OSCA's Mission

The Purpose of Purposes for which OSCA was formed

Read the OSCA Board Manual

Rochdale Principles

The principles which guide modern cooperative organizations, including OSCA, were formulated in 1844 by a group of textile workers in Rochdale, England who were fed up with the exploitative nature of the market during the British Industrial Revolution. They decided to pool their money and open a small retail store which operated on principles which have become the foundation of modern co-ops.

Open Membership

Membership in OSCA is voluntary. Members change each year, and membership is based on the lottery system, rather than seniority.

Democratic Control

Each member has one vote. All elections and meetings are open to all members and all decisions are accountable to them. In OSCA, we make decisions collectively and openly. All members are responsible for participating in the decision-making process.

Limited Return, if any, on equity capital

Invested capital is paid at the going rate, or less. Nobody should make a profit off of their investment in the co-op. (This does not apply to OSCA because we have no investors.)

Education of Members

Regular meetings, membership education, and community outreach are implemented through the principles and techniques of cooperation, both economic and political. Education goes on constantly at all levels of OSCA.

Cooperation among Cooperatives

To strengthen themselves and to serve their community better, cooperatives need to work together in every way practical. OSCA does this in part through its memberships in North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO), Campus Cooperative Development Corporation (CCDC) and the Federation of Ohio River Co-ops (FORC). We also try to keep close ties with other Oberlin co-ops such as the Bike Co-op and SWAP.

Political Nonpartisanship

Co-ops hold no general cooperative membership in any social, religious, or political organization, and promote religious and social tolerance. For OSCA this means that while individual co-op members are free to affiliate themselves with a particular political, religious or social organization, OSCA as a whole remains neutral.