UH fair traders Ross Barnard and Timothy O’Brien disrupted President John Rudley’s faculty senate meeting address on Wed. Sept 19 a little after noon. This press release followed:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NO BID MINORITY EXCLUDING CONTRACTS BEING DOLED OUT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON
UH STAFFER ALLEGES PAYOFFS TO PRESIDENT RUDLEY
At approximately 12:20 Wednesday afternoon members of registered student organization UH Students for Fair Trade hit U of Houston interim president and chancellor John Rudley with a direct action as they burst into the faculty senate meeting he was addressing with a banner that read “Rudley ignores student concerns.”
Rudley had suddenly canceled his previously scheduled faculty senate appearance after the UH Students against Sweatshops publicized his dishonest actions related to his ties to sweatshop labor.
Students for Fair Trade members were angered that Dr. Rudley was subverting the democratic process by ignoring the fair trade coffee resolution they had gotten passed in the Student Government Association last spring which held that an all fair trade coffee vendor be installed in the 24 hour study lounge in the M.D. Anderson library on campus.
Public information requests reveal no request for proposal (“RFP”) had been issued for the coffee shop contract and that the University and it’s food services contractor were rushing a non fair trade coffee vendor to install a coffee outlet in the library. This no bid action by Rudley staffers shuts out minority vendors and lacks the transparency required for true democracy to prosper.
Minority contractors are currently demanding that Board of Regents vice president Calvin W. Stephens conduct an investigation of similar charges concerning millions of dollars of no bid construction and maintenance contracts.