ASUC Search for Vendor on Lower Sproul Awaits Ruling

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The ASUC Judicial Council will rule this week on whether a recent decision by the Store Operations Board violated the board's own rules.

The request for an advisory opinion asks the council to clarify whether the board violated the Commercial Activities Agreement by not issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a space in the Bear's Lair Food Court.

The board voted by a 4-3 margin, with one abstention, on Jan. 26 to enter into lease negotiations with Saigon Eats for a space in the court currently occupied by Taqueria El Tacontento, even though the prospective vendor had only responded to an RFP for an adjacent space, for which the board is currently negotiating with Subway.

"I'm concerned that they (become) more transparent and fair and adhere to these rules that are there for a reason," said board member Rebecca Coleman, who, along with board chair Nish Rajan, requested the advisory opinion.

The move follows the council's rejection of a prior charge sheet Wednesday submitted by Rajan and Coleman. The board declined to rule on the matter because the original charge sheet did not properly determine the council's jurisdiction.

The Commercial Activities Agreement was signed in 1998 between the ASUC and the campus administration, establishing the responsibilities of the ASUC Auxiliary and the board, which oversees the student government's commercial enterprises.

"It is necessary and appropriate to prepare and circulate requests for proposals," the agreement states. "(The Board) shall select the party whose proposal resulted in the highest score."

Rajan-who voted to enter into negotiations with the two prospective vendors-said that if the board had issued an RFP for the space currently occupied by the Taqueria, a three-month delay in securing a new vendor would have ensued, resulting in lost income for the student government.

According to ASUC President Will Smelko, the board established criteria for prospective vendors in its RFP for the spot in the court currently occupied by Healthy Heavenly Foods. Among those set forth are suggestions that the businesses be local, financially sustainable and include environmentally friendly and good ethics practices, Smelko said.

But the board failed to properly evaluate the proposals they received, neglecting to score them based on the criteria they outlined before, Coleman said.

"We should have evaluated the bids we received and made a decision based on who received the highest score," she said.

In May 2009 the operations board forgave The Daily Californian a portion of its rent for the office it leases. As part of the agreement, a non-political student member of the board sits on The Daily Californian's Board of Operations, which has no control over the paper's editorial content.

Tags: SUBWAY, ASUC STORE OPERATIONS BOARD, BEAR'S LAIR FOOD COURT, SAIGON EATS


Contact Hannah Moulthrop at [email protected]



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