Things to Know for New Residents

Please read this, it will save you and your fellow co-opers a lot of headaches in the future.

To live in the co-ops you must be a full time student working toward a degree. Your status will be verified.  If you do not respond to notices that you are sent asking for student status verification or if you do not meet the student status requirements, your contract can be canceled with penalty even mid-semester.  Cloyne, Convent, Rochdale, and Fenwick are only open to registered U.C. Berkeley students. Hillegass-Parker House and Convent are for graduate and/or re-entry (age 25 or older) students only. If you have any questions about the type of verification you need, talk to Betsy Putnam, Housing Supervisor, at betsy@bsc.coop.

All new BSC members are required to attend 2 types of orientations:

  • Central Level New Member Orientation (NMO) led by a BSC staff member. 
  • Unit Level New Member Orientation led by the managers at your unit 

What You Need to Know about Central Level NMO: 

  • This orientation provides valuable information to help new members thrive in their units and in the entire BSC organization.
  • This event is mandatory, and there is a $25 fine for members who do not participate. 
  • A BSC staff member will email you an invitation and information
  • During Summer 2019, this orientation is completed online. Video resources and an online quiz will be sent out before July 15th.
  • Fall 2019 NMO is a 2 hour in person event held at Cloyne Court (North side of the UCB campus) and the Rochdale Apartments (South of the UCB campus). There will be 3 different options, but dates are still TBD. 
  • If you arrive more than 10 minutes late, your attendance will not be counted, so you will need to attend another session to avoid the $25 fine. 

Central Level New Member Orientations covers the following information: 

  • The mission and purpose of the BSC
  • BSC Governance structure (the BSC Board, staff liasions, unit-level managers, and more) 
  • Member Rights and Responsibilities
  • How to get involved in the BSC (including job opportunities that can help you pay off your rent!)
  • How to get help with any questions or concerns you have
  • General advice on how to be a cooperative member

What You Need to Know about Unit Level NMO: 

  • Participation in this is also important and mandatory
  • The managers at your unit should email you with an invitation and information about this event
  • If you move in later in the contract period than most other people, your managers still need to provide you with an orientation.

If you have any questions, please contact the Member Resources Assistant at mrsasst@bsc.coop

No warm-blooded pets—sorry!  Some of our members have allergies.  (Only exceptions are pre-approved ESA/Service animals in our apartments.  Please contact Betsy Putnam, Housing Supervisor, betsy@bsc.coop, for more information before you bring an animal!

Every member is provided with a bed, mattress, desk, chair, and wardrobe.  If you don't have one in your room when moving in, ask your house manager to get you one.  Please bring your own sheets and bedding.  Our mattresses are 38"x80" or 60"x80".  Additionally, most houses have "free piles" with clothing and supplies left behind by residents who have moved out.

In order to keep our houses both affordable and habitable, the co-ops require each member living in a room & board house to do 5 hours of workshifts a week: various chores and duties, from cooking dinner to scrubbing toilets. Be prepared to pitch in and do your part—or you will be fined and your contract can be terminated. The workshift manager will assign you to permanent shifts based on your schedule and preferences, and will accommodate members with disabilities. Remember that workshifts start the first day of the contract - please find a manager at your house to get you started. It can be easy to forget about workshifts the first few weeks, but you don’t want to start off behind on workshift hours. It is harder to make them up as the semester goes on, and you may be fined several times if you fail to make up your hours in time. All members of the houses are required to do house improvement hours each semester. Check with your managers for your requirements.  There are also part time and on-call jobs available, View the jobs page.

When you live in the BSC you have responsibilities to your fellow co-opers!

  1. Be cooperative & congenial. Treating others with respect is an important co-op ideal.The BSC will not tolerate any type of harassment.  Please review our policies on harassment and sexual harassment & consent.  You can be terminated for not following these policies.  
  2. Do your workshift – beyond getting fined, you can be terminated for failing to complete hours.
  3. Follow BSC policies, such as the sexual harassment and substance abuse policies. Maintain your student status and be responsible for your guests.
  4. Turn down your music & respect your neighbor’s right to study. Please note the Peace and Quiet clause - Section 24 of your contract! You’re not allowed to make any excess noise or create any nuisance such as will disturb the peace and quiet of other members or neighbors. This means work with your neighbors so you can study, sleep, and have fun.
  5. Look out for your fellow co-opers! If they are doing something disruptive or that makes you concerned, talk to them about it! And don’t be surprised if they come to you with their concerns!
  6. Commit to working out conflicts! Communicate with others, listen to their needs, and make compromises. Finally, seek help from your managers or the Member Resources Supervisor (bonnie@bsc.coop) if you need it!

These include: priority placement in housing, accessible living arrangements (7 houses and 3 apartment complexes are wheelchair accessible), a limited number of single rooms for students who require them, workshift accommodations and reduction in required workshift hours.

For information when you apply for housing or are on the waiting list, contact Betsy Putnam, Housing Supervisor, at betsy@bsc.coop.

For help and information after you sign a contract, contact Bonnie Prestridge, Member Resources Supervisor, at bonnie@bsc.coop.

Your house is run by you, the residents. You have house council meetings to elect your managers and implement house policies. Your house meeting is an important way to get involved with your house. Decisions are made that affect you, so participate!

Your house managers are elected and their role is to help your house run smoothly. Depending on the house, you will have a:
House Manager, Kitchen Manager, Workshift Manager, Social Manager, Health Worker,
House President, Maintenance Manager, Network Manager and a Waste Reduction Manager.

Co-op policies are decided by the Board of Directors. Board is made up of 29 members; 27 of which are students elected from your individual house/apartment. That’s right: the person in your house who you may call Board Rep or Board Member is actually one of the 29 Directors of this organization. For their 5 hours of workshift a week, they oversee the long-term direction of a $50 million dollar non-profit organization. You can get involved by going to board meetings or becoming your co-op’s board rep!  To read more about Board please visit the Board website.

There are lots of resources available to you in the co-ops! Our Member Resources department is here to make sure you have a happy, healthy, co-op experience.  We offer assistance with conflict resolution, creation of safe space and anti-oppression, accommodation and support for members with disabilities, emergency preparedness and disaster response, member events, and much more!

Our Health Worker Program, run by the Health Education Coordinator and Health Worker Coordinator, is designed to help keep you healthy while you are achieving your academic goals. The Health Education Coordinator, hec@bsc.coop, promotes member health and a healthy living environment. The Health Worker Coordinator trains and supervises all BSC Health Workers, hwc@bsc.coop.

Conflict Resolution Support: If you encounter any conflicts with your fellow housemates, you should speak with your house manager or house president first. Give them a chance to help resolve conflicts. If you are uncomfortable speaking with them, or have a dispute with them, you can contact the Member Resources Supervisor, Bonnie Prestridge at bonnie@bsc.coop.

Are you wondering about what kind of people you’ll be living with? One thing’s for sure - they are all going to be different. The BSC’s mission is to provide quality, low-cost, cooperative housing to university students who might not otherwise be able to afford a college education.  Perhaps the most important asset the co-ops offer is the wonderful, vibrant, diverse community found within them.

The BSC is like a little friendly village embedded within the larger city. As you attend social events, dinners, and meetings at other houses, you will soon be able to walk down the street or through campus and wave at many familiar faces, feeling much more popular than you thought possible. Get out of your shell and take advantage of this community, as it will define your college experience, and give you lifelong friends.