Student Housing Cooperative Elections 2012
Job descriptions & Letters of Intent
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10 March 2012
Dear members of the SHC and board representatives: This letter is to inform you of my intent to run for the position of president for the MSU Student Housing Cooperative for the 2012/2013 academic year. I have been a resident of Toad Lane since May of 2010, serving as interim coordinator, board representative, and financial officer for my house. Through my experience with the SHC I have learned a lot about the co-op system, as well as its organizational structure, attending two annual fall board retreats as well as a NASCO conference. In my time here I have come to love the cooperative style of living and the people that this organization represents. I am very passionate about moving this organization forward in the direction that previous executive members have worked so hard to create and continuing to make improvements in the functioning of our cooperative. My personal goals as part of the executive committee are to continue to improve the efficiency of this organization and to work hard in the role of president to afford all SHC residents the great living experience that I have had. When I joined the SHC after my freshman year I did so for economic reasons, but I have renewed my contract three times after that because of the amazing community that I have found in the MSU cooperatives. The relationships that I have formed and my engagement with the cooperative and the neighborhood that I live in have given me the knowledge of what makes a positive living environment and a strong community. I have been very impressed with the improvements that have been made in the past year within the governance of our cooperative and I want to continue this trend of embracing new technologies, streamlining the functioning of our office and board meetings, and investing in our members and houses. Our cooperative is only as strong as its members and if we want to continue to provide an alternative to student housing that actually puts students first education, engagement, and outreach to new and potential members is vital to our success. I feel that one of the most important aspects of leadership is creating an environment where everyone’s talents are and contributions are valued and given the opportunity to shine. My leadership style is inclusive and I want to reveal the leadership qualities that our members have through service, relationships, and action within our cooperative. When thinking about the future, I love the advertisement that the SHC uses that pictures the double pines trees and bears the slogan, ‘One generation plants the tree, and another gets the shade.’ Our present is shaped by the hard work and effort that past members have contributed and our future is shaped by the decisions we currently face. I hope to plant a lot of ‘trees’ in my role as president and create an environment for other members to do so as well. I look forward to the opportunity of working with you as a member of the executive committee. Yours in cooperation, Shelby Couch
Dear Members, If Matt DeNinno were running for reelection, I wouldn’t be putting my name forward. His leadership as President has moved our organization in a positive direction. He has been a thoughtful facilitator of the Board of Directors and I hope to build upon many things he has established and see to it the SHC and its members thrive into the future. I am running because of my established history with our organization and my background as a legislative professional. Before enrolling at MSU, I was a political and legislative staffer, organizing for a Presidential campaign, Co-‐ managing a U.S. House race, and finally managing a legislative office at the Michigan House. In each of these capacities, I managed budgets and staff. This is especially important because the President of the SHC must also manage budgets and staff, and I am the only candidate that has done this. I first moved into Bowie in 2007, when it was called Elsworth. There, I served as a Maintenance Officer and Board Rep. I used these positions to secure funding to install sustainable wood floors and new, state of the art bathrooms. The renovations at Bowie became a model for renovating every house in our system. I was out for two years but returned in the Fall of 2011, when I was elected Corporate Secretary. In this position, I am both a member of the Board and Executive Committee (E.C.). I have an intimate understanding of how they, along with the general membership, make policy and can shape our system for the better. As President, I will use all the brains I have and all that I can borrow. I intend to find new ways to optimize the talents of the E.C., Board, General Membership, and Staff to move our organization forward and ensure an improved quality of life for members. One of my biggest concerns right now is our expansion. Buying and acquiring new houses has improved our equity, liquidity, and overall solvency. However, we haven’t been filling our houses quite as we would like. As President, I will look for ways we can improve the financial standing of our organization by investing in the houses we already have. That not only means making sure they are up to code but also comfortable places to live and study. In addition, we need to make sure our houses are optimally weatherized and sustainable, from low emission appliances to seeing if any of our houses are good candidates for solar panels or windmills. Because of my experience on the Board & E.C., my background managing budgets and staff, and my history with the organization , I am the best prepared to lead from Day 1. If you have any comments or questions, please get in touch. Otherwise, I hope I have your vote and your support. Best, David Tibergien Corporate Secretary & Candidate for President.
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President job description The Executive Vice President is one of two new positions created in the recent Bylaws change. The duties that the EVP will have include: ● Chairing the Physical Development Committee (which is still being developed, and may be a committee that meets quarterly instead of bi-weekly). ● Developing, in coordination with the Maintenance Coordinator, Maintenance Committee, Maintenance Vice President, and the Physical Development Committee, a yearly Physical Development budget for the SHC to be reviewed by the Finance Committee and approved by the Board. ● Performing the duties of the President in their absence. ● Having partial responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing maintenance programs within the cooperative households. ● Investigating physical development potential for cooperative facilities, through governmental and private entities. If you want more information, you can direct questions to our previous Executive Vice President, Dan Tooman, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also wish to speak with the President, Matt DeNinno, as the position’s description is still being finalized!
My Fellow Co-opers, I have lived in the MSU Student Housing Cooperative system for almost two years now at David Bowie Memorial Cooperative. Throughout my time within this system I have gained a desire to become more involved and I feel that I can make the most difference in a position where I find myself feeling very passionate and excited. That position is Executive Vice President. Over the past two months I have been undergoing training with my predecessor, Dan Tooman, for this position, which I took up as my own on March the 1st of this year. I was appointed to this position and chosen out of a pool of people by Dan Tooman and our current President Matt DiNinno, and as I stressed to them in my interview, I am in this for the long haul. I plan on living in the system for the next three years and I plan on running for Executive Vice President every year that I live within the system. In a position such as this, consistency is a huge factor in achieving success. Being that I plan to continue in this position for years to come - so long as I am re-elected - I can set more long term goals and work toward achieving these goals by having the benefit of planning far in advance for major projects. As Executive Vice President I will carry out all duties as spelled out in our code and will do my best to adhere to it. My duties will include coordinating with the Maintenance Coordinator. However, I also find that it will be important for me to communicate regularly with the Maintenance Vice President as this is vital in bringing about organization which will lead to more positive physical results within the houses. I plan to hold regular meetings with the Physical Development Committee as to assure that each house has a voice and that all major issues can be dealt with and planned for in a timely manner. I feel that the excitement, energy, and enthusiasm I have for this position will bring about avidity in our Physical Development Officers as well as enable me to keep moving forward positively. If re-elected as Executive Vice President for the next full term I will bring with me the experience I have as a two-year Maintenance Officer at David Bowie Memorial Cooperative as well as the job training I have received from the always efficient and hard-working Dan Tooman. I will use the tools and resources given to me by the SHC to the best of my ability and, perhaps to my surprise, beyond any energy that I thought I could muster. I hope to help the growth of the SHC while in this position in any way I can. Yours in Cooperation, Mel Atkins
Maintenance Vice President
Maintenance Vice President job description The Maintenance Vice President is one of two new positions created in the recent Bylaws change. The duties that the MVP will have include: ● Chairing the Maintenance Committee. ● Working with the Maintenance Coordinator in the development of internal education programs designed to assist members in the care of their households. ● Educating houses on simple, proactive maintenance and energy efficiency increasing measures. ● Overseeing the yearly inspections as stipulated in 7.04. Information from these inspections shall be entered into the maintenance database. ● Developing, in coordination with the Maintenance Coordinator, Maintenance Committee, Executive Vice President, and the Physical Development Committee, a yearly Physical Development budget for the SHC to be reviewed by the Finance Committee and approved by the Board. ● Overseeing the application of the PD Grant Program. ● Inspecting all house common areas on a monthly basis as per 8.02, Article X: Maintenance. ● Monitoring inventory and checkout list for the SHC Tool Library and advertising this service to the general membership. If you want more information, you can direct questions to our previous Executive Vice President, Dan Tooman, at email@example.com. You may also wish to speak with the President, Matt DeNinno, as the position’s description is still being finalized!
Dearest SHC, I have a migraine and typing makes me want to cry until the world is over, so I will be brief. I am writing to declare my intent to be Maintenance Vice President (MVP). If you all agree, I will actually be the first MVP ever. With any luck, the code sections defining the position will pass at tonight’s board meeting. Even so, I am sure the position will need fine-tuning, and will require flexibility. Fortunately, I am a flexible and chill lady. I hope to set a stunning legacy for future MVPs. As I see it, the primary goal for the MVP is to empower members to keep their own houses running smoothly. After all, we are member-owners. I hope to put together a resource manual for each house, as well as hold educational workshops for the Maintenance Committee (and any interested members). Guess what, chances are you are going to have to know how to unclog a toilet at some point in your life, you might as well learn while maintaining the house you own! Also, there are fabled “monthly inspections” in the Code of Operations. Did you know that if your house falls below 70 percent on one of those, you could be put on Article X? I will ASAP work with the Maintenance Committee to figure out 70% of what, or is it even necessary? Hint: it is probably necessary. It is our responsibility to make sure our houses are safe and sanitary. The rental inspector is a very nice man, but wouldn’t it be great to make sure he had nothing to fail us on ever? OK, the Matrix is playing outside my room right now. Should go watch it (tell the migraine to suck it) or begin to cry and hope the world ends shortly? Decisions! tl;dr I care about you. I care about our houses. I know how to unclog a toilet. Maria 2012. Sincerely, Maria Brundage Zolton Ferency P.S. Migraine. I am sorry if any of this letter is confusing. If you have any questions, come over to Zolton Ferency and knock on my door until I wake up.
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Vice President of Education
I live in Zolton Ferency Co-op, and this year, I’ve acted as Vice President of Education for the SHC. Even though the job isn’t what I’ve expected, I’ve seriously loved the position. Hopefully I’ll get reelected and will have a chance to take suggestions to heart and will be able to expand the position and Education Committee more in the next year (when I won’t have to back-burner the SHC during midterms and finals). In the coming year, I want to continue my crusade for a better, sleeker, and more useful Code of Operations. I’d also like to solicit more and more member input toward everything we do as a corporation, to increase every member’s sense of ownership and decrease member apathy. I want to know what events the membership wants to put on, what kind of swag we should buy, and more.
~ GPOY with my housemates
Last year, I wrote that I’d like to expand what the Education Committee offers. My goals were to facilitate members putting on monthly (non-party) events (), doing volunteer or charity work in the community ( - blood drive and bone marrow registry drive), spreading the cooperative word ( - but I mean, who doesn’t talk everyone’s ear off about the splendor of co-ops?), making sure the bulk ordering system continues (). But there’s always more to do and I look forward to another year. Hopefully, we’ll all push each other to be more constructive and enterprising members in the next twelve months! Live, Laugh, Love, Brendan LaCroix
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Vice President of Membership Vice President of Membership job description Interested in running for Vice President of Membership? Here is what you need to know! Your primary responsibilities include but are not limited to: ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
Signing new member contracts—your hand will get tired, however you will perfect your signature. Chairing the membership committee—coordinating room picks, discussing conflicts, keeping up to date on current and following year occupancy. Planning multiple new member orientations with the Vice President of Education. Enforcing the pet policy. Chairing the Grievance Committee—this can be a big (or small) job depending on how many and what kind of grievances come up. Advertising—A big part of the job is figuring out where/how to advertise and making sure you’re not over-spending! Provide trainings—conflict/mediation/interim coordinator AMPOs—theming/planning/organizing Summer, Fall, and Spring All-Member Party and Orientations with the help of your membership committee.
Lots of meetings! Executive Committee meetings weekly, Board Meetings bi-weekly, and Membership meetings bi-weekly. Situations come up that you will need to deal with (usually they come up when you have 3 exams and a paper due). The job is what you make of it. It is important to have good communication skills, openmindedness, and neutrality. Time management and punctuality are also very important. Some things I would like to see in the future: ● ● ●
MSU SHC informative video for the website—interviews, “tours” of houses, etc. More community outreach—I think we can always improve in this area New forms of advertising
You will learn A LOT and meet A TON of great people. There will be awkward situations that you have to deal with or awkward conversations that you are forced to have. These are all part of the learning process. Being Vice President of Membership is time consuming—you can’t do it all and you can’t please everyone! Just remember to enjoy it because it goes by fast! If you are interested in running, talk to me! <3 <3 <3
Dear Members of the MSU SHC, I am writing to you to express my interest in the Vice President of Membership position for the 2012-2013 academic year. I feel that my personal and professional experiences as well as my passion for cooperative living make me a highly qualified candidate. Having grown up in Leningrad, USSR (currently St. Petersburg, Russia), I am intimately familiar with the many pitfalls of a cooperative organization gone wrong. My childhood memories will incessantly motivate me to prevent the MSU SHC from becoming of a mostly anarchist, xenophobic kleptocracy that my homeland was (or is). There is nothing I fear more than waking up one morning to discover that many (or all) of the 15 houses have seceded, alcoholism is rampant and the East Lansing area is submerged in snow for 6 months out of the year. Members, I vow to do everything in my power to keep that from happening. In addition, I have had extensive experience in helping build a live-in student community, as I served as a Resident Mentor for 2 academic years. I have successfully handled stressful situations, such as Welcome Week, March Madness and St. Patrickâ€™s Day. I was able to connect with residents from all walks of life and all levels of bro-iness, disinhibition and hipsteritude. Lastly, the 8 highly cooperative months that I have spent living in Raft Hill have been both instructive and inspiring. As house Facilitator and Membership Officer, I have learned to facilitate meetings ensuring that each member has an equal voice, to mediate house conflicts in an unbiased and professional manner, to advertise and recruit new tenants, and to stop being a little sissy about my house jobs. Most importantly, I have had the honor and privilege to learn from some of the best members of the SHC. Corporate President Matt DeNinno has led by example in his glamorous, yet task-oriented leadership style and strong commitment to baking. Corporate Treasurer Aaron Hoffer has demonstrated the importance of attention to detail and that bowties are an appropriate accessory for any occasion. Lastly, our Board Representative Isaiah Wunsch has taught me to go big, or go home. Members, I feel that the MSU SHC has become a second or perhaps a first home to me. I would be honored to succeed current VPM Maureen Van de Water and to follow her footsteps towards a harmonious co-existence for all. I thank you for your consideration. Yours cooperatively, Liya M. Rakhkovskaya
VOTE FOR VICKI Hey dudes, I hope everyone enjoyed their spring break. My name is Vicki Zou, and I’m running for the Vice President of Membership. I currently live in outrageous Orion and I’m a junior studying Creative Advertising. My hobbies include krumping, which is detrimental to be a successful VP of Membership. I would be an ideal candidate for this postion because: •
As an Advertising major, I can successfully develop a creative and cohesive advertising
campaign to bring the right people to the right houses. Being involved in numerous organizations and competitions, I have been a crucial asset to my team. •
I was a high school mentor and mediator. I’ve been formally trained in conflict resolutions,
which will be a useful skill when resolving conflicts and grievances. •
I believe in the co-op. Becoming a member of this community has changed my life. Howev-
er there are flaws in the system, and I would like to better represent our members’ interests. In the past, the SHC and executive board has failed to meet the needs of its members. I will work hard to clearly communicate and represent the residents. •
I have a healthy sense of humor and I don’t take myself too seriously.
However, I do take event and party planning very seriously. (AMPO)
I’m passionate, enthusiastic and I am caring of others, sometimes to a flaw...
If I were in a Hogwarts house, I would be a Hufflepuff. I believe in fairness, hard work and
badgers. So when it comes time to vote, I hope that you will vote for me. I be lieve I am the best candidate, and I can do a lot for the houses. Here is a picture of my beautiful baby brother to brighten up your brunch.
Vicki Zou, Orion
140 COLLINGWOOD DR EAST LANSING, MI 48823 TEL 5 1 7 9 3 7 4 6 1 0 EMAIL G R I F F 3 9 2 @ M S U . E D U
MOLLY GRIFFIN March 12, 2012 MSU Student Housing Cooperative 541 E. Grand River Avenue East Lansing, MI Re: Letter of Intent for Vice President of Membership Dear MSU Student Housing Cooperative, My name is Molly Griffin and I am interested in the opening for Vice President of Membership. I believe that I am qualified for the position because I have been part of the membership committee for the past two semesters, as well as other sub committees within it. Some of the sub committees that I have been a part of this school year include grievance committee, recolonization of Avalon House (Walrus Farm) and Howland House committee, where we selected the future housemates. Besides being a part of the committees listed, I have also been a member of Hedrick House for 2 years and will be going on my third next school year. By being a member of the SHC I have strengthened my communication skills and gained a lot of important perspectives from working with the diverse community within both Hedrick House and the SHC. Being a member of Hedrick House and the MSU SHC has been an amazing experience for me and I would like to give back to both during my last year as a cooperative member. I believe that being the Vice President of Membership will give me this opportunity because I will be given the chance to be on the executive committee and be a part of making executive decisions for the well-being of the SHC. Thank you for this opportunity of applying for this position and I look forward to hearing from you. I can be contacted via the email or phone number listed below. Sincerely yours,
Molly Griffin Molly Eileen Griffin Lyman Briggs College Michigan State University Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (517) 937-4610
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Student Housing Cooperative Elections 2012 timeline Letters of Intent due: Friday, March 9 Letters distributed to membership: Monday, March 12 at the Board meeting Ballots distributed: Monday, March 19 Ballots collected: Monday, March 26 at the Board meeting Winners announced Tuesday, March 27.
Potential candidates' letters of intent!