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Code of Conduct

OSHWA is dedicated to providing a harassment-free online and in-person community experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, age, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment in any form on any OSHWA platform, including mailing lists, forums, comments, venues and anywhere else you interact with OSHWA hosted space, online or in-person, private or public. 

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please email the OSHWA Executive Director, or Community Coordinator immediately.  If your concerns pertain to the Open Hardware Summit, you may email the Summit Chair at A team member or board member will discuss how to support you, and plan what actions need to be taken by OSHWA in response. People who may be involved with resolving the issues are as follows: Executive Director of OSHWA, Community Coordinator of OSHWA, a conduct panel from the OSHWA board, and if necessary, the OSHWA board (the whole board may be presented with an anonymous report). You only need to email one person. We will respect confidentiality requests including who else sees your email, for the purpose of protecting victims to the best of our ability. 


OSHWA observes “triple notification” — that is, for violations of the Code of Conduct, three parties should ideally be informed by members of the Conduct Committee:

  1. The offender
  2. All members of OSHWA’s board and staff (so moderation doesn’t happen twice, or so sanctioned people are not sidebar-ing with another staff/board member), which may be presented anonymously. If your issue is with a board or staff member, you may ask that your issue be presented anonymously. 
  3. OSHWA may choose to involve the public and other participants, but only if it is safe for the participant for OSHWA to do so and the participant has given consent and has reviewed the statement fully before it is made. 
  4. Someone from OSHWA will be in contact. We are not a law enforcement agency; if this is an emergency or you are not safe, please contact an agency that can assist.

Examples of Inappropriate Behavior and Harassment

  • Offensive comments, insults, jokes or ridicule related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion.
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behavior in spaces where they are not appropriate, unwelcome physical contact, or unwelcome sexual attention or advances. 
  • Unless specifically agreed upon in advance (by emailing or, if pertaining to the Open Hardware Summit,, explicit or graphic language and imagery is generally not appropriate for our platforms.
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.
  • Trolling, spamming, flaming, yelling at people or “yelling” at people by using all caps in an aggressive manner on online mediums. 
  • Threats of violence, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following.
  • Unwanted photography or recording.
  • Publishing others’ private information, such as a physical address, without permission.
  • Creating additional online accounts in order to harass another person or circumvent a ban.
  • Sustained disruption after being asked to stop either by community members or OSHWA staff.
  • Harassment in any form.
  • Other conduct that is inappropriate for a professional audience composed of people from many different backgrounds. Please keep in mind that some things you may not find offensive, may be offensive to others. We will try to work with all parties if there is a misunderstanding.

Good Faith

OSHWA prioritizes the safety of marginalized people over the comfort of privileged people. OSHWA will not act on complaints regarding:

  • ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
  • Refusal to explain or debate social justice concepts
  • Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial
  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions

Weapons Policy 

No weapons are allowed at physical OSHWA events. Weapons include but are not limited to explosives (including fireworks), guns, and large knives such as those used for hunting or display, as well as any other item used for the purpose of causing injury or harm to others. Anyone seen in possession of one of these items will be asked to leave immediately, and will only be allowed to return without the weapon.

Covid Policy
We have many members of our community we want to keep safe! With that in mind, masking during this event is strongly encouraged. Please consider wearing a KN95 or better. We will have a limited amount of masks and rapid tests available so please plan accordingly. Also, we ask that you stay conscious of your travel path and any COVID hotspots you may move through, and test before the event if it makes sense for you.

For your consideration, there will be eating and drinking happening at this event. Students and staff will also be present in the building.

We will also have wearable stickers for anyone who has a preference for being masked around, to help communicate that preference. Please keep an eye out for that system.

If you are unmasked, please try to check with the comfort level of the people around you before being in close quarters.


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 harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of OSHWA members or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.


Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing behavior, OSHWA may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including asking for a correction of behavior, a verbal warning, a written warning, and/or expulsion from all OSHWA spaces, temporary or permanent, and identification of the participant as a harasser to other OSHWA members or the general public. Decisions to involve law enforcement will involve the victim. The consequences will be determined on a case-by-case basis. 


Our Code of Conduct stems largely from the Geek Feminism Community CoC toolkit, which is available in the public domain. And from the ROS Code of Conduct, which has a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license.

The OSHWA Code of Conduct can be shared with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license.