the co-ops at berkeley are a mix between apartments and dormitory life. The underlying condition for the system is that a member must be a concurrently enrolled at a college (some houses require that one is enrolled in UC Berekely). Grace semesters are given to members who are in transition between from school to school or from undergrad to graduate. Rents are kept low by having the members of the various houses maintain their own houses (this includes cleaning, managing, etc.) Each house has their own hour requirements in regards to weekly housework and semesterly home improvement projects. Hours can be "bought" and "sold" if one is unable to do one's workshift for a particular day or week or need to make up hours that were sold. Different tasks are given different hour values (eg: a cooking assitant position can be worth 3 hours worth of work, whereas a cook position can be worth 5 hours). House meetings are often done monthly where members vote on various issues on how the house budget should be spent, household concerns, and social announcements. Members are required to attend a majority of the meetings. Unlike the dorms the students do not have to move out during the winter holiday and sometimes storage in the house is provided for those who will not be living at the co-op during the summer.
rent covers both room and board and is roughly $819 per month at the co-op houses. Rents for the apartments vary according to the size and location. co-op rates For the houses: singles, doubles, and triples are the same price and are determined through a senority based point system. Dinners cooked by the house members are often provided during the weekdays and sometimes both brunch and dinner on the weekends. Otherwise, there is a wide variety of snack foods, frozen prepared foods, dairy, fruits, vegeteables, and meats (no meats in the vegitarian house though) provided along with an open kitchen. high speed internet is available at all the houses for a small nominal semester fee ($20 is average). In addition a social budget is decided from house to house at their indvididual house meetings. Summer rates are cheaper since they often to not provide food. Discounts of various rates are often provided to members who are managers (food manager, health manager, social manager, house manager, maintance manager, internet manager). (each of these managers are also required to go to co-op wide meetings and undergo training.)If one wishes to tranfer from one co-op to another during the semester there is often a wait-list and if a space becomes availabe there is a $25 transfer fee.
at the begining and every semester various houses and apartments have "room bids" where members can combine points with other house mates (in regards to doubles or triples) or only their own points (in regards to singles) for empty rooms. Each full semester a member recieves 1 house point (each summer is 0.75 points); thus, theoretically, the longer a member stays in a particular house or within the co-op system the better room he/she is able to bid on. The ability to move up from a triple to a double to a single varies from house to house and the make-up of the house members. Points become inactive for a single semster when a memeber moves to another house in the co-op system but all the points will be re-activated the next semester. During the summer most houses turn the doubles and triples into single rooms. (Therefore most people often switch during the summer so that by fall semester their points are re-activated when it matters most.)
there are 17 houses and 3 apartment complexs in the co-op system. Some of the houses are theme based (Hoyt & Sherman: women only, Hillgrass/Parker & The Convent: grad and re-entry students onl, African American theme house, and Lothlorien: vegitarian and vegan theme, Oscar Wilde: LGBT theme.) more information and a map is provided on the co-op website:houses