Code of Conduct Definition:
Principles, values, standards or rules of behavior that guide the decisions, procedures and systems of this organization in a way that (a) contributes to the welfare of our members, and (b) respects the rights of all constituents affected by our operations.
This Code of Conduct is intended to provide clear guidelines for what is expected of its members.
AREC Mission Statement:
A Running Experience Club (AREC) is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization committed to providing a variety of safe, fun and friendly environments for runners and walkers of all ages and abilities in order to support their personal objectives and promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. We foster camaraderie through communication, member participation in club functions and running events, leadership opportunities and social activities. We also strongly encourage participating in, volunteering at or raising money for charitable causes that benefit the local communities.
Description of the Conduct, Compliance, Responsibility Program:
- To ensure the enjoyment, safety, and well-being of its members, AREC expects compliance with the club’s Code of Conduct. This code extends to all club-sanctioned runs, social events, and any running-related occasions where a club member wears AREC labeled attire or represents the club as a Board member. This includes post-run Wednesday nights inside Malainey’s or any other establishment.
- Members are expected to show respect to their fellow club members at all times. Additionally, members should always demonstrate respect and appreciation for volunteers who generously give their time to support the club and its events, including board members.
- Speaking negatively about fellow club members when they are not present, with the intent to undermine or belittle them, will be considered a form of bullying and harassment. Such behavior contradicts the values of our club, which prioritizes a supportive and inclusive community. We encourage open communication and constructive feedback but stress the importance of addressing concerns directly with the individuals involved rather than discussing them behind their backs.
- Members are expected to represent the club professionally at all functions and while interacting with non-members about the club online or in the community. Bullying or harassing other club members on social media or in person may lead to permanent removal from the club.
- Discrimination or derogatory comments and slurs based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender, size, disability, socioeconomic status, or any basis proscribed by law are strictly prohibited.
- Members must avoid any form of harassment, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Yelling, taunting, or threatening physical violence towards another club member, volunteer, or event spectator is strictly prohibited. Members with a criminal history of violence or a legal restraining order against them by another member may be barred from membership and participation in all club activities.
- Members should adhere to the Code of Conduct when engaging in AREC-related social media pages. Additionally, members must not use AREC-related social media to promote/sell goods or services without explicit and written permission from the Board. Promotion of personal businesses, blogs, websites, or products requires written approval from the Primary Board. The club logo should not be used without written permission.
- Members must abide by race rules and engage in fair competition, including anti-doping compliance, no course cutting, or other means of gaining a competitive advantage considered cheating. This applies to club races or other races where a member represents the club by wearing club-branded attire.
- Members contributing race statistics to the online system should ensure that the submitted times are exclusively from official races. In this context, a race is defined as an organized event with a minimum of 50 participants, paid entry, assigned race numbers (bibs), and publicly available finish times on the official race website.
- AREC Board meeting attendees are expected to adhere to Robert’s Rules of Order and conduct themselves professionally. The Board may issue verbal or written warnings or terminate membership and related privileges at its discretion for failure to adhere to the Code of Conduct.
- Please submit any instances of Member Code of Conduct policy violations to the Board in written form within 60 days of the incident.
To report a code of conduct violation, the member reporting the violation will need to do the following:
- Determine what code was violated and explicitly list the code.
- Provide documentation (pictures with dates, log of repeated events with time and place noted, etc).
- Be concise with the explanation of the complaint. Complaints deemed excessive in nature will be returned for editing.
- Be respectful to all involved. There will be no toleration of ultimatums of any kind. Specifically, ultimatums regarding the process or to change the outcome will be treated as a code of conduct violation. The filing of complaints against members of the committee during the deliberation or as a result of the initial complaint to sway the outcome will be considered retaliation and dealt with as noted in the process for addressing complaints as set by the RRCA.
- Code of conduct violations should be emailed to ARECboard@gmail.com. From there, either the board or a selected committee will review and determine the outcome.
- The RRCA can and will be involved as deemed necessary.
Investigations will be conducted outside of club meetings to maintain privacy for all involved. Those providing evidence in the investigation are protected by a whistleblower policy. Their names will not be disclosed to protect them from retaliation by either the accused, accuser, or the rest of the club. Please see the RRCA policy for more details.
The AREC Board (OR committee of three board-appointed members of AREC) will review any Code of Conduct complaints with the AREC Board.
- The review will occur within 15-30 business days of the initial complaint to account for the time needed to meet (which may be via Zoom or in person). The Board can call on any past board member to replace a member who has excused themselves from this process. The board may consult with past board members for advice.
- If a credible allegation of a Code of Conduct violation is received, the Board will provide notice of the accusation to the accused via email. If an email notification from the Board is not acknowledged, the Board will send a USPS-certified letter of notice about the complaint of a violation of the Code of Conduct.
- The Board will cite the specific Code of Conduct(s) violations that have been alleged to have been violated. Any member receiving a notice of concern about a violation of the Code of Conduct may not, under any circumstance, retaliate against another member through threatening communications, use of social media to slander another member or any other form of contact that may be perceived as an act of retaliation.
- The member receiving a notice of concern about a violation of the Code of Conduct has 20 business days to respond to or dispute the complaint. If a member fails to respond within 20 business days, the Board will make a determination, which may include revocation of membership in the club for a period of time or permanently.
- Should a member who has received a notice about a violation of the Code of Conduct wish to present information in their defense, they must do so in writing to the Board and request a review of the violation of the Code of Conduct. The Board will schedule a teleconference to review the allegation with the accused member. If a member fails to make themselves available for a teleconference within a 30-day time frame following their request for review, the request for review will be deemed void. The Board will review any records the member may wish to submit on their behalf. Information may be sent to the ARECboard@gmail.com email and should not be sent to individual board members or committee members.
- A subsequent call will be scheduled to review the complaint with the accuser, along with any records the accuser wishes to submit. Should the Board deem it necessary, they may schedule more than one teleconference with both the accused and the accuser at separate times to review facts and documentation provided by either party. The accuser can present only NEW information for rebuttal. The new evidence must be sent within 5 business days of being presented with the accused’s rebuttal. New evidence is the only information allowed at this point in the deliberation.
- Following the fact-finding, teleconferences, and deliberation teleconference held by the Board or committee, they will issue a final action recommendation, which may recommend:
- No action is needed;
- A probationary period with a zero-tolerance policy will be given to the member in question;
- Revocation of membership for a period of time or permanently. If a membership is revoked, the member will be refunded the most current membership fee for the revoked member. If the member is part of a family membership, other members of the family are still welcome to be members and attend club events, but the removed member is not allowed to attend club events with their family. Revoked members will be removed from social media as well.
- The recommendation of the Board/committee will be communicated to both the member and the accuser. If either party disagrees with the recommendation, one final teleconference may be granted if new or additional facts need to be presented for further consideration. Following this teleconference, the Board will again deliberate and issue its final recommendation.
- The Board/committee will record the recommendation in the minutes to finalize the process. If the action is revocation of membership, the member must immediately cease all involvement in the club. If the recommendation is for probation, the CLUB will outline requirements for compliance to remain in good standing with the CLUB.
- If a removed member continues to show up at club functions, local law enforcement should be alerted.
Code Regarding Members who have been removed that may petition to return:
In the event that a member is removed from the club through a decision of the Board of Directors, it is imperative to acknowledge that such actions are deemed final and should be honored by all subsequent boards. Emphasizing this principle is crucial, as permitting the reinstatement of an individual previously removed by the board could potentially place the incoming board in a position of negligence. Allowing the return of an individual removed for cause by the Board may have serious implications, potentially impacting current and future Directors and Officers Insurance coverage, particularly if a claim arises due to further harassing behavior by the reinstated individual. It is of utmost importance to prioritize the well-being and safety of the club’s members and to uphold the integrity of decisions made by the board in these circumstances.