Humphries House Constitution

I. Statement of Purpose

Humphries House exists as a co-operative environment for community-oriented individuals. Members work together responsibly to maintain the house, to provide meals, order foods, organize campus and house events collectively. There are no applications for Humphries House. Residents are chosen through a random lottery of interested individuals, conducted by the Dean of Students Office.

II Cooperative Agreement

A. Responsibilities

Residents of Humphries, by signing this agreement, affirm their commitment to full participation in cooking, cleaning, and other activities necessary for the efficient and safe management of a co-operative house.

  1. House members cook house dinners (in groups of two or three) once every two weeks, and clean that same day each week (in groups of four to six). Organized meals are Sunday through Thursday.
  2. In addition to a weekly post-dinner clean-up, house members are expected to take responsibility for their use of the kitchen and other common spaces at all times and maintain a level of cleanliness which satisfies the majority of house members, both in terms of safety and mutual respect.
  3. Further, house members acknowledge their commitment to Humphries as an on-gong co-operative. If the members of the house collectively prove themselves incapable of meeting standards of health and safety established by the Dean of Students Office and Physical Plant, for any substantial length of time, the House will be closed as a co-op for the remainder of the academic year, and will revert to a regular residence, in which all members are required to join the meal plan.
  4. House members are also expected to take part in, and/or take responsibility for one or more of the following: ordering bulk dry goods from Northeast foods (at least twice each semester), regular grocery trips to Big Y supermarkets (bi-weekly), bagel pick-up from Bruegger=s (bi-weekly, regular produce ordering and pickup from Squash (bi-weekly), dishtowel sanitation (bi-weekly), receipts (be-weekly), compost transport to the Hampshire College Farm (be-weekly). In addition, house members are responsible for coordination of full moon parties, and specific projects such as planning Outreach and other events - under the guidance of the Resident Counselor. House members are also responsible for assessing kitchen needs and maintaining active communication with the House President as concerns purchasing or requiring appliances or housewares. House members must share in unloading groceries, bulk produce and Northeast deliveries - and in stocking and reorganizing kitchen or pantry areas when needed.

B. Refund Check

Humphries House residents receive a refund check, which may be applied as credit or to one=s financial aid arrangement. If a partial lunch plan is offered, the house members need to have a unanimous house decision. The house may decide collectively to use part of or all of their refund check (paid to residents in the first month of the semester) for some house improvement or other house project.

C. Lottery

House members who wish to continue for a second year will enter a preliminary lottery (part of the Dean of Students Humphries lottery), in which seven house members (one-third of the house residency) will be selected. The remaining returning residents will enter a second lottery with other interested students.

III. Leadership

The original role of the RC will be split, beginning in the 1997-98 school year, into an RC and a House President position. Responsibilities will be divided as follows:
The RC of Humphries will have the same responsibilities as the resident counselors of other theme houses. His or her main purpose will be to advise residents and serve as a resource as regards college services. The RC is responsible for administrative duties as regards dorm damage. He or she, as RC, must also fulfill programming minimums (see Responsibilities from the Dean of Students Office).

The RC, obtaining feedback from residents on interesting and valuable programming, is responsible for organizing and planning these events at a time satisfactory for the house. The RC is also responsible for advertising these functions, both within and without the house.

The House President is responsible for organizing and managing all the activities in the Zu which relate to co-operative living. The House President should establish groups to accomplish the house tasks as laid out in Section IIA4 (co-operative agreement responsibilities). These groups should be self-sufficient, or trained to become confident and competent at completing their responsibilities. The House President exists not to do these tasks solo, but to ensure (particularly in the beginning of each semester) that house members themselves know how to do them - to ensure that each house member is actively participating, and that tasks within these groups are running smoothly and on schedule. It may be valuable for the House President to delegate a leader to manage some of the larger groups (particularly Northeast and Full Moon planning). Additionally, the House President is responsible for communication with Debbie from Dining Services or any house communication with the campus that is co-op oriented (i.e. pantry shelves being erected). However, it is strongly advisable that both the RC and House President meet with Debbie and Physical Plant in the fall semester, so as to create open communication regarding basic sanitation, house up-keep and house needs.

IV. House Funds

There are three funds, maintained by the Residential Life Assistant in the Dean of Students Office, for Humphries House over and above the fund used for food purchases:

  1. Faculty fund. This is primarily for the faculty event, as monetary assistance for the Wind and Cheese.
  2. Appliance fund: This fund, for repairing the purchasing of kitchen appliances, is controlled by the House President.
  3. The RC fund: This money, managed by the RC, is a budget designed to support house programming.

V. House Meetings

The first house meeting occurs late in the Spring Semester, after room draw, and must be attended by all members of the next year=s house - including the RC-to-be, as well as the current RC and House President. It is at this meeting that the next year=s House President will be elected, a treasurer will be chosen to manage the house=s incidental funds. The house may at this point agree collectively to set aside a sum of money from this fund to compensate the House President
Additionally, at the first meeting, Zu room draw will occur. Room draw gives preference in this order.

  1. RC - RC friend and President are mixed in with other residents and follow order of seniority.
  2. Seniors ranked by semesters Zu living
  3. New seniors (per lottery order Dean of Students list)
  4. Returning juniors ranked by semesters Zu living
  5. New juniors (per lottery order Dean of Students list)
  6. Returning sophomores ranked by semesters Zu living
  7. New sophomores (per lottery order Dean of Students list)

When a rooms is vacated, the house may proceed shifting rooms according to this preferential order, with the new member entering into this list in the appropriate place. The Residential Life Assistant in the Dean of Students Office will need to know the updated information from the room switches.

The RC will arrange and lead the initial house meeting at the beginning of each semester. For the first half of the semester, meetings will be called by the House President (with the RC present) bi-monthly or more frequently as needed. It is crucial that in the first year or two of this implementation, that the RC and House Present check in with each other weekly.

V. Contract

All members will sign this constitution upon the first house meeting.

As a member of the Humphries House Co-op, I agree to abide by the terms of this Constitution. I understand that if I am found by the Dean of Students Office, at any point during the academic year, not to be meeting the terms of this contract, I will be required to leave Humphries House and move to other campus housing, or elect to live off campus. I further understand that if I am required to leave Humphries House, I am not guaranteed a comparable room in other campus housing.

I have ready and understand this constitution and accept the responsibilities of living in the house as stated within.