Living in the Berkeley Student Cooperative houses from age 18 to 21 was a formative experience for me. The “co-ops” offered community, adventure, new friends, great food, great parties, and an alternative lifestyle that gave flavor to the college experience.
I’ve long desired to recreate the co-op living experience and for other young people, and ZTC offers just that opportunity. So in January 2012 I plan to open a student cooperative house in Asheville, North Carolina, which will enroll 4-6 college-skipping young adults.
The purpose of the house is for a small group of ZTC students to come together and support each other, work together on projects, hold each other accountable to their goals, and create a fun-loving community.
You may read more details on IC.org, but here’s the concept a nutshell:
- Location: Asheville, NC (close to downtown). Asheville is a hip, artsy, bustling college town located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
- Property: Rented 3- or 4-BR house. Double occupancy rooms.
- Members: 4-6 students (ages flexible, but intended for independent youth) + yours truly (Blake Boles).
- Monthly fee: $750-800 (this is below the typical student cooperative rate).
- Monthly fee includes: Rent, utilities, all food, house activities.
- Rental period: Month-by-month or “semester” (5 months)…TBD
- House management: Democratic decision-making (majority rules) on most issues. Some elected positions such as House Manager, Kitchen Manager, Social Manager.
- Weekly labor contribution: 5 hours of cooking, cleaning, managing, or other workshift.
- Membership eligibility: Must be pursuing full-time, college-level self-directed learning (a la Zero Tuition College).
- Legal organization: Non-profit or L3C.