La Casa House Rules

Membership

There are 3 types of memberships available through Spanish House:

  • Full Member: You live in Spanish House and have a set chore (cooking, study breaks, etc.).
  • Associate Member: You do not live in Spanish House, but do everything a Full Member would do, this includes having a set job.
  • Social Member: You do not live in Spanish House, and you do not have a set job. Social members are usually assigned the Social Meal Plan because they don't have to cook.

Meal Plans

The treasurer will gather everyone's preference of meal plan. They are summarized here:

  • Full Meal Plan: Most people who live in the house chose this plan. You will pay $70 per month and are allowed to eat at every dinner, including study breaks.
  • Half Meal Plan: You pay $35 per month and are allowed to eat 2-3 meals per week with the house and attend study breaks. You must sign in for the 2-3 meals of your choice.
  • Social Meal Plan: This plan is usually for people who don't live in the house, but like to show up once in awhile. You pay $17 per month and are allowed to eat one meal per week and attend study breaks.

Sign In Sheet: If you are not on the Full Meal Plan, you must sign in to the dinners you plan to attend. If you are not signed in, the cooks are not obligated to have a meal prepared for you.

Saves: If you are not going to make it for dinner on a particular night, you can sign up for a save in advance using the Sign In Sheet. If you are stuck on campus and won't make it for dinner, you can call the House 3, 1st floor phone at x8-6376 and ask for a save. The latest you can call to make a save is 6:00 p.m.

Guests: You are allowed to bring one guest every other week to dinner. If you bring any more guests than that you may be expected to pay for their dinner. Also, if you bring the same guest every other week we would like you to invite them to become a social member.

Payments: Your payment is due at the end of every semester. The treasurer will hand out bills and collect money. He/She will also collect receipts on food. If Spanish House owes you any money the treasurer will attempt to give you a check for the balance. Graduating Seniors usually have priority. Monthly payments are subject to change depending on how many days we cook during that month.

Cooking

One of the best things in La Casa (besides the wonderful people) is cooking. Being away from home really makes you miss the usual home cooked meal. This pamphlet is written to help everyone make each meal more enjoyable for the entire house. Two people are paired up and become cooking/cleaning partners for the semester, you cook/clean on the same day every week. It takes anywhere from 2 to 3 hours to cook so be sure you give yourselves enough time. A comment sheet will be available so that cooks can get constructive feedback and better their meals. Menus: You and your cooking partner should decide on a menu and post it up in the kitchen at least the day before you cook. This allows people who want to eat that day enough time to sign in. The menu should consist of a main entrée, a vegetarian entrée (if necessary), 2 side orders, and a desert. Spaghetti and other instant meals are not an adequate entrée. If you have no other choice, an attempt should be made to make your own sauce.

Shopping: You are responsible for buying your own food. Some cooking partners split the responsibility by having one person do the shopping one week, and the other shops the next time you cook. The most convenient way is to have both partners shop together, in order to help carry the food, but alternate who pays. One way to save money is to check what leftovers are in the kitchen before you go shopping. Maybe the people who cooked before you had extra tomato sauce leftover that you could use. Also, if you are planning on making something that requires a carton of eggs or a gallon of milk, please but it under your own budget. The staples person will only buy enough for dinner and individual consumption. You are expected to stay within the budget of $65 per dinner, credit will be given up to $75 but anything past that will come out of your own pocket. Take a calculator!

Star Market: Going towards Central Sq. next to the fire station. Walk down Mass Ave. to Central Sq. It will be on your left. They deliver for $4 before 6:00 p.m.

Tardiness: Dinner is served at 6:15 p.m. Lots of people have reviews, tutorials, etc. at 7 p.m. so please try to be considerate. If you know you will not be able to cook, it is your responsibility to find a replacement. The best thing to do is to switch days with someone else.

Recipes: Many people who came to Spanish House did not know how to cook, but everyone soon learns. You will be paired with someone who knows (or is supposed to know by now) how to cook. There are plenty of recipes floating around that are fairly easy to follow. Feel free to experiment and create something of your own. If it's a hit, you can add your recipe to our collection.

Receipts: Make sure you turn in your receipts, if you loose it, you must present the actual credit card statement. This is due to the fact that MIT has closed all our outside accounts. If you have no way to vouch for the amount you spend, you will be allowed only one waiver of confidentiality per school year. Else you will be charged the amount. Sorry, but the bookkeeping at MIT got worse this year.

Other Tips: Do not leave a plastic utensil on top of a hot pot or pan. Do not put anything that is not microwave safe inside the microwave. When cooking with a Teflon pot or pan, avoid using anything metallic and never cut food inside the pan since it can scratch the surface. After having a hot pan or pot on the stove, do not put it underneath water; if the water is much cooler the pan could warp.

Cleaning

The week you don't cook you will clean. When it is your turn to clean, you have to make sure that all dishes, cups, pots, pans, and silverware are washed. The dining tables should be cleared of all food and wiped down. All leftover food shall be covered and put away. Use appropriate size containers; don't put an entire pot in the fridge if it only has a hand full of beans. All countertops and stoves should be wiped down. Also, if the floor is dirty, it should be moped up and all dirt/debris should be thrown in the trash, not thrown on the carpet outside the kitchen. Dishwasher: Even though the dishwasher works, it is still a good idea to rinse off the plates. Also, the dishwashing soap is located under the sink; do not use any other type of soap. This can create an overflow in the machine dirty the floor that you will have to clean up.

Setting Up and Saves: Along with cleanup, it is your duty to setup for dinner and make saves. For setup, you should be there at least 15 minutes before dinner starts.

Setup: Place plates, cups, and silverware for as many people as there are signed in to eat that day. Make something to drink either from the frozen juices or a powdered mix. You should also take out milks, napkins, and the meal.

Saves: Once the food is made you should check on the Sign In Sheet to see how many saves there are and make the saves. Be sure to include everything that will be served at dinner. Wrap the plates with Plastic Wrap and put the person's name on the plastic using a piece of tape. This will eliminate "stolen" saves. The person who the save is for is responsibly for cleaning the plate.

Dishes in Your Room: Everyone is welcome to take food up to his/her room, just as long as all the plates, cups, silverware, etc. are brought back to the kitchen and washed. We don't want to be eating out of our hands during dinner.

Study Breaks

We assign one to two people to do study breaks. Their job is to have one study break for the house at least once a week. This usually occurs on a Wednesday or Thursday night around 10 p.m.

Room Selection

Seniority/lottery: Every spring room selection is held to determine room assignments for the following year. Someone in the house will be elected to organize this meeting. Room selection for Freshman takes place in the fall right after the MIT Housing Lottery. Seniority/Lottery: Room choice is decided, first by seniority, and then by lottery. Each class will runs its own lottery (draw numbers out of a hat), and choose rooms accordingly. Seniors first, then Juniors, etc. Once rooms are chosen, there will be no shuffling rooms until the next lottery, unless required by MIT Housing Office. At which time the presidents will run the lottery.

Points: People who live in doubles or triples earn 1/2 of a point for each semester they live with a roommate. 1/2 point is awarded for each roommate you live with. So, someone living in a double for a year gets 1 point total. Someone living in a triple for a year gets 2 points total (1/2 x 2 roommates x 2 semesters). These points may then be used during any subsequent room selection to gain a higher pick in the lottery for your class. Any discrepancies will be resolved by the current House Co-Presidents.

5th Term Seniors: There is not currently a set rule about where 5th Term Seniors pick in the room lottery. Generally, a house vote is taken and a decision is made when the situation arises.

Squatting: Squatting is not allowed in La Casa. This allows everyone an equal chance at getting the room they want.

Parties and Athletics

The Social Chairs organize parties, at least one per semester. They are in are in charge of sending out e-mails, getting snacks, setting up the music, and anything else that relates to the party. Likewise, Athletic chairs are in charge of Spanish House's IM sporting events. They need to be sure there are enough people attending the events so that Spanish house doesn't get fined.

Cooking Fines

One of the purposes of Spanish House is for the members to come together and enjoy a meal. Dinners should take AT LEAST 2 hours to make, unless you prepared some of the stuff the night before. This ensures that everyone spends the minimal amount of time making dinner. Try to aim for an average of 25 people, if you know more people come to certain days, then try to accommodate for that (maybe make a third side, there’s a lot of rice.)

It is expected of every cooking team to make sure, the dinner has all the following:

  • A main dish, one that includes either white or red meat.
  • 2 side dishes, try to be creative
  • A salad, some people prefer to eat a salad. You don’t have to make it, you can buy it packaged (though it is sometimes more expensive) but do have a salad.
  • A desert; nothing fancy.

Don’t be afraid to try something new, just try not to burn it. ALWAYS KEEP AN EYE ON FOOD YOU ARE COOKING.

You will incur a $15 fine per person if you cook any of the following:

  • Make Shake and Bake (instant foods)
  • Cook pre-frozen entrees (e.g. stir-fry)
  • Make Spaghetti and Meatballs/Chicken ( No ifs, ands, or buts) IF YOU MAKE YOUR OWN SAUCES, LIKE ALFREDO ITS OK! CHECK WITH THE PRESIDENT TO MAKE SURE IT IS OK.
  • Using one or both sides in your entrée, thus only leaving a main dish and salad.
  • Pasta is not a side, it is part of the main dish if you are making pasta as an entrée.
  • 2 different types of vegetables (e.g. corn and broccoli), does not count as two different sides. Only ONE of the sides can be canned veggies.

You will incur a $10 fine per person if your dinner is past 6:30 p.m. People need to get to their 7pm classes, or reviews.

Cleaning Fines

Over the past year, the kitchen has become extremely dirty. This of course is not sanitary for those who cook and prepare the meals. We have also had an increase in the amount of bugs in the kitchen, especially small flies.

Cleaning should take at least 1 hour, this should give you enough time to do the following:

  • Wash all the dishes (if you use the dishwasher, scrape off as much food as you can)
  • Dry and put away all the dishes (there are clean towels in the counter’s drawers)
  • Wipe down all the tables, many members of the house and around the dorm use them to study.
  • Wipe down all the stoves.
  • Wipe down all countertops.
  • Mop the floor.

You will incur a $10 per person if you do not do any of the following. It is up to both team members, to help each other out. Fines will go up to $15 per person, if you do not fulfill a duty and there is a study break that night. Study break people need access to a clean kitchen.

Saving Food

Though many of us were taught not to throw away food, unfortunately it must be done to keep the fridges clean. DO NOT STORE AWAY POTS AND PANS FULL OF FOOD IN THE FRIDGE. The team for the following day might need them in order to cook.

The only thing you can save in the public fridges is dessert, only if you 100% sure people will eat the food - use your judgment. Use one of the Tupperware containers that we have, labeling the date it was made. You can save anything for yourself, but please put it in the private fridge with a date.

You will incur a $5 fine, and have to go and wash the pot or pan if you fail to adhere to the rules.

Official Constitution

A copy of the official La Casa Constitution may be found here. The Amendments to the Constitution may be found here.