Masala House Rules

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The Masala House Rules are incorporated into the Masala Lease

Meetings

Guidelines for Creating Safe Space

  • Confidentiality: what happens at Masala stays at Masala
  • No personal attacks; Avoid assuming that everyone else agrees with your perspective; instead, use "I" statements, instead of, "We all think that that you should..."
  • Guests are not allowed at conflict resolution meetings or weekly house meetings unless approved.
  • In house meetings, everyone has the right not to share and the right to pass.
  • It helps if people have respect for and openness to group process.
  • Listen to others; be honest.

Mandatory meetings are held after dinner on Wednesdays! They last 2 hours.

Meeting: All co-opers must attend house meetings, which are held once a week. We ask you not to be significantly late or leave too early. As we always say, consensus is a present process, so if you’re not there, we can’t involve you in choices & decisions.

Meetings are a time to check in with your fellow housemates, share information and make decisions about the house. The Masala Co-op is a fully democratic system and everyone’s vote has equal weight. All house rules, policies and commitments are agreed on by consensus – this means majority does NOT rule. Instead, we strive to find creative solutions that work for everyone.

Facilitation, note-taking & vibes watching rotate voluntarily each week.

Order of Meeting: Co-ops and Communities (Anything cool goin’ on around town?)

Reports (On stewardships & chores)

Agenda Items (What’s happenin’ with the house? What do we need to discuss & reach agreement upon?)

Heart Song (How ya feelin’?) (See page 17!)

Facilitator Feedback (How’d s/he do tonight?)

Quorum: Equal to half the members residing in the house (round up if unequal number) is required for any decisions to be made at a meeting. All proposals must be agreed upon by consensus.

Note the 2 important parts of meeting: house business, and Heart Song which offers a focus on emotional connection and support. This is a safe space for personal growth and also a great way to get to know your housemates better. It can be a lot of fun, too. (See page 35 if you need a full description of Heart Song.)

Meeting Agendas

Agenda Items must be titled and listed on the agenda clip board, located in the phone nook, with length of time the discussion should take, level of priority & name of cooper.

Facilitator, at the beginning of meeting, review the agenda before starting with the 1st item.

At the end of meeting, make sure your note-taker notes which items we didn’t get to.

Masalans, questions to ask yourselves before you put something on the agenda:

Is this something I could bring up informally outside of meeting, to get a feel for what others think of it? Is this a discussion that deserves a handout or visual aid? If so, am I prepared with those materials? Could this be delegated to a committee, or do we all need to hash out the details together?

How to Determine Priority Level:

5 – This is time-sensitive and must be discussed tonight, or else we’ll have to get consensus outside of meeting.

4 – We really need to talk about this as a group. If we don’t talk about it soon, there will be problems.

3 – I’d like to talk about this tonight. It’s very important to me. I have already spoken with people about it outside of meeting.

2 – I want to talk about this if there’s time. I don’t know how important others will think it is.

1 –This is something fun or silly we should squeeze in if we’re getting restless or irritable.

Voting

How to Vote

Thumb up = I approve

Thumb sideways = I would like more discussion

Hand flat/palm down = I abstain because I don’t care or I’m uninformed

Thumb down = I block

Blocks must be vocalized!!!

Things that must be approved by consensus:

Any guest staying more than three nights

House parties or potlucks

Any document that claims to represent the house as a whole

Changes to house stewardships, rules, policies or budget

Any house purchase over $25

Consensus

All house decisions must be approved at a house meeting by consensus of the house members. If a member blocks the proposal is revised. The decision will be tabled until the next meeting, or for 24 hours if it is an emergency decision. Upon this time's expiration, the house will reconvene and attempt again to reach consensus. On the third try, if consensus is still not achieved, a 2/3 majority can approve the proposal. This is rare and only happens with issues of dire importance. Ex: if the house had termites and we couldn’t get consensus on a removal procedure.

Why do we use consensus? Consensus is intended to be an equal, fair, non-hierarchical decision making process. By using it instead of yay-versus-nay, we activate our abilities & skills to build a better, more just world!

How does it work? Consensus works by hearing all participants’ voices & by all participants coming to an agreement collectively about what is best for the group. All decisions made must be ones that everyone in the group can live with; as nice as it would be, it would be impossible for all individuals in communities/groups to be ecstatically happy with all decisions at all times. So this means . . .

1) the minority voice(s) is (are) never silenced.

2) if a minority member of a community/group finds s/he cannot live with the proposal everyone else likes, s/he may block it. If someone blocks a proposal, then the group must choose a different course of action, come to some sort of compromise proposal OR, in the worst case scenario, the blocking individual leaves the group if the community is no longer the place for her or him. This is why we must use our blocks very carefully and with lots of thought!

Consensus can be a time-consuming process, so here are some hand signals & things that help make the process at Masala meetings smoother & quicker:

Twinkling—really this is applause in sign language, used to indicate consensus as well as to show agreement when someone else is talking—this way the group can avoid saying the same things over & over. (Ask someone to demonstrate.)

“T”—for a technical point that needs to be said to clarify what a speaker just said.

Triangle with your hands—Process Point: anyone in the meeting can support the facilitator by suggesting a process to help the group move forward or stay on track.

Direct Responses—After someone has spoken, if someone else wants to respond directly to that speaker but they are not on stack, they can ask, “Can I direct respond?” The speaker can say yes or no. But you can’t respond to a direct response! This prevents dialogue between two people from occurring and keeps the group on stack so everyone will have their opportunity to speak.

Tips for Meeting Facilitation

  • Keep a Stack -- when discussing an issue, jot down an ordered list of people waiting to speak so no one dominates or gets ignored or loses circulation in their arm.
  • Draw conversation back to the subject at hand and note repeating ideas.
  • Don’t abuse your ability to self-acknowledge as speaker.
  • Stay neutral. If you are involved in the debate, hand facilitation off to someone uninvolved.
  • Please also read the Masala Facilitation Manual! Consensus and facilitation are civic skills; they need to be learned. With practice, we all get better and better so don’t be worried if this is new to you — you’ll catch on!
  • Many things can be resolved outside of meetings by just asking/talking to housemates

ConsensusFlowChart.png

Structure for Talking about Proposals

  • Report/Assessment of Situation/Definition of Problem
  • Proposal to alleviate the problem at hand
  • Clarifying Questions (which are addressed to the person making the proposal)
  • Discussion of Proposal
  • Facilitator Asks for Any Reservations

NO = test for consensus

YES = continue process

Facilitator asks for clarifying questions about reservations

Discussion of reservations

-Possible friendly amendments (proposer must accept or reject)

-OR withdrawal of proposal Test for Consensus If no consensus, then the proposal does not pass

Heart Song

Masala got the Heart Song idea from Chrysalis folks. Other co-opers do it too: “Heart Club” at Lama Foundation in Northern New Mexico is like our Heart Song. Scott Thomas, writing in Communities Magazine, says "It's an opportunity to truly investigate who we are and allow others to see sides of us they don't see at work, play or mealtime."

This process -- which we try to incorporate into the beginning or end (usually end) of every house meeting -- allows folks in the circle to get into the heart space, and get to know each other better as family. Scott says co-op living is a little like a group marriage in which all are committed to the emotional needs of the circle. Heart Song helps to fortify this commitment to the commons.

Please no laundry lists of “I did this, I’m about to do that, this happened yesterday,” unless these events in your life are significant and they relate to who you are & how you’re feeling. It is up to each co-oper how deeply or how much to share, but the goal is to share in a way that allows people to connect to you intimately, whether you have positive or troubling things going on in your heart. Hopefully this will come to feel like a safe place to tell us what you’re working on, what you’re proud of, after all, this is your home.

Food

Here at Masala we’ve found that a well-fed co-oper is a happy co-oper! If there’s something you like to eat that we don’t currently buy, you can request that we buy it in bulk if the majority of co-opers will also eat it. Or, put it on the food shop list by writing your request on the communication board, though budget restrictions may apply. House food can be used for daily breakfast, lunch & snacks; Mon-Thurs dinner and Sunday brunch are communal. If dietary restrictions or time conflicts prevent you from eating a house meal, please try not to cook your own food while the house meal is being prepared. Cook & clean up after yourself BEFORE the cooks begin, or after they finish. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CLEAN UP AFTER YOU COOK FOR YOURSELF! The dinner cleaning crew should only have to clean up the dinner mess. If you find someone else’s mess in the kitchen, go ahead and clean it. Though we may forget to say it, the whole house thanks you. This includes emptying the dishwasher/drying rack.

You are encouraged to cook desserts, breads, staple food items like rice or beans, hummus, and other treats for the house occasionally. Any expenditures for house treats can be reimbursed if you submit the receipt in the food tray with your name on it, but please keep our limited budget in mind.

If you have personal food, be sure to put it in the Left Fridge & put your name on it or risk it disappearing into the tummy of some hungry Masalan. This may be impossible with frozen food. Try putting it in a paper bag & name the paper bag. Housemates have agreed on the following food commitments & premises:

Food Commitments

Full 100% commitment to organic produce, and mostly organic other foods. Food purchasers have discretion over cost-effective, non-organic purchasing, but this should occur very rarely.

We will not discriminate against anyone who wishes to eat cheap non-organic food that is not communal food, that they buy on their own.

We honor dietary restrictions & food allergies — just tell us what your needs are!

House will provide, from the communal food budget, enough food for 3 reasonable meals, every day, for every housemate.

House is committed to buying food at Vitamin Cottage or the farmers market, for weekly food shop, and we buy bulk from UNFI & produce from our local farm in summer. We trust the food buyers to focus on cost effectiveness.

No meat or fish with house $ or in house meals, though individuals can be as carnivorous as they want! If you do prepare meat in the house, do not use cast iron pans or woks.

Other agreements regarding meat-eating at Masala: please remember to not use cast irons and woks for

preparation of meat. remember to thoroughly wash utensils and dishes that come into contact with meat. Consider using a diluted clorox solution for sanitation. Please turn on the overhead fan when cooking meat to reduce the smell. Avoid using wooden cutting boards and utensils (use plastic cutting board) and the kitchen tabletop.

House has made a commitment to keep purchasing CSA veggies, with a contingent commitment to fully utilize those veggies & not let them rot in the kitchen. ( Poor Turnips! ) $160 is due each month for food!

Cooking for the House

There are typically 2 cooks for each meal, though you may have to go solo sometimes. Cooking is voluntary, we sign up on the chore board every other meeting. You should be ready to begin cooking an hour and a half before meal time, earlier if you’re cooking alone.

Check the Late Plate Board (which is the same as the chore board) to see who needs a plate saved and if any guests are coming.

A good meal should include a protein dish and a grain dish, salads are great too. You don’t have to be fancy; though fancy is nice sometimes, spaghetti or rice and beans are perfectly fine meals.

You can buy extras that are not normally purchased for your meal with the $5 per meal budget.

We Love Leftovers! Too much food is a good thing, too little is bad, if unsure how much to cook, over do it.

IF YOU SIGN UP TO COOK AND DON’T SHOW, PEOPLE WILL BE PISSED! It puts your fellow cook in a difficult situation and lets the whole house down, don’t do it! Signing up to eat dinner, and Late Plates

IF you will be LATE to dinner and still want to enjoy the fab nosh, you can reserve a late plate!

The Late Plate Board where you write when you will/will not be here for meals is the same board where we sign up for chores.

If you are bringing a guest or a few guests, mark +1, +2, etc . . .

IF you are COOKING: look at the late plate board and make plates for anyone who requested a plate!

IF you are CLEANING: label and cover late plates and put them in the fridge … thanks! Food Fivers

There is $5 per meal allotted for extra food ($25 per week) ... if no one else spent money, the amount is cumulative. Check the food budget posted in the phone nook, people! Write amount spent on Food Fiver list next to phone nook or you will not be reimbursed! Submit receipts to food payment box for reimbursement (Don’t forget to put your name on ‘em!)

If every member signs up to cook two times per week the system will run vewy vewy smoothly!

How to Clean the Kitchen

Store leftovers in Tupperware, Labeled with DATE and description; write if they are vegan or gluten free

Wash dishes: Have a sink full of hot, sudsy water ready. Two or three can help — use a washer & a rinser, & a dryer

Take care with pans & woks – See special care for Cast Iron on next page

Empty compost buckets and RINSE OUT buckets to avoid funk

Wipe down counter, stove and tables

Sweep Floor

You could also tidy the car port, hallway, living room, dining room if there are extra volunteers on hand to clean up after meals! Dishwashing, Granny’s Method

The most water efficient way to do a load of dishes:

Fill left sink w/ soapy water (use right side with disposal for pre-rinse on gunk)

Try to wash from cleanest to dirtiest to make water last (glasses, utensil, plates then the pots)

Suds up a bunch, then rinse all at once.

Knives: Do Not leave knives in the sink or in the drying rack pointed up. DANGER!!! Wash and immediately place on magnetic knife rack on wall above stove!

LEFT FRIDGE & Freezer

Leftovers for all

Personal Food (with NAME)

Produce in bins that did not fit in Right Fridge

Things in left freezer are probably NOT house food. They should be labeled or stored in a bag that is labeled. RIGHT FRIDGE & Freezer

House Food

Condiments & salad dressing, cheese, eggs from bulk, yogurt & more

Sprouted Bread needs to be refrigerated!

No need to refrigerate chicken eggs

Butter Dish The butter dish should NEVER be in the fridge, this defeats the purpose of a butter dish. If you use the last of the butter, clean the dish to prevent rancid butter remains & replace butter stick. If you use the last stick in the fridge, take some out of the freezer & put in fridge.

Cast Iron Care

NEVER leave cast iron wet in sink

Do Not use soap on cast iron: EVER!!!

Do use plastic bristle brush or scrub pad and water to remove any crusty gunk or residue (salt is a good abrasive too)

When frying eggs just wipe out any residue

Do dry pan over flame

Do coat pan with a little oil (if it drips it’s too much)

• If the skillet has lost its black protective coating, or food sticks badly to the surface, it needs to be cured again. How to Cure Cast Iron:

Put the pan in the oven to warm it.

Remove it and apply shortening.

Put it in the oven at 225 degrees for half an hour.

Remove it and wipe it almost dry. You don't want any pooling of the shortening.

Place it back in the oven for another half hour

PLEASE, Do not leave half eaten fruit in the fruit bowls!

Food Shopping

The Food Shop Budget is $120 a week: $80 on Saturday/$40 on Wednesday. (This varies from summer, to not-summer. Check the house food budget, which is posted in the phone nook.)

We do two food shops a week: one on Wednesday and one on Saturday.

The Saturday shop is about twice the size of the Wednesday shop.

The amount we budget for these shops varies with the seasons.

In general, when we are getting produce from our CSA, the Flatirons Neighborhood Farm, we budget less for food shops. See the annual food budget to see how it changes throughout the year.

The food budget tells the food shoppers how much they are allowed to spend. Food shoppers must put receipts in the proper place, so food accountant can balance our budget.

Everyone please bring things up from the basement that need to be brought up (i.e. if we are out of paper towel rolls in the laundry room, but we have more in the basement) and bring things down to the basement that need to be brought down (i.e. extra jars of lemon juice that we might not have room for in the pantry). Re-fill bulk food containers in the kitchen from bulk bags in the basement.

Always consult the basement & do a thorough search on all kitchen shelves before asking bulk food steward to order more or something like grains, spices or teas.

Stay in contact with the bulk food steward — if we run out of something & you used the last of it, note that on the clipboard so bulk steward will order it.

It’s OK to return food at check out if the purchase is going way over budget

Food Shop should be done on WED and on SATURDAY

We shop @ Vitamin Cottage b/c they take our checks

Sign up for Food Shop on the cook/clean dry erase board

SAMPLE FOODSHOP LIST

If everyone does their part, we will have balance, happiness & a clean & lovely home!

Recycling

We do single stream recycling. That means we toss recyclable glass bottles & jars, plastic drinking bottles, aluminum cans, clean/washed-off sheets of aluminum foil, empty milk jugs, paper, junk mail, cardboard, etc etc etc — all together in the same bin. The city collects our recycling on Thursday mornings, so our Recycling Steward should keep an eye on the bin in the kitchen by the back door & take it out frequently, especially before Thursday morning.

Boulder also features a few facilities like [EcoCycle] and the [Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials] (CHARM). We usually keep a bag of items we are collecting for a run to CHARM, either near the back door or in the rainbow closet in the first floor hallway by the stairs. This is where batteries and electronics can be stored until the next run to EcoCycle.

Compost

It might seem at first like it’s difficult or confusing to throw things away at Masala! Don’t worry -- you’ll get the hang of it! We have 3 potential places for compostable materials:

  1. If your food or vegetable skins or stems would appeal to our chickens, please give them treats. A full list of what chickens do & do not like is posted on the wall near the back door. This info can also be found in the Encyclopedia of Country Living, on our dining room book shelf.
  2. If it’s a fruit or vegetable or non-meat or cheese food, but the chickens wouldn’t dig it, put it in our compost that goes in the bin in our back yard.
  3. If it’s a large quantity of bread (such as the leftover baguettes on a Tuesday night, from the bread donation the week before) or if it’s wet or used paper towels, or even if it’s compost from one of the bathrooms such as tissue or cotton balls, these are all things the city will collect. They go to the alley.

Common Space and Common Courtesies

Quiet Hours

Designated house quiet hours are 11pm - 8am. However, it's always courtesy hours. If someone asks you to be quiet because they have to get up at 6am, be considerate.

Lights

All lights should be turned OFF when not in use.

Computers

The house computer in the living room is for everyone. You can print from it. It also holds Masala records & house documents. We also have a wireless house network. If you need the password, or have any other computer issues, you should talk to the Computer Steward for the password.

Conflicts

Sometimes, in a house of a dozen or more people, issues/disagreements/conflicts may need mediation. Please begin by trying to work out your differences on your own. Then, if you need support, there are a few Conflict Resolution Point People to help. These people have been selected by the house and have conflict resolution training.

Violence is never an acceptable response and will not be tolerated in our community.

Intimate Relationships Within the House

People living in close proximity often end up being attracted to each other. In fact, short of purely internet based dating, proximity is kind of a prerequisite for having an intimate relationship. In a cooperative household there are community implications for intimacy between housemates, and before you embark on a relationship within the house, it's worth doing a little introspection. A few questions you might want to consider:

  • Have you ever lived with someone that you've had an intimate relationship with? What was that experience like? Living with other people in a co-op is a lot like having the domestic parts of a live-in relationship, and catapulting directly from mutual attraction to full-on domestic partnership can feel like a lot to deal with.
  • How good are you at handling the end of a relationship? Have your past relationships tended to end amicably, or with a lot of hurt feelings and drama?
  • Are you still on good terms with most of your former lovers? How many of them would you be willing to live with today? How many of them would you have been willing to live with immediately after your intimate relationship ended?
  • If your prospective relationship were to go bad, would you be willing to move out of the house for the good of the community?

Living together in a co-op it's often clear when something intimate is going on between housemates, even if they haven't spoken about it, but it can be very difficult to figure out whether it's casual, committed, or somewhere in between. It might not seem like anybody else's business, but the lack of communication can end up being hurtful. If someone violates the norms of the intimate relationship, and other house members witness it but don't say anything (because they don't know what those norms are) the wronged party can still end up feeling betrayed by other members of the house. For that reason, we encourage members to consider being open with each other about the status of their relationships within the house, either in one-on-one conversations or in Heart Song. Similarly, if you're involved in a relationship within the house, you shouldn't be surprised if other housemates ask you how it's going, or what form it takes. Their emotional well being and space will potentially be influenced by your relationship, so it's not necessarily prying in the same way it might be if another person inquired. It's just part of living this closely together.

Guests

All guests must have a designated host within the house. The host is responsible for making sure their guests understand house rules and processes, ensuring they pay boarding fees, and mediating any conflicts that might arise between the guest and other house members.

Guests are welcome to stay for up to three nights without house approval, but if they're going to be staying in public space it's good to at least announce it at meeting and/or via the house email list ahead of time, so that we don't accidentally end up with six guests fighting for the same spot on the couch.

The day of their arrival, please write your guest’s name on the house message board so we know who’s sleeping on our couch or in whatever bed. Stays of longer than 3 nights must be approved at house meeting. If they eat here at all, it costs $5 a day. They can put cash in the food in-box in the phone nook, give it to the Food Accountant directly, or you can pay their way if you feel more comfortable with that.

Laundry

Laundry detergent is a house item, located in the laundry room.

If it’s sunny and warm out, use the clothes line, not the dryer. This conserves our energy that we get from the sun (and also, Xcel)!

Always check the lint trap so we don't burn the house down.

Laundry is first-come first-serve. Weekends are high traffic times. When doing laundry please leave your basket so the next person in line can deposit your clothes into a clean receptacle. Remove your clothes from the laundry room promptly. If you’re next in line and there is no basket we have a house basket you can use so the person’s clean clothes don’t get tossed onto the dirty floor. There are full directions posted in the laundry room.

Lost and Found

Any items left in common rooms are placed in Lost and Found when it’s cleaning time. Try to take responsibility for your belongings and keep them out of common space so that the cleaners don’t have to.

Message Board

The white board in the kitchen by the door is for house messages. They are often important and sometimes interesting. Use it and check it often, however, do not use it to passive-aggressively make complaints about individuals or behaviors in the house. Instead, communicate your complaints directly to the perpetrator(s), either one-on-one or in a house meeting.

Parking

Please look for street parking. We reserve the driveway for unloading and loading. Tell your significant others & visitors & house guests this rule, please.

Phone

Long distance & local calls are free from the house phone located in the phone nook. Our phone number is 303-443-8178. No international calls!

Rent and Food Payments

Rent and food payments are due by the 5th of each month. To pay: in the phone nook are two trays, one labeled rent, the other food. There are also two stamps, one for food, one for rent. Stamp the back of your check with the appropriate stamp and place it in the correct tray. Yes, you must write two separate checks — they go into two different bank accounts. If you’re going to have trouble paying by the due date, consult the Debt and Payment Plan Policies in the House Bylaws, below.

Submitting Receipts

Receipts for food purchases for the house, including food shop and food fivers, should be placed in the food tray in the phone nook. Any household supply receipts are placed in the rent tray, so the House Accountant can keep track of our expenses or reimburse you. You must write your name or identifying initials on the receipt, as well as a unique receipt number. There are two clip-boards in the phone nook, one for food and one for non-food items which you buy for the house. When you submit a receipt for reimbursement, you must fill in a line on the appropriate clipboard with your name or identifying initials, and details about the purchase, including the unique number you wrote on the receipt before you put it in the box, so that the house accountants can tell which receipts go with what purchases for budgeting purposes.

Smoking

Cigarettes may NOT be smoked in the house. Smoking in the carport or on balconies is fine but please place butts in an appropriate receptacle, never on the ground. All other smoke should be kept in your own room or outside.

Storage

Anything you can’t fit in your closet can go in the basement, in your designated storage space marked with your name. The rainbow Hall Closet is for tools and house items like reusable grocery bags & tape measures & light bulbs. The Furnace Closet should have NOTHING in it — it’s a fire hazard. The living room closet by the front door is for the vacuum cleaner. Blankets and pillows to be shared by all belong under the purple futon in the living room.

Supplies

Cost of household supplies is included in your utilities fee of $90 per month! Here’s where to find ‘em:

  • Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, and cleaning supplies live in the laundry room.
  • Trash Bags can be found in the Rainbow Closet in the 1st floor hallway near the Kitchen.
  • Garden Supplies are stored in the Shed. Check with the Garden Steward to get the combination to the door.

Toilets

Our sewer system is persnickety, big time, especially the first floor which gets the most traffic. If it’s yellow, don’t let it mellow, since too much accumulated paper will clog it. If you take a dump, wait for the final gurgle to be sure it all goes down, otherwise the next person is left cleaning up your shit, literally. Plungers don’t cut it, use the snake. The snake is a long metal pole with a coiled knob at one end and a handle at the other. This can be found outside the main 1st floor bathroom window, if it’s not there ask around. To use, insert curved end into toilet drain. Once inserted turn and push and crank the handle so the knob snakes down the drain as far as it can go. Pull handle back up and rinse off the knob. Toilet should now be flushable. Clean up any overflow. Feel free to ask for a demo. Don’t be embarrassed — everybody poops.

Vacuum Cleaner

It’s kept in the closet near the front door, and should be returned there after use. There are vacuum bags in the same closet, replace as necessary.

Clean up after yourself.

Courtesy hours 24 hours/day.

Pets

There are no mammalian pets allowed in the house except in case of special approval by consensus. Any non-mammalian pets must be kept in a cage or tank at all times and must be in the owner’s room. Fish may be in public areas upon house approval.

Guest Policy

Members may have guests stay in the house for up to three (3) days without house approval.

If a member plans on having a guest for more than three (3) days, or if there is even a possibility that the guest may stay in the house for more than three (3) days, the house must approve the stay by consensus in advance.

It is the policy of Masala to welcome any guests affiliated with co-ops from other regions into the house for a reasonable amount of time and by house approval. The guest should contact the house prior to his/her arrival in order to allow the house to discuss and approve the stay in advance. If the guest arrives at the house unannounced and there are less than three (3) days remaining until the next house meeting, the guest may stay until the meeting contingent upon informal house approval, and then may stay longer if the house approves the stay. If there are more than three (3) days until the next meeting, the guest may not stay in the house until his/her stay is approved.

There shall be two intermediary house guest liaisons to be decided upon by the house, that will facilitate communication between the house and house guests in the event that a person or people in the house feel uncomfortable undertaking the communication themselves. These intermediaries shall be used only when other, more personal communication is impractical or undesirable.

No guests may be un-hosted.

Payment of Deposit by Installment

Upon acceptance and moving into the house, a new member is required to make a deposit of one month’s rent due to the house accountant. This deposit can be paid in installments of one third a month’s rent for three months if the new member cannot afford to pay two months’ rent upon his/her arrival into the house. It is preferred that new members pay their deposit in one payment if possible.

Non-Food Reimbursements

Members may purchase non-food items for the house that cost less than $25.00 without house approval and will be guaranteed reimbursement. More expensive purchases must be approved in advance at a house meeting, or reimbursement is not guaranteed.

Receipts must be submitted in order to receive a reimbursement.

Fines

The following people have been authorization under the house bylaws to fine house members:

House Accountant, Food Accountant

These people have the authority to fine house members for late rent or food payments.

The fine is five dollars per day after the 5th of the month.

Room Choosing Procedure

Every room change shall be approved by consensus of the house at a house meeting wherein any issues of contention over the room change shall be addressed.

No one shall be displaced from his/her room without his/her consent.

All members interested in the room (contestants) should deliberate before the meeting as well as speak with the Conflict Resolution Point People.

The following needs may be considered by the house.

  1. Physical
  2. Financial
  3. Emotional
  4. Professional
  5. Practical

Compatibility and good of the house may also be considered.

If no one has needs that are greater than another’s, the contestants will draw straws and it will be over.

No Television

Masala hereby decrees itself to be free of the mind-deadening influence of corporate programming on television within public areas, except for house movie-viewing, which is creative, delightful and creates community!

No Firearms

No firearms or explosives are permitted within the house.

Guidelines for Getting Along

Lessons learned from past co-opers include:

  • We avoid talking behind people's backs.
  • We create a safe space for processing/connecting/growing personally and emotionally.
  • When we get to know each other better, that’s better.
  • We can develop a level of comfort dealing with conflict: conflict is natural.
  • Problems will not fester/we will create space to bring up issues & resolve conflict.