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Duke Selective House Council Constitution


Selective Living Groups ("Houses") provide strong and supportive community for members, and we are a hub of activity for undergraduate student life. Houses make significant and lasting contributions to intellectual, ethical, social, and cultural life on campus. Moreover, Houses are a unique feature of the Duke University undergraduate experience, and as such Houses have unique obligations and needs. As the residential community continually grows and changes, Houses need representation in a way that will further our interests and the interests of the University. We therefore establish the Selective House Council as a forum to work out and address the needs of all groups, which will in turn enhance the effectiveness of each group in meeting its own goals.

Article I: Name.

The name of this group shall be the Selective House Council (SHC).

Article II: Purpose.

The purpose of the Selective House Council shall be:
  • To provide a forum for Selective House leaders and members to communicate problems and needs that may be of interest to all Selective Houses. Areas of particular interest include:
    • Recruitment and membership processes and policies
    • Judicial actions
    • Housing concerns
    • Other social and cultural concerns
  • To represent Selective Houses to the University administration and community on issues that affect our groups.
  • To enhance the positive contributions of Selective Houses.
  • To establish or contribute to a yearly review process. A yearly review process will help each House assess how well it is meeting its goals and adjust our policies and programming accordingly.

Article III: Membership and Leadership

Each Selective House may choose whether to be affiliated with SHC, and SHC will vote whether to admit any House that petitions for membership. Presidents of affiliated Selective Houses shall be considered members of the Selective House Council. Each House President may act as SHC liaison or appoint a House member as SHC liaison as needed.

In all voting matters, each House has one vote. The vote will be decided by the President or by the official liaison in attendance at the meeting. All votes are decided by simple majority.

Meetings are open, and so House members are always welcome to attend and participate.

House liaison responsibilities:
  • Maintain good financial standing through timely payment of SHC dues
  • Regularly attend SHC meetings
  • Communicate matters of group interest to SHC
  • Communicate SHC actions to House members
Voting for leadership shall occur at the first SHC meeting of each year. SHC may vote to create additional positions and to modify individual responsibilities as necessary.

SHC leadership responsibilities:
  • President
    • Presides over meetings
    • Calls meetings as needed
    • Acts as aliaison to administration and media
    • Acts as a liaison to other student groups
  • Vice President
    • Presides over meetings in the absence of the president
    • Calls meetings as needed
    • Acts as a liaison to other student groups
  • Secretary / Treasurer
    • Takes meeting minutes and communicates proceedings to all Houses in a timely and organized manner
    • Collects and maintains funds through administration of SHC account

Article IV: Powers and Procedures:

SHC must recognize that though all Selective Houses share some common qualities and roles, each group is both highly unique and free-standing. As a forum SHC shall proceed by discussion and agreement between Houses. However, since one of the bases for the value of a House is its autonomy and uniqueness, SHC shall not mandate actions to a House that would jeopardize that House's ability to meet its own specific goals. Nor shall SHC take responsibility for the actions of any one House. SHC may provide a guide for House actions and a way of increasing information flow between Houses, but SHC is not a governing body.

In cases of extreme negligence by one House, SHC affiliation may be terminated. Such cases include:
  • Outstanding debts to SHC
  • Failure to regularly attend meetings
  • Failure to meet other SHC-related obligations
SHC shall meet biweekly or as needed.

All decisions of SHC shall be communicated by the Secretary to all Houses in a timely and organized manner.

SHC shall act to publicize Houses and recruitment details to freshmen and sophomore students.

Article V: Annual Review

In the spring of 2005, SHC will create an Annual Review system. The purpose of the Annual Review is twofold:
  • Review allows for serious reflection on the achievements and goals of each House.
  • Review provides a standing public record of the activities and contributions of each House.
The Annual Review shall be submitted to the University in order that a clear record be maintained and available to both students and administration.