SAA Code of Conduct*

About SAA

SAA does not tolerate harassment in any form. In keeping with the core principles stated in its Code of Ethics for Archivists and Equal Opportunity/Non-Discrimination Policy, the Society of American Archivists is committed to providing a harassment-free environment for its members and others who participate in its conferences, events, meetings, formal mentoring relationships, and online spaces, regardless of age, color, beliefs, ability, family relationship, gender identity/expression, individual lifestyle, marital status, national origin, physical appearance, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Expectations for Conduct

As written in the SAA Code of Ethics, “Archivists cooperate and collaborate with other archivists and respect them and their institutions’ missions and collecting policies. In their professional relationships with donors, records creators, users, and colleagues, archivists are honest, fair, collegial, and equitable.”

Harassment is any verbal, non-verbal, or physical contact that threatens, intimidates, silences, or coerces. The following types of harassment are prohibited and may include, but are not limited to:

  • Abusive or derogatory verbal comments, slurs, epithets, and/or discriminatory images in public and online spaces;
  • Threats or acts of violence;
  • Intimidation or stalking;
  • Harassing photography or recording;
  • Purposeful or repeated acts of misgendering;
  • Sustained verbal and physical disruption of talks or other events; and/or
  • Inappropriate physical contact and unwelcome sexual attention.

All SAA members, as well as all attendees, speakers, presenters, and exhibitors at any SAA-sponsored event, are subject to the Code of Conduct and agree to acknowledge and abide by the Code of Conduct when they register for an event (including the SAA Annual Meeting) and/or when they join or renew their membership in SAA.

What to Do

If you are being harassed or are a bystander when someone else is being harassed, you may contact SAA staff or the presiding instructor immediately.[1]

If you are experiencing or witness an emergency in violation of the Code of Conduct, contact the facility front desk or dial 911.


During the SAA Annual Meeting: Go to the Onsite Registration Desk and ask the SAA staff member for assistance and/or locate the SAA Chief Executive Officer. You may be asked to provide a cell phone number at which the Chief Executive Officer can reach you. You may also submit an anonymous Code of Conduct violation form online, contact the SAA Headquarters office at or write to the SAA Chief Executive Officer privately at

During Other SAA Events/Meetings: Discuss your concerns with the presiding SAA leader or instructor and/or submit an anonymous Code of Conduct violation form online, contact the SAA Headquarters office at or write to the SAA Chief Executive Officer privately at

In SAA Online Spaces: Contact the administrator or submit an anonymous Code of Conduct violation form online, contact the SAA Headquarters office at or write to the SAA Chief Executive Officer privately at

Online spaces include the SAA website, all SAA-hosted discussion lists, and social media and blogs administered by SAA Headquarters.[2]

To report incidents after a conference, event, or meeting, submit an anonymous Code of Conduct violation form online, contact the SAA Headquarters office at or write to the SAA Chief Executive Officer privately at

Content presented at SAA conferences or meetings or online may at times deal with sensitive subject matter, ranging from visually sensitive historical material (such as images related to acts of genocide) to sexually explicit language or images (such as in archival letters, nude photographs, or film or audio recordings). This policy is not intended to constrain scholarly or professional presentation, discourse, or debate, as long as these exchanges are conducted in a respectful manner.

What SAA Will Do

SAA takes your privacy and safety seriously. If you submit an inquiry detailing a possible violation of the Code of Conduct, you will receive an email confirmation to verify that your request was received. If you indicate that you are willing to be contacted, SAA staff may reach out to you.

Conference, event, meeting, and online participants who are asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Anyone who violates the Code of Conduct at a conference, event, or meeting may be expelled from that event by the SAA Chief Executive Officer. Those who violate the Code of Conduct in an online space may be denied access at the discretion of the administrator or the SAA Chief Executive Officer.

The SAA Executive Committee or the Council, at its discretion, may ban violators from attending a specific SAA event, including the Annual Meeting, or from participating in governance activities, awards competitions, or other SAA programsIf an SAA member has failed materially or to a serious degree to observe the Code of Conduct, their membership in the Society may be terminated or suspended based on a good faith determination by the SAA Executive Committee.

Persons who have been expelled or denied access may appeal to the SAA Executive Committee.

All reports and inquiries will be handled in confidence with the SAA Executive Committee and/or the SAA Council.

Additional Resources

SAA suggests the following online resources[3] for victims seeking additional support including mediation or legal action, and for bystanders who observe harassment.

American Friends Service Committee
Bystander Intervention

Anti-Violence Project


Crime Victims Treatment Center

Equal Rights Advocates

Hollaback! Bystander Intervention Resources

Hogg Foundation
Language Matters in Mental Health

Human Resources for the Arts 

National Sexual Assault Hotline
800-656-HOPE (4673)

National Street Harassment Hotline

Project Callisto

Public Theater’s Sexual Misconduct Resources

Safe Horizon

Southern Poverty Law Center
Bystander Intervention Guide


[1] Reviewing bystander intervention techniques can be helpful in case you find yourself in a position to safely and visibly interrupt a situation in which someone is being targeted for harassment. See Additional Resources for more information.

[2] For more information on SAA online spaces, see the Uniform Guidelines for SAA Websites and Online Communications.

[3] This list of resources, while not exhaustive, is drawn heavily from the XFR Collective (



* This policy is based on US OpenGLAM Friendly Space Policy (, which in turn is based on the Geek Feminism Wiki sample policy (


Adopted by the SAA Council: July 2014; reviewed May 2016, July 2019. The Council agreed to review every three years this document, SAA's Statement on Diversity (January 2014), and SAA's Equal Opportunity/Non-Discrimination Policy (January 2013). Last Reviewed: July 2019.

1 Comment(s) to the "SAA Code of Conduct*"
Hira says:
This updated SAA Code of

This updated SAA Code of Conduct is a vital step towards fostering a safe and inclusive environment for all members and participants. By clearly outlining expectations for conduct and providing detailed procedures for reporting violations, SAA demonstrates its commitment to ethical behavior and respect for all individuals, mirroring the NBA's emphasis on inclusivity and community support. I encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with these guidelines and utilize the resources provided. For more information, visit the guide. Let's all contribute to making our professional spaces respectful and harassment-free