By its nature, this section can sound like a long list of "Dos and don'ts". We hope you will read it in the spirit it's meant: having these guidelines spelt out from the start is intended to prevent a sticky moment or misunderstanding which might spoil someone's BiCon. BiCon has a history of exemplary behaviour far exceeding that which you'd find in a typical bar on a Saturday night. We'd like to keep it that way.
Everyone has a part to play in making BiCon a safe space. If you notice an incident of harassment, or anything else that doesn't belong at BiCon, please report it to BiCon Reception or the nearest organiser as soon as possible. (If you don't feel comfortable bringing an issue to us directly, you can still put a note in the organisers' postbox.)
The BiCon organisers' responsibility
The organisers have "final say". We will try to deal fairly and respectfully with any issue which you bring to us. Breaches of this code of conduct will in most cases be met with a warning from a member of the organising team. We reserve the right to ask anyone to leave BiCon, and if asked to leave you will not receive any refund.
- People are welcome to attend BiCon regardless of how they define their sexuality.
- Transgender people are accepted at BiCon for all purposes as the gender they choose to present.
- Remember that some people are new to BiCon. Be helpful if you can.
- Racism, sexism, heterophobia and other bigoted behaviour will not be tolerated at BiCon.
- Respect the choices people have made regarding their beliefs, gender or sexuality, and how they choose to express them.
- Access is not just a matter of wheelchairs. Different aspects of the environment affect different people. (E.g. some people may be lipreading, some need smoke-free space, some find busy crowds difficult.) You can't always know without being told, but try to be aware of what the people around you might need to make BiCon accessible to them.
Boundaries / harassment
- No means no. No-one at BiCon should be put under any pressure to join in with things they don't want to. Obviously that includes any sexual behaviour, but it also includes hugs, touching, playing a game, being in a photo, disclosing information or even having a chat. It's fine to ask someone once if they would like to do something. Pestering someone counts as harassment; if someone asks you to leave them alone, do so.
- In public, "No", "Stop", and "Don't do that" will be taken at face value by the BiCon organisers, regardless of any safewords* within BDSM games/scenes. (* For explanations of "BDSM" and "safeword", see the Community Info Zones, but you can safely skip over the above paragraph for now if they're not ideas you're already familiar with.)
- Don't invade people's personal space without being invited to. A useful phrase is "Would you like a hug?"
- Please keep any public behaviour legal.
- Remember that consent includes that of any audience and venue staff.
- BiCon should be a place where people feel free to express their sexuality, but we ask that overtly sexual behaviour be kept out of the public areas.
- In line with recent UK legislation all indoor and enclosed spaces are stricly "no smoking". Smoking is permitted only in certain designated outside areas which, during the evenings, includes the seated area immediately outside the Students' Union bar.
- Within BiCon. Not everyone at BiCon wants to be ‘out' about their sexuality to the whole world. Ask permission before identifying anyone in a public write-up of BiCon. For the avoidance of doubt, "public" includes personal websites and blogs including those with restricted audiences.
- Within discussion sessions. No photography, audio-visual recording or filming is permitted in programme sessions unless it is specifically stated in the programme. Bear in mind that very personal issues may be raised in discussion sessions. Feel free to discuss the content of sessions with people who weren't there, but don't name names and don't describe someone in a way that identifies them unless you've already checked that they're ok with it.
- Photography. Please do not take any photographs of people without their express permission. It is your responsibility to make sure that everyone in shot is happy to be photographed. If you give permission for your photo to be taken, assume that it may end up online and linked to you by name as people may not remember your preferences after BiCon. If you believe that someone has taken your photograph without your permission you may ask them to delete the image. You can also report this to the reception desk where an organiser will ensure that any images are deleted where possible.
- People attending BiCon should wear their badge to all events, including evening entertainments. If you don't, your right to attend may be challenged.
- Different coloured badges will be used to identify under 18s. If you are over 18 but look younger, please bring proof of your age.
- People wearing fluorescent badges are members of the core organising team.
- People wearing sashes are "on duty" volunteers, helping out in some way.
- Members of the press must identify themselves to BiCon reception on arrival and at the start of any sessions which they attend. They must wear a clearly visible "press" badge at all times. If not everyone is happy with their presence in a session, the session organiser may ask them to leave.