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The Government and Administration of the SCA

SCA has three governing bodies, each with its own responsibilities: house governments, the General Membership, and the SCA Board of Directors. We are an egalitarian community, which means that each member has equal voice. So, if you feel something in the co-op should be changed, feel free to speak your mind and know which group to address. All meetings (with the exception of the Harassment Committee meetings) are open to all members and anyone may speak at a meeting.


Each house has its own government to deal with house issues and coordinate house meetings. The structure of the house meetings is left up to the membership of the individual house. House issues are typically rules of the house, how to spend house budgets, and what type of social activities to undertake. Each house elects house officers to perform the many administrative duties of the house; officer jobs include president, secretary, SCA representative, building czar, house treasurer, and job coordinators.


General Membership is the ultimate governing body of our corporation. General Membership meetings are forums to elect corporate positions, make major policy decisions, and distribute information to the membership. Subjects such as by-law changes, major capital purchases and instructions to the Board of Directors can be decided by the SCA membership at a General Membership meeting. All corporate officers are answerable for their conduct to the general membership. Everyone in the co-op has an equal voice at General Membership meetings, which usually occur once or twice a term, often following a big dinner.


The SCA Board focuses its attention on policy, planning, financial and administrative matters of the co-op. All employees of SCA are hired, supervised, and if necessary, fired by the Board. The SCA staff may attend meetings to advise the Board but do not take part in the actual decision. Excluding advisors, the Board consists of 13 members: Chair, Speaker, Treasurer, Secretary, SCA Maintenance Coordinator, SCA Membership Coordinator, SCA Harassment Coordinator, House Presidents (3), and House Representatives (3). Board members elected at General Membership meetings serve one-year terms and Board members elected by the houses (House Reps and House Presidents) serve until the house elections the following term. Issues that affect the corporation or entire membership should be brought before the Board. The Board may also refer issues to committees to increase efficiency and flexibility.

The following are brief descriptions of corporate positions: for more details see the complete job descriptions at the back of the SCA Policy Books and the Job Descriptions Page.

  • Chairperson: responsible for monitoring corporate activities and supervising and coordinating board members in their tasks. As part of these duties, s/he also attends Organizational Committee meetings as well as any other committee meetings as directed by the Board.
  • Speaker: responsible for the education of the membership and the community about SCA's activities, about co-ops in general, and about issues of general interest. The speaker chairs the Educational Committee and serves as chair when the chairperson is not able to do so, and prepares the weekly agenda.
  • Secretary: records minutes of all board and general membership meetings. S/he also serves on the Organizational Committee.
  • Treasurer: oversees the financial systems and collections within the co-op. S/he chairs the Financial Committee and is responsible for representing the Financial Committee to the Board, as well as being familiar with corporation finances and being able to discuss these on the Board.
  • Membership Coordinator: in conjunction with House Membership Coordinators, is responsible for recruitment of new members and their orientation. S/he chairs the Membership Committee.
  • Maintenance Coordinator: works with the Maintenance Committee to oversee both the short-term and long-term health of SCA's properties.
  • Harassment Coordinator: works closely with all house Harassment Advisors to implement the SCA Harassment Policy. S/he chairs the Harassment Committee.
  • House Presidents: supervise the proper workings of their house governments. They serve on the Organizational Committee.
  • House Representatives: keep house members informed about board activities and relay opinions of their house's members to the Board concerning SCA issues. They also serve on the Education Committee.

In addition to the members of the Board of Directors, we also elect other corporate officers at the General Membership meetings. These officers can be from any house, and have SCA-wide responsibilities. They include:

  • SCA Facilitator: facilitates at all Board meetings and is responsible for preparing the agenda along with the Speaker. S/he chairs the Organizational Committee. This is the only non-board corporate position that must attend every board meeting. Position eliminated Spring 2003. Duties moved to Chairperson and Speaker.
  • Community Affairs Representative (CAR Rep): facilitates communication between community organizations, such as the WUN Association and CCRTF, and SCA. S/he serves on the Education Committee. Position eliminated Spring 2003. Duties moved to Chairperson and Speaker.
  • Purchasing Accountant: generates the house food purchasing budgets, keeps financial records of food and supplies expenditures, keeps food personnel informed about budget compliance, oversees purchasing systems, facilitates Food Committee meetings, and serves on the Financial Committee.  Position eliminated Fall 2002.  Duties moved to House Food Coordinators, Corp. Treasurer, and Business Manager.
  • Historian/Archivists: delve into SCA's past in order to compile a more accurate picture of the history of SCA. They keep track of SCA alumni, organize reunions, and put out the "Porch Couch Review," our co-op newsletter. The Historian/Archivists also serve on the Educational Committee. There is usually one Historian/Archivist from each house.
  • SCA Office Helper: assists the office staff with photocopying, filing, cleaning, and recycling. S/he also copies and distributes the Board Packet each week.


Committees are composed of at-large members and SCA Board members whose participation is part of their job. Anyone can be an at-large member and may receive work-party credit for regular attendance. The present committees are:

  • EDUCATION COMMITTEE: educates the membership about cooperatives, handles SCA's relations with the media and other cooperatives, and coordinates relations with the North American Students Cooperative Organization (NASCO). Speaker chairs this committee.
  • MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: coordinates membership recruitment, acceptance and placement, develops membership policy, and monitors vacancy levels. Corporate Membership Coordinator chairs this committee.
  • FINANCIAL COMMITTEE: reviews and monitors financial statements, designs the budget for the fiscal year, reviews budget compliance, processes member fee extension requests, develops financial policy and long-range financial scenarios. Corporate Treasurer chairs this committee.
  • ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITTEE: develops or revises job descriptions for any position in the co-op, monitors the efficiency of SCA's organizational structure and proposes changes if necessary, recruits SCA Board and committee members, and coordinates the hiring process of SCA staff. SCA Facilitator chairs this committee.
  • MAINTENANCE COMMITTEE: monitors the long-term viability of SCA and its property, makes recommendations for major investments and structural changes. Maintenance Coordinator chairs this committee.
  • FOOD COMMITTEE: maintains and improves SCA food system, and exchanges ideas, menus, and recipes. Purchasing Accountant chairs this committee.


The SCA has two part time office staff, who attend to most of the accounting and paperwork, handle membership applicaitons, and advise members and the Board concerning finances and business of SCA. In the past we have also had a paid Collections Agent (to collect member debts); paid House Guardians (who acted as summer house managers); and paid Work Crews (who did maintenance work on the houses during the summer). While the office staff are an integral part of the smooth functioning of the SCA, they are not voting members.