House Councils

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 at UMass Amherst. They organize fun events, address community issues, coordinate service projects, and work closely with the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and other representative bodies to advocate and create a positive change for students. 

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 can still be involved and contribute to your residential community!


How do I get involved in House Council?

To run for an executive board position (President, Vice President, Treasurer, or Secretary), fill out the Intent to Run form and submit a Nomination Packet to your Area RSD no later than Sunday, September 10th at 11:59pm.  Make sure you complete both of these required steps to secure your spot on the ballot!

If you would like to be involved with programming board, all you need to do is fill out an application by Friday, September 22nd.  Your RD and/or ARD will be in touch with you about your meeting times and locations.

The Residence Hall Association is hosting a House Council Training Day on Sunday, September 24th where you can meet the other members of your House Council, do some planning for the year, and learn about the resources available to assist you in putting together fun events and connecting the residents of your community to the rest of campus.  You will receive an e-mail with more information after election results are announced!


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. You can also contact the Residence Hall Association's Vice President at rha@sacl.umass.edu.