Code of conduct and support

This code of conduct applies to all events organised by Squids, though the practical implementation may be adapted depending on the circumstances of each individual event.

Motivation

We are committed to providing an inclusive and safe experience to all participants, both in-person and online. Our goal is to make everyone feel welcome and appreciated, independently of their background, experience and identity, and able to learn as much as possible from the event.

Some of you are postdocs; some are masters students. Your majors range from physics to maths, computer science and engineering. Some have published papers in quantum foundations, but many have never heard of contextuality or generalised probability theories. Some of you will attend the school from home using high speed internet; others may need request a room at a local library or school to have access to stable electricity, and special funding for mobile data. For some of you, the impact of the pandemic was a series of light lockdowns; but for many it had severe mental health repercussions, and some have lost loved ones to the coronavirus, or gone through long covid themselves. Many of you are lucky to have a socio-economical condition that enables you to focus on your studies; there are those among us who have to wade through different barriers every day, be them of access to infrastructure, dealing with discrimination, health issues, a scattered education, or hostile environments. What you all have in common is your love for physics and your enthusiasm for learning: this we treasure, and this we will protect.

We want the event to be a place where all participants can breathe, relax, and learn. In order to ensure this we need to place some hard boundaries, in particular around dangerous and harassing behaviour. These are described below. We expect everyone to be at their best behaviour, both in-person and online. We will deal with misconduct swiftly and discreetly.

Encouraged behaviour

  • Ask for help when you don’t understand something. Ask questions before, during and after the lectures!
  • Help your colleagues, when asked. Please don’t offer unsolicited advice unless you are an assistant at the event.
  • Take a break when you need one! The schedule is fairly packed, but we don’t expect everyone to attend every lecture live. The lectures will be publicly available until the heat death of YouTube, you can always catch up later. If you feel like it’s too much, you can go for a walk, or to your room, or exercise… whatever makes you happy. Taking care of yourself is valued, and is never a failure.
  • Be inclusive and welcoming. Let others know if you’re planning a study session, a city tour or a board game.
  • Reach out to one of the organisers if you are not feeling well, mentally, emotionally or physically, or if you are having issues with other participants. We will handle it.
  • You are welcome to list your pronouns if you feel comfortable doing so. There is no pressure one way or the other.

Forbidden behaviour

  • Any kind of discriminatory remarks or actions, based for example on gender, race, religion, language and accents, physical appearance, age, health issues, disability, or previous education.
  • Any kind of sexual harassment. If someone made you feel uncomfortable please talk to us. We will protect you and address it with the person. If you’re wondering whether what you’re about to say could be harassment, just… don’t? You can always ask the organisers and we will be happy to clarify it.
  • Transphobic, misogynist and racist remarks in particular will not be tolerated.
  • Covid conspiracy theories will not be tolerated. As mentioned above, some people here lost loved ones to the coronavirus.
  • Note that this list is not exhaustive. If you really need a valve for meanness, you can mock people’s favourite football club. Or you can always say nothing.

Enforcement

Depending on the gravity of what happened, we may first talk to the offenders and see if an understanding can be reached. If that’s not the case, the participant will be expelled.

Health considerations

There have been several instances of outbreaks at conferences, research retreats and winter schools in Europe in the past few months, so we will err on the side of caution to protect the most vulnerable among us. 

  • vaccination certificate for the covid vaccine is mandatory to attend the school in person. We recommend (but don’t enforce) having a booster shot shortly before the school.
  • We will provide self-tests at the event (every 2-3 days), and participants are required to take them before entering the lecture rooms.
  • Masks are required during the lectures for all participants in the audience. We will provide masks for those in need.
  • All social events that involve consuming food or drinks (for example coffee breaks) will take place outdoors.
  • We will provide support for online participation. Lectures will be streamed live on YouTube and other streaming platform, and we answer audience questions on a Discord server.
  • If you have additional health concerns, let us know and we will try to find a place where you can host the lectures safely. In particular, you can watch the lectures online from another room or office, and join in person only for outdoor events.
  • If you start having covid- or cold-like symptoms, immediately wear a mask and contact one of the organisers. We will take care of you.
  • Please make sure that you have health insurance valid in the event’s hosting country  (like the European health card). If you don’t, let us know in advance so that we are prepared.
  • If have additional requirements or allergies, let us know.

After these last three years, we are all so tired. Let’s be kind to each other.

Provisions and support at the event

“I need a break” provisions

Academic events like conferences and summer schools are intensely fun, and sometimes we all need a break. We have the following provisions in place:

  • A quiet room, close to the lecture room. Go there whenever you need to be by yourself. There’s a box with fidget toys at the entrance, you’re welcome to borrow one (just return it at the end, or let me know if you need to keep them for a while). Working quietly there is ok, just avoid talking. Respect other people’s privacy in the quiet room: a nod is ok, but assume that if they are there, they want to be left alone, so please don’t approach them or engage in conversation.
  • Freedom of movement: everyone is allowed to quietly walk out of the lecture room whenever they want, no questions asked. If you want to continue watching the lecture but are not feeling well in the lecture room, you can follow the rest on youtube (there’s only a few seconds’ delay). If you’re feeling better and want to return to the room, go ahead. You can also walk around the campus or go home at any point. The social events are completely optional, and you can leave whenever you like.
  • In general, let’s assume that other people know what’s best for them: if you see someone pacing, rocking, wearing earplugs or headphones, gaming on their phone, doodling, talking to themselves, or otherwise stimming, you don’t need to comment on it. In 90% of the cases this is very common self-soothing behaviour; assume that if someone actually needs help they will ask. If you are very worried, you can ask once if they’re ok, and then please respect their privacy and let them be.
  • Conversely, if you feel distressed or unwell, need help with anything, or are having issues with another participant, please talk to us. If we’re not nearby, you can write to me on Discord, or approach one of the volunteers. We can help.

“Will you feed me enough” provisions

Academic events often take place in expensive cities, and we believe that organisers should help cover living expenses.

  • Morning coffee breaks include savoury sandwiches, snacks and fruit. If there are leftovers, participants are welcome to take some for lunch.
  • The morning coffee break takes place after the very first lecture, and coffee is always provided.
  • Afternoon coffee breaks include snacks and fruit.
  • We recommend having lunch in campus, and will inform participants of several accessible options for lunch and dinner.
  • Funding allowing, we strive to provide two evening meals per week: a reception on the first day of the event, and a dinner later in the week.
  • We will accommodate dietary restrictions reported by participants.
  • We use part of the funding for the event in travel grants for participants who cannot obtain financial support from their home institution.