Behavior Policy / Code of Conduct

General Code of Conduct used at CVAAS events

Last updated on 2 November 2018


bullyThe Central Valley Alliance of Atheists and Skeptics (CVAAS) provides a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion.

CVAAS wants to make sure everyone who participates in and attends our events feels valid, heard, and safe.

To that end, our Board of Directors has formalized the following General Good Behavior Policy.

  1.      All attendees and participants are entitled to feeling safe at CVAAS events.
  2.      No person shall be discriminated against based on age, race, beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, abilities, or any other protected class.
  3.      We encourage people to be able to back up claims and assertions. Being asked for supportive evidence is not a personal attack. Please “meet others where they are” in terms of education and exposure to scientific ideas. Most of us are not scientists or experts in every field. Remember, our social events should be fun… for everyone!
  4.      We ask that attendees be aware of how much time/space they are taking up in conversations and to allow others the same amount of time/space. No one person should monopolize a conversation. We strive for all participants to feel like they got a chance to discuss the issues.
  5.      There are times when conversations get heated and where differing viewpoints are expressed… sometimes with passion. If a conversation is getting heated, CVAAS offers two options to the participants:
  6.      A participant can call for a “tea break” or time-out. This does not mean the conversation is over forever, but that it is over for today.
  7.      Any participant is allowed to disengage completely from any conversation at any time. Once someone has made it clear that they do not wish to pursue a specific topic, other participants are expected to be respectful and allow the disengagement.
  8.      If, at any time, you feel uncomfortable because of the actions of other participants, please alert one of the CVAAS Board Members (we typically wear a CVAAS lanyard to events). We promise to do everything in our power to help resolve the situation.

More Nitty Gritty Code of Conduct Policy:

This code of conduct is designed to apply generally at all CVAAS events, held in public or private venues.

CVAAS expects all participants to follow this code of conduct at any official CVAAS event, including the annual Heretic’s Barbecue.

  1. CVAAS  & Alcohol:  
    1. At event venues where alcohol is sold, CVAAS guests and members who are 21 years old or older may purchase and responsibly consume alcohol during the event.
    2. On occasion, CVAAS will host events where members and guests are allowed to bring alcohol.  All attendees of these events are obligated to ensure that alcohol is consumed lawfully and responsibly.
    3. Unless otherwise stated, CVAAS does not permit or condone alcohol that is brought in from outside of the event venue.
    4. Event coordinators, event sponsors, venue hosts, or CVAAS officers or their designated representatives may refuse to allow the consumption of alcohol by anyone who exhibits inebriation.
  2. Smoking and vaping:
    1. Some venues or venue hosts do not allow smoking or vaping.  State laws may also limit or prohibit smoking or vaping.  
  3. The use of unlawful drugs is prohibited at all CVAAS events.
  4. Weapons of any kind are prohibited at CVAAS private venues, regardless of lawful status, except for active law enforcement officers or except when the owner of the private venue states otherwise.  Weapons brought to public venues must comply with the law, and the rules of that public venue.
  5. Exhibitions of racism, sexism, homophobia, and stereotyping are unwelcome at all CVAAS events and prohibited at private venues.
  6. Ask for consent before all inter-personal contact, respecting those who do not like to be touched and their personal space.
  7. To avoid distractions, mobile devices should be set to silent during any presentation at any private venue.
  8. Refrain from wearing heavy fragrances — including perfume, cologne, and scented shampoo — which can cause allergic reactions to other attendees.
  9. CVAAS will at times reserve seating at venues.  Seating marked “Reserved” (or other similar markings) is for our VIP attendees, those with vision or hearing impairments, and those with mobility accommodation needs.
  10. Speakers and entertainers at CVAAS hosted events, unless otherwise stated during their performance, provide consent to event attendees to take photographs and recordings (video and audio) of their performance. Outside of their performance, understand that they may not necessarily wish to pose for photographs, provide an autograph, or be interviewed.
  11. Zero Tolerance
    1. The Central Valley Alliance of Atheists and Skeptics will not tolerate harassment of the public, attendees, speakers, exhibitors, volunteers, or staff in any form. Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
    2. Those asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Event participants violating this policy will be expelled from the event (without a refund) at the discretion of CVAAS officers.
  12. Reporting Harassment
    1. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please immediately contact the event hosts or organizer, or a CVAAS officer at the event.
    2. Alternatively, you may report an incident through an email to
    3. If necessary, contact local law enforcement.  In an emergency, call 9-1-1.  Or contact the local police through their non-emergency phone number.  
    4. If requested, CVAAS will help victims of harassment contact local law enforcement, provide escorts, arrange for a taxi, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event.
  13. A Note to Families:
    1. CVAAS welcomes families with children at any event that is NOT designated as “adult only”, and expects all attendees to treat these families with courtesy and respect.
    2. Parents or guardians bringing children are responsible for their children’s behavior.
    3. Parents or guardians should be aware that not all language may be suitable for children.
  14. Your Privacy:
    1. Information Collection
      1. By electronically purchasing a ticket or goods from CVAAS either online at our website or via a point of sale at any event, we may be provided with your name and contact information.
      2. Electronic sales with CVAAS are processed by a third-party bank that follows industry banking standards for privacy. No credit card numbers are stored on any CVAAS computer.
      3. CVAAS does not give, share, sell or transfer any personal information to a third party without permission from you.
    2. How we use your Email address
      1. When you provide your email address during an electronic sale with CVAAS, it is used to send a purchasing confirmation.
      2. Your email address may also be used to announce future events hosted by the Central Valley Alliance of Atheists and Skeptics.
      3. You may ask to be removed from future emails by following the attached email instructions about being removed.
    3. Photographs and Video Recordings
      1. From time to time CVAAS may take photographs or make recordings of different CVAAS events.  Photographs and recordings are taken as a matter of course during large CVAAS events like the Heretic’s Barbecue.
      2. Adult attendees of any CVAAS event provide consent to the Central Valley Alliance of Atheists and Skeptics to have their picture taken or be included in audio/video recordings of the event. This media (including pictures, audio, and video) may be used in multiple forms of promotion (including the web, social networking, print, and television). Attendees waive all rights to review or approve any use of this content and should expect no compensation.
      3. Attendees who have brought guests – under the age of 18 – to any CVAAS hosted event understand that their children may be included in recordings made by CVAAS. However, CVAAS will not feature children in any form of promotion without first securing the agreement of their parent or guardian.
      4. The Central Valley Alliance of Atheists and Skeptics will consider requests by attendees to not have their photograph taken and to have photographs of them removed from social media websites controlled by CVAAS upon request.
      5. CVAAS will remove those photographs that endanger anyone’s personal safety.
      6. For questions, or to request removal of photographs or recordings of minors, or due to safety concerns, please send an email to, or call CVAAS at: (559) 335-3228.