Amherst College German House Constitution
(Drafted on February 11, 1997)
Objectives of the German House
- The German House provides its residents with an environment that encourages and facilitates the speaking of German and the exploration of the culture of German speaking countries.
- German House residents also automatically become members of the German Club, a campus-wide SFC-sponsored organization.
Structure of the German House
- A President and a Vice-President will be elected for each academic year, on the day of room-assignment. The overlap will assure a certain continuity. They will be charged with the following responsibilities:
a) coordinating Kaffeeklatsch,
b) organization and publicity of house events,
c) being in charge of the Dean of Students budget,
d) acting as a mediator between the German House residents, and the faculty advisor and
the College administration,
e) administering Room Draw near the end of the spring semester,
f) providing input to the German Department's decisions for future admissions to the House.
- Each resident will be required to sign a copy of this Constitution.
- If a resident does not contribute to the house community or does not follow the House policies, he/she may be asked to move out by the faculty advisor, or may not be readmitted for the following year.
- The Constitution may be updated by the President and Vice-president at the request of the House residents. Any change has to be approved by a two thirds majority vote of the residents and by the German department
Admission and Room Assignment
- Each applicant has to submit an application by the publicized deadline, and may be interviewed by the faculty advisor. The President, Vice-president and the German Teaching Assistants will be consulted about each application, but the faculty advisor makes the final decision about admissions.
- Current residents must reapply if they want to be considered for readmission for the following year.
- Residents who have lived in the German House for four semesters will be admitted last and only if there is a room available.
- The respective faculty advisors will determine each year how floors are to be divided between the German and Russian Houses.
- The Residence Counselor of Porter House gets the first pick of all the German or Russian House residents.
- The room draw order will be determined by the following point system:
The number of semesters for Amherst College credit = 2 points/semester
The number of semesters in German House = 1 point/semester
The number of semesters in a German-speaking country = 1/2 point/semester.
The order between students with the same amount of points will be determined by flipping a coin. - Special room assignment cases:
a) A German Teaching Assistant will receive 5 room draw points and his/her room will be picked by his/her predecessor.
b) Students returning from study abroad in the middle of the year may only choose from
rooms that are empty, eg. vacated by residents who leave for the second semester. Their room draw order will be determined in the above manner.
c) Residents may not move into rooms vacated during the year to get a better room. The
only exception will be made if and only if a resident of a triangle room (200, 201, 207, 208) wants to move to a "square" room and their point sum is higher than that of the student(s) moving in for the second semester.
d) If there is an opening during the year, a new student may be admitted and will be included in the room draw for the second semester just as students in part b). This student must submit a regular application, or else he/she will be put at the bottom of the room draw order.
e) If a first-year student moves in during his/her first semester (such cases are unusual), he/she will not receive a room draw point for that semester.
0 If a vacancy occurs after the beginning of the second semester, the faculty advisor, the
President and Vice-President will jointly decide about its occupancy.
g) Students who have lived in the House for four semesters already will be assigned points in the above manner, but the sum of points for their time in the German House may not exceed 2.
- Any unforseen situation will be dealt with by the faculty advisor, in consultation with the President and Vice-president of the German House.
- Residents are expected to speak German among themselves as much as possible according to their language skills. Learners should take advantage of the knowledge of the native and advanced speakers while the latter should take the initiative with those still learning.
- Residents are required to attend all German House events. These events include weekly
Kaffeeklatsch and any other house meetings. They are required to prepare and clean up after Kaffeeklatsch at least two times every semester, and expected to encourage German speakers from outside of Porter House to attend.
- Residents are required to participate in and help with all German Club cultural and social events held in Porter House. These events include but are not limited to Oktoberfest, Fasching, Viennese Salon, Porter Jazz, Weihnachtsfest and Maifest..
- Residents are encouraged to attend the weekly German lunch table meetings in Valentine as often as possible.
- Residents are also strongly encouraged to attend any lectures or film viewings sponsored by the German department.
- Residents are required to take at least one German course a semester. This requirement can only by waived with the permission of the German Department.
All residents MUST SIGN this form upon acceptance into the German House.