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Member Responsibilities

  • House Jobs, Work Parties, Emergencies, Education, Social, Personal Conflict Resolution.

Living in the co-op can be less expensive than other housing options primarily because the members cook, clean and maintain their own house. It also differs socially from many other housing options because members must take an active role in creating a healthier, more enjoyable environment in which to live.

Members are required to contribute approximately 10 hours of work per week to the co-op. There are two types of work requirements: house jobs, and work parties.


House Jobs

All jobs, including elected positions, are given a certain job point value which roughly corresponds to the time involved (1/2 hour=1 point.) Each job is performed for the entire term. At the start of the term a job lottery is held in which members choose their jobs one at a time, filling the Job Board, until they have accumulated the correct number of job points. The Job Board is a chart of all house jobs, giving the time by which they are to be done and their point values. Names are noted by each job as it is taken. Typically, a member signs up for three or four jobs per term. To prepare for the job lottery, each member should know their schedule and review what each job entails. Job descriptions should be located at the back of the SCA Policy Books located in each house. Members are encouraged to take on a variety of jobs. Don't be afraid to try new things: by taking a job you don't know how to do, you will expand your skills and knowledge.


Work Parties

Work parties are the second work requirement members must satisfy. Work parties accomplish necessary household tasks that are not covered in the job point system. Work parties include special repairs and improvements to the house, scrubbing and painting walls, cleaning gutters, etc. Work party credit can also be received for undertaking certain administrative duties such as sitting on a S.C.A. committee or doing a special project for the co-op. Each resident is required to do one hour of work party for each week of the term, the total of which must be done by the end of the term.


Emergencies

So you're scheduled to cook dinner and do the dinner dishes, and you have five midterms tomorrow? Obviously, there will come times when it will just not be possible to fulfill a job you agreed to do. Ideally, in such a situation, you would find someone to do the job for you (perhaps by offering to do one of their jobs at another time.) If this is not possible, arrangements can usually be worked out with the Job Coordinator. Should a member fail to fulfill his or her work responsibilities without finding a replacement or making arrangements with the Job Coordinator (for house jobs), Building Supervisor (for work party), or S.C.A. Chair (for corporate jobs), they may be fined or even evicted.


Education

After housing, education is the primary focus of SCA. We require all members to be taking a minimum number of credit hours. Because of our large space, this is an ideal setting for guest speakers, workshops, and other educational events co-opers are interested in. (It's your money - so if you have any suggestions, be sure and tell your House Representative, who is on the Education Committee.) We have an Educational Committee and funds earmarked specifically for educational purposes. Co-opers have had the opportunity to attend NASCO Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan and WESTCO, usually held at one of the California student co-ops, to learn more about successfully living in co-ops. In addition, each term SCA has a "consensus workshop" in which someone from outside SCA facilitates an educational, interactive workshop on the decision making process called consensus.


Social

Maintaining a healthy, comfortable social environment in the co-op is just as important as making sure jobs are done. You must remember at all times to respect the rights of other members, guests, and employees to share in and enjoy the climate, benefits and opportunities offered by the co-op. Living in a house with so many people requires that if you have a problem you try to work the problems out with each other.


Personal Conflict Resolution

Part of living in a healthy, friendly environment is having our houses be free of harassment. In pursuit of this, each house has two Harassment Advisors whose job it is to facilitate education and awareness of these issues. Harassment Advisors may set up forums on harassment once per term. These workshops are important not only for the information presented, but because they promote understanding of the people with whom you live and strengthen our community.

The two Harassment Advisors at each house are fellow co-opers who have been trained to mediate and resolve issues involving serious personal conflict or harassment. If you have a problem with a member, guest or employee that you feel you can not satisfactorily work out with them personally, the Harassment Advisors are people you can talk with. They are prepared to deal with anything from personal conflicts that just need an objective mediator to harassment so serious that expulsion becomes necessary. If you have questions about how the co-op approaches such matters, the Harassment Advisors can tell you where to find a copy of the SCA harassment policy.

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