An Experiment in Student Cooperative Organizing: The CD 132 Experience

Marian Myrtle G. Onod

Abstract


This paper asserts that to sustain the gains of cooperatives and fulfil its role in the attainment of sustainable development goals, the incoming generation should be trained not only to develop the habit of saving through cooperatives, but also the in mechanics of cooperative organizing and management. By doing so, they will be won over to the cause of cooperatives and promote it as a viable agent of empowerment, inclusiveness, and sustainability. This is the rationale for laboratory cooperatives, particularly student cooperatives. Such is the vision when the CD 132 (Cooperatives Development and Management Class) of the Department of Community Development at MSU, Marawi City first launched the experiment on a cooperative enterprise in 2006. Almost a decade on, Community Development students look forward to the CD 132 experience. This paper traces this journey particularly noting the challenges which have both positive and negative impacts to what it is today. Key informant interviews among past and present student officers and volunteers, and the faculty organizer/adviser was the main data collection tool. Financial records, minutes of meetings, and similar documents were also examined. Among the key factors to its sustainability are cooperative education and transparency in financial operations. However, being students, they only have a short exposure with the cooperative enterprise which is among its biggest challenges. Findings suggest that the youth could be trained not only the value of savings and thrift, but also to finance, operate, and manage their own economic enterprises.


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