To: AAR Members
From: Jack Fitzmier, Executive Director
Subject: Annual Meeting Safety Policies
Date: June 21, 2016
Greetings from the Luce Center at Emory! This morning during its regular monthly conference call, our Executive Committee affirmed the following statement about Annual Meeting Safety Policies. We hope this addresses concerns and questions that have been raised about gender-neutral restrooms, firearm legislation, and harassment resources.
Best wishes for a safe and productive summer. I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!
AAR Annual Meeting Safety Policies
Our thoughts are with the Orlando victims and their loved ones as we work to ensure the safety of all AAR members, including our LGBTIQ members. In our current political and social climate where vitriolic rhetoric too often replaces reasoned discourse, we strive to make our meetings safe from racist, sexist, religion-based, homophobic, ableist, and transphobic harassment and violence.
The AAR's Policy on Non-Discrimination, adopted by the AAR Board of Directors in November, 2008, makes clear that the Academy rejects discrimination in any form at any of its sanctioned events, including the Annual Meeting. You can find the full statement at the following link: https://www.aarweb.org/node/186.
In accordance with its established policy, the AAR seeks to create an environment at the Annual Meeting that is free from harassment in any form. To that end, the AAR encourages its members to use the restroom they deem appropriate throughout the Annual Meeting. Furthermore, gender-neutral restrooms, first put into effect at the 2014 Annual Meeting in San Diego, will be in place at the 2016 Annual Meeting in San Antonio. The AAR and SBL leadership have made a clear commitment to continuing this practice in future Annual Meetings.
The Texas state legislature does not reconvene until well after our Annual Meeting in November, and we do not anticipate any changes to current laws with respect to firearms or restrooms. Our members will be permitted to use the restroom of their choosing at the San Antonio meetings. The AAR is committed to the safety and well-being of all persons who attend or work at our Annual Meetings. You can find our Annual Meeting Safety Policy here: https://www.aarweb.org/annual-meeting/aar-annual-meeting-safety-policy.
In addition to its usual protocols for emergency situations, the AAR plans to institute a non-emergency hotline for the Annual Meeting where members can report incidents of harassment, inappropriate behavior, or safety concerns that do not require immediate emergency medical or police response. As at previous meetings, emergency protocols will be in place with information listed on the back of nametags.