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THURSDAY, JUNE 13,1996
Fire Officials CaD Sigma Chi Fraternity Fire Suspicions
■ The Saturday morning
fire caused $5,000 damage,
but no one was injured.
BY MINDY HODGES
Investigators are calling an early-morn
ing fire at the Sigma Chi fraternity house
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DTH STAFF PHOTO
The early-morning fire was contained in the basement of the Sigma Nu
fraternity house. Repairs are expected to cost over $5,000.
Board of Governors Looking at Costs of
Fire Safety in UNC-System Residence HaDs
■ Installation of alarms and
sprinklers in 237 residence
halls could cost $55 million.
BY JEANNE FUGATE
Fire safety could cost the UNC system
over $55 million, according to a recent
The UNC Board of Governors will dis
cuss Friday a report about sprinkler sys
tems and fire protection measures for the
274 residence halls across the state.
UNC-system President C.D. Spangler
initiated the study on May 16, just four
days after the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity
house blaze that killed five students.
“Everybody’s become much more sen
sitive of the issue because of the May 12
fire,” he said. “Somebody’s got to start
doing something to keep something like
this from happening again.”
Spangler said he had assigned staff mem
bers to compile figures sent in from all 16
“You have to get the facts before you
have a legitimate discussion,” he said.
“There would be no way to have an en
lightened discussion without having that
Spangler said he hoped the information
would provoke discussion in the state leg
islature regarding improving fire safety on
“I think there will be some action in the
General Assembly that will be beneficial to
all campuses,” he said.
He said UNC would especially see the
benefit because it is the largest campus and
most in need of renovations, but he would
not speculate about the amount of support
the system might receive.
“I think (legislators) will be the ones
who determine the degree of that response, ”
Black Public Works Association Continues
Claims of Racial Injustice in Town Pay Practices
The Black Public Works Association discussed proposals of a
more equitable Chapel Hill town budget and of racially unbiased
town practices during a noon news conference Thuisday at the
Hargraves Center on North Roberson Street.
The 1996-97 budget, which was passed by the Chapel Hill
Town Council Monday night, addressed salary raises for town
employees. A large portion of the budget, $726,000, will be used
to increase the salaries of employees.
This portion will be used to raise the salaries of the town’s
lowest-paid employees from $15,229 to $17,262, which would
bring them to above poverty-level wages.
Steve England, a leader of the BPWA steering committee, said
the raise had come about from BPWA agitations.
While raising the lowest-paid employees’ salaries to above the
poverty level was a major victory, England said it still left much
more to address.
He said town employees in the higher pay grades will get the
Saturday suspicious, and as of Wednes
day, the cause was unknown. No one was
injured while escaping the fire.
Chapel Hill Fire Chief Dan Jones said
the blaze originated in a couch in the base
ment of the house in Fraternity Court while
eight people were asleep. No residents were
in the basement during or before the early
Saturday morning fire began.
Jones said the fire was not started by
electrical or mechanical problems. Investi
The $55 Million Question
The Board of Governors will discuss Friday the $55 million cost
of adding sprinklers and alarms to UNC-system residence halls.
ESTIMATED COST OF RENOVATION, IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS
$35 m r
S3O m Estimated Costs for UNC-CH
, . | ■ $18,343,257 - Installing sprinkler
$25 m “ /! systems in all residence halls
•'' ' ’ll ■ $ 13,000,000 - Other work,
S2O m ~ | I including asbestos removal
f * ■ $239,638 - Adding central alarm H
sls m “
slom I \ JM4M6S
ssm " W<*g>W $4,512,055 $3,945,339
* A i :: .1 . IL 1 a. 1 aaa 1
UNC-CH N.C. State East Carolina Appalachian
University University State University
SOURCE UNC GENERAL ADMINISTRATION
Another definite response will come
from the BOG on Friday, he said.
“The alarms are an obvious upgrading
that the BOG is going to have an immedi
ate interest in,” he said.
Adding alarms would cost the system
$1.26 million. At the University, Odum
Village Family Apartments are the only
residences in need of alarm systems, to a
total cost of about $240,000 for the 306
“Beyond that, they have got to deter
bulk of the raise money and black employees will continue to be
compressed into the lower pay grades.
“Although this plan looks good on paper, it really means that
the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer, ” England said.
“The highest-paid employees are trying to hold on to their large
raises and leave us the crumbs.”
According to the budget, the 91 full-time employees in the
lowest five pay grades would receive $87,351 of the budgeted
money, which is an average raise of $959 per employee. The 17
full-time employees in the highest five pay grades would split
$40,137 of the budgeted money, an average of $2,361 per em
England said he believed the town’s budget would adversely
affect black employees. All but one of the 17 lowest-paid employ
ees are black.
England said the town’s system of promotion and salary raises
kept them in the lowest pay grades.
“They’re locked in the lower pay grades and can’t get any
See BPWA, Page 7
I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
With the County
hearing will focus on a
new area landfill. Page 2
gators are exploring the possibility of an
accidental or intentional origin.
The fraternity spent $750,000 on fire
safety renovations last September. Fire of
ficials believe these renovations helped the
residents evacuate quickly and safely with
This investment in fire safety might even
have saved their lives.
Non-combustible interior finishes and
fire doors slowed the spreading of the fire
to upper floors and sleeping areas, Jones
said. Anew central fire alarm and a smoke
detection system were also added as part of
“It didn’t spread like the Phi Gamma
Delta fire,” Jones said. “It made the differ
Jones said when the Chapel Hill Fire
Department arrived at the scene, there was
heavy smoke coming from the house.
David Redding, the Sigma Chi frater
nity house manager and member, said,
“We smelled smoke, and we went and
knocked on doors yelling at everyone to
One resident rushed to a nearby pay
phone at approximately 6:48 a.m. to make
the 911 emergency call when the evacua
tion was complete, Redding said.
When residents escaped the fire, they
conducted a head count to make sure ev
mine what should be done about sprinklers
in the dorms,” he said. “And that’ll be an
Sprinkler systems for every residence
hall in the system would ran up a bill of
over $55 million.
“It would be impossible to do them all at
one time,” Spangler said. “There’s not
enough people or money.”
UNC racks up the highest cost with an
See SPRINKLERS, Page 7
exchange program digs in
at UNC. Page 5
eryone was present, Jones said. “They did
exactly what we encourage them to do and
got out immediately,” he said.
“Everyone went down the new fire es
cape,” Redding said. He said the new fire
escape was a stairwell, rather than a verti
cal ladder that would not allow for quick
The damage due to fire and smoke is
expected to exceed $5,000. Fire damage is
only present in the basement, but smoke
damage occurred on the first and second
Jones said all fraternity members can
take actions to protect their houses from
“Frat houses don’t do a very good job of
making their houses secure,” Jones said.
“They leave doors unlocked and windows
Redding said the Sigma Chi fraternity
house is far safer than before the fire pre
vention renovations. “I think frat houses
will be improving fire safety,” he said.
Chapel Hill police spokeswoman Jane
Cousins said she was concerned about the
recent fires. “It’s very frightening,” she
There was a meeting Monday to look at
similarities between the fires that have oc
curred recently. Both fraternity fires started
early in the morning in the basement.
UNC Board of Governors Prepares
To Search for Spangler’s Successor
■ The Personnel and Tenure Committee
finalised a policy to find a replacement for
Spangler, who might retire in August.
BY AARON BEARD
With UNC-systemPresidentC.D. Spangler possibly retiring in
August, a UNC Board of Governors committee will present a final
draft of a search policy to find his successor at the BOG meeting
The five-page policy outlines a search process involving four
committees. Committee members would hold meetings to gamer
public input, discuss possible salaries and benefits for the final
choice and other important tasks.
“This is designed for a selection process,” said Lois Britt,
chairwoman of the BOG’s Personnel and Tenure Committee.
The policy further outlines steps to be taken in the selection
process, including who will gather information about applicants
and how applicants will be screened for the position.
According to the policy, the BOG will first create a nominating
committee, which will determine who will serve on the other
committees. The next committee, a leadership statement commit
tee, will hold public hearings to learn what qualities faculty,
Want Your MTV?
No Luck at UNC
For Three Years
BY JON WILLIAMS
On-campus students who have bought
their “TV Guide” subscriptions for 1996-
97 had better ask for a refund at least
Cable TV, which was supposed to have
been ready to go in some campus dorms
this fall and spring, has been pushed back
“Asbestos is preventing work from be
ing done in the dorms” said Larry Hicks,
Associate Director of University Housing.
“The asbestos is not dangerous now, but
could be if disturbed.”
Due to the possible threat it poses, as
bestos can be expensive to contain.
Hicks said the cost of the project had
gone up due to the asbestos problem. The
project, which was originally supposed to
cost $4.2 million, might end up costing $7
million, he said.
Long distance revenue from students’
phone use was expected to pay for the
project, but now additional funds may need
to be found, Hicks said.
Cost is not the only problem. Trying not
to disrupt the students lives with construc
tion is iso a major consideration.
“This project could be done in about a
year if the dorms were unoccupied" Hicks
said. “But this is the students’ homes, so
we have to tread lightly.”
The University has already taken major
steps in the completion of the project, how-
See CABLE, Page 5
An Aria With
entertain hungry crowds
at Macaroni Grill. Page 7
Sigma Nu Break-In Alarms UNC
BY MINDY HODGES
Fraternity members have been urged
to take extra safety precautions due to a
break-in at the Sigma Nu fraternity house
on Monday and the recent fires at the
fraternity houses of Phi Gamma Delta
and Sigma Chi.
The most recent event, the break-in,
added another dimension to the worries
of the Greek community.
Two Chapel Hill police officers dis
covered a broken window at the Sigma
Nu fraternity house Monday at 5:13
a.m. when they were checking the area
during the investigation of the Sigma
Chi fraternity fire, said Chapel Hill Po
lice Spokeswoman Jane Cousins.
“There’s no indication at this point
that the fire and the break-in are related,
but we certainly always keep that in
mind that they might be related," Cous
A meeting was held Monday to dis
cuss the possibility of a link between
these events, but no sound evidence has
students, alumni and other members of the
public want in Spangler’s replacement. This
information would be compiled into a lead
ership statement to set out the qualities
needed in the next UNC-system president.
The committee will be composed of 20
UNC-system members, including BOG
members, four chancellors, faculty mem
bers, the student member of the BOG and
representatives from boards of trustees.
The screening committee, composed of
five to seven past and present BOG mem
bers, will review the applications and cut
one-third of the candidates.
The search committee, to be composed
of 13 past and present BOG members, will
interview candidates and offer one name to the BOG for approval
as the UNC system’s next president.
The process outlined in the policy is an involved one, but Britt
said the details were necessary to ensure a successful search.
“The chief executive officer for the university system is the day
to-day administrator of the policies, ” she said. “Consequently, the
selection of a chief executive officer is one of the most important
functions the Board has.”
The current chief executive officer, Spangler, has served as
president of the 16-campus system for more than a decade.
A Sprinkling of Words
1, ■+/’ "
SPECIAL TO THE DTH/JOHN WHITE
Chapel Hill Fire Chief Dan Jones explains the benefits of automatic fire
sprinkler systems to concerned Greek leaders June 5. See story page 3.
103 years of editorial freedom
Serving the students and the University
community since 1893
Volume 104, Issue 44
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
©I996DTH Publishing Carp.
All rights reserved.
been discovered yet.
Due to the hazardous nature of frater
nity houses recently, the University has
offered living space to all fraternity mem
bers who feel they are in danger.
The burglar alarm at Sigma Nu frater
nity was activated early Monday morn
ing when the break-in occurred, and
officers heard it when they approached
the house, Cousins said.
They immediately contacted the
Chapel Hill Fire Department for further
investigation of the fraternity house, she
“There was very little, if any,physical
evidence left at the scene,” Cousins
said. Nothing was taken from the frater
nity house, but investigators did find six
broken windows, she said.
There are no suspects right now, Cous
A letter with recommended safety
tips written by Frederic Shroeder, dean
of students, and Ron Binder, director of
Greek Affairs, was hand-delivered Mon-
See BREAK-IN, Page 7
C.D. SPANGLER will
plans in August