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Community Organizations

House Council

What is House Council?
House Councils are leadership groups on campus that elect student officers and boards to represent and serve as the voice of all students living in the various residence halls. They organize fun events, address community issues, coordinate service projects, and dedicate their time to creating positive changes for the students at UMass Amherst. Essentially, they are the voice of the students living in your hall! House Councils work closely with the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and with other representative bodies in their communities. House Councils provide endless opportunities for students to meet one another and develop

What is the difference between Programming Board and Executive Board?
Executive boards are primarily responsible for governing and advocacy. Most House Councils at UMass Amherst are structured with four primary executive officers: President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. Programming Boards are responsible for planning activities that meet the needs of residents and facilitate the building of a cluster community. Together, these subgroups are a House Council!

I definitely want to be involved! What happens if I don't win my election?
Many students will choose to fill out a nomination packet for an Executive Board position and also sign up for Programming Board.  That way, if you don’t win your election, you are all set to be on Programming Board.

If you don’t want to sign up for Programming Board now, but decide to get involved after elections and sign ups close, you can join at any time during the year.  Programming Boards are almost always looking for more enthusiastic students to get involved.

What do the Executive Board positions do?

President
Oversees the operations of your House Council
Develops meeting agendas and conducts/facilitates bi-weekly House Council meetings
Meets weekly with advisor and other House Council officers
Encourages interaction and discussion among group members
Acts as a spokesperson for your organization to other campus organizations
Follows up with committee chairs or other officers
Leads goal setting and group building among your team
Responsible for co-signing on monetary matters

Vice President
Shares many responsibilities negotiated with President
Attends weekly RHA meetings (Tuesdays at 6:00 PM) to serve as the voting representation for the cluster
Focuses on "in-building" leaders such as floor reps or committee chairs
Takes place of President in case of President's absence
Often serves as activity coordinator for House Council
Meets weekly with advisor and other House Council officers
Serves as spokesperson to community

Secretary
Primarily responsible for communicating with the cluster community
Records meeting minutes and posts them
Provides minutes to RHA, SGA, and advisor
Coordinates and edits newsletters
Markets and designs publicity or activity promotions
Maintains House Council bulletin board or posting area
Meets weekly with advisor and other House Council officers

Treasurer
Responsible for all money management of the House Council including proper depositing and record keeping
Monitors ethical money allocation
Oversees all fundraising efforts of House Council
Works closely with the Student Leadership Center as primary money advisor and reviews budget with A/RD advisor
Submits semesterly budget report to advisor
Submits funding requests to RHA
Meets weekly with advisor and other House Council officers
Responsible for co-signing on monetary matters

I have more questions! Who do I contact?
Your House Council's advisor and members are your best resource! You can find their contact information on Campus Pulse. Jessica Shortlidge is the Residence Hall Association's Associate Director. You can contact her at umassamherst.rha.ad@gmail.com

Information for House Council Officers and Advisors