The "Purpose of Purposes" for which OSCA was formed
To establish an organization to promote and develop cooperative living at Oberlin College in accordance with the Rochdale Cooperative principles so long as such activity is not inconsistent with the fundamental principles and policies of Oberlin College.
To purchase, lease, enter into contractual arrangements with Oberlin College and/or others, or otherwise acquiring facilities for housing and feeding student members attending Oberlin College and to furnish such facilities to student members at actual cost.
To buy and otherwise acquire food and other supplies for the rooming, dining, living and studying of student members attending Oberlin College to be sold to them at actual cost.
To borrow money and issue, sell, or pledge bonds, promissory notes, or debentures, payable at specified times or payable upon the happening of a specified event or events secured by mortgage, pledge, or otherwise to accomplish the purposes aforesaid.
To arrange and provide for the social and cultural enrichment of its members at actual cost.
And, in general, to do all things necessary or incidental to fully accomplish the foregoing purposes.
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.
Membership in OSCA is voluntary. Members change each year, and membership is based on the lottery system, rather than seniority.
Each member has one vote. All elections and meetings are open to all members and all decisions are accountable to them.
In OSCA, our decisions are made collectively and openly. All of our members are each 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 principal does not apply to us because OSCA has 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.
In OSCA, members are constantly educating ourselves at all levels.
Cooperation among Cooperatives
In order to strengthen themselves to serve their communities better, cooperatives need to work together in every way practical.
To that end, OSCA is a member of the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO), the Campus Cooperative Development Corp (CCDC) and the Federation of Ohio River Co-ops (FORC). We also keep close ties with other Oberlin co-ops such as the Bike Co-op and SWAP.
Co-ops hold no general cooperative membership in any social, religious, or political organization, and should promote religious and social tolerance.
To that end, while co-op members are free to affiliate themselves with a particular political, religious or social organization, OSCA as a whole remains neutral.