The Inter-Cooperative Council at the University of Michigan (ICC)
is a student owned and operated housing cooperative
serving students and community members in Ann Arbor, Michigan
. The ICC is an active member of NASCO
The ICC currently owns 19 houses around the Central and North Campuses of the University of Michigan
. The houses are primarily named after past co-opers and are often known locally by the honoree's last name (e.g. Karl D. Gregory House goes by simply 'Gregory').
The two North Campus houses exist in one large, purpose-built structure and are known as:
- Georgia O'Keeffe
- Note: A third North Campus house, M.C. Escher, exists and serves as a governing body for the two houses and is responsible for areas shared by both houses (hallways, exteriors, etc...).
In response to the harsh economic times imposed by the Great Depression
, members of the Socialist Club
at the University of Michigan
founded the Michigan Socialist House
, located at 335 East Ann Street
, in 1932
. In return for four to five hours of work and two dollars each week, each of the 18 founding members received room, board, barber, canning, and laundry service. The success of the Michigan Socialist House
fueled other cooperative endeavors by the Socialist Club
, the most notable being the Michigan Cooperative Boarding House, later to be renamed the Michigan Wolverine Eating Co-op. The Michigan Wolverine Eating Co-op would later play a vital role in the expansion of the cooperative movement on campus. By serving as a common ground for members of the Socialist Club and the Student Christian Association, which owned the building at the time, the Wolverine Eating Co-op introduced the idea of housing cooperatives to many within the religious community.
The second wave of student cooperative houses was formally initiated in 1934 through the efforts of the Reverend and Mrs. H. L. Pickerill. The Pickerills welcomed students to live in their house in exchange for performing household chores. By 1936 there were a total of eight students living in the Pickerills' attic who, with the help of a $700 loan from the Reverend, rented a house on Thompson Street naming it the Student Cooperative House and, later, Rochdale House. Because the women who often visited the Rochdale Co-op were in a similar economic position to their male counterparts and the University did not allow for males and females to cohabitate, they began to look for a house of their own. A house at 517 East Ann Street was rented and ran smoothly as the Girls' Cooperative House until 1939 when it was forced to move to 1511 Washtenaw Street , adopting the new name, the Alice Freeman Palmer House, named after prominent women's educational rights activist Alice Freeman Palmer.
In 1937, adhering to the Rochdale Principles of cooperation among cooperatives and continuing education, the four existing student cooperatives, the Michigan Socialist House, the Michigan Wolverine Eating Co-op, the Rochdale cooperative House and the yet to be renamed Girls' Cooperative House joined together to form the Campus Cooperative Council. This organization later became known as the Inter-Cooperative Council and, in 1939, submitted a draft of its first constitution to be adopted and ratified by each of the cooperatives on campus. The increased economy, efficiency, and publicity gained through the establishment of the Inter-Cooperative Council facilitated the establishment of many more student cooperatives on Campus. This expansion reached its peak prior to the outbreak of World War II when the ICC consisted of 12 independent rooming and boarding houses. All of the organization's houses were rented until 1943 when Stevens House was purchased.
The ICC hired its first paid executive director, Luther Buchele, in 1951, although some students felt having paid leadership was at odds with cooperative values.
In accordance with the second Rochdale principle
, democratic member control, ultimate authority in the organization lies with the Board of Directors.
Board of directors
The Board of Directors includes one voting representative from each house (including Escher), the chairpersons of standing committees (non-voting), and the General Manager (non-voting).
Each board member must serve on a committee. The committees are:
- Diversity Committee (DivCom)
- Membership Committee (MemCom)
- Recruitment Committee (ReCo)
- Education Committee (EdCom)
- Finance Committee (FinCom)
- Development Committee (Devo)
- Maintenance Committee (Maintenance)
The chairs of each committee, the ICC president, and the General Manager sit on another committee that helps to coordinate the efforts of all the other committees and the board of directors. This committee is known as the Coordinating Committee (CoCo).
Mericle, Amy, Suzanne Wilson, and James Jones. In Our Own Hands: A History of Student Housing Cooperatives at the University of Michigan
. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-Cooperative Council, 1994. ISBN 0-9639935-1-8