Conference Policies

Standards of Appropriate Conference Behaviour

Overview

This Conference Code of Conduct is intended to prevent incidents of harassment, discrimination, and violence, and to maintain the high quality of scientific discourse that has come to be expected of Science Atlantic-supported conferences. Organizers of Science Atlantic-sponsored conferences are committed to providing a safe, inclusive and productive meeting environment that fosters open dialogue and the exchange of scientific ideas, promotes equal opportunities and treatment for all participants, and is free of harassment and discrimination. Participants agree to make every effort to maintain an environment that is free of harassment, even though we do not control the behaviour of third parties. All registrants, guests, volunteers, exhibitors, Science Atlantic Membership and staff, are expected to abide by this Conference Code of Conduct at all venues, including ancillary events and official and unofficial social gatherings.

Unacceptable Behaviour

Unacceptable behaviour includes (but is not limited to):
  • Intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning speech or actions by any participant
  • Harmful or prejudicial verbal or written comments or visual images such as but not limited to race, language, religious belief, colour, gender identity, gender expression, mental or physical disability, sex, marital status, education level, ancestry, ethnicity, age, place of origin, family status, source of income, receipt of public assistance, sexual orientation, Indigenous identity, or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.
  • Inappropriate or gratuitous use of nudity, sexual images, or stereotyped images in public spaces (including presentation slides)
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Unwelcome and uninvited attention or contact
  • Physical assault (including unwelcome touch or groping)
  • Real or implied threat of physical harm
  • Real or implied threat of professional or financial damage or harm
Retaliation for reporting unacceptable behavior is a violation of the Conference Code of Conduct for Conference. Falsely reporting unacceptable behavior is a violation of the Conference Code of Conduct. The conference organizers and the Science Atlantic Board and staff reserve the right to enforce this Conference Code of Conduct as appropriate. Anyone violating the Conference Code of Conduct may be: (a) warned to cease the behavior and informed that any further reports will result in more serious sanctions, (b) expelled from the conference (without refund), and/or (c) prohibited from attending future conferences indefinitely or for a period of time, (d) removed from membership in any or all of the partner societies involved in the Conference and (e) held accountable through notification of the individual’s employer of the action taken regarding this violation. Conference organizers, host institutions, and Science Atlantic shall not be responsible for any defamatory, offensive, or illegal conduct of Conference participants, and shall not be held liable for personal injury, property damage, theft or damage of any kind suffered by the participants at or in connection with the Conference. By registering for and attending the Conference, each participant acknowledges that they have read this Disclaimer, and expressly releases the organizations involved and their Board Directors, officers, or employees from any and all liability in connection with Conference.

Procedure for Reporting a Code Violation

If you are being subjected to, or notice that someone else is being subjected to, behaviour that violates this Code of Conduct, please contact a conference organizer immediately. All complaints will be treated seriously and responded to promptly. All reports are confidential. If possible, provide the following information, preferably in writing:
  • Identifying information (name/badge information, appearance) of the participant doing the harassing
  • The behavior that was in violation
  • The approximate time of the behavior (if different than the time the report was made)
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in or witnessing the incident
Anyone experiencing or witnessing behavior that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to public safety, or a criminal act is expected to contact 911. Those witnessing a potential criminal act should also take actions necessary to maintain their own personal safety. Approved October 2018 Revised November 2020 back to top

Conference Registration Payment and Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Payment

Payment is due in full once you have registered. Please check your registration information for directions on how to pay your registration fee. A receipt will be issued for payments received. If you are unable to attend the conference for any reason, you must provide email notice to the conference organizer no later than one week before the conference. If your payment has been received, a reimbursement will be issued within 60 days following the conference. If you cancel less than one week before the conference, you are required to pay the registration fee IN FULL to cover the costs that the organizers must pay for catering and materials for your participation. You are required to pay the full registration fee regardless of whether you have paid prior to cancelling. If you have already paid, no refund will be issued.

Registration Transfers

If you wish, you may transfer your registration to someone else from within your organization who has not previously registered. This must be done by email to the conference organizer no later than four days before the conference. The email must include both your registration information and the name and contact information of the person who will attend in your place. Any deviations from this policy are at the discretion of the conference organizer in consultation with the Executive Director. Approved April 2013 Revised March 2018 back to top

Release of Information Policy

Science Atlantic showcases the award winners at its annual student conferences both online and in print publications such as our Awards Yearbook. This information is available freely online. The majority of people who see these materials are academics, university administrators, and students in Atlantic Canada, as well as people with an interest in science and science education. When you register for a conference, you will be asked to agree to the following, which outlines our intended use of your information and photos should you be an award winner and/or if your photo is taken when you are attending a Science Atlantic-sponsored event. * * * For photographs taken for Science Atlantic, I grant to Science Atlantic:
  • Copyright and/or use of photos for promotion, marketing, and/or educational purposes.
  • Permission to identify me by name, institution, program of study and other similar information.
Further, if I am an award recipient, I grant to Science Atlantic:
  • Permission to release my name, institution, presentation title, abstract, contact information and photo to the award sponsor(s) for administrative use.
  • Permission to announce my receipt of the award on the Science Atlantic website and/or in materials including but not limited to newsletters, written reports, brochures, and multimedia presentations and Yearbook.
Note: if you do not grant permission to share your photos or award-related information with award sponsor(s) and/or Science Atlantic, it is your responsibility to contact your conference organizer and email your abstention to conferences@scienceatlantic.ca prior to the start of the conference Approved April 2013 Revised March 2018 back to top

Student Support Philosophy

In accordance with the mission of Science Atlantic, the organization and its Membership are committed to assisting students in promoting their skills and achievements, providing students with valuable opportunities, and ensuring students receive a valuable educational and student experience.

The scope of this Policy includes students in all disciplines supported by Science Atlantic (Aquaculture and Fisheries, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Science, Environment, Nutrition and Foods, Mathematics and Statistics, Physics and Astronomy, and Psychology), and at all levels of study.

While fostering independence and responding to individual student needs, Science Atlantic seeks to support each student in achieving their potential. In accordance with these goals, the Science Atlantic Membership will encourage and support student participation in Science Atlantic conferences.

Inclusiveness, Diversity, Equity

Science Atlantic aims to ensure student activities are diverse and inclusive and participants are not discriminated against by reason of factors including but not limited to race, language, religious belief, colour, gender identity, gender expression, mental or physical disability, sex, marital status, education level, ancestry, ethnicity, age, place of origin, family status, source of income, receipt of public assistance, sexual orientation, Indigenous identity, or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered. Discrimination is defined as adverse treatment against an individual or group based on one or more of the previously listed grounds.

Bullying, Harassment, and Appropriate Use of Authority

Science Atlantic is committed to providing a safe, inclusive and productive meeting environment that fosters open dialogue and the exchange of scientific ideas, promotes equal opportunities and treatment for all participants, and is free of harassment and discrimination. Organizational representatives will uphold the Science Atlantic Membership Code of Conduct, Communications Policies, and Conference Code of Conduct.

The Science Atlantic Membership and Science Atlantic conference organizers will make every effort to maintain an environment that is free of harassment, even though we do not control the behavior of third parties.

All registrants, guests, volunteers, exhibitors, staff, contractors, vendors, venue staff, and others in attendance are expected to abide by this Code of Conduct at all venues at Science Atlantic conferences, including public online communications, ancillary events, and official and unofficial social gatherings. Retaliation for reporting unacceptable behavior is a violation of the Code of Conduct. Falsely reporting unacceptable behavior is a violation of the Code of Conduct.

The faculty-student relationship lies at the foundation of the educational process. As a matter of sound judgment and professional ethics, faculty members have a responsibility to avoid any apparent or actual conflict between their professional responsibilities and personal relationships with students.

Faculty-student relationships are expected to be supportive and have a positive influence on the student’s experience. Comments or actions of a negative, derogatory or discriminatory nature or that are deemed to be in violation of the Code of Conduct and/or Communications Policies will be subject to disciplinary review.

Complaints regarding such comments or actions can be made in writing to the Committee Chair and copied to the relevant Institutional Representative and/or the Executive Director of Science Atlantic within a reasonable period of time after the event. Following a complaint, a resolution or course of action will be determined by the appropriate parties from the the host institution and the institution of the individual making the complaint, in collaboration with Science Atlantic as needed, within 40 days and communicated to the complainant.

Accessibility and Accommodation

Science Atlantic will make reasonable efforts to provide accommodation, as is financially feasible, for students who experience a barrier to participation because of a characteristic protected by human rights legislation. Accommodations are intended to reduce or eliminate barriers to participation in Science Atlantic student conferences. The concept of reasonable accommodation requires a partnership between the individual requiring the accommodation and the conference organizing team, including the host institution. All concerned should be responsible for respecting the dignity and confidentiality of the individual who requests the accommodation.

Student Travel Support

Science Atlantic recognizes the financial challenges of participating in regional conferences and encourages conference organizers to allocate travel funds for students, particularly students from Memorial University and its Grenfell Campus. Additionally, Science Atlantic provides funds as possible for students from Science Atlantic member institutions travelling to a Science Atlantic conference held in Newfoundland.

Awards

An award describes an item of monetary or other value that may be presented to a person or persons based upon specific criteria and administered by the organization, its representatives, an identified sponsor, or a combination thereof.

Science Atlantic will ensure consistency in fundamental award practices and procedures, while allowing committees sufficient flexibility to administer their award programs in a manner appropriate to their individual needs and objectives.

Award eligibility and selection criteria will not include any condition defined as discriminatory under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or Science Atlantic Anti-Discrimination Policy. Additionally, those responsible for award selection will make an effort to remove any conscious or unconscious bias from their deliberations.

Science Atlantic will adhere to its Release of Information Policy regarding the award-related information of conference award winners. This policy can be found here.

Support for Student Conference Organizers

Ensuring only individuals with appropriate approval and accountability are authorized to execute financial transactions and sign contracts is an important part of Science Atlantic’s financial management policies. The host institution, through the conference’s designated faculty advisor, will ensure that students do not act outside the authority they are granted and are not held liable for any legal or financial aspects of a sanctioned Science Atlantic activity. This means that students may not sign contracts on behalf of the organization or the host institution or act as signing officers for a financial account.

Approved October 2018

Revised November 2020

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Bilingualism Policy

Science Atlantic is a charitable association of post-secondary and research institutions in Atlantic Canada. Though the region is united through many similarities, each province and institution is unique. Among Science Atlantic institutions, Université de Moncton plays a unique role as the only Science Atlantic institution providing a full spectrum of science degree options in French. Science Atlantic is committed to ensuring that the organization and its committees are doing their best to make their communications accessible to all Atlantic Canadians. The following language use guidelines have been developed so that all students can access the full benefits of participation:
  • At all conferences, students are encouraged to present in the official language of their choice.
  • A minimum of one French-speaking member is included on the judging panel for student presentations given in French.
  • If a presentation or poster is given in French and there is an evaluation, committees shall provide student evaluation forms in French of comparable quality to the English version.
  • Reasonable efforts should be made to translate such info as driving instructions, accommodation information, tourist information, etc.
  • Conference booklets and promotional material such as pins and T-shirts need not be translated, but are encouraged where financially possible.
  • Refer to the Translation policy on guidelines regarding translations.
Approved September 2008 Revised April 2013, 2018 Revised November 2020 back to top

Alcohol Use Policy

Science Atlantic does not endorse student gatherings involving the consumption of alcohol as a predominant activity. This includes but is not limited to “pub crawls”. Funding from Science Atlantic for student conferences shall not be used to promote, coordinate, or defray the costs associated with such events. The Science Atlantic name, including the wearing of name tags or apparel with the Science Atlantic logo, is not to be associated with such events. These events are not to be publicized via Science Atlantic websites or printed in any Science Atlantic conference material. Students, of their own volition, are free to organize such events outside the aegis of Science Atlantic. Any student and/or Science Atlantic member choosing to attend such a student-organized activity is advised that he/she does so at his/her personal discretion, not under the umbrella of Science Atlantic. Approved April 2002 Updated April 2013, 2018 back to top

Diversity and Inclusion Policy

Diversity and inclusiveness shall remain as our fundamental principle in our organizational structure including board members, committee membership, selection of judges, student awards and in the selection of invited speakers.

Science Atlantic is committed to encouraging and supporting event organizers in inviting high quality speakers to present at our events. We strongly encourage event organizers to consider the diversity of invited speakers such that they are inclusive of factors that include but are not limited to race, religious belief, colour, gender identity or expression, mental or physical ability, sex, marital status, education level, ancestry, ethnicity, age, place of origin, family status, source of income, receipt of public assistance, sexual orientation, indigenous identity or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.

By establishing a policy of diversity and inclusion, we hope to inspire all young scientists to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) research and careers.

Approved November 2015

Revised March 2018, November 2020

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Holding Account Policy

1. Purpose of this Policy

  • To clarify the practices for holding and dispersing funds for committees, conferences and special projects.
  • To maintain responsible stewardship of funding
  • To provide transparency for sponsors, donors, and official review bodies (e.g., Canada Revenue Agency).

2. Types of Holding Accounts

There are three types of Holding Accounts:

i) “Surplus Funds” to hold surplus funds from regular activities (e.g., conferences, lecture tours), ii) “Special Purpose Funds” to hold funds raised for a specific purpose that has been previously approved by the Executive Director or board, and iii) “Special Projects Fund” to hold undesignated funds for future projects approved by the Board.

3. Holding Account Management and Reporting

i) Management of Holding Accounts is the responsibility of the Executive Director, in keeping with the organization’s investment and financial policies.

ii) Each Holding Account shall be designated with the Committee’s name or a name signifying the purpose for which the funds are being held.

iii) It is each Committee Chair’s responsibility to provide clear information regarding the source and intent of funds to be held in a Holding Account.

iv) Each deposit shall be recorded in the appropriate Holding Account with its source and/or purpose

v) The current balance and a financial report for a Holding Account shall be provided by the Executive Director in a timely fashion upon request by a Committee Chair.

vi) The balance of each Holding Account shall be made available with the Science Atlantic’s year-end financial statements.

4. Allowable Use of Holding Account Funds

i) General
a. In the case of income thatwas not received for a specific purpose, funds must be used for activities that support the mission of Science Atlantic. b. If a balance remains after all expenses are paid for a Science Atlantic activity or event, the host institution should be offered the surplus to the maximum of their original contribution, with the remaining surplus deposited in a Science Atlantic Holding Account.
ii) Surplus Funds from Regular Activities
a. A project/event budget must be submitted to and approved by the Executive Director prior to release of funds. b. Activities and expenses eligible for funding are outlined in the Funding/Budgeting Policy (http://scienceatlantic.ca/about/policies/#FP).
iii) Special Purpose Funds
a. A Special Purpose Holding Account will be created upon submission to the Executive Director of a proposal outlining its purpose. b. Special purpose funds must be used to support the project approved by the Executive Director and in accordance with the purpose stated to the sponsors/donors when the funds were raised.
iv) Special Projects Fund
a. The Special Projects Fund supports activities that provide benefit across disciplines.   b. Project proposals are accepted on an ongoing basis and are reviewed and approved by the Board in consultation with the Executive Director.

5. Accumulation and Disbursement of Funds

i) Each Committee may accumulate a Holding Account surplus of up to $7,000.

ii) A request for funds for Science Atlantic activities shall automatically result in first drawing from the balance in the relevant Holding Accounts.

iii) Money held in a Holding Account shall be released upon approval by the Executive Director of an application from a Committee Chair indicating the purpose for which the funds will be used.

iv) Should the Executive Director deem the purpose not fitting with the Science Atlantic mandate or the specifications of the donors, approval from the Board shall be required for release of the funds.

v) If a Holding Account exceeds the maximum indicated 5.i, the appropriate Committee Chair must provide a plan to the Executive Director by July 31 of that year to use the funds to bring the total below the maximum in a way that is consistent with the mission of Science Atlantic. Spending of these funds may be deferred for up to one year with a timeline for use of funds.

6. Holding Accounts in Excess of the Maximum Allowable Balance

i) Each year at fiscal year-end (August 31), all Holding Account balances in excess of the amount stipulated in 5.i will be transferred to the “Special Projects Fund” Holding Account, as outlined in 4.iii.

ii) If a committee would like to use a surplus prior to the year-end transfer to the Special Projects Fund, they must submit a request to the Executive Director as outlined in 5.v.

7. Other

i) Deviation from this Policy requires prior written approval of the Science Atlantic Board.

ii) This policy will be reviewed by the Science Atlantic Board no less than every five years.

Approved by Council April 2010

Revised April 2013

Revised April 2018

Revised August 2020

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