VII.G. BSC Whistleblower Policy

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1. The BSC’s adjudication procedures exist in order to fulfill its duties as a landlord in providing a safe living environment while adhering to all applicable laws, and being as fair and observant of member rights as possible.

2. It is important for the BSC to take all complaints seriously, to investigate to determine whether a policy violation may have occurred, and if so, determine an appropriate response and resolution.

3. The BSC Whistleblower Policy prohibits members from engaging in retaliatory action against other stakeholders in the BSC community that express concern or bring formal complaints regarding a member’s conduct and/or potential policy violations.

4. The purpose of the Whistleblower Policy is to:

a. Ensure that all stakeholders feel comfortable in their home and/or working environment.

b. Ensure that all stakeholders feel comfortable bringing forth complaints, as retaliation against a complainant can have a chilling effect on complaints and may undermine community members’ faith in BSC conduct procedures.

c. Prevent unnecessary publicizing of information or the spreading of disinformation as doing so may cause additional conflicts and can interfere with a fair and efficient investigation process.

d. To protect the BSC from legal liability, as any type of retaliation, whether intentional or unintentional, may expose the BSC to legal risk.

5.  Retaliation is defined as any adverse action directed toward an alleged complainant, an alleged respondent, an alleged witness, staff member, or any member of an enforcement/appeals committee.  Such retaliation is unacceptable and will be viewed as a form of harassment. Such actions may take the form of punishment, defamation, intimidation, and create a hostile, threatening, or uncomfortable environment as a result of making a complaint or participating in the BSC conduct process.

6.  Examples of retaliation include, but are not limited to:

a. Publicizing information regarding a conduct case on any medium, including, but not limited to social media, email, text messages, signage/posters, etc.

b. Approaching or directly contacting any individual involved in a conduct case regarding the investigation or complaint

c. Discussing the conduct case in formal settings/meetings, e.g. dinner or council

d. Discussing the conduct case in any common space or other public setting where other BSC community members might be present

7.  However, the BSC wants to encourage survivors and those negatively impacted by conduct violations to seek appropriate support.  As such, examples of actions which would not be considered to be in violation of the Whistleblower Policy, include but are not limited to the following examples:

a. Privately seeking support from close friends and/or support systems in private areas where other BSC community members are not present (e.g. private bedrooms)

b. Seeking support from trained BSC Restorative Justice practitioners or other BSC-provided resources

c. Seeking support from confidential support groups

8.  We also want to encourage members to provide feedback or suggestions about how to improve the conduct process and/or support for members.  As such, members are encouraged to share feedback and/or suggestions with the Vice President of Experience & Training, BSC President, or Cooperative Experience Manager.

9.  Engaging in retaliation as defined above will be viewed as an infraction of the Conduct Code, and is an offense that can warrant disciplinary action up to and including a conditional contract, membership termination, or any other remedy normally at the disposal of an enforcement committee hearing a conduct case.