Code of Conduct Policy

Black Rock Forest Expectations

Black Rock Forest (BRF) is committed to a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment free from harassment, assault, or discriminatory behavior of any form (ie. age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, ethnicity, nationality, race, or religion, education, or socio-economic status). The following codes of conduct have been established to ensure that all visitors are responsible and respectful of these rules by abiding to them during any day visit or overnight stay at our Forest. 

Black Rock Forest Code of Conduct

Black Rock Forest is committed to providing a safe, inclusive, productive, and welcoming environment for all visitors and will enforce this code to the highest degree. This Code of Conduct not only stands within all Forest spaces indoor and outside, but also applies to all Black Rock Forest related events in public and private facilities located outside of the Forest. The entities affected by this code of conduct include but are not limited to the following:

  • All units of Black Rock Forest such as staff, leaders, and volunteers
  • All guests of Black Rock Forest, including but not limited to the following:
    • Faculty/Teachers
    • Students
    • Employees
    • Contractors
    • Visitors

Expected Conduct

  • Be welcoming, fair, and inclusive of all people
  • Treat others with respect and consideration
  • Behave ethically and with integrity
  • Communicate with respect and openness towards the expression of diverse views and opinion 
  • Protect, preserve, and responsibly use BRF resources and property
  • Adhere to BRF’s public policies
  • Promote physical and mental health and safety
  • Promote a culture of compliance with legal requirements
  • Ethical conduct of research, teaching, and community engagement
  • Be mindful of others. If you notice dangerous situations or someone in distress, alert BRF staff members, host staff, teacher, or chaperone
  • Respect the rules and policies of the Forest’s lodging, hosts, or any other venue (in-person or virtual) associated with the BRF related events and activities

Unacceptable Behavior

  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form will not be tolerated
  • Physical or verbal abuse of any entity listed above including public visitors
  • Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, or 
  • Threatening (either verbally or physically)
  • Stalking any entity listed above including public visitors
  • Unwanted sexual advances or sexual language or unwanted physical contact and one-on-one communication after being asked to stop 
  • Illegal or unauthorized possession, use, or sharing of weapons, drugs, or alcohol
  • Unethical research, teaching, and community engagement
  • Unauthorized use, including misuse of facilities, equipment, or services
  • Theft, property damage, or vandalism
  • Violation of School/Institute/University rules
  • Violation of Local, State, and Federal Laws

Rules of using our indoor spaces, including but not limited to the following:

  • Visitors may not enter BRF staff offices 
  • Visitors may not have access to classrooms unless authorized by BRF staff
  • Trash and personal items should be taken or disposed of properly in designated receptacles
  • All Lodging facilities and shared common spaces should be left in the same condition as when you arrived
  • Quiet hours are from 11:00 pm – 7:00 am. Noise made during the daylight hours should also be kept at a respectable volume.
  • No smoking inside or outside of buildings

Rules of using our outdoor spaces, including but not limited to the following:

  • Visitors are prohibited from entering unauthorized buildings (e.g. Stone House Garage) or climbing onto any building structure such as balcony rails, roofs, or through windows
  • Access to firewood at the Stone House Garage is permitted and can be used when authorized
  • Personal items and trash are “carry in-carry out”, meaning that nothing should be left behind. All food trash and hygiene products should be disposed of properly (e.g. in personal trash bags or trash receptacles) and removed by you in order to maintain health and sanitation codes.

Reporting Unacceptable Behavior

  • If you believe someone is in immediate danger, please contact the Cornwall Police by dialing 845-534-8100 (preferred) or 911
  • If you are the subject of unacceptable behavior or have witnessed any such behavior, please immediately notify an authorized authority including a Black Rock Forest staff member in a leadership position, an authorizing figure such as a group chaperone or teacher, or local authorities. 
  • Report suspected or alleged misconduct to any or all of the following:

Our Response

All reports are taken seriously and will be considered in confidence by our Director and leadership team. 

  • Authority figures (e.g. teachers, chaperones, Principal Investigators, team leaders) are expected to enforce BRF Codes of Conduct. If violations are not corrected or adhered to, sanctions will be applied.
  • Report of violations received by BRF staff will be communicated to the authority figure of the visiting group for them to enforce BRF Codes of Conduct. However, If report of violations are in regard to the authority figure, reports should be made directly to BRF leadership team (see above).
  • Sanctions for unacceptable behavior will be commensurate with the nature and severity of the offense, whether violations have been persistent, and the impact of the offense on any other people or BRF resources and property. If we believe you have violated our code of conduct, we reserve the right to report misconduct to the violator’s home institution and may apply one or more of the following sanctions.        
    • A warning or request to stop unacceptable behavior, in which violator(s) are expected to comply immediately
    • Immediate removal from an event or an activity without warning or refund
    • Confiscation of illegal goods, possessed, used or shared in an unauthorized manner
    • Suspension or Expulsion from Black Rock Forest, its facilities (e.g., lodging), or its equipment
    • Restitution
    • Reassignment of work activities (for BRF related staff and volunteers)
    • Paid or unpaid leave of absence (for BRF related staff and volunteers)
    • Termination of employment (for BRF related staff and volunteers)
    • Serious breaches that include sexual or physical assault, property damage, or the possession of illegal substances will result in the immediate ejection from an event, activity, or visit as well as a ban from all future Black Rock Forest visits. If warranted, civil or criminal legal action may be pursued.