigning as president effective immediately. I have also tendered my resignation as Division Head for Operations for Arisia ’19, and the Convention Chair has accepted my resignation.
I make this decision with a heavy heart, as I know what the truth is regarding these accusations. I have worked on this convention for more than a quarter century, and have been served on the Eboard for a number of those years.
Just last month Rosenberg ran for President unopposed, receiving 42 of 54 valid votes, with 6 noes and 6 abstentions.
Marie Brennan’s Twitter thread epitomized the early reaction to Arisia’s statement:
I've seen multiple other people tell stories of harassment and safety complaints being mishandled at @arisia: bad procedures, long delays, unsatisfactory responses, or even complaints just not being handled at all.
— Marie Brennan (@swan_tower) October 26, 2018
Until that happens, @arisia will continue to lose the trust of its guests and attendees. So my fingers are crossed that their eventual response recognizes this fact and does what is necessary.
— Marie Brennan (@swan_tower) October 26, 2018