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Code of Conduct


Welcome to DeerHacks, the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM)'s largest hackathon, uniting post-secondary students from around the world. As we come together to innovate and collaborate, a shared commitment to respect and inclusivity is essential for a successful and productive event.

This Code of Conduct outlines the expectations for behavior within our community, during all activities and communication channels. It is designed to ensure that all individuals involved in DeerHacks, regardless of their background, skill level, or interests, can enjoy a safe and supportive environment.

We expect everyone to familiarize themselves with this Code of Conduct, as its principles are important for a positive experience. By participating in DeerHacks, whether in-person or virtually, you agree to adhere to this Code of Conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event.

  • The Code of Conduct applies universally to all individuals (1) associated with DeerHacks. This includes in-person activities (2) at the hackathon and interactions across all related communication channels (3).
    • (1) Individuals involved in DeerHacks include, but are not limited to, participants, organizers, volunteers, mentors, sponsors, speakers, vendors, staff members, and members of the broader community.
    • (2) In-person activities at the hackathon include, but are not limited to, our opening and closing ceremonies, workshops, speaker sessions, tutorials, de-stressor activities, and any events officially partnered with DeerHacks.
    • (3) Communication channels include, but are not limited to, DeerHacks' official social media platforms (e.g., Discord, Instagram, LinkedIn), email communications, and other forms of digital interaction, including direct messages to individuals involved in DeerHacks.
  • By engaging in DeerHacks events or communication channels, individuals agree to adhere to this Code of Conduct. Additionally, individuals are expected to comply with any specific rules and conditions applicable to their roles or specific activities, which are subject to updates and changes without prior notice.
Expected Behavior
By embracing these behaviors, DeerHacks becomes more than just an event; it's a community where everyone can thrive, learn, and enjoy. Let’s make this hackathon a memorable experience filled with growth, collaboration, and respect.
Kindness is Key

Kindness and respect towards others are fundamental. Treat fellow participants with the same consideration you would expect. Self-care is equally important - looking after your own well-being enables you to contribute your best.

Communicate Effectively

Clear and friendly communication is key to effective collaboration. It's important to be mindful of not just what you say, but how you say it. Active listening is crucial - understanding and valuing others' perspectives enriches the experience for everyone.

Learn & Grow Together

Learning is a continuous, shared journey. We value the sharing of ideas and encourage open-minded participation in discussions and activities. Stay open to new insights and perspectives from others, as each person brings unique experiences and knowledge. Our differences are our strengths, contributing to a richer, more creative community.

Be Respectful & Considerate

We emphasize respect in all interactions. Every participant is expected to speak and act considerately, acknowledging the diverse backgrounds and perspectives present. Refrain from any form of demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.

Embrace Diversity

At DeerHacks, fostering a culture of support and inclusivity is vital. We encourage everyone to constructively offer and accept feedback. If you see someone struggling, lend a hand or guide them to someone who can. Embracing diversity in all its forms ensures that everyone feels valued and has a sense of belonging.

Awareness & Responsibility

Stay aware of your surroundings and the impact of your actions on others. If you notice any dangerous situation or someone in distress, or if you observe any violations of this Code of Conduct, report it to the Organizers immediately. Even seemingly minor issues can have significant impacts and are important for us to address.

Protected Grounds
DeerHacks is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable environment and harassment-free experience for everyone. No discrimination, based on the following grounds and any combination of these grounds, shall be tolerated:
  • Age
  • Gender identity and expression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)
  • Disability (including mental, physical, developmental, or learning disabilities)
  • Physical appearance
  • Body size
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Nationality
  • Religion
  • Political views
  • Previous hackathon attendance or lack thereof
  • Computing experience or lack thereof
  • Chosen programming language or tech stack
  • Any other grounds Organizers deem inappropriate
Prohibited Behavior
Behavior that compromises the comfort or safety of DeerHacks participants is unacceptable. This section provides examples of such behavior, intended to be descriptive but not exhaustive.
  • Advocating or encouraging any prohibited behavior is not allowed.
  • Immediate compliance is expected if asked to stop any such behavior.
Discrimination of Any Kind
Inclusivity is key to DeerHacks. We expect no form of unequal or different treatment towards others. Discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional, is not tolerated. Examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to:
  • Discriminatory comments or actions related to gender, identity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, ethnicity, or other characteristics listed in Protected Grounds, based on one or more incidents.
  • Any actions that impose burdens or deny benefits, disadvantaging certain groups.
  • Displaying or wearing material that qualifies as hate speech or is intolerant of human rights.
Harassment & Stalking
Harassment and stalking are severe violations that compromise the safety and respect integral to DeerHacks. Examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to:
  • Threats of professional, financial, or physical harm.
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following.
  • Retaliation against individuals reporting violations or assisting in investigations.
  • Use of electronic devices or digital platforms for illegal, lewd, offensive, indecent, or obscene acts or expressions.
  • Taking unauthorized or inappropriate photographs or recordings, especially in situations where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as in bathrooms or sleeping areas.
  • Any course of comments or actions that are known, or ought reasonably to be known, to be unwelcome, offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, or demeaning.
Sexual & Gender-Based Harassment
Maintaining a respectful space, free from sexual and gender-based harassment, is essential for a positive experience at the event. Examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to:
  • Displays or use of sexualized pictures, graffiti, recordings, sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes, and anything that creates a sexualized environment.
  • Inappropriate physical contact or staring.
  • Gender-related verbal abuse, threats, or taunting.
  • Demands for dates or requests for sexual favors.
  • Offensive jokes or comments of sexual nature about an Organizer or attendee.
  • Unwelcome sexual or other attention.
Disruptive & Aggressive Behavior
A constructive atmosphere is vital for a productive event. Disruptive or aggressive behaviors are counterproductive. Examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to:
  • Sustained disruption of in-person activities at DeerHacks.
  • Physical assault or advocating for harmful behaviors.
  • Making aggressive or unreasonable demands or enquiries.
  • Shouting, yelling, or using profanity and obscene language.
  • Throwing objects or attempting to incite violence.
  • Making false, disparaging, inflammatory comments or statements about individuals involved in DeerHacks, whether directly asserted or insinuated.
Safety & Legal Violations
Safety and adherence to legal standards are critical for everyone's well-being at DeerHacks. Examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to:
  • Causing unsafe or unsanitary conditions.
  • Refusing to leave the premises when directed.
  • Bringing a weapon into the event venue.
  • Theft, vandalism, or illegal consumption of alcohol or drugs.
Reporting Suspected Violations or ConcernsProcedure of Reporting

If you experience or witness behavior that violates this Code of Conduct, we encourage you to report it. You can do so by contacting the Organizing Team at [email protected]. We respect the confidentiality of reporters to the greatest extent possible and also accept anonymous reports.

Investigation Process

The Organizing Team is committed to investigating reports promptly and thoroughly. Similarly, all individuals involved in DeerHacks are expected to cooperate fully in any investigation of a harassment or discrimination complaint.

The Organizing Team reserves the right not to act on complaints that are deemed frivolous or vexatious. The decision to investigate lies solely with the Organizing Team.

Actions & Consequences
Upon reviewing reported incidents, the Organizing Team will determine appropriate actions. Unacceptable behavior may lead to:
  • Removal from DeerHacks or denial of access to future iterations of DeerHacks and partnered events.
  • Blocking access to DeerHacks resources, including the website.
  • Revocation of any awards or recognitions.
  • Other necessary measures, without any fee refunds.
If any action is taken based on a violation, an appeals process will be made available for those affected.
Third-Party Reporting

For serious violations of the Code of Conduct, we may report to external authorities. This includes the University of Toronto Mississauga Campus Safety, educational bodies for student issues, professional organizations for ethical violations, and legal authorities when required by law. All reporting will be in compliance with applicable regulations.

Campus Safety & Emergency Line
During DeerHacks, if you face any emergency, immediate assistance is available. The University of Toronto Mississauga Campus Safety Special Constable Service operates 24/7 throughout the year. You can reach Campus Safety by phone.
In any critical situation, your first action should be to call 911. Once you have contacted emergency services, inform Campus Safety as well.
Major League Hacking (MLH)

DeerHacks is an MLH member event. As part of our partnership, the MLH Code of Conduct applies to all DeerHacks attendees.

Changes to Code of Conduct

We reserve the right to modify this Code of Conduct. Review this page periodically for changes. Significant changes will be notified and the "last modified" date at the bottom of this page will be updated. By continuing to participate in DeerHacks after changes are published, you agree to adhere to the updated Code of Conduct.

Contact Information

We are always open to feedback! For suggestions or questions about the Code of Conduct, please contact us at [email protected].

This code of conduct was last modified on December 27th, 2023.