Re: Question about "dining clubs"
From: Muriel Kranowski (
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 18:45:40 -0700 (PDT)
I've been following this discussion with great interest. I think that common meals are a unique situation within any cohousing community, and therefore I don't think you can draw a meaningful analogy (actual or theoretical) between dining clubs and other private groupings that may arise.

For example, if the really good table table players in my community created an invitation-only league that met once a week in the CH rec room, the mediocre players might be irritated, but it seems only fair to let a few members enjoy the game at their higher level of play once a week even if that lowers the level of available competition for the others, and in any case this activity is not the bedrock of the community.

But common meals are really important in cohousing. The only other truly unifying and distinctive cohousing activity I can think of is governance, to the extent that people choose to (or are obliged to) participate in it, and I guess workshare but that isn't necessarily done as a group.

This being the case, the question stands: Is it right and even necessary for cohousing communities to discourage or try to restrict private eating groups?

Is it right only if the private groups appear to hurt the common meals program? Or is it enough if the excluded argue that it's bad for the community, as has been expressed in this thread?

What about the needs and desires of individual community members to enjoy a more intimate and peaceful dining experience with a small group with whom they can connect deeply - can't cohousing have room for that as well as the y'all come common meals model? There's no good substitute for that experience, just as there's no good analogy for the competition this creates with common meals.

    seeing both sides and still not sure, at Shadowlake Village, Blacksburg

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