I am hearing from people, attendees and staff, that this year's Arisia was excellent. That makes me very happy, as conchair, and I encourage each of you to remember what a key role you all had in making the con great. I really appreciate everyone's hard work and incredible efforts on behalf of Arisia.
Unfortunately, not all experiences at con were wholly positive.
On Sunday of convention, it was reported to us that someone on Arisia's security staff was acting in a fashion that violated Arisia's rules and code of conduct. When this came to our attention, the head of Arisia security and the conchair-on-duty responded to the situation and tried to defuse it. They then informed him that his staff status was revoked, and later also revoked his convention membership entirely when he continued to be in violation of Arisia policies. Finally, we had him escorted from the property by the hotel's security.
I am so incredibly sorry to anyone whose convention this impacted.
While there are people behaving badly all over this world, I was hoping that our community lived in a space where that was less likely to happen, and it pains me personally that this behavior came from a member of our staff. I assure you that we are committed to a safe Arisia, and are looking at ways to address this specific incident and the more general challenges in the future, and making sure people understand how to respond to an issue if someone who appears to have authority within the convention is behaving badly. I am confident that we have all done our best under the circumstances, but now this is also an opportunity for us to learn and grow as a group, both as Arisia staffers and as a community in general.
It should be noted that nobody was more deeply shocked than the security staff at a member of our own staff behaving in such an irresponsible and threatening manner. We are certainly very aware of the breach of trust this represents and are taking this very seriously.
Right now, however, we are trying not to make decisions too quickly. We are still receiving information about things that happened during con, and figuring out the overall picture and timeline. If you have something you would like to share or discuss about this issue, please do email me personally (arisia.crystal at gmail.com) or conchair at arisia.org to reach me and my assistant conchairs. It would be my preference that this conversation occur in email, frankly, so that there is one single repository of information when building solutions and addressing concerns. It's hard to track down various comments in multiple forums, etc., and LJ comment emails don't always go through in a timely fashion. I simply cannot promise to keep up with this entry's responses.
Thank you all so, so much. I hope and believe that the majority of our community was unaffected by this unpleasant episode, and I am thrilled to hear how happy most folks have been with Arisia 2011. You make this convention worth the hard work, to me.