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Davis, California

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Davis Student Co-op open for another year

Students hoping to live in the Davis Student Cooperative (DSC) house in the fall are in luck – the house is staying open for at least one more year.

UC Davis Student Housing officials informed DSC residents in October that the house would be closing on Aug. 1 due to financial and occupancy concerns. After a series of meetings last quarter, representatives from the Tri-Cooperative Housing program and student housing agreed to implement certain regulations while student housing continues to investigate DSC’s future.

“We decided that it was in the students’ best interests for us to give a one year extension on the closure to allow us more time to do further analysis and investigation,” said Ramona Hernandez, associate director of student housing.

While a $7,000 budget deficit and leasing issues caused problems in the fall, complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act has emerged as a new concern that needs time for research, Hernandez said.

Residents of the Tri Co-ops agreed to approximately a 15 percent rent increase to address the budget deficit and to work more closely with student housing officials in the leasing process.

The creation of a new cooperative advisory board made up of former residents will add an additional level of communication between cooperative residents and student housing.

“The point is to have institutional memory,” said Will Quinn, a junior environmental policy and planning major and DSC resident.

There is a high turnover rate in the Tri Co-ops, and even though residents may have a good relationship with student housing officials one year, students who will later replace them will not understand how the system works.

“We wanted an additional group of individuals who have longevity but are also understanding and have cooperative living experience, so they can be a bridge between the university and the residents,” Hernandez said.

Quinn finds the increased communication encouraging.

“We are eager to continue dialogue to discuss the long term plans for co-op living at UC Davis,” he said. “That’s the best thing that’s come out of this – that we’re talking and working together.”

Other changes include a new agreement to implement minimum and maximum occupancies for the Tri Co-ops. DSC now must have between eight and 14 residents.

However, DSC staying open for another year is not necessarily reflective of the house’s long-term future. Concerns about ADA accessibility are essentially what have postponed DSC’s closure.

“We were advised by campus council that it was something we needed to look at,” Hernandez said. “That’s really driven our decision to take a pause, go another year and take some time to look at the situation.”

Despite the ultimate indecision about the future of DSC, Darach Miller, a junior bioscience major and DSC resident, is pleased to know where he will be living in the fall.

“It’s great to cooperate with student housing as we move into the future, instead of moving into a new house,” he said.

JANELLE BITKER can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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