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Berkeley -- Barrington news, anyone?


Brian Rice Nov 27, 1989 3:14 PM
Posted in group: alt.co-ops
In article <11...@castle.ed.ac.uk> j...@lfcs.ed.ac.uk (Jamie Andrews) writes:
>     What does this have to do with co-ops?  Is/was Barrington
>a co-op?  Were other Berkeley student houses co-ops?  

Berkeley co-ops are fairly legendary, at least within the North American
student co-op scene.  The latest amusing disaster from Barrington was
a regular topic of conversation at my student co-ops (at Oberlin College).

>Was the
>behaviour at Barrington supposedly directly linked to the fact
>that it was a co-op?  

Now, that is a dangerous question.  Regardless of whether the Rochdale
Principles require drug-induced riot :-), I think it should be clear that,
because co-ops are the exception rather than the norm, co-ops in many
instances suffer from being expected to conform to unreasonably exalted
standards.  (I'm not accusing you, Jamie, of making this mistake; but
it has been made by many otherwise entirely reasonable people.)

My Oberlin experience was that co-op-based anti-social and destructive
behavior was generally comparable in severity to that in other housing
arrangements, though generally less run-of-the-mill in nature.

(I don't mean by my jovial tone to make light of any truly destructive
behavior, particularly the rape reported by the original poster [by the
way, I hadn't heard about that--not that I feel I have some right to].)

>(Frankly, I would find this hard to
>believe, since most of the cooperative housing I've observed
>consists of sour-faced old '60s anarchists who make up lists of
>who is to cut the grass on which hour of what day.

Workcharts are a time-honored system of apportioning duties; since
they're usually about 80% obeyed (more or less, depending on co-op
morale), there must not be too many TRUE anarchists about.  Further-
more, sixties schmixties.  "'60's" as an adjective is a Banned Word
of the Nineties.
Brian Rice   ri...@dg-rtp.dg.com   (919) 248-6328
DG/UX Product Assurance Engineering
Data General Corp., Research Triangle Park, N.C.
"My other car is an AViiON."