UCSD is home to some very special student organizations: the Co-ops. The Co-ops are not-for-profit organizations that provide students, faculty, and staff at UCSD with the highest quality merchandise and services at the lowest prices possible. For many, the Co-ops are a place to buy low-priced healthy food and textbooks and provide off-beat alternatives to the items and the atmosphere offered by mainstream corporate UCSD. But there is more to the Co-ops than this.
Fundamentally, the Co-ops are an educational experiment in non-hierarchical organization. All members of the UCSD community are invited to participate in this experiment. Membership in a Co-op provides students with a chance to experience a non-hierarchical work environment and collective decision-making. By being a member, students receive discounts at all Co-ops, an equal voice in making decisions in the evolution of their Co-op, and a role in defining the atmosphere of the Co-op. Membership in the co-ops is open to anyone who wishes to continually volunteer about two hours a week at any Co-op.
The following goals and commitments, which provide the most succinct statement of what the Co-ops are about, were articulated and agreed to by consensus at an all Co-op meeting in January of 1992:
The Co-ops also provide educational opportunities for non Co-op members by sponsoring speakers, organizing study groups, and showing educational films. For instance, the Food Co-op lends books containing nutritional information and Groundwork, as well as offering study groups on collective theory and skills, will loan any book from its general stock, free of charge, for up to two weeks. We also advertise educational and political events sponsored by community organizations.
The Ché Café is surrounded by a grove of old eucalyptus trees and is next to the beautiful garden of the Farm Co-op. Tables and chairs inside and outside of the Ché and its close proximity to the Farm Co-op make it an inviting place to eat, study, or just hang out.
The Ché Café is open to having people come by and help out. The Café provides a great opportunity for people to get involved in the process of cooking, running a restaurant and/or putting on events at any level they feel comfortable at. Stop by or call us at (858) 534-2311.
(The Ché Café is located on the Revelle campus behind the Undergraduate
library and down the hill from Stonehenge. We're the building with all the
murals on it.)
Read more about the Che Cafe Collective at its very own website:
The Food Co-op carries a variety of food and non-food products ranging from baked goods, juices, sandwiches, fresh organic produce, macro-biotic and ethnic foods to cruelty-free cosmetics and environmentally safe cleaning agents. Many foods are stocked in bulk to reduce the price to the customer and the waste of packaging (please bring bags when buying!). Special orders can be made at discount prices (good for items not necessarily carried in the store, as well!).
Come in to shop, get informed, and/or volunteer as a general member of our
store. For more information, call (858) 546-8339.
The General Store Co-op is a student-run store which was founded in 1980 to offer students a less expensive alternative to the high Price Center. As a student cooperative, we try to provide the University community with the best quality merchandise at the lowest prices. And we succeed! The General Store Co-op carries items such as selected essential school and office supplies, household and personal items, stationery and gift wrap, clothing (including UCSD logos), craft-center jewelry, and some food and snack items -- all of which range from 5-25% less than anywhere else on campus.
Students are generally most interested in the fact that we sell textbooks, which are guaranteed to cost less than at the UCSD bookstore. We also try to carry as many used texts as possible. Also, we buy back current editions year round. Stop by to check which classes' books we're carrying.
We encourage everyone to visit the General Store Co-op for our low prices and friendly service. Additionally, anyone is invited to come in and volunteer anytime as volunteers are the backbone of our organization. For further information or friendly help please feel free to call us at (858) 534-3932.
For a look at some other co-operative ventures:
return to Groundwork's home page