COUCH is the Community of Urbana Cooperative Housing: http://www.couchcoop.org/
COUCH includes both Brooks and Harvest houses.
Treasurer : Jacob
Brooks Representatives: Will, Brittany, Alex
COUCH and the COUCH Board This section talks about the relationship between our co-op and COUCH, overviews the work of the COUCH Board of Directors, and discusses your rights and responsibilities as a member of COUCH, including participating in elections and membership meetings. It is technical, but is actually very central to the running of the co-op. For more information on COUCH, please see the COUCH Bylaws and Policies and Procedures, or talk to a member of the Board.
COUCH is a non-profit corporation with 501(c)(7) tax exempt status (“Social Club,” the same as fraternities have!), whose stated goal is to facilitate the running of existing housing co-ops, and help to form new ones. All members of COUCH-owned or COUCH-rented houses are full-fledged members of COUCH, with representation on the Board of Directors, and a vote at Annual and Special Meetings. COUCH is your organization, and if you have ideas on better ways to do things, you should attend a board meeting, or run for Co-op Representative or a COUCH Officer-ship. Volunteers are always needed, and work on a non-profit board always looks great on a resumé!
COUCH as an organization would prefer to remain as separated from the day-to-day running of our co-op as possible. As an umbrella organization, it would rather spend its resources on outreach, education, and new ventures, letting its member co-ops be as free to run their own affairs as independently as they can. This means that decisions on membership, policies, and to a large extent finances and maintenance are made by us, the members of the co-op.
Co-op Representatives and the COUCH Board
The President of COUCH is elected by the membership at the Annual Meeting, held during the Spring. The other official Board positions – Secretary, Treasurer, and any Vice-Presidents -- are appointed by the President. The remaining members of the Board are the official Co-op Representatives from each house. (Co-op Reps can be Secretary or Treasurer, but a non-rep must be the President.) Once we have three COUCH houses, only Co-op Reps will have votes, but until then, all Board members may vote.
Our co-op selects two representatives every year to serve as our voice on the Board. The representatives attend Board meetings, and do additional work for COUCH as necessary. They also inform members of the co-op what COUCH is up to, and communicate with the Board any concerns of the house.
In addition to representatives from our house and the other COUCH-owned and -rented houses, members of COUCH-associated co-ops, which are independent co-ops that have joined COUCH in order to improve their outreach efforts and to support the Champaign-Urbana co-op movement, also have representation on the board.
Meetings and Election
COUCH Board meetings are held bi-weekly, and are open to all COUCH members. The agenda and location will be published beforehand, so if there's a topic you'd like to discuss, please attend!
In addition, there are Annual Meetings of all COUCH members, held in the Spring, and Special Meetings. At the Annual Meetings, annual reports are given by the President and Treasurer, the new President is voted on and is installed, and any open issues are discussed and voted on.
Special Meetings may be called for various reasons, such as to approve purchase or rental of new houses, approve changes to the bylaws, or for discussion and votes on other topics where the voice of the entire membership may be required. These meetings may be called by the board, or by a petition from members.
All meetings will be announced to the membership beforehand, so please keep an eye out! Your voice is important!