Here at UC Santa Cruz, one of the many ways students can take charge of their education and campus experience is through cooperative spaces, or co-ops. Owned and operated by community members, co-ops are accessible places to find resources, make friends, or participate in your interests. They rely on their community just as much as their communities rely on them, so consider supporting these campus spaces as well as those you encounter outside of UCSC. Now stick with us as City on a Hill Press presents a guide to the wide range of co-ops you can find here at UCSC.
Independent from the University, the Bike Coop is a fully volunteer-run, one-stop shop for all things bicycle-related. Located across from the Bay Tree Bookstore in the Redwood building, the co-op emphasizes sustainable transportation through a commitment to expanding the community’s confidence in repairing and maintaining their bicycles. Suggested donations vary between $1 and $10 depending on the service, but anyone can visit the Bike Coop for work orders, advice, or to use tools completely free of charge
You can find more information about the Bike Coop by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or checking out their website: sites.google.com/view/ucscbikecoop/home and Instagram: @bike_coop.
Kresge Food Co-op
After a long hiatus, Kresge Natural Foods Co-op resumed operations in spring 2022 and hosted celebratory open mic nights at their location on the southernmost edge of Kresge College. For 30 years the co-op provided students with fresh produce, groceries, handmade items, and a space to organize and connect. Find more information about the Kresge Food Co-op at their Instagram @kresgefoodcoop.
Kresge Garden Co-op
The Kresge Garden Co-op provides a space for green-thumbed students to foster their passion for cultivating and appreciating land. Self-identifying as a “queer, non-hierarchal anarchist community space,” the Kresge Garden is free to join and hosts an apple orchard and an herb garden, as well as a variety of other fruit and vegetable plots. The Kresge Garden Co-op encourages community building through a cultivation of the soil as well as the spirit, and the cooperative also actively opposes plans to build housing on the Porter meadows and the Kresge Garden. The garden hosts weekly work meetings, biweekly work days, quarterly garden workshops, and a garden fair to celebrate the harvest.
Find the Kresge Garden Co-op on their Instagram: @Kresgegarden or their website: kresgegardencoop.weebly.com.
Merrill Pottery Co-op
Located at Merrill College, the Pottery Cooperative has a 50-year legacy as a non-hierarchical organization for UCSC students, as well as the greater Santa Cruz community. Built on clay, community, and creativity, the Merrill Pottery Co-op features two studios: one for throwing and building, and another for glazing. The Co-op has a $200 membership fee for 24/7 access throughout the school year.
For information on how to get involved, visit the pottery Co-op page on the UCSC website or contact email@example.com.
Student Health Outreach and Promotion (SHOP)’s Condom Co-op offers condoms, lubricants, dental dams, and other safe sex supplies to students at a discounted price. Here, you can buy eight condoms for $1, receptive condoms and dental dams for 75 cents each, small and large tubes of lube for 50 cents and $5, respectively, and pregnancy tests for $3. The student-operated Co-op is held at various places and events throughout campus.