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UCWDC® ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP CODE OF CONDUCT
Version 1.0 | Sep. 9, 2018
The United Country Western Dance Council® is an international organization which promotes country western dance by producing festivals and competitions across the world. We host the annual Country Dance World Championships® for couples and line dancers and we advocate country dancing as a social activity for people of all ages and abilities.
This document outlines the Code of Conduct all Associate Members.
The United Country Western Dance Council (UCWDC) has a duty to provide guidance to its members on standards of behaviour and ethical conduct.
Associate Members of the UCWDC are required to conduct themselves at all times in accordance with the current Bylaws, Policies, Procedures and Code of Conduct.
This Code of Conduct represents the UCWDC’s commitment to high standards. It should be regarded as minimum expectations for performance and behaviour by all Associate Members.
Below are some basic standards of conduct to which Associate Members must adhere:
- Higher standards of behaviour are an integral part of the culture of UCWDC. Maintain high standards of ethical conduct;
- Comply with lawful instructions of UCWDC and other proper authorities;
- Adhere to safety rules and processes at all UCWDC events;
- Discrimination on the basis of race, creed, colour or national origin, disability, or because of age, sex, sexual preferences/orientation, or any other legally-protected characteristic is prohibited;
- Observe the property rights of other Associate Members, participants, and visitors of events;
- Refrain from gambling, in any form, at any UCWDC event;
- Abstain from using excessive profanity or any other forms of abusive language at UCWDC events;
- Abstain from expressing derogatory comments or actions about competitors, other staff members, hotel personnel, or other hotel guests;
- Abstain from revealing any confidential information or comment on any privileged observations relative to your assignments or the assignments of other UCWDC staff members;
- Abstain from any display of intoxication or unruly behaviour in the hotel public spaces or where you may be observed at events.
In addition, the UCWDC expects all Associate Members to adhere to the following rules:
A. Compliance with Laws
Associate Members will conduct themselves in accordance with and comply with all applicable laws at all times. The UCWDC reserves the right to exclude any person from the organization or an event for acting in violation of applicable law, or contrary to the UCWDC’s mission, Bylaws and Policies and Procedures, as determined in the UCWDC’s sole discretion.
B. Compliance with the Directives of the Organization
Associate Members will comply with the current directives and by-laws of the UCWDC, as they relate to their position. This includes conflict of interest and information management directives.
C. Conflict of Interest
Associate Members must act in the best interests of the UCWDC and avoid situations where their personal interests or relationships interfere with acting in good faith on behalf of the organization. Members may not engage in activities that conflict with the UCWDC’s mission.
Associate Members must maintain the highest standards of confidentiality regarding information obtained directly or indirectly through their involvement with the UCWDC. This includes information about volunteers, other UCWDC Associate Members, funders, donors, member organizations, partners, and contractors. Associate Members must avoid inadvertent disclosure of confidential information through casual or public discussion, which may be overheard or misinterpreted.
E. Trust and Transparency
Associate Members must be open and transparent in their communications when representing themselves to other members of the General Council and Board of Directors. No Associate Member can misrepresent themselves or has the authority to act on behalf of UCWDC for the purpose of obtaining membership and/or office within without prior written approval from the President of the UCWDC and approval from the UCWDC Executive Council.
F. Use of Materials and Property
Materials and programs developed for the UCWDC are the property of the UCWDC and are not to be used in situations external to the organization without prior written approval from the President of the UCWDC and approval from the UCWDC Executive Council.
G. Drug and Alcohol Abuse
All Associate Members who attend events or represent the UCWDC while under the excessive influence of drugs or alcohol may be disciplined and may have their membership revoked, as determined in the sole discretion of the UCWDC.
Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary measures up to and including criminal charges.
4. NOTIFICATION OF VIOLATION
Associate Members who engage in unacceptable behaviour or whose performance is unsatisfactory, as determined in the discretion of organization, are subject to disciplinary action and/or revocation of their membership.
ALL Associate Members involved in group complaints or violation activities will be reviewed on an individual basis and not as a group.
4.1 Initial Violation
In the event of a violation of the Associate Membership Code of Conduct;
4.1.1 Preliminary Investigation of the Complaint
- A complaint regarding a suspected offence of individual(s) must be sent to the Associate Membership Director in English with any corresponding evidence including, but not limited to witness names, photographic or video evidence.
- The Associate Membership Director or appropriate appointed designee of the Associate Membership Director and President will review the issue cited in the complaint and conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if it is in violation of this Code of Conduct. The Associate Membership Director or appointed designee will contact individuals as required by the investigation to acquire all the necessary information, including witness statements to make an informed decision in a timely manner.
- If an appointed designee is used, that person will make known his/her finding to the Associate Membership Director
4.1.2 Investigation and Discovery
- If the Associate Membership Director finds in the Preliminary Investigation that the complaint has possible factual validity about the alleged violation, they will contact the individual(s) in question (in writing) identifying that a complaint regarding their actions in violation with this Code of Conduct was filed against them and that a Preliminary Investigation was conducted and request their defence. The individual(s) in question is to provide a written statement within ten (10) calendar days regarding their alleged involvement in the suspected offence and their admission or denial of involvement complete with all mitigating circumstances.
- After receiving the individual(s) written statement the Associate Membership Director will review all findings and;
- if the Associate Membership Director finds that a violation of the Associate Member Code of Conduct did take place, the Associate Membership Director will issue a written warning to the individual(s) in question and respond to all parties including the Event at which the incident occurred as to the disposition of the complaint and investigation. The Associate Membership Director will file a summary of the incident with President and Secretary.
- if the Associate Membership Director finds that a violation of the Associate Member Code of Conduct did take place and is of egregious conditions the Associate Membership Director will make known all their findings to the President, and Secretary and request the case to be reviewed by the UCWDC Board of Directors. See Final Violation, Article 4.2 of this policy.
- if the Associate Membership Director finds that a violation of the Associate Member Code of Conduct did not take place, the Associate Membership Director will appropriately respond to all parties involved as to the disposition of the complaint and investigation.
4.2 Final Violation
In the event of a second violation of the Associate Membership Code of Conduct is found or an initial violation and investigation shows egregious circumstances found, the Final Violation procedure will be followed.
4.2.1 Preliminary Investigation of the Complaint
All steps outlined in Article 4.1.1 shall be followed.
4.2.2 Investigation and Discovery
- If the Associate Membership Director finds in the Preliminary Investigation that the complaint has possible factual validity about the alleged violation, they will contact the individual(s) in question (in writing) identifying that a complaint regarding their actions in violation with this Code of Conduct was filed against them and that a Preliminary Investigation was conducted and request their defense. The individual(s) in question are to provide a written statement regarding their alleged involvement in the suspected offence and their admission or denial of involvement complete with all mitigating circumstances.
- After receiving the individual(s) written statement the Associate Membership Director will review and make known all their findings to the President and Secretary and request the case to be reviewed by the UCWDC Board of Directors.
- Once a Complaint has been sent to the full membership of the UCWDC Board of Directors, then the jury of these members shall consider all evidence, deliberate through mutual discussion, and when designated by the President, render a vote to determine whether the person accused, the defendant, is innocent or guilty of the violation detailed in the complaint. If the verdict is against the complaint, then the defendant will be innocent of the charge(s) and so notified by the Associate membership Director.
- Direct communication from the individual(s) in question with the jury for the purpose of influencing the outcome of the case is prohibited and may result in a subsequent second complaint.
- Maintaining the appearance of propriety and ensuring impartiality is crucial to all members of the UCWDC Board of Directors. All communication must flow through the Associate Membership Director and not be held directly with the individual(s) in question.
- If the UCWDC Board of Directors jury of members find in favor of the Complaint, then said jury will determine along with the guilty verdict, the penalty that will be assigned to the defendant. The jury will consider a penalty that is commensurate with the severity of the violation(s) listed in the complaint. Depending on the determined severity of the case, such penalties could fall into three areas of action.
- A penalty for a ‘lesser’ violation will be enacted by giving the guilty party a suspension for the remainder of the current dance season.
- A penalty for a ‘greater’ violation will be enacted by giving the guilty party suspension for the remainder of the current dance season plus one additional dance season.
- A penalty for an ‘extreme’ violation will be complete revocation of Associate Membership for life.
- When the verdict on the complaint has been rendered, and the verdict is found in favor of the complaint, the Associate Membership Director, on behalf of the UCWDC Board of Directors will appropriately respond, identifying the violation, the penalty and any additional training requirements to:
- all parties in a timely manner as to the disposition of the case;
- all Event Directors in a timely manner as to the disposition of the case.
- When the verdict on the complaint has been rendered, and the verdict is found in favor of the complaint, the records of the verdict and all parties involved in the complaint will held in confidence and be available only upon formal written request to the Associate Membership Director.
5. NOTIFICATION OF APPEAL
In the event of a Verdict for a Complaint, where a penalty has been determined, and notification of the upheld violation has been issued to the guilty party, the Associate Member who had been penalized has the right of appeal.
- The appeal must be registered with the Associate Membership Director in writing within;
- thirty (30) calendar days from the date of being notified of the UCWDC’s decision, OR
- after three (3) years for ‘extreme’ violations as identified in Article 126.96.36.199 on this policy
- All appeals must have merit and either;
- shed new light on information previously presented;
- provide new evidence not originally seen by the Board of Directors jury members;
- disclose a failure to follow procedures or standards set forth in this policy.
- All appeals will be reviewed and rendered with an Appeal decision made by a special ad hoc Review Panel consisting of five (5) randomly chosen members of which three (3) will be Board of Director members who voted on the original Complaint and two (2) will be members of the UCWDC Ethics Committee.
- All information, specifically that which is declared for detailing the reason for the Appeals merit, will be presented and re-evaluated and in a majority vote the Review Panel may pass one of the following decisions:
- uphold the original decision of the jury of Board of Directors, or;
- lessen the original decision of the Verdict and assigned penalty by one standing, and;
- in any regard, no matter the decisions of the original Board of Director jury or the Review Panel for the Appeals process, the guilty party may not by contract with this Code of Conduct have any recourse to declare, demand, seek through outside processes, or hold accountable the UCWDC, its events, or its directors for any lost contracts or lost wages or lost professional considerations during the time of the investigations, or rulings, and the subsequent notifications listed herein.
- When the decision of the Review Panel has been rendered, the Office of Judge Certification will appropriately respond to all parties as to the disposition of the Appeals case.
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