The Miami Alumni of Delta Upsilon, Inc., commonly known as Housing Corp, is a non-profit Ohio corporation originally chartered in 1927. Maintaining its charter requires filing a Certificate of Continued Existence (which includes the identification of a current Statutory Agent) with the Ohio Secretary of State every five years. The next update is due in March 2023.
House Corp is recognized as a tax-exempt social organization by the IRS pursuant to Sec. 501(c)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations or dues paid to Section 501(c)(7) corporations are not tax-deductible. Maintaining that status requires the timely filing of a yearly tax return.
Who are the members?
Every alumnus is automatically a member and entitled to vote on all matters which come before House Corp. There are no initiation or required annual dues, and we encourage involvement since we are all volunteers.
Most day-to-day issues are handled by an annually elected Executive Board of 12 alumni trustees. We try to have quarterly conference calls although circumstances can (and have) dictated more frequent discussions, with official meetings the Saturdays of Homecoming. Preference is to have a broad age range; currently, the Board includes alumni graduating from 1969 through 2017.
If you are interested in becoming a trustee or volunteering, please send an email to email@example.com or contact us through social media.
What do we do?
On a day in and out basis, we act as the owner and operator of the Chapter house located at 400 E. Vine (the deed is in the name of House Corp). For all legal purposes, we are a landlord; the undergraduates living in the Chapter House are tenants. We sign leases, collect rent, pay the mortgage and utilities, and perform maintenance and every other function traditionally expected of a multi-family residential landlord. On a longer-term basis, we plan, budget for, and implement capital improvements and build up cash reserves for future expenses.
Where we differ from these traditional roles is that (1) we budget not for profit but for meeting anticipated direct expenses and future needs planning, (2) in keeping with our non-secret foundation the budget is open and available to all fraternity members, alumni and undergraduate, at any time, (3) our responsibilities extend not just to in-house brothers, but out of house as well, and include relations with both the University and the international fraternity and (4) our over-riding goal is to ensure both the current and long term viability of the Miami Chapter.
We want the current undergraduates, and future undergraduates, to have the same opportunities we did to enjoy college the D.U way, keeping in mind that we are brothers, not clones, and every generation will differ somewhat in that experience. It is enough that we remember that we are, and continue to act as, brothers of a non-secret, non-hazing fraternity with a long tradition of looking out for each other both during and after school. That requires education, an institutional memory, continuity, and a physical location to keep it all together. Taking those in reverse order:
- Physical location The current Chapter house was built in 1931 and is in good physical shape as it approaches 100 years. It has been updated and maintained on a regular basis, and currently, there are no known major issues with the physical state of the chapter house. As long as House Corp is able to pay for it, there is a mortgage, and ongoing maintenance expenses, it should be available to the Chapter. Paying for it means a full, or as close to full as practicable, undergraduate tenancy, and this has to be a point of strong and ongoing emphasis. The more undergraduates in the house, the easier and clearer the financial picture is.
- Continuity Electronic record-keeping has made this far easier. House Corp records and budgets going back and updated on a continuing basis should be a valuable resource for future members. We also need to emphasize regular turnover on the Executive Board, ideally nobody should serve longer than three years in any one capacity, everybody is busy and it avoids burn-out.
- Institutional memory Our chapter goes back 150 years. We expect it to be going at least another 150. That means, as House Corp members, we have to take a role in remembering (and reminding the undergraduates when necessary) what we are about. Non-secret, non-hazing, brothers. Particularly in the current anti-greek climate, it is absolutely essential that we assist the undergraduates, as needed, in taking a longer-term view and help them work through issues with the University as they arise (and they WILL arise, they always have).
- Education New member education takes care of most of this, but several of us have been through cycles where it seemed House Corp and undergrad were regularly at odds. Not what we want, or what is needed. We think the best way to avoid this is openness, and education: we have to educate them as to what House Corp is all about. Meet with incoming undergraduate executive board members, stay in touch with and discuss any issues with them as they learn their roles, meet with new members to tell them about House Corp. And remind them, in a few years, they will be sitting in our seats.