For the past year, the ACL Executive Board has been establishing procedures to follow in the case that someone raises a complaint under the ACL’s anti- harassment policy.  These procedures call for the creation of a Complaint Committee, consisting of approximately 12 ACL members who will have the role of fielding complaints, working towards informal mediation where appropriate, and carrying out investigations, possibly resulting in formal sanctions, when necessary.  The Complaint Committee members will serve three-year (renewable) terms, will be selected by representatives of the ACL Executive, and will report to the Exec. They will be required to participate in training in mediation and complaint-resolution methods and techniques that will be offered at forthcoming ACL events (see below).  

The Executive now calls for volunteers to serve on the inaugural Complaint Committee.  Committee members will have the opportunity to shape the structure and work of this committee as it serves the goal of making sure that ACL events are welcoming environments where everyone feels included.  ACL will provide training for Complaint Committee members in mediation techniques in 2018 at the ACL meeting in Melbourne and at EMNLP in Brussels, the day before the start of the conference.  Volunteers will be responsible for their own travel expenses.  (Additional training sessions for new volunteers will be held at *ACL events in future years.) 

Those interested in serving on the Committee are asked to apply via this form by 4 May 2018. In order for the Complaint Committee to function effectively, it must include a diversity of perspectives and experiences.  To that end, the form asks about gender, race/ethnicity, country of current affiliation, sector of current affiliation, age, and other similar questions.  (If you can’t access the form for some reason, please contact Graeme Hirst and Emily Bender by email at; we will send you a text version of the questions.)

We anticipate finalizing the inaugural committee by 10 May 2018.

Emily M. Bender and Graeme Hirst for the ACL Executive Committee