Cleveland DSA Code of Conduct

Passed on September 2nd 2021

Cleveland DSA prohibits the following behavior:

  1. Harassment (in-person or online) including, but not limited to stalking or  ongoing unwanted contact outside DSA events, abuse, yelling, insults, violence or threats thereof, blackmail, deliberate intimidation, non-consensual physical contact, or ongoing unwelcome sexual/romantic attention.  
  2. Harmful or prejudicial comments related to sexual orientation, gender identity, physical appearance, neurodivergence, sobriety, national origin, body size, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion or lack thereof,  and the use of slurs or hate speech generally.
  3. Irreconcilable disagreement with the core principles of the organization as stated in the chapter’s preamble/guiding document/who we are, what we believe.
  4. Engagement in intentional ongoing disruptive behavior at chapter events or in any chapter spaces, including online ones 
  5. Acting in a concerted manner within DSA under the discipline or coordination of an outside organization.
  6. Misuse of chapter resources such as misappropriation of funds or materials. 
  7. Knowingly engaging in behaviors that are harmful or disruptive to chapter work, the chapter as a whole, or individual members within the chapter.
  8. Misrepresenting Cleveland DSA, such as claiming to speak as an official representative of the chapter without permission from the membership, unauthorized use of chapter communications, and using chapter membership to campaign for public office without the chapter’s endorsement. 
  9. Disclosing private or sensitive chapter or member information publicly or privately. 

Policies related to Code of Conduct 

  1. Any member may make notice of a violation of the code of conduct and bring it up to the combined body of steering and the HGOs.  You can email the HGOs or anonymously send a concern at
  2. After a code of conduct violation is filed:
    1. Within 7 days of filing, the HGO will notify the offender that a report has been filed against them and request a written response be submitted within the next seven (7) days, either affirming or denying its substance.
      1. If the accused does not meet this deadline, the HGO will proceed to submit a recommended remedy to the SC.
    2. The HGO(s) must notify the SC of the code of conduct violation within 7 days of its filing, and must give 48 hours’ written notice to the offending member before doing so. In cases of dangerous behavior (Article 7.a Grievance Policy) the HGOs may notify SC of violation without informing the offender. 
    3. If the accused denies the substance of the report, the HGO will have 10 days to investigate by:
      1. interviewing other members with direct knowledge of the substance of the report;
      2. requesting documentation from any other parties directly involved; or
      3. employing any and all other means deemed necessary, with the utmost respect for the confidentiality of the parties.
    4. The HGO(s) responsible will determine whether the report is credible and, if necessary, make a recommendation to the SC of appropriate remedy/disciplinary action within 30 days of the violation being reported. 
  3. The combined body of steering and the HGOs will then deliberate and discuss the event or action to determine if it did violate the Code of Conduct. At that point, if the SC/HGOs agree that a violation occurred, the HGOs or SC may then proceed with the following steps.
    1. Bringing up violation to the offender, in a documented conversation 
    2. If no resolution is made, behavior escalated or continues, or the severity of the violation constitutes such actions the combined steering/HGOs can take any of the following actions:
      1. Issue first, second warnings 
      2. Temporary suspension 
      3. Expulsion
        1. Expulsion from Cleveland DSA is a decision that must be made by the general membership, with quorum and a 2/3s vote. Per Robert’s Rules, the vote to expel a member must be conducted by ballot, except by general consent.
    3. The discipline issued will always usually be escalating in nature, except in the case of dangerous behavior, where immediate expulsion may be brought to the general body 
  4. [If the offender feels that disciplinary action taken was disproportionate to the violation then they can contact the national HGO at their email address,]
  5. If steering determines that a member is acting on behalf of law enforcement or any other group that is working to undermine DSA’s actions, or is otherwise engaging in conduct that is destructive to the chapter, Steering may temporarily suspend that member’s membership in the chapter. Steering should attempt to conduct a thorough investigation before making a final determination – this investigation may last no more than 30 days. As with all expulsions from the chapter, this decision must be made by the general body. The results of the investigation should be made public to the chapter. 
  6. Recusal:
    1. The HGOs may take code of conduct violations to other chapters HGOs if conflict of interest with steering or hgo’s of home chapter
    2. If there is a conflict of interest where a member of steering or hgo is in violation of the code of conduct, the member of steering or the hgo will recuse themself from the discussion and decision making process involved with the violation
    3. In a case-by-case basis Cleveland HGOs may consult with other chapter HGOs and vice versa.