Ché Café Media Advisory
On Wednesday, November 19, UCSD administrators decided to seek a writ of possession to enforce an earlier unlawful detainer judgment and evict the Ché Café Cooperative and any students from the café space it has continuously occupied for over 34 years. Despite a resolution by the UCSD Associated Students Council (AS) asking the Chancellor to not proceed with posting a 5-day notice to vacate, and 14,000-signature petitions and open letters demanding that UCSD stop the eviction actions against the Ché Café, delivered to the Chancellor earlier this month, action by the administration to evict the Ché Café continues rather than negotiations for a new lease agreement with the Co-op.
When the new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Juan Gonzalez, addressed the UCSD Associated Students Council (AS) on November 5, he told them that the eviction would go forward because the administration had no choice because the court has a concern about the “safety” of the building.
The issue of “safety” was not raised in the eviction trial and was not the basis for the court ruling. The administration has not cited any specific legal code to support its public claims of a “safety” problem at the Ché building. The Fire Marshall did the annual Ché Café building inspection on April 17, 2014 and wrote up his findings that the building is safe.
UCSD Public Records officials said on November 20 that there is no Fire Marshal Report from the April 17, 2014 inspection of the Ché facility that was performed by the Fire Marshal under the supervision of University Center Assistant Facility Director, John Payne. Ché Café members were at the UCSD public records office earlier this week to pay for the copies of a large release of UCSD records regarding the Café.
They say the official told them almost all of the records were ready to hand over, with the exception of the 2014 Fire Marshall’s report, which she was still “working on”. The Ché members say the official had the Fire Marshall’s report up on her computer screen, and that they should have taken a picture of the screen when they saw it!
In Payne’s email to the Ché after the inspection he stated:
I wanted to Thank you for all your efforts in keeping the Ché Café 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 1 minor item in the Darkstar [non-Ché] space the facility is looking good in terms of safety. He will return annually to inspect the facility based on my conversation with him this morning. Once again thank you for all your efforts in keeping a safe facility.
All other documents the University is relying upon as to safety and necessary maintenance upgrades are from 2012 or earlier and have been contested and challenged by independently hired engineers and experts.
The Co-ops were hopeful when UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla sat to meet with faculty, expecting negotiations may be moving forward. Some members of the faculty have publicly warned that using the UC Police Department to force students out of the Ché Café could result in violence.
All that was offered from the administration was that the University’s deferred maintenance on the Ché Café could possibly be funded through a student fee referendum that would also mainly include funding for the University Center’s buildings and programs which are also running huge deficits and in crisis. This is an unreasonable and non-concrete proposal and offer.
CHE Café members and supporters are urging everyone to make phone calls or send emails to faculty and alumni you may know as well as to Chancellor Khosla, Vice Chancellor Gonzales, Legal Counsel Daniel Park’s office
The Ché Café remains flexible and open as to a range of possible solutions that would allow it to continue leasing and operating in the facility. Some alternatives might include allowing the Cooperative to fundraise money and contract for any necessary repairs or safety issues. It could include allowing the space to be shared and co-funded with other entities such as the Craft Center that have been shut down and left empty for the same reason.
It could involve the University borrowing or using other funds to start any maintenance which is shown to be immediately necessary. So far, the University has not asserted any safety issue concern is an actual legal or lease violation. The building has never been “red tagged” (as uninhabitable) and the Co-op’s insurance policy remains in full effect.
Despite adding so much value to the University and the overall San Diego community the Café receives no student fee money for events and costs the University virtually nothing for its programming and is self-sustaining, unlike most University programming. All the University was obligated to pay for under the lease was building and structural maintenance. The University has spent very little over the past 34 years to maintain the structure and now it is attempting to punish and evict the Co-op as a result of its deferral of that structural maintenance.
The 4 UCSD student co-ops were owed several lease extensions but UCSD staff and administrators avoided, stalled and misled students into thinking they were safe under the existing lease and could not be given notice while lease modifications were being negotiated. Now the University has terminated the Ché lease and seeks a forcible eviction.
Ché Café members and supporters are urging everyone to make phone calls or send emails to faculty and alumni you may know as well as to Chancellor Khosla, Vice Chancellor Gonzales, Legal Counsel Daniel Park’s office and urge the administration to:
- stop the eviction
- stop the false statements and justifications about “safety” issues with the building when the building is perfectly approved and insured to be in operation;
- stop threatening students with the use of armed UC police officers and forcible removal from the student fee-funded Ché Café building
- return to the bargaining table and sign new lease agreements with the Ché, the 3 other student-run campus cooperatives, and the Craft Center.
To read comments from supporters, show your support, and/or donate to the Ché, please visit:
MUSIC, ART, AND A SMALL PART OF THE CHE’s LEGACY:
A short list of national and international indie acts who played the Ché 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 Ché include:
Album Leaf, Antioch Arrow, Aspects of Physics, Crossed Out, Clikatat 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.