La Casa, also known as Spanish House, is unique amongst MIT's living groups. Our community was founded to celebrated Latino culture and the Spanish language. While we are a part of the larger New House community, we are also our own community with our own culture, meal plan, and government. Having the power to govern ourselves gives us an advantage over other more traditional dorm communities. We distribute funds in a way that is most beneficial to all members of La Casa, and each member has the opportunity to share their opinion and vote on house policy. Together we elect members, decide where to take trips, participate in recreational sports, and host events.
There are two types of Spanish House memberships available:
Lives in Spanish House and has a set job (cooking, study breaks, cleaning, etc.)
Does not live in Spanish House and does not have a set job. Social members are assigned the either the Half Meal Plan or Social Meal Plan.
All residents in La Casa are part of the House Meal Plan. Each member prepares dinner or study break for the house along with their cooking partner once every other week. The week that they don't cook, they setup and clean. Not only is the meal plan only about $70 per month, house dinners are also a great way to socialize with other members of the house. Part of what makes La Casa a family is the dinners we have each night after class. It allows members to take a break from studying and spend time eating and relaxing with friends. Furthermore, the meal plan is a great opportunity for members to learn how to make delicious meals. New members are paired with more experienced cooking partners. Learn more about our meal plan here.
La Casa has its own government, constitution, and taxes. Each month, the house has a general body meeting to discuss important events and, if necessary, make amendments to the constitution. The government is a mixture of a direct and representative democracy. All house members may vote on issues at the GBMs, and amendments must be passed by the entire house. Representatives meet at least once a month to plan events and discuss any issues in the house.
Every spring, room selection is held to determine room assignments for the following year. Picking order is decided first by seniority, then by housing points, and then by lottery (if tie in housing points). Each class chooses rooms separately, beginning with the seniors. Once rooms are chosen, there is no shuffling rooms until the next selection process, unless required by MIT Housing Office. Room selection for incoming freshmen takes place in the summer right after the MIT Housing Lottery.
The housing points system is used to determine the order in which the people in your class will pick their rooms. Seniority trumps all. Housing points are earned by being on exec, going to house meetings, helping out in REX/CPW, completing chores, and attending house retreats.
There is no set rule about where fifth year students pick in the room lottery. A house vote is taken and a decision is made when the situation arises.
The Social Chairs organize at least one event per semester. They are in charge of sending out emails, getting food, setting up music, and anything else that relates to the events. Athletic Chairs are in charge of La Casa's IM teams. They are required to attend the Athletic Chair meetings and sign up the house for sports. They must ensure there are enough people attending the games so that the House does not get fined.