So the Synergy house website provides a pretty detailed account of the history of the co-op. Interestingly, the concept of the co-op seems to owe its origins to the ambitions of several students, as well as the capitalist philosophies of Leland Stanford. Sen. Stanford’s idea that “cooperatives” allowed workers to “organize, operate, and own their own industries” translated into the 1891 establishment of the Stanford University Cooperative Association, which functioned as the university’s first bookstore. During WWII, the co-op philosophy extended into student housing, when the Walter Thompson Co-op became the first housing cooperative. Before this, the house served as the campus’s Japanese House, and following the bombing of
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