The new lease grants use of the building for 40 months and an automatic option to re-up for another 48 months after that.
  • The new lease grants use of the building for 40 months and an automatic option to re-up for another 48 months after that.
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Thanks to an intervention by UCSD chancellor Pradeep Kholsa, the Ché Café has been saved. A lease has been signed by members of the Ché Café Collective that will allow the all-ages venue to reopen once improvements have been made.

Ché Café

1000 Scholars Drive, UCSD

The Ché has not hosted bands since April while the collective and the administration started haggling over lease specifics. After the installation of fire sprinklers and ADA bathroom improvements, the Ché is expected to be ready again for live shows in December or January.

UCSD alum Monty Kroopkin helped form the cooperative that created the Ché in the ’70s. He has been part of a group of students, faculty, alumni, and community supporters who rallied around the Ché when it became clear UCSD administrators wanted the collective to go away in 2014. They fought back with litigation, petitions, and a round-the-clock “occupation” in reaction to an eviction notice posted in March 2015 served by sheriff’s deputies.

Kroopkin says the new lease grants the collective use of the building for 40 months and an automatic option to re-up for another 48 months after that. He says as long as the collective pays its liability insurance and maintains its nonprofit status, the Ché can continue to exist.

“It was always lower-level administrators who had an axe to grind,” says Kroopkin. “They scared the Associated Students and orchestrated this whole thing to get us out. They lied about things like how we needed a whole new electrical [system]. The chancellor stepped in and put a stop to it. He used money from his own discretionary fund for the improvements.”

Kroopkin says it was the fact that so many groups resisted the Ché’s death as a music venue that helped save it. “Yes [Kholsa] was an angel in terms of turning the tide, but we earned it.”

Cameron Royce, 20, plays solo and as a member of Cameron Royce and the Lizards. He’s also a Ché Collective “core member,” which means he helped produce live shows. Where have touring and local bands been going with no Ché?

“We find houses that are willing to throw a show, but I find that only lasts once or twice. I’ve seen more shows lately at record stores. Red Brontosaurus Records has done a lot. I’m doing a couple shows at Normal Records in North Park.... A lot of times the Soda Bar will present shows at the Ché so they can get an all-ages audience for a particular band. But now, the Soda Bar is just doing that show at the Soda Bar itself.

“There are a few other all-ages places like Soma, but this place emphasizes community and being a safe, sober space. Anyone can come here. Especially marginalized people. People who come here don’t come to get rowdy.”

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Comments

MontyKroopkin Aug. 4, 2017 @ 12:52 p.m.

Ken, overall, a fine article. Thank you! I hope a few corrections and clarifications can be done, especially before the online article appears in print next week:

It’s Chancellor Khosla, not “Kholsa.”

"UCSD alum Monty Kroopkin helped form the cooperative that created the Ché in the ’70s."

No. I helped form the first of the 4 current UCSD student co-ops, Groundwork Books, in 1972. I have been involved with the co-ops since then, in diverse capacities. However, it was the Food Co-op that created the Che Café Collective in 1979-80 and I was not a member of the Food Co-op nor of the Che Café Collective when it was started.

I helped found the system of inter-related student co-ops, (now known as the Co-op Union) which later led to the creation of the Che in 1979.

“They scared the Associated Students and orchestrated this whole thing to get us out. They lied about things like how we needed a whole new electrical [system]."

There was never anybody saying there needed to be a whole new electrical system. What administrators told everybody was that there MUST BE a retrofit installation of an automatic fire suppression sprinkler system, and that without it the building was unsafe to use and had to be shut down. It was a lie because the state fire code (which the UC system, including UCSD, follows) does NOT and has never required a fire sprinkler system for a building of the Che's type and age.

They scared the student body board, University Centers Advisory Board (UCAB), not the Associated Students. The AS never agreed to shut down the Che. The Graduate Students Association (GSA) did however call for the admin to shut down the Che, after the student board, UCAB, refused to approve hundreds of thousands of dollars of student fees (the University Center Fee) for installation of automatic fire sprinklers and other improvements. The University Center Fee is a self tax the student body voted to collect many years ago, to build and maintain the Price Center, the Student Center and the Che Café facility. The GSA did switch to being a supporter of the Che when a new GSA president was elected and has continued to support the Che and the other co-ops since the fall of 2014.

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MontyKroopkin Aug. 4, 2017 @ 12:54 p.m.

There's a 3000 character limit for your comments section. So, here is the rest of the comment:

"The Ché has not hosted bands since April while the collective and the administration started haggling over lease specifics."

The Che has hosted shows pretty much non-stop for the past 3 years of this fight. The other 3 co-ops actually began negotiations on a successor lease for the 2006-2016 Master Space Agreement (MSA) early in 2015. The MSA was set to expire April 30, 2016. The June 13, 2014 admin termination of the lease for the Che did mean the Che was no longer under that MSA. Therefore, the Che was at first not at the table for these talks.

The Che Café Collective, in separate negotiations with the administration (starting with the meeting with the Chancellor on July 15, 2015) got an agreement with admin that the Che could join the other 3 co-ops in the lease negotiations, despite the Che lease remaining terminated. The Che joined the lease negotiations already in progress, in March of 2016. The admin and the 3 co-ops still covered by the MSA agreed to amend the MSA to extend the expiration date from April 30, 2016 to December 31, 2016, and then again to June 30, 2017, as the negotiations over lease specifics slowly progressed.

The Che has not hosted bands since April because everyone thought the new lease would be signed by early May of 2017. The negotiations had early on (in 2015) had included a plan for the Che Café Collective to temporarily turn over possession of the space to admin within a week of signing a new lease, so that the construction work on the Che building could then begin as soon as possible. The expectation of starting the construction work is why the Che stopped programming in April. It was not because of the starting of any new haggling at that time.

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