Workshop Structure:

1- WHY IS PRIVATE HOUSING BAD? Get into groups and answer.

2- What is a Co-operative? Explain give examples of current co-ops.

2- Go through the Rochdale Principles + justify each with societal and historical context.

3- Routes for support and funding: Student Coop Homes, The Cooperative Party, The Phone Coop, [solidarity economy] RIPESS, etc

4- CREATE A COOP! Get into groups, discuss and plan the creation of a cooperative. Workshop leaders support and answer questions.

Workshop went really well, it was incredibly helpful that we had one attendee who is working to create a coop and another planning to live in one. This meant groups were very well supported and informed, without this in the future we shall need to get contextual information from these people: Seasalt (Brighton) coop and Edinburgh coop. 

I think we correctly identified a big issue with realising cooperatives - where do you get the funding from? And explaining the relevant groups and how you can work with local government etc to give you money was useful. Cooperatives can thrive when markets are failing so the current circumstance is a great way to illustrate the benefits of a cooperative structure.

Housing Cooperative Motion passed by Surrey Cut the Rent, edit for your Student Union:

USSU Notes

1.   “Guildford has the 9th highest rents in the UK outside of London” [1]

2.   That Student Housing Cooperatives have been set up in Edinburgh (2014), Sheffield (2015) and Birmingham (2014).[6] 

3.   That under Student Cooperative Housing the students, not landlords are the ones who own and run the property. 

4.   That under Student Housing Cooperatives, the rent prices can be cheaper than the market average for the given area. [3] 

5.   In Edinburgh the Student Housing Cooperative is £239p/m cheaper than University of Edinburgh Halls and £174p/m cheaper than Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh Halls (Appendix A). 

6.   There are thousands of Student Housing Cooperatives set up across North America {Appendix B)

7.   A Student Housing Cooperatives Group is a working group set up to oversee Finance and Accounting, Strategy and Development, Membership, Energy (full list see [5]) 

8.   Students for Cooperation is a democratic federation of student co-ops across the UK, organising for social change [6] .

USSU Believes

1.   “The housing market in Guildford has now failed to an extent that any landlord, or property, no matter how poor is able to attract tenants.” [1]

2.   That Student Housing Cooperatives provide an alternative to the current housing situation in Guildford.

3.   That Students, not landlords are best placed at running Student houses in Guildford.

4.   That Student Housing Cooperatives have been working in Edinburgh, Sheffield and Birmingham.

5.   That a Guildford Student Housing Cooperatives working group needs to be set up with the help of Students for Cooperation

USSU Resolves

1.   For the USSU to endorse the creation of Student Housing Cooperatives in Guildford.

2.   For the Vice President Community and President to contact Students for Cooperation [2] about the creation of Surrey Student Housing Cooperatives group (SSHC) in Guildford.

3.   For the Community Zone to create the SSHC group by November 2018. 

4.   To have the Vice President Community and one Community Zone Member sitting on the SSHC group once created.

5.   To aid and assist with the SSHC group the creation of Student Housing Cooperatives.

Appendix A

The numbers of students living in cooperative student housing in North America is;

a. University of California, 1,220 students;

b. University of Minnesota, 500 student;

c. University of Michigan, 560 students;

d. University of Texas, 811 students;

e. University of Waterloo, 984 students; 

f. University of Toronto, 1,200+ students. 

Appendix B 








Food Cooperative (Cheaper Food on Campus) Motion which can be edited and submitted at the same time, if you wish:

The USSU Notes:

  1. The cost of living has steadily increased over the last decade[1] whilst student grants are replaced with loans[2]. 

  2. Maintenance loans have not increased in line with the increased cost of living[3].

  3. Bulk purchasing dry goods considerably lowers their cost per kilogram and packaging used.

  4. Food cooperatives have been a successful means for other students unions[4,5] to alleviate some of the pressures created by a high cost of living - buying food in bulk and selling it at not-for-profit prices (unless there is an intention for the cooperative to expand or some additional costs are incurred).

    The USSU Believes:

  1. Prices at all food outlets on campus are considerable when Notes 1 and 2 are taken into account.

  2. A food cooperative could offer a much needed low-cost alternative to food outlets and shops on campus.

  3. The only financial requirements for the cooperative are start-up costs: a stall (or some other suitable location) to sell food from and stock to sell.

  4. The initial stock, and any expansion, must be discussed with the Union so as to control costs.

  5. The cooperative would require student volunteers to run it.

The USSU Resolves:

  1. Reach out to communities on campus who would be interested in volunteering.

  2. To hold an open meeting with potential student volunteers on the nature of the food cooperative and what they would like to stock a food cooperative with.

  3. To choose a name for the food cooperative from student submissions (i.e. The Ravenous Raccoon).

  4. To invest in, and create, a food cooperative.


    [1] -

[2] -

[3] -

[4] -

[5] -