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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.

Getting Involved in House Council

House Council Sign Ups/Elections have the following timeline for the 2015-2016 Academic Year:

1. Nominations for Executive Board Members open Friday, September 11, 2015 and close Sunday, September 20, 2015.
2. Candidate Campaigning takes place Monday, September 21, 2015 through Sunday, September 27, 2015.
3. Elections take place on Campus Pulse from Wednesday, September 28, 2015 at 12:00am through Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 11:59pm
4. Results will be announced Thursday, October 1, 2015.

Executive Boards (E-Board) and Programming Boards are selected separately and concurrently, though they work together.  Both are recruited with handouts, advertisements, and conversations with staff during opening and orientation. .

Students wishing to serve as an E-Board officer must complete a Nomination Form and collect the signatures of 25 cluster residents in order to be included on the ballot.  The drop off locations can be found at each of the Residential Services Desks.

E-Board elections are held online.  Students can vote by logging in to Campus Pulse.  The election will show up in their to-do list. 

Any student who is interested can be a member of the Programming Board.  Students sign up online.  There is no limit to the size of the group.

All students are encouraged to attend the annual RHA Leadership Retreat being held Friday, September 25th through Sunday, September 27th at Camp Beckett. This is a great opportunity to meet fellow students, team-building with other members of your cluster's House Council or Advisory Board, and explore your own leadership skills. Participation is on a first-come, first-served basis and space is limited. To sign up, please click here.

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?

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

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

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. If you have any more questions, you can contact the Associate Director of the Residence Hall Association here.

Information for House Council Officers and Advisors

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