Sunday, 24 February 2013

Orientation Sheet, Golden Lentils 2002

These are selected excerpts from a member orientation sheet for the Golden Lentils Lodge from 2002.

1. Welcome

2. Expectations from Orientation
An overview of what ACHC is all about, how it all fits together and how you can play an active part. These types of gatherings I find essential, if not also a little bit boring(!) - because our coop relies so heavily on oral communication and storytelling to pass on knowledge and experience.

3. Agenda...

4. History of Assiniboia - maybe the larger picture (ie. NACHA, CHF, etc)
The history of ACHC is a little fuzzy, to say the least. My understanding is as follows. Our history begins as student housing through the UofA. In 1967, this coop began originally called Campus Cooperative Association Ltd. (We are still affiliated with the university - storing our archives in BARD and often listing vacancies through the housing registry). Originally there were roughly 20(!?) houses in the coop all in and around this area. These houses were sold over the years because the coop fiances went, and continued to stay, awry... theoretically things are under much better control now! The last house to be sold was Suite Manors (next door to Lentils) about 5-6 years ago, allowing the coop to pay off the mortgages to all the houses. Since then the coop has been putting aside $880 a month (the original mortgage payments) such that we are now in a position to purchase or build(!) another house.

5. Philosophy
Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality and solidarity. Cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
- voluntary and open membership
- democratic control
- member economic participation
- cooperative autonomy and independence
- education, training and information
- cooperation among cooperatives
- community
(excerpt from the International Cooperative Alliance Statement on the Cooperative Identity, 1995)

What about Assiniboia philosophy? As we currently practice:
- sharing and communal living
- we are our own landlords, responsible for maintaining properties, membership, etc

6. Structure

There are three houses in the coop (Muse, Golden Lentils, and Usalama)
Each house selects a House Rep who ties the house to the Board. The House REp brings concerns/news from the house to the Board and vice-versa.

The Board is composed of 6 positions all of which are held by members ofthe coop. Elections are held twice a year; individuals holding positions may run for re-election.

Semi-Annual General Meetings

Committees (Current and Past)
- Membership
- Maintenance/Budget
- Bulk Purchase
- Expansion

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