General Position Responsibilities
**Please note that these are generalities, not requirements
- Presides over the Executive Board (cabinet members) and Cabinet Meetings.
- Presides over House Meetings.
- Attends House Presidents’ meetings, as determined by Hall Director or Hall Council.
- Meets weekly with each house’s Community Adviser.
- Plans and implements a house and/or cabinet retreat (along with the CA).
- Maintains House constitution and by-laws.
- Picks up house mail and reports on the contents at house meeting
A House President should know:
- When IRHA and Hall Council meetings are held.
- The name of their Hall Director.
- Where to find campus resources and involvement opportunities.
- Their house constitution and by-laws.
- Their house election procedures.
How do I format and run an effective meeting?
Many organizations utilize Parliamentary Procedure, which is a system designed to efficiently debate topics, make motions, and give reports. Some people find parliamentary procedure to be too formal or structured. There are many other means that can be used to format a meeting. All cabinet and house meetings should have the following ingredients:
- Roll Call – so you can confirm attendance at the meeting.
- Officer Reports – each officer should report on the projects they are working on.
- Committee Reports – all house committees should give a report on their activities.
- Old Business – items discussed at a previous meeting that haven’t been decided.
- New Business – brand new items being discussed for the first time.
- Announcements – any general announcements from residents.
- Adjournment – closing of the meeting.
If a discussion has been going on for a long time, there are some strategies for bringing it to a close:
- Have a “once around,” in which each resident gets one final chance to comment.
- Put time limits on discussion, or on individual remarks.
- Postpone further discussion for another meeting.
- Simply announce that only 2 more comments will be accepted
How do I hold the rest of my officer team accountable?
Check your by-laws – are there basic expectations listed for each officer position? If not, you need to have them. Share them with your officers at a meeting. Advise them that these are the basic responsibilities, and if they are not met, the officer could be removed from their position.
Have each officer set 5 tangible goals (have them keep one copy and submit a copy to you). These goals should be shared with the entire house at a house meeting. Review them as an officer team every other week.
Have an individual meeting with each officer at the beginning of each semester. Discuss their goals with them further and offer your assistance in helping them reach their goals. If you show that you genuinely care about their success, they will most likely become more committed to their position.
If an officer is performing poorly, an individual meeting is a great way to find out what’s wrong. If a mediator is needed, your CA is a great resource.
If an officer is consistently performing poorly, offer them the opportunity to resign. If they won’t resign, go through your constitution and by-laws to have them removed. Remember…BE CONSISTENT, and DO NOT take the officer by surprise. By the time they reach this stage, they should clearly know about your concerns with their performance
How do I work with my CA to encourage a strong community?
At your next house meeting, ask the members of your house to define what a community means. It can mean different things to different people, and if the house can agree upon some similar standards you have a good foundation from which to build.
How well do the members of your house know each other? Take some time in a house meeting to do activities that allow house members to share who they are. Have members develop their own “personal profile” and post these on a house bulletin board.
Have more alcohol-free social events – and give different house members responsibility for planning these events.
Reward those residents who continually uphold community standards.
Retreats are a good way to build your community. Take an afternoon or a whole day to go off-campus for a team-building retreat
How do I get residents to attend house meetings?
Incentives that have stood the test of time include food, treats, and a special speaker.
Are your meetings too long? Generally, they should be no longer than 1 hour. Are the meetings fun? If not, develop ways to make them more informal and enjoyable. For instance:
- Have house awards that are tasteful, but humorous.
- Mix up your meeting location – go outside, or to a pizza place.
- Have a guest speaker.
- Have your meeting right before or after a house social event.
Publicize your meetings well in advance, and stick to a weekly schedule. Do not change the meeting day and time unless absolutely necessary.
Avoid late-night meetings and meetings on Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays.
Discuss substantive issues and make sure the meeting is an open forum. People will attend meetings where they can contribute.
How do I get more residents involved in house activities?
It’s all about how you start the year…set goals together at your first house meeting. This will help all residents feel more connected to the house.
Develop a survey that asks about their interests, and what types of activities they would like to see.
Develop a committee system, in which each resident serves on a committee. Remember – people are more likely to get involved with ideas that they help create!
Some residents may need an extra push, like a personal invitation to an activity or event.
Reward residents who get involved.
Ask yourself: “what benefits do the residents receive from attending house meetings and events?” If you can’t think of any, it’s time for some new events!