Photos courtesy of UCD Student Housing



The Tri-Cooperatives (more commonly known as the Tri-Coops) are an on-campus student housing association providing affordable, cooperative housing to low-income students as well as students seeking housing that fosters educational and personal growth as instrumental components of safe and comfortable living. The community is comprised of three houses: Davis Student Co-op (DSC), Pierce, and Agrarian Effort (Ag), which regularly house 12-14 students during the academic year. The houses operate by consensus and collective action as independent entities as well as a community. Together, we stand by four community agreements:

1. At the Tri-Coops we are actively working to create a space where we feel physically and emotionally comfortable, respected, and safe from oppressive forces.

2. This is a learning space: We are working together to unlearn oppressive behaviors; we embrace some level of discomfort in this process but are creating a space for everyone to take initiative to learn.

3. We strive to improve our community and uphold the community agreements in the form of conversations, workshops, or community projects.

4. These community agreements are yours; re-agree upon them at the first Tri-Coop meeting of the year. Change and modify them as needed via the consensus process.

All this being said, the experience of living at the Tri-Cooperatives changes with each generation, shifts with each new quarter. Our community agreements are subject to change, but the basis of our community relies on acceptance rather than tolerance, as well as continuous communication and interest in living cooperatively. The expectations of communication and acceptance are meant to help us in unlearning our oppressive behaviors and foster community-building. 



Who lives here?

Individuals of diverse races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, gender identities, faiths, sexualities, survivor statuses, accessibility needs, and ages compose the population at the Coops, and we try to keep it as heterogeneous as possible. Although we do embrace some level of discomfort in unlearning oppressive behaviors (please see community agreements), we do not tolerate racism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, anti-Semitism, orientalism, ableism, sizeism, ageism, or cultural appropriation. 

We acknowledge that not everyone has been exposed to this terminology; however, we seek to cultivate a culture of self-education in this community. Additionally, not everyone has the same connotations with these terms and we encourage people to recognize the existence of multiple experiences.  Click links for various definitions of these terms:

cultural appropriation





multiple "isms"


Rent at the Tri-Coops varies from house to house but typically fluctuates between $440 and $470. This covers:

  • all utilities (internet, water, trash, electrical, etc.)

  • basic foods (veggies, spices, flour, rice, beans, milk, and miscellaneous)

  • cleaning supplies/household necessities (brooms, rags, soap, detergent, etc.)

  • garden supplies (shovels, rakes, seeds, etc.)

  • social fund (food for house dinners, party supplies)

Additionally, the houses have accumulated tools (wrenches, hammers, nails, etc.) and furniture, so incoming residents need not worry about having these things.

Information on our application process




1. Download the Tri-Coop application and send it to the individual house e-mails to which you would like to apply!

        -Tri-Coop Application 2015.docx

            Send to:


                 Agrarian Effort:


2. Schedule an interview with the individual houses through their e-mail and applicant chores

         Interviews are usually done during house meetings on Mondays starting at 8pm. They are about 20 minutes and are a great time to get to know the people within each house and for the houses to get to know you! If you are not in Davis we can do phone and/or Skype interviews. In order to be prepared for interviews please fill out the application and send it in before your scheduled interview so that coopers can read the application to be prepared. Also come with questions about coop living, concerns, intrigues, and honesty :)

3. Come by for dinners, parties and garden work parties!

         If you are in Davis and are able to come by, please do! It helps our applicant process to be able to meet you in person or hang out in a relaxed setting. We have communal/potluck dinners on Sundays through Thursday at 7. We have occasional parties and garden work parties every Friday starting at 2 until sundown. 

4. fill out an application form for student housing to be sent to

form_CoopApp for student housing.pdf

Check in with each house and their applicant chore to find out when you will hear back, it may be longer than a few days after the interview.

Also here is a resource for information about what a Safe Space is: Safe Space Guidelines.pdf




The gardens

The large Co-op community garden

The people

Thanksgiving 2012Thanksgiving 2008Thanksgiving 2007



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2007-11-02 11:31:30   I plan on updating this incredibly outdated page. -DSCr —DerekDowney

2008-03-17 23:08:18   there's lots of fresh, delicious looking red swiss chard growing on the bike path side of the garden right now. everytime i bike by i just want to sit down right there and have some greens. —MiranPark

2009-10-25 20:15:49   The WEF mailing list just sent out a letter stating that Student Housing wants to shut down one of the houses for budgetary reasons. The content of the letter can be read here. —EliseKane

2009-10-25 21:10:08   If the students who are living in a dormitory or co-op are the ones paying for it, how can something be closed for budgetary reasons? I know the dorms are in no way a good deal for students if you look at similar rooms or apartments in the area ( ), so unless UC Davis is paying extra to ostensibly show how environmentally-oriented the campus is, closing the co-ops for budgetary reason is utter nonsense. —hankim

I have been told by some (although I do not have first-hand knowledge of this) that student housing is a "revenue unit," a unit of student affairs that is intentionally run at a healthy profit margin to subsidize the rest of student affairs. If the tri-coops aren't that profitable for student housing to run, they may not want to deal with it.

That makes sense, although it sounds a bit cold coming from an organization that is supposed to be helping people. Anyway, apartment complexes in the area are charging a lot less while making enough profit to bother staying in business in the area so the profit margins coming from the dorms must be quite ridiculous (especially with a monopoly on freshmen). —hankim

I think you're assuming a much larger profit margin from the dorms than reality. As an aside, freshman can opt out of the dorms pretty easily. -ES

I do so because with how much one pays for a shared room, you could get your own room and still have money left over. —hankim

Right, but the situation is completely incomparable. Most apartment complexes have one or two people manning the 'office' and a couple handymen. Utilities and benefits are paid for by renters. The dorms on the other hand require a fleet of custodial workers, not to mention paid RA's and supervisors. Supplies (soap, paper towels, toilet paper, seat covers, etc) are required in massive bulk. Even resource usage is different (people have no qualms about running the AC 24/7 for months in the dorms, whereas they wouldn't want to pay that powerbill if they rented). etc, etc. There's a whole lot of factors involved just with budgeting (not even looking at convenience of living on campus or other relative value). In my opinion, simply looking at rent price versus room size cannot be a fair assessment at all. There's quite a big difference between apartment complexes and the dorms. And hey, it could surely go the other way, and despite the massive upkeep required by dorms, they might indeed still profit. But without really looking at the numbers.... -ES

I lived in Cuarto so the cleaning, toilet paper, and whatever else the other dorms offer the residents had to buy. I believe the price is the same though. Residential Advisers are paid with a free room and a meal plan I believe. The air conditioning also can only change the temperature a few degrees, and even running the air conditioner often in a larger three bedroom apartment might run about eighty dollars a month (and this is if you have the temperature set ten degrees lower than what you can in the dorms). And the only actual additional upkeep in non-suite dorms probably is cleaning the restrooms. —hankim

2009-10-25 21:56:44   This could be because it has a mandate to house more people than it did before. Or it could be that it wants to turn the co-ops into dorms that it gets more money from. Or both. —IDoNotExist

I wonder if students will get to see the benefits if the school is doing this because of the opportunity cost. —hankim

2015-05-19 00:46:52   I have a question about the ag effort! If someone could please reply to my comment as soon as possible that would be great! Thank you! —1975savannah