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I have created this page upon learning that Student Housing is demanding that the Bike Church be shut down. Personally, I am enraged at this news. Perhaps this can be a forum for discussing how to ask Student Housing or the University's "powers that be" to repeal this seemingly unjust "ruling".
UC Davis bike co-op told to ride off - November 8, 2008 - The Sacramento Bee
Bike Church may face closure due to university regulations - September 25, 2008 - The California Aggie
You can sign an online petition in support of the bike church here:
(and give the "petition-maker" your email for further Bike Church Updates)
Read on; the e-mail I received from DarachMiller has all the details of The Church's plight:
For those of you who haven't already heard, the Davis Bike Church has
been evicted from its traditional stomping grounds of four years. This
is a major bummer for those who've relied on its tool, part, and
knowledge repositories, as the Bike Church is now in serious jeopardy.
To make a long story short, the Bike Church contacted various
University departments last year in an effort to coordinate a
renovation of the facility according to appropriate regulations. We
thought we were past the "cease and desist" stage and into the "clean
up to standards" stage of a grassroots organization, a belief based on
numerous communications between Bike Church Ministers and University
officials that demonstrated acknowledgment and approval of the Bike
Church's existence on University property. Eventually, we got Student
Housing to give us a list of what needed to be done. Thus began the
Great Pedal Forward of the Summer of '08.
Through spending thousands of volunteer hours and over a thousand
dollars in community donations, we were able to complete a massive
renovation that included a floor for the dome, new cabinetry,
restructured facilities, and a level of organization never before seen
in our humble facilities. Despite efforts made to communicate with
appropriate departments about inspection and approval of our
facilities, the officials (except at EH&S) failed to work with us to
meet their demands. Nevertheless, we believed we were on track for
becoming an University-approved fixture in the Davis bicycling realm.
We had a final inspection scheduled for October 1st to decide the fate
of the Bike Church, until things suddenly changed.
After several unannounced inspections, Student Housing suddenly
canceled the walk through inspection. After several weeks of no
communication, we inquired about our fate. Chunk Huneke, the Student
Housing representative, declared that we were a liability and a fire
hazard, and due to our "open membership to the Davis community" and
intial establishment "without specific approval", we must vacate and
dismantle our structures by December 1st and clear all traces of the
Bike Church from the Domes' land by December 31st. This is a major
setback, but also a new opportunity. We're not exactly sure of the
future of the Bike Church, but we are investigating and pursuing all
options available. We are currently working on temporarily moving our
experimental education facility to the Experimental College gardens
before pursuing a closer relationship with the City of Davis, who has
supported us in the past and is doing all they can to help us in these
troubled times. However, this is still unsure.
How can you help?
This Saturday, November 8th, Delta of Venus is hosting the Save the
Bike Church Danceparty sponsored by New Belgium Beer and KDVS,
featuring DJs Mr. Glass, Dog Tones, and Deacon Morgan. There will be a
petition and letter writing station, as well as further information
about a demonstration occuring next week. We'll have more information
about volunteering at the Bike Church, such as how to become a
minister. Anyone can get involved in our non-hierarchal consensus
organization, but we're also looking for specialists in non-profit
organization. Come check it out, whether to get involved or just to
show support by dancing the night away!
May your chain be supple and your wheels true,
Letter from Student Housing to the Bike Church
This is the letter telling the Church that we need to vacate, sent on Oct 29th.
Thank you for checking in with us to inquire about the status of the Bike Church. We are aware that there is a group of people who would like to see the Bike Church succeed and offer services to the community. There are actually a variety of updates I can share with you and I apologize for the delay as I am still in the process of talking to a couple of people responsible for addressing the recent concerns.
As we look at the recent development of the Bike Church and its 4-5 year history on Student Housing property, there are a variety of concerns for our department. One concern relates to the general risk and liability of this kind of operation on residential property. Health and safety issues are always going to be under a microscope and any injury or concern is a liability for our department. Another liability is the money and property you collect as “donations”, which can be a large concern for the campus and Student Housing if it does not meet strict regulations. Now that you are a registered student group the Student Programs and Activities Office (SPAC) might be of assistance to you in this area as you grow (see UC Davis, Policy & Procedure Manual Sections 260 & 270). Another health and safety concern relates to this organization having open membership to the Davis community and the security issues that can arise since this facility is located in a housing area. The final concern is related to the fact that the Bike Church established itself on Student Housing property without specific approval and continues to operate and grow as its own entity. The current location of the Bike Church results in our involvement and staff time to address any issues that arise.
Student Housing has been notified by the UC Davis Fire Department that the Bike Church structure does not meet code and should stop being used immediately. Along with the concerns from the Fire Department there are a number of requirements that the structure needs to meet to receive campus approval. These requirements include items such as submitting detailed schematic drawings of the structure, receiving approval from multiple campus committees, and receiving official approval from Student Housing for use of the land. Based on the time, money, and on-going commitment needed to receive approval it does not seem like the Bike Church structure will be able to receive campus approval.
Another reason for the delay in getting back to your group relates to our due diligence in finding a possible solution and positive outcome for everyone involved. We have reconfirmed with the Fire Department their stance on the need to immediately stop use of the facility. We have conferred with the UC Davis Office of Resource Management and Planning as to other campus options that might be considered. In our research, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the Bike Church is now a registered student group with the Student Programs and Activities Office (SPAC) which, as previously mentioned, might be of some assistance in helping your organization. We have made some initial contact with their office and had planned on meeting with them. You should consider doing the same.
We understand and appreciate the mission and goals you strive for with this program. Many of your objectives are in alignment with Student Housing objectives as they relate to sustainability, recycling, promoting health and wellness, etc., but we are not in the bike repair business. Based on the notice from the Fire Department and the other concerns listed above we need to have use of the Bike Church structure stop immediately and for the Bike Church in its’ entirety to be removed from Student Housing property. The structure should be completely dismantled by December 1, 2008 and everything should be removed from Student Housing property by the end of this calendar year (December 31, 2008). We will be posting flyers in the next couple of days in the Bike Church area. Anything you can do to help notify your members would be appreciated.
Assistant Director, Residential Education
UC Davis Student Housing
fax: (530) 752-4345
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2008-11-07 23:00:46 eff that, student housing is shady and UC centric! Bike Church needs to keep fighting! —StevenDaubert
Heh, UCD's Student Housing is UC Centric? No wai!! —ES
Why should UCD housing care about helping people in the community fix bikes they use to commute in a bike centered town? There really is no need to try and enrich other peoples lives thru proverbially teaching people how to fish, especially when bike church people don't talk with code enforcement before erecting structures, and because it's a potential fire hazard, and non students come on campus, and UCD could get sued! —StevenDaubert
They shouldn't. They should just build more parking garages. It's much cheaper and safer. —TyNowotny
Student housing should care because it's projects like these that make UCD an attractive and interesting university to attend, at least on the sidelines.
2008-11-08 11:57:11 I am one of the ministers at the Church, and I would like to make a small clarification before wrong information gets too far. The part of the letter that says that housing made "several shady unannounced inspections" before canceling the walkthrough is not true, at least not to our knowledge. What happened is the walkthrough scheduled for Oct. 1st was canceled on Sept 23rd. On Oct 8th, during our open hours, a couple of UCD Police officers came through with a list of license numbers and began searching through our bikes, ostensibly looking for stolen property. They found none. That was the first "unannounced inspection." The second was on Oct 15th, when a representative from Student Housing was found walking around the Church, taking photos. That was a little more alarming, so we sent a letter to SH asking to re-open lines of communication, as we had heard barely a peep out of them for over a month. They sent back a letter telling us to GTFO. History in the making!! —TyNowotny