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Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Unauthorized banner’s stay short-lived

An accusatory banner above the main entrance of M.D. Anderson Library was removed by library officials shortly after 10 a.m. Monday.

The banner read, "Pres Rudley lies U of H uses sweatshop labor for UH clothes."

Diane Bruxvoort, assistant dean for Collection Services, said the banner was against library policy regardless of the content.

"We do not allow any groups to put anything up in the library without permission," she said. "We’re about gathering information, not about representing a group."

UH Interim President John Rudley declined to comment on the incident.

The banner was tied to a balcony area over the main entrance that is open to the public, Bruxvoort said, and library officials often remove unauthorized ads and fliers from the library’s main doors.

"The library is where a lot of students come through every day…. It’s great advertising, (but) we’re not here to advertise," she said. "The library is neutral territory."

For aesthetic reasons the library seldom displays fliers, posters or banners regarding its own programs, she said.

A library staffer alerted administrators about the banner, she said, and officials removed it within a few minutes. They were uncertain as to when the banner was placed over the entrance.

Bruxvoort anticipated the banner would simply be disposed of without further action.

"If it were (more) defamatory, we would take it to the police. This is probably not going to rise to that level," she said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the display.

Tim O’Brien, president of UH Students Against Sweatshops, said he was not responsible for the banner and did not know who was, but that he sympathized with its message.

"I agree 100 percent with that sentiment," he said.

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