The SF3 Board extends heartfelt apologies to those who have been harassed at WisCon, to those who feel unsafe at WisCon, to the ConCom, and to our wider community, for letting you down. We regret allowing Rose Lemberg’s report to languish. We are writing this statement as prompted by Rose Lemberg’s liaisons, Saira Ali and Alex Dally MacFarlane (link: http://phi.dreamwidth.org/331071.html). While this statement is being written per their request, the SF3 board would like to emphasize that it is genuinely sorry for Rose Lemberg’s pain being perpetuated by a seemingly unending tangle of bureaucratic lapses. WisCon co-chairs change from year to year, as do department heads such as Safety, but the makeup of the SF3 Executive Board is more static, as the turnover is staggered. Our board is organized so as to provide continuity and stability, and we recognize that our positions make us uniquely culpable for having failed to monitor and intervene in the communications with individuals who reported harassment at WisCon.
We failed to see that our process was a flawed and porous system that allowed reports to get misplaced. Since the SF3 Board officially appoints the chair(s) of WisCon, which in turn is technically a committee within the larger organization of SF3, the board acknowledges that it is ultimately our responsibility to oversee issues of safety that affect all WisCon attendees.
We will focus on our accountability and responsibilities as an institution and be vigilant in the future to try and prevent such events from happening again.
A number of valued concom members have chosen to resign over the summer, including several past WisCon chairs. In addition, several other former chairs have decided to significantly reduce their work on WisCon. We recognize that chairing Wiscon is a difficult task, even with co-chairs, and that the responsibilities of chair and other high-responsibility positions need to be rethought. The concom is currently examining itself, and has begun work to replenish committee positions and to provide training or apprenticeships for prospective chairs.