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All of Union Square Slam’s Codes of Conduct are based on the official wording in the Poetry Slam, Inc. Policies and Procedures Handbook.

Poetry Slam, Inc. Code of Conduct

As a member of Poetry Slam, Inc., Union Square Slam agrees to the following statements:

  • We will know and understand the obligations stated in the PSI Values Statement and Policy, and the ideals expressed therein, and will strive to incorporate them in our daily lives.
  • We will respect the dignity of all persons; therefore, we will not physically, mentally, psychologically, or sexually abuse any human being.
  • We understand that verbal harassment, physical aggression or intolerance are unacceptable in a poetry slam.
  • We will comply with local, state, and federal laws, especially those pertaining to individual civil rights and physical or sexual harassment.
  • We will revel in an environment in which freedom of speech, self-determination, and the pursuit of creative excellence are inalienable rights.
  • We will participate in poetry slam events in a way that encourages, illuminates, and supports established standards of good sportsmanship.
  • We refuse to allow the competitive challenge of the game to lead us to violence, interference or direct threats.
  • We will allow all participants to pursue their craft peacefully and without censure, regardless of present team associations or past personal history.
  • We will abide by competition rules as defined by Poetry Slam, Inc., knowing that the consequences for breaking the rules exist and are upheld. Penalties will be determined by the severity of the infraction, and the ruling of the presiding Protest Committee and/or the PSI Executive Council.
  • In competition, we will be fair and generous. In defeat, we will demonstrate grace and in victory we will show magnanimity.
  • We understand that if anyone is is found engaging in activities that are contrary to the values and code of conduct stated here, this Code of Conduct will be enforced. If necessary, actions leading to individual suspension or expulsion, or to the suspension or revocation of a venue’s certification, may be initiated to ensure compliance.

Slam Master Code of Conduct

At Union Square Slam, this Code of Conduct doesn’t just apply to the Slam Master, but to all members of the USS committee and Union Square’s regular volunteers as well.

As the Slam Master of an event sanctioned and registered/certified with Poetry Slam, Inc., the Slam Master and/or their assigns agree to the following statements:

  • We will know and understand the obligations stated in the PSI Values Statement and Member Code of Conduct, and the ideals expressed therein, and we will strive to incorporate them in our daily lives.
  • If one of us should ban a PSI member from participating in and/or attending our venue, we will report this member’s name, the reason for the ban, and the length of the ban to the Executive Director or to a member of the Executive Council of PSI.
  • The Slam Master understands that they must complete PSI Slam Master training annually to register, certify or re-certify/ re-register our venue and maintain eligibility for participating in PSI events.

As the Slam Master of an event sanctioned and registered/certified with Poetry Slam, Inc., the Slam Master and/or their assigns agree to a code of conduct that represents the values of PSI, including our Equal Opportunity Statement below:

  1. To provide a poetry event which is open to all people regardless of race, color, gender, sexual  orientation, lifestyle, class, national origin, religion, ethnicity, age, or disability.
  2. That Poetry Slam, Inc. will permit a registered venue to serve a specific segment of the population (e.g. an all-women poetry slam) provided that the organizers demonstrate a need for such an event within that community to PSI and provided that the municipality or geographical area in question is already represented by a regular poetry slam series open to all participants. Exceptions are also made for venues where local laws prohibit minors or physical characteristics of the building cannot accommodate everyone. Demonstratable effort should be made to provide an opportunity for any legally protected group to participate, where no other local options to participate in a poetry slam exist. It is understood that poetry slam events which are open to all are given preference in selection for the National Poetry Slam.
  3. That the Slam Master must provide team members with a PSI rulebook before participating in any PSI sanctioned event, and encourage team members to read and understand the rules and guidelines.
  4. To create a fair and equitable poetry slam while providing leadership which encourages, illuminates, and supports established standards of good sportsmanship.
  5. To provide, to the best of their ability, a professional working environment for all poets and audience members.
  6. To provide an atmosphere of mutual support and encouragement in which poets are invited to develop, network, and grow.
  7. To provide an atmosphere in which freedom of speech, self-determination, and the pursuit of creative excellence is an inalienable right. It is understood that audience members not in competition or affiliated with the venues organization are unregulated.
  8. To endeavor to create an environment in which all poets in good standing with PSI are allowed to pursue their craft peacefully and without censure.
  9. To do their best to be a good host by providing necessary local information relevant to their guest poet’s travel, including but not limited to information about local hotels, restaurants, and other points of interest.
  10. To agree to comply with local, state, and federal laws, especially those pertaining to individual civil rights and sexual harassment and do their best to provide a safe environment for all participants. When artistic and creative expression on stage during a performance conflicts with legal statutes regarding physical or sexual harassment, it is understood that the poet may be creatively representing a voice or point of view other than their own and is not necessarily espousing the point of view of the poem and the poet’s rights to creative expression shall remain in effect.
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