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New co-op society aims “to improve students’ lives.”

The committee of the new cooperative society Credit: Harry Williamson

A group of Stirling students have outlined their aims to improve student life in Stirling through their new society.

The Cooperative Society was passed by the CZEC on Wednesday and the first committee meeting took place that night.

The society’s constitution outlines its aims as encouraging establishment of student-owned co-operative ventures, develop members’ skills related to running a cooperative venture and ensuring that the Rochdale Principles (set of ideals for the operation of cooperatives) and direct democracy are followed within these ventures.

The chairperson and co-founder of the society is first year history student Cian Ireland, who said:

“We are hoping to develop and build a democratic organisation through which students can empower themselves and have better job prospects, better housing, better banks, better rights, and have a better place to live in general.”

Co-op Society Chair Cian Ireland Credit: Harry Williamson

Ireland said that he was inspired to set up the society after reading online and visiting Edinburgh’s student housing cooperative.

“It was a really transformative experience,” he said.

 

“I was able to see what an incredible opportunity it was to set it up. It highlights the opportunity we have to improve students lives in general here [in Stirling] with these types of ventures.”

Ireland has expectations that the society will be successful.

“It has a great deal of appeal with students who want to empower themselves and make things better.”

He added that the society was open to members from across the political spectrum.

“I am hoping that we can can get members from across all political parties and backgrounds, left, right and centre to non-partisan organisations.”

“We just want people generally interested in making things better regardless of what your opinions are.”

“It should be cooperative, everyone helping each other to improve things.”

The society have expressed their willingness to work with the local community, by contacting local councillors and other outside organisations.

The committee plans to visit the Edinburgh students’ cooperative later this year for an insight and training as to how a cooperative is operated.

Vice President Communities Jamie Grant commented on the new society, saying:

“It’s great to see another society join the clubs and socs community. Cooperatives are democratic and member focused – just like the union.”

He added that there are definitely positive relations to be made with the co-op society.

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