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FreeGeek News

Nick Keiser, FreeGeeker for Life

by James Slater
It is with great sadness that FreeGeek Chicago has learned our friend and FreeGeek founder Nick Keiser has passed away. Though in recent years Nick had focused his attention on his health and his work as a bike mechanic, he continued to be a strong supporter of FreeGeek. Friend and co-founder David Eads writes:

For those who didn't know Nick, he was an original founder of FreeGeek Chicago and one of our most stalwart volunteers. I have fond memories of bleak January Sundays when the only people hanging out all day were me, Nick, and Janet. Sometimes, it was just Nick.

Through thick and thin, Nick would ride his bike up to FreeGeek for another day at the space. He always did the toughest jobs with an utterly charming combination of humility and sarcasm, grit and sweetness. He fiercely defended FreeGeek‘s spirit of collaboration, consensus, and autonomy. He dealt with Lenny, the neighborhood junkie. He remains FreeGeek’s greatest tour guide and on-screen presence.

You can read a bit more on the FreeGeek Talk List. Any updates on memorial services in Chicago will be posted there.

Peace and love to Nick and all who knew him.

~FreeGeek Chicago

Now Accepting Workshop Proposals

by James Slater

FreeGeek Chicago is now accepting Workshop Proposals! If you are interested in presenting at FreeGeek, take a moment and fill out our Workshop Submission Form.

FGC Unrolls New "Tech Needs" Survey

by James Slater

Hey all. We'd like to share with you our latest concoction, the FreeGeek Chicago "Tech Needs" Survey!
We are preparing a series of workshops for the summer and we want to know from you all what kind of problems you are running into and how we can best help you out--and maybe show you some cool extra stuff in the process!

StoryCorps Partnership

by James Slater

FreeGeek Chicago is teaming up with StoryCorps to record the voices and stories of our community. If you are a current or former FreeGeek Volunteer and are interested in sharing your experiences, ones from the FreeGeek space or elsewhere, let us know you want to participate. Register here.

Shop Closed July 3rd and July 4th

by James Slater

In observation of U.S. Independence Day, FreeGeek is closed Wednesday July 3rd and Thursday July 4th. FreeGeek will reopen for regularly scheduled programming on Friday July 5th. Enjoy the fireworks, grilling, and nice weather!

ReSolution Firehouse 3-way Meeting and FreeGeek Tour

by James Slater

FreeGeek Chicago, The Recyclery Collective, LET'S GO Chicago, and other community members will meet at FGC on Thurs June 13 at 6:30PM to discuss a bid on a Rogers Park firehouse. The firehouse may eventually serve as TheRecycley's permanent home and shared space with LET'S GO Chicago and a FreeGeek Extension. FGC Members will give a tour of their space and operations and then the group will get down to business at 7:00pm.

And Then There Were Two

by James Slater

FreeGeek's indiegogo campaign has one week remaining has already reached $2400, enough to hire one internship position, but I am asking for your financial support to help FreeGeek Chicago sponsor two interns for our Summer Program. Our campaign will close on Tuesday, June 11 so please donate today.

2013 Internship Campaign is Live!

by James Slater

FreeGeek Chicago is again fundraising to support our super-awesome Summer Internship Program. This is our third-annual, paid summer internship which will help expand our services to the community and our earned revenue sources. Learn more and Donate on our Indiegogo Campaign Page.

Application for 2013 Summer Internship Available

by James Slater

FreeGeek Chicago is happy to announce that we are now accepting applications for our paid summer internship program. You can grab an application or you can visit our summer internship page.

Projects will focus on expanding earned revenue sources and services to the community. In exchange, FreeGeek will provide an opportunity to someone who is looking to use and expand their technology / communications / recycling skill-set and get some serious experience with a community-run non-profit organization. We plan on having this internship run from mid-June through mid-September with an average commitment of 12 hours per week. Applications for this position are due Friday, May 31st. Interviews will be given on a rolling basis.

Constitution 2.0 Adopted

by James Slater

Good news everybody! The FreeGeek Community unanimously adopted a new Constitution on Sunday evening, finalizing the community's transition to a new governance model. This new Constitution puts full control of the decision-making process in the hands of the volunteer community at FreeGeek and outlines a Staff Collective for providing support services.

One goal in rewriting the FreeGeek Constitution is to provide a flexible document that any other community group might be able to pick-up, tweak, and reuse without too much effort. As such, this document is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Please adopt and share!

The FreeGeek Constitution is available online as a GoogleDoc.

Recycling Run Fri April 12, Orientation Cancelled

by James Slater

FreeGeek has scheduled a Recycling Run for Friday April 12. Come lend us a hand around 9:00a when we'll start loading out metals and circuit board. Everything should be loaded by 10:30a and then sent on to SIMS and SiPi for recycling. Major thanks to volunteer Larry B who will be our truck driver for the day.

Due to short staffing from the Recycling Run, our New Volunteer Orientation is cancelled for Friday April 12.

FreeGeek to Adopt New Constitution

by James Slater

FreeGeek Members met Sunday evening (Feb 24) to hammer out a final draft of a new FreeGeek Constitution. After a lot of hard work to finalize the language and clarify a few points, the group voted unanimously to approve the new constitution.

This is not the final vote. There will be one week for anyone to raise questions, concerns, propose clarifications to the wording, or object to specific policies. If any concerns can't be resolved, we'll delay the final vote. Otherwise, a final vote will be made at the upcoming Community Council meeting on Sunday March 3. FreeGeek members will also specify the timeline for the new constitution to take effect.

The final draft of the new FreeGeek Consitution is available as a GoogleDoc.

FreeGeek members would like to thank all of those from the extended FreeGeek Chicago community for their input and during this process.

Workshop - Intro to Digital Privacy on Feb 16

by James Slater

FreeGeek Chicago will host our first Workshop Class on Saturday Feb 16th from 1:00-4:00PM. The "Intro to Digital Privacy" Workshop will be presented by Keidra Chaney and Raizel Liebler, creators of The Learned Fan Girl, and is aimed at people who have started to extend their professional online presence using social media. Check out the Event Page for more information.

This event is free and open to the public, though we do suggest a $5.00 donation to support FreeGeek's Education Programming.

FreeGeek Outreach Events on Feb 10

by James Slater

Interested in donating or volunteering with FreeGeek Chicago? Come visit us at the Chicago Volunteer Expo, 10:00am-4:00pm in Lincoln Park or at the Logan Square Farmers Market 10:00am-2:00pm on Sunday Feb 10.  FreeGeek Volunteers will be available at both events to answer questions. Donations will be accepted at the Logan Square Farmers Market only.

For locations and more information, check out our event pages:
FreeGeek @ Chicago Volunteer Expo
FreeGeek @ Logan Square Farmers Market

Change in OpenShop Hours

by James Slater

FreeGeek's OpenShop Hours for our ReSale Shop are changing! Starting Wed Jan. 23, FreeGeek will be open Wed-Sun, 11:00a - 5:00p for Sales and Donations. Remember to check our Calendar for up-to-date information on upcoming events. We will return to late hours on Wed and Thurs this Spring.