|OSCA board votes to open new co-op in Fairchild
New Fivekid aimed at solving membership woes
By Jesse Baer
Responding to continuing membership woes, the board of the Oberlin Student
Cooperative Association voted Tuesday to create a new co-op in Fairchild House.
The co-op, tentatively called Fivekid, will be open only to students
living off-campus. It will be different from all other co-ops in that it will not plan its own
daily meals. Instead, members will be able to eat three meals per week at other co-ops, one meal
per week in a CDS dining hall, and one potluck meal at a members home. They will
cook the rest of their meals on their own, using food that they have ordered through the co-op,
with a set weekly budget.
The details may change somewhat when the co-op becomes reality next year. Sophomore
Rachel David, who serves on OSCAs Long Range Planning Committee, which drafted the plan,
said that the co-op members will have a lot of flexibility in determining how the co-op actually
Each co-op is autonomous, really, so its very much up to each co-op
what they want to do, she said. Its up to them if they want a potluck
I think its a really fun idea.
Planners of the new co-op hope that it will revive interest in OSCA. As reported
in the Review on April 11, OSCA is currently operating below its capacity.
Fairchild co-op seems to be the major source of the underenrollment. While
all the other co-ops have waitlists for next year, Fairchild has 60 unfilled seats. Under the new
plan, 45 of those seats will be diverted to Fivekid.
The proposal lists a few ways that the new co-op will attract new students
to OSCA. First, it will make life easier for busy students, by giving members flexibility to eat
on their own schedule, as well as a smaller workload. It will also allow students with special
dietary needs and preferences to have more control over their diet. In addition, it will create
an OSCA alternative to the popular CDS five-meal plan.
I think not only will it be popular in OSCA, it will be popular in CDS,
David said. The five-meal plan is really popular, and this is OSCAs version.
Getting people together once a week will be a nice thing, she added.
It will build community for people who are busy.