By Dominique Whittaker
One of the many strategic initiatives set by the 107IST board in 2021 was the creation of a Member Code of Conduct. This would be separate from the Away Travel Code of Conduct, and it would outline the expectations of members, behaviors/actions that are not tolerated, and what repercussions could be faced as a result. This effort kicked off by evaluating the existing away code of conduct, the PTFC Fan Code of Conduct, as well as independent research of other instances of codes of conduct across other supporters groups and within other sports.
At the 2021 annual general meeting (AGM), the Member Code of Conduct was a breakout session. Two separate groups of members provided their initial thoughts, reactions, concerns, and feedback about whether a Member Code of Conduct was warranted, and what the scope should be and what it shouldn't be. Many of these members then raised their hands to continue being a part of the effort to draft a code of conduct in the weeks following the AGM. In collaboration with a group of volunteers, including AGM breakout session attendees and the BIPOC Advisory Group, we produced a draft document that was shared with the Timbers Army Steering Committee and Riveters Steering Committee for feedback. It was also sent to 107IST members to view and provide feedback in the newsletters during May 2021. After a few additional rounds of feedback, as well as sharing it with the Front Office during monthly meetings, it was finally presented to the board to vote on adopting in October 2021 and presented at the 2022 AGM. You may have noticed the soft rollout recently as you browsed your member profile; going forward, when renewing your 107IST membership, you'll be asked to review and acknowledge that you have read the Member Code of Conduct and agree to adhere to it as a 107IST member.
If you haven't read the document recently, or just want a refresher of what the contents of the Code of Conduct are, you can read it here. This is intended to be the starting point that articulates who we are and what we expect from one another, and potential repercussions for being found in violation of this Code of Conduct. The next step is to contract with experts in grievance process work and to establish our grievance process. We are currently receiving bids on this work and will keep members updated on next steps in this regard.
Thank you to everyone across the Timbers Army Steering Committee, Riveters Steering Committee, BIPOC Advisory Group for their input and feedback. Special thanks to Nicholas Garner, Kris Goss, Marty Ochs, Marrion Skinner, Ashley Holmer, Dirk Bokeloh, and David Auxier for their time and thought in putting this document together.