Table of Contents
Beal House Constitution
Beal Cooperative was created in 1949. In the spring of 2009 the Beal House was absorbed into the MSU Student Housing Cooperative. Beal House thrived as a cooperative for several decades independently. Future and current Beal residents appreciate and respect the long independent history of this house. Our house operates under the following principles:
I. Sustainability – This house will conduct itself in a manner that promotes individual, community, and environmental sustainability so that the house will continue to flourish. Each member is responsible for making individual and community decisions that respect and promotes a common understanding of sustainability and sustainable goals.
II. Democracy/democratic system – Each member’s (as defined by Article 2 of this constitution) voice is considered equal and will be given an equal vote.
III. Member rights – Members are guaranteed a safe and clean living space.
IV. Follow all SHC rules – As members of the SHC living in an SHC owned house we are required to follow all SHC rules, laws and bylaws.
Article 1: General Information
Article 1 is amendable if vote passes with unanimous vote, except for Beal’s house name.
I. Beal’s house name cannot be changed. Part of the sales contract listed that the house was to retain this name. The SHC requires the name.
II. The house is governed by the constitution.
III. 7 votes (in a full Haus) in favor are required for a constitutional change.
- In the event that Beal Haus in not full, 51% of members must vote in agreement for a constitutional change.
IV. Half plus 1 (six members with a full house) voting members are required to be present to fulfill the minimum quorum requirement. During the summer, quorum is 51% occupancy of the current Haus. Any item voted upon at a house meeting must be written into the agenda with vote total (for/against/abstentions) for the sake of reference and clarification. Meeting notices must be posted 3 days prior to the meeting by the meeting planner. Beal must have at least two house meetings per month. Meeting times and dates will be decided by the house at the first meeting of each semester. Meeting minutes must be posted 2 days following the meeting. There will be an ongoing agenda for house meeting items.
- All members will go over the constitution at the first meeting of the contract year. The constitution must be updated yearly (look to the revision date listed at the end of this document).
Article 2: Consent
Consent is a must. Consent is defined as permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. Consent must be given as a verbal, clear, and enthusiastic yes by all parties involved, given they are in a fair position to do so. Fair is defined as being able minded to make the decision and without pressure or influence to do so. Consent can be revoked or adjusted at anytime by anyone involved.
I. All Beal Haus guests must be informed on Beal Haus consent policy.
II. Anyone who violates Beal Haus consent policies will no longer be allowed in Beal Haus.
III. If a Haus member violates consent, the victim can take the claim to the membership officer to decide future action.
IV. Consent to share-ask for consent before releasing negative, emotionally charged, and/or triggering information
V. Consent does NOT include coercion.
- Take no as an answer the first time.
- Pushing someone to consent is not consent.
Article 3: Membership
Beal Haus Membership
I. Membership is open to individuals of all races, religions, nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities.
II. Room picks will be based on seniority. Seniority is prioritized by current beal members, then current co-op members, then new members. Overall, the member with the most seniority will get the first room pick, the second highest will get second, and so on and so forth. Seniority will be decided as follows:
- The person with the highest points has the highest seniority.
- For each fall or spring semester living in Beal, the active member will be assigned 5pt.
- For each summer semester living in Beal the active member will be assigned 3pt.
- For each fall or spring semester living in SHC outside of Beal, the active member will be assigned 2pt.
- For each summer semester living in SHC outside of bower the active member will be assigned 1pt.
- If point totals are equal for the two active members, then their signing dates will be used to determine whose seniority is higher. If that is the same, then the date the member submitted their SHC application will be used to determine seniority. If all else fails, an impartial manner such as drawing straws, flipping a coin, or rolling a die will determine who has higher seniority for those individuals.
Beal Haus Prior Relationship Clause
- If the house believes tourees have formed a relationship prior to applying that may cause them to be uncooperative upon moving in, the house may vote no on their tour card (to then be voted on by the Membership Committee).
Beal Haus Guest Policy
Beal Haus defines “guest” in this constitution as an overnight visitor.
Beal’s guest policy is as follows:
I. Guest must follow Beal house rules and is the responsibility of the hosting member.
II. If a guest is to sleep in a common area house members must consent and be asked at least 24 hours in advance. We understand that sometimes guests may sleepover unexpectedly, if in a common space notify housemates. This should not be a reoccurring theme.
III. If guest is visiting, hosting member must ask the house if their guest can park in the lot.
IV. If a guest stays at the house more than 4 days a week, for more than one week, that guest must pay the allotted house charges, be placed on the chore list and present at house meetings. If it is 6 times a week the guest may be expected to become a member and pay for their spot within the house.
V. A guest may not stay at Beal Co-op unless the member hosting that guest is in residence, unless the house has given full consent.
VI. Notify all members of Beal Haus should you have more than one guest staying for multiple nights.
Beal Haus Visitor Policy
Beal Haus defines “visitor” in this constitution as a non-overnight visitor.
Beal's visitor policy is as follows:
I. Visitors must follow Beal Haus rules and are the responsibility of the hosting member.
II. Visitors should not be left unattended in common areas if hosting members are not in the house.
III. Beal Haus members must notify and acquire consent (51% Haus approval) for over 5 visitors (inside or outside).
Roommate Bill of Rights
I. Each roommate has the right to privacy and equal use of the room.
II. Each roommate must try to respect the other’s desires regarding lights, noise and room use in general.
III. A roommate must obtain explicit permission from their roommate to have an overnight guest in the room each time they have such a guest.
IV. Consent is required from roommates in doubles should hosting visitors be left unattended in your double room.
Article 4: Jobs
Beal follows a ten-day chore schedule for common areas. Additionally, each member of Beal is required to have one officer position at all times. Officer roles are determined each semester, when members move in and out of the house, or as needed.
I. Meeting Coordinator/Secretary – The meeting coordinator announces meetings 3 days in advance, creates agendas and takes notes during house meetings. They are required to take attendance at each meeting. Members should report to the Meeting Coordinator if they will not be able to attend a meeting.
II. Board Member – The Board Officer is required to attend SHC Board of Directors meetings. They are responsible for monitoring the performance of the SHC and its leadership with the rest of the Board, and setting goals for the organization.
III. Facilities – Maintenance is responsible for minor house work and keeping a backup copy of the keys. Maintenance is also required to attend maintenance meetings.
IV. Membership – Membership is required to go to membership meetings, representing the house to new members, plan for the “AMPO’s” and motivate people to be involved in co-op events. The Membership Officer is also responsible for resolving house conflict and is an individual members may come to regarding the grievance process.
V. Finance – The Finance officer acts as the house treasurer. The finance officer creates the budget for the year, keeps track of checkbooks and bank accounts, paying house bills, attending finance officer meetings and keeping track of house spending. The Finance officer must also report fines to the SHC in the monthly charge sheet and provide it to members before the start of each month.
VI. Education – Education is required to go to education meetings, report meeting information back to the house, submit items to the pine press, get other houses to submit items to the pine press, and to bring people into the co-op system. The Education officer is also responsible for helping to organize a community service project through the SHC The education officer .They are also responsible for resolving house conflict and is an individual members may come to regarding the grievance process.
VII. Choremaster – Required to maintain a jobs list, enforce fines and report fines to the finance officer. Also responsible for dish schedule, kitchen clean schedule and potential cooking schedule if agreed on by the house. Choremaster must also inspect each housemate’s chore clean to determine if it meets house expectations and provides feedback.
VIII. Office Labor – 4 hours of office labor is to be performed in the SHC office per month.
IX. [Not Active] Event Planner – Plan house parties (Facilitate discussion with house about party themes, dates, times, and guest list. Assign set-up/clean-up roles among housemates). Plan house events (schedule fun little events the house can do together-make sure to discuss with house at meeting). Not in charge of planning house events for tourees, but if Membership Officer requests help for that, the Event Planner should fill that role.
X. House Shopper – Purchases house goods decided upon in the beginning of each semester. Coordinates with meal planner and finance officer (for house card). This position requires a car.
XI. Meal Planner – Decide meals for the house, coordinate with house shopper or shop with house card (coordinate with finance officer if you have to go over budget), and prepare the meal. Should organize clean up rotation for house members.
Article 5: Meals
I. At the beginning of each academic year and beginning of summer, members will decide if they want to have a meal plan and will decide the monthly cost of the meal plan voted on. will be discussed and decided upon. A member of the house must indicate at the beginning of the semester whether they are on or off of the meal plan. All diets ought to be accommodated for with respect to the financial situation of the house. If an individual feels that this provision is not being met, they can present their case to the house for removal from the meal plan.
II. Guests and significant others are allowed to eat one or two house meal per semester.
- Haus members must notify meal planner(s) of guest 2 days prior to Haus meal.
- Haus members must notify meal planner(s) of guests dietary restrictions 2 days prior to Haus meal.
Article 6: Expectations
I. Meetings will be facilitated and the agenda will be posted by the meeting coordinator 3 days in advance.
II. The minimum number of individuals for quorum is set to 51% of Haus occupation. 51% of votes are required to pass any item.
III. If a house member misses a meeting, they are fined on a rising scale. The fine scale increases by $5.00 and starts as a freebee. The second missed meeting is a fine of $5.00, the third is $10.00, the fourth is $15.00, and so on.
IV. If a house member will miss a meeting, they should notify the Meeting Coordinator 2 days prior to the meeting.
V. In the next meeting, the house will vote on whether they will excuse or enforce the fine.
I. At the beginning of each semester the house will discuss recycling and what that entails.
II. Quiet hours will be discussed by the house every semester.
- Respect quiet hours from 11pm-8am on school nights and 2am-11am on weekends (2022-2023).
- Ask fellow Haus members kindly to be quiet if needed.
- If someone asks you to be quiet, respect their wishes.
III. Cats must be registered within the SHC and approved all members prior to moving in.
IV. If an animal is visiting, the hosting member must receive consent from members prior to their visit.
V. Decorating and painting the house must be brought up at a house meeting prior to performing the work.
VI. The posting of minutes prior to the next meeting is mandatory.
VII. Checkout procedures are required of all members of Beal and must be verified by the maintenance officer.
VIII. When members move out they are responsible for taking all of their personal belongings with them. If they need the house to hold on to something of theirs they must ask for permission from all members. The house will hold items for a week. If possible, notification will be given to the owner of items once that week has been met.
IX. Personal items left in non-designated storage areas are considered trash/salvage/sell one week after the items are set in public areas. If possible, notification will be given to the owner of items left in public places prior to disposal.
X. A member of Beal has the right to peace and privacy within their room.
XI. If a member buys something for the house, that member must contact the finance officer for compensation within a month of purchase.
XII. If someone else is speaking to the group, do not interrupt or start your own conversation on the side.
XIII. Be inclusive and empathetic - aim to build a tight knit environment
XIV. If the house believes tourees, who have formed a relationship prior to applying, may cause them to be uncooperative, they may vote no on their tour card
- Because of this, the house may feel that their relationship prior to moving in would cause issues, so the house may vote no. This is a case by case basis. Having a relationship outside of the house does NOT mean an automatic vote no.
XV. Every person touring Beal is to respect and abide by the house tour and house approval/denial process
I. Fines will be levied for incomplete chores. The first individual incomplete chore will fine the member $10. Missing kitchen duty is an a fine of $10. Incomplete dish duty is a fine of $5. At the beginning of each semester, the fine cycle will renew.
II. If a chore is left incomplete and the member does not or can not choose a make up chore, another member may “steal” that chore and will be credited the $5 fine. If the fine was higher than $5 then the excess will go to house funds. If the chore goes unstolen, the member who must complete that the chore during the next cycle will be rewarded the $5.
III. If a member accrues a $40 chore fine, the house may choose to evict them by majority vote at the next house meeting.
IV. Every member has the right to challenge any fine at the first house meeting after the fine is issued.
I. After the first violation it is up to the discretion of the house (eviction is possible.)
II. After a second violation the person is sent to the grievance committee and with possible eviction.
III. If a third violation occurs an eviction pending vote will take place. Half of the house will be needed to vote out the member. (Excluding potential evictee.)
Article 7: Emergencies
I. At the beginning of each semester, the house Membership office is required to gather all personal cell phone numbers and all (personal) emergency contact numbers for all residents. These numbers should be posted publicly in an agreed upon place.
II. In the case of a fire house members will meet across the street on the even-side of M.A.C.
III. If a member has any health condition, house members or the membership officer should be made aware, in order to ensure the health and safety of that member at all times. If any member discloses personal health conditions to the house or a specific house member, those who are knowledgeable of their condition are required to remain confidential.
IV. If a member should contract any illness, said member must let all other Haus members know immediately, and it will be dealt with in accordance to its severity. (For example, COVID-19: Isolation, common cold: medicine and mask word in common areas, etc.)
V. Emergency provision – Unilateral action can be taken by the finance officer, facilities officer and Board Representative if necessary. Any money spent will be voted on by the house as soon as quorum can be met and then re-voted on at the next house meeting. The amount of money spent cannot exceed $300.00.
Last revised: 11/02/2023