Rules and Policies
The following policies are in the Membership Agreement that all Lowell Makes members sign when joining, and define the overall expectation of behavior as a member.
Lowell Makes Policies and Procedures
Lowell Makes strives to provide a safe, productive and fun work environment for its members. In light of this mission, we ask you to obey the following policies and procedures for working in our facility. Failure to obey these policies and procedures can make our facilities dangerous or unwelcoming to others, and such actions on your part may result in your license being terminated without notice. Please take them seriously. We reserve the right to change these policies and procedures as needed and with sufficient notice to members.
Obey all posted signs and literature pertaining to safe use of our facilities. These include but are not limited to signs regarding appropriate shop clothing and protective gear, techniques for safe equipment use, material-specific precautions for equipment, and machine tool lockouts. Do not use equipment you are not comfortable with or trained to use. Our strong preference is that you not operate heavy machinery after staffed hours without a partner in the facility; operate it individually at your own risk. Default to asking for help if uncertain.
In a shared and open facility like ours, it is possible for less experienced members to operate equipment dangerously without knowing it. Please stay on the lookout for unsafe behavior, and approach and offer feedback to fellow members if you believe they are working unsafely. Please notify staff immediately if you believe any piece of equipment or infrastructure to be unsafe.
In both in-person and electronic interactions, behave respectfully, courteously, and professionally to your fellow members. No discrimination, harassment, or hate speech shall be tolerated.
Courtesy of Individual Spaces
If you are licensing space from us, please keep your individual space relatively orderly. Do not enter any individual workspaces that are not yours without explicit permission.
Keep noise levels to a respectful minimum for the comfort and enjoyment of those in the immediate area. No loud music, tool use or other noise will be permitted in the open rental areas without the explicit permission of the members around you. No fumes or flames are permitted in unventilated areas. Restore the shared spaces to be as clean as or cleaner than when you found them. Please respect and do not interrupt any official activities or classes in the shared spaces.
Inactivity and lack of physical presence at our community facility can be detrimental to our mission and prevent others from using the space. Please inform us of any extended absences or extenuating circumstances that might prevent you from attending. Otherwise, we expect members to make regular use of our facilities.
Non-member guests are permitted in the makerspace so long as they do not use Lowell Makes equipment or shared areas or interfere with other members. Guests and their actions are the sole responsibility of the host member.
Tolerance of Feedback
Please be open to constructive feedback from fellow members, especially as it pertains to safe use of our equipment and disrespectful communication or behavior.
Rules and Policies
The following Rules and Policies comprise the specific governing language of Lowell Makes, beyond the Bylaws, as defined and approved by the Board of Directors. Amendments and revisions to these Rules and Policies will be circulated by the Board upon approval.
Space Utilization Policy
As Lowell Makes grows, space management and control becomes more important. We must continue to be focused on the Makers not the STUFF. Inspired by similar programs at the i3 Detroit, The Twin Cities Maker and Hack Pittsburgh, presented here is the new Lowell Makes (LM) property control system. This method uses parking permits and tickets to help manage our space. The hope is that it will become an effective means to communicate between members about project and material status in the shared space. This is an additional method to foster member-member communication, not a replacement! These permits/tickets should work in conjunction with Basecamp, our wiki, and our weekly & monthly meetings.
Lowell Makes does provide members with some storage space for their personal belongings and project materials. We also acknowledge that space is a scarcity, and must be managed efficiently to allow all members to use Lowell Makes. Personal storage is allocated depending on membership level as follows:
- Student: A STUDENT membership is not entitled to any included storage
- Maker: A MAKER membership is entitled to one 14”x7”x6.5” plastic bin
- Professional: A PRO membership is entitled to one bin and one locker
- Entrepreneur: An ENT. membership is entitled to one bin and one locker
- Add-on: ADD-ON memberships have access to storage through the main account, but do not include any additional storage
- Co-working: An UPSTAIRS member is entitled to shared file cabinet space
Parking Ticket System
- Parking Permit - GREEN
- WHAT: Approved projects for short term storage.
- WHO: Shop Captains can issue GREEN Permits for their space, Space Committee for common areas.
- WHY: GREEN Permits indicate that a project is owned, in process, and approved to be somewhere.
- Parking Ticket - RED
- WHAT: Improperly stored items, Discarded or Abandoned property.
- WHO: Any Lowell Makes Member can issue a RED Ticket.
- WHY: RED Tickets indicate property that is not where it belongs, and is subject to removal from Lowell Makes if not resolved in a timely fashion.
- Borked or Broken - ORANGE
- WHAT: Tools, equipment, or items that are damaged, broken, or otherwise not performing as expected.
- WHO: Any Lowell Makes Member can issue an ORANGE Ticket.
- WHY: ORANGE Tickets indicate to others that something is out-of-service, in need of repair, and potentially unsafe for use.
- Project Invitation - YELLOW
- WHAT: An open project that is looking for collaborators and/or assistance.
- WHO: Any Lowell Makes Member can issue a YELLOW Ticket.
- WHY: YELLOW Tickets encourage members to collaborate on projects they may not otherwise be aware of.
- Up For Grabs - BLUE
- WHAT: Items that are available for other members to take.
- WHO: Any Lowell Makes Member can issue a BLUE Ticket.
- WHY: BLUE Tickets encourage members to find new, useful homes for otherwise discarded items.
A project parking lot will be clearly marked in a designated area on the floor. The parking lot will consist of foot by foot grid. In process projects may be left on the grid, covering as many squares as needed. A valid parking ticket is required for any project left in the parking lot. After the allowed two week (14 days) of the parking ticket have passed, storage in the parking lot will be charged weekly per the square foot covered by the project. Renewals of the parking ticket are not considered a restart of the timeline and will be charged.
All Lowell Makes members and guests are required to wear proper attire at all times when using the facilities. Each area of Lowell Makes is designated as either a "Soft Space" or a "Hard Space." Both categories have distinct requirements and restrictions on attire. At this time, only the Wood Shop and Metal Shop are considered "Hard Spaces."
Soft Space Attire Policy
- Footwear is required. Open-toed shoes, flip-flops, and slippers are fine.
- Please wear appropriate attire during all public events, including Open Houses, classes, and school visits.
Hard Space Attire Policy
- Always refer to tool-specific guidelines, posted at the tool, which supersede the overall Work Shop Policy.
- Eye protection is REQUIRED in all Hard Spaces.
- Ear protection is recommended when using power equipment.
- No open-toed shoes or slippers. Sturdy, leather, non-slip footwear is recommended.
- No loose fitting clothes or neckties.
- No skirts or dresses.
- No loose jewelry.
- Long hair must be covered or tied back.
- No headphones.
- Dust masks, ventilators, and/or respirators are required when operating spray equipment or sanders.
- No authorization or allocation can be made in excess of the moneys available in the General Fund.
- Unless an exception has been given by the Board of Directors, funds which have already been allocated for spending from the General Fund may be spent from the line of credit as long as interest is not accrued and an outstanding balance is not kept.
- All profits from the sales of items are placed into a related committee's fund (the committee responsible for the item, if applicable) at the Treasurer's discretion.
- Refunds for membership dues paid within the last 30 days can be authorized ONLY at the discretion of the Treasurer or President.
- All goods and services valued up to $500 require express confirmation from the Treasurer prior to purchase. Goods and services valued greater than $500 will require a majority vote of the Board of Directors. In both cases, the submission should include a written quote and itemized list of the purchase or service provided, submitted via the Lowell Makes Purchase Request Form.
- Lowell Makes must receive a written invoice or receipt prior to payment for any services or goods. This only applies to vendors who regularly provide a written invoice (or receipt) to their customers. If a best effort is not made to provide the Treasurer with a written invoice (or receipt) from the respective vendor:
- Lowell Makes will not provide payment for the respective goods or services.
- If the transaction was already purchased with funds belonging to the Lowell Makes, the amount of the respective transaction must be refunded to the Lowell Makes.
- All property purchases equal to or greater than $500 and having an useful life of one year or more are to be capitalized.
- All individual items purchased for less than $500 and having a useful life of less than one year are to be expensed.
- Only current procurement officers (this is currently the Treasurer and the Manager) are allowed to have an active LM credit card.
- After changes in procurement officers, it is the responsibility of the Secretary to ensure the credit card company's records.
- Only the current President, Secretary, and Treasurer are allowed to be authorized signers on LM bank accounts.
- After a change in President, Secretary, or Treasurer, it is the responsibility of the Secretary to ensure the bank's records are updated.