Code of Conduct

From HacDC Wiki

Grammatical correction

  • Delete of after Misuse under Safety Rules (Bobby)
    • Good catch. Done. Thanks.

A deletion or a culture shift

* Guests are not allowed to use tools and equipment except as part of a scheduled workshop. 

Given the nature of our "open house" nights, which I would not consider to be a "scheduled workshop" this line will probably need to go or we will need to start re-educating some of the regulars... --Ubuntourist (talk) 08:32, 10 April 2018 (PDT)

preliminary comments

General comment: It is important to CLEARLY distinguish between rules and requests. They are definitely not the same. Do: Ask questions - Don't - Interrupt presentations, workshops, or mentoring sessions - contradictory! conduct that consists of loud or boisterous physical behavior or talking. This includes all forms of harassment - no, it doesn't. It is possible to harass someone quietly & nonboisterously. I suggest splitting this: excessively loud talking or boisterous behavior harassment of any kind (but constitutionally-protected free speech by itself cannot constitute harassment) directing a specific threat of physical harm against an individual, group of individuals, or property - suggested rewording: making a specific threat to cause harm to an individual, group, or property I recommend adding: leave the space open without a member present Safety Rules - they should be rules, not requests as currently written Cleaning up and putting away equipment belongs elsewhere; it is not a safety issue (unlike shutting off or unplugging equipment is). Possible addition: No horseplay in the space - there is too much dangerous or fragile stuff here Guests - recommended tool use rules: Guests may use nonhazardous tools in a proper manner. Guests may use hazardous tools they are familiar with in a proper manner if monitored by a member. Guests may be taught to use an unfamiliar tool by a member familiar with that tool. Anyone who misuses a tool may be barred from using HacDC tools. (Note that this allows HacDC to bar someone who misuses their own tools from using HacDC tools, which seems like a good idea.) Members are responsible for their guests and their actions - suggested rewording: Members are responsible for monitoring guests. Minors - I strongly oppose this entire section. HacDC should not discriminate.

I will undoubtedly come up with much more.


Mirage: comments

Most importantly, lack of barriers to entry, such as strict rules about equipment usage, borrowing, or supplies consumption, has been a huge success at HacDC, to be continued. We have not had a problem with accidents, nor substantial damage from supplies overconsumption, nor theft. Permanent injuries have not happened, tools have not been damaged in operation, and minimal supplies budgets have not remotely been drained. This is an important part of HacDC's unique character to be continued.

All major problems at HacDC have been the result of total absence of common sense or deliberate abuse. Most probably deliberate abuse. These incidents are in an entirely separate category from on-mission activities, while often using the same resources.

We need to require disruptive members, and the disruptive guests they allow, to reach a credible "cease and desist" agreement, or be immediately barred from the space until they do. We need to do this without interfering with, or discouraging, our vast majority of contributing volunteers. Immediate action is not a permanent banhammer, but it may be followed with such.

Our bylaw amendment, empowering the board to bar access for "substantial cause", is also intended to apply to members who bring trouble, as well as their own behaviour. Members bringing in live ammunition, would be responsible for doing so safely, as opposed to displaying it in an obviously threatening manner. Likewise, members are responsible for the guests they bring in, and can be barred for continuing to allow disruptive guests.

Explicit rules alone are not the answer. Too many situations will involve substantial cause that involve resources being used as expected, to a degree that is not appropriate. Rearranging some things in the space is normal. Occasionally using a TV set is normal. Sitting in a chair is normal. Even some personal use may be normal, below the threshold of what the IRS would consider substantial. Scattering the components of a tool, burning days of daytime TV on a maintenance intensive display, or sleeping overnight in a chair, is not appropriate.

What we need to do, is provide guidance - in addition to rules - to fairly explain to newcomers, members, and guests - the wonderful things they are allowed to do, as well as the category of things they are expected not to do. Realistically, most would never think of doing the things in the latter category to begin with.

To that end, a Wiki document was written a while back as guidance summarizing some norms as well as the mechanics of how things could work.

To provide further guidance of what is in the category of on-mission, as opposed to inappropriate, use of HacDC resources, another wiki document has been put up. It may be the first attempt to formally write down the culture of how HacDC operates, both to encourage newcomers to quickly become comfortable with the freedom we offer, as well as to provide a sense of fairness for policy makers.

Bobby's version of CoC

​ I still think the proposed Code of Conduct, even after the tool use policy was changed, would make undesirable changes to the open way HacDC operates, so I have created an alternative proposal. The design philosophy is that it should largely just codify the way HacDC currently runs, but I do feel increased attention to safety is warranted. This is quite preliminary; I'm sure I'm forgetting things I'd want to include.

Proposed alternative code of conduct:

The Code of Conduct is intended to maximize HacDC's benefit (to both its members and the community) and minimize risk and restrictions.


  • Except for distinguishing between members and nonmembers, HacDC shall treat all people as individuals, not members of any group, and shall judge them by objective rather than subjective measures. HacDC may temporarily or in extreme cases permanently revoke the membership of or bar anyone who violates the rules (but not just guidelines).

Membership Rules

  • Anyone who wishes to may become a member.
  • Full members get a key and can use the space at any time.
  • Members get priority for use of tools and equipment.
  • Members may hold events at the space but approval by HacDC is required if there is any charge to attend.
  • Members are responsible for monitoring guests in the space.

Behavior Rules

  • Everyone must tolerate the presence of others and not harass anyone or interfere with their use of the space.
  • Everyone can use the space at any time if they are a member or it is open but must avoid causing disruption (i.e., noise) during an event.
  • Except for caffeine, recreational drugs and pets are prohibited unless specifically approved in advance.

Behavior Guidelines

  • Everyone is encouraged to assist each other and to request assistance.
  • Everyone should try to do potentially disruptive activities when least likely to be disruptive.
  • Everyone should try to avoid arguments by expressing themselves calmly and limiting political or otherwise divisive comments.
  • Everyone is urged to document their work if it is likely to be useful to others.

Safety Rules

  • HacDC shall make sure recommended safety equipment is available & functional.
  • Everyone must report any safety hazards they notice (including notifying HacDC of an unsafe situation or cautioning someone if they are doing something in an unnecessarily risky way).
  • Everyone must caution those present before engaging in an activity (i.e., using the lathe) that poses a risk to those nearby.
  • No horseplay.
  • Noone shall engage in any potentially hazardous activity while impaired.
  • Noone is allowed in the space while they have a contagious illness.
  • Members shall point out exits & fire extinguishers to guests.

Safety Guidelines

  • Everyone should pay attention to what is going on around them.

Tools & Equipment Rules

  • HacDC may require that a particular item can only be used by those trained to use it or under the supervision of someone who knows how to use it, or require that a person state on camera that they are aware of and accept the risks of using it.
  • If HacDC has more than one of an item, HacDC may designate one of that item as being for member use only.
  • Some items may be on loan to HacDC; their use may be limited by their owner.
  • All restrictions must be clearly posted.
  • All items must be used responsibly. That includes:
  • Everyone must read the instructions or get instruction from someone familiar with the item before trying to use an unfamiliar item.
  • Do not try to use an item for an unsuitable purpose.
  • Problems or needed maintenance must be reported.
  • Items may not be left in the wrong place (i.e., a clamp in the precision screwdrivers bin).

Tools & Equipment Guidelines

  • Everyone is urged to put items in the correct location when finished with them and clean up debris.

Guests Rules

  • Guests may only be in the space when a full member is present.
  • Except for specific items designated as members only, guests may use tools & equipment with appropriate (as defined by HacDC) supervision when no member needs to use that item.

Revised Safety section rules

  • Everyone must try to minimize risks, to others and to the surroundings, in general and from tools & equipment, including:
  • Everyone must understand how to deal with an emergency (recommended even if you aren't doing anything hazardous), consider what risks exist, and take reasonable precautions before any activity that poses a meaningful hazard.
  • Everyone must caution those present before engaging in an activity (i.e., using the lathe) that poses a significant risk to those nearby.
  • No horseplay.
  • Noone shall engage in any risky activity while impaired.
  • Do not take risky shortcuts.
  • Everyone must report any safety hazards they notice (including notifying HacDC of an apparently unsafe condition or cautioning someone if they are doing something in an unnecessarily risky way).
  • Anything posing a significant nonobvious hazard must have clear notice of the hazard posted.
  • HacDC shall make sure recommended safety equipment is available & functional.
  • Members must point out exits & fire extinguishers to guests.
  • Noone is allowed in the space while they have a contagious illness.

Safety Guidelines

  • Anything abnormal (strange noise, unusual smell, peculiar motion, etc.) should be investigated - it may be telling you something important (& may give you a good idea!).
  • Everyone is urged to pay attention to what is going on around them.