Submitted by Jerome on Sun, 05/08/2016 - 7:55pm.

Happy Mother's Day! Happy May Day one week late. Every day is International Labor Day at the Wash, because cooperation means working together, people helping people.
Every year I send this to all the current CoOp residents at least once. Every year I renew the hope that Chancellor Wrighton, after having thanked the Student Student-Worker Alliance for reminding us all to treat our workers better, in his 2004 commencement address, a year before the Living Wage Sit-In, will do on to thank the Wash U CoOp for reminding us of the importance of living intentionally in the place we want to be, not the place we can't wait to leave. Every year I am disappointed. Will this year be different? This year I would be VERY surprised if he does not mention the Washington University Student Worker Alliance - SWA, given credit for the St. Louis Faculty Forwardvictory. I would be VERY surprised if he mentions the Wash U CoOp. Every year I hope and every year I am disappointed. Hope springs eternal. Perhaps this will be the year.
In our first year in our place on Persihing Avenue, 2004-2005, the CoOp members compared notes to discover that the ONLY thing we all had in common was putting the interests of the group ahead of our own. Had that not been true, the CoOp Focus class, "Cooperative Living, Community Building, and Sustainability" would have been canceled halfway through the autumn 2004 semester and the CoOp would very liikey have collapsed. I challenge you now: Who among you puts the interests of the CoOp consistently ahead of your own personal interests? If we can answer this question, perhaps we can go on.

Submitted by Jerome on Sat, 08/31/2013 - 11:36am.
Dear Cooperators,

Here is my annual "gratuitous faculty advice letter, that I send every Labor Day. This year I send it a week early. 
The letter is long so I'll be brief:

1) I cannot thank you enough for your support over the years. Relying on a transient group of students and alumni for one's primary support group is a bit risky, but I am honored to be an integral part of this community, and very grateful for individual and collective support. Thank you! I will keep on trying to pay it forward.

2) The WashU CoOp from its inception has been all about bursting the WashU Bubble of privilege. For example, students on campus may enjoy de facto police protection when drug or alcohol laws are violated (they'll deny it, of course). We are on the edge of the bubble, so this is no longer the case. In Spring 2009 undercover police cars and officers descended upon the CoOp with drug sniffing dogs. They found nothing so they went away. Please remember that these laws are selectively enforced. It is illegal for activists, minorities, and poor people to smoke pot, etc. This could be divisive, and has been in the past. Please let nothing divide us. Why not renounce some of our privilege, pending reform?

3) None of us knew what we were doing when we started the CoOp. We all took the initiative and made it work. This is our Syndicate of Initiative, like the one in this year's Missouri Librarians' Readmore Selection, Ursula K. LeGuin's critical utopia, "The Dispossessed," a core reading for the class whose members started the CoOp. Don't ask permission. It's YOUR education.

Happy Labor Day! Every day is labor day, because cooperation means working together, people helping people.

*********************
In autumn 2004 I sent a Labor Day message entitled “Gratuitous Faculty Advice,” to the new residents of our first Washington University-owned Co-op House, “The Perry.” I sent a Labor Day message in 2006 and 2008, and each time I quoted from this email, with a bit more commentary each year. The message does not change.

“Last year [2003] whenever I would go to a function with University administrators, they all seemed to think I am your "faculty sponsor" or "faculty advisor." I always told them that we are not hierarchically organized, so there is no "faculty advisor" per se, but I am what we call a "core member," defined as someone who attends meetings, does work hours, and has been with the Coop almost from its inception. Even so, as I believe I am still the only "core member" who happens to be faculty, I am going to give you some gratuitous advice:

1) I recommend that in Autumn 04 we solidify our relationship with Student Union, as [one student] advocated last Spring. I recommend that in Spring 05 we incorporate as a NASCO cooperative, as [another student] advocated last Spring.

2) I recommend that we maintain our constructive relationship with the University. We have done very well with that so far. But please be cautious... They haven't really "given" us anything. [06, 08 Note: this was written before the grant to renovate the “Perry” basement].

[09 Note: this summer we were given the remainder of 6015 Pershing, after having renewed our relationship with our most steadfast Administration supporter. The University has been very generous to us, over all; the figure $50,000 for the renovation rings a bell, though this may well be an understatement. Also, many steps were taken behind the scenes to ensure our longevity.]

3) I recommend that we maintain our ties to the Student Worker Alliance, and resist any attempt by anyone to drive a wedge between our two groups. This summer [a student of mine who is an SWA member] came by my apartment with a surprise gift: a bicycle, donated to the Coop, as well as the tarpaulin to keep rain off barbecues (I would like to ask permission to use this one more time, for my big barbecue two weeks from now, before physically transferring it to the WashU Coop building). These were modest tokens of the SWA's gratitude for our solidarity with them. [The student] wants me to convey his personal gratitude to the Coop for putting a link to the Student Life story about the demonstration in favor of a living wage last spring. He informed me that the WashU Coop was the only student organization with a web link to the SWA. [The student] was thrilled to hear Chancellor Wrighton cite the SWA favorably in his speech at the graduation ceremony. I was there; we could not believe what we were hearing; we just cheered! The University is taking the SWA, and the WashU Coop, very seriously. We have their attention, but they do not know quite what to make of us. Perhaps this spring, or the next, Chancellor Wrighton will mention us in his speech, favorably I hope.

4) I recommend continued outreach to other campus groups, including conservatives such as "green Republicans" and even the Libertarians, who probably disagree with most of us on economics but agree on free speech issues. One reason I was so happy with the University Students' Rochdale Housing Project in Santa Barbara was its ideological diversity. My first roommate was an Evangelical Lutheran who had lived in a Christian commune in Caribou, Maine, and who was a Reagan Republican and a Captain in the Air Force Reserve. My second roommate was an extremely liberal Protestant Democrat. None of us fit any stereotype of Coop dwellers, but we all cooperated and did our work hours faithfully. The USRHP was a long-established and very mature Coop, and an accepted part of the UCSB scene. This is the future I envision for the WashU Coop.”

Now, in 2008[9], this is still the future I envision for the Co-op, and this is still my advice: keep an open network, maintain our ideological diversity, and work with everyone who shares our values, without being coopted by anyone. Let’s not endorse any political party or candidate. But please, let’s never turn our backs on the workers. Let us support anyone who is out of a job for supporting workers’ rights. Like saving the planet we share, social justice is neither left nor right; it is a matter of common sense.

I have been honored to work with the WashU Co-op and the Student Worker Alliance, and I thank you for your support. I have been given numerous informal assurances of solidarity (especially in Spring 2005), and a formal Letter of Solidarity from the Student Worker Alliance (in Autumn 2006). I will accept steadfast support of Lecturer’s Policy reform (especially tenure for college teaching and community service, and health insurance for contract adjunct lecturers), and your attention to education reform in general, as fulfillment of that pledge. Please, remember Gandhi’s admonition to trust in our opponents’ honor and integrity. Please let’s take Chancellor Wrighton’s message of reconciliation to heart.

I am honored to teach the Co-op Focus Course, “Cooperative Living, Community Building, and Sustainability,” an important supporting institution for our cooperative network, at Webster University (under a different name) and at the Cervantes House and Gray Man Media House, Sundays 4-5pm in Autumn 2008, free of charge and open to the public. [09 Note: I am once more teaching this class at Webster, and I will teach a free public version again]. This class is about the history and ideals of the cooperative movement: everything that can possibly go wrong, and right, with a co-op. Most co-ops fail, but let’s make ours endure. Let’s build upon our Six Pillars: Environmental Sustainability, Community Building, Social Responsibility, Healthy Living, Cooperative Education, and Leadership. [09 Note: let’s not forget our facetious “pillar inflation” pillars: gravity and levity (just for fun), diversity (sop to the left), and integrity (sop to the right), and our eleventh pillar: Initiative]

I thank Chancellor Wrighton for his generous remarks at the 2008 Commencement, especially his apology for sometimes forgetting that Washington University is a family, and his pledge to address student concerns about tenure and promotion, and better treatment for handicapped members of our community. I am still hopeful that in his next address he will give honorable mention to the WashU Co-op.

Please, let’s never again give anyone a good reason to call us the “Green Fraternity” or the “Hippie Fraternity” or the “WashU Coopt.” This is my gratuitous faculty advice. [09 Note: no offense was intended to fraternities, hippies, or greens; let’s not conform to any negative stereotype of these groups]

This is still my gratuitous faculty advice. Let’s keep an open network, express our views freely and listen respectfully to those with whom we disagree. Let’s expand our network to include more faculty, staff, administrators, staff, and diverse community members. Let’s remember the words of Bob Dylan: “He not busy being born is busy dying.” Our first, and eleventh, Pillar, Initiative, includes all the others, even Leadership (because one can take the initiative quietly, behind the scenes, and refuse credit).

One final remark: when we began, even many of our supporters bet against us. “This will never take root here.” Those who bet on us are still here, and some are highly placed in the Administration. They may have to wear different hats on different occasions, and may not always seem supportive, but please don’t let that fool you. They took the initiative for us, and we owe them our thanks. We ought to give them credit, whether they claim it or not, including many staff members who took extraordinary steps to help us when we were struggling. I wish I could tell you their names.

Sincerely,

Jerome Bauer


Community Lect

Dear Cooperators,

Here is my annual "gratuitous faculty advice letter, that I send every Labor Day. This year I send it a week early. 
The letter is long so I'll be brief:

1) I cannot thank you enough for your support over the years. Relying on a transient group of students and alumni for one's primary support group is a bit risky, but I am honored to be an integral part of this community, and very grateful for individual and collective support. Thank you! I will keep on trying to pay it forward.

2) The WashU CoOp from its inception has been all about bursting the WashU Bubble of privilege. For example, students on campus may enjoy de facto police protection when drug or alcohol laws are violated (they'll deny it, of course). We are on the edge of the bubble, so this is no longer the case. In Spring 2009 undercover police cars and officers descended upon the CoOp with drug sniffing dogs. They found nothing so they went away. Please remember that these laws are selectively enforced. It is illegal for activists, minorities, and poor people to smoke pot, etc. This could be divisive, and has been in the past. Please let nothing divide us. Why not renounce some of our privilege, pending reform?

3) None of us knew what we were doing when we started the CoOp. We all took the initiative and made it work. This is our Syndicate of Initiative, like the one in this year's Missouri Librarians' Readmore Selection, Ursula K. LeGuin's critical utopia, "The Dispossessed," a core reading for the class whose members started the CoOp. Don't ask permission. It's YOUR education.

Happy Labor Day! Every day is labor day, because cooperation means working together, people helping people.

*********************
In autumn 2004 I sent a Labor Day message entitled “Gratuitous Faculty Advice,” to the new residents of our first Washington University-owned Co-op House, “The Perry.” I sent a Labor Day message in 2006 and 2008, and each time I quoted from this email, with a bit more commentary each year. The message does not change.

“Last year [2003] whenever I would go to a function with University administrators, they all seemed to think I am your "faculty sponsor" or "faculty advisor." I always told them that we are not hierarchically organized, so there is no "faculty advisor" per se, but I am what we call a "core member," defined as someone who attends meetings, does work hours, and has been with the Coop almost from its inception. Even so, as I believe I am still the only "core member" who happens to be faculty, I am going to give you some gratuitous advice:

1) I recommend that in Autumn 04 we solidify our relationship with Student Union, as [one student] advocated last Spring. I recommend that in Spring 05 we incorporate as a NASCO cooperative, as [another student] advocated last Spring.

2) I recommend that we maintain our constructive relationship with the University. We have done very well with that so far. But please be cautious... They haven't really "given" us anything. [06, 08 Note: this was written before the grant to renovate the “Perry” basement].

[09 Note: this summer we were given the remainder of 6015 Pershing, after having renewed our relationship with our most steadfast Administration supporter. The University has been very generous to us, over all; the figure $50,000 for the renovation rings a bell, though this may well be an understatement. Also, many steps were taken behind the scenes to ensure our longevity.]

3) I recommend that we maintain our ties to the Student Worker Alliance, and resist any attempt by anyone to drive a wedge between our two groups. This summer [a student of mine who is an SWA member] came by my apartment with a surprise gift: a bicycle, donated to the Coop, as well as the tarpaulin to keep rain off barbecues (I would like to ask permission to use this one more time, for my big barbecue two weeks from now, before physically transferring it to the WashU Coop building). These were modest tokens of the SWA's gratitude for our solidarity with them. [The student] wants me to convey his personal gratitude to the Coop for putting a link to the Student Life story about the demonstration in favor of a living wage last spring. He informed me that the WashU Coop was the only student organization with a web link to the SWA. [The student] was thrilled to hear Chancellor Wrighton cite the SWA favorably in his speech at the graduation ceremony. I was there; we could not believe what we were hearing; we just cheered! The University is taking the SWA, and the WashU Coop, very seriously. We have their attention, but they do not know quite what to make of us. Perhaps this spring, or the next, Chancellor Wrighton will mention us in his speech, favorably I hope.

4) I recommend continued outreach to other campus groups, including conservatives such as "green Republicans" and even the Libertarians, who probably disagree with most of us on economics but agree on free speech issues. One reason I was so happy with the University Students' Rochdale Housing Project in Santa Barbara was its ideological diversity. My first roommate was an Evangelical Lutheran who had lived in a Christian commune in Caribou, Maine, and who was a Reagan Republican and a Captain in the Air Force Reserve. My second roommate was an extremely liberal Protestant Democrat. None of us fit any stereotype of Coop dwellers, but we all cooperated and did our work hours faithfully. The USRHP was a long-established and very mature Coop, and an accepted part of the UCSB scene. This is the future I envision for the WashU Coop.”

Now, in 2008[9], this is still the future I envision for the Co-op, and this is still my advice: keep an open network, maintain our ideological diversity, and work with everyone who shares our values, without being coopted by anyone. Let’s not endorse any political party or candidate. But please, let’s never turn our backs on the workers. Let us support anyone who is out of a job for supporting workers’ rights. Like saving the planet we share, social justice is neither left nor right; it is a matter of common sense.

I have been honored to work with the WashU Co-op and the Student Worker Alliance, and I thank you for your support. I have been given numerous informal assurances of solidarity (especially in Spring 2005), and a formal Letter of Solidarity from the Student Worker Alliance (in Autumn 2006). I will accept steadfast support of Lecturer’s Policy reform (especially tenure for college teaching and community service, and health insurance for contract adjunct lecturers), and your attention to education reform in general, as fulfillment of that pledge. Please, remember Gandhi’s admonition to trust in our opponents’ honor and integrity. Please let’s take Chancellor Wrighton’s message of reconciliation to heart.

I am honored to teach the Co-op Focus Course, “Cooperative Living, Community Building, and Sustainability,” an important supporting institution for our cooperative network, at Webster University (under a different name) and at the Cervantes House and Gray Man Media House, Sundays 4-5pm in Autumn 2008, free of charge and open to the public. [09 Note: I am once more teaching this class at Webster, and I will teach a free public version again]. This class is about the history and ideals of the cooperative movement: everything that can possibly go wrong, and right, with a co-op. Most co-ops fail, but let’s make ours endure. Let’s build upon our Six Pillars: Environmental Sustainability, Community Building, Social Responsibility, Healthy Living, Cooperative Education, and Leadership. [09 Note: let’s not forget our facetious “pillar inflation” pillars: gravity and levity (just for fun), diversity (sop to the left), and integrity (sop to the right), and our eleventh pillar: Initiative]

I thank Chancellor Wrighton for his generous remarks at the 2008 Commencement, especially his apology for sometimes forgetting that Washington University is a family, and his pledge to address student concerns about tenure and promotion, and better treatment for handicapped members of our community. I am still hopeful that in his next address he will give honorable mention to the WashU Co-op.

Please, let’s never again give anyone a good reason to call us the “Green Fraternity” or the “Hippie Fraternity” or the “WashU Coopt.” This is my gratuitous faculty advice. [09 Note: no offense was intended to fraternities, hippies, or greens; let’s not conform to any negative stereotype of these groups]

This is still my gratuitous faculty advice. Let’s keep an open network, express our views freely and listen respectfully to those with whom we disagree. Let’s expand our network to include more faculty, staff, administrators, staff, and diverse community members. Let’s remember the words of Bob Dylan: “He not busy being born is busy dying.” Our first, and eleventh, Pillar, Initiative, includes all the others, even Leadership (because one can take the initiative quietly, behind the scenes, and refuse credit).

One final remark: when we began, even many of our supporters bet against us. “This will never take root here.” Those who bet on us are still here, and some are highly placed in the Administration. They may have to wear different hats on different occasions, and may not always seem supportive, but please don’t let that fool you. They took the initiative for us, and we owe them our thanks. We ought to give them credit, whether they claim it or not, including many staff members who took extraordinary steps to help us when we were struggling. I wish I could tell you their names.

Sincerely,

Jerome Bauer


Community Lect
Dear Cooperators,

Here is my annual "gratuitous faculty advice letter, that I send every Labor Day. This year I send it a week early. 
The letter is long so I'll be brief:

1) I cannot thank you enough for your support over the years. Relying on a transient group of students and alumni for one's primary support group is a bit risky, but I am honored to be an integral part of this community, and very grateful for individual and collective support. Thank you! I will keep on trying to pay it forward.

2) The WashU CoOp from its inception has been all about bursting the WashU Bubble of privilege. For example, students on campus may enjoy de facto police protection when drug or alcohol laws are violated (they'll deny it, of course). We are on the edge of the bubble, so this is no longer the case. In Spring 2009 undercover police cars and officers descended upon the CoOp with drug sniffing dogs. They found nothing so they went away. Please remember that these laws are selectively enforced. It is illegal for activists, minorities, and poor people to smoke pot, etc. This could be divisive, and has been in the past. Please let nothing divide us. Why not renounce some of our privilege, pending reform?

3) None of us knew what we were doing when we started the CoOp. We all took the initiative and made it work. This is our Syndicate of Initiative, like the one in this year's Missouri Librarians' Readmore Selection, Ursula K. LeGuin's critical utopia, "The Dispossessed," a core reading for the class whose members started the CoOp. Don't ask permission. It's YOUR education.

Happy Labor Day! Every day is labor day, because cooperation means working together, people helping people.

*********************
In autumn 2004 I sent a Labor Day message entitled “Gratuitous Faculty Advice,” to the new residents of our first Washington University-owned Co-op House, “The Perry.” I sent a Labor Day message in 2006 and 2008, and each time I quoted from this email, with a bit more commentary each year. The message does not change.

“Last year [2003] whenever I would go to a function with University administrators, they all seemed to think I am your "faculty sponsor" or "faculty advisor." I always told them that we are not hierarchically organized, so there is no "faculty advisor" per se, but I am what we call a "core member," defined as someone who attends meetings, does work hours, and has been with the Coop almost from its inception. Even so, as I believe I am still the only "core member" who happens to be faculty, I am going to give you some gratuitous advice:

1) I recommend that in Autumn 04 we solidify our relationship with Student Union, as [one student] advocated last Spring. I recommend that in Spring 05 we incorporate as a NASCO cooperative, as [another student] advocated last Spring.

2) I recommend that we maintain our constructive relationship with the University. We have done very well with that so far. But please be cautious... They haven't really "given" us anything. [06, 08 Note: this was written before the grant to renovate the “Perry” basement].

[09 Note: this summer we were given the remainder of 6015 Pershing, after having renewed our relationship with our most steadfast Administration supporter. The University has been very generous to us, over all; the figure $50,000 for the renovation rings a bell, though this may well be an understatement. Also, many steps were taken behind the scenes to ensure our longevity.]

3) I recommend that we maintain our ties to the Student Worker Alliance, and resist any attempt by anyone to drive a wedge between our two groups. This summer [a student of mine who is an SWA member] came by my apartment with a surprise gift: a bicycle, donated to the Coop, as well as the tarpaulin to keep rain off barbecues (I would like to ask permission to use this one more time, for my big barbecue two weeks from now, before physically transferring it to the WashU Coop building). These were modest tokens of the SWA's gratitude for our solidarity with them. [The student] wants me to convey his personal gratitude to the Coop for putting a link to the Student Life story about the demonstration in favor of a living wage last spring. He informed me that the WashU Coop was the only student organization with a web link to the SWA. [The student] was thrilled to hear Chancellor Wrighton cite the SWA favorably in his speech at the graduation ceremony. I was there; we could not believe what we were hearing; we just cheered! The University is taking the SWA, and the WashU Coop, very seriously. We have their attention, but they do not know quite what to make of us. Perhaps this spring, or the next, Chancellor Wrighton will mention us in his speech, favorably I hope.

4) I recommend continued outreach to other campus groups, including conservatives such as "green Republicans" and even the Libertarians, who probably disagree with most of us on economics but agree on free speech issues. One reason I was so happy with the University Students' Rochdale Housing Project in Santa Barbara was its ideological diversity. My first roommate was an Evangelical Lutheran who had lived in a Christian commune in Caribou, Maine, and who was a Reagan Republican and a Captain in the Air Force Reserve. My second roommate was an extremely liberal Protestant Democrat. None of us fit any stereotype of Coop dwellers, but we all cooperated and did our work hours faithfully. The USRHP was a long-established and very mature Coop, and an accepted part of the UCSB scene. This is the future I envision for the WashU Coop.”

Now, in 2008[9], this is still the future I envision for the Co-op, and this is still my advice: keep an open network, maintain our ideological diversity, and work with everyone who shares our values, without being coopted by anyone. Let’s not endorse any political party or candidate. But please, let’s never turn our backs on the workers. Let us support anyone who is out of a job for supporting workers’ rights. Like saving the planet we share, social justice is neither left nor right; it is a matter of common sense.

I have been honored to work with the WashU Co-op and the Student Worker Alliance, and I thank you for your support. I have been given numerous informal assurances of solidarity (especially in Spring 2005), and a formal Letter of Solidarity from the Student Worker Alliance (in Autumn 2006). I will accept steadfast support of Lecturer’s Policy reform (especially tenure for college teaching and community service, and health insurance for contract adjunct lecturers), and your attention to education reform in general, as fulfillment of that pledge. Please, remember Gandhi’s admonition to trust in our opponents’ honor and integrity. Please let’s take Chancellor Wrighton’s message of reconciliation to heart.

I am honored to teach the Co-op Focus Course, “Cooperative Living, Community Building, and Sustainability,” an important supporting institution for our cooperative network, at Webster University (under a different name) and at the Cervantes House and Gray Man Media House, Sundays 4-5pm in Autumn 2008, free of charge and open to the public. [09 Note: I am once more teaching this class at Webster, and I will teach a free public version again]. This class is about the history and ideals of the cooperative movement: everything that can possibly go wrong, and right, with a co-op. Most co-ops fail, but let’s make ours endure. Let’s build upon our Six Pillars: Environmental Sustainability, Community Building, Social Responsibility, Healthy Living, Cooperative Education, and Leadership. [09 Note: let’s not forget our facetious “pillar inflation” pillars: gravity and levity (just for fun), diversity (sop to the left), and integrity (sop to the right), and our eleventh pillar: Initiative]

I thank Chancellor Wrighton for his generous remarks at the 2008 Commencement, especially his apology for sometimes forgetting that Washington University is a family, and his pledge to address student concerns about tenure and promotion, and better treatment for handicapped members of our community. I am still hopeful that in his next address he will give honorable mention to the WashU Co-op.

Please, let’s never again give anyone a good reason to call us the “Green Fraternity” or the “Hippie Fraternity” or the “WashU Coopt.” This is my gratuitous faculty advice. [09 Note: no offense was intended to fraternities, hippies, or greens; let’s not conform to any negative stereotype of these groups]

This is still my gratuitous faculty advice. Let’s keep an open network, express our views freely and listen respectfully to those with whom we disagree. Let’s expand our network to include more faculty, staff, administrators, staff, and diverse community members. Let’s remember the words of Bob Dylan: “He not busy being born is busy dying.” Our first, and eleventh, Pillar, Initiative, includes all the others, even Leadership (because one can take the initiative quietly, behind the scenes, and refuse credit).

One final remark: when we began, even many of our supporters bet against us. “This will never take root here.” Those who bet on us are still here, and some are highly placed in the Administration. They may have to wear different hats on different occasions, and may not always seem supportive, but please don’t let that fool you. They took the initiative for us, and we owe them our thanks. We ought to give them credit, whether they claim it or not, including many staff members who took extraordinary steps to help us when we were struggling. I wish I could tell you their names.

Sincerely,

Jerome Bauer


Community Lecturer