HER House 101

Community Location Relationship with BU Rent Room & Board House Duties Governance Events

The HER House is more than a place to live during your years in college; it is a place where twenty-four women of different backgrounds and cultures can come together and become part of a close-knit community. Many women who have lived in the house graduate from Boston University not only with a degree, but also with an experience they treasure always.

The HER House is currently located at 191 Bay State Road in a beautiful brownstone mansion originally owned by a wealthy Boston merchant. It is minutes away from the College of Arts & Sciences, Questrom School of Business, Warren Towers and Towers.

Relationship with BU
While the House functions as an independent community, it has a special relationship with Boston University. As students of BU, members are expected to abide by the BU Code of Conduct in addition to House rules as outlined in the HER House Lifebook. Residents are granted swipe access to all major dorms on campus and they are not obligated to have a campus meal plan.

Rent is charged by semester and paid through the StudentLink. Rent includes room, utilities and food. Summer rent is reduced further since house food is not supplied during these months. The exact cost of summer rent is determined in the May house meeting and is listed in the HER House Lifebook.

Room & Board
The HER House consists of three singles, seven doubles and two triples scattered on five stories of living. Bedrooms are generally arranged in 2-3 bedroom suites, so that generally 4-5 girls share a single bathroom. All rooms have access to BU’s Ethernet Network and wireless internet. Roommates are determined by the Vice President and other house members. Each new resident is required to live with another house member that she did not know prior to moving in.

Common areas
The house consists of several rooms scattered around the house where members can host friends or study. The kitchen contains two large refrigerators where house and personal food is stored. The kitchen is also equipped with (free) washer and dryer machines for its residents to use. The Alumnae Room houses many archives from former residents, textbooks left by previous house members, and games. The house printer is there for those who wish to use it and costs $.10 per sheet. The Dining Room is where the residents gather for Sunday dinners or for special events. In the past residents have been fortunate to have ORL and Dean Elmore prepare dinner for them. It also serves as a study area during the weekdays. The French Room (named for its décor, most of which is original) serves as a place where house members gather to talk, watch TV, or do Karaoke. It also serves as a place where friends and family of house members can stay during their visits to Boston.

Meals are prepared by a house member Sunday-Thursday each week. Meals are provided to accommodate various dietary needs of the house members (vegetarianism, gluten intolerance, various allergies). Additionally, staple foods (such as pasta, flour, eggs, milk, etc.) are covered by rent and can be used by house members on the days they are assigned for. House members are encouraged to supplement these staples with their own resources, as the house cannot accommodate everyone’s food tastes.

House Duties
In order for the house to function properly, residents are expected to complete several chores throughout the course of the week and semester. Usually these chores take no more than a total of three hours throughout the week.

Weekly: House members are required to complete a total of 2 points worth of chores during the weekday. Chores that require less time often are 1 point and it is expected that house members with these chores do two of them per week. Chores that tend to require more time to complete will be worth 2 points and house members assigned to these chores will be asked to complete them once a week. Examples of 1 point chores include tidying the kitchen in the afternoon or evening and putting leftover food from dinners in tupperware. Examples of 2 point chores include helping the cook with dinner, doing house mop & laundry, and cleaning pots & pans used to prepare dinner. These chores are assigned on a semester basis.

Weekend: These chores tend to take more time than the weekly chores and are required to be done on the weekend. These chores tend to deal with the general cleaning of all rooms in the house or shopping for food for the upcoming week. These chores are generally switched every 2-3 weeks.

Members of the house are required to cook 3 dinners for all the women living in the house. Dinners are served Sunday-Thursday. Cook must have their menu approved by the Steward for budget and dietary guidelines, as the cook is required to accommodate meals for all dietary lifestyles, unless otherwise told.

Each resident is required to help with the upkeep of cleanliness in the bathrooms. Each resident will be put on rotation to clean one of the six bathrooms in the house. This usually equates to each member cleaning the bathroom four times a semester.

The House is governed by an E-Board, with members voted into their position by House members. The House Director is a graduate student voted on by the House and approved by the Office of Residence Life into her role, which can span one to two academic years. Both House President and Vice President are year-long positions, selected at the May House meeting. The House Treasurer/Secretary is elected for a semester position, but she can opt to stay on for the spring, making it a yearlong position. If the current Treasurer/Secretary decides to put her position up for election, house members will elect a new Treasurer/Secretary at the December house meeting. Steward, Clerk, Treasurer/Secretary are semester positions and these positions are filled at the December and May house meetings.

The House also elects committee chairs to help coordinate areas that are not covered under E-Board governance, but are essential to the functionality of the House. Each house member is required to take part in a committee, as assigned by the President. Committees include Interview & Public Relations, Activities, Lifebook & Renovations, and the Vice President’s Committee (Fall Faculty Welcome and Alumnae Tea).

The HER House has several mandatory and non-mandatory events through the semester. The first night of each semester, members are expected to attend dinner with the other house members, unless you have a class that conflicts with this. During the first weekend of every semester, members are expected to participate in the All-House Clean on Friday evening, which culminates in pizza for everyone. Saturday is filled with icebreaker games and a secret activity planned by the house VP. Sunday evening is dedicated to the first house meeting of the semester, where the logistics of the house are outlined to everyone and committee chairs are elected.

During the fall semester, house members are expected to attend Fall Faculty Welcome, where the HER House community and professors come together for an evening of food, light refreshments, and conversation. During the spring semester, current residents open the house to alumnae for the Alumnae Tea. All alumnae are invited back for food and refreshments. Senior residents are inducted into the alumnae association and HERAA holds its monthly meeting and elects the e-board for the upcoming year.

Other mandatory house events include a Holiday Party in December, in which the e-board prepares a breakfast for all the house members and residents give gifts to the house. In the spring, underclassmen host a Senior Supper in May for all graduating residents to show their appreciation for the seniors’ commitment to the house.

The House also hosts several non-mandatory events for its residents and the BU community throughout the year. Some of these include a Halloween Party, Eat for Equity, a Hootenanny, and movie nights. House members are not required to attend, but are encouraged to support these events and invite their friends along!