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Andres Castro Arms Co-op a good place to live?

NepalPrideNepalPride Registered User Posts: 30 New Member
I got an offer from them for the fall semester. Can you guys answer some questions?


Andres Castro Arms

1) Does anyone know what the reputation is for this co-op? Like is everyone into hippie stuff, alot of partying, or alot of drugs etc...

2) Is this co-op located in a safe neighborhood? I saw the google maps but it didn't really help much. It's close to campus, but I've only been to berkeley once so I don't really know if it's a safe neighborhood or not.

3) Would you ever consider living in this co-op? Is it a good deal? Is the price fair, is it a good environment to live?
Post edited by NepalPride on

Replies to: Andres Castro Arms Co-op a good place to live?

  • rahrah203rahrah203 Registered User Posts: 189 Junior Member
    dang good question! I am applying there tonight! Someone help us. haha
  • StrykurStrykur Registered User Posts: 1,759 Senior Member
    Andres Castro Arms is one of the more glamorous co-ops to live in, due to its great location on Southside within the Greeks, plus it has the best views of all the co-ops, as it resides higher up on the eastern hills of campus than the rest of the co-op houses. When I was living in Cloyne during the fall semester of 2008 prior to its renovation, and I had to decide what co-op I wanted to put highest on my preference list, I put Castro first without reservations. Because it's on an active street with multiple sororities and fraternities, it is not going to be a haven for dangerous activity. I would be happy as hell to be in Castro, as it's kind of exclusive compared to the other co-ops. It's not a crazy animal house like Cloyne, but will have a lot of older co-op members who have decided to live in Castro because it's one of the nicer houses.
  • NepalPrideNepalPride Registered User Posts: 30 New Member
    Thanks for the reply strykur. I have another general question though. I was reading through the contract and it says that the BSC has the right to move us to different co-ops at any time....so if I'm assigned to Castro right now, is there a chance that they will try to screw me over and send me to another co-op after they receive the signed contract and my money?
  • babydragonbabydragon User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 324 Member
    strykur:
    I will be going to live in Cloyne the following fall, and was wondering what to expect in terms of living conditions/ people/ food. Please tell me what were the positives and negatives and anything else you can share from your experience living there.
  • StrykurStrykur Registered User Posts: 1,759 Senior Member
    I have not heard of an instance whereby the BSC will send people out of their assigned co-ops and into other houses after the contracts are turned in. I think that clause is put into the contractual procedures in case some contigency arises with facilities, that warrant the transfer of BSC members from their assigned houses. It is improbable that the BSC will switch you out of Castro once you turn in your housing contract.
  • StrykurStrykur Registered User Posts: 1,759 Senior Member
    Well, it has been several years (I was there pre-renovation) since I have lived there, but I returned recently after graduation to visit (my sister currently lives there), and honestly it's still as much a lovable ****hole as it was when I was around (for 2 years, 2007 - 2009). The conditions of the rooms are usually decent, but can vary wildly because a semester-end houseshift option allows people to continually customize their rooms as they see fit; murals, paintings, interior decorating, all these things are allowed under the houseshift option for room members to customize their rooms. If you are an artist, you might this amusing. Maybe.

    Food can vary from tolerable to unacceptable. Because food preparation is done by the house members who do the kitchen workshifts, members will decide what other members want to eat. Pantry food and other stuffs are ordered through the main BSC kitchen, and therefore the ultimate decision on what food is brought into the house is made by the food manager/committee. You can have a say in what food you want in the pantry and fridge, and can also communicate with kitchen workshifters on what food you want for dinner. When I was there, I was often eating out for meals in restaurants on Euclide. If you are vegan or vegetarian, the Cloyne food will often be enjoyable, because all meals have to make accomodations for vegans and vegetarians. Since I am not a vegan or vegetarian, I was often eating food I did not enjoy very much.

    The noise level of the house will not necessarily be determined by location, but moreso by who is living where. When I was in Cloyne, the east wing of the house was always chaotic, because there are quad-rooms in that wing that tend to promote raucous activities. The central wing of the house has the highest concentration of rooms, so it will be active. The west wing (where I lived during my entire stay) is VERY quiet. There are some triples and doubles, but almost that entire wing is single rooms. Moreover, because the kitchen and viewing rooms are on the east wing of the house, most people will be over there during the course of the day (and night) for that matter. Also, a room facing the courtyard will be exposed to lots of of noise. A room facing LeRoy Avenue will be very quiet. Usually noise in the house will not die off until quiet hours (2AM - 8AM). Even then it will still be very active. From my perspective, the house was not extremely loud at any given time, except of course for parties. Cloyne is a very social co-op, and if you love a quiet residence, it will take some acclimation before it stops bothering you. Living on the east wing may suck (I know someone who lived right above the kitchen area, and being a Molecular and Cell Biology major, she obviously did not have the environment conducive to her studies, and moved out of Cloyne and into Hoyt).

    Living in Cloyne was one of the wildest times of my life, and after a while you will either love it more than anything else than you have seen or experienced in your life, or it will make you lose your mind. A common slang around the house is "Cloyne is Suck," which is a phrase that a disgruntled Korean foreign-student wrote on the walls of Cloyne sometime back in the late 1990s or early 2000s upon moving out, in obvious broken English. When going into Cloyne, the "BSC by-laws" are thrown out the window, and anything goes in this place, whether it be the house managers growing pot in their closets, or social managers embezzling house funds for coke binges (these have happened before). The house can consume 150 condoms a week, which are put outside the health manager's door for Clone "consumption."

    During my time at Cloyne, a former Clone sent a lengthy letter that was posted to the wall near the entrance to the dining room. It summarized up best what you will experience in Cloyne, which in paraphrase, said,

    "You will have some of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences of your life in Cloyne. Also, you will have the worst and most forgettable experiences of your life, IN CLOYNE.
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