In 1950, Dexter Ferry gave the college $200,000 to build a new cooperative house. Mr. Ferry, whose sisters donated money to build Alumnae House, made the gift “in grateful appreciation of all Vassar has done for the Ferry family.” The building was designed by Marcel Breuer and opened as a cooperative student residence in the fall of 1951.
Today, Ferry House is a close-knit community of 20 students. Ferry residents all have different majors, political beliefs, opinions, tastes, and sleeping habits, but they are committed to sustainable and environmentally aware cooperative living. Ferry is an egalitarian household where all house decisions are reached through a consensus process. Managerial responsibilities are distributed amongst the house in the form of 20-semester long-jobs. There are no elected positions or authorities within the house, and everyone’s opinions are considered equal. All Ferry House members gather at a weekly meeting to discuss upcoming house events, issues, and the overall direction of the household.
First-year students may apply to be residents during but not prior to the first semester.
The Community House Co-Op
The Community House Co-Op is a 10-person living unit located in a new TH block that opened in the spring semester of 2009. The Community House serves students who value diversity and are committed to living, working, and playing cooperatively. The house is dynamic, constantly changing along with the interests and personalities of its current members.
The Vassar Experimental Garden (VEG)
The Vassar Experimental Garden (VEG) was started in March 2009 by a group of students interested in learning to grow their own food and share gardening skills and information. The VEG was organized through the Cooperative Living Extension of the Office of Residential Life and is designed as a cooperative for students and non-students within the Vassar Community. Anyone interested in learning to garden, share garden skills, or just take a peek at what’s growing is invited to stop by.