CHUM is a consensus-based, egalitarian organization where any member of the College Park community may pay dues or, alternatively, attend a certain number of consecutive meetings, and receive one vote in the decisions the organization makes.
CHUM has a Board of Directors elected annually from within its dues-paying membership, but input from the entire community is welcome at board meetings and in board decisions. CHUM also has a number of volunteer committees open to all members of the community, dues-paying or otherwise, who are interested in cooperative living.
Bringers of Fun is involved in planning social events, parties, and fun trips for all of CHUM. BOF is open to all ideas from members in the committee and those who not a part of the committee for future gatherings, trips, and parties. BOF tries to hold an event at least once a month.
The finance committee is involved in collecting rent, utility, and membership dues from CHUM members every month. There is a representative from every house and they have meetings twice a month to discuss expenses and to draft an annual budget. Any expenses made from the CHUM account are to be discussed primarily in finance committee meetings and then brought to the attention of the membership at a general body meeting.
This committee connects CHUM members with the community by maintaining a free garden for the community to utilize during the summertime. Its mission is to foster community engagement by having Seeding Days where CHUM members and community members can plant crops together. Additionally, during the summer there are designated music nights near the garden. Usually, it consists of 4 to 5 people who rotate watering the garden and distribute crops throught the neighborhood at the end of the summer.
The Handbooks' Histories Committee is dedicated to preserving and creating CHUM traditions and histories. Through the creation and use of handbooks and house archives, we strive to empower CHUM members to take an active role in preserving their own histories, memories, and experiences within CHUM. We seek to create a base for processes and procedures to provide examples of cooperative living for new CHUM members and other co-ops to build on and improve.
The zine committee writes and produces small topical magazines for distribution throughout the university and local College Park area. In the last two years they have written "Disorientaion Guides" as part of the radical rush at the beginning of each school year.
Zine committee works to advcate for healthy, sustainable living as well as promoting activism among College Park citizens. It discusses issues ranging from social justice, politics, harm reduction, and other issues. It is in many ways the voice of CHUM artists, writers, and activists.
Past Disorientation Guides and zine publications are currently housed in the CHUM library at Red Debra's and are open for public viewing at any time.
Housing Committee exists to seek out new properties for CHUM to rent or acquire. Housing Committee's current responsibilities are in the short term to continue to maintain a suitable set of rental houses for upcoming years and in the long term seek out an ideal property for purchase.
Mediation Committee is CHUM's internal conflict resolution resource, dedicated to ensuring that CHUM is a safe-space for all members of our community. The mediators working in this committee will remain objective and unbiased, and will hear testimony from all involved parties. Mediation Committee can mediate conflicts related to lifestyle clashes, house meeting, common space or possession usage, or wherever mediation is requested.
New Membership committee works to organize tabling events and advertising for CHUM in order to gain new members. More importantly the committee works to read through applications and make decisions on new members. They also work to place new members into houses based on ability to pay and preferences.
This year NMC has reorganized, with the help of Membership Committee, by creating a system in which each house has a delegate that goes to NMC meetings and helps in the process of organizing the application process.
The Outreach and Organization Committee is responsible for the organization and distribution of CHUM materials intended to inform the community and educate members. If no material exists for a given purpose the committee is responsible for developing the material if knowledgeable, and contacting appropriate committees to request information if they are not. The Outreach and Organization Committee will work closely with the website committee to develop content, disseminate information and make documents accessible to all CHUM members and appropriate parties. (For example our flyers would be publicly accessible, but our contact lists would be given member-only access.) Ideally, New Membership would also have a symbiotic relationship with this committee.
The sustainability committee is involved in reducing water and energy consumption, and waste production of the houses in the coop. This serves not only to reduce utility expenses for the membership, but also to reduce CHUM's environmental footprint.
In the past the sustainability committee has designed and built a community garden and a garden for the CHUM members.The committee has built a 3 bin community compost bin that is open to members of the community. They have also built smaller scale compost tumblers for the Berwyn Heights CHUM houses. The compost is used to fertilize the CHUM gardens in the Spring. The gardens are also watered with a rain barrel that was constructed in 2014.
In the future, the committee plans to collaborate with the Zine committee to write a handbook for all the members on strategies to reduce individual and house environental impacts.