Code Of Conduct

Space to brainstorm about what should be in our code of conduct.

Some of these ideas were taken from the old wiki.

There was discussion about an in-shop code of conduct at the Feb 25 general meeting.

A code of conduct for the shop is a set of guidelines and expectations for how people should behave in the shop. Having a sign with these guidelines would reduce common annoyances and make transgressions easier to define.

  • Keep Free Ride a safe space
    • Something about personal privacy and harassment
  • Don’t take tools away from other people; let them make mistakes
  • Don’t interrupt staffers if they are working with someone else, even if it’s a ‘little’ question. We need a way to make sure that people who have a need are noticed eventually

Do we need similar guidelines for meetings, for emails and for the wiki? This would aid conflict resolution, as mentioned at the Feb 25 meeting.

External Resources, Models and Examples

University of Pittsburgh Discrimination and Harassment Policy

A lot of these policies are worded in business-only ways, but UPitt’s seem like they could lend themselves really well to adaptation to our purposes.

  • Nondiscrimination
  • Anti-Harassment
    • This one is especially amazing, in its entirety. – Alicia
  • Sexual Harassment
    • “It is also a violation of the University of Pittsburgh’s policy against sexual harassment for any employee or student at the University of Pittsburgh to attempt in any way to retaliate against a person who makes a claim of sexual harassment.” Badass! – Alicia

Ethics Resource Center

  • ERM Common Ethic Code Provisions
    • If yinz like, I can turn this into a doodle poll so we can vote on what we want to include and what we don’t. – Alicia
  • Lessons Learned
  • Trends in Misconduct Reporting (download PDF)
    • This study indicates that the majority of misconduct reports are submitted to immediate supervisors – that means the staffers on duty and/or fellow volunteers/council members. This means everyone staffing must know what the first step is in addressing reports of misconduct. – Alicia

Other Bike Collectives

Language developed by Caroline under the initiative to have more signs in the shop, Winter 2010:


Free Ride is a community of volunteers unified around and committed to this mission statement.

Free Ride as a community does not tolerate oppressive language or behavior of any kind, in our shop or in our collective.

THIS SHOP IS A SAFE SPACE! What this means:
Don’t “hit on” anybody.
Don’t make derogatory jokes or comments regarding someone’s race, gender, class, age, orientation, religion or ability.
Don’t try to intimidate others or make others feel foolish.
Don’t discourage anyone by mocking their bicycle or their ability.
Don’t make assumptions about anyone’s abilities as a mechanic.
Don’t take tools out of anyone else’s hands.

DO provide help to your neighbors when asked for help! DO ask if someone would like your help, and if so, how. Be respectful of their response. DO tell people what you need and ask for help. DO encourage one another to individual ability.

Everyone who uses Free Ride’s space and resources MUST uphold these values. Anyone using Free Ride who feels uncomfortable by someone else’s behavior has the right to address that behavior, independently or by requesting formal action from Free Ride staffers or the collective.

If someone feels that your behavior or language is inappropriate, volunteer staffers reserve the right to ask you to leave. If this happens to you, please take the opportunity to try to listen and understand how the conflict arose, and consider modifying your behavior for next time.

Enforcing this policy is how we keep Free Ride a safe, encouraging, and fun learning environment for EVERYONE. Thank you for helping us achieve this mission!

Document presented in March

Please see the word document for the draft of official wording that is being worked into policy

Comments on the above document can be made at that page.


I like the advice that is given in they Bike Church handbook section on ministry ethics .

We could include some of that in our code of conduct.


Discussed at retreat – this section to be updated.


“Don’t dominate space or conversation.”

There’s a lot of interesting stuff in the Bike Church link!


I would like the code of conduct to include a clear indication that the people, space, tools, bikes and policies should be respected and not abused.

I feel like that extremely general statement would allow me to explain why throwing wrenches across the room is not allowed, why taking wheels and parts off of bikes is not allowed, why we can’t just give away bikes for free, why the greeter has authority in the shop, etc.

Also, see comments on the page:


I like Will’s suggestion. Should that be part of the contract card?


@Carmen – If it fits, I say yes!


Should fit just fine.

Carmen and I are working on getting those signs that Caroline felt were finalized printed soon. This one we’ll hold off, but assuming the others are OK and this one gets consensified, we’ll have in time for shop opening on 3/7.

On the topic of the cards, does anyone know who we used to print member cards in the past?


I think the member cards were ordered from vistaprint.


I posted the mockup of the card from the last meeting to those notes. Here is a link to a more final version of the contract card. I placed the current season on here in case we decide we want to do something about seasons. I also made a guest card since we will need guests to sign something equivalent, right? Maybe that’s their temporary card til they have their hours…

For discussion at next meeting…


Maybe the guest card is printed on plain paper in b/w instead of cardstock to save money.


Quote from meeting minutes 2/17/11:

“We don’t want to exclude people, we want to exclude behavior.”

I personally love this line, and hope it can somehow be worked into the code of conduct!