Some positive and nuanced feedback from our members

Wanted to share this mostly with our @board and @safety team, but also glad to share with interested members. These comments came from the community poll which @valerie put together and sent out at the board’s request, and offers a number of distinct (and many positive) responses to requests for feedback during this time, from different kinds of members with different kinds of needs.
We’ve heard a few loud objections to initial shut down and staggered re-open. Loud, public call-outs or flame-wars trigger the limbic system – Danger, conflict! Danger! – and actually put us in a pattern of noticing those voices first and remembering them best, so evolutionarily we avoid them/avoid making them angry in the future – but there are in fact a lot of other quieter ways in which people are offering feedback, and we want to take the time to acknowledge that and offer gratitude for your presence, your commitment to the space, and your consideration in offering thoughtful feedback. @Valerie, please add further as you wish – there may be more to share.

My aim here is to offer a bit of balance, to encourage and give props to those helping with the reopen process, and to share a number of heartening responses that we received from our members who took the survey. Thank you.

  1. “I think it has been handled well. I think you have helped maintain the safety and health of our community, but also seem sensitive to the fact that some people need the space mentally or financially.”
  2. “Overall, I think the board did a great job; and was proactive in a time of crisis.”
  3. “I think the space did what was necessary to protect members. I do believe that as long as everyone plays by the rules, or can be reported to an attentive administration when not, the space could be utilized during a cautious transition period toward complete re-opening.”
  4. “Well handled. Quite pleased with the work being done by most members of the current board.”
  5. “The response seems to have been well thought out, taking into consideration the needs of individuals, our community, and ATXHS”
  6. “You have done well threading the political/media hype around this issue.”
  7. “I think you did everything right. This is such an unprecedented time and I think following the county guidelines was the right thing to do.”
  8. “I appreciated the frank and frequent feedback on what the board was talking about (especially about financial concerns).”
  9. “I like that the board has attempted to engage both safety concerns and building community in response to COVID-19”
  10. “They did a great job”
  11. “I do wish that the space had been able to remain open during this weird time, even with restricted access. I hope that one of the things that comes out of this is a way for the space to remain open (restricted or not) if/when large social events like this happen. Something a bit more sophisticated than just a spreadsheet/calendar.”
  12. “I feel the board acted responsibly.”
  13. “I believe it was handled well.”
  14. “I’m still nervous about opening up even if everyone is committed to wearing N95 masks or better. One thing that might help is normalizing calling out even transient unsafe behavior (like taking off a mask to eat/drink something or not disinfecting stuff). It needs to be easy to hold people accountable since we’re all rule breakers to some degree.”
  15. “i think the board has acted responsibly and admirably. keep it up…”
  16. “I think you guys are frequently criticized unfairly about how you run ATXHS.”
  17. “I appreciate the level of communication and effort to put into maintaining the sense of community during the closure. I hope that a strategy focused on everyone’s safety can be devised and we can begin to use the space again soon!”
  18. “I think the board is doing well with the handling 0f COVD-19. Communication with the membership has been well done, I believe that we only seen the first round of this virus and that it rebound sooner or later this year and what is done in the next couple of weeks at the space is important. Thanks for holding the focus for the decisions that will come.”
  19. “High Fives!”
  20. “well done”
  21. “Good Job”
  22. “I strongly approve the boards decisions regarding response to this Covid-19.”
  23. “While i would have loved to have been able to work at the space during the extra time that i suddenly had on my hands due to the Covid situation, I think ultimately shutting down the space was the most responsible thing to do. I look forward to when the space is open back up to full capacity.”
  24. “Well done.”
  25. “I’m wary of the space reopening this early, but restricting interaction/occupancy seems to be the best way to do it.”
  26. “Seems like the board is doing the best they can with the current situation.”
  27. “When we talk about partial re-opening, there are some spaces that are easier to sanitize than others. I worry about the woodshop area – anyone working in there is going to be touching all over the place… it’s the nature of woodwork. The lasers and printers areas are much more well defined: “I am working here and using this specific set of surfaces.” I wish that “partial reopen” was discussed separately for these two regions. I want access to both, but I think they have different requirements.”
  28. “Keep up the good work. It’s hard to deal with conflict and all the craziness that has been going on in the world. I’m excited to return whenever possible.”
  29. “Excellent”
  30. “I’ve been impressed with the spirit of the members handling all these changes and participating making community masks and the like. My wife and I are in an “at risk” category so I have not been in a position to participate more.”
  31. “I appreciate the regular updates and am proud to be part of a community that stepped up to the plate in a crisis.”
  32. “Fantastic work dealing will all this complicated stuff!”
  33. “I appreciate that you had the foresight to close before many realized how serious the situation was.”
  34. “I think that actions and measures the Board has taken to keep everyone safe has been wonderful.”
  35. “I would ask the Board to consider asking that members are given the personal responsibility of NOT entering the space if they have runny nose, fever, loss of smell or taste, are coughing or short of breath, or otherwise think they may have SARS-COV2 or if they think they have been in contact with anyone in past 14 days known to have the condition. Furthermore, I hope the guiding body and board at ATXHS would be willing to ask all people take their temperature and not enter the space if it is elevated. I believe the ATXHS Board should advise people with diabetes, hypertension heart disease and those older than 65 to be responsible for protecting themselves, as far as possible, (perhaps by continuing self quarantine and by not exposing themselves if possible), but ultimately I would prefer it if people were able to choose for themselves (the vulnerable do not harm anyone else, other than themselves, but simply put themselves at risk). I would like to see that the BOARD ask everyone to agree to spray down and wipe off equipment they have used. I would feel safer if people were required to wear mask or face covering while in the space. Anyone using the bathrooms should wipe down the handles and seats, and of course wash hands. (Because there is some evidence for fecal-oral spread of the virus) Having said that, I feel that, with precautions in place, the risk to members is relatively low, and the benefit of being able to work and earn some living can be substantial, (nt to mention the mental health benefits). If high risk individuals self exclude themselves, I believe the benefit of cautious re-opening is high, compared to a relatively low risk This COVID problem will not go away until we have herd immunity (>60% of the population immune either through infection or immunization- if that ever happens)- (and assuming infection imparts immunity). So I believe the time horizon for this epidemic is much longer than just a few months. Members at ATXHS and the BOARD should recognize the existential threat to ATXHS with recurrent closures. I expect with the wise Board members, whose actions have been exemplary thus far, will continue to make wise decisions.”
  36. “I think being cautious is the way to go. Ultimately it is a space that people will use at their own will, so reopening with revamped safety guidelines is the smart move moving forward. Follow the rules on distancing and PPE, and we should be fine. Reassess after a few weeks and adjust as necessary, but moving towards reopening so that members can see the value from their dues.”
  37. “I feel the actions taken were necessary”
  38. “I genuinely appreciate the decisions and effort made by all those involved since 3/14. I also appreciate the regular updates that have been sent out. I also understand the space may close again if a second wave of COVID 19 occurs, and I hope there are discussions around how to react in that case. I want to see the space thrive long into the future, and I FULLY understand we all may need to take a step back from the space again, just like we have this past 7 weeks. Thanks again to all y’all have done. I love being a member of this space and hope to for many, many more years to come!”
  39. “I think you did all right”
  40. “I think this survey was an excellent step forward, and limited reopening is a great first step towards a new normal. I work in manufacturing and we have taken several of the steps you are outlining.”
  41. “Two other suggestions that we use at our company would be 1) instruct members given access to take their temperatures before heading to the space. If you have a fever 100.4+ stay away and take care of yourself. You may not have Covid-19, but you are sick. 2) make sure there is a central communication route for alerting members of a suspected positive case if they were working in the same space. The latter may be easier said than done, but could be based on card access or the block schedule of access.”
  42. “I think the response and communication has been appropriate. While I was hoping to have the shop available to continue my project, I totally agree with the direction to be safe. My hobby project can wait, and I have found plenty of things to work on while at home.”
  43. “I think you’ve done a great job closing when you did and letting those working on PPE have limited access. I am very concerned that Texas in general and Austin in particular is reopening too soon. None of the data hints that we’ve reached a peak and I feel we are setting ourselves up for a world of hurt. That said I understand many need to get back to work. For now, I’ll be staying home unless I land a job for which I absolutely have to use ATXHS.”
  44. “Stay the course and listen to the medical experts, don’t be aggressive about re-opening”
  45. “I think the action taken to close the space was understandable given it was what everyone was doing at the time, even tho I didn’t like it at the time. I think the board has deliberated and considered their choices during this time well, generally speaking, and has communicated well with members. Thank you for your outreach and consideration.”
  46. “I think the board has done a wonderful job of stepping up and being proactive. I feel our volunteer board has done a better job than many organizations that have people in paid positions of equal clout.”
  47. “Y’all are awesome.”
  48. “I really appreciate you giving safety a priority during these times and allowing for this reopening in a smart way.”
  49. “I don’t envy the board and owners position of trying to balance the costs, economic, mental and happiness against the costs of causing additional illness and death. Especially when the data to quantitatively understand the dangers is unknown or unavailable. Plus the we have a stigma/negative moral response to monetizing the value of human life. I’d still recommend a sanitation procedures class be required, no one is forces to take the more expensive class and sign the contract for fines in order to have access.”
  50. “Thanks for your time for running things. If the limited slots is a function of having a ‘Responsible Party’ on-site, I’d volunteer time to be more for that role.”

From Freshbooks Tickets:
51. Regrets on a cancellation: “I was planning on maintaining membership during the covid madness since it sounds like you all will be doing some good work. Thanks for your understanding and for providing such great services.”
52. “You guys are great!!!”
53. “I won’t feel safe using the space until after the pandemic is over (even with the new rules). I wish you the best, please don’t give in to the jokers who want to loosen the restrictions.”
54. “I do not feel particularly safe in the space with Covid19 and although I would like to continue to support the community with a monthly membership it has come time for me to cancel if I am not using the facility.”

In person:
“Skedda is a really professional system, maybe we could use it moving forward.”
“I appreciate you being careful, I’m an older person and my daughter just had a baby, I see the work you’ve put in and this makes me want to get more involved in the space.”


Love this! Thanks!


Thanks for sharing this @kye! We’ve gotten a lot more feedback along these lines via direct messages, but sharing this bit here is one easy way we can help members understand the perspective we are working from with info that is shared directly with us and is thus not otherwise accessible to the membership at large.

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This is so good to hear.

I am amazed to see that there were so many people fill out that part of the survey.