Steel House is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization that is run by a local group of Steel House alumnae. We are an on-campus living group at the University of Idaho that is sponsored by the Dean of Students office.
People often ask about the hierarchy of Steel House and who is responsible for what. Here’s a quick look at what to expect when you become a resident (and eventually an alumnae) of Steel House.
Steel House is a registered non-profit with the State of Idaho. Each year, we register with the State to continue our non-profit status. The State of Idaho requires:
- There must be a Board of Directors on file that are responsible for the organization.
- Bylaws must be followed to stay active as a non-profit. Bylaws must be reviewed once yearly to reflect any changes within the organization.
- The Steel House Board of Directors answers directly to the State of Idaho for any issues involving non-profit issues.
- Any organization that is a 501(c)3 can receive gifts of materials or funds given to them. People desiring to donate to Steel House can receive a tax write-off for that gift.
- In order to keep Steel House at a 501(c)3 status, the Board of Directors must assure that rents meet the Idaho requirements for students seeking low-income housing. For those who are low-income, there are programs that could assist with your payments while living in Steel House. If you need this, talk with the people your family works with to set this up.
- All residents who live in Steel House must fill out an Income Disclosure Form based on the income of who is paying for college. This is kept on file for the IRS to show that we are meeting the necessary requirements to stay a 501(c)3 organization.
- The Steel House Board of Directors answers directly to the IRS for any issues involving tax status and filing.
Board of Directors:
- The Steel House Board of Directors (alumnae) are in charge of anything involving Steel House. Since they report to the State of Idaho and the IRS, it’s their responsibility to set policy and assure that all policies are followed. This includes following written bylaws and assisting the residents in following the Steel House Constitution (updated yearly in the spring).
- The Steel House Board of Directors works alongside the University of Idaho in helping the residents follow all University of Idaho Student Code of Conduct guidelines.
- The Board of Directors hires the House Administrator, cooks (residents who are paid to help cook meals), Resident Adviser, Kitchen Planner, Kitchen Manager, and Janitorial Manager. All of these positions work directly for the Board of Directors and help assure that all policies are followed.
- Once a student has graduated from the University of Idaho, she can become a member of the Board of Directors after five years of not living in Steel House.
- The House Administrator is hired by the Board of Directors and enforces policies that are set by both the Board of Directors and the University of Idaho. She answers directly to the Board of Directors.
- The House Administrator works with University of Idaho (recruiting, tours, policies, student issues, etc.)
- The House Administrator is the direct supervisor for the Resident Adviser, Kitchen Planner, Kitchen Manager, Janitorial Manager, and Cook.
- The House Administrator assist residents in following policies set within the Steel House Constitution and assures that it’s updated yearly (in the spring).
- The House Administrator acts as an adviser to the Executive Board (E-Board) and attends E-Board meetings as a non-voting member.
- The House Administrator is the liaison between the residents and the Board of Directors.
- The House Administrator works alongside the Property Manager to assure the facility is kept up to all codes required by the State of Idaho. This includes repairs and all inspections.
- The House Administrator is responsible for keeping the website updated.
- The House Administrator is responsible for all room assignments and helping assure that residents know when and how to make payments.
- The Cook is responsible to the House Administrator. She works alongside the Kitchen Planner for food needed to prepare meals. She works with the Kitchen Manager to keep the kitchen, eating areas (including kitchenette and all fridges/freezers) up to Idaho Health Code.
- Should one of the managers fail in her duties to uphold the Idaho Health Code, the Cook has authority to work with the House Administrator and Resident Adviser (and ultimately the Board of Directors) in doing what’s necessary to keep the Steel House kitchen up to Idaho Health Code.
- The cook is responsible for cooking dinner Monday through Friday during regular class session.
- The Resident Adviser is hired by the Board of Directors and reports to the House Administrator (and ultimately the Board of Directors)
- The Resident Adviser holds all the keys to rooms and assists with care of the physical facility and any room changes that occur throughout the semester.
- The Resident Adviser works with residents on a more personal level than any other officers. She can be a counselor, a listening ear, and a moderator for any resident disputes.
- The Resident Adviser assist the Executive Board (E-board) in helping the residents follow the University of Idaho Student Code of Conduct.
- The Resident Adviser collects all monies associated with guest stays and monitors all guests staying in the house.
- The Resident Adviser works alongside the House Administrator for all room assignments, room changes, resident issues, problems with the physical facility, and helping enforce the Housing Contract and Steel House Constitution.
Executive Board (E-Board):
- The E-Board is made up of the following positions: Kitchen Manager, Kitchen Planner, Janitorial Manager, Resident Adviser, President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
- Although the president is responsible for setting and running meetings, she is not in charge of any chores and answers to the residents who elect her. She is responsible for social activities in the house and helping keep the peace and setting a good example.
- The Vice-President and Treasurer assist the president with social needs (as well as other positions outlined in the Steel House Constitution) and managing finances collected from fines and social activities. These two positions answer directly to the residents who elect them.
- The Secretary keeps accurate records of all meetings and posts minutes. Her job is to help the president make sure everyone is informed of the happenings in Steel House. She answers directly to the residents who elect her.
- The Kitchen Planner, Kitchen Manager, and Janitorial Manager report directly to the House Administrator. They deal with all chores, fines, and assuring the house is kept up to the standard set by the Board of Directors. Theses positions are not under the authority of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, or Secretary, as they are scholarship (not elected) positions. Residents are consulted during the hiring process each February.
- All positions (both scholarship and elected) are chosen in February of each spring and train until the last month of school. The new officers are responsible for updating the Steel House Constitution before the end of the spring they take office.
The Uniqueness of Steel House
- Steel House residents are asked to take upon more responsibility than any other living group on campus. Those in the scholarship positions get to determine chores, purchase groceries, purchase all needed supplies, and assure the house is kept to an acceptable standard.
- Steel House residents take part in keeping the house to an acceptable standard on their own with assistance from the House Administrator and those in the scholarship positions. This includes doing your own minor repairs, changing light bulbs, and keeping track of a budget (supplies, social, etc.).
- The goal in asking more of the residents is threefold; social, financial and experience. Steel House residents find themselves more socially aware when they graduate because they have to learn to live and work with a large group of women. In addition, Steel House women learn how to clean, work with a budget, and learn how to do minor repairs. When leaving Steel House, students are better off in meeting the challenges of a changing society than is experienced by most college students.
As a Recap…
The Board of Directors is fully in charge of all aspects of Steel House. The Board of Directors hires the House Administrator (also an alumnae) who assists the residents in following guidelines they set themselves in addition to those set by the State of Idaho, IRS, The University of Idaho, and the Board of Directors.
The following positions answer directly to the House Administrator: Cook, Resident Adviser, Kitchen Planner, Kitchen Manager, and Janitorial Manager. Residents are encouraged to give input each spring as the new “scholarship” positions are chosen.
The President is in charge of all happenings within the house. All committee members, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer answer directly to the President. President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer are positions voted on by the residents. If they don’t work for the residents in a satisfactory manner, they can be replaced by another vote.