Che Cafe Gets Its Day in Court

Despite six years of negotiating terms of a lease, no agreement was reached according to the university’s legal team

A student-run cafe on the grounds of UC San Diego fought what it calls an "unlawful eviction" in court Wednesday.

The iconic student-run venue has hosted music acts like Green Day, Blink 182 and Rise Against during its 34 years.

On June 2, the Graduate Student Association (GSA) voted 24 to 2 that the Che was not acting in the best interests of the students and that the university should terminate the month-to-month lease. An eviction notice was served on June 13 but the collective did not move out within 30 days, so the university issued an eviction notice.

In a downtown San Diego courtroom Wednesday, the judge heard arguments from both sides regarding the most recent lease – a two-year fixed term lease – that ended in 2008 and an ongoing month-to-month tenancy that occurred for six years.

Despite six years of negotiating terms of a lease, no agreement was reached, according to the university’s legal team.

University attorneys argued that in order to extend the 2008 agreement and maintain the use of the space, the Che had to obtain certifications from the UCSD Associated Students and the GSA.

Associate Vice Chancellor Gary Ratcliff testified that the collective did not attempt to gain certification from either student group before the end of its 2008 agreement.

"The university, we were interested in the AS and GSA certifying them. If they had certified them, then the University Centers was interested in discussing extension with the co-ops," Ratcliff said.

Attorneys for the Che have challenged the GSA decertification. The collective’s legal team is also pursuing an injunction against all further actions against the Che. on Oct. 31.

Court proceedings are expected to continue on Thursday.

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