437 W. Johnson has been home to Friends' Cooperative since 1967, although our history begins a year earlier when a local chapter of the Society of Friends (Quakers) sponsored the creation of a housing co-op on the corner of Brooks and University. Our name, Friends', our moment of silence before house dinners and our commitment to consensus attest to our Quaker roots, even though none of the current members are active Quakers.
We are a 13-member house with a rough balance of men and women. Our co-op is based on a principle of acceptance of people's differences. All it takes to become a member is a willingness to take part in the cooperative effort that keeps the house running. In addition, we have policies in place that emphasize an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
Our residents include undergraduates, graduate students and working people. The age range is often quite large.
We want to place special emphasis on creating a strong and tight-knit community. We aim to do this with a house retreat at the beginning of the school year and some organized house outings in addition to the informal social activities.
Benefits of living at Friends
* Cooperative living.
* Great location. The heart of campus and the Capitol are each just a five minute walk away.
* Eat what you want. Living in Friends' makes it easy to eat what you want to eat, whether you are a vegetarian, vegan, or meat eater. Friends also emphasizes organic and locally grown foods.
* Family-like atmosphere. Our house is small enough to allow members to form close relationships with everyone they live with. Our dining room, cozy living room, and five porches are very popular spots for spontaneous hanging out.
* Free washer and dryer.
* Local calls are included in your room charge. Friends has a phone line that everyone shares. You are also free to buy your own phone line for your room.
* Free wireless DSL.
Dinners and Food
Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 6 p.m. a member of the house serves a dinner for everyone to share. Meals are tailored to suit both vegetarians and vegans, but no meat is served. Everyone takes turns cooking and cleaning the kitchen and dining room.
Your $90 per month for food goes toward buying many items, but meat is not one of them. However, if you buy your own meat you are free to cook and eat it in the house. We only ask that you be respectful of those who do not eat meat.
Workjobs are weekly, monthly, or as-needed chores assigned to members of the house. Each person's allotment is designed to require about eight hours of work per month. Members declare their preferences and are given the workjobs they want as often as possible. Workjob assignments are always up for review, and trading is allowed. Workjobs include cleaning, running the house's finances, and serving on MCC committees, among others.
In addition, each member is required to perform three hours of house maintenance each month. The kind of work that counts as house maintenance is decided upon communally and is based upon which work most urgently needs to be done in the house. Typical jobs include repairing house fixtures, painting, and cleaning.
We have a house meeting every other Sunday at 7 p.m. in our living room. We have certain items on our agenda every week; the rest are topics suggested by members. Often an item will result in a decision being made, but some items are designed simply to generate discussion. Attendance is mandatory, and two hours are allotted for each meeting.
All house decisions, including ones made at house meetings, are made by consensus. There is no voting, but rather a sharing of ideas until one is hit upon that is acceptable to everyone.
Friends' has a six-spot, uncovered parking lot. If there are more than six people who need a parking spot, all of them must chip in equally to buy extra parking somewhere else.
No smoking of any substance is allowed indoors, but smoking is allowed on our porches.