Table of Contents
Title 9: Cooperative Behavior & Expectations
A member’s rights and responsibilities are as follows:
To live in a democratically-managed House under the auspices of a democratically-run organization.
To live in a room and House which are safe and secure.
To live in a room and House which are clean sanitary, and in good repair.
To live in a House that is free from abuse, harassment, and prejudicial behavior of any kind.
To privacy in their own room.
To access all House and SHC rules, policies, and financial records.
To a balanced and fair dispute resolution process.
To competent House and Executive Officers.
To voice opinions; to be heard and listened to.
It is the policy of the SHC to encourage peaceful and satisfactory resolution of all conflicts and disputes between its members, especially those arising out of the normal frictions and difficulties of daily living. This policy applies to all complaints not covered by the Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policies.
9.02.01 – THE GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE
Third-party dispute and conflict mediation will be available to every member of the SHC from the Grievance Committee. The Grievance Committee will provide mediation and attempt to reach an informal resolution that will be satisfactory to all parties involved.
9.02.02 – COMPLAINTS
Any person claiming to be aggrieved by another member or members may file a complaint in writing (e.g., e-mail) with the Vice President of Membership or the Vice President of Education. If a Member is uncomfortable reporting incidents to either of these individuals, that Member may report the incident to another member of the Grievance Committee.
- a. Confidentiality Option: The Grievance Committee will require all Grievance Committee members to sign a confidentiality agreement at the complainant's' request. Board Members will not sign this and will therefore refrain from participation in a mediation attempt that involves a confidentiality agreement.
9.02.03 – MEDIATION
The parties to a complaint may be brought together to attempt an informal resolution of the complaint in a manner satisfactory to all parties. Mediation efforts will usually consist of meeting(s) between the mediators and the parties separately, and/or jointly, at the discretion of the mediators. The purpose of these discussions is to determine whether the dispute can be resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties without resort to formal procedures.
- a. Phase One: Mediation will be by no less than two members of the Grievance Committee. Mediators may not be residents of the House or Houses of any of the complainants. Mediation in Phase One will be consensus based. If Phase One mediation is successful, the case will be formally closed. If mediation is unsuccessful, the dispute will move onto Phase Two.
- b. Phase Two: Mediation will be at a quorum meeting of the Grievance Committee. Consensus will be sought when attempting to find a resolution to the dispute in Phase Two, but if consensus cannot be found, a decision will be made by a two-thirds majority vote of those Grievance Committee members present. If a decision of the Grievance Committee can be executed informally, the case will be formally closed.
9.02.04 – APPEAL
Any party claiming to be aggrieved by a final decision of the Grievance Committee, including, without limitation, a refusal to take any action, may appeal to the Board within fourteen calendar days of the date the Grievance Committee informs both parties of its final decision.
During an appeal, all parties involved must be given a chance to speak in front of the Board. In addition to that the Grievance Committee will offer a written report of the mediation attempt as well as their suggestions to the Board. After discussion of the issue and the report reviewed, a majority vote of the Board present is required to decide the case.
9.02.05 – DISCLAIMER
Nothing in this policy shall be constructed to create a cause of action by any member against the House or the SHC for failure to enforce this policy.
The SHC will not discriminate in the provision of either employment or housing on the basis of any personal trait that does not interfere with the ability of an individual to fulfill the responsibilities of employment or membership. The SHC does not tolerate unwelcome verbal, physical, or visual conduct, or any form of discriminatory harassment.
9.03.01 – SCOPE
In providing housing or employment, the SHC will attempt to eliminate illegal discrimination of every description, including, but not limited to acts that create a hostile environment, constitute harassment, quid pro quo, stalking, or other forms of unlawful discrimination. The Board and officers shall promulgate separate, simple procedures for handling complaints by employees of the SHC. The following procedures, applicable to members of the SHC, shall be made enforceable within the membership agreement so that acts of discrimination and/or harassment by a member may constitute grounds for eviction from the SHC.
9.03.02 – COMPLAINT
- a. A member who believes that they have been discriminated against or harassed by another member may complain either to the Vice President of Education or the Vice President of Membership in writing. Whichever of the Vice Presidents receives the written complaint shall take the role of investigating officer. The investigating officer shall inform the Executive Director and the non-investigating Vice President of the existence of the complaint and will thereafter report to both on the status of the investigation.
- b. Any member or employee who feels they have a cause for grievance against an employee, or any employee who feels they have cause for a grievance against a member, is encouraged to discuss the matter with the either the President or the Executive Director (as per 5.01.08).
9.03.03 – INVESTIGATION
- a. The Vice President of Membership, the Vice President of Education, the Executive Director, President, and the Grievance Committee shall be properly trained to conduct a careful investigation by using the Guidelines For Investigating Harassment and Discrimination Complaints (Appendix A).
- b. Interviewing the complainant and the person against whom the claim has been filed shall be completed in no more than fourteen days from the receipt of the complaint.
9.03.04 – REPORTS
- a. The investigating officer shall document the status of investigations and the recommendations of their investigations and shall create a confidential folder to hold records of the investigation, in accordance with the guidelines for preparing a report given in the Guidelines For Investigating Harassment and Discrimination Complaints (Appendix A). This report shall protect the identity of all parties and houses involved per these guidelines.
- b. The investigating officer shall label the complaint as substantiated, unsubstantiated, or unable to be determined.
- c. Discriminatory actions or harassment do not need to continue after the complaint has been filed for the complaint to be substantiated.
9.03.05 – CONSEQUENCES
- a. There are no consequences to any party if the claim is not substantiated.
- b. In the event a complaint is substantiated against a member or group of members, the nature of the consequences shall fit the nature of the complaint, up to and including eviction, and shall be left to the discretion of the investigating officer, with the following stipulations:
- i. The guilty party shall be placed on Desk Referral by the investigating officer.
- ii. If eviction is not the corrective measure implemented, relocation shall be offered as an option first to the complainant, depending on availability within the SHC system. If this is unacceptable to the complainant, mandatory relocation can be a consequence to the guilty party.
- c. The report of the investigation shall include a list of all of the consequences to be implemented.
9.03.06 – APPEAL
- a. Any party claiming to be aggrieved by the final decision of the investigating officer may appeal to the Grievance Committee within two weeks of the decision.
- b. The non-investigating Vice President will serve as the sole chair of the Grievance Committee for the appeal process.
- c. Members of the Grievance Committee who may have conflicts of interest, as determined by the non-investigating Vice President, will not participate in the appeal process.
- d. The investigating officer may be interviewed during the appeal process.
Member Referral is provided as a method by which uncooperative members may be asked not to re-sign at the end of the current contract. This may occur as the result of House action or a Desk Referral.
9.08.01 – HOUSE REFERRAL
At a quorum meeting of a co-op, a member may come up for referral by a House vote with a majority of those present. The member being put on referral must be notified in writing one week before the meeting at which the referral issue will be discussed. Any member may bring the issue to the House for consideration.
9.08.02 – DESK REFERRAL
In the case that a member has exhibited continued problems, which may include uncooperative behavior (see A Co-oper’s Rights and Responsibilities), non-payment, or non-work, any of the following individuals may issue a Desk Referral: the Member Services Coordinator, Vice President of Membership, Vice President of Education, or Executive Director. Should a staff member make the Desk Referral, it must have the support of the Vice President of Membership or the Vice President of Education.
If a member is placed on referral, a letter of explanation of the problem must be written by the individual or House issuing the referral and a copy needs to be sent to the member involved in the referral. A copy of the referral will be placed in the member’s file.
9.08.04 – REPORTS
The member on referral will not be allowed to sign another contract until the House has re-approved the member with a House vote of simple majority. In the case that a Desk Referral is issued, the member must be re-approved by the Membership Committee.
9.08.05 – CONSEQUENCES
If a member on referral is not re-approved, then the person will not be allowed to sign a contract with the SHC. The knowledge of a member’s referral status and the written description of the problem would be passed on to other Houses if the member applies elsewhere within the co-op system.
9.03.06 – APPEAL
The party claiming to be aggrieved by a final decision of the House may appeal to the Membership Committee within 14 days of the date of the House vote or Desk Referral, or the date the House or office informs the member of the decision by means of a written notice.
During an appeal, the person making the appeal as well as a representative of the House (preferably a House officer) must be given a chance to speak before the Membership Committee. After discussion of the issue, and a report from the House has been read, a majority vote of the Membership Officers present is required to reverse the decision. Officers must be present to vote.
Expulsions should be treated as a last resort measure. Expulsion proceedings should be pursued only after the Vice President of Membership has been notified and the procedures of grievance outlined in the Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policies have been executed in an attempt to avoid expulsion.
Members may be expelled from a House on any of the following grounds:
- a. Continual violation of a Roommate’s Bill of Rights, which reads as follows:
- A Roommate’s Bill of Rights
- i. Each roommate has the right to privacy and equal use of the room.
- ii. Each roommate must respect the other roommate's desires regarding lights, noise, and use in general.
- iii. A roommate must obtain explicit permission from his/her roommate to have an overnight guest in the room each time s/he has a guest.
- b. Continual nonperformance or poor performance of duties;
- c. Malicious destruction of the property of the House or of any member;
- d. Use of force or threats, including sexual harassment, against House members or guests;
- e. Nonpayment of money owed to the House or the SHC;
- f. Continuous violation of House rules;
- g. Discriminatory harassment;
- h. Violation of ordinance of state law, including but not limited to: possession, use, or delivery of controlled substances; theft of property; destruction of property.
The accused member shall be personally notified both orally and in writing of the charges citing appropriate grounds for expulsion and shall be given a chance to respond at a House meeting (including the presentation of witness testimony if desired) before an expulsion vote is cast. Both oral and written notification must be approved by a simple majority vote of House membership (whether it be by petition, impromptu, or regular House meeting).
An expulsion vote may only take place at a scheduled House meeting where a quorum is present, following the posting for one week of signed charges citing appropriate grounds for expulsion. These charges must include specific details of the alleged violations along with the name of at least one witness.
A two-thirds majority of all House members holding current residence are necessary to expel a member. This vote must be by signed petition with all charges against the member listed.
Upon passage of the motion to expel, the person expelled shall be given 24 hours to indicate when, within seven days she/he will be leaving. If the person refuses to leave the House, the Membership Officer shall ask the Vice President of Membership to initiate formal eviction proceedings in court.
During eviction proceedings, the rights of the expelled member shall be scrupulously protected by House members.
Expelled members will be charged a fine in the amount of one month’s assessment to be used for advertising the vacancy caused by the expulsion. The expelled member will also be held responsible for any debts or fines incurred within the House until the time of departure.
In the case of a violation of federal or state law, the SHC reserves the right to enact eviction proceedings by a two-thirds vote of the Board.
If an expulsion hearing held in good faith is later found to have not been conducted according to written procedures, the hearing will be considered valid and any decision will stand unless the person being expelled objects and requests a new hearing.
Any Member who is evicted will not receive their Member Share returns or House surplus.
Any Member who is evicted will never be eligible to live in a House again, unless re-approved by a three-fourths majority vote of Membership Committee at a regularly-scheduled, quorum meeting.
9.12.01 – PARTY DEFINITION
- a. A House-sponsored party is defined by all three conditions:
- i. The party is advertised.
- ii. The party takes place in a common area.
- iii. The party has live entertainment or amplified music.
- b. Any person wishing to hold a party must be a current House Member, and only a House Member can be a party representative.
- c. There will be no rental or lending of Houses to outside agencies or individuals for parties, benefits, etc.
- d. A committee-sponsored party can be an event with special recruitment purposes or an informational or educational event. The committee chair will act as the party representative.
9.12.02 – PARTY APPROVAL
- a. All parties must be approved in advance by three-fourths vote of the House at a regularly-scheduled, quorum meeting.
- b. The names of those voting in the affirmative must be recorded in the meeting minutes.
- c. Committee Members can volunteer to host a committee-sponsored party with a three-fourths vote of their House at a regularly-scheduled, quorum meeting.
9.12.03 – RESPONSIBILITY & GENERAL GUIDELINES
- a. Any damages incurred are to be paid for by the House.
- b. The House is responsible for organizing sufficient House-level security before the party.
- c. People attending any party or event will only be admitted through one entrance, while other exits will be monitored during the party to prevent any unauthorized entrance/exit.
- d. Amplified music and general noise will end at 2:00am.
- e. Houses will designate someone as a party representative who will be sober and present until all party-goers have left. Any problems will be directed to the party representative. Prior to the party, all House Members shall know who the party representative is for that evening and be informed of the party representative's function.
9.12.04 – ADVERTISING POLICY
- a. Advertisement of alcohol or controlled substances is strictly prohibited.
- b. Advertisements for parties posted in any public area are strictly prohibited. Inviting friends to a party through social networking websites is allowed as long as invitations remain private and the party is posted as a secret or invite-only event.
- c. Committee-sponsored parties can be advertised outside the SHC if they serve a special purpose, such as recruitment, or are an educational or informational event.
- d. Any advertised party must include notice to all Houses and the SHC.
9.12.05 – NEIGHBOR RELATIONS
- a. A notice of parties will be made to neighbors by the House to include the time and date of the party.
- b. Houses will clean the neighborhood of all party-related debris within 24 hours after the party or event.
- c. The neighbors should have the phone number and the name of the party representative during the party with a request to contact them rather than the police if the party or event becomes a problem.
9.12.06 – MONEY
No party profits will be budgeted into a House's finances.
9.12.07 – ALCOHOL POLICY
- a. Selling alcohol at a House party or event is strictly prohibited. This includes but is not limited to: charging at the door for drinks, wristbands, stamps, cups, or accepting donations at parties where alcohol is distributed.
- b. Alcohol will not be distributed or purchased on behalf of people under 21 years of age.
- c. Houses cannot use official House funds (e.g, individual House checking, savings accounts, social budget, or any fees collected by treasurers) to purchase alcohol.
- d. No alcohol will be provided at committee-sponsored parties, including the All-Member Parties and Orientations.
9.12.08 – VIOLATIONS OF THE PARTY POLICY
- a. The Vice President of Membership will bring violations of the Party Policy to the attention of the Executive Committee and the Board.
- b. If a House violates any part of the Party Policy except the invitation policy or the advertising alcohol policy, the House shall be fined $10 per House Member and the Vice President of Membership will ban the House from having parties for a three-month period. This ban will be reported at the subsequent Board of Directors meeting.
- i. Any parties held in violation of this ban will result in a $30 fine per Member of the House.
- ii. If Members of the House are able to provide meeting minutes from the House meeting in which the decision to have a party was made, those Members who did not agree to the party or event may ask to be exempted from the fine.
- c. If a House publicly advertises a party and fails to make the event private or invite-only within one day of being made aware of this violation by the SHC, the House will receive a fine of $10 per member.
- i. If the House maintains this violation of the Party Policy for more than a week or until the date of the party (whichever is sooner), the House will also receive the standard punitive measures for any Party Policy violation (see Violations of the Party Policy (b)).
- d. If a House publicly advertises alcohol at a party and fails to remove that advertisement within one day of being made aware of this violation by the SHC, the House will receive a fine of $10 per member.
Smoking is not allowed inside of any SHC House, including smoking for medical reasons.
9.13.02 – VIOLATIONS OF THE SMOKING POLICY
- a. If, during any inspection, a House is found to have covered smoke detectors in common areas, each Member of the House will receive a $20 fine.
- b. If a bedroom is found to have a covered smoke detector, the Member or Members who reside in that room will receive a $20 fine each.
- c. If a Member is found to have a covered smoke detector 3 times, that Member shall be placed on Desk Referral.
- d. If a Member has concern that the Smoking Policy is not being followed in their House, they may approach the Vice President of Facilities or assistance in enforcing the Smoking Policy.
The goal of this section is to attempt to make parking situations at each House more uniform. The goal is for the SHC to provide approximately 60% parking availability for each house with an average of 80% parking system wide.
Parking for each House shall be defined as follows:
|House||# of Members||Actual # of spots||Spots allocated||Difference|
|415 Ann St.||5||6||4||Lose 2 to 501 M.A.C. Ave.|
|425 Ann St.||15||16||12||Lose 4 to 501 M.A.C. Ave.|
|140 Collingwood Dr.||15||13||13||-|
|146 Collingwood Dr.||9||7||7||-|
|152 Collingwood Dr.||6||5||5||-|
|420 Evergreen Ave.||12||11||10||Lose 1 to 501 M.A.C. Ave.|
|501 M.A.C.||23||7||16||Gain 1 from 420 Evergreen Ave., Gain 2 from 415 Ann St., Gain 4 from 425 Ann St., Gain 2 from 505 M.A.C., Gain 2 from 525 M.A.C. Ave.|
|505 M.A.C.||22||20||17||Gain 1 from 420 Evergreen Ave., Gain 2 from 415 Ann St., Gain 4 from 425 Ann St., Gain 2 from 505 M.A.C., Gain 2 from 525 M.A.C. Ave.|
|525 M.A.C.||10||10||8||Lose 2 to 501 M.A.C. Ave.|
|236 N. Harrison||20||17||17||-|
|711 W. Grand River Ave.||21||16||16||-|
|427 W. Hillsdale St.||8||6||6||-|
|127 Whitehills Dr.||19||13||14||Gain 1 from 505 M.A.C. Ave.|
Each House will assign parking.
9.20.03 – VIOLATIONS OF THE PARKING POLICY
- a. If a House does not abide by this policy and it creates a conflict between Houses, the aggrieved House will notify the Vice President of Facilities who will attempt to resolve the issue.
- b. If the House in violation of this policy continues to refuse to comply with the Parking Policy, the House will be fined $10 per Member per spot they have taken from another House per month by the Vice President of Facilities.
- c. If the House has assigned parking in accordance with the Parking Policy and it is specific Members who are in violation of this policy, the House may elect to have those specific Members bear the burden of any fines assessed for policy violations.