New Member Briefings

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Welcome to Hack Manhattan! - Important Info, Please Read

If you are a new member, you will have just completed the application process. Welcome! This page gives a lot of useful information and directions, please read it all. This is also the content of the briefing for new members.

As a new member, please familiarize yourself with the following:

To the briefer

  • Remember to send a short bio and photo to the members list. Ideally this happens during the briefing; ask a few biographical questions and write up a bio if the prospective member does not have one ready.
  • Ordinarily memberships can be approved one week after the bio goes out. The member may ask on Slack about the status of the membership after one week.
  • Emphasize:
    • Do-ocracy, not fee-for-service
    • The safety rules
    • If the member wants to resign the membership, the most important thing is to notify us. Nothing else matters. No reason has to be given, no explanations are necessary, just tell us. (Practical details like keys, removal of personal effects and dues payments are not urgent and can be sorted out later.)
  • Despite what it says below, Slack is probably a better way to ask questions and consult members.

Organizational

  • Activities are member-driven at Hack Manhattan. We are a 'do-ocracy'. No-one will do it for you, but others may help if you encourage them! Post your ideas and get help on our mailing list
  • Hack Manhattan is run by and for the membership as a whole, so usually the best way to address any issue is first to ask the members for their opinion on the mailing list.
  • You are encouraged to attend and vote at our monthly business meetings, held on the last Tuesday of every month. Some things can be decided with a brief consultation on Slack, the Blabber list or the members mailing list, but bigger decisions should be approved at a business meeting.
  • The members are all responsible for creating the atmosphere and environment in the space.
  • If you would like to take a class or teach a class, or indeed have anything you'd like to contribute or ask of the community, get involved and ask on our mailing list
  • Events are listed at our Meetup page. Meetup currently does not allow co-sponsoring of events, so please add your event to our Meetup calendar too, if you have your own Meetup group already.
  • There is a members-only mailing list for sensitive matters. Only post to it if it's something that should be kept secret, in the spirit of transparency and because membership of the members list is mandatory. Most things go on Blabber.
  • Post to Blabber by sending a regular email to blabber@list.hackmanhattan.com.
  • If you ever want to resign your membership, the most important thing is to tell us. If you inform us, we will refund membership dues accidentally paid. Don't forget to return your keys and remove your things from the space. Don't just stop paying—we reserve the right to come after you for dues until you have informed us that you are leaving.

Safety

  • If you would like to use any of the power tools in the workshop, before you do so please print and sign the liability waiver (File:HM Release.pdf) and give it to a Board member.
  • If you don't know how to use a tool, please ask a knowledgeable member first so that you can be trained to safely use it. Be safe when using equipment: eye, ear, hand protection, and tie back long hair.
  • Only one splitter or surge protector per outlet. Do not “daisy chain” them.
  • In general, if you have concerns about any kind of wrongdoing at Hack Manhattan, please contact the board (at board(at)hackmanhattan.com), or any individual board member, or discuss on the members list. If you are unsure and don't want to do those things, consult with another member. Use your judgment and proceed in the manner you feel comfortable. Call 911 if you're observing a crime in progress. But we do ask you to contact us first if something is not serious or not urgent. In any situation in which you would otherwise have called 311, for example, please contact us first.
  • Non-members are generally allowed to visit and use the space whenever a member is present and willing to host. You can open the street door by pressing one of the 'door' buttons on the intercom either near the right window or next to the coat rack.
  • If you feel uncomfortable with a visitor, or you are closing up or you don't want to be alone with them, or you simply don't want the trouble, you can always ask visitors to leave. If they refuse or you feel unsafe in any way, it's always okay to just get up and leave. Try to contact the board, or another member, but don't worry about anything in the space (and if it's that bad, don't worry about your own stuff either: just go!). Remember that there are often also others in the building who may be able to help
  • You are a host, not a bouncer. Your personal safety and comfort comes first.

Practical things

  • You should receive 1 RFID key-fob or card, which opens both the street level door, and the East (smaller) door to the main space. The space door needs to be pulled before the electric strike plate disengages enough to allow for pushing it into the space
  • Lending out your RFID token to a non-member is not acceptable, and may put your own membership at risk. (Bringing guests is of course fine)
  • Please make sure all doors are locked behind you (make sure the twist lock on the space door-knob is locked) if you are the last person out of the space, close the windows and turn off the lights/AC/soldering irons/computers.
  • Make sure you know where the light switches are.
  • If there is an item that you think the space should have, or it is missing, ask on an appropriate channel on Slack.
  • Beverages are provided on the honor system; please contribute to the donations box above the fridge if you take one. Same goes for plastic filament (has its own box).
  • If you use the roof, be aware that it is a communal space with other tenants in the building. Please don't put undue pressure on the roof membrane, and ask a Board member if you have a project you'd like to do up there.
  • We do welcome donations of equipment, but there is now very limited space to store large pieces or boxes of stuff. Please check with other members or the Board if you are thinking of making a permanent donation.

Storage and member items

  • Members may to store a limited amount of project material on the shelves underneath Brain Bats. Please take a clear plastic box for your storage, label it with your name (label makers are available on the center shelves) and avoid using cardboard boxes for storage. Items on the shelving units near the window are for communal use.
  • If you leave a project in the space, please label it with your name. If you do not do this, it may be either cleared away, hacked, thrown out or disassembled for parts!
  • We cannot be held responsible for any packages sent to the hackerspace. If someone does accept a package, you will usually find it somewhere near the central shelving area.

Garbage and cleanup

  • Leave the space cleaner than you found it, we have no cleaning staff. If you can spare some time to help with housekeeping chores, it would be appreciated. Brooms and cleaning supplies can be found in the restroom.
  • We try to keep the center tables clear for everyone to work at. Please clear your stuff off when you leave.
  • Recycling (metal/glass/plastic) is collected in clear plastic bags. Please flatten any empty cardboard boxes you have and stack with any other cardboard.
  • Regular trash cans (white bags) should be emptied when full and collected with other white bags in a black bag for disposal on the curb on Tuesday or Thursday after 6 p.m. If you are in the space at these times, please do put out any black or clear bags of waste, to prevent the space getting stinky / overrun with rodents.
    • Cardboard only on Tuesdays. Plastic recycling both days.

Resources

  • Our wiki is a great source of information for the community, and we encourage you to contribute to it. Members should sign up for a wiki account if you didn't already do so as part of the payment procedure. (Note: When it asks for your name, that will be your username, so it may be easier to pick something you would normally use as a username, without spaces.)

Approved briefers

Other materials