The idea for having a Bennington student cooperative was hatched. We think that having a completely student-run place for coffee, food, and farm-fresh produce is a great idea, and are working towards our goal of one day having a permanent location on campus.
Our mission states:
Eating is a political act. We believe everyone deserves access to affordable, high-quality, responsibly-sourced, and ethically-produced foods. The co-op will build community by bringing people together around food. We seek to create an autonomous space, for students by students, where we can come together, educate, and collaborate on ideas, philosophies, and myriad projects. The co-op should be an arena for students to strengthen their community by engaging in a student-generated space, as well as through the operation of a business of their own. By directing the co-op, students will learn the value of collaboration and the intricacies of managing an enterprise. The Bennington educational philosophy begs students to integrate their ideals with action; this is the perfect setting for a successful student-run co-op. The co-op will facilitate the growth of such a profound idea, and sustain these values beyond Bennington.
We are working toward this mission slowly but surely, growing gradually and figuring out all of the details of our business along the way. During the spring of 2012, we designed and constructed our coop cart, and sold food and beverages throughout the last month of the term.
As we grow in the coming years, we are anxious to heighten conversations with the greater student body about what they might want from a student cooperative. Any and all feedback is welcome and encouraged. We hope to keep everyone up to date via this blog about the activities of the coop.