Rules and Guidelines

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The Standing Rules

These are the policies under which we operate. Guests must follow by these guidelines, even if they are unknown - they will be made aware of any mistakes, and if they refuse to abide by them they will be asked to leave. Members agree to follow these rules and those in the Member Handbook at all times upon signing the Membership Form. These policies may be modified by the Board of Directors or Operations Committee at any point through due process.


It is the responsibility of the members and guests to come to amicable agreements of disputes over tools, space or other shop resources.

No sleeping / living in the space. (Brief naps are okay if done safely in an appropriate place.)

Members must be at least 13 years of age.

  • Members under the age of 18 are considered "Youth Members" and must have a liability waiver form signed by a parent on file, and must have a member (which may be their parent) present whenever they are at the MakerSpace facility.
  • Members under the age of 16 must have a parent and a member present. (Again, the parent may be that member.)

Open photography and audio/video recording may occur at the space. These photos and recordings may be used to promote Rockford MakerSpace or for other purposes without requiring explicit approval of, or compensation to, members, guests or visitors. Surreptitious photography and/or audio/video recording of individuals without their consent is forbidden.

IT Equipment (computers, servers, networking equipment and infrastructure, access control systems, security systems, etc) falls under the jurisdiction of the IT Area lead by the Area Captains. Tampering with, modifying, or unauthorized use of these systems will result in disciplinary action as determined by the Operations Committee.

Members are encouraged to help us improve the space. With that in mind, any changes to the building infrastructure (such as electrical, networking, plumbing, etc.) must be approved by the Operations Committee prior to work beginning.

Code of Conduct

In order to keep things civil and respectful, the Board of Directors and Operations Committee have adopted the following guidelines for conduct in the facility, and for discussions on the message boards and other social media:

  • Treat others as you would like to be treated.
  • Keep criticism constructive.
  • Refrain from name-calling or derogatory statements.
  • Do not discriminate based on gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, profession, etc.
  • Do not harass:
    • Harassment includes offensive verbal comments or actions related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, unwanted photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
    • People asked to stop any harassing behavior must comply immediately.
  • Any conduct that the Board or Operations Committee determines to be offensive will be addressed and acted upon as needed.
    • On a first offense, the Board or Operations Committee will issue a warning.
    • Subsequent offenses may be cause for further disciplinary action per the By-Laws.
  • Any member who damages equipment, premises or the reputation of Rockford MakerSpace may be disciplined by the Operations Committee, including, but not limited to, probation, fines or expulsion.


Safety is the top responsibility of every member and guest.

  • All members and guests are required to use appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • It is the responsibility of every member and guest to understand the safe use of any tool or equipment before using it.
  •  Red-tag  tools are for member-use only, and require a class or personal instruction by the Area Captain before use.
  •  Yellow-tag  tools require a proficiency checkout from the Area Captain before use.
  • Members or guests in an affected work area should be made aware of safety rules if they are not following them (a request to put on safety equipment or relocate to avoid breathing fumes, etc).
  • Members must not allow unsafe practices by any guest or other member - it is their responsibility to speak up.
  • Access to the roof is restricted to authorized personnel, and only on an as-needed basis.
  • Access to the elevator is restricted to authorized personnel, and only on an as-needed basis.


Any guest must be hosted by a member, whether this is a personal guest or random visitor. If the hosting member needs to leave, they must pass off their responsibility as host to another member, or ask the guest(s) to leave. No member is under obligation to host guests. In all cases, the member(s) hosting one or more guests are responsible for:

  • Verifying that each guest has a signed waiver on file as they enter
  • Verifying that each guest has signed in
  • Making sure guests understand the guidelines under which we operate
  • Cleaning up after guests if they fail to do it themselves

If any of the following are true, the person is not allowed in the space and must leave:

  • The person is a minor and a parent/guardian of the guest is not present or is present but has not filled out the Minor Liability Waiver on his or her behalf
  • A member or guest behaving inappropriately (including but not limited to violation of these rules or the bylaws) may be asked to leave by another member. In case of a dispute in the matter, any Board member or Area Captain may mediate.

Weather Closures

Classes, meetups or other events will follow Rockford Public School District 205 regarding cancellations due to inclement weather. When possible, we will notify expected attendees via our usual communication channels (Slack, Meetup, social media, etc.).

The space will not be "closed" to members due to inclement weather, but members should use good judgment during bad weather situations, and visit the space at their own risk.

Food and Beverage

  • Food and beverage rules are established for each area by the Area Captain.
  • Food and beverage rules for events are specific to the event and are established by the event leader in conjunction with the appropriate Area Captain and/or the Operations Committee.

Smoking & Vaping Policy

Smoking and vaping are prohibited at Rockford MakerSpace or official RMS events

Alcohol & Drug Policy

  • Events welcoming alcohol should state so in the event description (i.e. BYOB) and be approved by the Operations Committee.
  • Anyone consuming alcohol must be 21 or older.
  • Once someone consumes alcohol they are prohibited from using power tools.
  • Recreational drug use is prohibited at Rockford MakerSpace and official RMS events.
  • Anyone found to be impaired at Rockford MakerSpace or official RMS events may be ejected from the space.

Weapons Policy

Rockford MakerSpace is a "gun-free" zone. No firearms are to be brought onto the premises except by bona fide members of a city, county, state or federal law enforcement agency.

Pet Policy

In order to ensure the safety of all our members, guests and visitors, as well as their pets, pets and other animals are not allowed on the premises unless authorized in advance by the Operations Committee.


Monetary donations

We will gladly accept monetary donations. We are a 501(c)(3) corporation, so your donations may be tax-deductible.

  • PayPal users can make a one-time donation, or set up recurring monthly donations using this link. Note: Members should not pay membership dues this way.
  • Members or non-members may make monetary donations by business or personal check or money order made payable to “Rockford MakerSpace” and mailed or delivered to Rockford MakerSpace c/o TAC, 304 N Main St, Rockford IL 61101.

Non-monetary donations

We will also gladly accept donations of most approved tools or equipment, consumables, etc. Please contact us before dropping off non-monetary donations to verify that we are able to use the donated item(s).

No-cost donations

Here are some ways you can donate to Rockford MakerSpace at no cost to you:

  • Amazon Smile - Rockford MakerSpace can receive a portion of your spending on Amazon at no additional cost to you. Just sign up for the Amazon Smile program and choose "Rockford MakerSpace" as the recipient of your generosity.
  • "Spring cleaning" - Are you trying to reduce clutter in your life? Contact us! We often welcome everything from outdated computers to unused paper towels. from office supplies to darkroom supplies, and so on. Check our Wish List to see things we're looking for, but even if what you've got isn't on our list, we may still welcome it.

Remember: We are a 501(c)(3) corporation, so your donations may be tax-deductible.


If necessary, any member, though preferably with the assistance of a Board member, Operations Committee member or Area Captain, may temporarily eject a member or guest from the space in order to resolve any immediate health, safety, or harassment issues.


The Board may vote to temporarily or permanently ban from Rockford MakerSpace's premises and mailing lists any person who:

  • harasses or threatens Rockford MakerSpace members,
  • is caught trespassing on Rockford MakerSpace's premises,
  • engages in criminal conduct while on Rockford MakerSpace’s premises,
  • is found in violation of Rockford MakerSpace policy two or more times, or
  • commits any offense determined to be valid by a 2/3rds majority vote of either the Board or Operations Committee.

The Board or Operations Committee must define the term of the ban in its discussion and vote. The Board or Operations Committee may ban any person regardless of membership status with a 2/3rds majority vote of the Board, or a 2/3rds majority vote of the Operations Committee at a scheduled monthly meeting, or by a majority vote of the Operations Committee by Slack poll (within a 48-hour response time).

All banned people shall be listed on Rockford MakerSpace Wiki with their name, picture, reason for their ban, the date their ban went into effect, and the timeframe of their ban. This wiki page will also be printed and posted next to the membership board in Rockford MakerSpace shop. Any member that encounters a banned person should report it to Rockford MakerSpace Board immediately. The Board reserves the right to refer any banned persons on the premises to law enforcement.

This document was approved by the Rockford MakerSpace Operations Committee on 12 June 2017 with subsequent amendments.