Decidedly Bisexual: What BiCon 2012 Thought

BCN 116 cover

This originally appeared in BCN issue 116, December 2012

As part of the Guidelines underpinning BiCon, it publishes the minutes of its annual Decision Making Plenary session here in BCN.  As such, here are the minutes of the BiCon 2012 Decision Making Plenary held on 12 August 2012, in Bradford. See separate article for the proposed new Section B as debated.

1. Welcome and Introduction
The Chair — Sharon, Chair’s Aide and Minute Taker – David  were introduced and attendees to the Decision Making Plenary (DMP) welcomed. Sharon outlined the interrelations between the DMP, the Guidelines, the pre-DMP session(s) and BiCon Continuity Ltd.

2. Previous Minutes
Minutes from 2011 were approved with no changes. Minutes from previous BiCons can be found here: , and also in BCN.

Vote:    For – all

3. Proposed Future BiCons
a)  2013 — The 2013 BiCon team will be headed by Sam and Katie.  It will take place in Edinburgh at the John Macintyre Conference Centre at Edinburgh University, from 18th – 21st July 2013. See for details.

b) 2014 – no team came forward, so the decision was deferred to BiCon Continuity Ltd. Expressions of interest in running BiCon 2014 should be sent to [email protected]

Vote:    For – all

4. Proposed Guideline Changes
a) All Guideline changes must be approved by two consecutive years’ DMPs.  In 2011 the following Guideline change was approved to make guideline B3 read:
“BiCon should have published policies which include anti-harassment, anti-discrimination and confidentiality.  People who consistently or seriously breach these policies — for example by harassing others for any reason including sexually, racially, or on the grounds of sexuality, or by breaching another attendee’s confidentiality — should be required to leave and may be banned from future BiCons.”

Vote:    For — many        Against — 1         Abstained – 5

This Guideline change is now in effect having been approved by two consecutive DMPs. The BiCon Guidelines can be found at

b) A redraft of Section B of the BiCon Organisers’ Guidelines was presented and is attached to these minutes. Section B of the guidelines deals with accessibility and inclusion. It was proposed that BiCon should adopt this new version of Section B.
The redraft was discussed section-by-section, with changes made to some sections as they were discussed.

Section B2 – gender was added to section B2, ‘Policies and Systems’ added

Vote:    For – 30     Against – 12

Section B13 – we agreed to redraft the section on sexuality in future to take explicit account of asexuality.

Section B17 – in the guideline on smoking, we added wording saying that this should be advertised clearly.

Section B18 – we added ‘and equipment’ to the section on Food.

We then voted on the guidelines overall:

Vote:  For — many        Against — 0         Abstained – 1

Thanks to many people, and especially Natalya & Karen for work on guidelines.

This change will need to be approved at the 2013 BiCon DMP in order to take effect.

5. Reports back from previous DMPs at BiCon
a) Oxford BiFest: Alex reported to the meeting. Oxford BiFest was run on 31            (continued next page but one)  << BiCon Decisionscontinued from 2 pages agoMarch 2012, and focussed on targeting people new to the bi community. £300 was given, £337 was taken at the event and will be used to fun next year’s event. 67 people attended, and there are plans to run it again next year. The DMP thanked Alex and the Oxford BiFest team for running the event.

b) Race training funding. Natalya reported to the meeting. The race training happened at a bi activists’ weekend in November 2011. Resources from the training are available for use at other events; contact BiCon Continuity Ltd – [email protected] . The funding was in fact not needed, as the costs were absorbed elsewhere. Responsibility for allocation the money is now with BiCon Continuity Ltd and will consult Bis Of Colour about re-allocating it.

6. Bi Companies update
Contact at [email protected] / .

Karen outlined business so far, and said that the company’s first AGM had been on the morning of 12 August 2012, at which the existing directors of the company had been re-elected (being Karen, Sharon, Natalya, Grant, Elizabeth, Hessie, Ian and Edward). The next job is to complete the application to become a charity.

Grant gave a short presentation to thank Karen for her hard work over several years relating to BiCon Continuity Ltd.

7. Equalities Fund
We agreed to create an ongoing group to administer the Equalities Fund, with the aim of improving consistency of allocation, reducing the burden on individual BiCon teams, and making better use of the expertise that has been built up over the years. Hessie and Natalya invited expressions of interest to BiCon Continuity Ltd – [email protected]  .

Vote:    For – all

8. AOB
Alistair asked how much money BiCon Continuity Ltd currently had. Natalya explained that the exact sum was difficult to determine at that time, but was in the region of £20,000, plus/minus 2012’s £5,000. This sum is so large because BiCon 2011 negotiated 50% discount from the Leicester venue due to problems with the venue.

9. Thanks
The chair thanked the participants and the aide/minute taker. The meeting thanked the chair.