MOSAIC interests community-minded students

Amanda Laabs

It’s not easy finding dinner for $2.50.

Still, some Evanston residents accomplish that three times a week if they’re a part of MOSAIC co-op’s meal plan.

MOSAIC co-op is a group of 18 Northwestern students and college graduates who seek to live in a strong community while focusing on sustainable living, members said.

Evanston community members can attend group-wide, home-cooked, vegetarian/vegan dinners every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday night at one of the MOSAIC houses on the corner of Sherman Avenue and Foster Street. MOSAIC members pay $100 a month for food, whereas community members pay $2.50 when they attend.

But on Sunday, food was free.

The housing cooperative held a free brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its house for any students interested in living there or joining the group’s non-residential meal plan.

The meal, which was entirely vegetarian with a vegan option, was organized collectively by a group of six or seven members and was home-cooked by members of the co-op. Interested students dined on tofu scramble and vegan blueberry pancakes served on mismatched dinnerware.

The brunch has been held for the past couple of years in order to give interested students an idea of how the house works.

The co-op is currently accepting applications on a rolling basis for the 2009-10 school year; the group welcomes students and non-students. Members are looking to add between 10 and 13 members to their two separate houses, one located at 2000 Sherman Ave., and the other located at 906 Hamlin Ave.. The houses collectively contain 14 singles and four doubles, and if there’s enough interest, the application mentions the possibility of a third house.

“We’re looking for anyone who’s interested in what we’re doing here,” said NU graduate student and co-op member Christine Dumoulin.

MOSAIC seeks to develop a strong, welcoming community through “creative, conscious, sustainable living,” according to its Web site.

This sense of community drew SESP junior and co-op member Faith McAuliffe to the group last year. She said she wanted to live off campus but had no time for an apartment search. After hearing about the group in a class, McAuliffe attended the brunch and said she decided she wanted to apply.

“It’s such a welcoming haven,” McAuliffe said. “It’s a place where I feel I can be more like myself.”

The members of the co-op do nearly everything collectively, McAuliffe said. Every member is assigned chores each week, and they meet every Sunday night to discuss various matters ranging from dishes to new policies to party planning.

The group also remains environmentally conscious by buying organic foods, shopping with reusable bags, buying in bulk and composting.

Weinberg freshman Kristen Radtke attended the brunch after hearing about the co-op from a friend and reading about it online. Though she described the food as “delicious,” she liked the sense of community in the house most of all.

“Everyone here is really encouraging,” she said. “I really feel like they’re my kind of folk.”

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