Four Resignations from Arisia Eboard

The Arisia Eboard tonight announced four recently re-elected board members have resigned:

Update from the Eboard: 10/30

At this time I, Gregorian Hawke, have accepted the resignation of the following Eboard members (those who stood for re-election in September). Anna Bradley – Vice-President, Rick Kovalcik – Clerk, Benjamin Levy – Treasurer, and Sharon Sbarsky – Member-at-Large. Anna Bradley has resigned effective immediately. Rick Kovalcik, Benjamin Levy, and Sharon Sbarsky have resigned effective upon the election of a replacement (per Bylaws 3.12) at the November 11th meeting when elections will be held.

Gregorian Hawke is now Acting President as per our Bylaws. Andy Rosequist is now Acting Vice-President per Bylaws and Eboard vote.

The entire Eboard remains committed to doing what’s best for the community. Some of the resigning members have chosen to stay involved until November to continue the work required to, among other things, make the meeting happen and deal with Storage issues. Others have decided it would be best to step away immediately and we ask you to respect all their decisions.

If you wish to join the corporation, the overseeing body of the convention, you can join online at https://corp.arisia.org/membership. Dues are currently $20 and the Eboard grants dues waivers upon request.

The next Corporate Meeting (where elections will be held) will be at 2PM on 11/11/18 at Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143 and is open to the public. Information on public transit and parking available here: http://artsatthearmory.org/about/getting-here/

Our Bylaws state you must attend one Corporate Meeting (in person) before gaining voting rights, however new members may speak, ask questions, hold proxies, and run for office.

The calendar for Arisia meetings is at https://corp.arisia.org/calendar

As before, please send further questions about this situation, our Code of Conduct, or disciplinary policy in any capacity to incidents@arisia.org. This email address 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.

Signed,
Gregorian Hawke for the Eboard

10 thoughts on “Four Resignations from Arisia Eboard

  1. I don’t know how to take this news. Does anyone know if the folks resigning are resigning because they were complicit, or because they just found out and are outraged? Or some combination of the two? (If all the good folks leave because of outrage, bad things will continue to happen. But if the facilitators of the coverup are leaving, that’s a positive change….)

  2. Cassy, I don’t have the spoons to go back and read the posts by Crystal and Maura, but at least two of the four people who resigned were part of those accounts.

  3. MODERATOR’S COMMENT: I have not posted two anonymous comments people have left here in the past few days. One of them I would have approved if the person had registered, but this discussion is difficult enough without allowing drive-bys.

  4. I wish that I understood what it was in human nature that allows these situations to occur. Why are so many ordinary people betrayed to protect a few toxic individuals? Why is one toxic person valued more than everyone else? Feeling very sad these days.

  5. “I like X. Therefore X cannot possibly have done (bad thing), because if he were the kind of person who did (bad thing) I would not like him.” is the core of it. Or “But they contribute…” Geek fallacy at its finest.

    My personal favourite locally: “We can’t stop giving money for cancer treatment because of these accusations.” (A DJ was kicked out of our local con for repeated harassment, but people, including friends of the targets, still go out to the fundraiser dance party he runs and promote it on their facebook pages and the like, even after being asked to donate the same money a different way.)

    And yes, these people can be highly charismatic if you aren’t the target. Part of the reason I have never been able to give credence to the “he’s just awkward” excuses is all the cases I know, while not necessarily socially savvy, were at minimum socially normal, and usually gregarious.

    I’ve been in a group with a toxic element (person who sexually harassed younger female members and made shocking comments about everyone he could, for the sake of shock), and people unwilling to let the toxic element go; in the case of longtime members, it was for old times’ sake, or because of his valuable experience. With new members, it was because the toxic element was a big cog where they were a little one, and they didn’t feel up to speaking out when the elders were tolerating it, and told themselves there was enough good going on in the rest of the group to put up with that element. Or quietly left because it was a big deal to them, but…

    I’ve been on almost all sides shy of being the guilty party*, though never with something as egregious as rape. I’ve bitten my lip over harassment happening in front of me that I was uncomfortable with, but felt too new to speak up about. I’ve been friends with a person I found myself making excuses for when his behavior passed certain bounds of courtesy or rules of conduct (though his case was not on sexual issues, it still nearly tore the group apart when it finally came time to get him out and even I had stopped making excuses. Noteably, many of the friends who stood by him even then no longer do…)

    I’ve been the friend to decided it was my place to be the one to teach someone young enough to maybe be teachable not to stalk, and tried hard to teach him not to feel entitled to a woman’s attention, in hopes he would never become That Guy. (Unfortunately, the last step ended up needing to cut him off from me as well, as I am a woman and he felt entitled to my attention. But that was years after, and from what I have heard within the community, he has not become That Guy.)

    And I’ve been the one to say “nope. He’s crossed a line. no more.” With the above people and with others. (There’s someone right now in my social group who has as of yet not become That Guy, but I and several others are watching. Just in case. And no, I will not be more specific.)

    I understand it, and I also understand NOW how much better I feel for no longer standing by these people, and having shed the toxic elements myself. Not needing to make excuses for the behavior of people I associate with is freeing.

    *and technically, I have grabbed a person in a rude way without their permission. I realized what I’d done, and made amends and have never repeated it.

  6. Lenora Rose,

    I think the part that gets to me is Crystal Huff was contributing every bit as much to Arisia as the rapist did, but they valued the rapist’s contributions so much that her contributions were not considered at all (let alone her value as a human being).

    When I was more social in my youth (mostly a hermit these days), I did many of the things that you outline as well. I’d like to believe that I’ve learned better now but it’s easy to feel that way when you aren’t the one involved.

    Thanks for breaking it out for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.