Friday, January 30, 2015

C.H.E. Collective proposed amendment of AS Committee report

ASUCSD Recommendation Pertaining to the C.H.E. Cafe Collective based upon the report of the ASUCSD Ad Hoc Special Committee to investigate the Status of the C.H.E. Cafe Collective and C.H.E. Facility


WHEREAS, the ASUCSD Ad Hoc Special Committee (hereafter referred to as the Committee) was created until the end of the 2014-2015 academic year "to investigate the status of the C.H.E. Cafe Collective and the C.H.E. Facility” and to "provide weekly reports" and to issue a "final report";

WHEREAS, AS Council passed a resolution calling upon the University to temporarily refrain from immediate action to ensure that the voice of the undergraduate students and the undergraduate student government would be a part of the conversation before final decisions regarding the C.H.E. were reached by the administration;

WHEREAS, Vice Chancellor Gonzalez agreed to wait and rely on the input of student government and give deference to the reports and recommendations of the AS;

WHEREAS, the continued operation and lease of the C.H.E. Café space to the nonprofit cooperative, the C.H.E. Café, has drawn out more student and public comment than any other issue in the history of the AS;

WHEREAS, the C.H.E. Café space is not only of recognized historical and artistic significance, it is a world-renowned feature of the campus and is documented to have attracted countless student enrollments and alumni giving;  

WHEREAS, the C.H.E. Café as a student cooperative, is well-documented as a phenomenal practicum tool in student learning;

WHEREAS the worker cooperative model used by the C.H.E. is heralded nationally as well as internally via the Beyster Institute's and the Rady School of Management's own programming and annual conferences supporting employee management and ownership business models and succession planning for businesses to those ends;

WHEREAS, the Cooperatives and particularly the C.H.E. Café is a well-known and highly used space, haven, healthy student center for minority and marginalized students who feel excluded by the existing programming and spaces offered by University Centers. In the past six months alone the C.H.E. has hosted Teaching Assistants' office hours, and lunch meetings of student, alumni and campus unions groups, as well as student workshops on sustainability and food ecology;

Whereas the C.H.E. Cafe has provided the student body with over 100 live musical performances in the last year alone, with discounts for students, as well as free wireless Internet and healthy, inexpensive food;

WHEREAS, the C.H.E. Café is financially self sustaining and actually pays rent to the University, costing the University nothing but having to maintain the major structural aspects of the building and minor overhead or security costs that are outside of the control of the C.H.E. Café due to the University’s own regulations;

WHEREAS, the University administration and Regents have never given proof or documentation that the C.H.E. Café is legally out of compliance by Fire Code or building standards (to the contrary they compliment the C.H.E. on passing the most recent fire inspection), which has been adopted as the University’s legal regulations;

WHEREAS, the University administration has never offered any factual or legal basis for any safety violation which would require the C.H.E. Café to shut down or cease programming;

WHEREAS, the University administration, finding no actual legal or safety violation upon which to justify declaring the C.H.E. Café unsafe for operation or terminating the lease on safety grounds, decided to terminate the lease on still-contested grounds, giving no official reason except that it was on recommendation of a UCSD Graduate Students Association (GSA) resolution which campus counsel helped to draft;

WHEREAS, repairs and upgrades would be great but are not necessary for the C.H.E. Café to continue to operate and be legally safe;

WHEREAS, the C.H.E. facility is safe under California law for occupancy in the assembly room up to 170 people and the courtyard up to 49 people, as is posted at the site as required by law and as has clearly been stated by the UCSD Fire Marshall, AVC Gary Ratcliff, and VC Juan Gonzalez in private meetings;
WHEREAS, it is the UC system-wide policy, as adopted by the UC Office of the President, that the state Fire Code is the policy of the University (see http://www.ucop.edu/construction-services/facilities-manual/volume-3/vol-3-chapter-4.html#4-1) . The state code was amended to follow the 2003 amendment of the International Code Council's model code. That amendment requires NEW buildings similar to the C.H.E. Cafe facility, and which have occupancy loads of 100 people or more, to have an automatic fire sprinkler system. The change was that the occupancy load was previously set at 300 people or more. (See  http://media.iccsafe.org/news/eNews/073008/codeupdate.html). It is this new code change which the Campus Fire Marshal cited in his 2012 report. He failed to explain that elsewhere in the new code sections,  all EXISTING buildings of the type of the C.H.E. Cafe facility are exempted from any requirement of retrofitting to install these automatic fire sprinkler systems. (See California Fire Code Chapters 9 and 11, Section 903.2 and Section 1103.5 at http://www.ecodes.biz/ecodes_support/Free_Resources/2013California/13Fire/13Fire_main.html);
WHEREAS, UC policy makes the legal standard of fire safety in California the standard of fire safety on all UC campuses. It is UC policy that the C.H.E. facility is safe for programming;

WHEREAS, UC policy does not enable administrators to set arbitrary, unspecified, additional standards for facilities under their jurisdiction;

WHEREAS, the C.H.E. Café also carries liability insurance and is willing to undergo other measures and assurances to relieve the University and Regents of any liability for any safety issues of reasonable concern;

WHEREAS, the prior GSA resolution decertifying the C.H.E. Café, which was heavily influenced by campus counsel and the administration, was passed before a full opportunity to examine the facts and hear from the cooperatives and other students;

WHEREAS, the University still seems unwilling to engage in good faith settlement negotiations or prioritize repairs or upgrades which it alone has the responsibility for but has willfully and negligently deferred for decades;

WHEREAS, in the absence of a lease agreement there is no clear agreement as to rent or other obligations of the C.H.E. Café nor the University except what is enforced in the University’s arbitrary or wholly discretionary mandates, which will most likely provoke conflict and violence (using armed officers to forcibly evict people is a violent act);

WHEREAS, the C.H.E. Café has cured all defaults of the Master Space Agreement (MSA) lease alleged by the University and been very cooperative and forthcoming in working with the AS and the Ad Hoc Committee;

WHEREAS, the C.H.E. Cafe Collective wants the university administration to vacate their eviction lawsuit, withdraw the notice of termination of the lease, and to allow the C.H.E. the full use and enjoyment of the facility in the usual and customary manner that the C.H.E. has enjoyed said space safely for the past 35 years. In return, the C.H.E. pledges to work in good faith with the AS and the GSA and the administration both to work out a mutually agreeable (and fundable) schedule for undertaking building repairs and safety improvements and to develop a framework that maximizes the student and educational benefits derived from the C.H.E. Cafe facility space;
WHEREAS, the UCSD administration has asserted that a number of substantial building repairs and renovations are necessary at the C.H.E. Cafe facility and both the estimated costs and the necessity of these are questioned or disputed by the C.H.E. Cafe Collective (and distinguished from normal maintenance, repairs and preservation);

WHEREAS, the C.H.E. Cafe Collective has requested Dispute Resolution regarding these and other issues, on May 20, 2014, and reiterated a request for lease renewal and renegotiation at that time, per the provisions of the co-ops Master Space Agreement, to which the ASUCSD is a party;

WHEREAS, given the complex history of the MSA -- and of the previous Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) -- as documents reflecting the many conflicts and the hard negotiations for compromises between the UCSD administration and students, the administration was wrong to issue a notice of termination of the lease, without both the AS and the GSA agreeing and telling the administration to do it, in writing. The administration was wrong to ignore the Dispute Resolution procedure required by the MSA. It was inconsistent with the UC San Diego Principles of Community that the administration chose to issue the notice of termination of the lease on June 13, 2014, while many students and faculty members were leaving for the summer break;

WHEREAS, it is UCSD policy, consistent with UC-wide policy regarding self-assessed student fees and facilities funded with those fees, that the University Centers Advisory Board (UCAB) has jurisdiction on the allocation of space to student organizations and others, in the University Centers facilities, which include the C.H.E. Cafe facility. It was wrong for the administration to bypass UCAB's jurisdiction on space allocation by filing the eviction lawsuit. The administration was wrong to ignore the Dispute Resolution procedure required by the MSA. It was inconsistent with the UC San Diego Principles of Community that the administration chose to file the eviction lawsuit (unlawful detainer) in August of 2014, while many students and faculty members were gone for the summer break;
WHEREAS, the C.H.E. Cafe Collective has filed an appeal of the court decision in the unlawful detainer case, and to restore some stability and normality to the relationships pending the outcome of the appellate process (and/or the negotiation of a new lease), the parties have the option of acting as though the MSA lease is still in effect and following it. It has always (previously) been the position of the administration and all parties to the MSA that lack of a two-year extension of the lease resulted in holdover status, month-to-month, with ALL of the other terms of the lease in full effect;
WHEREAS C.H.E. Cafe Collective has submitted a Settlement Proposal, as a possible framework for negotiations with the administration;
WHEREAS, the ASUCSD calls on the university administration to withdraw their eviction lawsuit, withdraw the notice of termination of the lease, and to allow the C.H.E. the full use and enjoyment of the facility in the usual and customary manner that the C.H.E. has enjoyed said space for the past 35 years;

THEREFORE, this committee hereby recommends adoption of the following proposal, as a resolution of the AS Council:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that, with the expressed purpose of maximizing student input and involvement in decisions regarding the future of the C.H.E. Facility, which has been historically funded and maintained through student fees and through the revenues independently generated by the co-op, this committee recommends that the university administration resumes lease negotiations with the C.H.E. Cafe Collective. These lease negotiations will be framed within the following conditions:

The Settlement Proposal presented by the C.H.E. Cafe Collective shall be the basis for discussions;
the C.H.E. Cafe Collective agrees to maintain and publicize its publicly available policy, by which they are accessible to other student organizations booking the C.H.E. facility for no cost;
AS is a party to these negotiations;
Funding avenues will be opened to include allocations from the UCEN budget should UCAB find it appropriate, as well as grants from groups affiliated and not affiliated with UCSD; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, AS Council requests that Facility, Design, and Construction will prioritize the issuance of a report on the facility, to provide AS, GSA, and UCAB with more information pertaining to the repairs and maintenance and preservation that are necessary or recommended to the facility, citing the specific state code or other legal authority for any required work, itemizing all estimated costs including specific materials and labor expenses, and detailing timeline options (with minimum and maximum possible range of time for each type of repair or maintenance or preservation work), and detailing options for minimizing the costs for said work; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, AS Council requests that the fire marshal issue a proper written report for the April 17, 2014 inspection following which University Centers Associate Director John Payne wrote to the C.H.E. Cafe Collective that " I wanted to Thank you for all your efforts in keeping the Che Cafe facility safe. The Fire Marshal was extremely pleased at all the efforts that have been made and has signed off on the inspection. Other than 1minor item in the Darkstar space the facility is looking good in terms of fire safety. He will return annually to inspect the facility based on my conversation with him this morning."; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that, AS Council by its formation of the committee and by its approval of this report  and of these proposals has affirmed that students should play a vital part in decisions regarding facilities historically funded through student fees.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Help us at the AS meeting!

Are you a UCSD student? Do you love the C.H.E. Cafe and want to help us out? Come to the Associated Students meeting next Wednesday at 6:00 pm and tell them how important the C.H.E. is to you! It's on the 4th floor of the Price Center, in the Forum. Thanks!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

SAVE THE CHE BENEFIT NIGHT AT TIGER! TIGER! TOMORROW!!!

https://www.facebook.com/events/635925469857645/

Monday, November 17, 2014 at Tiger!Tiger!
3025 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104

.DJ Rob Crow (Pinback)
.DJ Justin Pearson (Swing Kids/The Locust)

-Art & Photo Auction

-Special screening of "It's Gonna Blow!" a documentary on the San Diego music scene from 1986-1996
http://billingsgate.org/sdmusicdoc/


There will be food/beverages for sale from Anthem Vegan! Menu posted above!


****Families Welcome! Kid-friendly Activities!****

Space opens at 5:00 p.m. Event starts at 6:00 p.m.
Suggested donation: $5.00
-------------------------------------------------
UCSD's attempted eviction is not the end of this battle.
Organizing continues.
Legal actions continue.

Direct action and mobilizations continue.

More information about the C.H.E. & how to help:
www.facebook.com/savetheche



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

SAVE THE CHE RALLY: THE CHE CHATS WITH THE CHANCELLOR

You upset about the UC ruling to evict the Che?
Well you should be. The time to be pissed is NOW.

Feel helpless? Feel like the fight is over? 
FUCK THAT.
THE CHE CAFE COLLECTIVE DOESNT MOURN, IT ORGANIZES. 

Wondering how to help? Wondering how you can do something? 
THE TIME TO ACT UP IS NOW.

On Tuesday, Oct 28th, we are going to meet at the Che and rally. The UC says the students dont support the Che, we are going to show them otherwise. We are going to meet with the chancellor and show him our petitions of support, we have over 10,000 signed names! 

Our plan is to march through campus and outreach to the school, show them our rage, and end at the chancellors office for the petition sharing.

This is the beginning of a larger attack on the co-ops. We can't let the UC dismantle all the student run co-ops. We have to rise up, we have to act up.

ALL POWER TO THE CO OPS

We ask everyone to bring your own signs and banners, and music and noise makers. Let's bring the ruckus.

DIRECT ACTION GETS THE GOODS.

In Solidarity,
The Che Cafe Collective

THIS EVENT IS HAPPENING AT 10 a.m.
on TUESDAY, Oct. 28th
We are meeting at the Ché Café Collective

October 22nd Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 22, 2014



MEDIA ADVISORY

SAN DIEGO – On Tuesday, October 21, 2014, at approximately 10:00 a.m., San Diego Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal issued a ruling in favor of UCSD in the eviction lawsuit filed by the Regents of the University of California/UCSD at the behest of a select core of administrators (“Administration”) against the C.H.E. Café Collective over the use of the iconic 34-year old, vegan, student-controlled venue and creative space, the C.H.E. Café.

Upholding the Collective’s main legal theory, Judge Bacal rejected the Administration's claim that the dispute resolution provisions of the lease did not apply to the termination at issue in this case. However, she also found there was insufficient evidence that a formal request for dispute resolution had been made by the Collective, thus permitting the Administration to terminate the lease at will. Yet, the Administration had acknowledged a request for dispute resolution had been made but had argued it was mooted by a previous lawsuit filed by the Collective that was later dismissed.  In addition, the Collective was reassured in various conversations that it was protected by a ‘holdover status’ provision in the lease and that it did not need to worry about an eviction. Completely disregarding these earlier reassurances, the University filed its eviction lawsuit and argued in court that dispute resolution was never formally requested by the Collective.  Ignoring the true facts and history of negotiations, the Administration was able to convince the Judge that the formal requirements for invoking dispute resolution had not been followed by the Collective, and the Court ultimately held that thus the Administration had a right to terminate the lease with the Collective.    

"I am glad the judge sided with our position that the dispute resolution provision portion of the lease applied to this termination," stated Bryan Pease, attorney for the Collective. "I am just a bit perplexed that the basis for ruling in favor of the University was lack of evidence that dispute resolution had been requested, when there was evidence before the Court that it had been, and when both parties addressed it in closing arguments. The University misled its own students throughout the last several years by consistently asserting that dispute resolution did not apply, and that the Collective did not need to formally request dispute resolution as part of the lease terms. Unfortunately, apparently applying the same tactics, the University was able to convince the Court that it had the right to evict the Collective at will.”  

The Collective and its supporters are disappointed by the ruling which upholds the Administration’s unfounded attack on the San Diego artistic landmark, but vow to continue to maintain its existence and legacy.  Preparation for a possible appeal of the ruling and other legal action will continue. Organizing protest activity and lobbying will also continue. The C.H.E. Cafe and supporters believe the the student government councils and boards will do the right thing, once the true facts and history are laid bare. Likewise we believe that the Academic Senate and the State Legislature will be strongly opposed to the UCSD Administration's abuse of power, once they are fully familiar with the facts.

The Collective and its current supporters renew their request that the Administration return to the negotiating table toward a mutually-beneficial resolution to this dispute. The Collective invites any and all supporters to join it in DEMANDING that the Administration to cease its attack and roll back the eviction process. We note that this is not the first time that the UCSD Co-ops have been threatened with completely unjustified evictions. On more than one occasion students have been compelled to physically occupy and sit-in at the Co-ops to block eviction attempts by the University.
 
To read comments from supporters, show your support, and/or donate to the C.H.E., please visit:

[FURTHER INFORMATION AND BACKGROUND]

BACKGROUND 
·         The C.H.E. Café (originally “Cheap Healthy Eats”), founded in 1980, is a student-run, cooperative, vegan café, venue, and creative space, hosting hundreds of independent artists and musicians over its 34-year history.  It is one of 4 student cooperatives on the campus of UCSD.
·         UCSD’s Administration, ignoring the rights of students to control student fee-funded spaces, filed a lawsuit in court to evict the Café. The Administration’s bias against cooperatives, misunderstanding of the C.H.E. Café, and failure/refusal to work with students underlies its legal actions to force the Collective out of the student fee-funded space, despite years of good faith efforts by the Collective to comply with every directive of the Administration. The Collective has requested dispute resolution and negotiations with the Administration but has been rebuffed.
·         The Collective is asking the Administration to come back to the negotiating table and stop the expensive student/public fee-funded legal offensive against the space. 
·         The Collective requests the help of the public at large and the San Diego art and music community to save the space and ensure that it is recognized and appreciated for the place it has in San Diego and UCSD history. 

EVICTION LAWSUIT

Despite receiving hundreds of emails, calls, and letters of support from UCSD students, alumni, faculty, staff, organized labor, and community members, as well as petitions signed by over 14,000 supporters following its Notice of Termination against the Collective, the Administration opted to use student and public funds to hurriedly evict the Collective in court. The lawsuit followed the Administration’s rejection of several good faith attempts by the collective to negotiate the issues and a proposed resolution.

The Administration argues that the 2006 Space Agreement between UCSD and the UCSD student/worker cooperatives, including the C.H.E., should be ignored. The agreement was intended to last through 2016, when the parties could then re-negotiate it. Instead, in late May when students were leaving for the summer, the University, along with members of the UCSD Graduate Student Association (“GSA”), secretly pushed through a flawed resolution "decertifying" the Collective, so the University could bypass the agreement. 

It is estimated that UCSD has spent at least $76,000 in public and student funds on its high-paid outside attorneys, including the firm Kimball, Tirey, and St. John, who was recently replaced by the firm of Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP (“Paul, Plevin”). Paul, Plevin specializes in the aggressive defense of employers when sued by workers over discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and wage & hour claims.

The attempted eviction is the latest in the ongoing historical attack on the Collective by the Administration, which not only refused to meet with students to discuss any issues related to the Café, but actively interfered with the C.H.E.’s ability to operate as a café, including blocking a $35,000 grant to the CH.E. by another student organization and cutting off the gas lines at the Café so it could no longer cook and sell food (a large part of its revenue). Despite these attacks, the Collective repeatedly requested meetings with the University administrators, but the Administration continued to ignore and/or rebuff attempts to work together. 

The C.H.E. filed its own action against the University to challenge the alleged GSA decertification and is considering other legal actions.  Meanwhile, the C.H.E. continues to operate as it has since 1980, as a student-controlled, democratically-run space on campus for students to have a safe and alcohol-free atmosphere for entertainment and meetings.

Several fundraisers and other events have been planned, with more information to be released. Supporters continue to join the cause, not the least due to the hundreds of iconic artists and musicians who have been hosted over the years, including those listed below. 

MUSIC, ART, AND A SMALL PART OF THE C.H.E.’s LEGACY:

A short list of national and international indie acts who played the C.H.E. includes:
At the Drive-In, Blonde Redhead, Black Dice, Blink 182, Botch, Bright Eyes, Citizen Fish, Billy Corgan, Chumbawamba, the Descendents, Deerhoof, Dum Dum Girls, Green Day, Hella, Inside Out, Jawbreaker, Jets to Brazil, Jimmy Eat World, Lightning Bolt, Los Crudos, Mike Watt, No Age, Pennywise, Rise Against, Sleep, Subhumans, The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Get Up Kids, The (international) Noise Conspiracy, and Unwound, among many, many others.

A few of San Diego’s seminal artists that have been hosted by the C.H.E. include:
Album LeafAntioch Arrow, Aspects of Physics, Crossed Out, Clikitat Ikatowi, Crash Worship, Rob Crow, Diatribe, Drive Like Jehu, Gogogo Airheart,Heavy Vegetable, Heroin, Physics, Pinback, Pitchfork, Patricia Rincon Dance Collective, Rocket from the Crypt, Struggle, Swing Kids, Retox, The Black Heart Procession, The Locust, Three Mile Pilot, Mario Torero, and Weatherbox, among several others.