Berkeley Student Cooperative

Berkeley, California, United States

  • Last updated: February 16, 2016 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: January 25, 2005

Mission Statement

The mission of the Berkeley Student Cooperative is to provide a quality, low-cost, cooperative housing community to university students, thereby providing an educational opportunity for students who might not otherwise be able to afford a university education.

Community Description

Founded in 1933, the Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC) is the largest student housing cooperative in North America, housing over 1,200 people. Although a private nonprofit corporation, the BSC works in cooperation with the University of California to provide housing for its students.

The mission of the Berkeley Student Cooperative is to provide a quality, low-cost, cooperative housing community to university students, thereby providing an educational opportunity for students who might not otherwise be able to afford a university education. Membership is generally limited to full time students. Most members attend UC Berkeley; however, the co-ops are open to full-time students at any college or university.

About 900 of the BSC’s members live in room-and-board houses scattered around the Berkeley campus that each function as a separate cooperative household with elected managers for room assignment, work organization (housekeeping, food service, etc.), and maintenance. The other 300+ live in apartment complexes where members share 1-4 person apartments and take turns with grounds maintenance and recycling. Food service is not provided by the co-op at the apartments.

Our Board of Directors is made up of students elected by each of our houses. A central support staff of about 25 nonmembers provides technical information to members as well as oversees day-to-day administration (such as housekeeping applications and organizational financing). We also provide warehousing and support services to individual house food programs.

Communities within the BSC include Andres Castro Arms, African American Theme House, Casa Zimbabwe, Cloyne Court (substance-free, academic theme), The Convent (Graduate & Re-entry students), Davis, Euclid, Hillegass-Parker House (Graduate & Re-entry students), Hoyt (Women only), Kidd, Kingman, Lothlorien (vegetarian), Ridge, Sherman (women only), Stebbins, Wilde (LGBTQIA & Queer), Wolf, Fenwick, Rochdale, and Northside.

The BSC also maintains an Alumni Association for former members to stay in touch and support the cooperative’s mission. www.bscaa.org

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1933
  • Start Living Together: 1933
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address: http://bsc.coop/
  • Phone: 510-848-1936
  • Community Address:
    2424 Ridge Rd
    Berkeley, California, 94709-1212
    United States
  • Location

About

  • Type(s): Student Housing or Student Co-Op
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience
  • Location: Urban

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 20
  • Housing Provided: Rental
  • Land owned by: Other
  • Additional Comments:

    Community owns some buildings, leases others

Membership

  • Adult Members: 1275
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    All members must meet our student status requirements

Government

  • Decision Making: By an individual community leader
  • Identified Leader: Yes
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Each of the 20 communities has a house council, and also elects representatives to the central level board of directors

Economics

  • Join Fee: $50
  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    We give about $100,000 during the academic year in scholarships.

    each person works 5 hours per week.

    $50

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%
  • Food produced locally: Up to 25%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Large Scale Kitchen, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all dinners
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Dinners shared, other meals prepared individually.

    One of the houses is vegetarian. No meat is allowed in the common areas.

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Community Affiliations

North American Students of Cooperation

Keywords

berkeley student