Self-managed, affordable, not-for-profit, diverse, communal student living
STUCCO is the student co-operative for full time students at the University of Sydney. Run by its residents, STUCCO embraces a rich diversity of cultures and beliefs, and gives residents the opportunity to actively participate in a communal way of living. No particular skills are required, just a keen interest and enthusiasm, and a desire to be involved in cooperative living. We are virtually the only Sydney University accommodation directed towards low to moderate income earners, and STUCCO is a non-profit organisation, meaning that the main consideration is to meet the needs of its members.
STUCCO encourages diversity amongst its applicants. STUCCO strives to create a safe space free from discrimination on any basis, including but not limited to, background, age, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or religious beliefs.
Cooperatives are people centred organisations
Co-operatives are people centred organisations – they are owned, controlled and used by their members. Co-operative members work together to meet their social, economic and other needs in a democratic and empowering way. Co-operatives are about working together, about defying an individualistic focus and living communally to best meet the needs of all. Funds raised by a co-operative are used for mutual, not individual benefit.
Co-operative communities are based on the values of democracy, self-responsibility, support, autonomy, honesty, solidarity, equality, openness, social responsibility, equity, and caring for others.
An alternative way of living
The STUCCO environment is very relaxed and open, and sometimes it can feel that you don’t just share a unit with 3 or 4 other people, but you share a home with 37 others. It offers an alternative way of living, not being involved in the usual profit driven landlord/tenant situation but allowing you to take an active role in the running and the future of the cooperative. To the right person it can be a chance to develop some very useful skills, be they administrative, organisational, practical, interpersonal, technological or other! As a STUCCO member you will meet a wide variety of people and have a great time in the process.
A Brief History
In the 1920s, the Australian government began putting emphasis on the manufacturing industry, in order to provide new jobs for Australia’s increasingly urban population. The Seagerts Glass Factory was built in the 1920s as part of this new orientation of the economy. Four terrace houses were destroyed to create a glass factory, which would supply glass and jobs to the growing city of Sydney.
In the late 1970s the Seagerts Glass Factory closed. Around the same time there was a growing movement calling for more affordable housing. In the 1980s the late Col James, a lecturer in Architecture at Sydney University and a tireless housing activist, searched along with his students for possibilities around the University for creating affordable solutions for student housing. As the manufacturing trades moved out of the inner city area, many warehouses lay dormant and unused and these became a a focus of their investigation.
Under the then Greiner Goverment, it was a dark time to be pushing for these community initiatives, and it took a concerted outcry about funding to housing, which had been much depleted over the years, before things got underway. After years of lobbying and maintaining energy for STUCCO, the project was finally approved by the Department of Housing and funded by both the Department and Sydney University. The factory was converted into student housing with the design help of members of the Architecture Faculty at the University.
STUCCO opened its doors in July 1991. The longevity, viability and success of STUCCO as a co-operative run by students is something that members past and present are very proud of!