Through supporting hundreds of hackathons around the world and working closely with the MLH Community, we’ve come up with the following Core Values that MLH and MLH Member Events share.
MLH Member Events serve as examples of excellence to other hackathons and communities around the world. By following these Core Values, they set an example of excellence and help create the highest quality experience possible for hackers, organizers, and sponsors alike.
Have a confirmed date and location that attendees can depend on.
Events must be at least 24 hours and the venue must be available for attendees overnight.
Have enough food on-site to reasonably feed attendees during the event.
Events should provide healthy food options and have options available for hackers with dietary restrictions.
Ensure that participants own any intellectual property they produce at the event.
Clearly communicate any major changes to the event (Ex. venue, location, schedule, theme, etc.) as soon as they occur.
Check in all attendees as they arrive at the event and make sure they have an up-to-date name, email, mobile phone number, and school for each of them.
Have at least one lead organizer who has full ability to make decisions on-site at any time during the event.
Do not have entry fees.
Advertise well enough in advance for hackers in the area to learn about the event.
Do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, social class, economic status, veteran status, disability, or age.
Make a good-will effort to advertise and make the application for admission publicly available.
Aren’t secret or invite-only events.
Have a straightforward and publicly known general application process.
Publish the criteria for admission to their event.
Publish the rules and regulations for competing in their event.
Organizers don’t compete in any event they are organizing. They extend the same rule to judges, sponsors, and other staff.
Are open to hackers who are students at the time of the hackathon or who have graduated within the last 12 months. Students can include high school students, university undergraduate, postgraduate students, and people who are in vocational training such as apprenticeships. They welcome non-students as volunteers, mentors, sponsors, and judges.
Adopt, make available, and enforce the MLH Code of Conduct.
All organizers sign and agree to the MLH Code of Conduct.
Have a clear and widely known reporting system for incidents.
Have a link to the Code of Conduct on their website and ask all registrant to agree to the Code of Conduct during registration (e.g. a compulsory checkbox).
Make it clear that the Code of Conduct extends to all attendees, including hackers, volunteers, organizers, sponsors, judges, mentors, and MLH staff.
Make sure that bad actors and attendees who violate the Code of Conduct or rules will not attend the event.
Respect and enforce the drug and alcohol laws and customs of the local country **and only allow moderate alcohol consumption in locales where drinking is allowed.
Have a first aid kit on-site during the event.
If minors are attending, the child safeguarding requirements for the region/state have been met.
Whenever possible, events provide sleeping spaces for attendees and encourage attendees to take advantage of them.
Creating an empowering environment where hackers of all skill levels can create amazing things is MLH’s main priority. The MLH Community Values codify this belief in a way that describes not only the MLH Member Events but also the types of events that MLH wants to work with because of their positive contributions to the student hacker movement.