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426. A Brief History of Students’ Co-op Incorporated

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Coop Name: Students' Cooperative Inc. N° of Employees: 29
City: Minneapolis N° of Members: 29
Country: United States Year of formation: 1941
Website: http://studentscoop.org/
About this coop:

The Students' Co-op is a premiere provider of low-income housing on the University of Minnesota campus since 1940. We are a community of 29 women and men who share a 3-story, 18-room, 100 year old stucco house. We share a big kitchen, large common spaces, a few bathrooms, and a beautiful garden. We hold in common respect: each other, those who may seem different from ourselves and the natural world.

Photo Credits: Xiaolu Wang

Built in 1908, the building is a contributing property to the Fraternity Row Historic District and is the 2nd oldest chapter house remaining at the University of Minnesota.

And in 1940, the building was transformed to the self-owned and operated Students’ Cooperative Inc. Since then the co-op has thrived as an inclusive, welcoming home to a wide variety of students and students of life alike. Living and learning together in a historic home, it is a training ground for building real, honest, and strong community.

From artists to engineers to horticulturalists, the culture of the house is dynamic. Expect jam sessions on the porch and leap-frog in the hallways. It is a place where memories are made, preconceptions are challenged, and lifelong relationships are forged.

But the co-op would not be continuing to thrive today, welcoming the next generation of co-opers to actively learn how to build community together and encouraging them to make their co-op their own, without the history of co-opers before them who continued to challenge the odds and make the co-op a sustainable actuality for future communities to enjoy.

Author of this story
Maxeem Konrardy Charles Lehnen
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