Category: cooperative living

Consensus is a decision making process designed to bring together the views of all of the members of the group.Consensus does not require everyone to agree on everything, but it does require a common goal and a willingness to work together !

According to wikipedia majority rules works better for larger groups and consensus works better for smaller groups.  Maybe wikipedia is saying this because majority rules might leave some people slighted or out of out of the loop. Consensus isdesigned to involve everyone in the group playing a role in the decision making.

coolest consensus fact: the popularity of consensus decision-making in U.S. culture dates from the women’s liberation movement!!!!!

Also, Quakers are the oldest practitioners of western consensus.

A group of female AIDS activists hold a banner reading “WHAM! Women’s Health Care is Political” at a United For AIDS Action demonstration in Times Square in New York City, circa 1992. 50,000 people turned out for the event.



Hey everyone!  This is Jenny, posting from my new collective house in West Philly.  I wanted to share with you a crappy NYTimes article that was written about collective living and features my house.  Several of my housemates participated in a long and thoughtful interview with a reporter to explain why we wanted to live in a space that was actively anti-oppression, the most important reason being our physical safety (we are two POC, two trans people, lots o’ queers and ladies, etc).  Unfortunately the reporter took a very condescending attitude towards our politics in the article.  You can read the original here, a response about anti-abelism here, and my housemate Emili’s experience at the end of this Philebrity post.  In response to the article, Emili is planning a book about collective living and why/how we resist oppression in our environment.   When the call for submissions goes out, I’ll make sure to send a copy to Batten– I know you all would have a lot of awesome things to say.

Hope everyone is well! I miss Batten like crazy.  All  my best ❤

How Green Is the College? Time the Showers.

David Maxwell for the New York Time

The New York Times has a great article about a new eco-house at Oberlin called SEED (Student Experiment in Ecological Design). There are some pretty interesting ideas mentioned, including shower timers (and water-saving competitions); re-using water in toilets; study parties; and thermostat monitoring. Check out the video on SEED here!

Here’s some pictures from the Batten Library!  About half of the house-owned material has been cataloged on-line ( with even more on the way!


Now that the excitement of Hell Week is past and the work that piled up while you were having so much fun is sardonically laughing at you from your desk, I guess there’s not too much time to write on the blog!

Luckily for you all, I have no such woes, so here I go.

First off, I’m coming to visit PA (take 2) this coming weekend and I’m going to be in Bryn Mawr on Friday for a sleep over!! So I hope that you all plan somethin’ real special for me.

Secondly, I thought I would share a few tidbits I’ve learned from living at Debs Co-op.
1) Rice vinegar, when added to frying tofu, makes the tofu firmer.
2) You can freeze earth balance, so next time you go to Whole Foods get a shit ton and stick it in the freezer = less shopping trips to WF!
3) Shortening should be stored at room temperature, not in the fridge.
4) Getting huge cans of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes is a great investment and allows for delicious Italian food etc. all winter long!
5) Batten is the freakin’ sweetest place to live and is far superior for many many reasons! (including our huge ass rooms, the soy milk maker, local produce shopping, beyond amazing cooking, and how super clean we keep the place)  I miss you all!!!!