Monday, Dec 22 2014 | Updated at 07:01 PM EST

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Mar 07, 2014 01:58 PM EST

Residents at UC-Berkeley's Cloyne Court Co-Op Rallying to 'Save Cloyne'

Cloyne Court Logo
(Photo : Facebook/Save Cloyne) Cloyne Court residents say their creative and free-spirited environment is mistaken for a culture of drug abuse.

Cloyne Court is a cooperative house at UC - Berkeley and is the largest one in America, but a recently settled lawsuit over drug use has threatened major changes that the students are fighting.

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According to the Daily Californian, the Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC) wants to make sweeping changes to the Cloyne House, now that the suit was settled out of court, to avoid higher insurance rates. The lawsuit came in 2012 from the mother of John Gibson, a student who lived at the house and sustained brain damage from a drug overdose in a 2010 incident.

Gibson's mother argued that the house encouraged a culture of drug use that was highly dangerous to its inhabitants. The BSC's proposal would bar current and former residents from returning to the Cloyne House in the fall and declare the house a substance-free space.

"We are at risk of unaffordably high insurance rates or of being uninsurable. ... We need to make a direct response to this settlement to show our efforts to prevent further incidences and liability," BSC President Michelle Nacouzi said in a statement.

Known as "Clones," the students who live in the house are not pleased with the BSC's proposal. With their "#SaveCloyne" campaign, the students claim the BSC drafted the proposal without their input and it "inadequately, unfairly, and uncooperatively addresses the situation that the BSC is trying to remedy."

Their website is aimed to provide perspective from the students who live in the house. They also dispute the notion that it encourages a drug culture and argue that Cloyne gets a bad reputation for fostering creativity and free-spirited students.

The students also pointed out that not all the residents major in the arts and that several study political science, physics, biology and more.

Cloyne Court house manager Mirit Friedman told the Daily Cal that simply declaring the house substance-free is like a "band aid" for a much larger problem. The Clones would like to address drug and alcohol abuse at colleges and co-ops across the country in an educational and informative manner.

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