Help Skepticon Fight the Good Fight!

Help Skepticon fight the good fight!

Hey, you fantastic Skepticoners,

As some of you may know, Skepticon is currently involved in some legal proceedings. Unlike Law & Order, this is going to allegedly take more than forty five minutes and some Jack McCoy magic to fix.

In short, we need dollars to pay for a lawyer to protect our dino hides.

Here’s the situation, in June of this year, Skepticon released a blog post announcing our decision to ban Richard Carrier from attending our conference (we have since taken this down). Shortly afterwards, we were served with the legal paperwork for a defamation lawsuit.

If that wasn’t fun enough, Skepticon is not the only one named in this suit. Our fearless leader, Lauren Lane, is also named. Any donations to Skepticon’s legal fund will also help her. The board of directors of Skepticon voted to take responsibility for Lauren’s portion of the legal bills, as she was acting in her capacity as a board member at the time of the blog post. Finally, there are 5 other defendants: Amy Frank-Skiba, Stephanie Zvan, The Orbit, PZ Myers, and Freethought Blogs. A Go Fund Me is in the works for those 5, and we will be publicizing it when it goes live. All the defendants are represented by the same attorney, First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza, who is providing his services at a discount, but we are not asking him to work for free. Plus, there are thousands of dollars in “costs” for the case that don’t include legal bills, and there is no way to discount those.

Only donations made through the link below will be used for our legal bills. Any donations made through any other link will be restricted to conference and normal operating expenses. We have a separate bank account for the legal expenses, and everything will be reported separately in our financial reports.

Our bills, so far, have been covered by donations from a generous anonymous donor. Those bills were in the thousands-of-dollars range and there are more to come, which is why we’re asking you for help.

No matter how far this adventure goes, we are confident that the courts will see our actions as both lawful and reasonable, and rule in our favor. In the event that the funds raised exceed our legal bills, we will put them toward the conference. We are determined to see this through and celebrate our tenth year next fall with all of you.

With love and thanks,
Team Skepticon

PS – Don’t forget that Skepticon is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, and therefore donations may be tax deductible. Talk to your tax advisor!

SK9 “Extras” Roundup!

Hey there, Skepticondlers!

We have done a whole slew of blog posts on all the fun things we have going on around Skepticon that aren’t workshops or talks. In case you missed them, or you want to have them all at your fingertips, here is a list with links!

Art Contest! Only $20 to enter, and everyone wins a prize! Limited to 10 entries!

Raffle! Saturday and Sunday, different items each day! Tickets $1 each or 6 for $5, or get up to 5 tickets free by bringing in a food item for the Food Pantry.

Food Pantry! Stop by if you need a snack or a meal, and don’t have the financial means to get one. Or bring a donation for your fellow attendees!

Prom Clothes Closet! Need an outfit for SkeptiProm? Swing by and see if we have something for you to take! Donations are needed, so bring stuff to help stuff our Closet!

Food Trucks! London Calling and Not’cho Ordinary Taco are coming back with their yummy, yummy noms! And they’re being joined by Spork Express — which focuses on vegetarian and vegan cuisine — on Saturday!

Blood Drive! Friday afternoon — donate a pint to save a life!

Friday Game Night! Bring games to share, borrow a game from the loaner pile, or just hang out!

SkeptiProm! (Prom start time has changed to 9:30 pm) Further Prom info! Earplugs are now findable, and we fixed the flashy lights. And more Prom info, this time about our extra special DJ, Victor Harris Jr.!

Saturday Night Social! A Prom-adjacent place to hang out that isn’t Prom.

Child Care! We weren’t able to get child care, but hopefully what we do have will help.

Community Spaces! Borrow the Community Room for a meeting or hangout! Leave a message at the Community Board!

And we have lots of other great stuff we’re offering to our attendees — live captioning on the main stage, charging stations in the Grand Ballroom, communication stickers, fidgets, a red lanyard policy for privacy protection, a quiet room, and gender neutral bathrooms!

We hope you have your most fantastic Skepticon yet!

Love,
Team Skepticon

PS – It’s not too late! Donate! And register!

Food Trucks at SK9! (Vegan included!!)

Hey Skepti-foodies!

We know our conference is a little off the beaten path when it comes to food. The Fire & Ice Restaurant is available at the hotel, Walmart is next door, and there are a few restaurants around the hotel. But we like for things to be easy for you, so we’ve arranged for some food trucks to come by!

London Calling Gourmet Pasty Company logo

London Calling Gourmet Pasty Company logo

London Calling

What: “We would love for you to come and try our handmade, hand crimped, and freshly baked Pasties (Pass-Teez). If you do not know what a pasty is then let me whet your appetite. A pasty starts with a flaky crust stuffed with meat, potatoes and vegetables. The crust is then folded and crimped to create a hand held feast!”

When:

  • Friday – 11 am until ?
  • Saturday – Dinner
  • Sunday – 11 am until ?

 

 

spork-express-fullcolor-tagline

Spork Express Company Logo

Spork Express

What: “Spork Express is a full service mobile kitchen. Whether you’re looking for a regional specialty or prefer international flavors, Spork Express has an eclectic mix of decadent favorites, vegetarian, vegan and healthy entrees. As long long time attendees and supporters of Skepticon, we are excited to be back this year, not only as participants but as a food vendor.”

When: Saturday – 11 am until ?

 

Not'cho Ordinary Taco Truck logo

Not’cho Ordinary Taco Truck logo

Not’cho Ordinary Taco

What: “Fresh ideas, fresh made tacos made for fun fresh people!”

When:

  • Friday – 11 am until ?
  • Saturday – 11 am until ?
  • Sunday – 11 am until ?

 

 

 

We’re hungry just thinking about it… we’ll see you at the Skepticon 9 food trucks!

Love,
Team Skepticon

P.S. Want to keep Skepticon dinosaurs from going hungry? Donate today and feed the dinosaurs!

How to find help at SK9

Hey Skepti-tendees,

We work to make Skepticon a safe place for everyone, but we also know things can happen outside our control or despite our best efforts. Here are ways to find help:

  • Call 911 if someone requires immediate medical attention or if there is immediate danger
  • Notify an organizer — look for a PINK name badge
  • If you can’t find an organizer, ask a volunteer — look for an ORANGE name badge
  • If you can’t find an organizer or a volunteer, ask a speaker — look for a BLUE name badge
  • At any time, you can notify a hotel staff person and they will assist you in finding an organizer

Skepticon takes harassment seriously. If you or someone you know feels harassed, please report it immediately. We have a protocol and we aren’t afraid to use it!

Be good to yourself and to your fellow attendees, and let’s make this the safest Skepticon ever!

Love,
Team Skepticon

PS – We’re almost there, just mere days, nay, hours, left! Please donate if you can!

Red Lanyard Policy

Hi Skepti-friends!

We know not all of you can be out in your community, whatever “out” means for you — atheism, skepticism, gender, sexuality, whatever. Skepticon strives to be a safe place for everyone, and we want everyone feel secure in expressing themselves however they feel most comfortable. To that end, Skepticon enforces the Red Lanyard Policy.

In an effort to protect those who cannot or do not wish their photos be shared via social media, they will be wearing red lanyards. Please be extra careful to not include them in photographs, videos or share them or their names on social media platforms.

We wish everyone could be who they are wherever they are, and we’re trying our best to change the world, one conference at a time! Until then, red lanyards are our way of protecting our attendees.

Thank you for respecting the Red Lanyard Policy!

Love,
Team Skepticon

PS – The first day of Skepticon is almost here! But we could still use some funds. Donate if you can!!

Communication Stickers & Fidgets!

Hi Skepticoneers!

We just wanted to let you know that the communication stickers and fidgets will be back for SK9!

We upgraded the communication stickers this year by adding a shape component. So, we have blue circles for communication desired; yellow triangles for communication limited to known people; and red squares for little or no communication. They are also bigger stickers, so they will be more easily seen by other attendees. No sticker means you are comfortable establishing your communication boundaries on your own. As always, the use of the stickers is not required, but abiding by your fellow attendees’ sticker is.

The fidgets will be available at the registration table. We have discarded the ones from last year that were cool but got really nasty, and the rest will be sanitized. Feel free to borrow what you need! Please return them to the registration table when you’re done : )

Love,
Team Skepticon

PS – Donations are what help us keep cool things like communication stickers and fidgets available for our whole community. Help us out if you can, and your donation will be matched!

Gender Neutral Bathrooms at SK9!

Greetings Skepti-peeps!

We are very pleased to announce that there will be gender neutral bathrooms available again at Skepticon! The gender neutral bathrooms will be in the main hall, about halfway between the glass atrium and the registration area. Menstrual hygiene products will be available in both bathrooms. The urinals will be covered and placed out of order, so as to provide as much privacy as possible. The bathroom on the left has full floor-to-ceiling cubicles, and provide the most privacy. The bathroom on the left has traditional stalls.

Gender segregated bathrooms are available at the Grand Ballroom end of the hall, past registration, and in hall outside the Fire and Ice restaurant. The urinals in the “mens” rooms will be open for business, and menstrual products will be available in the “womens” bathrooms only.

Please use the bathrooms you feel most comfortable with. As always, please respect the privacy of others.

Oh, and watch out for the sinks, they’re determined to soak your lower half!

Love,
Team Skepticon

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks Logo which consists of a big, sketchy red blood droplet and light blue text.

SK9 Blood Drive!

Howdy Skepti-donors!

We will once again be having Community Blood Center of the Ozarks come out for our blood drive! It will be Friday, November 11 from 1 to 5 pm in the parking lot outside the Grand Ballroom.

If you would like to make an appointment, click here! Walk-ins will be welcome as well!

Come on over to give a pint, get some cookies, and maybe save a life!

Love,
Team Skepticon

PS – We’re still taking donations, too! Don’t forget we have a matching donor, so every dollar you give will be doubled! While you’re at it, register if you plan on coming to SK9!

Closed Captioning at SK9!

Hey Skepticoners!

We are proud to have White Coat Captioning returning to do the captioning for Skepticon 9! We had so much fun with them last year, and they were fantastic!

The closed captioning will be available in several formats: On screen in the Grand Ballroom; online on the live stream; and on your personal device! We will have a link to the live captioning available on our website during the event.

Unfortunately, we do not have Sign Language interpreters available this year. We will try hard to get them back next year!

Love,
Team Skepticon

Community Spaces at SK9!

Hey Skepticonites!

Skepticon attendees are all one big community of dino love, and we want to encourage even more! This year, we are introducing the Community Room and the Community Board.

The Community Room will be available for groups who want a place to meet but a hotel room won’t cut it. The room will fit up to 50-ish people (depending on how many want to sit on the floor.) There will be some chairs, a 8-foot table, and a water station. The room will be available Friday 8 am to 11 pm, Saturday 9 am to midnight, and Sunday 9 am to 4 pm. There will be a signup sheet outside, and it will be available on a first-to-sign-up basis. So coordinate a group meetup, record a podcast, have a music jam — if it’s legal, you can do it in this room!

Do you need a ride? Can you offer a ride? Looking for someone? Just want to leave a happy note or a pretty picture? The Community Board is the place for all of this and more! The Board will be located between Registration and the Grand Ballroom. We’ll provide pens and paper, you provide the content — but keep it clean, people :D

Here’s to making the skeptical community bigger and better!

Love,
Team Skepticon

PS — Spread the community love… Donate! And register!