Oberlin Student Cooperative Association (OSCA)

Oberlin, Ohio, United States

  • Last updated: January 16, 2019 (1 second ago)
  • Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Mission Statement

To promote and develop cooperative living at Oberlin College in accordance with the Rochdale Cooperative principles so long as such activity is not inconsistent with the fundamental principles and policies of Oberlin College. To buy and acquire food and other supplies for the rooming, dining, living and studying of student members attending Oberlin College to be sold to them at actual cost. To arrange and provide for the social and cultural enrichment of its members at actual cost.

Community Description

OSCA is a student-owned and student-operated non-profit corporation that provides at-cost housing and dining services to around 600 students at Oberlin College (25% of the student body). As an organization, OSCA is entirely separate from Oberlin College, but all OSCA member-owners are Oberlin College students. Each member of OSCA contributes a certain number of hours of work to their respective co-op each week. Members are in charge of almost every task, including food purchasing, cooking, cleaning, coordinating work charts, overseeing co-op Food Safety, sitting on the Board of Representatives, and more. Together 8 co-ops make up the umbrella organization of OSCA, and each individual OSCA co-op is responsible for its own day-to-day operations. All-OSCA staff members and employees of OSCA oversee general OSCA functioning. Through the All-OSCA structure, all 8 co-ops are able to function as a united organization.


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


  • Status: We do not have land


  • Adult Members: 600
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    Email us. Office hours are Monday through Thursday, noon to 4 p.m., in Wilder Hall, room 402.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Members must be enrolled as students at Oberlin College.


  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: Yes, multiple identified leaders
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: Partial share of income
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 4
  • Open to members with existing debt: No
  • Additional Comments:

    Must be an Oberlin College student

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are connected to the grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Up to 25%


  • Common Facilities: Library
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Dietary Practice: Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Mostly Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: No, this community does not permit alcohol use.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Federation of Egalitarian Communities (FEC), North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO)


Cooperation, Student Cooperative