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Needs and Concerns

Here is a list of specific needs and concerns about access to the space, including the general public. There may include analysis, reflection, and potential responses:

From david brazil's "open to the public" manifesto

  • Need to establish a framework now, before we are "open to the public" and before it may become a problem.


  • Hours should be fixed, e.g. 12noon - 6pm, 7 days a week
  • Hours should be extended as exceptions, e.g. for special events held at special hours
  • DK: Staffing and hours should be differentiated
  • MS: Rectify hours with Welcoming committee "door shifts": 10am-2pm, 2pm-6pm, 6pm-10pm

public areas

  • What does "public area" mean?
    • DK: Concerns include:
      • what it means legally to be "open to the public"
      • the use of terms "public area" conflicts with specific uses and zoning for areas, e.g. the basement
      • Areas that are "unstaffed" should not be called "Public" or "Open"
  • Public Areas should be:
    • La Commune
    • the basement
    • the upstairs kitchen and hallway
    • the upstairs den and ballroom


  • In order to be open to the public, Omni Commons should be staffed.
    • Any "staff" should actually be volunteers, namely from member collectives.
    • Staffing requirements should pertain to a member collective's status (as a member), as well as size.
    • Staffing exists to address crime and antisocial behavior, related to being open to the general public.
    • Any discrete major area / room within Omni deemed 'open' or 'public' should be staffed in order for it to be considered 'open' or 'public', except:
      • A member can use 'open' or 'public' areas when unstaffed
      • A guest of a member can use 'open' or 'public' areas as long as the member hosting the guest is physically present with them in that room (or area).
  • Omni Commons should have open hours
    • If there are open hours, then Omni Commons should be staffed for those open hours.
  • La Commune, as the primary entrance to the Omni Commons, is the most important location to be staffed for any open hours.
  • There should be opening and closing procedures, which may include participation from La Commune members
  • The Welcoming Committee should coordinate any volunteer staffing.

ground rules

  • The Omni should have clear and posted rules
    • Rules should pertain to what is not permitted in the space, which should include:
      • NO DRUGS
      • NO STORAGE
      • NO THREATS
    • Signs should be posted in prominent posts at each entrance, in the bathrooms, and in other places as appropriate
    • Signs should be direct, and clear.
    • We have to implement rules.
  • Regardless of intent, we have to handle harmful or hurtful behavior with compassion and love.


  • If there are ground rules,
    • Members of the general public may be required to leave for violation of the ground rules.
    • Volunteer staff will be expected and prepared to expel, at their discretion.
    • Expulsions may be appealed to a conflict resolution group
    • Reasons to expel people include:
      • violations of the ground rules
      • good judgment of the volunteer staff
  • Omni Commons reserves the right to refuse service to anyone, for any reason, at any time.
  • Volunteer staff should have greater liberties and discretion in terms of expulsion, than the average omni commons member with respect to existing policies.


  • Bathrooms are an essential element of the Omni Commons
  • Access to bathrooms is a human rights issue.
  • It is integral that our bathrooms remain functional
  • Issues of safety and comfort in the space extend to the bathrooms
  • Bathrooms with individual stalls do not need to be locked.
  • Bathrooms without stalls should be close-able.
  • If any bathrooms are locked, volunteer staff and others should be able to readily access a key to unlock such bathrooms.

after-hours access

From the Welcoming Committee