Question about "dining clubs"
From: Rod Lambert (
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2013 09:56:38 -0700 (PDT)
Yes, some good points you've added and I think it's important to not lose sight of one of the things that Sharon asked. Should exclusive dining clubs be just/mostly in people's houses or should they be in the Common House? As a personal opinion, I feel that "a sense of belonging" is at the heart of what our community is about and those things that detract from it should be managed thoughtfully especially if it's in the Common House. It would be unthinkable to exclude someone from joining our table at a Common House meal for instance. It's certainly true here that when someone loses their sense of belonging, becoming detached and rarely seen, it's usually not long before their house goes up for sale.

EcoVillage at Ithaca, NY

On 9/18/2013 6:16 AM, cohousing-l-request [at] wrote:
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 21:45:27 -0400
From: Muriel Kranowski<murielk [at]>
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Question about "dining clubs"
To: Cohousing-L<cohousing-l [at]>
Message-ID:< [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed

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

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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