OFFICIAL: UCAB voted us out of the budget today (5/23). But by no means is this struggle over! Please continue to sign and share this, our struggle moves forward.
The Che is still open, booking shows, and generally existing. The fight to save our space has just begun!
https://www.facebook.com/savetheche for updates and info!
We, the undersigned of this petition, request that the University Centers Advisory Board, (UCAB) Board vote NO on the current budget proposal on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, from 2:00-3:30pm at the Earl Warren Room in Price Center West, which would cut necessary expenses for the Che Cafe space to remain open and operating.
We ask that that proposal be voted down and that any repairs that would be absolutely necessary to keep the Che Cafe Facility open for operation, or that the University is already obligated to perform pursuant the Master Space Agreement lease, be approved.
At a minimum, we would ask this vote be tabled until the overall budget vote occurs and gets revised because as currently written it is a proposal which would force the shutdown of the Che Cafe space permanently.
We additionally propose that:
1) A detailed and an itemized list of what repairs are necessary and the legal justifications for them (fire code sections, ADA laws etc) to keep the space operational be provided;
2) A specific timeline and plan for renovations and all long term maintenance (referenced in the Budget Summary) is produced and consented upon by all the parties involved;
3) That the Che Cafe will remain in its space and operating until renovations are funded for and are set to begin;
4) That the University recognize the profound cultural and historical significance of the Che Cafe, and commit itself to preserving the space;
5) That the Master Space Agreement be renegotiated and renewed with all the cooperatives before moving ahead with the repairs.
The proposal to relocate the Che Cafe was given without underlying proof and documentation that the space is unsafe. The University, though asked, has yet to provide any timeline relating to relocation, renovations and return to the facility. The repairs cited have been in their current condition without any health and safety incident for years, with the University never mentioning it until now as a reason to shut down even after the 2010 Facilities Report.
We were not notified of this vote, or the fact that we would not be included in the budget until a week ago, and have had very little time to perform outreach. Our goal is to convince UCAB to vote to keep the Che in the budget. We believe there are many other alternatives and more favorable solutions that have not been considered, aside from the current proposal.
We also believe the University cannot disaffirm these necessary repairs cited, because it already is under a prior agreement to maintain the facility pursuant the Master Space Agreement and doing so would mean violating and breaching that agreement.
UCAB and the University administration were aware of the conditions for at least the last four years, since the 2010 facilities report and have budgeted nothing towards these priority occupancy-related, and ADA repairs in the last five years or more. They have also specifically prohibited the Che Cafe from raising their own funds to cover these repairs, including a grant which was awarded by the Student Sustainability Collective for a fire suppression system in the kitchen.
We regard the Che Cafe as a historic and cultural treasure integral to what makes UCSD special, a safe space for all-ages venue, that is financially sustainable, independent, student and community run, committed to diversity, arts, culture and education. A space of this caliber should not be shut down and uprooted in this manner.
The entire University Centers budget is millions of dollars with many other expenses, projects and reserves that are not as critical as the Che Cafe at issue and should be put on the chopping block before it. Nor have other expenditures been deferred for over four years or more. The amount budgeted and spent last year on computers and office furnishings was $2,785,455! Part of that budget should have been better prioritized and allocated to Che Cafe’s critical and overdue deferred maintenance that would allow a culturally and historically iconic space and student center stay operating.
There are many alternatives to closing down the Che Cafe and relocating its operations to other non-exclusively used spaces on campus with bars that are not all ages accessible or that would require the Che Cafe to pay for security at every foregoing event or result in other changed terms, additional costs to The Che Cafe Collective or lost revenues from the loss of kitchen facilities and it being in a different space and location. The University or UCAB has not provided any viable alternatives including a comparable space that would not undermine the essential role and functions of the Che Cafe or simply create immense hardship in booking and hosting music shows as a transient in others’ spaces and subject to their existing calendars.
We are asking that some of these very reasonable alternatives be seriously considered in good faith. We are certain that with all the brains, money, resources, capacity, talent and connections at this University, we can find a way to prevent this valuable and enriching space from closing.
We request your support in signing this petition, circulating it to the community in support of keeping Che Cafe’s facility on campus. We also request your attendance to the UCAB meeting on Tuesday, May 13, from 2:00-3:30pm at the Earl Warren Room in Price Center West.