Dining services drafts coffee-shop plan

    UCSD Housing and Dining Services has drafted a preliminary agreement allowing the Graduate Student Association to operate a student-run coffeehouse in the new east campus graduate housing facility without paying rent for the retail space, utilities or other maintenance costs.

    “The graduate students already pay for the construction of the building through their rent, so we shouldn’t be charged any additional costs,” said GSA Vice President Internal Dana Dahlstrom.

    The coffeehouse will be a non-profit, self-sustaining operation run by students and will provide a community space for the future residents of the housing facility, Dahlstrom said.

    H&DS Director Mark P. Cunningham initially drafted the Memorandum of Understanding for the enterprise, but worked with the GSA in the drafting of the agreement before it was finalized by the Office of Student Affairs.

    “We all had the same goals and worked very well together,” Cunningham stated in an e-mail. “I believe the process went very smoothly.”

    H&DS made a joint effort with the GSA and was able to reach a mutual agreement that achieved the goals of both groups.

    “I was very supportive of the idea and from that point on, it was a team effort to come up with a program that will be successful,” Cunningham stated.

    Campus co-ops, such as Che Cafe and the General Store, sought similar arrangements last year, but were unable to reach an agreement with the university. With negotiations yet to be finalized, the co-ops operate under a sub-lease given through the A.S Council and the GSA, which requires monthly rent.

    “That’s why we’re negotiating a new agreement,” said Thurgood Marshall College Senior Senator and co-op negotiator Kate Pillon. “The university doesn’t like the [co-op MOU], but the co-ops do. The basic change is that university doesn’t want the A.S. Council and the GSA to be the intermediary because they want a direct lease with the co-ops,” Pillon said.

    Whereas the draft plan for the graduate housing was only between the GSA and H&DS, the co-ops agreement would also involve the A.S. Council and the University Centers Advisory Board, Pillon said.

    Because of that difference, a similar arrangement for the co-ops is unlikely since the situation addresses a lease, which requires dealing with different parts of the university and not just H&DS, Pillon said.

    “[The co-op agreement] is not an MOU in the regard that an MOU is a description of a relationship,” Pillon said. “It’s a lease that has stipulations that have GSA and A.S. Council involvement and that’s how the university sees it, so that’s why they would be resistant to having a similar agreement.”

    While the co-ops have not mentioned the recently drafted MOU between the GSA and H&DS during negotiations, introducing such a new and different topic could derail the negotiations during its final stages, Pillon said.

    “I’d hope that the co-ops would be glad to see a part of the university deal with students this way and see no reason why the co-ops wouldn’t be provided with the same agreement,” Dahlstrom said. “I hope the co-ops will see this agreement as a positive development for UCSD students, and I hope this arrangement will be a model for other student-run businesses and services at UCSD.”

    However, because the GSA and the co-ops are working with different units of the university, it is unknown whether the co-ops will receive a similar arrangement, Pillon said.

    “The reason that the GSA could be able to negotiate such a fantastic agreement is because the space they’re negotiating for is under H&DS,” Pillon said. “We aren’t dealing with such a flexible and open situation.”

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $210
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $210
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal