Monthly Archives: January 2020

Academic Theme Manager: Who is she?

Hello fellow Clones,

This is Emily, the current (spring ’20) Academic Theme Manager.

If anyone else had a rough last semester and is feeling like the new year is calling them to delve deep into their academic potential, I’m with you. Everyone else keep up the good work.

This semester it is my personal intention to celebrate learning and explore what this university has to offer. I envision a Cloyne that encourages collaboration, discussion and diversity.

Feel free to approach me with questions or suggestions, or email me!

<3 Emily

Garden

Hello Clones! We are your new Garden Coordinators and we wanted to let you know a little about ourselves:

Evan: I’m a 1st year PhD student studying environmental science and am passionate about gardening, sustainability, and fungi. I was garden manager in my previous co-op in undergrad where I managed a small team to plant a succulent garden, establish a compost pile, plant a bunch of fruit trees and grow some yummy veggies. I’m hoping to add more cloyne micrbes to my mivrobiome by getting my hands dirty.

Xena: I’m a 4th year undergrad student double majoring in Landscape Architecture and Conservation and Resource Studies. As such, I have some experience in garden design. I’m really passionate about native plants, increasing biodiversity in the garden, adding more flowers to the garden, and making the front entrance more pretty and welcoming.

Below are our main goals for this Spring. These will probably change over time as we scope the difficulty/habitability of various projects, but our main hope is to make gardening and the garden more educational and interactive for all clones. 

  • More interactive / educational garden events – Want to learn how to germinate starts? How about making a mushroom log? Or care and planting of succulents? These are the kinds of events we want to facilitate in the garden, bringing people and plants (and sometimes fungi) together to get down in the dirt! 
  • Native plants – The yard out in front of the house is not so exciting. Let’s spruce it up with some native shrubs! I’m thinking evergreen huckleberries, flowering currants, maybe a california buckeye if we’re going craaazy. There are also some native medicinal plants we want to include like yerba santa, yarrow, and mugwort. 
  • Signage around plants – especially for all the fruit trees we have out in the garden! We want your everyday clone to feel comfortable picking a fruit if its ripe, because if they don’t the squirrels probably will. This means labeling so y’all know what’s out there! We would also like to make signs for the worm bins, vegetables and native plants, but fruit trees are the priority.
  • Mushrooms – We are obsessed with decomposition! Good thing, because during the winter months there isn’t a ton of planting and growing to do. During this time, we hope to bury and inoculate a mushroom log that will give us tasty homegrown mushrooms every winter for 3-4 years! Additionally, we will work on a system to use more of our yard waste to grow oyster mushrooms, a tasty way to directly bring our waste streams back to our food system :) 

Feel free to reach out with questions and thoughts!


All Best,

Evan and Xena.

Software Coordinator Introduction: Radios, Analog Media, and Social Anxiety

Hello everyone, my name is Christopher Stevens and I am the newly minted Software Coordinator as of Spring 2020! I am looking forward to working to make our electronic resources more useful for everyone. As Software Coordinator I have a few goals for this semester:

  • Make cloyne.org a better resource for all members
  • Update our infrastructure to no longer need python2
  • Get feedback from the house about what you want Cloyne to host

I’d also like to give a personal introduction. One of the things I do in my free time is amateur radio, for which I am also trying to put together a rig for the house. My callsign is KN6AYU, and I also try to participate in two repeater nets, one M-F at 9am and another Wednesday at 7pm. I’ll also be in EE 198: Hand on Ham Radio.

Despite being the software coordinator I also like messing around with analog media. I own two film cameras, a КИЕВ-6C and Minolta XD11.

КИЕВ-6C Medium Format Camera
Minolta XD11 35mm Camera

I also have a hi-fi system, with a record player, and a reel-to-reel tape machine, that both sound quite good! (Stop by E2GH if you want to listen!)

One of the things I love about Cloyne is the ability to talk about my issues and have people be very understanding about them. I have recently been diagnosed with social anxiety, but have been struggling with it for a while. If I ever look like I’m staring at you it’s probably because I would like to say hello but don’t know you very well. I’m trying to get better, but it is a long process so I ask for some of your patience. Always feel free to say hello though! I like making new friends.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to contact me at closoft@bsc.coop

We Own It | We Run It | We Are It

Co-ops are different from the dorms or (non-BSC) apartments in one major way: we own it. What does that mean? Pulling from the Rochdale Principles (the seminal document capturing the essence of cooperatives):

  • We are its members, have democratic voting power, and are autonomous from other organizations
  • We contribute the capital that allows the BSC to exist, and we control the budget
  • We have full control over our own policies, community agreements, and educational requirements
  • Democratic financial, policy, and cultural control enable us to prioritize what matters most to us (e.g., consent, accessibility, anti-oppression)
  • We get to elect the people who have (delegated) powers, and we get to hold them accountable in material ways
  • We can turn our wildest and most radical speculations for a better world into a reality

It’s not a coincidence that some of the most affordable housing requires cooperative democratic control. When it’s our interests at heart (and not a landlord’s), concern for community is at the front of everything we do. We cook incredible meals for each other, we create beautiful things like the multicultural space or garden, we participate in collective direct action and run a $10+ million organization — and we aim to do all of this at a price that makes college accessible for those who wouldn’t be able to afford a higher education without it.

I think this is always important to keep in mind: the more we lose sight of this, the more our co-ops will look like dorms. Getting quorum (the minimum number of people needed for a valid vote) at Council and in elections has (notoriously) been an issue the last several years at Cloyne. To not sugarcoat it: it has gotten worse over time. There are likely many reasons for this — here are just some that come to mind:

  • Certain people feel disempowered (in the house/in the space)
  • Increasing privatization of the UC + a housing crisis + gentrification (strategically) drain people’s time and isolate/individuate us
  • Council takes too long

To take that last “reason”: I know there are ways we can make Council more efficient (admittedly this is one of my blind spots, so please actively advise me on this). But the truth is that democracy is slow and takes time. The neoliberal lens blinds us to the fact that spending this extra time is actually crucial for our survival, feeling connected to others, and keeping our housing cooperative, affordable, high-quality, and empowering. Rather than taking up our time, member control and participation enable us to regain energy at our home and fight bigger battles out there. 

So, what will you do this semester to help sustain the cooperative vision and the collective “we”?