Theme Community Leadership Procedures

Introduction

Thank you for accepting a leadership role in one of the College's Theme Communities. We appreciate your willingness to accept the responsibility, and the Office of Residential Life enthusiastically supports your program efforts. We are available to consult with you about any aspect of Theme Community life. Please familiarize yourself with the constitution and application process for the house, and the Theme Community leadership procedures below.

Theme Community leaders’ names are added to the website as contacts for the community, and they will receive e-mails regarding application submissions. The president and treasurer, if one is appointed, will be given access to the Theme Community budget. One person: the president, treasurer, or designee, should be appointed as the contact person regarding budget matters. In the language communities, the Language Assistants also have access to budget funds.

All forms referenced  are attached at the end of the procedures for your use.

I. BUDGET PROCEDURES

At the start of the year, budgets will be sent to each Theme Community indicating the starting balance. Amounts are for the entire year.

Procedures for accessing funds

All requests for program funds should be made using the Program Fund Request Form

All requests must be made 48 hours in advance

When filling out the form, starred fields are required

The webform must be used to request Big Y purchasing cards or Purchase orders.

Big Y Purchasing Cards

  • Big Y cards in denominations of 50.00, 100.00, or 200.00 are available to make purchases at Big Y supermarkets.
  • Submit your request with the amount and date required
  • Return the card, with itemized receipt, to the Office of Residential Life within 48 hours. Please note your name and the Theme Community on the receipt for identification purposes and so the correct account is charged.

Purchase Orders

  • Students are encouraged to make use of Purchase Orders when using vendors who accept them.
  • Purchase Orders may be requested by submitting the webform 48 hours in advance.
  • Select the name of the vendor from the drop-down list of vendors who accept Purchase Orders. If the vendor you wish to use is not listed, purchases will have to be paid for in advance and reimbursed.
  • Enter the estimated amount of purchase, date needed and the name of the person and the house making the request.
  • The vendor will keep the white copy of the purchase order; return the yellow copy with itemized receipt attached to the Office of Residential Life.

Vendor bills should not include tax or alcohol purchases and should include no more than a 15% gratuity, if appropriate. In keeping with the policies of the Comptroller’s Office and IRS regulations, an Itemized Receipt is required; a credit card receipt alone is not adequate. When placing an order with a vendor, inform them that you will be paying with a Purchase Order, and request an itemized receipt. Please return Purchase Orders in a timely manner, so the vendor can be paid. Unused purchase orders should be returned to the office, so your budget can be updated accordingly.

Reimbursement Forms

For all other expenses for which students pay vendors directly, a Reimbursement Form, available from the Office of Residential Life, and attached an itemized receipt should be submitted. Reimbursements take about two weeks to process, please plan accordingly.

All receipts submitted should include your name, and the name of the Theme Community, and indicate if the expense is being shared with another house, or split between different accounts. Always include an itemized receipt; a credit card receipt alone is not acceptable. Please do not mix in personal expenses on a receipt.

Other funding resources

  • Coordinating with the RC for events involving the entire house – please be aware that RC funds are limited
  • Checking with the faculty advisor or department coordinator regarding available funding from the department
  • Other Campus resources include Student Activities, the Social Council, and affiliated student organizations
  • Theme Community Supplemental Funding

Theme Community Supplemental Funding

Additional funding for Theme Community programming is available by submitting a Theme Community Supplemental Funding Application. Please review the guidelines and criteria before submitting your application. Up to 1,200.00 is available for each Theme Community for the year. Experience has shown us that most programming takes place in the spring semester, so we encourage you in your planning to consider allocating 1/3 of the funds for the fall and 2/3 for the spring. For major events, you can apply to other resources for additional funding, or coordinate your event with another Theme Community or group on campus to maximize available funds.

In preparing your application:

  • Submit your request 2 weeks in advance to allow time for approval
  • Make sure your event meets the criteria
  • Include a detailed budget
  • Report any funding from other sources

If your event is in a public space on campus, please contact Paul Gallegos in the Office of Student Activities, as you may be required to fill out an Event Notification form.

For Speakers and Performers

For Student Performers

  • Residential Life will provide a Student Employee Appointment
  • Theme Community and student performers provide a Student Performance Contract
  • After the event, students submit a time sheet.

Speakers and performers will not be paid on the day of the event, but will be paid directly by the College, to the address provided, after the event. Do Not Pay for services or performers up front as you cannot be reimbursed for these expenses, based on the policies of the Comptroller’s Office and IRS regulations.

Bear in mind, a contract is a legal and binding document. Before signing a contract, be sure your funding is approved. If you have questions regarding a contract, Paul Gallegos, Director of Student Activities in the Campus Center will review the contract with you.

Do not borrow or rent equipment from students. Damage to equipment owned by other students is not covered.

Please designate one contact person for the event, to communicate with the Office of Residential Life. Submit all forms and receipts in a timely manner to expedite processing.

Major events require a significant amount of planning; please involve house members and your faculty advisor in the planning process. Your advisor may be helpful in identifying and obtaining additional funds.

The process sounds more complicated than it is - so please ask for our help throughout. We enthusiastically support your programming, and advance planning will make for a successful event!

Theme Community Mid-Year Vacancy Process

Vacancies in the Theme Community occur mid-year as students are confirmed to go on leave for the spring semester. The constitution for the house will determine the process for filling any vacancies. If there is a wait list for the community, invite students to join the community based on the order of the list. Students returning from a leave in the fall may apply and be accepted to a Theme Community if there are vacancies available. Students living on campus may apply to the Theme Communities for the spring, but students returning from a leave will be given priority.

Students already living in a Theme Community may change rooms, if permitted by the constitution for the house, and if also approved by the Office of Residential Life. All room changes must be determined prior to students leaving campus for the winter recess.  For 2019-20, all room changes and moves within the house must be completed by no later than Friday January 5, 2019 for Office of Residential Life consideration. Please inform residents of the dates, so they may plan their travel arrangements accordingly. Students who are unable to complete the move within the time frame cannot participate in the room change process.

Applications for Fall

Prior to the Housing Selection Process, students may apply to the Theme Communities for the coming year. Open community events will be held in all Theme Communities in February. It is important to publicize your events, to invite students to visit the community, and encourage members to invite friends in. Ask faculty advisors for the names of potential members. Theme Community leaders should check for e-mail applications, and follow up with students applying to the community. The Office of Residential Life respects the Theme Community process and encourages students to choose a Theme Community based on their commitment to the goals of that community. However, given the extremely tight housing situation on campus at present, we will need to make use of every available space. We encourage the Theme Community leadership to fill vacancies with students who have an expressed interest in the community, rather than have them filled as needed.

Updates to Website/Application and Constitution

Please take time to review the Theme Community website and application and send any changes to the Office of Residential Life. Review the constitution for the community to make sure it reflects your actual process. Changes to the Constitution must be voted on by the community's members and approved by your faculty advisor and the Office of Residential Life, and will be implemented for the following academic year. Any changes must be confirmed prior to the Theme Community Application Process in February, and the process as defined at the time will stand for the entire year.

The time between the start of spring semester, and the Theme Community Application Process is very tight. The next Theme Community Leadership meeting will be early in February, but advance planning will expedite the process.

  • Submit updates to the website and application to the Office of Residential Life before the end of the fall semester.
  • Submit approved changes to the constitution to the Office of Residential Life before February 1.
  • Submit the date and time of your Open House to theOffice of Residential Life before the end of semester, so it can be posted to the web site.
  • Submit the name of the president to the Office of Residential Life before the end of the spring semester. 

Theme Community Leadership Timeline Spring 2019

Date Item
January (all dates TBD) Theme Community Leadership Meeting
February  Open House Dates Due
February  Updated Constitution Due
February  All campus mailing sent out regarding the Theme Community Application Process.
February  Open House Events
February Theme Community Application Deadline
March Member Selection (with assistance of Residential Life professional staff memeber)
*Students accepting placement in a Theme Community are removed from the Housing Selection Process
March Theme Community Rosters & Waitlist Due
March Housing Selection Process Applications Due
March Housing Selection Process
March Spring Recess
April Theme Community Leadership Roster Due
April Housing Assignments Due
April Annual Theme Community Reports Due
April Submit name of summer contact person who will organize any roster updates

*Please cc all “DUE” information to both the Office of Residential Life and LizAnette reslife@amherst.edu, lperez@amherst.edu