[hackerspaces] New Member Vetting

Sparr sparr0 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 19 16:52:47 CEST 2012

I'm not in any official capacity at either, but I've been part of two
different spaces.

The first was medium sized, around 50 members, ~5000sqft. New
prospective members show up to open events, classes, meetings, etc and
get to know some of the existing members. An existing member sponsors
the new member and they seek explicit approval from two other members.
Then after a few weeks of further getting to know them, the entire
membership votes. Every member has veto power over any new member.

The second is very large, a few hundred members, ~40000sqft. New
prospective members meet with the bookkeeping staff, sign some forms,
pay their dues, and get an access card.

There are pros and cons to both of these approaches, but I'll leave
those to hopefully upcoming posts from those two spaces official

On Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 6:12 PM, Ben Brown <ben at generik.ca> wrote:
> We've got an interesting topic going on our own discuss list about
> strengthening membership vetting, spawning from a member's experience in
> another organization that's now considering police checks for applicants.
> Traditionally, we've had applicants show up to a few open nights before
> the board votes on their application. Members who have qualms about that
> applicant have 5 days to speak up before the application is considered.
> So far we've only rejected a single person (because they didn't attend
> enough open nights) but now thinking about it, most hackerspaces
> (including ours) entrust a significant amount of equipment to people who
> we've only had very limited contact. As we're quickly growing past our
> founding members, I'm wondering how other hackerspaces have adapted?
> A couple ideas being thrown around are police checks (which most members
> are against), and having a member sponsor a new applicant (who risks
> their own membership to support them).
> What process does your space use and is it working/failing horribly?
> Cheers,
> Ben
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