The Kupono Cooperative House was formed in September 1938 at 342 South 10th Street and consisted of five male Oregon State College students and the mother of three of them who acted as house mother and cook. The cooperative was formally established in the fall of 1939 and had 30 members during the 1939-1940 academic year. Kupono was the first cooperative established at Oregon State College. The name "Kupono" was selected from the Esperanto or universal language and means "dividends assured". A fixed amount was charged to each member per month for room and board with the understanding that whatever was remaining after all expenses were paid would be divided among the members. The house closed at the end of spring term in 1943, with the intent of re-opening after the war.
The Kupono Cooperative House Scrapbook documents the membership and activities of this housing cooperative for Oregon State College men students in 1939-1943, during the early years of World War II and the years immediately preceding the war. The scrapbook includes descriptions of activities, lists of members, newspaper clippings, ephemera, dance cards, and photographs. The newspaper clippings report on social events, intramurals, and honors and activities of members. Of special note is a written description and newspaper clipping about the April 1941 campus lecture by Bernard Squires, Executive Secretary of the Seattle Urban League, on Racial Minorities in the Colleges. Squires was a dinner guest at the Kupono House during his visit and "spoke of the race problem on our campus" with members.
The photographs depict exterior and interior views of the house, house members, activities and events, snow at the house, a "clothes heap" in the living room, and the members' mothers visiting for Mothers Weekend. A photograph of the residents playing cards was published in the 1941 Beaver yearbook and is available online in the Best of the Archives digital collection.
Restrictions on Access :
Collection is open for research.Preferred Citation :
Kupono Cooperative House Scrapbook, Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.
Related Materials :
The Archives holdings include several other collections documenting cooperative housing at Oregon State, including the Azalea House, Coed Cottage, and Co-Resident Women, Inc. Records. Records of the several other student housing organizations are part of the Archives, including the Associated Men's Halls Scrapbook, Cauthorn Club Records (RG 101), and Poling Hall Club Records (RG 036). The University Housing and Dining Services Records (RG 145) provide extensive information about student housing at Oregon State. The Oregon Multicultural Archives includes many collections pertaining to ethnic minority students at Oregon State and African Americans in Oregon, including the Urban League of Portland Records.