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Code of Conduct Meeting Recap

On October 29, 2023, Berkeley Yacht Club held a Town Hall Meeting to discuss implementing a code of conduct for the Club. In attendence were V/C Mary Garfein, Megan Dwyer, Louis Benainous, Dee Hubert, Tom Loughran, Steve Rosing, Paul Kamen, S/C John Danielson and Janet Darling.


There have been requests to look at instituting a code of conduct. Some members thought that expectations are not sufficiently explicit. This has been especially apparent when “bad behavior” has been brought to the attention of the board. Current thinking is that there should be statements about expected conduct at the beginning of House Rules and Policies. Problematic behavior examples are harassment, bullying, disrespect, loudness, unruliness.

Current Situation

  • Bylaws specify disciplinary procedures for “misconduct” but do not define the word or give examples of what it prohibited.

  • House Rules and Policies. States: “Members and guests are expected to conduct themselves in a proper and orderly manner at all times”. i.e., gives a broad expectation without a description or rationale.

Comments on the need for/ advisability of a Code of Conduct

  • Some present did not see a need for a code.Some thought it was helpful for younger or newer members.

  • There was a comment that Corinthian Yacht Club had recently adopted a code of conduct.

  • Start with a statement that privileges come with membership. (as opposed to rights)Start with a positive statement.Set the tone for the environment within the clubhouse. (safe, welcoming, respectful)

Comments regarding Content

  • State that that we have a diverse membership and all should feel respected.

  • Start with a positive statement.

  • Set the tone for the environment within the clubhouse. (safe, welcoming, respectful)

  • State that that we have a diverse membership and all should feel respected.

  • Don’t try to define all behaviors that are not permitted.

  • Emphasize that trust placed in members should not be abused.

  • The conduct expectations are “buried” in the House Rules and Policies.

  • New members especially may appreciate clear expectations.

  • The language used is important. Beware of words that mean different things to different people, or may be inadvertently exclusionary.

  • There are private club codes of conduct that can be helpful in drafting the appropriate language.

Comments regarding Procedure/Process

  • Members appreciate a transparent process.

  • Transparency needs to be balanced with member privacy.

  • The perception of fairness is important.

  • Some reports of violations may have been insufficiently documented in the past. This situation has been addressed this year. There is now a form that the manager completes when there is a report of misconduct.

  • Process description needs to be broad enough for discretion, and to accommodate a wide variety of situations.

Other Thoughts / Conversation

  • Do our opening hours need to be revisited? (Or a provision for exceptions.)

  • Should members be notified of/reminded of video surveillance?

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