Our fraternity recently had a new "house mom" move in, who I (and others) feel has placed unfair demands upon us. We are required now to wear shirts at all times inside the house (despite the heat) and other things have changed – for example the kitchen closes before many of us even get back from class, meaning we cannot eat the dinner that is supposed to be provided to us and end up starving (as college students we don’t have the money to pay for food TWICE). To make matters worse, she is extremely aggressive and I often feel like a criminal in my own house, with new rules sprung on me which I am supposed to somehow know before I am even told of them.
I don’t have the contract in front of me, but my question is – are there any laws / regulations I can easily cite to put a stop to this without starting a battle?
Unfortunately, our student-leaders do not hold much power and cannot really do anything. It is our alumni ("control board") who own the buildings and who have hired the house mom. Time and years of experience have shown that any attempt to be rational with the alumni leaders will be fruitless. The only way to end this will be to have some concrete rights which we can cite in order to establish lines which she cannot cross.
Have the house talk with your house mother. My fraternity has a house mother and it sounds like what you have is the exact opposite of what we have. It is your house, so you are the people that make the rules in it. If the house mother does not like it, you can change things because the rules of the house should be determined by the house, not the house mother.