Frequently Asked Questions
How many hours are spent on house duties?
On average, each woman spends about seven hours per week on house duties. Everyone has the opportunity to select the type of work that they prefer to do to contribute to the household.
Do social functions interfere with studies?
Social functions exist to give the girls the opportunity to take time to relax and enjoy campus life. However, this is certainly not at the expense of their grades. Women who have tests or papers that they need to concentrate on are encouraged to do so, instead of attending a social function. Furthermore, new members have mandatory study hours Sunday through Thursday evenings and are assigned an active member who serves as their academic advisor to assist with transition to collegiate studies.
What is the graduation rate of 4-H House women?
4-H House has an exceptionally high graduation rate. Furthermore, it is not uncommon to see 4-H House women graduating with Honors or receiving special Senior recognitions. There have been a number of women in recent years who have continued on to graduate school, including veterinary medicine and medical doctorate programs.
Are women encouraged to participate in university activities?
Certainly! 4-H House women are active in numerous ways on campus, from judging teams and livestock clubs, to intramural sports, professional organizations and volunteer work.
What does 4-H House offer besides financial benefits?
Women benefit significantly in two other ways from living at the house. First, they gain experience that will be vital in life and in their careers: time management, leadership, responsibilities (e.g. coordinating an event, managing a portion of the house). They also gain social benefits (living and working with many individuals; lifelong friendships, support and encouragement from the women that one lives with as well as other alumnae).
How does 4-H House help women transition between high school and college life?
There are many ways that women are supported, especially through their first semester, to make the transitions to campus life. First, women live with older members of the house their first semester so they can gain from an older member's experience and to be encouraged by them. Also, two active members, serving as the New Member Educator and the Assistant New Member Educator, keep close contact with the new members by meeting with them at least once per week to help them transition to life at the house and on campus. Academic Advisors are paired up with each New Member to assist with transitioning to collegiate studies. New Members are also paired with big sisters who become special friends and part of a great support network.
Does 4-H House tolerate alcohol or smoking on the premises?
No smoking or alcohol is allowed on 4-H House property.
Since the girls govern and run the house, how does the organization of the house run? Is safety a priority?
4-H House day-to-day activities are designed to be very efficient. One member, an officer, manages cleaning duties and another officer manages cooking duties. These women schedule and organize the rest of the members to make sure that all of the cooking and cleaning is accomplished. Everyone in the house has different jobs to make sure that everything runs smoothly and efficiently, from vacuuming, to cleaning the showers, to answering the phones, to cooking lunch.
Safety is top priority. There are a number of rules in the house to facilitate safety. For example, male guests are only allowed in the house at certain times and then must be "tagged in." Blinds are drawn at specific times of the evening. there are specific women assigned every night to "close the house" (shutting and locking windows, turning off lights, and generally checking the property to make sure that the house is safe and secure at night).
Finally, women have access to adults if they feel an issue is too overwhelming to handle on their own or even for advice. The House Director lives in the house and is accessible at all times. The Alumnae Board is also a very active presence in the house and these women can always be contacted if needed.
How is the rent, or house bill, determined for each women?
The 4-H House property is owned by the Alumnae of 4-H House otherwise known as the Illinois 4-H House Association. The cooperative unit, 4-H House, leases the property from the Association. A portion of the house bill is paid to the Association. Currently, that portion is $210 per month. The remaining house bill is determined by the women in the house and is based on budgets for meals, supplies, small repairs, and programming. The cooperative 4-H House runs on a break-even basis, which allows 4-H House to operate at a substantially reduced cost in comparison with other campus units, including dormitory and other Greek units.
What is the function of the Alumnae Board and how do they interact with the women of 4-H House?
A major aspect of the relationship between the Association and 4-H House is that of landlord/tenant. As such, the Association manages and controls any and all physical changes to the house and property. This means the Association is responsible for the capital upkeep and major repairs of the house. The rent received from 4-H House is managed by the Board of the Association and used for expenditures that fall into this category. For example, the Alumnae Board pays for major repairs, capital renovations, and property and liability insurance. (This excludes members' personal contents.) The Association relies on alumnae contributions to build any reserves necessary for future projects, both forseen and unforseen.
The other major aspect of the relationship between the Association and 4-H House is advisory and governance. The Alumnae Board participates in house operations to facilitate good communication between the two organizations. In short the house is self-governing and the Alumnae Board functions to ensure the system is running smoothly.