[hackerspaces] Interviewing prospective space members [was Re: Members under 18]

Ben Brown ben at generik.ca
Mon Nov 10 18:32:54 CET 2014

For us, not so much a formal interview. If someone wants to apply as a
member, they're encouraged to come to events/Tuesday Open Nights and
meet members, talk about what they're looking to get out of the lab,
projects, etc before sending an application.

Once they submit an application, it's sent to the member's list with
limited contact info (just name, photo, email address) and answers to
basic questions (have you been to any events, what are you looking to
do, how did you hear about us, members they've met, etc). Members have 5
days to comment about the applicant (for/against), and the board takes
those into consideration when voting the member in.


On 11/7/2014 10:23 AM, Randall Arnold wrote:
> Ben your comment about vetting makes me wonder-- does anyone on the
> list actually interview prospective members?  And if so, can you
> briefly describe or point to a process?
> Randy
>> On November 7, 2014 at 9:16 AM Ben Brown <ben at generik.ca> wrote:
>> We still vet any new members so the worry that we'd let an immature teen
>> become a member was about the same as an immature adult. That said, we
>> have done the latter before.
>> The main barrier in our space was about insurance as we didn't want to
>> upset that apple cart. After our broker assured us that there was
>> basically no distinction between teens and adults as far as our policy
>> goes (and reminded us our insurance also covers us on public events
>> involving even younger minors), we decided to lower the barrier to 16.
>> We've always operated with the idea that if there was a serious accident
>> where insurance had to step in, we'd likely be forced into closing our
>> doors anyway.
>> Since then we've had some additional interest from teens, and our
>> youngest member was 17 when they joined. The only thing an under-aged
>> member can't do is become a director, but that's dictated by provincial
>> law as opposed to our own rules.
>> Ben
>> On 11/6/2014 7:19 PM, Pete Prodoehl wrote:
>> >
>> > Our space is currently in a discussion about allowing people under 18
>> > (16 & 17 year olds) to become members.
>> >
>> > We've got some people who are against it because it would "ruin" their
>> > favorite hangout space, or make them uncomfortable in some way.
>> >
>> > We've got some people who are convinced that the legal/insurance
>> > aspects will cause us to lose our insurance policy and have to shut
>> down.
>> >
>> > We have some that think that while we can trust an 18 year old, a 17
>> > year old is in no way to be trusted and will do completely stupid shit.
>> >
>> > We've even discussed specific rules for 16 & 17 year olds, which would
>> > be much more limiting than members 18 or older. (They would need to
>> > have a family member as a member, not be allowed in the space without
>> > the family member that is a member, etc.)
>> >
>> > Anyway, I'm sure there are spaces that allow people under 18 to be
>> > members, or guests that can use equipment, etc. and I'm looking for
>> > real cases especially if you've got an insurance policy that addresses
>> > minors.
>> >
>> > thanks!
>> >
>> >
>> > Pete
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
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