College Media Association this week adopted a new anti-harassment policy as a statement of our organization’s pledge to provide a safe and welcoming environment for our members and affiliates at organization events, in online forums and in other means of communication.

The policy addresses not only sexual harassment and assault but any act of harassment and bias toward those we serve, regardless of actual or perceived gender, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, background, religion or political affiliation, and other forms of diversity as this definition continues to evolve.

Associated Collegiate Press, CMA’s partner in some national events, has also signed onto the policy and helped to draft those sections that apply to our shared projects.

Development of the policy began with conversations among CMA board members at our Spring 2019 convention in New York City, organization president Chris Evans said.

“National debate about issues of sexual harassment as well as discrimination against people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ communities helped us to realize that it was long past time for CMA to express our values in a written policy,” Evans said.

Allison Bennett Dyche, CMA’s vice president for member services, who spearheaded the development of the policy, said she agreed that it was time for such a policy to be put into place.

“We want to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and welcomed at our college media conventions, whether they’re advisers, students or presenters,” Bennett Dyche said. “It’s important for us to practice what we preach as educators and what we report on as media practitioners, and this policy will help us along that path.”

Evans added: “This policy is a living document. We will continue to build upon it and make changes as our awareness of needs develop. All members and other CMA stakeholders, including students, should bring any concerns and suggestions to our leadership as they arise.”

Questions about the policy or any related matters could be directed to Evans at collegemediaorg@gmail.com; Bennett Dyche at abdyche@vcu.edu; CMA Executive Director Meredith Taylor at info@collegemedia.org; or any other CMA board member.