Offenses Policy [BR413]

Note This page is for the BR offenses policy and is part of a series of policies on consent, harassment, and community protection. To report a violation, please contact or see the Reporting section below. You may also be interested in our other related policies:

If any individual has reported a consent violation and is unsure of the outcome or does not feel the report has been fully addressed, please contact that Black Rose Board at

  1. Overview

To protect its members, volunteers, and attendees, and to ensure the smooth operation of the Corporation and its events, Black Rose institutes this policy defining the offenses that it may recognize and the responses it may take. 

  1. Definitions 

For the purposes of this policy, the following definitions shall be used:

  1. Reporter 

The person who is reporting an offense and is alleging harm as a result of the offense. This person need not be a member of Black Rose.

  1. Accused

The person (or persons) who is accused of an offense. This person need not be a member of Black Rose.

  1. Responder

The person who investigates an offense as a designated agent of the Board 

  1. Advocate

A BR staff member, not a Director, who receives a report of an offense and transmits it to the Board.

  1. Offenses

Black Rose recognizes the following offenses which may affect      membership within the meaning of the Bylaws.     

  1. Assault (BR607)

No person shall touch another person without consent. More details may be found in the consent policy, BR607.

  1. Theft and Vandalism

No person shall touch, take, damage, destroy, move, or otherwise manipulate the property of another person without consent.

  1. Harassment and disruptive behavior (BR608)

No person shall contact or interact with another person or group of people more than once, by any means, without consent, nor at all if consent has been explicitly refused or revoked. For instance, if someone has indicated to you to stop communication with them, it is harassment to continue, no matter what you say or your reasons for saying it.

In addition, no person shall interact with another person or group of people in a manner that is insulting, rude, threatening, or otherwise offensive, unless such interactions have the consent of the parties involved, such as in a scene. This includes being disruptive of classes and other BR events, in which case BR staff members may act as a reporter and an advocate, as needed. If the reporting staff member is a Director, they need not recuse themselves from any Board discussion or vote on the matter, unless there is a conflict of interest, as explained below..

More details may be found in the anti-harassment policy, BR608.

  1. Scope of offenses

This policy covers all interactions within the community, including but not limited to private parties, individual interactions, and public events regardless of whether the event is branded with the BR name. Black Rose may consider offenses occurring at any venue or under any circumstances and at any time within the past two years.

  1. Reporting 

Offenses may be reported directly to 

A person wishing to report a violation may submit a written report to any BR staff member. That staff member will be responsible for forwarding the report to the BR Board.

If a report is made verbally to BR staff members, that staff member will be responsible for acknowledging receipt of this report via email, copying the Board. This will provide the reporter a confirmation that the report has been forwarded to the Board and will also allow them to provide any additional information in writing via that email. 

  1. Adjudication 

Once an offense has been reported, the Board and any involved BR staff shall follow this procedure.

  1. BR staff will take immediate, reasonable steps to protect the reporter. This may include, but is not limited to, asking the accused to leave an event, providing the reporter with someone to sit with during class or social time, and/or asking the accused not to further contact the reporter. Action taken against the accused in this context shall not be considered “affecting membership status” within the meaning of Article II of the bylaws.
    • As general guidance, BR staff members acting at events to mitigate disruptive behavior should give the accused a warning and only eject a person from an event upon further disruptive behavior. Depending on the nature of the disruption, staff may consider ejecting a disruptive person without warning.
  2. The staff member taking the report will ensure an email is sent to the reporter, copying the Board. 
  3. The BR Board will document the incident, which includes collecting the following statements:
    • Statement from the reporter. This will include the initial report as well as any additional information the reporter may wish to provide.
    • Statement from the accused, if appropriate. 
    • Statements from any witnesses, if identified by either the reporter or accused.
  4. The BR Board will discuss the incident during an Executive Session. If the situation requires immediate action by the Board, the discussion should take place as soon as a quorum can be gathered. Otherwise, the discussion will take place at the next Board meeting.
    • Black Rose will provide mediation services if agreed to by both the reporter and the accused, but Black Rose will not require mediation nor force the reporter to face the accused.
    • Black Rose will not require the reporter to meet personally with the Board or communicate in any way, other than by submitting the initial report.
  5. The Black Rose Board of Directors will choose a course of action based on the evidence presented.
  6. Official responses 
    1. Responses

The BR Board may take actions consistent with Article II, Section 2.11 of the Bylaws. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The BR Board may take no specific action, and the report is considered for informational purposes only. This will usually be done at the reporter’s request.
  • The BR Board may recommend further conflict mediation between the reporter and the accused. This mediation is voluntary on the part of the individuals.
  • A BR Board member or designated representative may have a private conversation with the accused to encourage corrective behavior. This conversation may be by electronic means. 
  • If the accused is a BR staff member, the accused may be suspended or terminated.
  • The BR Board may give the accused a restricted membership, allowing the accused to attend only certain BR events or engage in certain BR functions. This will usually be done in consultation with the reporter.
  • The BR Board may suspend the accused’s BR membership for a specified time, if applicable. During this time, the accused may not attend any BR events.
    • If the accused has no membership, the accused may be temporarily banned from attending any BR events.
  • The BR Board may permanently revoke the accused’s BR membership.
    • If the accused has no membership, the accused may be temporarily or permanently banned from obtaining one.
  1. Zero Tolerance

There is no guarantee of leniency for first offenses. The BR Board is not obligated to provide notice of offending behavior before escalating to more serious forms of      sanction.

  1. Standard of Proof

In all cases, facts must be proven to the satisfaction of the Board. 

  1. Sharing Outside of Black Rose

Black Rose does not share banned lists outside of Black Rose Board, staff and events. 

  1. Appeals 

The accused may appeal any decision of the BR Board under this policy in accordance with Article II and Article XI of the bylaws. 

  1. The accused must submit a written grievance in writing or by e-mail to the Secretary ( more than 48 hours prior to a regular Board meeting.
  2. The Board shall review the grievance at that meeting, unless tabled for a future date by majority vote.
    1. The Board may refer the grievance to the Ombudsman for further fact-finding and review. The finding of the Ombudsman is not binding.
  3. The accused may appeal the Board’s ruling to the Arbiter. The Arbiter shall hold a hearing within 30 days and submit a report within 60 days of the hearing.
    1. Appeals to the Arbiter must be based on noncompliance with specific published policies or the bylaws. The Board may decline to hear appeals that do not state valid grounds.
    2. The ruling of the Arbiter shall be binding on all parties and shall be in place and stead of any court determination. By agreeing to have a matter heard by the Arbiter, all parties relinquish any right to redress in a court of law or equity barring cases of fraud.
  4. The accused or the Board may retain a professional Arbiter at their own expense, but the ruling of the BR Arbiter shall be controlling unless the Board, Arbiter, and accused all agree otherwise. This provision shall not apply to recusal due to conflicts of interest, as discussed in Sections 9 and 10 below. 
  5. Conflicts of Interest

Certain relationships Directors, the Ombudsman, and the Arbiter may have with parties to offense adjudication incidents may constitute a conflict of interest. Section 9.01a of the Bylaws defines disqualifying conflicts of interest as the use of one’s position.  For the purposes of this policy, conflicts may include

  • Being the accused party.
  • Sharing a household with the accused party, or having similar personal or financial entanglements.
  • In the case of the Ombudsman and Arbiter, being the reporting party or sharing a close personal or financial entanglement.
  • Serving on the Board or as an officer of, or having other financial interest in, another corporation where either the accused or reporter has a contractual relationship, such as a vendor or event promoter.

The following relationships should generally not be considered conflicts of interest:

  • Familiarity with the circumstances of the incident beyond being the accused or the reporter.
  • Previous involvement with an incident at a lower level, such as by having taken action as a BR staff member.
  • Previous official interactions with the accused or the reporter, such as by serving on the Board for other incidents, or by having been the accused or reporter in other incidents.

This list of conflicts is not exhaustive, and other disqualifying conflicts may exist.

  1. Recusal

Directors, the Ombudsman, and the Arbiter should recuse themselves from proceedings when there is a conflict of interest, as discussed above. If a Director refuses to recuse themselves when a conflict of interest may exist, the Board may, by 2/3 vote not including the Director in question, require them to recuse themselves. In the case of the Ombudsman or the Arbiter, the Board may choose not to submit a matter and may cite a conflict as the reason.      

  • Recusal of a Director means that the Director still counts towards quorum if actually present during a meeting but does not count as a vote cast for the purposes of any majority or supermajority requirement in the Bylaws.
  • Recusal of the Ombudsman means that, upon agreement between the accused and the Board, another individual may be appointed to serve the same role.
  • Recusal of the Arbiter means that, upon agreement between the accused and the Board, an outside professional Arbiter may be appointed to serve the same role. Expenses shall be retained equally.