Minutes of the BiCon 2003 Closing Ceremony
Venue: UEL Docklands Campus
- Jennifer Moore proposed that there be a workshop strand on "cultural difference" in BiCon 2004. This is to be discussed in appropriate forums over the next year.
- Jennifer also announced that she has been asked to write features for Diva by Louise, their first out bi staff member. Jennifer requested ideas and volunteers to write for Diva on a freelance basis.
- Marcus Morgan announced some initial figures from BiCon 2003. The Auction raised £86 for the Helping Hand Fund. There were 237 total registrations for BiCon, of which 75 were from people who had never attended a BiCon before.
- Jenny Yockney announced a Bi Activists Weekend, to be held on January 11th. Suggestions for the weekend can be made on the BiCon Wicki, through Bi Community News or on www.biphoria.org.uk. She will need to know who is coming so that costs can be estimated.
- BCN subscriptions or subscription renewals were made available after the closing ceremony (£8 unwaged, £10 waged). Volunteers to write for BCN were requested. BCN will be running "vox pops" - shorter pieces than normal articles to encourage people to make contributions. These can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with a photo which can be published.
- A petition was presented on behalf of Heather Peto about suspension of harassment guidelines by Cambridge University in the case she is bringing against one of their professors. This suspension of the guidelines is apparently legal.
Proposed BiCon Guideline amendments and additions
- There should be a day rate, separate cost for arriving just for the day.
- A resource centre should be set up on the web for BiCon organisers to share information, and it should be updated regularly.
Vote: For = 47, Against = 20, Abstentions = 46
Comments: In addition Alison Wheeler volunteered to collate information and provide web space.
- BiCon should consider access for families with children and attendees under 18
Ammendment: This proposal was split into two separate proposals as follows:
- BiCon should consider access for families with children
Vote: Unanimous apart from 6 abstentions
- BiCon should consider accessibility for attendees under 18 and publish/publicise its decision and guidelines for this
Vote: For = 88, Against = 6, Abstentions = 17
- BiCon should consider access for families with children
- There should be free Tubby Custard for all attendees
Comments: This may not be an entirely sensible suggestion
- All session rooms should be non-smoking and consideration should be given to allocating non-smoking social space.
Vote: For = 85, Against = 9, Abstentions = 12
Comments: The venues will set their own smoking guidelines as well, which will need to be taken into account.
- The information sent out in advance should include local information, information about how to get to BiCon and registration desk times
Vote: Unanimous with 3 abstentions
- First timers should be sent additional information, including when to arrive if needed, information on what to expect, quotes from previous attendees and information about bisexuality.
Vote: For = 28, Against = 41, Abstentions = 45
Comments: This proposal was argued to be too specific to go in the guidelines, which should be a general framework. At the same time, many newcomers want information upfront and may find detailed information useful in deciding whether to come.
- Plenaries should not be scheduled against other sessions so that all attendees can take part
Vote: For = 80, Against = 3, Abstentions = 25
Comments: It is possible that workshop space would be lost to make space for plenaries, depending on the venue and arrangements.
Disability Forum proposals for the BiCon Guidelines
Helen-Louise Windsor introduced the two proposed changes to the guidelines. She emphasised that BiCon Organisers has always tried to make BiCon accessible, this year's BiCon has broken new ground with a Disability Officer. Thanks were given to the BiCon Team. BiCon Teams are not expected to be experts on disability, and the disability forum members have created a document to be a first point of call to organisers, describing the ideal disability-related provision even if this cannot be provided. A Special Needs Data Bank has been created as a checklist when looking at venues.
The existing BiCon guidelines state "BiCon literature should give a clear description of the level of disabled access available and provision for people with disabilities should be a major consideration.
- Proposed addition to the guidelines - "The BiCon Team should make use of the BiCon Special Needs Data Bank."
Vote: For = 77, Against = 6, Abstentions = 18
Comments: A footnote to the guidelines should read "The venue for approving additions and clarifications to the Data Bank will be a workshop each year at BiCon." Proposals can be discussed over LiveJournal, through Helen-Louise on email or through BCN. Helen-Louise can provide LiveJournal accounts if needed. Email accounts could also be set up for this purpose. Proposals can also be brought to BiCon for discussion.
- Proposed alteration to existing guidelines - "BiCon should be made as accessible as possible to people on low incomes and/or with special needs, this means there should be a variable price scheme/sliding scale, a fund to help those with special needs and one-day tickets. These methods should all be well publicised."
Vote: For = 85, Against = 3, Abstentions = 20
Comments: The Equality Fund will cover BiCon for the Disability Discrimination Act. BiCon by law has to make as much provision as possible for those with disabilities - the fund would allow venues to be chosen which are not ideal, as people can then be given additional support. BiCon attendees will need to discuss next year whether the fund to help those with special needs should be the same thing as the Helping Hand Fund.
Minutes taken by Simon D