Co-op Principles

Where do cooperative principles come from?

Cooperatives began in 1854 with the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, a group of English textile workers who formed a shop to purchase goods they normally couldn’t afford. The group had collective power to purchase goods and market them wholesale to their members and within a decade they gained a reputation for selling fine products and the cooperative movement had expanded dramatically. Today, the modern cooperative movement still uses these original principles.

Photograph of the 13 original Rochdale Pioneers (all white men)

The ICC as a student housing cooperative organization, abides by the following principles of cooperation modeled after Rochdale Society of equitable pioneers:

Rochdale Cooperative Principles

  • Voluntary and Open membership
  • Democratic Member Control
  • Member Economic Participation
  • Autonomy & Independence
  • Education, Training and Information
  • Co-operation among Co-operatives
  • Concern for Community

ICC Cooperative Principles

  • Open Membership
  • Democratic Participation
  • Neutrality
  • Limited Interest on Invested Capital
  • Distribution of Economic Result
  • Education
  • Mutual Cooperation
  • Continuous Expansion