Academic Center Space Policies

The Olin lab and shop spaces in the Academic Center are an important part of our community. They provide opportunities for students to bring ideas to fruition and assist with academic learning. Olin has three machine shops; the Main Shop (AC104-107), the Mini Shop (AC108) and the Wood Shop (AC207), plus four labs on the 4th floor (AC404, 406, 409, 413), the large project building, and the electrical engineering prototyping facility (AC329).  In addition, there are numerous smaller facilities for fabrication and testing across campus.  The machine shops located in AC104-107 close at 5:00 PM when the instructors and staff leave. Additional rules regarding access may be in place for particular equipment and processes in other labs or shops.  Staff and faculty have traditionally permitted student access to the mini and wood shop past 5pm, but this privilege is not granted lightly.  

These privileges come with significant responsibilities. The entire Olin community must adhere to, and help ensure that others are also following, the rules regarding lab and fabrication space usage. These are the main rules for a safe working environment for the entire community, but be sure to check each individual space for unique rules or policies prior to use.

Access to the labs and shops only works when the entire community abides by these rules. If there are issues that arise the College will review access to the labs and shops after 5:00pm.

Stewardship for Olin Shared Spaces

There are numerous spaces available for you to work on projects at Olin, such as the library, that are equipped with many different tools and resources. The spaces themselves are incredible resources for our community and they require stewardship from all of us to keep them accessible and safe for all community members and visitors. Please be thoughtful in your actions. If you have questions about a piece of equipment or about the project you’re working on, please ask. There is a wealth of experience at Olin and we are here to help you!

  1. Keep your project materials in  designated spaces. We need to keep hallways clear for fire code reasons, and the rest of the space clear for being-a-good-neighbor reasons. Do not annex surrounding space. If you leave items behind, label them with your name, date, and the best way to contact you.
  2. Keep your space open and presentable. Tours of prospective students and other visitors walk around Olin everyday so please keep your project space presentable and safe for those passing by.  Please avoid putting up barriers or aggressive notes between spaces. Public project space is available in the spirit of collaboration--“working in public”--not creating cubicles in hallways or other spaces. If your project materials require privacy, please consider finding a private space for storing your things.
  3. Do not commandeer public resources. This includes not removing common space tables and chairs from the spaces as well as leaving project materials in a very public common area for an extended period of time. If there’s something that you need and can’t procure it yourself, reach out to staff or faculty responsible for the space.
  4. If you need to borrow tools, email that you are borrowing it and always return promptly. Do not ‘borrow’ tools from the shop/labs/spaces and then keep them indefinitely. We want everyone to have access to the tools they need to complete a project
  5. Report broken/damaged tools and equipment to the appropriate instructor/staff/faculty as soon as possible.  We understand that sometimes things break, but we can’t repair or replace a broken or worn tool if we don’t know about it. Please let one of the faculty or staff in the space know immediately so we can replace it.
  6. Protect yourself and others. Don’t do any work in public spaces that requires safety glasses. Any powered tools require safety glasses. If you need to wear safety glasses, everyone around in a 10 ft. radius you should be too. It’s not reasonable to expect that anyone and everyone walking down the hall or other public spaces will be wearing safety glasses.
  7. Help others be safe.  If you see something that might be unsafe, say something. Help others see how things might go wrong, or how things could be done more safely. Try to do this in a kind and supportive manner, not an antagonistic or aggressive or controlling manner.  We’re all trying to learn here, so let’s help each other.
  8. Clean up your mess, and put your tools and materials away when you are done.

A clean space is a safe space for all.