History of CSCC
Como and 27th Avenues has been a site for University of Minnesota student-family housing since 1947. Quonset huts, barracks, and trailers were first constructed to meet the needs of WWII veterans returning to school under the newly created GI Bill. Known as Como Village, this complex served student-families until 1967 when it was torn down. The University then built Commonwealth Terrace on the St. Paul campus to house student-families. The Vietnam War was a turbulent time for university campuses across the nation, and was no different at the U of M. During this time period, students were successful in persuading the University to release the administration’s control of their living situation and give the opportunity to students to manage CTC, and the ongoing experiment of housing cooperatives at the U of M was born.
It quickly became apparent that the demand for housing outweighed the availability on campus. In 1975, the University built additional student-family housing at Como and 27th Avenues. When residents first moved in, the University gave the residents the choice to be managed by CTC or to develop a separate cooperative. Student-residents once again chose to manage their own living conditions and Como Student Community Cooperative (CSCC) was born.
The University retains ownership of the buildings and grounds but the cooperative, a legal corporate entity in the State of Minnesota, is responsible for the management of the complex. Student-families agree to a specific rotating task at the cooperative, and many residents volunteer their time on various committees and on the board of directors. There is paid management staff to manage the day to day activities of the cooperative.
CSCC has continued its student-family led initiatives throughout its history. In 1998, the University discontinued its U-buses on Como Avenue routes without input from CSCC or students who lived in the southeast neighborhood. The CSCC Board of Directors were relentless in their pursuit for public transportation for their residents, that did not burden them financially. After months of negotiations, the university proposed a pass, in partnership with MetroTransit, that students could travel anywhere on MetroTransit buses for $28/semester. Thus, the U-Pass was born, and was managed out of the CSCC office for our residents and those in the southeast neighborhood. It has since developed into the U-Pass that all students, staff, and faculty can enjoy.
In 2000, through a grass-roots campaign, CSCC went cold turkey! A non-smoking policy was established that smoking anywhere on the grounds was not allowed. If residents desire to smoke, they must go off the CSCC grounds to do so. The University, including the other family housing cooperative, has yet to make the change to be completely smoke-free.