Marsh Arts House Constitution

I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The Arts House exists to provide a supportive working atmosphere for student artists, and to foster the presence of arts on the campus.

A student living in the Arts House has access to the space for producing and displaying work, the monetary resources of the Arts House Fund, and the support of other student artists living in the Arts House. By giving student artists these resources, the Arts House facilitates the creation and exhibition of student art, both in the House and throughout the Amherst community.

In providing student artists with a rich support system, the Arts House makes it possible to greatly increase the amount of art shown on campus in any year. The Arts House aims to increase the recognition of the arts on campus by producing as much art as possible.

The Arts House seeks artists working in all medias and disciplines who are interested in producing and displaying extra-curricular work. The Arts House also encourages artists to collaborate with one another at all levels of the artistic process, from inception to exhibition.

II. HOUSE REQUIREMENTS

Every house member must fulfill three requirements as part of living in Marsh. Participation in the house should be treated as a serious and important commitment. All House members should contribute to a supportive community within the House.

A. Every member of the Arts House is responsible for completing at least one Art Project each semester, as well as a House Event associated with their project. During the first month of the semester, each house member must meet with the president to discuss their project and associated event. A formal proposal must be submitted to the president before mid-semester break, detailing the project, providing tentative dates for the event, and containing an estimated budget for both.

B. Every member must attend all House Meetings as scheduled by the president. There will be no fewer than four House meetings per semester, or one House meeting each month.

C. Members of the House will support one another in the production of art and respect the needs of their fellow artists. House members should participate in one another’s semesterly projects and attend the events organized by other members of the House.

III. ARTS HOUSE ORGANIZATION

The student leadership of the Arts House has consists of three positions: president, treasurer, and events coordinator.

The president has several duties: facilitating Art Projects, coordinating House Events, and maintaining a master schedule of Projects and Events; planning and running House meetings; and overseeing the application process and coordinating the Arts House Room Draw for the subsequent year. These duties replace the president's normal duties as a member of the House--i.e. the president is not required to fulfill the Art Project/House Event requirement each semester.

The treasurer is responsible for administering the Arts House Fund. At the beginning of the year, the treasurer must speak with the administrative assistant in the Office of Residential Life to learn about managing House finances.

The events coordinator is responsible for ensuring that all events in the House are sufficiently advertised within the House and across campus. This includes events related to Art Projects, House-wide events, and stand-alone events. Additionally, the events coordinator oversees the planning and administration of House-wide events; this includes creating committee of House members to help organize and execute the event, delegating work among the committee, and preparing a budget for the event. It is possible for the events coordinator’s duties to fulfill their Art Project/House Event requirement each semester.

IV. APPLICATION PROCESS

The president is responsible for initiating and supervising the application process for the following year according to the schedule provided by the Office of Residential Life. The Arts House utilizes a two-step application process: first, applicants must complete the written application through the online Amherst College Housing Portal. Second, applicants must participate in an interview with current members of the House. If an applicant does not complete both steps of this process, their application is incomplete and they are ineligible for membership in the House.

Once the president receives the schedule from Residential Life, the Arts House advertises that it is accepting applications for the upcoming year. An Open House will take place at least one week before written applications are due.  Upon receiving written applications from Residential Life, the president is responsible for communicating with applicants and scheduling interviews. Interviews should address the applicant’s artistic interests and fields of discipline, why they are interested in living the Arts House, and what they believe they would contribute to the House community. Additionally, there should be time allotted for the applicant to ask any questions they may have about the House. Each applicant must bring a sample of their chosen art to share at their interview.

At this time, the president should also organize an applications committee. All current House residents not applying for readmission are eligible to participate in this committee. The committee is responsible for conducting interviews, deciding membership for the upcoming year, and creating an ordered waitlist. Once decisions have been made, the president is responsible for notifying all applicants and confirming all acceptances and waitlist positions offered. The House can accommodate 26 members, including the Resident Counselor; all doubles should be filled if possible.

V. FIRST HOUSE MEETING

The first meeting of the new House occurs late in the spring semester, immediately after the College's Room Draw, and must be attended by all members of the next year's Arts House, including the Resident Counselor, as well as the current president and Resident Counselor and a representative from the Office of Residential Life. The Arts House Room Draw occurs at this meeting. This process is a simple lottery, with rising seniors drawing first, the rising juniors, then rising sophomores. If the doubles can be filled by volunteers, this is preferable. Students who volunteer to live in doubles do not participate in the lottery; any doubles not filled by volunteers will be filled by the lottery. If any rising seniors or juniors have already lived one semester or more in a double in the Arts House, they cannot be compelled to live in a double again. Members requiring special needs should communicate with the president, Resident Counselor, or Office of Residential Life before Room Draw, and efforts will be made to accommodate these needs if possible. At this time, the next year's president, treasurer, and events coordinator will be elected.

VII. CONTRACT

Before the first House meeting, a copy of this Constitution will be sent to all members accepted for the upcoming year, along with the following statement: "I have read this constitution, and I understand and accept the responsibilities of membership in the Arts House." New members must sign this clause and return it at or before the first House meeting.

I have read this constitution, and I understand and accept the responsibilities of membership in the Arts House.

Written 3/26/95 by Stewart Moore and Jonathan Carr. Revised 4/1/96 by Amy Barczak. Revised 5/2/16 by Olivia Mastrangelo.