University Centers Advisory Board voted to remove the cost of Che Cafe repairs from next year’s budget in a special meeting on Friday, May 23. Whether or not the Che Cafe Cooperative will be able to operate out of the facility without the fire marshal-mandated repairs — including renovating the restrooms and adding a fire alarm and sprinklers system — remains to be determined.
Several safety hazards were noted in a 2010 report by the UCSD fire marshal. UCAB argued that these repairs are mandated and that the Che Cafe Cooperative can operate out of Porter’s Pub until the repairs are completed. However, members of the Che Cafe Cooperative contest that the repairs are recommended and that it is University Centers’ obligation to complete them. Ultimately, the co-operative believes that UCAB is using these repairs as an excuse to “get rid of” the Che Cafe.
During Friday’s meeting, UCAB went into executive session, prohibiting members of the public from hearing the discussion leading to their decision. Prior to executive session UCAB allowed the public, limited to UCSD students and alumni, to speak for 20 minutes.
After roughly an hour of deliberation, the UCAB motion to remove Che repairs from the budget was passed by a 9 to 4 vote. Although the motion was passed, administrators will make the final decision.
Additionally, a motion to create a committee to discuss all options concerning the Che Cafe’s future by June 3 was also passed with an almost unanimous vote count. Additionally, the budget itself was passed by a vote of 11 to 1, with 2 members of UCAB abstaining.
According to A.S. Council proxy Jesse Qin, the relocation of the Che Cafe is temporary.
“The whole plan is that the Che Cafe will temporarily be relocated until there is enough money to deal with the maintenance of it,” Qin said.
Former A.S. proxy JJ Ma said the redaction of the Che Cafe is to augment the UCAB reserves.
“I think the ultimate goal is to build up those reserves again,” Ma said. “I figure that the temporary relocation is just for this next fiscal year.”
According to Che Cafe principal member Davide Carpano, even one year away from the venue has implications for the co-operative’s ability to do business.
“Once a place where shows exist closes for a year, you lose your contacts and volunteers, and your community gets destroyed,” Carpano said. “Even if they were to give the funding back, which I don’t think they will, you lose that.”
Carpano also mentioned that the Che Cafe Cooperative was expecting this vote and that his strategy from now on will focus on why they should remain in the Che Cafe building.
“Our resources have mainly been pertaining to the budget and why we should remain in the budget,” Carpano said. “Now the resources will shift gears to focus on why the documents are showing us why we don’t need to leave the space.”
Che Cafe Cooperative’s legal counsel Andrea Carter said that the co-operative may take legal action if the university does not allow them to occupy the Che Cafe facility.