Code of Conduct

From Fat Cat Fab Lab

Our Community

Fat Cat Fab Lab (FCFL) is a volunteer-run makerspace in the heart of the West Village, NYC dedicated to classes, tools, and community. Fostering a strong and vibrant community at FCFL takes effort from everyone. While collaborating in the shared physical and digital spaces, it is important to be respectful and considerate of others and how our actions might impact them.

Respect the Space and Each Other

We are all here to make things and learn. Collaboration is important.

  • When you break something, own up to it. If you have any doubt about fixing it, ask for help.
  • Don't make someone feel bad for breaking things, help them remedy the issue and/or understand what went wrong.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions. Answer them kindly; eventually you'll have to ask for help too.
  • Please don’t sleep at the lab. Naps are fine, but using the space for overnight or extended sleeping arrangements is not permitted.
  • Feedback is a gift: Please be open to constructive feedback from fellow members, especially when it pertains to safe use of our equipment or disrespectful communications or behavior.

Slack, Email, and Digital Spaces

  • Code of Conduct applies to all FCFL digital spaces including but not limited to: Slack, email, Trello, our Wiki, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Be respectful of others in these spaces and realize that the tone and intent of messages can be easily misconstrued from behind the keyboard.
  • You should hold what you write down to a higher standard than you would in person.

Use of FCFL Internet & Networks

  • Do not use FCFL’s internet for any illegal activity, including streaming or torrenting copyrighted material.
  • Violating this policy may result in enforcement actions such as a temporary or permanent ban from FCFL as described later in this document.

Lab Security

  • Your FCFL membership and member keycard are non-transferable and are intended for the use of the person to which they are allocated in your membership agreement, only; they are not intended to provide access or use to other parties. If you lose or damage your keycard, please notify the Board of Directors team at as soon as possible.
  • You are not permitted to make copies of any keys, keycards or other means of entry to any FCFL space, or lend, share or transfer any keys or keycards to any third party, unless authorized by the Board of Directors in advance.
  • You are not permitted to enter the premises without using your keycard.

Diversity Statement

FCFL does not promote or discriminate against any person, population group, or organization with regard to categories protected by applicable United States law. These include, but are not limited to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, physical appearance, language, education background, religious beliefs, national origin or ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, and veteran status.

Discrimination or harassment will not be tolerated. FCFL prohibits discrimination against any individual on its premises, at FCFL hosted events, and in the digital spaces used by FCFL members and guests, including but not limited to Slack and email communications.

Harassment Policy

FCFL is dedicated to providing a harassment-free environment for everyone. FCFL prohibits harassment against any individual on its premises, at FCFL hosted events, and in the digital spaces used by FCFL members and guests, including but not limited to Slack and email communications.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of 'dead' or rejected names.
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person's lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
  • Deliberate intimidation or threats of violence.
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
  • Stalking, following, or logging online activity for harassment purposes.
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behavior in spaces where they're not appropriate.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention or comments, physical contact, or simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like "hug" or "backrub") without consent or after a request to stop.
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
  • Sharing private information without consent.
  • Unwanted photography or recording of persons or projects after a request to stop.
  • Continuous interruptions / disruptions after a request to stop.

Guests and Events

We encourage you to bring guests and host events that spread the word about Fat Cat Fab Lab!
Please see our Guests and Events page for details.

Reporting Complaints, Conflicts, and Violations of the Code of Conduct

The Formal Complaint Process

  • The formal complaint process exists for members to request a discussion be held by the Board of Directors regarding specific actions of another member. Members are expected to discuss their complaints in a calm and polite manner.
  • If you are being harassed by a member of FCFL, notice that someone else is being harassed, notice anyone being unsafe, or have any other concerns, please contact: Board of Directors at
  • The Board shall investigate all formal complaints made within 48 hours of the complaint at the above email address.
  • The Board may ask the all involved parties for a written statement to aid in the investigation of the incident and for documentation purposes.
  • The Board will determine the severity of the complaint and action necessary as outlined in Enforcement Actions.
  • If the person who is harassing you is on the Board of Directors, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident.

Ombudsman and Mediation

  • We appreciate that in some cases, a member will not feel comfortable raising an issue about another member through the Formal Complaint Process with the Board of Directors. We want all voices to be heard. FCFL will appoint a volunteer Ombudsman who will be identified to all Members in Slack and on the FCFL Wiki. This person will make themselves available in-person and on Slack to work with the Member towards a resolution with the offending Member, and/or escalate to the Board through the Formal Complaint Process.
  • No current member of the Board of Directors may serve as Ombudsman.

Scope of Reporting

  • This code of conduct applies to FCFL spaces, but if you are being harassed by a member of FCFL outside our spaces, we still want to know about it. We will take all good-faith reports of harassment by FCFL members seriously. This includes harassment outside our spaces and harassment that took place at any point in time.
  • The Board of Directors reserves the right to exclude people from FCFL membership and events for any reason.
  • We reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith. Reports intended to silence legitimate criticism may be deleted without response.


  • We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we've received complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of FCFL members or the general public. We will not name reporting individuals without their affirmative consent.

Enforcement Actions


  • It is the responsibility of each member to help enforce the Code of Conduct. If someone is violating the Code of Conduct politely explain to them why their behavior is not acceptable. Egregious violations should be reported to the Board of Directors following the procedure above in Reporting.
  • We are responsible for creating an environment where people feel safe to raise genuine concerns. We do not retaliate nor tolerate retaliation against anyone who raises questions or concerns in good faith about possible misconduct or violations of law — whether to us or to a government authority — or who assists in an investigation of such misconduct.

Harassment Enforcement & Consequences Policy

  • A person asked to stop any harassing behavior is expected to comply immediately.
  • If a person engages in harassing behavior on FCFL’s premises or in a FCFL digital space as defined above in the digital space section, the Board of Directors reserves the right to immediately ban the person from the FCFL premises and systems with a temporary or permanent ban depending on the severity of the offense.


  • The Board of Directors may temporarily suspend a member from the FCFL premises, online systems, or at sponsored events provided any of the following conditions are met:
The member:
  • Violates the Harrassment Policy outlined above
  • Presents a serious threat to health or safety
  • Engages in illegal or threatening behavior
  • Engages in any other behavior that presents a risk to the organization
  • The Board of Directors shall investigate the incident, with the minimum time to open investigation being the minimum meeting notice requirement defined in the FCFL Bylaws. If possible written statements from harassment victim(s) shall be collected for review.
  • The suspension will be for the shorter of: 30 days, the next scheduled Board Meeting, or a special Board meeting addressing the incident.
  • The member being suspended and the Board of Directors will be informed in writing as soon as possible. The member being suspended will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of the suspension outlining the steps to be taken to improve.
  • Upon reviewing reasonably complete details of the incident and believing a suspension to be in error, a Board member may revoke a suspension; the Board of Directors may also opt to rescind a suspension by resolution.

Permanent Ban

  • In some cases the initial offense is grave enough to merit immediate and permanent expulsion from FCFL member privileges. The determination of a permanent ban is at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors, after it has reviewed information and any provided written statements from impacted individuals.
  • A member shall be permanently banned after receiving 3 temporary suspensions (the third temporary suspension shall be considered permanent).
  • An individual who is permanently banned may never enter the premises.

Transparency of Actions

  • The Board of Directors will generate a synopsis of actions taken, to be included in the public minutes of each regularly scheduled board meeting. At the Board’s discretion, they may post a public announcement on Slack when taking an enforcement action. The report and/or announcements will typically be brief and factual, with no extraneous material.
  • If deemed appropriate, the team may choose to identify the offender by name in these reports. Harassment victims and reporting individuals will not be named without their affirmative consent.
  • People expelled from Fat Cat Fab Lab by the Board of Directors may be named on our Slack workspace, or our wiki, which is publicly available. Additionally, at the discretion of the Board of Directors, we may privately warn third parties (such as conventions, events and other makerspaces) about the person, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of Fat Cat Fab Lab members or the general public.