Accepting New MembersEdit
It is important that everybody who joins Brooks Co-op has an understanding of what living in the co-op is like and what will be expected of them. To that end, we have a membership process designed to inform people interested in joining about Brooks, and to make sure that new members will have a reasonable chance of fitting in. Naturally, a tour of the house and reading this handbook are suggested ways to get an idea of what we're all about. The potential member must first fill out a brief questionnaire sent by the membership coordinator and provide references. A meeting with all of the current members, usually over dinner, is expected as well. People far away or in other countries will instead speak to several current members on the phone. Each potential new member will be asked a small number of “mandatory questions.” Our goal is to avoid rejecting people to the greatest extent possible - it's always better if people self-select and realize that the co-op isn't for them. There will be a discussion at the next house meeting about the potential member, ending in a (majority) vote. Then, if the candidate is accepted, the membership coordinator will ask them if they are interested in becoming a member, and will take care of the other details.
Each year, the house will hold at least one orientation for new members, covering house roles, tour, policies, chore training, the handbook, and assignment of house coordinator positions.
Although the stated policy of this coop is openness to all interested, there will occasionally be a member whose presence in the co-op would not be in the best interests of the membership as a whole or in the future of the co-op. Discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political views, etc., is illegal and we do not tolerate such discrimination. Diversity is strength!
- Financial: If a potential member is unable to convince the membership that s/he will be able to pay for room charges and other costs, Brooks Co-op retains the right to verify income and to require a credit check. Brooks Co-op members may choose to reject a potential member because of financial considerations.
- House Rule Violations: If failure to reject a potential member would violate another house rule, such as the policies on pets, members must vote to reject the person.
- Household Harmony: If a member would not be able to fully participate in the life of the coop, due to poor social interactions, life conditions, behavioral issues, or create severe household disharmony this may be a reason to exclude a potential member from membership.
- Safety Concerns: If a potential member may endanger the safety of the house, they may be rejected.
Returning house members must notify the house Membership Coordinator by March 1st (Ke$ha’s birthday) whether they will be returning to the house that fall. All returning Brooks House members will be subjected to a vote to renew their leases. All renewal meetings must have quorum. Renewal decisions will be made during house meetings during the month of March.
The person who is being considered for lease renewal is encouraged to be present at the beginning of the meeting. If the house member cannot meet by the end of March, the vote can be held without them.
The member in question may speak on his/her own behalf before he/she is required to leave the room. All votes will be held by paper ballot, so that anonymity is guaranteed, but the ballots will be counted in public. Lease renewal votes are decided using modified consensus. If two or more people vote to renew (or not to evict), the lease is renewed. The member in question cannot participate in the vote.
If someone is voted out of house membership, they have the right to break their lease, without a penalty, within a month.
Anyone who decides to renew after the deadline (and doesn’t inform the membership coordinator before the renewal notification deadline) must go through the new member process (in other words, they would be need to be approved by modified consensus and have room selection priority according to acceptance).