Harassment, as defined within the Black Rock Ranger Department, is any unwelcome verbal, non-verbal, and/or digital conduct engaged in on account of a person’s race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability status, gender, sexual orientation, gender presentation, or marital status, or the perception of any of these.
Sexual harassment, as defined within the Ranger Department, may consist of, but is not limited to, any unwelcome touching, stalking, repeated requests for a date after someone has said “no,” continuing to engage in sexual discussion or banter after being asked to stop, or similar behavior. Harassment will not be tolerated, regardless of who engages in it.
What should you do if you feel you are being harassed?
If you are uncomfortable with the way in which another Ranger is interacting with you, for any reason, the best thing to do is F.L.A.M.E. the situation with that person, as soon as possible after the interaction. If you have been harassed, or have witnessed someone else being harassed, and F.L.A.M.E.ing the situation has not worked, you should report this to your Team Lead/Shift Lead. If you are working a dirt shift, request a face-to-face with Khaki. In harassment situations, people often do not feel comfortable engaging a harasser directly because of fear, anger, embarrassment, hot button issues, etc. If you are not comfortable addressing the situation directly with the Ranger involved, report it to Khaki. If you are not comfortable reporting it to Khaki, contact the Officer of the Day or the on duty Personnel Manager, Hazelnut or Fez Monkey. The Personnel Managers work and are available to all Rangers year-round. The on duty Personnel Manager can be paged from HQ, or reached by email at email@example.com. If you do not need an immediate response, you can also fill out the Ranger Feedback form (available at all HQ kiosks and on the right sidebar of the Ranger website).
Gossiping about what occurred, posting about it on Allcom or social media, or taking the matter outside the Rangers is counterproductive and does not ensure confidentiality. You should be aware that anonymous reports are nearly impossible to investigate. Likewise, the Ranger Leadership cannot take meaningful action when the person making the complaint does not identify the alleged harasser or provide details about what occurred.
What happens if I make a report?
Reports of harassment are very serious. The Ranger Personnel Managers will investigate reports of harassment and will take remedial measures when appropriate. If you have made a report and are one of the principal people involved, you will be notified of the findings when the investigation is complete.
Will my report be kept confidential?
Information about harassment reports will be kept confidential and only shared with Ranger Managers on a need-to-know basis to complete the investigation. The Rangers’ policy with regard to sexual harassment or violence in the workplace is one of zero tolerance. We strongly support and adhere to the Burning Man policy. Burning Man is founded on expectations set by the community standards inherent to it.
One such community standard is creating an environment that is free of sexual harassment and violence by volunteers, staff, or vendors. Any reported occurrences will be investigated and regarded with the utmost compassion and gravity. The investigation will follow the guidelines set by the Burning Man Board for conflict resolution. Violation of this policy may result in progressive discipline, up to and including: counseling, eviction, termination, or legal action.
Off-playa UnRangerly Behavior
The Ranger ability to get things done is a function of our social capital. Years ago, this social capital might have been predicated solely based on how Rangers conducted themselves on playa. But that has long since stopped being the case. Nowadays, Rangers bring their social capital with them to playa.
How Rangers treat other community members on or off playa reflects on the Rangers as a whole and has a huge impact on our social capital. If a particular Ranger is widely regarded as a chooch in their community, that will be known on playa as well. The net result is a lowering of our social capital and our group ability to be respected, trusted, and taken seriously.
What are the implications of this?
- If someone tells the Ranger Department that one of our Rangers has done something especially choochy off-playa, our Personnel team will investigate and likely reach out for a conversation with the Ranger.
- If the issue is serious, or recurring, the conversation will take an increasingly serious tenor.
Like so many things in Rangers, this is a black-white-shades-of-grey kind of a thing, and Personnel handles these kinds of things on a facts and circumstances basis.
We’re not going out of our way to look for problems, i.e., we’re not “putting Rangers under a microscope.” Examples of the types of bad behavior we’re talking about include:
- Harassing others online, despite being asked to stop.
- Threatening or assaulting someone.
- Malicious property damage.
If you’re trying to figure out whether something is bad behavior, imagine someone coming to you and saying, “Oh my god, Ranger Hubcap did ___________. How can you have that person in your organization?” How would you answer that question?
De-Shifting, De-Lamming, and Removal from the Rangers
Removal from a Shift (De-Shifting)
There are a variety of reasons to remove a Ranger from shift duty. Being relieved from duty can occur when a Ranger is told to take a break and take care of themselves (“compassionate de-shifting”). This is not necessarily a disciplinary situation, and is more often a health and safety one.
Un-Rangerly or questionable behavior may also result in a Ranger being removed from shift duty. De-shifting can also happen when an incident has occurred that the Shift Lead, OOD, or Ranger Managers feel needs further inquiry and believe that allowing the Ranger to stay on duty is not in the best interest of that inquiry. Removal from a single shift need only involve the Shift Command Team.
Removal from Rangering the Event (De-Lamming)
De-lamming can be the result of a series of incidents or as a result of the seriousness of a single incident. De-lamming requires the consensus of at least one Ranger Operations or Logistics Manager and the Ranger Personnel Manager. The process will follow the on-playa chain of command to determine the appropriate Manager. For incidents that may also require the Ranger be removed from the event itself, the same staff removal process which applies to all staff members will be used. The staff removal process is available from the Personnel Managers.
Removal from the Rangers
The removal of a Ranger from a department falls under the purview of the Ranger Council and occurs off playa.
Ranger Disciplinary Protocols
The full Ranger Disciplinary Protocols are found in the Policies folder linked from the front page of the Clubhouse, and accessible to all current Rangers.