JASNA’s annual conference and regional events are intended to be safe, inclusive, comfortable environments in which people of all backgrounds can come together to celebrate Austen’s works, life, and genius and feel respected. Therefore, we encourage anyone who has a concern or situation involving JASNA’s Community Guidelines to report the issue as soon as possible so it can be addressed.
To make sure members feel comfortable reporting an incident, JASNA has appointed an Ombudsperson, or Ombuds, as a resource to support members in managing challenges and conflicts. The Ombuds provides a safe space and gives confidential, impartial, informal, and independent assistance to members who are seeking guidance or want to report an incident.
What Does the Ombudsperson Do?
You can expect the Ombuds to:
The Ombuds cannot impose remedies or sanctions, or enforce or change a JASNA policy, rule, or procedure. Such actions are the purview of JASNA’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
What Does the Ombuds Report to JASNA?
Each year the Ombudsperson will submit a report to the JASNA President and Board of Directors that provides general information about the demographics, issues, and concerns of members reporting issues, including information on what they have experienced, how the issue was handled, any trends or patterns the Ombuds has observed, and any recommendations the Ombuds may have. The report will also include any issues reported by Regional and AGM Coordinators. Data shared with JASNA does not include members’ names or any other identifying information.
How to Contact the Ombudsperson
You can contact JASNA’s Ombudsperson to ask questions, report an issue, or set up an appointment by email at JASNAOmbudsperson@gmail.com.
Filling out a form is not necessary, but an outline of the type of information you may find useful to provide can be found in the JASNA Member Portal: Report Submission Prompts.
Mondays, 11:00am–2:00pm ET
Thursdays, 7:00pm–9:00pm ET
Or arrange an appointment
Yes. The person who requests assistance from the Ombuds decides whether the issue will be discussed with anyone else.
To protect members' confidentiality, the Ombuds will not create or maintain documents or records about individual matters for JASNA. The only data that will be shared with JASNA are demographics and information on the types of challenges, issues, and concerns reported. Data shared with JASNA is not associated with members’ names or any other identifying information.
No. In order to understand the essential details of a concern and provide assistance, the Ombuds needs to discuss the situation with the person submitting the complaint. The Ombuds' ethical standard of confidentiality and supporting practices protects identity.
No. The Ombudsperson is not authorized to receive reports about JASNA policies or unlawful practices. Therefore, communications made to the Ombuds regarding possible legal violations do not constitute notice to JASNA. This provision ensures the freedom of the Ombuds to work independently and confidentially with individuals seeking assistance.