Code of Conduct survey results are in!

We want ARDC—and amateur radio—to be a harassment-free zone that is inviting to everyone, so having a code of conduct is important to us. And, since we want it to reflect the values of the ARDC community, we conducted a survey and asked for your input. Thanks to all of you who shared your thoughts.

Overall, 56 of you responded to the survey, which ended April 30, 2022. When asked how you were affiliated with ARDC, 45 (80.4%) said that they were 44Net users or mailing list subscribers and 10 (17.9%) said that they were ARDC volunteers. Other participants included members of ARDC staff as well as a few  grant recipients and one grant applicant. Five clicked the “other” box, with one of them identifying themself as an “innocent bystander.”

The respondents were overwhelmingly male. 45 (out of 53 who answered this question) identified themselves as male (see graph below). Most also identified their race/ethnicity as white or Caucasian. Several identified themselves as simply “human,” while one fellow said he was a “white old male.”

Pie chart depicting the gender identification of the Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) community

A few of you had concerns about these questions. One asked, “Why does this matter?” Several replied, “Not relevant.” While we understand where you’re coming from, we asked for this information to help us better understand our community.

You say that having a code of conduct is a good idea

It was heartening to us that the majority of respondents think that having a Code of Conduct is a good idea. When asked if they agree with the statement, “I think ARDC should have a Code of Conduct,” 41.1% strongly agreed, 30.4% agreed, and 7.1% agreed somewhat. Only 12.5% disagreed.

Pie chart depicting whether or not Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) should have a Code of Conduct


In addition, nearly 80% thought that codes of conduct are an effective way to prevent misconduct and harassment:

Pie chart depicting whether or not the Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) community believes that codes of conduct are effective in preventing misconduct and harassment

Here is what you said about why it’s a good idea:

  • “I applaud and appreciate the effort to create a code of conduct, and I look forward to seeing it! Thank you!”
  • “I can’t wait to see this!”
  • “CoCs are something that have been widely adopted by younger generations, and thus are important for bringing younger generations (as well as women, POC, and LGBTQ+ folks) ino amateur radio and 44net.”

Of course, there were some negative comments as well:

  • “ARDC should stick to its already-tough job without detouring into a rat’s nest of writing and enforcing political correctness legislation.”
  • “I believe it will drive people away rather than welcoming people in. And even the process of trying to draft one is having that effect. I believe that if actually adhered to, Codes of Conduct would politicize ordinary discourse, fracturing the community.”

To see the complete report, go to the survey website or download this PDF.

Drafting our code of conduct

To help guide us in drafting our code of conduct, we asked what you think should be included in the code of conduct and for examples that you like and think are effective. We received many good suggestions, including:

You also gave us some advice on how to write the code of conduct. For example, several mentioned that it should be “short and sweet.” One respondent noted, “I suggest you err on the side of simple and easy to understand, not long and verbose.”

There were some concerns, though, and we will certainly take these into account as we draft our code of conduct. These concerns include:

  • That enforcement is fair.
  • That the code of conduct not drive people away.
  • That the code of conduct not be U.S.-centric.

On all counts, we hear you. We aim as always to be as fair and inclusive as possible.

Next steps

We are currently working on the code of conduct internally, and will likely have our first draft available in the next couple of months. When it is available, we will publish it and ask for comments, as was requested in the survey. Once we review those comments, we’ll finalize the document and make it live!

Thanks again for participating in this process. With your input, we feel that the ARDC Code of Conduct will be the best that it can be and serve us well.