Updates & Upcoming
Jan 14th, 2023
Renovating the Students’ Co-op
A General Contractor!With immense gratitude, the board is pleased to announce we have achieved the next critical stage of re-opening: a general contractor (GC) has been selected to complete renovation efforts! We have found a committed partner in Primo, a company that passionately believes in rehabilitation and will begin work in the next several weeks. With the instrumental support we have received from Co-op alumni and NASCO, we have successfully refinanced and closed the UMFREA account that was used to finance the stucco in 2018. Both of these steps represent major progress in the revitalization of the Students’ Co-operative!
Current Updates to the HouseIn the 2010s era, external updates were done on the windows, extension and stucco. The current renovation focuses on the internal structure, including: repairing critical joists in the first floor, updating the rooms and halls for a seamless aesthetic, improving fire responsiveness, repairing damage to windows, redoing plumbing, repairing the roof, refinishing floors to retain their lived-in appearance, widening the doors for maximum accessibility, and providing several new rooms for the next generations of co-opers.
Financing ChallengesDuring summer and fall 2022, the alumni board evaluated several GCs with the guidance of NASCO’s Development Consultant and secured loans through Kagawa and Shared Capital. We undertook a community effort to raise the funds needed to secure the GC chosen by the board, and exceeded our fundraising goal of approximately $16,000. Since this fundraising effort, several large expenses have compromised our ability to move forward, including a large utility bill related to an emergency boiler repair, as well as unforeseen legal fees needed to close the UMFREA loan. We are now $20,000 short of the liquidity we need to bridge the funding gap until construction loan disbursement, slated for mid-February.
Current Need for Emergency DonationsWe have several options available if you are able to support further with funding donations, including a tax deductible option supported by GiveMN. If you are open to this form of support, please let us know!
Upcoming Work WeekendsIf you are available for a work weekend or two to paint rooms etc., please let us know! Thank you all once again for all you have been doing to revitalize the Co-op. We could never have gotten to this exciting milestone without each and every co-oper, and our friends. We are on track to reopen later this year, with fresh updates to the building and a bold vision for equitable governance and membership criteria.
October 28th, 2022
Renovating the Students’ Co-op
In order to re-open the building in time for the Autumn influx of students at the U of MN campus, we need to secure funding to pay our Architect (alumni of the Co-op!) and General Contractor. Please see our home page for ways you can help.
AUGUST 19th, 2022
APOLOGY & UPDATE
To our community:
Over the past year, numerous traumatic events have occurred at the Students’ Co-operative. The ambiguity created by our lack of communication during these crises led to feelings of distress and engendered an atmosphere of distrust. When it mattered most, we did not do the work we needed to do to maintain trust and ensure that community member concerns were being heard. We did not reassure those in the community of the steps being taken, and we did not fulfill the need for timely and transparent communications. Many are understandably confused and uncertain about what the future may hold, what will be done to ensure that these events will not happen again, and who, if anyone, is acting to reconcile and redress these concerns.
Our first priority is the student community, specifically those living on the 1700 block of University Ave–to whom we apologize. We apologize not only for the impact this has had on you but also for the heavy burden many community members now carry. And we apologize to the broader community for our lack of transparency throughout this process and for our silence in the public forum.
We promise to be better, more communicative neighbors and are dedicated to remaining in the community, and at 1721 University Ave. We are confident that with new board leadership, the structural changes that we are implementing, and our unyielding commitment to community safety and restorative practices, that we can work in collaboration to forge a path of healing, begin to rebuild the trust that has been broken, and create a safer neighborhood together.
We will provide greater transparency by posting progress updates on our website, as well as updates directly to our neighbors. When we begin recruitment for new members, we will prioritize University of Minnesota students who are committed to the values and principles of cooperation. Additionally, we are amending the Co-op’s bylaws to grant alumni a continued role in the Co-op Board, and to give the Board more accountability going forward.
We thank you for your patience and support as we continue to rebuild and we hope you will join us in this next chapter. We look forward to continuing these conversations, this work, and our 80+ year legacy of cooperation at 1721 University Ave. Please continue to check our website studentscoop.org for updates, a timeline, and steps we have already taken. You can also reach out with any questions by emailing us at email@example.com.
The Students’ Cooperative Board
JuLY 26th, 2022
Police Activity at Students’ Co-op
Early this morning someone attempted to get into the building. Thankfully our monitored security and surveillance system alerted us immediately and police were dispatched. A member of the board met with both the UMPD and MPD officers at the Co-op. There was no damage or burglary of the property and no one was injured; the building is secure and the board continues to do daily walk-throughs of the property. Thank you for your concern!
The Students’ Co-operative Board
June 7th, 2022
Response to Recent Events at the Students’ Co-op
Hello, we are a group of four alumni from 2017 and earlier, who make up the current Board of the Students’ Co-operative. We are part of a larger network of past Co-op residents who, like you, have been horrified by the violence that has taken place in and around the Students’ Co-operative.
The people involved with the recent violence and disruption to the neighborhood are not affiliated with the Student’s Co-op. We learned last fall that the house’s cooperative governance collapsed during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and continued to deteriorate as member residents moved out of the Co-op. Soon, only squatters, and not Co-op members, remained at the property. As concerned alumni, we organized to get the house back on track. By March, we had formed a new board and acted quickly to remove the people who refused to leave.
With great relief, we finalized the eviction process and regained possession of the Students’ Co-operative property on June 4th, 2022. We are now securing the property, assessing damage to the house, and working with local authorities to determine next steps.
We are grateful to all those who have helped support and guide us through this difficult process—our hearts go out to those who have been affected by these tragic events.
The Students’ Co-op Board
May 22nd, 2022
Response to Recent Events at the Students’ Co-op
We share deep concern about the recent incidents of crime and violence at the Students’ Co-op. We have filed evictions for everyone in the building — The court hearing is scheduled for June 1, 2022.
Our long-term goal is to rehabilitate the building so that the Students’ Co-op can provide student-centered, cooperative housing.
If you have information or documentation of incidents involving the Students’ Co-op, please email firstname.lastname@example.org