News

Rochdale & Fenwick Members Fund Scholarships

Rochdale Council

Since 2010, members of Rochdale and Fenwick have supported fellow co-opers with over $20,000 in scholarships.  Members at these Berkeley Student Cooperative apartment complexes voted to use money from their house account - a pool of money otherwise available for social events and purchasing amenities - to help members with financial need. 

With rates as low as $433 per month for a room in an shared apartment, Rochdale and Fenwick are the most affordable housing options for students at UC Berkeley.  Over 80% of the residents at both complexes are first generation college students from low income families and eligible for the Pell Grants and UC Berkeley's Education Opportunity Program (EOP).  Over a dozen students in the UC Berkeley Disabled Students Program (DSP) also call Rochdale and Fenwick home. 

The Rochdale Scholarship program was created two years ago by economics student Oscar Varela, whose contributions to the co-op also included service as President of Rochdale Village, member of the Board of Directors, and chairing the BSC Administrative Committee.  Fenwick also joined in and began funding their own scholarships this spring.  This Fall, 9 scholarships totaling $5394 were awarded.

Student-led decision making and participatory budgeting are a part of the Berkeley Student Cooperative at both the house and central level.  Every house or apartment holds council meetings once every week or two weeks, where members meet to schedule events, fund house improvements, and resolve conflicts.  Members also elect members to the Board of Directors, which in turn make decisions to govern the entire BSC system.