Each of our houses is run democratically, and we all contribute our own labor in order to keep our housing costs affordable. We collectively share responsibilities for household chores and administrative tasks involved in running the co-op, and we make house decisions by consensus.
As a housing co-op, we place great value on community. We share communal meals each night, and we have weekly house meetings. We throw parties, open mic nights, documentary/movie screenings and other community events. We eat together, relax together and support one another.
Perhaps most importantly, we are committed to fun and inspiration. We paint. We build. We sing and dance together. We watch movies together. We ask about each others' days and really care about the answer. All of this is what makes the co-op not just a place to live, but a home.
Between our three houses, BCL consists of about 50 people. Roughly a third of our members work around town, a third are graduate students, and a third are undergraduates. However, we do not discriminate based on student status. We have an open membership policy: anyone who can commit to the expectations of membership is eligible to join the co-op.
At its core, BCL is all about community. We have communal meals, house meetings, and co-op events. We hang out together and support one another.
The co-op is a place where countless people have made lifelong friends. We strive to make the co-op more than just a place to eat and sleep.
Many members are drawn to BCL because it offers a space for “living consciously.” This means different things to different people, but in general, we strive to be intentional in how we relate to one another and to the world around us.
We work to be mindful of each other’s needs. We also challenge each other to recognize the social, environmental, economic, and political consequences of how we choose to live.
Additionally, as an organization committed to creating a living environment that is safe and nourishing for everyone, we strive to implement social safety practices within the co-op. We do not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, or classism, and we do our absolute best to make the co-op a space free from discrimination and oppression.
Each house in the co-op serves as a community space. We often host our own events, ranging from community potlucks to parties to Goodlawn's famous open mic nights!
We also share our resources in support of progressive endeavors outside of the co-op. Each Sunday afternoon, Middle Earth lends its kitchen to the grassroots food aid organization Food Not Bombs, who prepare a hot meal to share in a public park.
Additionally, the co-op has provided meeting space for anarchist anti police brutality group Students Against State Violence. The houses also host workshops, with topics ranging from building free libraries to dumpster diving. The co-op has hosted events, meetings, documentary screenings, and get-togethers for a number of groups over the years.