Co-ops face restructuring requests from UHDS
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013 02:03
A lot of news has circulated at Oregon State University about the current changes in Greek life and student housing.
Starting fall term, all freshmen will be required to live on campus. On Feb. 20, University Housing and Dining Services submitted an eight-page cooperative house program review to all of the house presidents. The program review is a compilation of recommendations from the cooperative house program review team. The team consists of the Azalea House co-op director, each cooperative house president, and several UHDS and other campus officials.
“The implementation group’s goal is to be mindful of house traditions while maintaining the highest standard for our residents,” said Jennifer Vina, assistant director of UHDS marketing assessment and communications. “We are committed to working with students to determine the appropriate path forward, to determine [the] best steps to make these environments inclusive for all residents while ensuring their health and safety.”
Vina said the team’s commitment is even truer for the First Year Experience in fall. She said it is critical these houses operate at a level consistent with the programs and services in all UHDS facilities.
Some residents feel differently.
“As a resident and president of Azalea House, I am disappointed in the university for ignoring the cooperative houses both on a structural and maintenance level, and a program and funding level for so many years,” said Megan Gapp. “Now all of a sudden they are in a flurry about controlling what goes on here, when we have functioned just fine for over 50 years, basically on our own.”
The cooperative house program review will enforce house and facility inspections, as well as detailed documents that state each house’s governing rules. Conduct reviews will also be requested.
These are only a few examples out of the program.
One subgroup of UHDS, the department leadership team, made several recommendations to the houses regarding the facilities, as well as the food services, governing systems and finances.
“I asked UHDS personnel if they had ever been to the co-ops when it was actually occupied by students to observe the day-to-day routines and community,” Gapp said. “None of them had. They were all there in the summer, when the building was empty. I extended an invitation to join us for an evening meal and they, of course, never came. I dislike their lack of interest in getting first-person accounts.”
The co-op residents have a strong sense of community and have banded together, said Killian Maxwell, president of Avery house.
“I like the co-op housing because it has a big sense of community, just an at-home feeling,” Maxwell said. “We want to just reach a compromise with UHDS.”
Greg Germano, news reporter