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Resources for Setting Community Expectations 

When it comes to difficult conversations, alumni/volunteer conduct, and inclusion these resources can provide guidance for Clubs and SIGs.  


Code of Conduct
Harvard Clubs and SIGs are encouraged to adopt a code of conduct for volunteers, members, staff, and guests.  Here is some suggested language for incorporation or adaptation:   


“For any conduct by a volunteer, member, staff, or guest that is harmful to the welfare of the [insert Club/SIG name] or the Board of [insert Club/SIG name] or a member/guest of the [insert Club/SIG name], the Board of Directors, after a majority vote under the bylaws, has the right to terminate or suspend privileges.” 


For more questions about the Code of Conduct please feel free to contact your staff liaison - we're here to help!


Community Values
In addition to a Code of Conduct, consider adding a section to affirm Community Values. This could be included on Club/SIG websites, social media platforms, events and/or registration pages. For example: 

"The [insert Club/SIG name] upholds the following Community Values among all community members:
•    Respect for the rights, differences, and dignity of others
•    Honesty and integrity in dealing with all members of the community
•    Accountability for personal behavior"

For more questions on Community Values please feel free to contact your staff liaison - we're here to help!


Harvard University Alumni Affairs & Development Ground Rules for Open Discussions

  • Listen actively: Seek to understand not respond; respect others when they are talking. 

  • Participate to the fullest of your ability: Our community depends on the inclusion of every individual voice. And give space for others to speak.

  • Embrace discomfort: Be open to vulnerability and willing to challenge yourself to participate beyond your comfort level. When needed, step out of the room (or mute video) and rejoin when you are ready. 

  • Expect and accept non-closure: These are deep, challenging, and highly nuanced issues and this is an ongoing dialogue. We can decide on meaningful actions, but we might not resolve everything (or maybe anything).

  • Speak from your own experience: Instead of generalizing ("I" instead of "they," "we," and "you"). Share your own story as you are willing. 

Example of Community Conversations Norms
This HAA Shared Interest Group — Harvard Women in Defense, Diplomacy, and Development Alumni Network (W3D) — developed these Community Conversation Norms that you might want to consider adapting. 

W3D Community Conversations: Norms infographic with red and white images and red and black text on a white background


Harvard University Alumni Affairs & Development Community Expectations
Harvard University Alumni Affairs & Development (AA&D) programs and volunteer opportunities respect the rights, differences, and dignity of others. Those taking part in AA&D activities are expected to demonstrate honesty, integrity, and civility in those activities, and are accountable for their conduct with University alumni, students, parents, volunteers, employees, and invitees.   


Harvard University Alumni Affairs & Development reserves the right to suspend services to and to exclude from participation in AA&D programs any person whose inappropriate behavior adversely affects the safety, well-being, or inclusion of community members. 

Additionally, delve into the Alumni Affairs & Development and HAA Inclusion Guidelines, which delineate expectations for Harvard Clubs, Shared Interest Groups (SIGs), and HAA Contacts, ensuring inclusivity at events and in membership. These guidelines underscore the importance of non-discrimination and accountability for behavior, prioritizing the safety and well-being of all community members.