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Memo: Coral enable policies ....

Original Message --------

Subject: Reiteration of SNF equipment enable and capping policies ....
Date: Thu, 02 Sep 2010 13:01:45 -0700
From: John Shott <>
To: labmembers <>



SNF Lab Members:


Over the course of the past few days, it has come to my attention that a number of lab members are confused as to the SNF policy related to enabling of equipment and application of the cap.  As yesterday was the start of a new fiscal year, it is a good time to review these policies so that there is no uncertainty.


According to the SNF Policy Manual ( the policy on enabling equipment and caps states:


Once you have been qualified to use a piece of equipment, you must enable the equipment in order to use it. Most equipment in the lab is interlocked to Coral so that it will not function unless it is enabled by a qualified user. You must not enable equipment for an unqualified person to use; doing so is considered a violation of the Stanford Fundamental Standard. You should either disable a tool when you are finished with it; or if someone else wants to use the tool immediately after you, with your permission, he/she may enable over you.



The "Cap" is the maximum equipment use charge that can be accrued by a single lab member account in a single calendar month (starting form the 1st of each month.) The purpose of the cap is to allow researchers to work without having to keep a close eye on the clock. ...  Multiple lab members working on the same project are each subject to his/her own cap. One lab member working on multiple projects is subject to a cap for each project. In short, the “Cap Rule” is: one cap per person, per project, per calendar month.



This has been the policy in SNF at least since the days when Dean Plummer was the Director of this facility and is the policy today.


Another way to state this policy is that if you are operating a piece of equipment, it must be enabled in your name.

If you are operating equipment and it is not enabled (whether it is interlocked or not) you are in violation of our policy.  If you are operating equipment and it is enabled by someone else, you are in violation of our policy ... and the person who has the equipment enabled may be in violation of our policy for allowing you to use equipment that is enabled by them.


While not all lab members are students, it is useful to ALL lab members to know that Stanford students are guided by a policy known as the Fundamental Standard (


SNF staff certainly believe that failure to enable equipment under the proper account by the proper user is a violation of the Fundamental Standard.


Effective immediately, If you are found using equipment that is not enabled or is enabled by someone else or if you have allowed someone else to use equipment that is enabled by you, we will impose the following sanctions:


1. First violation: one week expulsion from the lab and 10 hours of community service.  Appeals will be handled by the SNF Student Advisory Committee.


2. Second violation: one month expulsion from the lab and 20 hours of community service.  Appeals will be handled by the SNF Student Advisory Committee and the SNF Faculty Director.


3. Third violation: three month expulsion from the lab and 40 hours of community service.  Appeals will be handled by the SNF Faculty Advisory Committee.


These penalties ARE new, but will be imposed immediately. There is no grace period and being unaware of these sanctions will not be considered as an excuse given the long standing nature of our policies related to enabling of equipment and the use of capped equipment charges.


Note:  we've found a number of cases where Member A has lots of entries into the lab (based on door access logs), lots of equipment reservations, but virtually no equipment use in a month.  Member B often has enabled equipment at the times reserved by Member A ... but has no corresponding entry into the lab at those times.  Member A and Member B can expect to be invited to have a personal meeting with me to be certain that they understand this policy clearly.


This is an important issue because it creates serious safety and liability concerns especially if lab members are using equipment for which they are not qualified.  Moreover, from a fiscal perspective, it is unfair to the lab members that ARE abiding by rules and policies to ask them, in effect, to subsidize those that are not properly enabling equipment to avoid or reduce their lab fees.


Thank you for your cooperation in this important matter.  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.



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