How often are meetings and when are they?
House meetings are typically held once a week after a house dinner.
All members are encouraged to participate in at least 1 committee meeting monthly. Committee meetings, times, and frequencies vary depending upon committee charter.
Finally, all members must attend a monthly General Assembly (GA) where members from every house and all board members meet.
How are members held accountable for household chores?
Each house has a different system for holding people accountable. One standard practice is for each household member to give a check-in during house weekly meetings. The check-in includes cooking shifts completed, meetings attended, and explanation of household chores completed.
What kind of events does BCL do?
BCL puts on a variety of events, such as poetry readings, workshops, parties, community and house movie nights, and BCL community potlucks.
What if I can't make it to every house dinner?
Dinners are a great way to catch up with your housemates, but if you can't be there, don't sweat it. You can ask your housemates to make a save-a-plate for you to eat whenever you come home.
What should I know about parking at my house?
We don't have assigned parking or passes. If you have a car you'll be parking at your house, you should get with your house membership coordinator within the first couple of days to make sure it's on the house list and to be sure we have enough house parking or neighborhood parking passes for all house members. Parking is likely to be tight, so please be communicative. If you rarely use your car, it may also make sense for you to park in one of the neighborhood street spots. We buy spots as a house for the year.
What should I know upon my first arrival at my house?
Let your house membership coordinator know when you'll be getting in or post your arrival time in your house Slack channel.
One of your housemates will meet you. Each house has a keypad lock, and your housemates will give you the code upon arrival.,
On your arrival day someone will meet you to get you your room key, give you a house tour, and sign off on the last few pieces of move-in paperwork.
Is there a member orientation or what more should I know about being a member of BCL?
Each year in August or early September, BCL devotes a General Assembly to member orientation where important information is given, questions answered, and introductions to other members happen.
What about food?
The house purchases most food for household dinners, breakfast items, and things such as coffee. We do not purchase meats or alcohol out of the house food budget.
There are fridges devoted to house food, and others designated for personal food items. It's always a good idea to label all food with the date prepared, what it is, and any allergens it may contain. If it's a personal item, put your name on it and the date it was placed in the fridge.
Fridges are cleaned and purged of old food items regularly.
How do we communicate?
Probably one of the most important methods of communications is via our Slack channels. There's a common room for all members and channels for each house, committee, and other special interest rooms.
We also hold weekly house meetings and monthly General Assemblies.
Finally, talking to your housemates is a great way to communicate, as well as to get to know other members.
What about house cooperative dinners?
Everybody in each house cooks for their house once a week typically with at least one other partner. Dinner times vary by house and take place in one of the common rooms, dinning room, or outside.
During the summer, schedules tend to be really hectic, so houses tend to do a week-by-week signup system. In general, folks are expected to spend about 2 hours cooking, an hour for clean-up, and to make enough food to have some leftovers, Dinners during summer and holidays are small.
You will work with your housemates to determine a schedule for cooking, as well as performing other household chores.
How does mail work?
Typically each household has a housemate responsible for getting in all mail and packages. Mail and packages are then sorted into house mailboxes. If you're missing a package, look for it in one of the common rooms. Packages also may mysteriously appear at the door to your room.
What about pets?
Each house determines the household pet policy, total number of pets for the house, and determine the type and number of pets for an individual member. We also keep in mind that other household members may have pet allergies and phobias. So, you make be asked to keep your pet(s) in your room.
You are responsible for your pet(s). So be mindful of their messes.
Do we receive a welcome kit?
Each year, new and returning members of each household receive a welcome message in email. This should include all important information you need to get settled into your new home.
Where can I find other important information?
Look at the "Members" section of the BCL website for important information on organizational, committee and household calendars, links to download Slack, Zoom, Google Drive and Google Calendar.
How do I pay my rent and when is it due?
Member cost of living (rent) is due on the 15th of each month. A grace period of 7 days is given before a late payment fee is accessed. Work with your house teasurer if you encounter a situation where your rent may be late.
Your cost of living goes toward member fees, food, and house utilities. BCL cost of living can be paid online via Apartments.com. Automatic electronic check drafts are free. However, you may pay be debit or credit card with a fee accessed.
What about email?
BCL uses Google Workspace for non-profits. Access to Google Drive and Calendars is based on your email address. Changes to Workspaces coming October 1, 2021, will require members to have e GMail/Google account or a BCL email address. Contact Wil (with one L) or Jasper on Slack to update to a Gmail account or BCL organizational email account.
The changes to Google access will make BCL and your information more secure.
What is BCL's smoking policy?
For the courtesy of all members, smoking inside all cooperative houses is prohibited. Outside smoking policy varies based on house, but a good rule is to do it away from doors and open windows,
What utilities are included? How do I access the Internet?
Your monthly cost of living fee goes towards all common utilities, including electric, water, sewage, gas, waste disposal, and recycling.
Internet and WiFi access is also provided. See your house membership coordinator or another housemate for access point names and passwords.