Student Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know who is a member of my House?

Every House is composed of over 300 students, faculty, and staff who are randomly assigned. In order to determine who these members are,refer to your House website where there is a link to a master list of members. You can also refer to this website for the names and contact information of the House Council Members for your Minerva.

How do I get into my Minerva House?
Your Union ID card will grant you access to the first floor of your Minerva 24 hours a day. It will also allow you access to the first floor of any Minerva House between 7:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. Monday thru Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. on Fridays.

Any non-first year student can also potentially live in his or her Minerva. Room assignments for the Minerva Houses are based on a lottery system. If you live in your Minerva House, your Union ID card will also grant you access to the residential floors of your House.

What resources are available to me within my House?
Each Minerva House contains a seminar room, work room, kitchen, and grill. Any member of the House may use these resources, as long as they are respectful of the equipment. The seminar rooms are restricted during class times.

Who should I contact if I want my Minerva to sponsor an event? What type of events will my Minerva House sponsor?
If you have an event idea for your Minerva House, you should submit an Event Submission form located on your House's webpage. Once the form is submitted, your House Council will review the submission and notify asap. If your event is approved, your House Council will assist with reserving a room in the Minerva and instructing you on how to purchase items for your event (if funds are approved).

Please keep in mind that it is not the responsibility of the House Council to plan your event. It is up to you to plan and advertise your event, as well as set-up for it and clean-up. If you need assistance during this process, you can request a House Council contact or contact Michelle Pawlowski pawlowsm@union.edu in the Office.

How should I go about ordering food for an event?
Dining Service is very helpful in terms of providing food for events. They can do a variety of catering, including an inexpensive "No-Frills" menu. If you would like to have food provided by Dining Services, a House Council member must contact Dining Services. This can be done via phone or their website.

Additionally, you can use some outside caterers, but they must be approved by Dining Services. Many common food vendors have already been approved with Union. Therefore, before using an outside vendor, you must contact the Assistant Director for Minerva Programs. They can verify that the vendor has been approved and can help with ordering.

When ordering food, please keep in mind that Dining Services and outside food vendors appreciate advanced planning. Also, remember that food paid for with Minerva budgets is only for events approved by the House Council.

What do I need to know about booking a performer or vendor?
For many events, you may elect to have services provided by outside vendors or performers. It is important to work closely with the Assistant Director for Minerva Programs when planning such events. Contracts should be created and signed for such events and are to be processed through the Minerva Office. Students and faculty cannot sign contracts; only Dean McEvoy can sign contracts for the Minerva Houses. This is true of all contracts regardless of the cost of the event. When speaking with vendors regarding quotes and availability, be careful not to guarantee an event, as verbal contracts are binding in the state of New York.

Performers and vendors will be paid at the conclusion of the event with either a check or purchase order. They cannot be paid without a contract that has been signed by Dean McEvoy. In order to process payment, the paperwork should be submitted two weeks in advance of the event.

Is alcohol allowed at Minerva events?
Yes, alcohol is allowed at Minerva events and in the Houses. However, there are certain guidelines that must be met before an alcoholic event can take place in a Minerva. Please contact Dean McEvoy(mcevoyt@union.edumcevoy@union.edu) via email or at x8790 before having an alcoholic event. They can review guidelines, approve events, and provide more information on having alcohol in a Minerva House.

If you would like to see the Union College Social Events with Alcohol Policy in its entirety, please refer to the Handbook.

If I want to purchase something for my House, what are my options?
There are a number of ways to purchase items, and they are listed below in order of preference. It is important to remember that in order to receive funds, you must also complete the Event Submission form and have received an approval email from your House Council. This form can be located on your House's webpage.

Purchasing Cards are to be used for purchases under $500 and have replaced cash advances. The purchasing cards are accepted by most vendors and are used like any other credit card. The main difference, though, is that the charges placed on these cards cannot exceed the amount of funds you have requested for your event. Additionally, after being inactive for 48 hours, the cards will return to a zero balance, which means no charges will be accepted on the card. These cards are picked up from the Office of Minerva Programs, where the requested amount of funds is placed on the card. The cards must be returned within 48 hours along with all corresponding receipts.

Check requests are used when payment is needed before or at the time the goods/services are provided. They are most often used by Minerva Houses for entertainers, musicians, or speakers.

Check request forms are located in the Minerva Office. The form must be completed in its entirety, including either the company's Federal Tax ID number or the individual's social security number. The completed form must also be accompanied by an invoice, contract, or receipt from the service provider. This invoice must contain the exact amount to the service and the name and address of the company.

If you are processing a check that must be hand delivered at the time of the performance/event, you must write on the check, "Hold for Pickup." The Assistant Director for Minerva Programs will pick up the check and deliver it to you at the time of the performance.

When personally purchasing items for your Minerva, please remember that you will not be reimbursed for tax. You must provide a tax exempt form when shopping to avoid being charged tax. You must also have the House Council's approval before spending House money. If you are not a House Council member, you will not be reimbursed without House Council approval.