At Oberlin College, roughly 600 students out of the 3000 undergrad population eat in cooperatives. Each coop has between 40 and 120 people in it, all cooking and cleaning together to avoid the high costs of the ugly alternative: college dorms and poor dining hall food.
OSCA, the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, has been allowing students to work together for their food and living since 1949. While OSCA has made major leaps in progressive living and dining, accommodating everyone with no questions asked, some of our practices are archaic.
We've addressed several of these practices.
Food buying. Purchasing food in the coops takes an order of coordination unbeknownst even to the best of gmailers, and keeping track of the things that we need as well as the desires of ~100 people can be difficult. We've attempted to address this coordination issue by streamlining the communication process.
Saved Plates. Because of how we operate, the meal times are very strict. It's easy to miss a meal, but it's very difficult to get a plate saved for you. If you're running later than expected to a meal, you have to scramble to get ahold of someone in the kitchen. Or you could just do it on your phone.
Shift Replacement. Every one has to do hours. Sometimes people have to switch, and the practice right now involves long, tedious email threads to the entire coop. Our app aggregates this process.
Leftovers. Often there are foods left over after meals, and we're forced to throw them out due to Ohio health code. Our app provides a place for people in and out of the coops to see when leftovers are available.
Stevie Meals. The college offers members of the cooperatives (who choose not to be on an otherwise expensive college dining plan) one meal a week in their dining halls. However, many members may not use their meal, while others, such as athletes, might try and get as many extra meals as they can. Our app mediates exchange of these meals.