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 . 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 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;
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.