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Code Dispute Heads to Court Today
Speaker Mark Kleinschmidt,
the defendant in the case,
says the plaintiff's argument
is extremely strong.
Bv Karev Wdtkowski
* A controversial student referendum
that sparked dissension within student
government ranks in recent weeks will
find its way to resolution in Student
Supreme Court tonight.
The case will determine whether
Congress Speaker Mark Kleinschmidt’s
removal of a referendum from the Feb.
Hunt's office estimates that
the state sustained $24.5
million in damage due to
By Taena Kim
North Carolina will receive federal
aid for the estimated $24 million in
damages caused by a recent snowstorm
that paralyzed the state.
And government officials say North
Carolina’s burden, estimated at about
$6 million, will nol ailed the stale’s bud
get or its programs.
Gov. Jim Hunt’s proposal to seek fed
eral aid for the winter storm damages
was approved by President Bill Clinton
late Monday night.
The combination of Hurricane
Floyd’s damage in September and the
damage brought on by the recent snow
storm cost the N.C. government mil
lions of dollars for repairs, according to
a press release from the governor’s
But the N.C. budget office confirmed
that the state would be able to cover its
costs, despite two major disasters in one
year. “We have found enough (money)
and we will find more,” Dorman said.
“No programs will be cut back.”
See AID, Page 8
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Hunter Councill and Sofia Vallila dance the salsa
Tuesday during a social sponsored
by the UNC Ballroom Dancing Club.
15 elections ballot was constitutionally
The referendum would ask students
to pay about $3 more in student fees for
UNC to join the United States Student
Association, a lobbying group for high
The court will examine a possible dis
crepancy between the Student
Constitution and the Student Code.
Tonight’s scheduled decision will deter
mine whether the referendum will be
placed back on the ballot.
Kleinschmidt decided to remove the
referendumjan. 21 after members of the
executive branch noticed that the con
gressional 12-10 vote in December to
add the referendum to the ballot did not
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Forty years ago Tuesday, N.C. A&T University students sat at a Woolworth's lunch counter in downtown Greensboro and became a part of the civil
rights movement. Today the storefront of the same store, which closed in 1994, reflects the fund-raising efforts to convert the space
into a civil rights museum. Several events were held around Greensboro on Tuesday to commemorate the anniversary. See story page 7.
Congress Passes 3 Voter Referenda
By Derick Mattern
Student Congress passed the buck down to
the student body Tuesday night by passing
three referenda that will now appear on the
Feb. 15 elections ballot.
Two of the referenda would increase student
fees, the first to swell Student Congress' coffers
and the other to continue a.p.p.l.e.s. programs.
Congress also unanimously passed the Black
Student Movement’s bill to fund a visit by
Johnnie Cochran, OJ. Simpson’s controversial
The first referendum, which passed 26-2
Weather Injuries Pose UNC Liability Issues
By Kim Miniigh
Assistant University Editor
As students continue to fall victim - literal
ly - to lingering patches of ice on campus, some
say UNC should pick up the medical labs.
Freshman Natalie Griffin said she blamed
the University for her fall Friday afternoon that
left her with a broken leg and ankle.
“I think (the University) should’ve been
more responsible if they were going to make us
go to class,” said Griffin, who fell by Khringhaus
Field on her way to class. “There was no sand
or anything where I fell.”
Griffin said she was in the process of making
calls to get UNC to pay for her medical bills
Sex appeal is the keynote of our civilization.
Wednesday, February 2, 2000
Volume 107, Issue 144
meet the two-thirds majority called for
in the Student Code.
Four UNC students, the plaintiffs in
the case, filed a lawsuit against
Kleinschmidt that argues the vote’s con
stitutionality under the constitution,
which is the supreme law of student gov
The constitution’s provision states that
“amendments to the constitution shall
become valid when passed by a simple
majority, provided that at least 2.5 percent
of the student body votes on the amend
ment, of those voting in campus elections
conducted by the Elections Board at the
direction of Student Congress.”
Primary plaintiff Sandy Chapman said
the case went beyond USSA.
after little debate, will ask students to decide
whether to boost student activities fees by $3
per semester to fund the growing number of
student organizations needing money.
According to the resolution, student fees
have not been increased for nearly 25 years.
“Budget (this year) is very, very tight,” said
Student Body Treasurer Ryan Schlitt. “One way
to alleviate that is to raise student fees."
The next resolution was hotly debated and
passed with only a two-vote margin, at 15-7. The
referendum will seek an additional $1.05 to
fund a.p.p.1.e.5., a campus service organization.
Because it does not fall under student gov
ernment’s financial umbrella, the group cannot
after two breaks in her ankle and a broken leg
necessitated surgery Monday.
She said she was not sure if she would have
to take the issue to court, but she wanted the
University to pay compensation for her injuries.
If students get injured on University proper
ty, they can sue the school under the Tort
Claims Act, said Dick Robinson, general coun
sel for the UNC system.
The act allows any citizen allegedly injured
on University property to file a claim through
the state in a court with the Industrial
Committee, he said. “(Someone might file a
claim) if conduct on (the University’s) part was
not reasonable under the circumstances.”
Robinson said the Industrial Committee
“The case is a matter of dealing with
the principles of the Constitution and
the Student Code,” Chapman said. “It’s
about a Congress split, so they should
take it to the students.”
Kleinschmidt said the law required
him to remove the referendum.
“My defense is not that the plaintiffs are
wrong,” he said. “Mine is that I did what
I had to do. I think (the plaintiffs’) argu
ment is extremely strong.”
In support of Kleinschmidt’s defense,
five student body officers signed a
friends of the court brief, written by
Graduate and Professional Student
Federation President Lee Conner.
“We wanted to explain why we
believe Mark made the right decision,”
Conner said. “I don’t think (the plain
tiffs) have any merit.”
But Kleinschmidt said he found the
student body officers’ brief in his
defense “wholly without merit.”
“It’s not even a defense,” he said.
But Conner said the brief complete
ly defended Kleinschmidt’s case to
uphold the code and remove the refer
endum as his title demanded. “I find it
ironic that Mark would criticize seven
pages of a brief in his behalf,” Conner
said. “We did a better job of arguing for
his side than he did. It calls into question
whether he wants to win.”
The University Editor can be reached
receive funding from Congress, said Mary
Morrison, director of a.p.p.l.e.s.’s service-learn
“Because we were created by a referendum,
we have to go back to the whole student body
to get funding,” she said.
But the organization has received a three
year grant from the Carolina Center for Public
Service, thus causing some Congress members
to question the group’s eligibility for funds.
“There needs to be a realization that when
they received outside grants they need to plan
ahead,” said Speaker Mark Kleinschmidt. “That
See CONGRESS, Page 8
must determine if the University took appro
priate precautions at the time of the injury - in
this case, inclement weather. “The question is
whether the injury is a result of negligence,
meaning one has not taken reasonable care to
protect the interests of the injured party.”
UNC Senior Counsel Susan Ehringhaus said
she could not speculate about UNC’s liability
but said each case was analyzed individually.
“We would examine any instance of claiming
negligence,” she said.
Sophomore Michael Songer fell on an icy
walkway behind the Student Union on Monday
night, splitting his chin. “I’m so lucky I didn't
See LIABILITY, Page 8
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
C 2000 DTH Publishing Corp.
AH rights reserved.
Provost Dick Richardson
says the process to find
a Commencement speaker
must now start over.
By Geoff Wessel
After Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright declined to speak at this year’s
May Commencement, University offi
cials said Tuesday they were still search
ing for a graduation speaker.
At a meeting last fall, the selection
to ask Albright to
deliver the speech.
who was given
until this month to
the offer due to
“I am sure
we’ll find a fine
speaker, the name
of whom we just
don’t know yet,”
Secretary of State
to speak at May
at a Commencement Committee meet
“(Albright) was high on the list with
the students, and she’s just not available
because of so many international com
Prominent politicos have been on
UNC’s list of graduation speakers in the
The University nabbed current'
Democratic presidential candidate Bill
Bradley as last year’s speaker.
But Albright’s decision means this
year the selection committee must
choose and confirm another speaker by
the May 21 graduation ceremony.
Richardson said the committee
would have to begin the selection
He said the process would begin with
senior marshals providing an extensive
list of candidates, which the eight-per
son faculty and student committee
would cut down to 10 or 15 people.
The committee then discusses and
ranks these finalists and sends the fist to
the chancellor, who makes the ultimate
decision, Richardson said.
See GRADUATION, Page 8
Carolina, Speak Out!
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