Photography by Heather Haynes

In Association with

Harassment Policy: (Updated 12/9/2017)

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) is dedicated to providing a comfortable and harassment-free environment for everyone at Balticon and other BSFS-sponsored events. In order to offer a welcoming and safe space for everyone, all attendees are required to be respectful of all others. Do not use slurs or derogatory comments about a person, group or category of people. This could include comments based on characteristics such as (but not limited to) actual or perceived race, national origin, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, physical appearance, age, religion, ability, family structure, or marital status, or socioeconomic class.

BSFS wants its events to be safe and enjoyable for everyone. By attending a BSFS event, all individuals are required to abide by BSFS anti-harassment rules.

Remember, by attending a BSFS event, including Balticon, you are agreeing to create a space that feels as safe as possible. This is done by respecting others' space--be it physical or social.

Physical Space:

Do not physically harm or endanger other people.

Other people or their personal effects should not be touched--this includes hair, clothing, assistive devices, bags, and service animals--without an express invitation. If physical contact is wished, express this verbally or with a friendly gesture, and do not proceed without a positive verbal or physical response. Holding a hand out for a handshake and waiting for the other person to reciprocate is good example.

Sharing space with other people requires active demonstrations of respect and empathy. Good examples can be: leaving other people a clear path to an exit, moderating the volume of your voice, limiting the expansiveness of your gestures as well as maintaining an appropriate physical distance.

Social Boundaries:

Please respect the desires of a person or persons who have expressed their wish for no further contact. Do not contact them, either by your own agency or through an intermediary.

Even though BSFS and Balticon welcome vigorous debate, do not verbally attack people.

Be aware of consent to continue interaction with another person, observing non-verbal and verbal clues. Pay attention if the other party wishes to end the interaction. If there is any question whether the other party wants to end the interaction, end the interaction yourself.


If a dispute regarding harassment arises at Balticon, please inform Balticon staff, who can contact Con Ops and the Balticon Chair. The location of Con Ops is located in the pocket program, but staff can guide or accompany members who wish help. The incident will be documented by Balticon staff, and include one person to record the incident as well as a witness to the process. The complainant can request a person of their choosing to serve as their own witness.

Balticon Con Ops Staff may temporarily revoke membership privileges pending review and action by the Con Chair in as timely a fashion as the Con Chair's other duties allow. All details of the incident should be recorded and forwarded to the Balticon Chair, who can require the offending party or parties to permanently relinquish their membership badges for the remainder of the Convention.

Any persons involved in a dispute at Balticon should be aware that information will be kept on a need-to-know basis. This means the relevant information of the dispute will only be shared between pertinent parties, such as Con Ops volunteers recording the information, the Balticon Chair, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society's Board of Directors (up to and including the current President) as well as any outside authorities, as needed. The Baltimore Science Fiction Society and Balticon cannot be responsible for the actions of other persons who may have witnessed the disputed act.

Anyone who is banned from the hotel or other facility where Balticon is being held by the management of that facility must appeal the decision to the management of that hotel or facility, not to BSFS.

Membership badges are property of Balticon, and if requested, must be surrendered to Balticon staff. If a member feels relinquishing their badge is an issue, they can go to Con Ops (please refer to the pocket program for its location) and take the matter up with the Balticon Chair in as timely a fashion as the Con Chair's other duties allow.

Any decision of the Balticon Con Chair can be appealed to the Baltimore Science Fiction Society's President, in writing, and the President will consider the appeal in as timely a fashion as other duties at the convention allow. The Balticon Chair will inform the Baltimore Science Fiction Society's Board of Directors of revoked memberships as soon as possible after the close of Balticon. The Board of Directors may take further actionó up to and including a permanent ban on all future BSFS-sponsored events, such as Balticon.

Fog Machine Policy: (Updated 7/11/2016)

Fog Machines are banned from Balticon unless their presence and use has been approved by the hotel in writing prior to the start of the convention. (Fire alarm B50)

Alcohol At Balticon Open Events: (Updated 7/11/2016)

No alcohol allowed in open room parties or events at Balticon unless the alcohol is dispensed by a hotel employee (presumably sold by hotel as well) to ensure compliance with regulations of the local liquor board.

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