On Arisia, Pt. 3

So, one thing I find heartening: the overwhelming majority of the response I’ve seen to the Arisia blowup has been “this is bad and needs serious fixing.” I’m sure there are corners of the internet where that isn’t true, but the usual handwringing replies of “but won’t anybody think about how we’re ruining this poor man’s life” or “can’t we all just have a nice con” haven’t been in evidence.

In case anybody needed further nails in the coffin, though, the former head of Arisia’s Watch (their con safety team) has spoken up. They quit after last year’s con, not because of what happened to Crystal, and the mis-handling of the “investigation” there — but because Arisia’s leadership so thoroughly cut them out of the loop and made them feel belittled and demeaned for no perceptible reason that they just couldn’t take it anymore. They didn’t even know about Crystal’s situation until last week, because Arisia changed its procedures in order to keep them ignorant.

When we talk about Arisia’s board having lost all claim on people’s trust, this is what we mean. Keeping your own head of con safety in the dark about an issue of con safety? Is not a sign that you’re acting in good faith and have merely fallen a little short.

But back to heartening news: four members of the board have resigned, including at least one Crystal specifically called out as having aided and abetted this entire disaster. That one has quit entirely; the other three have resigned effective upon their replacements being voted in at the upcoming meeting on November 11th. Looking at this page, it seems there are three voting members remaining on the board (not counting the three who have resigned), plus four non-voting members whose involvement with these problems I’m not at all sure of.

This is a big step in the right direction, and I’m glad to see my pessimistic assumption that it wouldn’t happen is at least semi-unfounded. I hope the trend continues.

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