The Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) is pleased to announce the official launch of its Ombuds Team, an organizational ombuds program linked here, and its Code of Conduct, linked here.
Both of these efforts are intended to support DiGRA’s ongoing commitment to ensuring the organization and conference are welcoming, supportive, and safe space for scholars from many disciplines, countries, and communities. The Code of Conduct is a guide for professional behavior in DiGRA, and members are expected to conduct themselves according to its standards. The Ombuds is a service that will be available to all DiGRA members at any time before, during, and after the international conference each year, in accordance with the Code of Conduct.
The Ombuds Team is a confidential, informal, neutral, and independent resource for DiGRA community members, as well as conference and listserv participants (referred to as visitors), to safely discuss any concerns they may have related to the behaviors, activities, and events of DiGRA. The only (unlikely) exception to Ombuds confidentiality is if a visitor presents a risk of imminent harm to themselves or someone else, in which case the Ombuds must report it to law enforcement and the DiGRA Executive Board.
Conversations with the Ombuds Team are considered confidential, offering a safe place for people to discuss their concerns, understand all sides of an issue, and explore their options. They are independent of the Executive Board, and will not share any identifiable information unless given explicit permission to do so by the visitor. The Ombuds Team does not serve in any formal or official reporting function. Likewise, the ombuds will not have the responsibility nor authority to investigate any issues raised or take any punitive actions.
The Ombuds can bring issues to leadership’s attention without any attribution, thereby serving as an independent voice. Ombuds do not advocate for any particular individual or group, instead, they advocate for fair processes and provide feedback on systemic trends. Instead, The Ombuds Team uses anonymous, aggregated data, so as to not breach the confidentiality of people using its services and to provide DiGRA with feedback, insights, and recommendations on systemic issues relating to the conference or DiGRA. The Ombuds follow the generally accepted standards of ombuds practice as espoused by the International Ombudsman Association (Found here: https://www.ombudsassociation.org/standards-of-practice-code-of-ethics-2 ). These standards define and guide all of their work, and also differentiate them from other functions.
For further information about the DiGRA Ombuds Team and the role of ombuds, please consult the FAQ.
To contact the DiGRA Ombuds Team, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. All e-mails are sent to a confidential inbox that is only accessible to the Ombuds. Please allow one (1) business day for them to respond.
If you have questions or concerns, you can also contact the DiGRA Executive Board at email@example.com, or the Diversity Working Group at firstname.lastname@example.org. The current DiGRA Diversity Officer is Cody Mejeur, they can be reached at email@example.com.