Code of Conduct for Participants
International Student Network Göttingen e.V. (ESN Göttingen) is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all, and to ensuring that no individual is discriminated against in the planning and execution of any of our projects or activities.
1. Aim of the Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct sets out to ensure that every person feels safe, included and respected during their involvement with ESN Göttingen. We make clear that we have a zero-tolerance policy towards any kind of discrimination or threatening behaviour. We reaffirm the importance of our core values, those of unity in diversity, openness, tolerance and respect. We demonstrate our dedication to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity among our members and volunteers.
We recognise our responsibilities as an international youth organisation and are committed to meeting them in full. An organisational culture that embraces equality and values diversity will help us to ensure that everyone feels involved and included in our plans and activities.
2. Persons to whom this Code applies
This Code applies to any individual, organisation or group participating in any activity or channel of ESN Göttingen and covers conduct at:
All events for international and local students.
All ESN-related online activities.
All message boards and groups administered by ESN Göttingen on different Apps (e.g. WhatsApp Erasmus groups)
All Websites and Social Media channels/apps administered by ESN Göttingen
3. Discrimination, harassment and violence
ESN Göttingen is an environment which respects and welcomes everyone, and in which no form of bullying, harassment, violence, disrespectful or discriminatory behaviour is tolerated. Our policy extends to, but is not limited by, discrimination on the basis of:
Disabilities or impairments of any kind.
Education and socio-economic background.
Ethics and values, political or religious beliefs.
Gender including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Language and literacy.
Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin.
Role or experience within the organisation.
All persons participating in the activities of ESN Göttingen must act in accordance with these values and work to cultivate an inclusive and accessible network. Individuals should be respectful and constructive in their communication and engagement with others. ESN Göttingen will not tolerate any instance of verbally or physically aggressive behaviour. Violations of this Code should be reported to the designated Point of Contact (5.) and will be dealt with according to the relevant procedure (5.1–5.4.)
ESN Göttingen values the health and safety of all those involved with the organisation and to safeguard this during all its activities. ESN Göttingen takes its responsibility to create a safe and inclusive environment at all activities. The provision of alcoholic beverages at activities shall always be done in a responsible way and in accordance with the German law. It is expected from all involved with ESN Göttingen to act responsible and safe with regards to the consumption of alcohol.
Moreover, underage drinking is not accepted at ESN Göttingen. Alcohol cannot be made available for people underage and the consumption of it by people underage is not allowed. In Germany, the legal age to consume beer and wine is 16 years old and for any other alcohol is 18 years old. If an activity takes place in another country, the legal drinking age of that country applies. If alcohol is served during an activity, non-alcoholic beverages will always be available and promoted (with the exception of alcoholic drinks tasting events). Bringing your own alcoholic beverages to an activity is not allowed, unless explicitly stated otherwise. The Board can act according to the relevant procedure (as described in 5.1-5.4) to any violations or irresponsible behaviours regarding alcohol.
ESN Göttingen has a zero-tolerance policy regarding drugs at any of the activities. This applies to the use, possession and distribution of drugs, as well as being under the influence of drugs during activities.This applies to all drugs that are prohibited by the German Law, both ‘soft drugs’ and ‘hard drugs’. Violation of this section will result in the automatic exclusion for the remainder of the event and possible exclusion from one or more future activities, as described in sections 5.1-5.4.
4.3 Dangerous objects
It is forbidden to bring any dangerous object to any of the activities. Dangerous objects include, but are not limited to: fire works, fire arms, knives, other sharp objects, or an imitation of any of these objects. The Board of ESN Göttingen determines if an object is dangerous. Violation of this section will result in the automatic exclusion for the remainder of the event, and additionally, possible exclusion from one or more future activities, as described in sections 5.1-5.4.
5. Points of Contact
The Point of Contact is responsible for ensuring that all parties present are aware of their rights and obligations under this Code of Conduct.
The Point of Contact for ESN Göttingen is the present Board Member or event responsible during an ESN activity. In case of witnessing or experiencing any kind of bullying, degradation, harassment, verbal, non-verbal discriminatory behaviour, you should report it to the Point of Contact, provided you feel comfortable doing so. For violations of the Code committed through online platforms and in cases where you do not want to approach the Point of Contact, you have the option of submitting an incident report through the online form. The submission will be received by the Vice President of the Board. The submission is confidential and you have the right to remain anonymous if preferred.
In the case of witnessing or receiving any complaints the Point of Contact is required, on their best judgement, to, in a successive order and depending on the severity of the action:
Remind participants of their obligation to act in accordance with the Code of Conduct.
Engage in a one to one conversation with the supposed offender and eventual witnesses to ascertain the facts and the existence of an offence.
Engage in a one to one conversation with the offender to make sure that there is an understanding of the reason for the inappropriate action.
Engage with the offender to explain and ask for an apology and/or retraction of the action.
Suspend the session or ask the offender to leave from the remainder of the activity.
If the Point of Contact was alone when receiving the complaint, the decision should, when possible, not be taken alone.
If needed, the Board can take disciplinary actions in accordance with this Code. This extends to, but is not limited to: exclusion of future events or meetings, exclusion from messaging group channels, temporary exclusion from the association, or full suspension from the association.
Incidents that require further action will be dealt with by the Board.
If the Code of Conduct has been violated with respect to a group that is present, the same procedure as described above applies. Any of the present members of the group have the right to demand an excuse and/or a mediation procedure as described above. The offended group also has the right to nominate one of its members to exclusively represent its interests in the mediation process. If the Code has been violated with respect to a group that is not present, any participant of the meeting can bring the incident to the Point of Contact.
If the Point of Contact feels at any time that there is a risk of injury to any person, they should ensure that the venue is safe for all participants and contact the relevant authorities if necessary and possible according to the laws of the country.
In order to protect the privacy of the persons affected, all parties involved are bound to silence, except if any legal procedure requires disclosure or for the safety of an individual, and discretion about any facts they come to know during the mediation process. The Point of Contact shall not disclose the identities of the parties concerned without consent.
We acknowledge that some countries or communities may permit or require some form of segregation (e.g. based on gender for certain activities/trips), which goes against the spirit of our code of conduct. In this situation, we would not expect anyone acting on behalf of ESN Göttingen to violate local laws, or expose themselves to any risk of legal or physical harm. Any restrictions of this nature should be communicated to the Point of Contact prior to the activity.