She iatlu ®ar Mtd * News/Fea P iwl 106 years of editorial freedom Serving the students and the University community since 1893 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 Staff Writer * 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. Clinton Approves Snow Aid Hunt's office estimates that the state sustained $24.5 million in damage due to recent snowstorms. By Taena Kim Staff Writer 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 office. 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 MUY PICANTE v' 1? ' - IS ' aL iff • IHHk j&ii t . x V*'" -h |L. m - tbWP®??'* SMBBBro tegt | Mvik 11 ■^USP I;,;,. '' f?J; , '- J DTH/CHRISTINE NGUYEN Hunter Councill and Sofia Vallila dance the salsa Tuesday during a social sponsored by the UNC Ballroom Dancing Club. 15 elections ballot was constitutionally justified. 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 er education. 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 .ClB-- ll■■ IIPH L *" ‘wl |)rT ,^caa^& DTH/VICTORIA ECKENRODE 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 Staff Writer 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 attorney. 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. Henri Bergson 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 ernment. 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. REVISITING HISTORY 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 at email@example.com. receive funding from Congress, said Mary Morrison, director of a.p.p.l.e.s.’s service-learn ing program. “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 8 962-0245 962-1163 News/Features/Arts/Sports Business/ Advertising Chapel Hill, North Carolina C 2000 DTH Publishing Corp. AH rights reserved. Albright Passes Up UNC Speech Provost Dick Richardson says the process to find a Commencement speaker must now start over. By Geoff Wessel Staff Writer 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 committee chose to ask Albright to deliver the speech. But Albright, who was given until this month to decide, declined the offer due to scheduling diffi culties, said Provost Dick Richardson. “I am sure we’ll find a fine speaker, the name of whom we just don’t know yet,” Richardson said Y Secretary of State Madeleine Albright declined the University's offer to speak at May Commencement. at a Commencement Committee meet ing Tuesday. “(Albright) was high on the list with the students, and she’s just not available because of so many international com mitments.” Prominent politicos have been on UNC’s list of graduation speakers in the past. 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 process again. 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! A weekly DTH online poll What was the most pivotal event in 20th century black history? www.unc.edu/dth /A to cast your vote. Wednesday The Race Is On Due to the ongoing problems with campus e-mail, the DTH has included instructions for student elections candi dates in briefs. Turn to Page 3 for infor mation. Contact Editorial Page Editor Scott Hicks at 962-4206 with questions. Joanna Howell Fund Applications are now available in the DTH front office for the Joanna Howell Fund, which honors a DTH Editorial Page Editor who died in the 1996 Phi Gamma Delta fraternity fire. The fund includes a $250 grant for an in-depth story about an issue that affects the uni versity. The story will be published in the DTH. Contact Managing Editor Cate Doty at 962-4103 with questions. Today’s Weather Sunny; Low 40s. Thursday: Sunny; Low 50s.