use of the commonhouse
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998 09:33:09 -0500
You may find, depending on the resource, that the commonhouse is a very
coveted space. Some places have very little in the way of public available
meeting space and your choice, custom designed space is a goldmine!

A yes, members who are part of organizations will want to open it up to
their organization. And yes, people will want to have private parties, and
yes, if you don't communicate this, people will be annoyed or get their
feelings hurt.

Some general advise about making policies: keep them as simple as you can.
There are folks in most groups who want very detailed, sublevel paragraph
type of rules for all situations. In my experience, such things seldom work,
are quickly abandoned because the complexity is too difficult to remember.

If you can't easily quote it from memory and have to look it up, it will
eventually fall into disuse because the papers will disappear over time and
distance, and it will not be transmitted to new people. Especially things
which are not regular patterns. And people will also misremember things
(sometimes on purpose)

So make your first commonhouse rules simple and easy, and then add
complexity, only if you need to.

Here are the Sharingwood Commonhouse rules as I remember them, and in my
1. Private parties are allowed. Users must clean the place up to the
satisfaction of the commonhouse committee. Sign up on the large events
calendar in the commonhouse.
2. If you are going to hold a fund raising event in the commonhouse, you
will need to pay a fee, otherwise use is free. (the fee is written on the
document on the bulletin board that describes the rules of use so if I need
to look it up, I know where it is)
3. Parking is an issue - if you have an event you need to keep the parking
under control.
4. Outside groups can use the commonhouse only if a member of the community
is part of the group and is present.

Pretty basic rules, easy to remember (at least for me)

Rob Sandelin

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