Harassment Policy

The Eugene Democratic Socialists of America is committed to creating a space that is welcoming and inclusive to members of all genders, races, classes and housing status. The following policy provides guidelines to ensure that everyone is able to organize without fear of harassment, abuse, or harm. 


  1. Scope of Policy
    1. Code of conduct: Members shall abide by the Code of Conduct outlined by the Eugene DSA chapter. Members shall not engage in harassing actions that go against this code.

  1. Prohibited behavior: Members shall not engage in harassment on the basis of sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical appearance, disability, race, color, religion, national origin, class, age, profession, or housing status. Harassing or abusive behavior, such as unwelcome attention,1 inappropriate or offensive remarks, slurs, or jokes, physical or verbal intimidation, stalking, inappropriate physical contact or proximity, and other verbal and physical conduct constitute harassment when:
    1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a member’s continued affiliation with DSA; 
    2. Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for organizational decisions affecting such individual; or 
    3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile environment interfering with an individual’s capacity to organize within DSA.2
  2. Other protected classes. Harassment based on categories not encompassed by those listed section (a) will be evaluated at the discretion of the HGO and Coordinating Committee representatives.
  3. Informally consulting HGO team: DSA members and greater-community members concerned about behaviors and practices within DSA Eugene can seek consultation with the HGO team to:
    1. Review options of formally reporting harassment against an individual(s), or
    2. Making a suggestion to the Coordinating Committee to address the organization as a whole.
  4. Formally Reporting Harassment 
    1. Harassment Grievance Officers. Members filing a formal complaint must contact a DSA harassment grievance officer (“HGO”). HGO job duties are outlined in Article V Section 9 of the Eugene DSA Bylaws.
    2. Complaints. Members may follow the standard DSA complaint process as set out in the following sections if they believe they have been harassed by a DSA member or a greater community member participating in the DSA Eugene community. There will be no time limits requiring the accuser to file a report within any amount of time after the alleged harassment has occurred.
    3. Reporting Procedure and Timeline
      1. Send a written report of the complaint to grievances@riseup.net. This report should include:
        1. The informers contact information (phone, email, slack name, etc.);
        2. The names of all parties involved in the complaint, and contact information if available;
        3. A detailed description of the reported incident.

  1. The HGO team will assess the complaint and contact the accused member within seven days to notify them that a report has been filed against them and request a written response to the report either affirming or denying its substance;
  2. The accused will submit their written response within seven days of being notified. If the accused does not meet this deadline, the HGO will recommend the Co-ordinating Committee move to take appropriate disciplinary action; 
  3. If the accused denies the substance of the report, the HGO overseeing the dispute will have the option to investigate the report by:
    1. interviewing other members with direct knowledge of the substance of the report; 
    2. requesting documentation from either the accuser or accused or any other parties directly involved; or 
    3. employing any and all other means deemed necessary, with the utmost respect for the confidentiality of the parties, within a time period not to exceed ten days. 
  4. The HGO(s) responsible for adjudicating the dispute will determine whether the report is credible and, if necessary, make a recommendation to Co-ordinating Committee of appropriate disciplinary action as soon as practicable, but ultimately within thirty days of the report being filed. This is to ensure the timely, efficient, accurate, and discreet adjudication of all reports. The HGO(s) may notify Co-ordinating of the accuser’s report and its substance at any time after the report is filed, but must give written notice to both the accuser and the accused member before doing so.
  5. Remedies and penalties 
    1. Determinations 
      1. All reports will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the HGO(s) and Coordinating Committee associated with the accuser’s reporting channel. The ultimate disposition of each report will be made by the chapter’s Coordinating Committee.
      2. If an HGO member is involved in the grievance or if they have significant relation to another party involved in the grievance, they will report their conflict of interest and recuse themselves from investigating the complaint and offering suggestions to the Coordinating Committee.
    2. Standard for Determining if a Report is Credible 
      1. The chapter’s Coordinating Committee or will find the factual allegation in a report is “credible” if it more-likely-than-not occurred.
    3. Remedies and Penalties 
      1. If a chapter’s Coordinating Committee finds the report to be credible, they are authorized to carry out the following remedies and penalties:
        1. A formal discussion between the accused and the Coordinating Committee to develop a plan to change the harassing behavior(s); 
        2. Suspension from committee meetings and other chapter or organizational events;
        3. Removal from chapter committee(s); 
        4. Removal from DSA; and 
        5. Any and all other relief deemed necessary and just by the chapter or national leadership. 
      2. The Coordinating Committee is authorized to enforce Article III, Section 2 of the Eugene DSA bylaws to enforce these remedies and penalties in accordance with those procedures.
      3. DSA national is authorized to enforce certain remedies and penalties in accordance with Article III, Section 4 of the DSA Constitution and Article I, Section 3 of DSA Bylaws
        1. Removal from DSA; and 
        2. Any and all other relief deemed necessary and just by the chapter or national leadership. 
      4. The appropriate form of relief will be determined by, among other things:
        1. The request of the accuser; 
        2. The severity of the offense; 
        3. The response of the accused; and 
        4. The accused’s relevant behavioral histories.
    4. Appeals process. Either party may appeal the form of relief determined by the Coordinating Committee by filling out an appellate form created by the accuser’s reporting channel. Appeals must be filed within thirty days of receiving written notice of the Coordinating Committee’s decision. The limited grounds for appeal are:
      1. Either party believes the behavior was not interpreted using the standards for harassment set out in Section 1a; 
      2. Procedural errors, misconduct, or conflicts of interest affected the fairness of the outcome; and 
      3. The remedy or penalty determined by the Coordinating Committee was grossly disproportionate to the violation committed.
    5. Retaliation
      This policy prohibits retaliation against any member for bringing a complaint of harassment pursuant to this policy. This policy also prohibits retaliation against a person who assists someone with a complaint of harassment, or participates in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a complaint of discrimination or harassment. Retaliatory behaviors includes threats, intimidation, reprisals, and/or adverse actions related to organizing. If any party to the complaint believes there has been retaliation, they may inform the HGO who will determine whether to factor the retaliation into the original complaint, or treat it as an individual incident. 



1 “Unwelcome” means in the sense that the member did not solicit or incite it, and in the sense that the member regarded the conduct as undesirable or offensive. See Henson v. City of Dundee, 682 F.2d 897, 903 (11th Cir. 1982).


2 A “hostile environment” is one in which the harassment is sufficiently severe or pervasive as to alter the conditions of membership and create an abusive organizing environment. See Meritor Sav. Bank, FSB v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57, 67 (1986). Whether harassment is severe enough to reach this level is determined by whether a reasonable person would be offended by the conduct. See id. at 77. Further, in evaluating the severity and pervasiveness of harassment under this standard, DSA representatives should focus on the perspective of the victim. See Ellison v. Brady, 924 F.2d 872, 878 (9th Cir. 1991). This means critically analyzing, among other things, the different perspectives of those in a protected class. See id.