The Mission of Hacker Society

Hacker Society (HacSoc) at Case Western Reserve University is a time and place for people to learn about technology from each other, in order to build a community, empower the individual, promote equality, and foster an open society.

Open Society: An open society promotes freedom of thought and expression, personal responsibility, individualism, cooperation, and equality of all citizens.

Code of Conduct

It is expected that members behave in a way that allows Hacker Society to achieve its mission. Participants in Hacker Society events are expected to respect each other’s perspectives and treat each other with dignity and respect. In particular, participants should recognize that people of all skill levels are welcome, and should always be willing to help others learn.

To support its mission, Hacker Society must be a place where people can be comfortable regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion. Therefore, we do not tolerate:

  • Rude or unwelcome comments about a person’s gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, attire, race, age or religious expression.
  • Sexual images in public spaces
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Inappropriate physical contact
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior

Necessarily, the goals of learning, community, and equality are in tension with the goals individual empowerment, freedom of thought, and freedom of expression. We encourage polite, civil discourse but we also strive to make all welcome, even those with unpopular ideas or thoughts. However, in order to foster our community, certain limits on free expression must be observed. We expect that debate and constructive criticism are part of this open atmosphere. We expect that some members of the community may express ideas which are not politically correct. We expect that some ideas expressed by a minority may be deeply unpopular and distasteful to the majority. However, if these ideas or discussions devolve into attacks against a person and/or their intrinsic characteristics, we believe that this is unacceptable.


This policy applies at all Hacker Society events and spaces, online and offline. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Weekly talks
  • Open Hacks
  • Link-State
  • HackCWRU
  • Mailing lists (hackers-discuss, cwru-hackers)
  • GitHub organization
  • Slack team

The policy applies to attendees as well as any speakers, sponsors, or other participants in these activities and communication streams. Although we don’t have any direct authority over behavior in our typical spaces such as the Glennan Student Lounge, we expect that HacSoc participants will adhere to these guidelines, and we also note that Case’s policies are always in force.

We expect participants asked to stop any harassing behavior to comply immediately. If participants do not comply, the Maintainer and HacSoc officers retain the right to take any actions to keep HacSoc a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes warning the offender, or removing them from the event or communication streams they are abusing. This also includes further measures, such as pursuing University action, should it become necessary.


If someone is making you feel unsafe or unwelcome at HacSoc, please report it as soon as possible. At events such as Link-State and HackCWRU, staff can be identified by their shirts. At other events, you can talk to the officers or Maintainer. And you may always report harassing behavior to officers via email ( or via private message on Slack. If you don’t feel comfortable reporting a problem to an officer, consider reporting the problem directly to any of the faculty or staff of the EECS department. If you are not comfortable reporting to EECS faculty or staff, you may use the Bias Reporting System or talk to the staff in the Student Activities and Leadership office.

Other Policies

As mentioned above, the policies of the CWRU Handbook are always applicable at HacSoc events and in HacSoc gathering spaces. Other policies that apply here are ACM’s and IEEE’s, when relevant.

[1]In this code of conduct, we’re using Hacker Society to refer to “everything” - the ACM chapter as well as the talk series and mailing lists that are the backbone of our HacSoc community.