Special

Neville Co-op

FAST FACTS:

Location: 617 Neville St., at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Neville Street

Style(s) of housing: Apartments

Size: 22 residents

Building retention: Yes

Kitchens: In each apartment

Lounges: One common basement, four living rooms

The Neville Co-op is a living community through the Carnegie Mellon housing system comprised of eight apartments that feature a mix of double and single bedrooms. Every apartment is connected to one other apartment, which means the four large living rooms in the building are each associated with one pair of apartments. All apartments in the co-op are fully furnished and include a kitchen and bathroom.

Founded by student activists in 2003 as a center for students interested in sustainable living, civil equality, and social progress, the Neville Co-op is a democratic living community. It has no resident assistants, only liaisons to the Housing and Student Life offices who help the Co-op solve housing problems. This independence is a mixed blessing for the co-op’s residents: While they are encouraged to be self-motivated, the lack of cohesiveness that can result leads to a space that is often unkempt and somewhat disorganized.

While the rent for the co-op is comparable to other on-campus apartments, residents are allowed to stay through the summer at no extra cost and can sublet if they are not in Pittsburgh for the summer months. Residents do have to pay a membership fee, which provides each apartment with an Internet connection and free laundry in the basement — with a year-long supply of environmentally friendly laundry detergent, light bulbs, and toilet paper. Additionally, the basement is a common space that students use for dinners, leisure, storage, and meetings.

Residents of the co-op must apply for admission and are encouraged to participate in the varied events hosted by the current members of the co-op that are held during the Room Selection period.

Once students are interviewed and selected to live in the apartment complex, they will find a community of students active in a variety of student organizations. When it was founded in 2003, the co-op was created based on the tenets of sustainability and environmental awareness, activism, and equality in race, gender, and sexuality.