Cooperating for the Community

A button with a picture of the world that says "co-ops unite"

A co-op is coming to WSU. Will you join the club?

A new club will be sprouting up on Winona State University come spring semester. The WSU Cooperative Club is currently developing in hopes of improving the world for many students. Cooperatives, or co-ops, are business that offers products and services like any other but the members of the co-op are also the owners and focus on working together rather than making a profit. The emerging co-op club welcomes the Winona State community to join in order to “instill a deeply entrenched sense of community, responsibility, and humanism.”

The club wants to share resources in a non-hierarchal manner in order to address economic injustice. Ideas for the club include a co-op fee (about $3) that would fund a community cupboard.

According to the first draft of the co-op constitution, “The Community Cupboard shall be a system of goods available to all club members who pay the Co-op fee. The community Cupboard will be readily available on-campus with a lock that all members who have paid the Co-op Fee will have the combination to. Members from within the Winona State University community who have not paid the fee may be granted temporary access to the Community Cupboard if they ask permission of a paying member of Community Organizer.”

The purpose of the community cupboard is to provide essentials or school performance objects that some may struggle to regularly buy or afford. This could include things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, socks, hats, mittens, pencils, paper, markers, notebooks, calculators, clothes, and non-perishable foods. Donations will always be welcome.

Other things the Co-op Club would like to do are potentially host potlucks and provide sustainability education. The club will be organized non-hierarchically, where leadership roles can be rotated so that all will have an equal opportunity to host meetings and organize events. The long term vision for the Co-op club is to eventually create a Co-op housing unit where people can live together sharing resources, space, talents and perspectives.

There is a heavy emphasis of improving the community together, no matter of one’s identity. It is open to all those who want to be in it, and will always welcome ideas for events, club activities, educational experiences and helping the community.

For more information or to be on the email list, please email Kaylee Jakubowski at KJakubowski11@winona.edu.

–Courtney McCaw

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