In June 2013, J and I had to recap the events in detail because Morgon wanted to get back on staff. In response to our reiterated complaints, Arisia finally banned him from being on staff—though not from attending—and gave him a wide path to reinstatement: "After Arisia 2014, he is welcome to ask the EBoard to change this decision if: he apologizes for his actions at Arisia 2011, he has a position lined up and agreed to pre-con by the area-head responsible, and he presents a letter from a doctor saying he is capable of volunteering for that position."
I asked to whom he was supposed to apologize—the people he harmed, perhaps?—and was told he was expected to apologize to the executive board because "Morgon has shown absolutely no remorse for his actions, and the thought is that if Arisia can request this step as a condition of his possibly volunteering in the future, there might be a teachable moment."
This is why I haven't attended Arisia since 2011. I didn't and don't give a shit about whether serial harassers get teachable moments. (I also don't feel it's the place of a convention to request any kind of medical documentation of, presumably, a person's mental health.) I felt absolutely unsupported by Arisia's executive team at the time and after.
Arisia was one of the first cons I went to, and I loved it. It was a great big party full of wonderful people. In 2011 we spent an entire week cooking in preparation for feeding all the people in the staff den and the green room. On my volunteer timesheet, under "hours", I wrote "ALL OF THEM"; my div head looked at it, nodded, and signed off. We roped in friends of ours to help. We were thrilled and excited. And then those friends were targeted and harmed by another staff member, and the con let us all down.
In one of our many, many emails to various people on Arisia's executive team about this, J wrote, "All Arisia has to do is address the issue, and not sweep it under the rug." But they failed to do that, and thereby failed us and the people on our team and in the space we were responsible for.
Crystal Huff's open letter about Arisia's mishandling of her serious allegations against the organization's president (who reportedly just resigned in response) is getting a lot of attention. I've seen several posts about it. And on more than one of those posts, I'm seeing comments along the lines of "Arisia mishandled my complaint too".
Since Crystal's post went up, I've been looking through my emails about the incident in 2011. During the 2013 recap, I wrote to the new head of Staff Services:
This one set of incidents--not just Morgon's behavior but the complete lack of backup from [the head of security at the time] and the general chain-of-command fumbling that led to Morgon keeping his badge and ribbon well after he was known to be violating Arisia's code of conduct--was the immediate cause of Arisia losing two dedicated, hardworking volunteers who might otherwise have contributed a great many more hours to the convention, and of Arisia's community losing two people who had previously been very involved in the convention's social aspects. I have participated in Arisia panels; Josh has helped to throw parties; we have both recruited other people to be on staff, at least one of whom left when we did, and the notes, recipes, and spreadsheets we created during our years working on the Green Room and Staff Den are still in use by present-day staff.... We are, in short, exactly the sorts of people Arisia should want to keep around, and I'm pretty disgusted that there is any suggestion that the convention will or should value the presence of a serial harasser on staff and the perpetuation of bureaucratic tangles over the contributions of volunteers and community members like us. I'm not angry at you, obviously, but the situation reeks and is a great reminder of why I'm not involved in Arisia anymore and am unlikely to get involved again.Five and a half years later, I'm still angry and sad. And now, seeing all those other comments, thinking about all those people who've been driven away from a space they used to love and be dedicated to, I'm angrier and sadder. What a waste. What a fucking waste.
Please don't contact me about this again unless it's absolutely necessary. I didn't know just how angry I still was about all of it until I started writing this email, but I am still really, really angry and have other things I need that energy for right now.
Do better, fandom.