Campus Housing

I seem to find myself walking over by the Berkeley campus at the beginnings and ends of semesters, when many of the students are gone for the breaks. A few blocks just south of the campus and east of Telegraph Avenue have a high concentration of student housing — dormitories, housing coops, and fraternities and sororities. It seems during the semester breaks (and on early weekend mornings when I have also walked there) that the area is almost completely uninhabited. During the past weekend’s walk I saw one student getting dropped off by his parents at a fraternity house; the student seeming eager to get back and the parents looking around warily at the trash on the ground (beer bottles, food wrappers, etc.). Usually I don’t do walks in the evening, but I am sort of curious if this area looks like a stereotypical fraternity row on a Friday or Saturday night. It made me realize that I don’t know that I have ever seen a fraternity party in real life; I think that the school where I was an undergraduate might have had black and gay student fraternities and that was it.I had seen quite a few housing units labeled as “cooperative,” and I was curious about what this was all about. There are 20 coop houses and apartment buildings for UC Berkeley students. The University Cooperative Students’ Association has descriptions of the coops, which include African American and gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered themed houses, a vegetarian house, a women-only hall, and several other coops where the members share work, meals, and decisions about the house. Amenities and events included in some of the descriptions include hot tubs and saunas, electric organs, climbing wall, darkroom, bike repair equipment, disco parties, wine and cheese nights, open mics, talent shows, and more. The UCSA website also has a short history of housing cooperatives at Berkeley, starting in 1933.

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3 Comments »

  1. M said

    Hey,

    This site is great. I love learning about local info. and history. Thanks to you, I spent a lovely day at John Hinkel park the other day. And, I discovered the Brooklyn Runs site as well.

    I have put up a link/post (at BayAreaLoveLetters.blogspot.com) about your two blogs on my Bay Area site. Can’t wait to look through your archives and future posts over time. Thanks for the great posts and photos!

  2. Spike said

    Co-op housing is much like share housing in my experience. Lots of chat about sharing and caring when you move in then a war of post-it notes about whose turn it is to clean the microwave.

  3. […] past entries I have made brief mentions of the UC Berkeley housing cooperatives and the cooperative grocery that is in the planning stages. Berkeley is also home to a number of […]

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