“A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.” – International Co-operative Alliance 1995.


Voluntary and open membership
All students, in the case of this co-op, regardless of qualifiers must have the ability to become a member in the co-op.

Democratic member control
The ultimate authority over the co-op rests in the democratic hands of the membership, through a system of one-member onevote.

Member Economic Participation
Members must equitably contribute to the capital of the co-op, which they then control democratically. This is normally transferred as membership dues.

Autonomy and Independence
The members and the members representatives alone control and direct the co-op, no other influence is comparable. When entering into agreements, it is with the consent of the membership, and those agreements can never seed control over the co-op to another party.

Education, training and information
The co-op should provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and staff, so they can contribute to the development of the co-op. Informative orientations and training for new participants are crucial in this area.

Co-operation among cooperatives
Co-ops are most effective when they are working and relying on one-another. There are numerous regional, provincial, national and international organizations of co-ops that are all working together for mutual benefit.

Concern for the Community
Co-op members recognize that their co-op operates as part of the larger economic, social and environmental framework that affects peoples day-to-day lives in their community.