[dms-discuss] Space Use Models

Tim F davispcug at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 6 22:56:56 PST 2013

November 6, 2013

Hi James and everybody --

Thank you James for writing up that distillation!

I thought that the discussion on Monday night was great. It really makes me feel good that we had a respectful discussion about a subject is important to many of us. Thank you all for that, and thank you Jeff for your work on these issues and for your fresh ideas!

To answer the questions that James posted: I think that we could divide time up at the space to serve James' first model (a public space) AND his third model (a private space).

And in order for that to work, we'd need to mix in a little of his second model (requiring some sort of acceptance of  "membership" into the group). Perhaps we would use Jeff's suggestion to guide that acceptance policy (Jeff suggested that those wishing key access would submit a written proposal/justification to some subset of the voting members, such as the Board).

For example, we could give key access to those people who committed to act as trained "hosts" or "mentors" or "facilitators": they would staff open hours. Perhaps several evenings during the week, plus some earlier hours on weekends. That would allow us to provide a space open to the public (providing, of course, that we had a clear and posted liability policy): James' first model. We are already doing this, actually; it hasn't been formalized.

A few folks would need key access for management reasons or in order to maintain the infrastructure; for example, the Board, and people who would maintain special facilities such as the door access system, delicate/dangerous/expensive tools, etc. We are also already doing this.

So the first model is already in use.

James' third model would provide private access to the space. Private access could happen at any hour, even during public access hours; but private access should not trump public access (if someone wanted to use the space privately during a public session, the public session should prevail).

I believe that the Board feels a responsibility to protect the space and the members from possible abuses of the space. That suggests that the Board would need to create policies for granting private access for that third model; and that the Board would need to put in some systems (such as a camera monitoring the inside of the door) to try to discourage abuses or at least to help catch any abusers.

I've put out these thoughts in the spirit of compromise: a two-model system like this one might be acceptable for folks who want private access. I would hope that they would be willing to agree to access-granting policies created by the Board.

I believe we are already running a nearly-open model, and that only a few folks have private access. I think that most of those folks are the ones that are already giving their time by serving the group and the space. I really don't know if we've given out any keys to people only because of their financial contributions.

My own preference would actually be different from this two-model system: I would prefer a mostly-public model with private access granted only to those members who donate significant hours by supporting the public model and/or significant hours supporting the management of the space or maintaining its facilities; and I would not want donations of money to be a factor in granting access. If we have already given out keys based only on financial donations, I'd want the Board to ask for those keys to be returned.

Why do I feel that way? Because I worry about people gaming the rules for a private access system and abusing the system and our space.

Wow, heavy... (to use a dated idiom!). But not too heavy; I think our members are good people! I'm looking forward to hearing from you all.

Best regards,
Tim F

On Tue, 11/5/13, James R Holliday <jrholliday at davismakerspace.org> wrote:

 Subject: [dms-discuss] Space Use Models
 To: discuss at davismakerspace.org
 Date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 1:02 PM
 Hey, makers.
 At last night's general meeting, we had a good discussion
 possible key access and space access policies.  Jeff
 will be collating
 some of the ideas and presenting them here for further
 discussion soon.
 One thing that came out of the round table discussion was
 realization that there are at least three different ideas
 regarding the
 usage of our space:
 1) A fully-open space where anyone can come in and use any
 of the services.
 2) A moderated space where people need to integrate
 themselves (become
 "members") before using the space
 3) A private-use space where "members" can come in
 autonomously and work
 in peace and quiet.
 Note: I'm paraphrasing and simplifying the ideas that came
 out last night.
 I'd like to invite more input.  Are there other use
 models that *you*
 (makers of Davis) would want?  Are there any strong
 feelings for or
 against particular use models?  What kind of mix of
 models should we offer?
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