September 2nd, 2010
Dear Student Friends of the Cactus Cafe (& Others),
The good news: The doors of the Cactus will remain open, with Griff Luneburg booking acts at least through this fall. The current student employees, and bartenders, including Chris and Susan, will stay on to manage the bar through the University Unions. KUT has the potential to be a great save for the Cactus Cafe, but this all depends on their actions, the first and most important will be the hiring of its manager. We’ve just learned KUT has delayed this decision until sometime “early next week”.
We are writing to ask you to take immediate action by writing to KUT and College of Communications Dean Hart to let them know that hiring Cameron Smith for the manager position is NOT good for the Cactus Cafe! Smith’s hiring would only be a continuation of the closed-door negotiations and administrative scheming that has been so prevalent throughout this whole debacle. As shown by open records, Smith contacted Union director Andy Smith and VPSA Gonzalez as early as February 10th seeking to position himself as the venue’s new manager. Is VPSA González pressuring KUT to hire Smith? There are also concerns about his performance at Texas Performing Arts, a position which he coincidentally resigned from effective the day before yesterday, because of ‘mutual dissatisfaction’ and his apparent inability to work well with others.
See for yourself. Please visit our blog (http://blogs.utexas.edu/sfotcc/2010/08/23/cactus-cafe-open-records/) to view the open records UT has released thus far, and the timeline summary posted by Michael Scully.
“A big concern throughout the Cactus controversy was the lack of transparency on the part of UT. Now we learn that UT administrators and Cameron Smith planned the transfer to KUT in secret, bypassing the very group that UT formed for planning purposes. Through it all, the student body and the community did not know of Cameron Smith’s personal goal to run the Cactus.
I’m not commenting here on whether the transfer to KUT is good or bad. I know we’re still in a transitional phase, but the Cactus may have a great future under KUT’s wing. What’s troubling is the secrecy, the lack (once again) of true student and community involvement, and the possibility of rewarding a man enmeshed in that secrecy with the job of running the Cactus. To quote someone or other, “When will they ever learn?”
Please email the following people and respectfully let them know Smith’s behavior is clearly unethical and not needed in the College of Communication, KUT or the Cactus Cafe!
Dean Roderick Hart, College of Communication email@example.com
Stewart Vanderwilt, KUT Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hawk Mendenhall, KUT General Manager email@example.com
Please cc: VPSA Juan González firstname.lastname@example.org
Please donate your facebook and twitter status, and post the following “comment” anywhere on KUT’s FB page:
KUT: Cameron Smith is BAD for the Cactus Cafe! http://blogs.utexas.edu/sfotcc
@kutaustin: Cameron Smith is BAD for the #CactusCafe! http://blogs.utexas.edu/sfotcc
Thanks for your continued support of the Cactus Cafe, and please share this with any friends who are interested.
Co-founder, Student Friends of the Cactus Cafe