Protocol for guests at CLEAR

two women in lab coats looking in a bag. The bag looks a little gross.

Guests are people who are invited into CLEAR for short amounts of time, designated meetings, and/or for specific projects. This protocol outlines structures to support collaborative and interwoven accountabilities of both guests and hosts. This protocol is written in anticipation of guests that stay for longer periods of time, but one-time visits should also adhere to relevant parts of the protocol.

Principles 

  • CLEAR is a community, not just a place for microscopes and paychecks. We refuse all extractive projects and welcome projects with a foundation of reciprocity, even if that reciprocity is uneven (ie. one group “gets more” than the other).
  • CLEAR’s organizing values are humility (being accountable to and grateful for our many relations), equity (accounting for power differentials and structures), and supportive openness (community and self care for accountability) and we aim to host all guests in this spirit. We also expect reciprocity with and accountability from our guests.
  • Guests will always be invited, and these invitations must be refreshed to ensure good, ongoing relationships. Practicing consent is paramount in good host/guest relationships. 
  • Interactions always start with listening, for both guests and hosts. Openness is crucial. At the same time, healthy boundaries are important as well!
  • Altogether, these principles and the practices below outline different aspects of respect, where all people (including non-humans), are offered these things (with good intentions) regardless of where they are in their journeys. 
  • These principles hold for all CLEAR spaces, whether online, in lab, or in shared documents.

Structures of support

  • Guests will be invited to lab meetings as full, contributing participants to a shared environment and to participate in all relevant CLEAR activities during their visit. CLEAR will share our resources–whether material, social, emotional, and/or edible. Guests will receive onboarding materials and support. Guests will have access to all relevant and important documents and emails as required by their visit. The lab director or manager will be responsible for this. A special guest onboarding will also include examples of previous guest projects and consent forms, as well as a primer on how we run meetings so they can more comfortably and fully participate. If guests need anything or want to be involved in something, please ask!
  • CLEAR members will lead with generosity in their interactions with guests, being sure to introduce themselves and recognize that guests come from different places and are on different paths. As such, co-learning and sharing is a key relationship we aim to foster. Part of that is making time and space for one another, and accommodating a variety of needs so participation can be meaningful for everyone
  • If either hosts or guests are asked to adjust their behaviour, they are expected to comply and follow the CLEAR guidelines on conflict resolution and apology where appropriate (including in how behaviours are called out/in) and to lead with humility and openness to the extent possible. 

Processes

  1. Guests introduce themselves, their work, and perhaps even a proposed project with an opening presentation to the lab. CLEAR members will also present themselves and their work. There are no expectations at this meeting other than getting to know one another and sharing food. No decisions on projects will be made at this time–this is a meeting for listening, introductions, and questions for both guests and hosts, and for drinking tea and eating. Ideally, more questions will be offered than answers. 
  2. If a guest is proposing a project: Proposals for guest projects in, on, or with the lab community undergo a review with the entire lab to ensure they are reproducing the values of CLEAR, ensuring safer spaces, and are based in consent.
  3. Formal consent forms–both collective and individual–are required if any knowledge, insights, events, or words are being used from the CLEAR community (there are examples of these) or if CLEAR is using the same from guests. If unsure of whether something is fodder for a project, always ask first. Always foreground consent. For example, always ask to take photos or repeat someone else’s stories or to cite the non-public lab book. CLEAR is a safer space, meaning that whatever happens in lab is meant to stay in lab unless permission exists to take it out of the community context. 
  4. Community peer review is an expected part of projects that use any knowledge, insights, events, or words from the CLEAR community.
  5. Ongoing and less formal discussions and meetings are also expected and appreciated, as are rests and stepping back for a moment. 🙂