Harassment—sexual, racial, and other forms—has been a pervasive issue in higher education and we often hear of such misconduct at professional meetings, including ASA’s Annual Meeting. Council recently had a discussion about this very serious problem and decided to appoint a Harassment Working Group to identify steps ASA might consider taking to both prevent and respond to misconduct at our Annual Meeting.
Kathrin Zippel, Northeastern University, has generously agreed to chair this group. Other committee members include Frank Dobbin, Harvard University; C. Shawn McGuffey, Boston College; C.J. Pascoe, University of Oregon; Mary Texeira, Cal State University-San Bernardino; and Justine Tinkler, University of Georgia. Thanks in advance to those who have agreed to do this important work for our community.
At Council’s request, the group started by drafting an anti-harassment policy for the ASA Annual Meeting, which Council unanimously approved. The policy will be printed in the program book, available on the app, and posted throughout the meeting site in Montréal.
The group is now considering a variety of possible topics and approaches for educating sociologists about harassment. We will keep ASA members informed of the work this group does during the coming year.