What is FarmHouse? || History of FarmHouse || Our Founding Fathers || The 4-Fold Building Process || The Central Attributes || Organization of FarmHouse || Honorary Members || Master Builders
THE LOCAL ORGANIZATION OF FARMHOUSE
...as a brotherhood
Learning to live together with understanding and patience for another's viewpoint is perhaps the greatest advantage and privilege to be gained from fraternity life. In a chapter home as in a family home one learns to respect the needs, desires, possessions and time of other members. One seeks his own fulfillment, in part, through interests shared in the responsibilities of the daily life in a chapter home as he would in a family home...observing neatness, cleanliness, healthful habits. Where in a family home you may share with three or four others, in a chapter home of a fraternity your brothers will number perhaps as many as 60...or more. It becomes essential then for each man to be his best self for the group to live in an environment where honest differences are resolved and life there becomes a positive learning experience.
...as a business
The Fraternity operation can be likened to a business. It is responsible for payment of rent, for utilities, for the purchase of food, the planning and serving of meals, minor upkeep and housekeeping, collection of fees, and disbursements of checks for services rendered and for hiring of necessary employees. All of these areas are self-directed and fall largely to the planning and implementation of the chapter officers with the cooperation of the members. (See the Chapter Officers' Handbook)
Careful preparation and implementation of a realistic budget is essential. The fees charged for room and board should be based on sound planning for a month-to-month operation, with sufficient allowances to cover emergency situations that may arise in the social or operational schedules of the chapter.
The Faculty Advisory Committee and Moms’ Club or Parents’ Club can provide invaluable advice as to comfortable, inexpensive and durable furnishings, good menu planning and control in the kitchen operation. The housemother stands ready to assist in many areas, including matters of social amenities and gentlemanly conduct.
Where a chapter and association are considering expansion of the living facilities, chapter representatives have the opportunity to work in planning sessions and often carry major responsibilities in the building program of the association.
The direction which a chapter takes in its pursuit of excellent living depends in great part on how it charts its course; how well it utilizes the many aids to counseling and guidance which are available; its unity of purpose; how well its members work as a team; how well it communicates its needs and progress to the Faculty Advisory Committee, the chapter, local association and the International Board; and how well it relates to the life of the university campus.
...as a self-governing body
The Fraternity offers an opportunity unequaled in self-government to the men of the chapter. From within their membership they select officers, in accordance with the By-Laws of the Fraternity, they establish their own laws for governing the chapter, set their own study hours, establish their own housekeeping rules and select their own members. (For details of officers' responsibilities see the Chapter Officers' Handbook.) One or more members of their chapter executive board represent them on the association board, having full vote in the proceedings of that group and equal voice in all its deliberations.
The chapter is encouraged to be represented on the local Interfraternity Council, together with members of other fraternities, for purposes of giving direction to fraternity activities on the local campus.
Through the efforts of the Faculty Advisory Committee, working closely with the chapter, the opportunity to develop a positive relationship with the University is increased.
The chapter selects a member to represent the desires of that group at the Biennial Conclave of the Fraternity and may have representation through participation of members on standing and ad hoc committees of the international organization between Conclaves.
Members are encouraged to communicate with the International Executive Board and staff of the Fraternity at any time on matters they deem important either to the life of the chapter or personally. During the chapter consultation, in which a representative from FarmHouse International visits, matters of concern may be discussed face to face. Additionally, the lines of communication through correspondence and by telephone are open between the Executive Director and the members, either with regard to individual matters or as a chapter, for clarification of operational matters and for an exchange of ideas on any subject that either considers of interest. Further, chapters and colonies are encouraged to communicate with one another and to exchange ideas and programs.