The Arisia, Inc. Executive Board announced today that Noel Rosenberg, removed as President yesterday, has been permanently banned from the convention.
The action came on the heels of revelations in Crystal Huff’s post “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.
And the Arisia committee has continued to be rocked by statements from people inspired by Huff’s post to go public with their own criticism of Arisia’s handling of incidents they reported.
- Maura Taylor says Arisia unsatisfactorily handled her reported rape — “Arisia and #MeToo (TW: Rape)”.
- Ari Leigh has written a public Facebook post about the con’s handling of a 2018 incident report.
…This year (2018) was my first Arisia. I knew it was a stretch for me to go, but because Arisia is an important event to my partners I wanted to give it a try. While playing in a Dungeons & Dragons game, one of the other players repeatedly and intentionally misgendered me. When I corrected him, he rolled his eyes at me. This game had a sign up sheet, and was part of a three part series. Given that we were using character names, I don’t remember the name of the person who had done this.
…After the report was filed I was told that staff would find and follow up with the person who had aggressively misgendered me and then be in touch. I received two emails, both of which felt formulaic and left me with a sense that my hurt wasn’t important to Arisia….
- Rose Fox has told why an incident witnessed at Arisia in 2011 made them decide not to go back to the con.
… In June 2013, J and I had to recap the events in detail because Morgon wanted to get back on staff. In response to our reiterated complaints, Arisia finally banned him from being on staff—though not from attending—and gave him a wide path to reinstatement: “After Arisia 2014, he is welcome to ask the EBoard to change this decision if: he apologizes for his actions at Arisia 2011, he has a position lined up and agreed to pre-con by the area-head responsible, and he presents a letter from a doctor saying he is capable of volunteering for that position.”
This is why I haven’t attended Arisia since 2011. I didn’t and don’t give a shit about whether serial harassers get teachable moments. (I also don’t feel it’s the place of a convention to request any kind of medical documentation of, presumably, a person’s mental health.) I felt absolutely unsupported by Arisia’s executive team at the time and after.
As these reports have come out, Arisia has been losing staff and volunteers:
In case I want clear enough: I will be resigning as a track manager from @arisia, canceling my room, & will not be attending/paneling the con unless Crystal's points are addressed and we see resignations. I will respond in a more official capacity once the statement is released.
— Ellie 'Sinbad got another TV show' Hillis (@ENHillis) October 26, 2018
It sure is a bummer. Programming for the anime theater was a fair bit of work, but I relished getting to put interesting stuff up for the show attendees. But there are plenty of cons out there. They come and they go. And it's time for this one to go.
— Mike Toole (@MichaelToole) October 27, 2018
I have withdrawn from staff and panels at #Arisia.
— Alexandra Rowland | CONSPIRACY OF TRUTHS, Nov 6!? (@_alexrowland) October 27, 2018
After the events of this weekend, I have resigned as the Writing track manager for @arisia 2019. I feel a profound sense of loss and disappointment for a community that has been an important part of my life for several years but no longer feels safe to me.
— Morgan a Crooked House (@raponikoff) October 28, 2018
I have withdrawn from my position as Literary Track Manager of Arisia. I will not be attending this year, nor will I consider returning until I feel as though it is a safe space for all once again. I hope there can be change, and I hope all of those affected by this can heal.
— ??Sarah/Meira? (@ruarealmonster) October 28, 2018
I haven't really mentioned it here, since I figure most folks who need to know are on FB, but on Saturday morning, I resigned from Arisia, both as ADH for Programming and as a panelist.
— Tenzil Kem (@Tsalmoth) October 29, 2018
I have just notified the head of Programming and my track’s Head that I will not be attending Arisia 2019. I will not be a guest, panelist, moderator, nor Assistant Track Head.
I am withdrawing from attending and staffing Arisia 2019. Maura’s report on her treatment, the results of that, and then putting the predator back onto staff as an ADH enraged me, Finding out that one of my kids had issues with that predator, when she was 14, around the same time, makes it impossible for me to even be in the same room as some of those involved with the extremely bad decisions made all over that case.
Today’s Arisia Eboard statement makes membership refunds available, and tells fans the next open-to-the-public corporate meeting will happen November 11.
Update from the Eboard: 10/28
We are announcing that Noel Rosenberg is banned from attending Arisia and Arisia functions permanently. This decision will be reported to the corporate membership at the next corporate meeting. Per policy, this decision may be overturned by the corporate membership, or revisited by a future Eboard if new information comes to light.
We are also examining some of our previous IR decisions in light of new information.
We understand that some people will still not want to attend Arisia 2019 or feel unsafe doing so. Although normally Arisia memberships are non-refundable (but are transferable) the board has authorized refunds to people who request them. Email [email protected] so we can help with this request.
The Eboard is continuing to discuss and explore further options and will continue to share updates.
The next Corporate Meeting will be at 2PM on 11/11/18 at Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville and is open to the public. Information on public transit and parking available here: http://artsatthearmory.org/about/getting-here/
As before, please send further questions about this situation, our Code of Conduct, or disciplinary policy in any capacity to [email protected]. 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.
The Arisia Executive Board