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May 28, 1939 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1939-05-28

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Cooperative Housing Movement Here ontinues Exp,



125 Students
Eat And Sleep
In Six Houses
Rapidly Widening System
Of Mutual Assistance
Is HighlySuccessful
In 1934 a physician friend suggest-
ed to the Rev. Harry L. Pickerill that
the basement of the minister's May-
nard Street home would be better than
average inexpensive living quarters'
for some deserving boy working his
way through school. That suggestion
proved to be the real beginning of
the student cooperative housing
movement in Ann Arbor.
More than 125 cooperators here are
now provided with study and sleep-
ing quarters and eating facilities in
six different houses.
Dr. Pickerill followed the sugges-
tion. On request, the Student Religi-
ous Association recommended a stu-
dent to him, and soon Eldon Hamm,
'37, was living in the Pickerill base-
ment. He had a wagonload of food
shipped in to him from the farm, and
managed to live on about 50 cents
a week in comfort.
Soon another boy joined Hamm,
and by the end of the school year
three students were profiting by thatl
physician's happy suggestion.
Eight In 1935 v
The next year, 1935, there were
eight boys in the basement on May-
nard St. A shower and a gas range
were installed. The infant movement
was growing up.
However, cooperation couldn't con-
tinue to expand in Dr. Pickerill'sl
basement. The next year, 1936, those*
eight cooperators formed the nucleus
for another cooperative house, and
with the aid of a loan from the min-
ister, suceeded in establishing them-
selves at 545 Thompson St. That
house, however, was soon to be de-
molished to make way for the new
men's dormitories.
Rochdale House Begun
So in the fall of 1937, with addi-
tional financial assistance, the co-
operators moved to their present
location at 640 Oxford St. This is
now known as Rochdale Cooperative
Although that liouse is compara-
tively large and roomy, nevertheless
it proved to be too small to meet
the growing needs of the rapidly ex-
panding student cooperative housing
movement. The house simply could

Cooperatives utilize this cozy living room of the Robert Owen House
for reading, listening to the radio and for the usual bull sessions. Furni-
ture in this room is new; in many cases pieces were secured at very low
prices at sales from the many houses now being torn down here.

and having been passed by the house
membership committee, the appli-
cant must then be passed on by the
entire house membership before tak-
ing his place as a cooperator.
According to Lewis Feldman, '40E,
chairman of the personnel commit-
tee of the Rochdale House, a turn-
over in house membership of about
50 per cent per year is a usual occur-
rence. Feldman explained that some
cooperators find that they need a
more remunerative board job to con-
tinue in school, others have to drop
out of school altogether and still
others graduate.
Each house has its own elected offi-
cers, but they cooperate in many
activities, especially in purchasing:
The house president is usually the
contact man with the University in
any matters affecting both the Uni-
versity and the cooperative move-
ment. He presides at house meetings,
and is expected to bring up from
time to time discussion subjects rela-
tive to cooperation.
Manager Makes Schedules
The house manager arranges and
supervises work schedules. At the be-
ginning of each semester, each co-
operator submits a schedule of classes
to him; in accordance with those, he
arranges work schedules: seven
hours per week for those who live in
the house, and three hours per week
for those who merely board there.
Particular kinds of work assignments
are made on the basis of past experi-
ence, personal preference and desir-
Another important function of the
house manager is to arrange "work
holidays." When a job (such as var-
nishing floors, repairing furniture or
painting) must 'be done outside the
time alloted to the regular work
schedule, the house manager . sets
aside an entire day when all the co-
operators are expected to "pitch in
and help."
The treasurer keeps account of in-
coming revenue, makes weekly cash
statements and must countersign all
outgoing checks. The secretary keeps
permanent records of the house, its

This large well-lighted study room in the Congress Rouse contains
study desks, bureaus, comfortable chairs and ample closet space. There
are six such rooms in this house, each accommodating from one to five

not accommodate all the students
who applied for admission.
Last fall, another group of en-
thusiastic cooperators joined by a
few of the original Rochdale boys,
formed the Robert Owen Coopera-,
tive House at 922 S. State St. And for
the third of these "brother" houses,
Congress Cooperative House, this is
the first semester of operation. I
Women Start One
Meanwhile, in the fall of 1937, the
fair sex found demands for similar
cooperative facilities too pressing to
be denied. So the Girls' Cooperative
OHouse was established at 517 E. Ann
All this time Dr. Pickerill's coopera-
tive basement, now known as Disciples
Guild House, had been expanding
and improving. Ten students are now
accommodated comfortably there,
with well-lighted study desks, ample
plumbing facilities, a small and com-
pact kitchen, a dining room seating
14 and a large wardrobe room. The
boys have done all their own con-
struction work, and, now aided by a
reasonably complete work-bench, are
continuing to make improvements.
Socialists Operate Sixth
The sixth student cooperative
house now in Ann Arbor is the Michi-
gan Socialist House. Founded in 1931
by a group of socialists, it has long
since dropped any such doctrinal re-
quisite to admission. Although it op-
erates on a much more inexpensive

scale than other houses just men-
tioned, it nevertheless is considered
in the same class of cooperation.
Membership fee for Rochdale, Rob-
ert Owen and Congress houses is
ten dollars. Each boy pays five dol-
lars per week for room and board,
in addition to working "cooperative-
ly" for a maximum of seven hours
per week.
Membership in a cooperative house
is obtained only after careful consid-
eration by a committee on admission.
This committee interviews appli-
cants, and chooses members from
these interviews on the basis of
a long and carefully worded applica-
tion blank. Under no circumstances
is membership discrimination made
because of religion, creed or color.
More than 60 applicants have been
interviewed since January.
Must Pass Severe Test
After passing a severe test on tol-
erance and social views, for example,

rules and regulations, and minutes
at meetings.
Steward Controls Kitchen
The steward has complete control
over the kitchen. He plans the 21
meals per week, and often makes
recipes. Along with the purchasing
agent, he takes periodic stock of the
food inventory.
The purchasing agent signs all out-
going checks. Most of his time is spent
in seeking advantageous purchasing
arrangements and checking price
lists. The accountant also must coun-
tersign checks. Keeping account of
house books and financial standing
takes up all of his time.
Present officers of the Rochdale
House, considered the "granddaddy"
of student cooperative houses in Ann
Arbor, are: James M. Vicary, '40,
president; Bronus Onuf, '39E, house
manager; Edward H. Lebeis, Jr., '39E,
treasurer; Harold F. Whittaker, Jr.,
'41E, secretary;- Rudolph A. Potoch-
nik, '39E, steward; George M. Baum-
garten, '42E, purchasing agent; and
Jack Carroll, '40, accountant.
Many Nationalities Repretented
A wide variety of men live in co-
operative houses here. One man, now
living in the Rochdale House, is a
Doctor of Engineering; another re-
cently transferred here from North-
western University, attracted by the
Hopwood prizes. Chinese, Hindus,
Japanese, Negroes and Spaniards are
among the nationalities represented
at the six houses.
The physical aspects of the houses
are generally similar. Living room,
iV It

dining room, hall and kitchen make
up the first floor; the second floor
is divided into study rooms: eight
at Rochdale, six each at Robert Ow-
en and Congress and seven at the
Michigan Socialist House; (the Girls'
Cooperative House has nine bedroom-
studies, but no third floor dormitory)
a dormitory for sleeping is provided
on the third floor.
In general, equipment and furnish-
ings have been secured at unusually
reasonable prices. Congress House
has a gas sterilzer for dishes,
for example, which cost no more than
$1.01 completely installed. Many
really fine pieces of furniture have
been obtained recently at very low
prices from houses which are being
torn down to make room for the new
Girls Cooperative Different
The Girls' Cooperative House is
run slightly different from the other
houses. An executive board (presi-
dent, vice-president, secretary and
treasurer) and an administrative
board (meal planner, purchaser,
housekeeper and accountant) each
work in their own separate spheres.
Next fall the girls will move to a
new location, 1511 Washtenaw Ave.
They will furnish it themselves from
funds accumlated from boarders' fees
and a loan.
Selection of members in t'ie Michi-
gan Socialist House is based primarily








ONE LAST TREK around town
and then we'll be wishing you
many happy vacations - but for
now there's lots to see and do over
the gay weekend. Lloyds of Lon-
don would practically insure us a
perfect, sunny playday so here are
the tips to make the holiday a
great success!
* * *
playtime will insure you a "gay
time." Whether or no you golf,
play a fast set of tennis, canoe or
picnic, DILLONS SHOP on State
Street has what you
want in pretty cottons.
The Doris Dodsons
and Jean Carols are
cleverer than ever and
t if your purse is elastic
there are the beautiful
Sophie Wagner frocks.
- . \A petticoat dress is as
4cute as it sounds, with
tiny lace ruffles peek-
ing from beneath. A Pink-dot
"California dirndl" is full-skirted,
and of a mouth-watering shade.
For a gay girl there's a navy dot-
ted dirndl with suspenderstraps
over its crisp white guimpe. Mighty
cute and mighty easy on the purse
YEAR: more tickets sold, gayer
music, and prettier frocks than
ever for lots of the gals are picking
out their swirling. frocks from
SOREN'S (the little shop around

day, to stay for just a day. But
she would like to
1 '\ganswer some of
the questions you
have beenrwant-
ing answers for.
A dermatologist,
she knows all about the care or the
skin and is here to give all the ad-
vice you care to have.
You needn't make a purchase;
she's here just to answer your
questions. Flash! Dorothy Gray's
double size Cologne is a perfect
pick-up for sticky summer days.
Odors are lilting and refreshing
in Natural, Rose Geranium, Jas-
* * *
SOMETHING decidedly different!
COLLINS SHOP is presenting the
unusual Eisenberg formal frocks.
There won't be another one like it
at the dance and
you will stand out
as the girl who is
distinguishedy 'dif-
ferent'! A previewe
description: A beau-
ful carnation pink,
in crush - resistant
linen . . . featuring
eyelit embroidery'
touches on piquant
square neck. Anoth-
er of palest sky blue
piqu&, has a bodice.
with deeper toned'
ribbon insertions that completes
the fashionable "daguerreotype
appearance." They're lovely; they
are for the girl with a style sense
that's different."
you're in the proper frame of
mind "for what we have to say.
That old permanent
is mighty weak on
curls by now, and
with summer rushing
the season it's time
=ii right now to end your
summer cares with a
brand new perma-
nent curl from the

The kitchen of the Rochdale House (above) is more spacious than those
in the other five student cooperative houses in Ann Arbor. This group
shown at work is under the direction of a house manager and steward.
Iwhat to teear for Smter onhe~s

colors .
/// . "ystyles.
ward ro
low co

be found in Kessel's
rful selection. Gay
. . smart, youthful
Give yourself your
st. warm-weather
)be at the amazingly
st of
198 a $3.98
atear Cottons


In a girdle or foundation
garment from our new

De rate Yourself
J na

Spring stock.

Have that


the corner from Wil-
liams St.).. . Bright
and cool, they're per-
fect for the Ball and
all the country club
frolics this summer.
Listen, my girls, and
you shall hear of out-
standing numbers: -
Navy dotted Swiss is
boasting a rib-hugging
white mess jacket. A

barrage of

New Hourglass Waistline
making you "The Woman
of Today." In meshes, voile
or net. Colors, white or
I -

SWIM SUITS with a "made-for-you" look.. . the new
Jantzens ingeniously adopt themselves to individual
figure needs. Accent is on youthful contours, with
up-curve bust lines and extra nip to the waist. The
new glamour fabrics are gorgeous, rich and lustrous
with the sheen of sunshine.
Left Above - Moonf lower design in one of the
new "Knit-In" prints . . . $4.95
Right Above - The new "Zip-In-Mio" with a
two-color zipper and changeable straps. In
"Velva-Cure" . $7.95


flowers on sheer seersucker crepe
is mighty colorful and pretty. A
plaid in soft sea blue and coral,
or a navy and white dotted crisp
taffeta with tiny off-shoulder
puffs. Special note: on cotton

. ,.

A'. II




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