VII. House Officers - RedbudCoop/Redbud-Constitution GitHub Wiki

House Officers1

The following section contains an explicit enumeration of Redbud officer obligations, with the intent to present a succinct description of responsibilities to aid new officers and, more importantly, to clear up any misunderstandings that may arise among officers as to who does what. This listing is not meant to be a substitute for a good officer handbook. If no returning house member runs for a position that requires one, the officer team can open the election to new house members. If a new house member is elected, they must discuss with the officer team to agree on expectations, which can differ from the original set of constitutional rules (e.g., different compensation).42

House Officer Review2

Any current member can call a vote of confidence at any house meeting to review performance of a House Officer. If the vote passes under the ‘special’ vote procedure, each responsibility listed in the house rules are voted on in a line item format for non-satisfactory completion and must be passed by ‘special’ vote. House Officer monetary compensation shall be reduced proportionately to unsatisfactory completed tasks.

In vote of confidence, all house members must consider the following:

  • There is a learning curve associated with any new job.
  • House Officers are responsible for knowing the details of their position.
  • Ultimately, individual house members are responsible for completing chores, HIPs, etc.

Rules Governing House Officers

All correspondence with the University in either direction should be placed on permanent public file. All correspondence to the University should be viewed by all House Officers and placed on public file before being sent. This does not include such things as work orders.

Fun Team

The fun team is a group of 2 house members, elected by the house at the beginning of each semester.

They are expected to organize at least one large social event every two weeks and/ or two small events each week depending on the time committed to each event; refer to the Fun Team Manual for information previous events.3

In return they are exempt from HIP and chores for the semester. In the case of low house occupancy, they may be required to fulfill half or a full chore.33 In the event that Fun Team does not fulfill their responsibilities, they will be expected to complete a HIP, or experience the consequences of a normal house member who does not complete a HIP. Fun Team is also required to deliver a brief (5-10 minutes including discussion) status report at the weekly officer meeting.4

President

The President is the leader of the house, and determines the direction that Redbud heads during his/her term. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Chairing House Meetings: The President is responsible for planning, announcing, and running the meetings. They also must plan officer meetings and coordinate officer activities. The President serves as the "glue" which bonds the officers together.
  2. New Members: The President oversees the house members31 running Mosey and their operations, and this relationship should involve healthy collaboration. The President is ultimately responsible for seeing that the house has a full contingency of resident members.
  3. Contracts and House Rules: The President is responsible for handing out contracts to new and current members, for collecting the contracts, and maintaining a file of signed contracts. The President is also responsible for distributing a copy of the House Rules to all residents and those on external meal plan, and to collect and maintain a file of House Rule Affirmation pages from those people. The President should also make the House Rules available to potential new residents for review.
  4. Liaison: The President serves as the representative of Redbud in all dealings with Cornell University (excluding financial matters and House Manager Activities), the police, and extramural groups such as an Inter-Cooperative Union (ICU). The president is always defined as a member of the Redbud Board of Directors and is the organic link between the house and its board.
  5. Secret Baron: The President is encouraged for overseeing Secret Baron, which is a gift exchange between the house members. This includes signing up interested members, and assigning Secret Barons among them, in time to run the event the last week of classes.
  6. Special Events: The President is responsible for overseeing the special events of the house such as community service projects, ICC activities, and other special house activities. This excludes the house social, which the Fun Team runs. The Redbud President is responsible for coordinating biannual co-operative events.5 The Redbud President is responsible for organizing a mandatory Consent-Ed workshop at the beginning of the semester.6
  7. Cooking: The President may be asked to cook in case there are not enough people (less than three per day) to fill out all cooking groups. If this happens, the secretary, the president, and the house managers should take turns each week to fill out that open spot7. House officers, however, should never cook on Sundays since it conflicts with the officer’s meeting. Note that this does not mean that the house officers have to fill out a position in case someone misses his/her cooking group. All cooking groups are responsible for their own assigned days. The President is responsible for house administration and representation. 8

See the Bylaws of Von Cramm, Inc for a more complete description of these duties.

Note: The President is the individual ultimately responsible for the activities of the house as a whole. At times, the police demand that a person step forward to take responsibility for any loud gatherings (and risk arrest if the problem isn’t solved).9 This is the President's responsibility.

The compensation for the office of President: no house job, no cooking, fall HIP, 1/4 off rent of a single room10. The President is elected for a semester.

House Managers

The role of House Managers (HMs) is to ensure that Von Cramm Hall is maintained as a clean, well-running facility. This includes, but is not limited to, responsibility for:

  1. House Cleanup: The HMs must plan and direct a daylong cleaning of the entire house (excluding members' rooms), involving all members, at the beginning of each semester. HMs must buy sufficient cleaning supplies for this event.
  2. House Jobs: The HMs are responsible for ensuring that every non-officer member of the House has a house job and that those jobs are accomplished weekly, and nag slackers to get them done ASAP. They also have the right to post a list of "bad house members31" (i.e. those who didn't do their house job).
  3. House Improvement Projects (HIPs): The HMs are responsible for ensuring that each non-officer member has an HM-approved HIP for the semester. Each member is responsible for purchasing the necessary supplies, initiating the HIP, and providing the Treasurer with receipts. HMs are responsible for providing the Treasurer with a list of those people who did not do the HIP, so that $50 can be subtracted from their deposit, as dictated in the House Rules.
  4. Repairs and Maintenance: HMs are responsible for all repair and maintenance of the House. Jobs that they are unable to accomplish themselves must be done by the University or by private contractors, but the responsibility for seeing that they are accomplished resides with the HMs.
  5. Key Control: HMs must ensure that the house key inventory is sufficient and maintained in a secure manner. They are responsible for ensuring that every member has a room key, and that those keys are returned when the member ceases to be a resident of Von Cramm Hall. They are the only persons with authority to handle master keys unless in extenuating circumstances.
  6. Room Assignments: HMs are responsible for ensuring that room assignments are administered in accordance with the House Rules, and that any check-in or check-out procedures are followed.
  7. House Points: HMs keep accurate records of all members' house points.
  8. Deposit charges: HMs keep accurate records of all charges against a person’s deposit, such as damages, failure to complete HIPs, or fines. They are responsible for transmitting this information to the Treasurer at the end of the semester.
  9. House Supplies: HMs must purchase all house supplies not associated with the meal plan.10 This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Toilet paper, trash bags, light bulbs
  • Beast soap, hand soap, sponges, scrubbers, cleaning solutions
  • Tools, darts, ping-pong balls, pool cues
  • all supplies necessary for accomplishing the above responsibilities
  1. Lockdown: HMs are responsible for ensuring that the house is shut down and secure every evening. This includes closing and locking all doors and locking all ground accessible windows. Lights must be turned off also.
  2. Parking Permits: HMs are responsible for distributing parking permit forms to members with cars, collecting the forms, and turning them into Campus Life. Billing is done through the Treasurer.
  3. Cooking: House Managers may be asked to cook in case there are not enough people (less than three per day) to fill out all cooking groups. If this happens, the secretary, the president, and the house managers should take turns each week to fill out that open spot.11 House officers, however, should never cook on Sundays since it conflicts with the officer’s meeting. Note that this does not mean that the house officers have to fill out a position in case someone misses his/her cooking group. All cooking groups are responsible for their own assigned days.12

See the Bylaws of Von Cramm, Inc and the House Manager's’ Handbook by Matt Patrick for a more complete description of these duties.

Note: HMs are not responsible for keeping track of contracts in any way. They are not responsible for the small appliances related to meal plan, including but not limited to, the coffee maker, toaster, and blender (this is a Steward responsibility). The compensation for the two House Managers is no house job, no cooking, no HIP, and 1/2 off rent of a single room13. House Managers are elected for a year.14

Stewards

The Stewards are responsible for filling house members' and meal planners'31 stomachs. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. The Meal Plan: Stewards are responsible for planning well-balanced, nutritious dinners six days a week, which always include a vegetarian option and are sensitive to members' special dietary needs.
  2. Banquet: Stewards are completely responsible for organizing the entire banquet excluding contacting alumni (Secretary obligation).
  3. Thanksgiving: Stewards are responsible for planning the Thanksgiving Feast, which usually takes place the last Sunday before Thanksgiving.
  4. Kitchen Cleanliness: Stewards must ensure that the kitchen is kept sanitary at all times. There is some degree of overlap with the HMs as to this responsibility, as house jobs may include fridge, oven, and general kitchen. HMs are responsible for making sure these jobs are done well, but the Stewards are ultimately responsible for taking the extra steps (perhaps an informal cleanup or buying extra supplies for particularly bad messes) to keep the kitchen clean.
  5. Cooking Jobs: Stewards post a sign-up, and oversee house members fulfilling their contractual cooking obligations. Cooking groups are responsible for ensuring that late night duties are completed.
  6. Storeroom: Stewards are responsible for stocking and restocking the storeroom, and maintaining organization and sanitation.
  7. Stewards' Survey: Stewards are responsible for distributing a survey of food preferences and allergies at the beginning of each semester and being responsive to members' suggestions.
  8. Kitchen Supplies: Stewards are responsible for buying all non-food supplies that are necessary for the meal plan, including but not limited to: silverware, pots and pans, Tupperware, saran wrap, aluminum foil, straw for the compost, masking tape and markers for labeling late night meals, and the dry erase board on the kitchen door.
  9. Kitchen Small Appliances: As they are directly related to food preparation, the Stewards are responsible for purchasing all small appliances for the kitchen, including but not limited to: the toaster oven, coffee makers, blender. More expensive items (such as a new fridge, new Beast, or kitchen shelving) should be dealt with by the Stewards, House Managers, and Treasurers together.
  10. Stewards are responsible for finding as many local sources of food as possible. This includes buying local meat and purchasing CSA shares from farms in the region. They are responsible for purchasing and collecting this food.

See the Bylaws of Von Cramm, Inc for a more complete description of these duties. The compensation for the two stewards includes no house job, no cooking, no HIP, and 3/4 off rent for a single room15. Stewards are elected for a year.16

Treasurer

Neither Redbud Cooperative, Inc. nor Von Cramm Hall can operate without sufficient funds. Making sure those funds are available and are used wisely is chiefly the responsibility of the Treasurer of Redbud. It is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. The duties of Treasurer of Redbud are primarily:

  1. To assure the smooth financial operation of the House
  2. To monitor and pay all legitimate bills owed by Redbud
  3. To act as liaison with Cornell University's Campus Life office in
  • Establishing rents
  • Billing residents through the University Bursar system, and
  • Collecting funds from Campus Life
  1. To maintain accurate records of all income and expenses of Redbud
  2. To prepare biannual financial reports for the Board of Directors To keep detailed financial records available to Officers to view43
  3. To calculate rent requirements and prepare the next year’s budget by late November
  4. To present the budget to the membership for discussion
  5. To provide SMC with monthly reports of all financial transactions To keep record of and pay monthly SMC bills44
  6. To act as liaison with SMC in preparing quarterly financial statements and annual taxes.
  7. To purchase house gift (see Section VII. “Gift Account”).18 See the Bylaws of Von Cramm, Inc and the Treasurer's Handbook by Jim Moss and Dave Burchfield for a more complete description of these duties.

The compensation for the office of Treasurer includes no HIP, no cook group, and 1/5 off rent for a single room.34 The treasurer must do a house chore.29 The treasurer is elected for a year. If conditions surrounding the meal plan (such as low enrollment of outside meal plan members) makes it necessary, the Treasurer must cook. During semesters in which the treasurer cooks, their compensation should be increased to 1/4 off of rent for a single room.19,20,29

Secretary

The role of Secretary includes, but is not limited to, responsibility for:

  1. Meeting Minutes: The Secretary is responsible for taking detailed minutes of house meetings and Board meetings, if the secretary decides to attend the Board meetings, and typing and posting those minutes in the foyer within 24 hours after the end of the meeting.
  2. Notice of Board Meetings: The Secretary is responsible for giving all notices of Board of Directors meetings. The Secretary may hand over this responsibility to the President if the President and Secretary agree that the Secretary will not be involved in the meeting, depending on the level of officer involvement needed for the particular board meeting.30
  3. House Rules: The Secretary is responsible for recording and incorporating any amendments to the House Rules within 1 week of their adoption.
  4. Alumni Database: The Secretary is responsible for seeing that the alumni database is updated every semester in accordance with the procedures in the Secretary's Handbook.
  5. Newsletter: The Secretary is responsible for writing and publishing at least one newsletter each semester and making certain the newsletter is emailed to each alumnus in the database. It may be necessary for the Secretary to recruit a member for assistance, as this works well as the member's HIP.
  6. Alumni Notification of Banquet: The Secretary must complete alumni notification of the banquet at least one month before the banquet. Notification can be accomplished through the newsletter.
  7. Cooking: The secretary may be asked to cook in case there are not enough people (less than three per day) to fill out all cooking groups. If this happens, the secretary, the president, and the house managers should take turns each week to fill out that open spot.21 House officers, however, should never cook on Sundays since it conflicts with the officer’s meeting. Note that this does not mean that the house officers have to fill out a position in case someone misses his/her cooking group. All cooking groups are responsible for their own assigned days.22

See the Bylaws of Von Cramm, Inc for a more complete description of these duties.

Note: The Secretary should search out ways to record, consolidate and organize the written works of Redbud. This may include working with other officers to consolidate handbook materials, conglomerating stuff in the databases, or presenting information (newsletter or important meeting minutes) on our website. One area of overlap: The Secretary should work with the HM to ensure that a scrapbook is made (perhaps as a HIP) at least once a year.

The compensation for the position of Secretary includes no cook group, no HIP, 1/5 off rent for a single room.35 The secretary must do a chore.23,24,29

The Secretary is elected for a year.25,26

Sustainability & Humanitarian Outreach Chair (SHOC)27

The role of the SHOC is to ensure Redbud works towards environmental sustainability and human equity by minimizing our own impact on the environment and using our resources to work with the greater Cornell, Ithaca, and human community to support and invest in efforts towards systemic change.

The word humanitarian in this context is used to emphasize that our environmental efforts must go hand in hand with improving people’s lives, and that it is imperative to act with both sustaining Earth and the human community in mind.

This position has a dynamic role in how it interacts with the co-op, Cornell and Ithaca communities and looks both inwards and outwards. Both the description and goals are intentionally not deliverable-based in order to give the SHOC the ability to shape and improve the duties of the position using their own critical-thinking skills and experience, and the position was conceived as an effort to investigate and expand how Redbud can best minimize its impact and leverage its resources and money for environmental and humanitarian goals.

The SHOC is a house member elected by the house at the beginning (first house meeting) of each semester to serve a term of one semester46. They are responsible for weekly communication with all officers at officer meetings, and biweekly communication of their ideas and actions at house meetings. This transparent and consistent communication is key to the position. Regularly consulting the house with ideas and research before, during, and after acting on them is a critical part of this communication; actively and consistently incorporating house member feedback is an expectation.

Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  1. Pursuing efforts to reduce resource consumption and waste production
  2. Using Redbud’s resources in order to support environmental and humanitarian efforts in alignment with the stated values of our house
  3. Overseeing compost, recycling, and other waste streams.
  • Taking care of the compost pile.
  • Taking care of bottle return.
  • Being fully aware of where our waste goes, what is being wasted, and working on how to minimize our waste in humanitarian and environmentally sound ways.
  1. Documenting and informing the house about their research and the progress of their efforts twice monthly.40
  • Delivering a presentation at every other house meeting.
  • Creating a comprehensive document on what actions they have taken and when, and on their ideas and other proposed ideas to be stored on the public Google Drive and/or github and accessible to house members and future holders of the position
  • SHOC is expected to have 3-4 projects that will be presented at each house meeting. At the first meeting after the election, they should be expected to present an actionable plan to the house.41
  1. Working with officer team to ensure that house purchases and decisions are durable and ecologically responsible. This includes but is not limited to: food, cleaning supplies, household supplies, furniture purchases, large equipment purchases, etc.
  2. Working with House Managers on large projects to ensure that they are humanitarian and ecologically responsible efforts.
  3. Coordinating with Fun Team to host at least one education event per semester, such as a speaker or documentary screening, open to the greater Cornell community.
  4. Coordinating Redbud's efforts to maintain charitable actions and donations through RB Cares, an effort established in 2011. It is the SHOC's responsibility to ensure that some charitable effort is made each semester. This counts as one of the SHOC's 3-4 projects.17,29,45

The compensation for the SHOC includes no HIP, no cook group, and 1/5 off rent for a single room, but must continue to do chores. If conditions surrounding the meal plan (such as low enrollment of outside meal plan members) makes it necessary, the SHOC is the first to be asked to cook. During semesters in which the SHOC cooks, their compensation should be increased to 1/4 off of rent for a single room.29

Summer House Manager

The Summer House Manager performs at least some functions of all officers present during the regular academic semester. These may include collecting summer rent and the activity fee, overseeing chores, and signing in new house members31. The Summer HM(s) pays no rent for summer. The Summer HM(s) also do not do a chore nor late night if the house is at 60% capacity or more. At least 50% of the summer officer team must be available for the duration of the entirety of the Summer Housing period. It is expected that the entire summer officer team meets at the beginning of the semester to coordinate schedules and responsibilities and hold regular officer meetings. 36,38

Summer Steward28

The Summer House Steward is responsible for overseeing Late Night and buying staple food items for the house each week. The Summer Steward pays no rent for summer. If there are two, each pays half rent, and splits a chore32,37. At least 50% of the summer officer team must be available for the duration of the entirety of the Summer Housing period. It is expected that the entire summer officer team meet at the beginning of the semester to coordinate schedules and responsibilities and hold regular officer meetings.39

Footnotes

  • [1] All house officer obligations passed 04/05/1998
  • [2] Passed 08/2002
  • [3] Amended 05/13/2018
  • [4] Passed 05/02/2010
  • [5] Passed 09/2014
  • [6] Passed 05/13/2018
  • [7] Passed 01/27/2019
  • [8] Passed 05/2004
  • [9] Passed 09/28/2014
  • [10] Passed 01/27/2019
  • [11] Passed 09/27/2015
  • [12] Passed 09/2014
  • [13] Passed 05/2004
  • [14] Passed 09/27/2015
  • [15] Passed 12/2013 (revised 09/2014)
  • [16] Passed 09/27/2015
  • [17] Passed 12/2013
  • [18] Passed 03/2016
  • [19] Passed 09/27/2015
  • [20] Passed 01/27/2019
  • [21] Passed 12/2013
  • [22] Passed 05/04
  • [23] Passed 01/27/2019
  • [24] Passed 09/27/2015
  • [25] Passed 01/27/2019
  • [26] Passed 04/2011
  • [27] Position added 05/13/2018
  • [28] Passed 04/28/2019
  • [29] Passed 12/08/2019
  • [30] Passed 1/26/2020
  • [31] Passed 4/05/2021
  • [32] Passed 4/18/2021
  • [33] Passed 8/29/2021
  • [34] Passed 1/31/2022
  • [35] Passed 1/31/2022
  • [36] Passed 12/06/2021
  • [37] Passed 12/06/2021
  • [38] Passed 03/19/2022
  • [39] Passed 03/19/2022
  • [40] Passed 09/11/2022
  • [41] Passed 09/11/2022
  • [42] Passed 09/11/2022
  • [43] Amended 08/27/2023
  • [44] Amended 08/27/2023
  • [45] Amended 2022
  • [46] Amended 02/11/2024, SHOC had to be a returning house member.
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