House Councils

Elections Resources:

Executive Board Intent to Run
Programming Board Application

Governing Documents:

Title V
RHA Constitution

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 at UMass Amherst. They organize fun events, address community issues, and coordinate service projects. House Councils are part of the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and work closely with the RHA Executive Board and Area Governments to advocate and create a positive change for students. 

What is the difference between House Council Executive Board and Programming Board?
Executive boards are primarily responsible for governing and advocacy. 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 or Programming Board?

To run for an executive board position (President, Vice President, Treasurer, or Secretary), fill out the Intent to Run form no later than Sunday, September 18th at 11:59pm. Election results will be announced on Friday, September 30th

If you would like to be involved with programming board, all you need to do is fill out an application by Sunday, September 30th.  Your RD and/or ARD will be in touch with you about your meeting times and locations.


Why should you join?

  • Acquire practical budget management skills.  
  • Gain interpersonal and team skills. 
  • Meet and get to know people, meet and form new friends. 
  • Network with staff and faculty in the department.  
  • Make a difference in the lives of students through programs.  
  • Make suggestions that help improve the community. 
  • It's fun!

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 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
  • 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! Updated contact information on Campus Pulse after the beginning of the year. In the meantime you can contact your Residence Director or the Residence Hall Association at