We know you are excited to embark upon your dystopian adventure at CONvergence 2015: DoublePlusGood. Here is a list of things to keep in mind to ensure both you and everyone around you have a fantastic convention. Plus, you don’t want to end up in Mark 2’s Iso-Cubes, do you?
Treat Everyone with Respect
CONvergence is serious about providing a safe environment for all members, and we enforce our Harassment Policy very seriously. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you don’t harsh anyone’s squee.
- Always ask permission before you take a photo of someone. (Not only is this polite, but it almost always results in a much better photo!)
- Costumes are not consent to be hugged, touched, groped, grabbed, or sexually advanced upon. But this is also true for fancy dress, kilts, swimwear, or even just jeans and a t-shirt. It does not matter what gender a person is or what they are or aren’t wearing; harassment is harassment. If someone tells you they do not want to talk to you or do not want you to touch them, respect that and leave them alone.
- A good rule of thumb is to just explicitly ask for permission before touching any person in any way. Examples include:
- “May I put my arm around you for a photo?”
- “May I hug you?”
- “That fabric on your costume is so interesting. May I feel the texture?”
- Volunteers are doing a job and it is important to recognize that. If someone is volunteering, it is definitely not an appropriate time to make sexual advances or try to touch them. Just let them do their job. This goes double for elevator monitors, as they are on their own in confined spaces.
- If you’re not sure which pronouns to use for a new friend at CONvergence, it’s always OK to just ask. You do this by saying, “What pronouns do you use?” It really is just that simple! If you don’t have a good opportunity to find out a person’s preferred pronouns, you’re generally safe using the gender-neutral pronoun, “they”.
- Restroom policing is very uncool. People know which restroom they belong in. Trust them to do their business in the place most comfortable for them and leave it at that.
If you see Something, say Something
Part of being a community is taking responsibility for protecting that community. This is especially true in the organized tyranny of a dystopian paradise. We’ve all got to look out for each other, and it really is quite simple!
- If you spot someone who looks like they are in distress, ask them if they would like you to contact Operations or First Advisors for them.
- If you witness someone being harassed, do not stay silent. Speak up and defuse the situation. If that doesn’t help, contact Operations via The Bridge.
- If you witness someone breaking the rules outlined in the CONvergence Policies, try to educate them. It’s possible they are just ignorant of the policy. If that doesn’t help, contact Operations via The Bridge.
- If you spot someone whose prop weapon has not yet been Peace Bonded, suggest that they head to The Bridge for “The Talk”. They get a badge ribbon for doing it!
Don’t Overload the Elevators
During CONvergence, the public elevators are running nearly constantly for close to eighteen hours a day, and it is in our best interest to keep them from breaking. Because of this, we have instituted a policy where there are only 8 people allowed per elevator car (7 plus an elevator operator.) Large pieces of luggage and/or props may also be counted as a person because the limitation is about weight, not warm bodies.
In response to feedback during and after CONvergence 2014, we are instituting a new policy on the 22nd floor this year. As of CONvergence 2015, only five people will be allowed to board the elevator on the 22nd floor (four plus the elevator operator), so that we can pick up people on the in-between floors (4 through 21). Exceptions may be instituted in special situations such as fireworks viewing on Friday and Saturday nights.
Remember the 6-2-1 Rule
The 6-2-1 Rule is:
- 6 hours of sleep per night
- 2 meals per day
- 1 shower per day
Practice self care while at CONvergence, and try to remind your friends to do the same. Also, remember to wash your hands often to prevent the spread of con crud!
Wait to post Photos of your Badge Online
When you get your CONvergence 2015 membership badge, please DO NOT post a close-up photo of it online or share a close-up photo of it with your friends until AFTER the convention is over. If you see your friends doing this, please ask them to take their badge photo(s) down until Sunday. Convention badge counterfeiting is real and this is something you can do to help prevent it at CONvergence!
There are many CONvergence members with both visible and invisible disabilities. Here are a few simple things you can do to help make their CONvergence 2015 as awesome as yours!
- Keep paths clear. Don’t stand in the middle of a hallway or doorway. Always ask yourself, is there room for a wheelchair to get through? If not, make some. If everyone does this, it makes a big difference!
- Never assume ability. Many, many disabilities are “invisible”. This means that you can’t tell a person has the disability just by looking at them. It’s a good idea to never assume a person you don’t know is able-bodied. Don’t criticize them for their elevator, escalator, or chair use; they know their limitations much better than you do!
- Treat mobility aids as extensions of a person’s body. Never touch a person’s wheelchair, scooter, walker, crutches, or cane without their permission.
- Keep your mouth visible while you are talking. This is especially important if you are on a panel. Many hard of hearing people lip read in order to understand what is being said, and more people are hard of hearing than you might think. Keeping your mouth visible while you are talking is a huge help!
If you want more information about accessibility at CONvergence, check out the Accessibility page.
Eco-Friendly for Fun and Profit
The DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington is offering up a $5 per day voucher to all hotel guests who opt to be eco-friendly by declining housekeeping service during their CONvergence stay. This is your opportunity to save some money and help the environment! Plus, not wanting to help the environment is a ThoughtCrime.
Remember that 6-2-1 rule? A very important part of that is eating. ConSuite is great for snacks throughout the day, but it isn’t a replacement for a real meal.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington will be providing periodic concessions around the hotel including a grill outside near Smokers Paradise and an ice cream station. This year they will be selling tickets that will allow you to purchase these concessions items. There will be some places to purchase the tickets with cash only stationed throughout the hotel. If you wish to purchase tickets with a credit card, you may do so in the Crescent Kitchen (the restaurant in the DoubleTree near the front desk).
You may also want to check out the CONvergence 2015 Restaurant Guide for your full selection of dining options during the convention. Some are even offering discounts!
Have Prop Weapons? Make sure to have “The Talk”
If you have a prop weapon of any kind—even a fictional weapon—please bring it to The Bridge to be peace bound. An Operations volunteer will have “The Talk” with you, and you’ll walk out with a snazzy badge ribbon! Your prop weapon will not be damaged in the peace binding process!
Check out the CONvergence Weapons & Props policies by clicking here.
Lost & Found
Not having fun is a crime at CONvergence 2015: DoublePlusGood. All members must be having fun at all times. There definitely are not any secret police disguised as con goers to make sure you are having fun. Proceed as normal.
War is Peace.
Freedom is Volunteering.
Mark 2 is Strength.