THIRD COAST SAFE SPACE POLICY
Third Coast Comedy Club was built as a safe space for everyone, full of inclusivity and opportunity, and we take this responsibility seriously. We believe everyone should be treated with respect regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical ability, neural type, or age.
We have a zero tolerance policy for harassment, discrimination, hate, and bigotry.
Gendered, racist, sexist, or homophobic insults, violence towards women, and portraying non-consensual sex is also not tolerated.
If you ever experience or witness activity that you believe created an unsafe space, take one (or all) of the following actions:
Safe Space Advisory Board (SSAB)
PROCEDURE FOR ANONYMOUS REPORTSOnce an Anonymous Report is submitted, the following is the internal process:
- Report is emailed out in its entirety to the Safe Space Advisory Board.
- Based on the severity, the Safe Space Committee will discuss either in person, via phone, or via email.
- If the reporter is willing, they are able to meet with the Safe Space Advisory Board.
- The Safe Space Advisory Board then collectively makes a decision by consensus and sends a recommendation of action to Luke Watson and Scott Field, owners of Third Coast Comedy Club.
- Scott Field and Luke Watson will make the final decision, taking into account the Safe Space Advisory Board’s recommendation.
- Final decision is enacted.
*In the rare event a submitted report involves a member of the Safe Space Advisory Board, that member will not be privy to the report nor discussions related to that report.
**The Safe Space Advisory Board keeps all information confidential.
If you are accused of actions that violate our Safe Space Policy and disciplinary action is taken against you, you may appeal the decision to the Safe Space Advisory Board. The appeals process shall consist of an in-person hearing. The hearing will include yourself and members of the Safe Space Committee. Due to the varying commitments and schedules of the Board members, the entire Safe Space Advisory Board may not be in attendance. The outcome of the appeal is final.
SAFE SPACE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Luke Watson (Co-Founder/Performer/Producer), Scott Field (Co-Founder/Performer/Producer), Gabrielle Saliba Field (Former Student), Paige Pennigar (Former Student), Isaac Kirk (House Team Performer), Aaron Felder (Performer/Producer), Kristen Linton (Performer), and Molly Kemp (Performer/Instructor).
Board members are volunteers serving a one (1) year commitment. The current committee’s commitment ends on June 30th 2020.
Third Coast was built as a safe place for everyone. We value and recognize the importance of diversity in live theater and do not discriminate based upon race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or age. We are committed to ensuring Third Coast is a place of inclusivity and opportunity. If you are a victim or witness to any discriminatory behavior, we ask that you notify us immediately.
Third Coast Comedy Club strives to be a safe and creative workplace and learning environment. In support of this, Third Coast Comedy Club has a zero tolerance policy for harassment. “Harassment” refers to unwelcome conduct of co-workers, performers, or instructors that renders the workplace atmosphere intimidating, hostile, or offensive. If you are a victim or witness to such behavior, report it to a manager immediately. All incident reports will be reviewed by the Third Coast Comedy Club Safe Space Advisory Board (more details below).
Third Coast Comedy Club strictly prohibits “sexual harassment,” which is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where:
- Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or status as a student or performer at Third Coast Comedy Club;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or decisions affecting that individual’s status as a performer or student at Third Coast Comedy Club;
- Such conduct interferes with the individual’s job or performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
Third Coast Comedy Club is dedicated to providing the comedy community with a safe space with open communication. In support of this, Third Coast Comedy Club will not take action to retaliate against any staff member, instructor, or performer, producer, or volunteer who makes a harassment complaint in good faith. Any individual who retaliates against another for raising a concern about the ethics of a practice at Third Coast Comedy Club will be subject to immediate disciplinary action.
CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE POLICY
The consumption, distribution, or possession of illicit substances is strictly prohibited at Third Coast Comedy Club and on Marathon Village property. Violation of this policy will result in the immediate removal of persons from the property and a possible permanent ban from attending future events at Third Coast Comedy Club. For employees, this may result in immediate termination. This means no drugs in the bar, no drugs in the theater, and no drugs in the green room. Should you use or make visible drugs in the theater you will be asked to leave, could be terminated from your job if you’re an employee, or taken off your house team(s).
Who, What, & Why
It’s important to us that you know how we can help you, so you feel comfortable coming to talk to us if you ever need to. We do more than just process reports of violations to the Safe Space policy — although that is a very important job we are tasked with — so let’s break it down.
Who are we? We are a group of current and former students, House team members, volunteers, performers, and producers dedicated to the implementation and promotion of the Safe Space Policy.
What the heck is a Safe Space? According to dictionary.com, it is “a place that provides a physically and emotionally safe environment for a person or group of people, especially a place where people can freely express themselves without fear of prejudice, negative judgment, etc.” At Third Coast Comedy Club, particularly in the Training Center, we want students and performers to be able to trust that they are playing in an environment that is safe for them. We believe everyone should be treated with respect regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical ability, neural type, or age.
Historically, theaters and comedy clubs have not been safe spaces for marginalized people, as these groups have been targeted for punchlines and forced off stage because of the harassment they experienced. We wanted to be on the right side of the debate, so within our first year of operation, we developed Safe Space initiatives that would protect and empower our community members. On the website, we added a feature that would allow anyone the opportunity to anonymously report a violation of this new Safe Space Policy and invited individuals to serve on the inaugural Safe Space Committee.
Quickly, it became apparent that maintaining a Safe Space is not as simple as saying we have one. Everyone in the community has to work towards building and maintaining an environment that is both fun to play in and avoidant of harassment, discrimination, hate, and bigotry. The Safe Space Committee worked to have proactive discussions about new policies that could increase emotional and physical safety, improving the reporting process, and increasing transparency about our own operations with the community. We also began hosting town halls and professional development training with Training Center staff.
Now, we are an Advisory Board that assists the owners of Third Coast Comedy Club in creating and maintaining a safe space for the Third Coast community. For more information on the role that Luke and Scott play within the actual advisory board, please refer to our new bylaws.
We meet quarterly in person, in addition to holding monthly phone calls and having more impromptu meetings when reports are submitted. At our meetings, we process any reports that have been recently submitted by Third Coast community members and make recommendations to the owners on what we believe is the best course of action. Ultimately, the Third Coast owners are responsible for making and enforcing the final decision.
We hope that clears up some of your questions, and please know that you can always reach out to us at any point for clarification or assistance.
We are also looking for a new member or two to fill some vacancies, so if you are interested in helping to promote a Safe Space here at Third Coast Comedy Club, please complete this Google Form.