Code & Policies

COVID Policy

Swing-Out Edmonton is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all community members. We commit to the following items to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. These policies are subject to change without notice to respond to the changing health situation and current university and government policy.

 

SOE will make reasonable efforts to communicate COVID Policy changes (through our newsletter, facebook page, and event announcements) and participants must make reasonable efforts to remain informed about such changes; consent of the participant can be revoked at any time but is assumed to carry through unless revoked. Refunds will not be available if participants revoke consent.

1. Events will have a decreased capacity to promote social distancing. 

 

2. Hand sanitizer will be provided to participants throughout the event. 

3. Contactless payment options are preferred.

4. Contact tracing will be in effect. Participants will be notified if there is a positive case. ​

5. Participants must complete the COVID-19 screening tool no earlier than 2 hours prior to the event. Participants that answer “yes” to any questions in section 3 will be unable to attend the event. https://forms.gle/nPKx9pqVpuDuvoYx5

6. Properly worn masks will be mandatory at all events except in the “Mask Break Zones” where social distancing will be enforced.

7. As partner dancing does not allow for social distancing, all participants must show proof of full vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours in accordance with the U of A health policy to attend any Swing-Out Edmonton event. 

8. Any individual who fails to comply with the outlined COVID-19 policy will be removed from the event.

Code of Conduct

  • Respect everyone’s physical boundaries. Do not engage in inappropriate or unwanted physical contact. Be sensitive to other people’s personal space, including dance floor space and physical proximity.

  • Respect everyone’s personal and emotional boundaries. You’re basically attending a party where there’s a lot of people you don’t know. Avoid highly charged and sensitive topics as you get to know people in the scene; like in any social situation, save those topics for when you know a person better. Also, do not make unwanted advances and be attentive to how an individual is responding to you, including their body language.

 

  • Respect human rights. We welcome all dancers, music lovers, or anyone, regardless of gender/gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, religion, and so on.

 

  • Be welcoming! You might have a core group of dance friends and it’s absolutely fine to enjoy them! But do your best to dance with and be kind and welcoming to everyone. Snobbery, cliques, and intentional social exclusion are toxic to the Swing community.

 

  • Be okay with people saying no. If you ask someone to dance and they say no, accept their decision and move on. No one is obliged to dance with you. If someone doesn’t give you an answer, walks away, or in any other way does not consent to a dance or some other proposed activity, respect that too.

 

  • You can say no. If someone asks you to dance and you don’t want to, say “No thank you” and leave it at that. If someone asks you to dance and you do want to, say “YES please!” Nothing is better than enthusiastic consent. If someone is refusing to take no for an answer, do not hesitate to find an organizer or Safe Space Advocate and report it.

 

  • Do not bring or consume alcohol at dances, practices, or lessons. Swing-Out Edmonton always holds dry events so the use of alcohol or illicit substances at an event is not tolerated.

Harassment Policy

What counts as sexual harassment?

The Alberta Human Rights Commission defines sexual harassment as including:

  • Unwelcome staring, comments, or teasing.

  • Questions or conversations about sexual activities.

  • Offensive humour or language related to gender.

  • Displaying or showing suggestive material.

  • Unwanted sexual requests or demands.

  • Unwanted physical contact or closeness such as patting, pinching, rubbing, leaning over or standing too close.

  • Physical assault.

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What counts as personal harassment?

The Canadian Human Rights Commission defines personal harassment as including:

  • Verbal abuse or threats.

  • Unwelcome remarks, jokes or innuendoes or taunting about a person’s body, attire, age, marital status, ethnic or national origin, religion, etc.

  • Displaying pornographic, racist or other offensive or derogatory pictures.

  • Practical jokes which cause awkwardness or embarrassment.

  • Unwelcome invitations or requests, whether indirect or explicit, or intimidation leering or other gestures.

  • Condescension or paternalism which undermines self-respect.

  • Unnecessary physical contact such as touching, patting or pinching, or punching.

  • Physical assault.

 

How does this relate to dancing?

  • Harassment is unwanted or unwelcome behaviour (sexual or otherwise) which makes a person feel offended, humiliated, or intimidated.

  • This means it’s ILLEGAL to hold a dance partner very close if they don’t want to be held.

  • If someone says they don’t want to dance, and you insist, touching them and pulling them, it is harassment.

  • Avoid ‘boob swipes’, touching a partner’s bottom, groin, upper legs - you know the deal. If you accidentally do so, apologize immediately. If you do this repeatedly, you will be warned, if not ejected from the event.

  • Sexual harassment is not interaction, flirtation, or friendship which is mutual or consensual.

  • Happy, consensual dances (no matter how close the position) is A-Ok.

  • Hooking up at a dance event with a consenting adult is also totally A-Ok. (Not on the premises, though!)

  • In Alberta, it is your right to work and go to school in an environment free of sexual stress:

  • This means it’s ILLEGAL to sexually harass your host, your dance teacher or student, your DJ or sound engineer, volunteer or musician, event manager, MC, or performer.

  • We have a legal and moral obligation to actively prevent sexual harassment.

  • We WILL act immediately on your reports or complaints, and we will warn offenders.

  • We will also document and keep complaints on file to watch for patterns or repeat offenses. Reports are strictly confidential and available only to authorized staff or law enforcement (if required).

  • Sexual harassment can be obvious or indirect, physical or verbal, repeated or one-off, and perpetrated by anyone against people of any sex.

  • If you aren’t sure, if you think something’s creepy or makes you feel uncomfortable and you want a second opinion, if you see something and you’ve got a hunch: ASK for advice.

 

How do I avoid harassing someone?

  • Ask for verbal consent: “Would you like to dance?” “Would you like a drink?” “Would you like to take a walk?” “Would you like to come back to my place?”

  • Even if you’ve been given consent before, ask every time, and use your words.

  • Be ok with people saying no. Everyone has the right to say “No.” Saying nothing is the same as saying “No.”

  • Aim for enthusiastic, unambiguous consent.

  • Practice giving enthusiastic consent when you intend to give consent: “YES! I’d LOVE to dance with you!” “I’d love to go for a walk!” “Practice saying no, and practice saying “STOP!”. You don’t have to ‘just wait it out’ if you don’t want to do something, or something is making you uncomfortable. We’ve got your back.

  • If someone says “stop!” - on or off the dance floor - you must stop immediately.

  • Pay attention to your dance partners. Be careful not to touch their ‘private’ zones, and take all care to avoid hurting them.

  • Don’t act or treat any person or group as better or worse than anyone else. Don’t make jokes about how one group is better or worse than another group. We’re all different, and we all deserve respect. We’re all here to have a great time; don’t rain on anyone’s parade.

  • If you aren’t sure if your behavior is harassing someone or making them uncomfortable: stop, ask, and apologize if it is. Don’t do it again.

  • Gendered Language Use Policy

  • If any individual requests that a specific gender or non-gendered language be used when referring to them, it is mandatory that all Swing-Out Edmonton guests, patrons, staff, partners, volunteers, or representatives respect this request. If you make a mistake and use the incorrect pronoun or term, apologize, and try again.

  • As a policy, all Swing-Out Edmonton’s executive and instructors are expected to avoid specifying gender when referring to any role in a general sense (e.g. “Leads”, “Follows”, “Flyers”, “Bases”; not “guys”, “girls”, “gents”, “ladies”, etc.). Use of gendered pronouns are allowed when referring to a specific individual, as long as the gender is consistent with how that individual identifies - and it is strongly encouraged to avoid this and simply use the individual's name.

  • Enforcement and Reporting Policy.

  • Anyone found to be in breach of Swing-Out Edmonton’s Code of Conduct or any other element of the Safe Space Policy is subject to immediate enforcement action. These actions are to be enforced by a Safe Space Officer, Safe Space Advocate, or barring their availability, any Swing-Out Edmonton Sr. Executive. All issues brought forward and any related enforcement action or resolution is to be documented by the Swing-Out Edmonton representative handling the issue and is to be reviewed by and filed by a Safe Space Officer. These reports will also be summarized and reported by a Safe Space Officer to Safe Space Advocates, event organizers, and any affiliated organizations that comply with this or an equivalent Safe Space Policy.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Every guest, student, attendee, teacher, volunteer, representative, partner, owner, or executive of Swing-Out Edmonton is responsible for and must comply with the Code of Conduct. Any executive, or volunteer is empowered to enforce the Code of Conduct. Guests and attendees, if they feel safe to do so, are encouraged to speak out against harassment and unsafe behavior, and we ask that they report any incidents they witness to an organizer.

 

Safe Spaces Officer

A Safe Space Officer (SSO) is responsible for ensuring that the Code of Conduct and Safe Space Policy is being enforced, for assigning Safe Space Advocates, for maintaining all Safe Space record keeping, and for reporting relevant Safe Space information to Safe Space Advocates, event organizers, and affiliate organizations in a timely manner. It is also the duty of an SSO to maintain an awareness of past incidents to identify areas where the organization can improve activities or policy related to Safe Spaces, and to identify repeat offenders and determine additional enforcement actions for those offenders. An SSO can and will additionally take on all the roles and responsibilities of a Safe Space Advocate. It is also the responsibility of an SSO for ensuring that at least two Safe Space Advocates are staffing all events, and personally filling this role as required.

 

Safe Spaces Advocate

The role of a Safe Spaces Advocate (SSA) is to be fun, friendly, approachable, and professional, while also being responsible for the handling of any incidents at an event regarding the Safe Space Policy. A SSA is at a Swing-Out Edmonton event to make sure the event is fun, friendly, and safe. They are to always wear a button identifying themselves as an SSA, and it is their job to keep an eye out for any problems, as well as to be welcoming and encouraging to guests.

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When informed of or observing an incident, the SSA is to act immediately:

  • Take any immediate actions to ensure the safety of themselves and guests.

  • Ensure that any victims are safe and separated from any perpetrators and with one SSA.

  • If required or requested, seek medical attention, family, friends, or law enforcement for the victim.

  • The other SSA is to separate and speak with any perpetrators, and then take enforcement actions by the SSA’s discretion.

  • If available, the SSO can also be brought in to help with enforcement actions.

  • The SSA must also consider their own safety and contact law enforcement if required.

  • Take any additional required actions to ensure the safety of all guests.

  • Document the incident per the Reporting Policy and provide the report to the SSO as soon as possible.

  • At least two Safer Spaces Advocates are to be present, available, and visible at all Swing-Out Edmonton events. If an event requires additional SSAs due to the size of the event, this is to be arranged by the SSO.

Incident reports will include:

  • The date, location, and if applicable event of the incident.

  • The name of the official representative preparing the report.

  • Any other Swing-Out Edmonton representatives involved in handling the incident.

  • Description of the incident.

  • Names of any individual or individuals involved in perpetuating the incident.

  • Names of reporters and victims are to be kept strictly confidential.

  • Enforcement actions taken.

  • Any time periods applicable to the enforcement are to be clearly included so that these actions can continue to be enforced.

 

Enforcement actions can include:

  • Verbal warning

  • Immediate removal from event

  • Suspension from future events

  • Contacting law enforcement

We would like to sincerely thank Hit That Jive for providing much of the content for this policy.