This statement is currently under review. A revised version will be published in due course. 


Approved by the SMT Executive Board February 14, 2019

The Society for Music Theory is committed to providing an environment that defends the ideals of justice, dignity, and equality for all people, and the right to participation and free inquiry in a climate of safety and respect for all members. The Society repudiates and condemns discrimination, harassment, and bullying in any form.

Harassment is conduct that is demeaning, intimidating, threatening, abusive, and which causes offense on the basis of race, national and ethnic origin, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, physical and mental disability, political belief, affiliation, or activity, and that undermines, frustrates, incapacitates, or causes another person to feel vulnerable. This includes sexual harassment, unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, creation of a negative psychological and emotional environment based on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation; and racial harassment or conduct that intimidates, excludes, or undermines the self-esteem and violates the dignity and security of individuals based on race, ethnicity, origin, or religion. The SMT condemns bullying, physical or verbal, as well as cyberbullying, or using electronic media to threaten, embarrass, intimidate, or exclude individuals.


  • Registrants for SMT-sponsored meetings will be asked to confirm their awareness of the Policy on Harassment as part of the conference registration process as well as the annual membership renewal protocols.
  • SMT members are expected to comply with the Policy on Harassment in the review process of SMT publications (MTS, MTO, SMT-V); discussion groups (SMT Discuss); and IG interactions.
  • For the annual conference each year, the Local Arrangements Committee will provide the addresses and telephone numbers of local police, rape and crisis centers, emergency rooms, as well as the coordinates for calling security at the conference hotel.
  • Each year, the Annual Meeting Program Book will include this information, along with the procedure for reporting harassing behavior.

Procedure and measures

  • In the event that SMT members are either targets of harassing behavior or are witness to harassing behavior directed at other members at conferences, the recommended procedure is:
    1. Report the incident to the police and hotel authorities;
    2. Inform the SMT President or other Board members;
    3. Where warranted, address a formal written complaint to the SMT President.
  • At the annual conference, SMT Board members and the President will be clearly identifiable by marked nametags, and are prepared to assist.
  • Anyone requested to stop harassing or perpetrating other inappropriate behavior is expected to comply immediately. Continued threatening behavior will result in expulsion from the meeting, and in the case of proven offenses, revocation of membership and honors.


As a voluntary professional organization with a small staff, the SMT is limited in its ability to respond formally to charges of sexual harassment. Nonetheless, within these constraints the SMT will follow its professional and ethical responsibility to respond to reports of sexual harassment among its membership.

The SMT cannot control the behavior of conference attendees and does not assume legal liability for harassment taking place at the Annual Meeting unless it involves direct, paid employees of the SMT. This statement is informational only and is not a contract, and does not create any legally enforceable protections or obligations on the part of the SMT. It is not intended to, nor should it be used to support a cause of action, create a presumption of a breach of legal duty, or form a basis for civil liability.

The wording of these guidelines has been adapted (with permission) from the AMS Policy on Harassment.