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ISO members’ code of conduct

(Adopted as amended at the 2014 ISO National Convention.)

ISO Members’ Code of Conduct

The International Socialist Organization (ISO) is an organization of people committed to fighting collectively toward a project of working-class liberation and socialism. We oppose class exploitation and all forms of oppression, including, but not limited to, racism, sexism, LGBT oppression and discrimination based on national identity. The ISO expects its members to comport themselves in a manner consistent with that commitment.

Rigorous debate is one of the hallmarks of any socialist organization. Such debate elicits the fullest political commitment and input from each member in order to develop a unified national perspective. We expect debates to be conducted with civility and respect, as comrades committed to the same struggle.

Members are expected to not only abide by rules of membership (as spelled out in Section II, “Membership,” of the ISO rules) but should also abide by principles of non-discrimination and norms of comradely behavior. Members are accountable for actions that bring serious harm to other members or to the organization.

Harassment is prohibited and includes conduct, verbal, written, physical, or via electronic communication, that has the intent or effect, because of its severity and/or persistence, to be intimidating, hostile, or offensive.

Discriminatory harassment is prohibited. Discriminatory harassment is harassment on the basis of a particular oppression. Harassment of an individual in connection with a stereotyped group characteristic, or because of that person's identification with a particular group, is not permitted.

Discriminatory harassment can include actions and/or language including: epithets or slurs; negative stereotyping; denigrating jokes; and the display or circulation of written or graphic material of a harassing or discriminatory nature.

Sexual and gender-based misconduct constitutes a form of discriminatory harassment. Gender-based harassment may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, and sexual assault are all prohibited.

All sexual encounters must be consensual, whether with another ISO member or non-member. A sexual encounter is considered consensual when individuals willingly and knowingly engage in sexual activity. The use of coercion in instances of sexual assault can involve the use of implied or explicit threats, substances, and/or force. The absence of "No" is not necessarily a "Yes."

Wherever possible, personal conflicts should be resolved on an individual basis or with the help of local members’ branch leadership. Given that the aim of building a socialist organization includes building a shared sense of solidarity, disciplinary infractions should be handled with the aim of changing a member’s improper behavior, rather than resorting to formal disciplinary procedures.

Nevertheless, in some cases formal disciplinary proceedings will be necessary. These should be handled at a branch level wherever possible. When resolution at a branch level is not possible due to a conflict of interest or other serious concern, a national Disciplinary Committee is in place to hear such complaints (refer to Section II, Paragraphs G-M, of the ISO Rules).