Divinity School Considers Charging Rent to Grounds of Being

News we may have missed:

From Chicago Maroon’s Newsletter for January 5

Grounds of Being rent dispute: Last month we reported that the Divinity School wants to charge rent from its student-run coffee shop. Details were scarce at the time, but on Wednesday the Divinity Students Association (DSA) and the Grounds of Being preservation committee sent a letter to the community explaining that the Div admin had made clear that GoB must come up with $61,000 per year in rent, or face closure.

Updates also available at https://dsagobpreservation.wordpress.com/

Does the university charge Hallowed Grounds rent? This seems like a bad move by the university. 61k or however much the university could otherwise make in rent is not worth losing a community institution over.

Message from Divinity Rep Blaize Gervais:

Hi Everyone,

Thank you for all of the concern and support in light of recent struggles to save the Divinity Students Association and Grounds of Being! It is a difficult situation for all parties involved so I want to make clear that this is not an “us” vs. “them” issue but we do appreciate all the support from the broader University community. Grounds of Being is a campus gem directly supports students here on campus with great affordable coffee that employs over 20 students, and whose proceeds go directly back into the student community providing funding for workshops, guest speakers, conferences and other special events that are open to the entire University.

If you would like to help support Grounds of Being and the DSA here are a few things you can do:

  1. Like Grounds of Being (and or the DSA) on Facebook for updates on the process.
  2. We have started a social media campaign where you can get your picture taken holding a sign expressing your support, why it is important that Grounds of Being stay a student run coffee shop, etc. (You can already see examples on our Facebook page) Ask a barista how to get involved next time you stop by for coffee!
  3. If you are shy, you can leave a comment here instead
  4. Spread the word tell your friends/colleagues/alumni and encourage them to do 1, 2, or 3
  5. Learn more on the DSA/GOB Preservation Committee’s website

Finally, we will be hosting a public forum on Friday, January 12 at 10:00 AM in the 3rd Floor Lecture Hall in Swift Hall (same building as Grounds of Being). We invite anyone interested in finding out more about this situation or those who would like to lend support or offer advice to attend this forum.

Some more background here:

Another update:

The Maroon Editorial Board chips in:

Good to see that GoB’s future is preserved as they reached an agreement: