On Tuesday, June 15th, Ace held a virtual town hall meeting to discuss a couple of things about Ace’s near future. I had the pleasure of attending this meeting so that I could report on what went down.
A lot of the meeting had to do with dealing with a new, not quite pandemic but not the post-pandemic environment. With Ace’s membership numbers slowly going up to pre-pandemic levels, there were a lot of clarifying questions about relaxing old protocols such as key fobbing and stricter counting of how many people are in a room. Rachel Crafty, Ace’s executive director, asked for input on the new system for keeping track of who’s in the building. This system is called the booking system, and it allows members to claim time in certain workspaces and also see who else is going to be there at what times. Even though this is essentially a more refined version of typing a message in Slack, a couple of things still needed to be sorted such as who has access to older data and how user privacy should be protected.
There was a lot of talk about how masking protocol and vaccination should be considered in a time where both are inconsistent and hard to measure. Ace uses surveys and protocols to keep an eye on these things, however, some meeting attendees thought it would be best if this data was made public. That way, both instructors and members alike could have more information about who they were with and how careful they would need to be. This discussion was eventually tabled after a lot of discourse didn’t result in a clear answer. The newly reopened guest policy was also a topic of discussion, more specifically how member policy and guidelines should apply to the guests they bring. It was eventually determined that the member who brings in the guest is responsible for whatever their guest does during their time at Ace.
The final minutes of the meeting were spent talking about the co-working space at Ace. 15 months ago, the space was reconfigured to make it more COVID protocol friendly, but nowadays it’s more awkward than helpful. Ace is planning to introduce a “rent-a-desk” program, where people outside the Ace community can rent a desk at the Ace building and use it as a personal workspace. Co-working is the ideal place for this program, but at the moment it’s at a weird spot. Besides the obvious rearranging of desks, a few attendees suggested adding lockboxes to the rented desks to guarantee some more privacy to those renting the desks. What privileges these renters should have relative to members was also discussed. It was eventually decided that renters should have similar abilities to members and should be valued at the same level. Ace at the moment wants to diversify who comes to their space, and this desk renting program is part of that plan. It will hopefully get the renters interested in the tooling at Ace, and the members interested in the working space at Ace that will offer a fresh alternative to the year of at-home work we’ve been doing.
Hopefully, you’ve learned a little more about what’s going on behind the scenes at Ace.