Fairchild—more commonly referred to as “Fairkid”—is a dining-only OSCA cooperative in the basement of Fairchild Hall, (a campus dorm unaffiliated with the co-op). Fairkid is one of the most centrally located co-ops, which is close to the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies and the Oberlin Conservatory.
Fairkid is one of the smaller co-ops on campus, with approximately 55 people each semester, who share a tight-knit community filled with supportive, generous and conscientious students. Fairchild is known for its careful attention to where food comes from, what the consumption of that food does to society, and how food affects the people who eat it. When Fairkid was opened in 1977, it became the first “all natural” co-op with vegetarian options at every meal. Fairkid bases its food-policy decisions on supporting farms with fair labor practices, environmental consciousness, and other core values. Being one of the vegetarian co-ops, Fairkid never has meat, although they can choose to buy dairy and eggs if the membership decides. Most of the meals themselves are vegan, with dairy available for individual consumption. Because of their attention to food justice, Fairkid is often a place where students with various dietary restrictions, from veganism to gluten intolerance, feel most comfortable dining. Fairchildren and non-Fairchildren alike have described the food as innovative, vegan-tastic and awesome.
Fairkid’s mascot is a goat (or “kid”), and members spend their days coming up with goat-related co-op puns. Fairkid is known for traditions such as costume contests on halloween, reading notes of appreciation for each other during meals, making up songs for themed nights, and “secret goat” gift exchanges during winter holidays. Due to the Co-op’s small size, members often form close friendships, and love to have co-op parties, plan fun themed special meals, and decorate the Co-op. Due to unjust labor practices, Fairkid has been “banana free since 1983,” a practice now shared by all of OSCA.
Fairkid is one of the co-ops with a traditional dining room, which means that a majority of co-opers eat meals all together. This means that discussions are able to run smoother and creates a sense of unity. One of the three dining co-ops that new students are permitted to dine in without living there, Fairkid is known as an extremely welcoming community of people who care greatly about their co-op.
— Francesca Krihely, Charlie Thompson ‘19 and Maia Ross Trupin ‘18