Ground Rules

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These are the policies that Columbia Gadget Works operates under. Guests must follow these guidelines, even if the guidelines are unknown. Guests will be made aware of any mistakes, and if they refuse to abide by our policies, they will be asked to leave. Members agree to follow these rules at all times upon signing the Membership Form. These policies may be modified by due process per our Bylaws.

Safety Rules

  • All persons are required to use appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • It is the the responsibility of every member and guest to understand the safe use of any tool or equipment before using it.
  • Never use a tool that you do not feel you can use safely. Seek the area captain or an experienced member for guidance.
  • Members or guests in an affected work area should be made aware of safety issues (e.g. requesting that someone nearby put on safety equipment or relocate to avoid breathing fumes).
  • A Yellow Tag attached to equipment indicates that members must attend a class or be approved by the Area Captain before they are permitted to operate it. A list of approved users can be found attached to the equipment and/or on the equipment’s wiki page.
  • Members must not allow unsafe practices by any guest or other member - it is your responsibility to speak up and act.

General Rules

  • Be excellent to each other.
  • Clean up after yourself.
  • When in doubt, ask yourself: “What would Mr. Rogers Do?”
  • Respect the boundaries of private areas in the building. CGW is one of several tenants, and membership only grants access to our workspace and the common areas. Do not enter other tenants’ spaces uninvited.
  • Be reasonable and consider making a donation when using community materials (some may have a suggested donation). Please purchase your own consumables if you plan to go into mass production mode.
  • Respect any equipment you use. Treat it as you would your own.
  • If you are the last person to leave the space, turn off all lights and non-essential electronics, and ensure that all the doors are closed and locked.


  • To be a new member, one must meet the following requirements:
    • Be at least 18 years of age
    • Have at least three independent, recorded visits as a guest
    • Have a sponsoring current member
    • Submit a New Member Form to a Board Member
    • Be current on dues
  • Dues payments are due on the first of each month
    • Dues may be paid with cash or check given to any Board Member
    • Dues may also be paid via Paypal using links on this page
    • Other recurring payment options may be arranged with the treasurer
  • If your dues are not paid by the end of the day on the 1st, you can still come into the building to pay your dues, but should not be using tools.
  • If your dues are still not paid by the end of the day on the 7th, your building access will be disabled and membership will be suspended.


  • Outside of explicitly open events (such as our weekly Open Hack Night), CGW is considered closed to the public.
  • Members may bring up to two guests (10 years of age minimum) into the workspace.
  • Members must directly supervise their guests at all times.
  • All guests must sign a guest liability waiver.

Property and Storage

  • Working space is precious at CGW; therefore, we ask that all members be conservative in how space is utilized.
  • Members are encouraged to bring in their personal property and projects to work on them at our workspace, but we ask that everyone conscientiously share the space with others.
  • When not actively working on a project, it should be removed from shared work surfaces or public areas and either placed into storage or taken home.
  • Storage lockers may be rented at the rate of $5 per month.
  • Personal property may be left unattended in public areas by attaching a parking permit.
    • Permits signed by a Board Member or the relevant Area Captain may be valid for up to two weeks.
    • An unsigned parking permit may be valid up to 48 hours.
  • Owners of unattended property in public areas may be notified with a parking ticket.
    • A parking ticket identifies property that is taking up public space without indication ownership or how long it will be there.
    • Any member may fill out and place a “parking ticket” on unattended property.
    • Upon placing a red parking ticket on an item, the Member completing the ticket form should also send an email, with photo attached if possible, to the owner’s address or to the CGW Members Google Group if the owner is unknown.
    • Any parking permit shall be considered a ticket immediately upon its expiration.
    • Any property with a parking ticket that is more than 72 hours old may be moved to an impound area. Property in impound with a parking ticket more than three weeks old will be either disposed of or considered available for community use.
  • Please contact a Board Member or Area Captain before bringing in property that you wish to donate or loan to CGW.

Code of Conduct

The following guidelines apply for all interactions involving CGW, including at the physical space, on electronic messaging systems, or on social media.

  • Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Be respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences.
  • Keep criticism constructive. Gracefully accept constructive criticism.
  • Refrain from name-calling or derogatory statements.
  • Focus on what is best for the community.
  • Our group has no tolerance for harassment or for discrimination based on gender, race, sexual orientation, or religion.
  • Any conduct deemed to be offensive will be addressed as necessary per the Bylaws.
    • For a first offense, The Board may issue a warning.
    • Subsequent offenses may be cause for further disciplinary action per the Bylaws.
    • Extreme violations (e.g. violence, threats of violence, criminal acts) may result in immediate disciplinary action without a warning.


Columbia Gadget Works is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of people at our events or space in any form.

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recordings; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention.

People asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.


Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior may be reported by contacting The Board at