HMGS Midwest Code of Conduct
ALL attendees at any HMGS Midwest event must accept all terms, policies and waivers listed below. This is expressly required to be allowed to access any event or function whether physically or virtually. Please ensure that you carefully read the entire page before making a purchase. There are no refunds after the refund date for any reason.
If at any time during an HMGS event you feel unsafe or feel you were subjected to harassing conduct, please locate a staff member and your concerns will be addressed immediately.
HMGS Midwest seeks to provide a welcoming, fun, and safe convention and community. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Discriminatory language and imagery (including sexual) is not appropriate for any venue, including any game sessions and any community resources such as the HMGS Midwest social media pages. HMGS Midwest staff have both the power and the duty to investigate all reported incidents of harassment and to remove confirmed harassers from HMGS Midwest venues both physical and virtual.
Harassment is understood as any behavior that threatens another person or group or produces an unsafe or un inclusive environment. It includes offensive verbal comments or non-verbal expressions related to gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religious beliefs, sexual or discriminatory images in public spaces (including online), deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Advocating or encouraging any of the above is also considered harassment.
Harassment at an HMGS Midwest event does not include respectful disagreement or critique offered in good faith. HMGS Midwest reserves the right to alter or broaden its definition of harassment at its sole discretion.
No one should tolerate any conduct of this type. Should you experience or witness harassment, you may choose to take any of the following actions:
- If you feel safe and comfortable doing so, ask the offender to stop. Whether the offending behavior is intentional or unintentional, expressing your discomfort to the offender directly often puts a stop to that conduct. Oftentimes, the offending behavior is unintentional, and the accidental offender and offended will resolve the incident by ceasing the behavior and/or apologizing.
- Leave the area. While this may be unfair to you, it is sometimes best for your safety and well-being if you to choose to leave the area, especially if you feel uncomfortable around the offender or their conduct. After separating yourself from the conduct, you may still choose to take additional actions.
- If the offender insists that he/she did not offend, or if the offender continues the harassment after being asked to stop, then you will need a third party to step in. Find an HMGS Midwest staff member and let them know about the incident. Or, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contact the police or other appropriate authorities. Your health and safety is our most important concern. If you require immediate assistance from law enforcement, medical services, or other governmental entities, please do not hesitate to contact such services directly.
Based on any informal or formal complaint or report of harassment, HMGS Midwest staff may take the following steps. Note that this list is not exhaustive, and other appropriate action may be taken as necessary. That said, HMGS Midwest staff will investigate thoroughly any reported incidents of harassment, seeking private accounts of the incident from all concerned parties.
Read and investigate all reports. Reporting parties may be contacted for further clarifying information, unless they have submitted a report anonymously or asked to not be contacted further. Note that HMGS Midwest will not share the results of these reports with anyone, including the person who filed the report, unless required by law.
Intercede if and when appropriate. HMGS Midwest staff may take immediate action to address harassment concerns, including but not limited to, escorting participants to a location in which they feel safe, refunding tickets, cancelling events, moving event locations, requesting participants leave a specific area, removing offenders from the event, or banning offenders from the show. Bans and removals may be on a temporary basis, for the duration of the event, or permanent.
Contact police and medical authorities when appropriate. If, upon review, HMGS Midwest finds that relevant local government officials should be notified, HMGS Midwest may contact such entities and/or share confidential information as required by law.
HMGS Midwest event participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing behavior, staff may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender, expelling the offender from HMGS Midwest and its events, or banning the offender from the HMGS Midwest user community.
Specific sanctions may include but are not limited to:
- Warning the harasser to cease their behavior and that any further reports will result in other sanctions requiring that the harasser avoid any interaction with, and physical proximity to, their victim for the remainder of the event.
- Requiring that the harasser immediately leave the HMGS Midwest event without refund and not return.
- Not allowing a person who violated the policy to attend future HMGS Midwest events.
- Ending immediately any gaming events or other event responsibilities and privileges the harasser holds and requiring that the harasser not attend future HMGS Midwest events (either indefinitely or for a certain time period).
- Publishing an account of the harassment.
- Permanent ban from any HMGS Midwest sponsored events or online services.
- Reporting of the incident to the appropriate authorities.
HMGS Midwest staff will help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event.
We expect participants to follow these rules in all HMGS Midwest venues, HMGS Midwest-related social events, and online communication channels.
We value your participation in the HMGS Midwest community, and your efforts to keep HMGS Midwest a safe and friendly space for all participants!
Ethics & Conduct
Any of the following will be grounds for expulsion from the HMGS Midwest event without refund:
- Violating any federal, state or local laws, facility rules or Con/Event policies
- Failure to comply with the instructions of HMGS Midwest Event Staff or security personnel
- Using anything in a threatening or destructive manner against person or property
- Endangering the safety of oneself or others
- Threatening, stealing, cheating or harassing others
If at any time during an HMGS Midwest event you feel unsafe or feel you were subjected to harassing conduct, please locate a staff member and your concerns will be addressed immediately.
HMGS Midwest’s Code of Conduct applies in all physical spaces within HMGS Midwest’s control. This includes, but is not limited to, event venues and HMGS Midwest social media pages. Occasionally HMGS Midwest is made aware of behavior by participants (or potential participants) that has occurred outside of HMGS Midwest—either online or offline—and is a gross violation of our Code of Conduct. These actions need not occur in HMGS Midwest-affiliated spaces to be considered for sanctions by HMGS Midwest. These include, but are not limited to:
- Individuals who have not attended an HMGS Midwest event but have a history of abusive behavior and/or known incidents that took place outside of HMGS Midwest that may cause risks to a participant’s safety, or which may contribute to a hostile or non-inclusive environment at the convention.
- HMGS Midwest event participants who have been reported for outside incidents, including, but not limited to, conduct at other conventions, threatening or abusive behavior online, or assault.
We understand that, at times, participants will have disagreements or interpersonal conflicts that do not necessarily escalate to the point of harassment or abuse. HMGS Midwest will not arbitrate such disagreements—we ask that you please leave these conflicts at home.
We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.
We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of HMGS Midwest, other than the below.
*Please note* By buying a game ticket to any specific gaming event at any of our conventions or other events, you are giving us the express permission to share your contact information with the GM or organizer of that event, should they request it. GMs/organizers often want to contact their players before their event in order to share information about that specific gaming event.