Re: FW: Do you have TV in the common house?
From: Lon Goldstein (
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 12:36:02 -0700 (MST)
Our community, Wild Sage cohousing is still in planning stages, but this was a very charged issue for some people to the point that it would influence their desire to be in the community. So we spent a number of meetings and had an ad hoc committee of those most concerned about it work on a policy that was presented to the community at large. We came to consensus on the initial TV policy as a community after some difficult discussions.

The question of whether and under what circumstances children may watch this TV in the common house is still the most charged part of the discussion and it is still under research by a new committee. We will work on that decision some time in the future.

The main points of the agreement are that we don't want TV watching to be an ongoing focus of common house activities. The main push for TV is for the community building aspects of watching movies or events together as groups of adults, and to share resources among those people who would forgo their own TV and use the common TV for the occasional times they want to use a TV.

Again, we are not yet living together, so I think it will be interesting to see how it all plays out in actual practice.
best of luck,
Lon Goldstein
Wild Sage Cohousing

Proposed Wild Sage Cohousing Common House TV Policy:
*************** Part 1: Statement of Purpose ***************
The central purpose of having a TV in the common house is to
facilitate the building of community among the adults of Wild Sage
Co-housing. A central aspect to the vision of this policy is that a
common house TV is not intended for children. It is also envisioned
that having a TV in the common house supports our value of sharing
resources. The common house TV is mainly intended to bring the adults
of our community together, and therefore restrictions may be placed
on when and how children may watch. Viewing of the TV is not intended
to be for daily or spontaneous viewing. Finally, it is the intention
that the use of the TV must be in cooperation with other activities
in the common house.
*********** Part 2: Rules/Guidelines for having a TV in the Common
House ***********
Note: TV viewing is defined as anything appearing on a TV screen,
such as TV programs, movies, or sporting events, regardless of their
1. The TV room shall be located in a non-central place in the common
house away from any children's space. It shall be sound-proof enough
to create minimal noise disturbance in other parts of the common
2. The TV shall be locked away in a cabinet or closet so that it is
visible only during TV viewing times. The keys for the TV shall only
be held by those people on the TV committee. The TV Committee will
create a process for retrieval and return of the key.
*3. [See below. The TV committee would like to solicit input from
the community on this point.]
4. The TV Committee (yet to be formed) is responsible for posting the
hours during which TV viewing is allowed. Requests for viewing
outside of these hours should be submitted to the TV Committee
(procedure yet to be determined). Official community business should
always take precedence over TV viewing in the event of a conflict for
space our resources..
5. TV viewing in the common house is intended to be an occasional
event. Three events per week is envisaged as a guideline. An event
is defined as the length of a movie, program or sports event.
Concerns and issues regarding frequency of use, or conflicts with
other activities will be addressed by the TV Committee.
6. This policy should be posted near the TV room so it may be read by everyone.
To be opened for discussion among general community at next meeting:
Point #3: Use of Common House TV by children.
Question: Under what circumstances should children be allowed to
watch the TV in the common house?
3 possible answers in the range of answers would be:
1. Never. Children may not watch TV in the common house ever.
2. Only when parent or parent-appointed adult is accompanying the child.
3. At any time. It is OK for kids to watch the TV set even if unsupervised.
We wanted to especially hear from more parents in the community on
what they feel should be the policy around this issue.

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