Idea attorneys see unconstitutionality in Honor Court proceedings
by Stan Ridgley
Editor's note: The names of the local attorneys
A man is on trial in a small room, and no one
can watch. The accused looks eye-to-e'ye with the
five judges across the table. On his left is the
prosectuor. To the right is his defense counsel.
The court chairman reads aloud the" charges
The student is accused of breaking the UNC
Honor Code. His fellow students the judges
before him ask questions, listen to testimony,
and finally, after some closed deliberation,
decide on guilt or innocence. If guilty, the
defendant is sentenced.
That's the way Carolina's Honor Court is
run by students and in private, and the chances
of getting off the hook are slim. Since
September, the court has heard about 25 cases
and found 24 students guilty, a 96 per cnet
conviction rate. And the penalties can be harsh.
Expulsion, suspension, probation, censure,
academic sanctions. No, honor court isn't just a
formality; it's for real.
And the system isn't without its opponents.
Several local attorneys think the honor court
is unconstitutional the way it stands now, and
they have a long list of reasons why they think so.
"It really is a sort of kangaroo court," a local
attorney said. "The proceedings are conducted in
a rather cavalier fashion compared to how
important the outcome is to the individual."
However, Charles E. Lovelace, student
attorney general, says the court is well within
"The chancellor has the final authority in
matters dealing with student discipline,"
Lovelace said. "He has designated the student
judicial system to handle that responsibility. We
serve an administrative function for the
chancellor and operate by the authority he has
given us to perform that administrative
The function referred to by Lovelace is the-
trial of students who are accused of breaking the
UNC Honor Code. If a student is charged, he
appears at a preliminary conference; then, at his
trial, a panel of five students hears the
presentation by the prosecution and the defense.
The panel then deliberates alone and reaches a
What Chapel Hill lawyers don't like is that
both the prosecutor and defense counsel are on
the attorney general's staff.
"1 think it is impossible to separate the
interests of the attorney general from the
interests of one of the staff members," Thomas
Williams, another local attorney, said. "There
needs to be a complete independence of at least
the defense side. I think it is in the student's
interest to have the best representation he can
get, including a licensed attorney, because it's not
an administrative hearing as they sometimes
Williams complains that the student defense
counsel's tie with the attorney general is similar
to having a defense attorney in criminal court
is on the payroll of the district attorney. The
defense attorney's intentions may be good, but
the conflict of interest is still there. -
"That's a legitimate complaint," Lovelace said.
"However, this is not an adversary-type system.
A separate office for the defense council would
not only cause administrative problems, but
create more of an adversary-type system. Since
our staff has no professional legal training, a
change to that system would be a detrimental
The attorney general's staff receives no legal
training except that given to them as staff
members. They attend a judicial conference
where several law school professors talk to them
on trial advocacy. They also view several cases.
Lovelace says that in the present truth-finding
system of honor court, the training of staff is
"It all gets down to a question of what can be
the fairest way of dealing with matters involving
student discipline," said he. "In this case 1 think
you're going to be hard pressed to find a better
system in dealing with these things."
Another beef ths lawyers have against the
honor court is what they call a lack of due
process. Due process is a standard of fairness and
justness set by the U.S. Supreme Court. The
lawyers say that where one small, unfair aspect of
the honor court might not deny the student due
process, enough unfair things would, and that's a
violation of the student's constitutional rights.
However, Lovelace says the Honor Court is
conducted with due process.
"In the sense that due process is defined by the
Instrument of Student Judicial Governance, we
are not denying the student due process,"
Lovelace said. "We are giving him due process as
recognized by the chancellor of the university.
H e gives us the authority to begin with."
Included in the lawyers' argument is the fact
that it only takes three of the five court members
to convict a student.
Williams said that in civil court, the burden of
Please turn to page 3.
It will be clear today
with a high of 35. The
low last night was
about 15. There is no
chance of precipitation
fX XV rr
Volume No. 84, Issue No. 87
Serving the students and the University community since 1893
Tuesday, February 1, 1977, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The tell-tale skull
What is the "skull of
doom?" Why are NASA
and William Shatner
interested? Valerie Van
Arsdale explains on
Please call us: 933-0245
UNO's lawsuit flurry
and Tom Watkins
Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part
series examining lawsuits against the
University. This part deals with the reasons
behind the increased number of suits. The
second will look at several important suits
and their implications.
In 1973, Mary Carroll Smith signed a
three-year contract as an assistant professor
in the UNC Department of Religion. In
December 1974, she was notified that her
Mary Carroll Smith
contract would not be renewed . upon
expiration in 1976. She filed a $1.75 million
suit against the University.
On Saturday, assistant professor of
geology David M. Stewart lost his appeal to
the Faculty Hearings Committee in an effort
to get his contract renewed and tenure
granted. He also may file suit against UNC.
The number of lawsuits brought against
the University, once negligible, is now
approaching record proportions. Assistant
to the President of the consolidated
University Richard H. Robinson, counsel to
the University system's General
Administration, cited two reasons
Wednesday for the nationwide interest in
"There's a great deal more law of a
regulatory character applicable to
University life," he said. "Employment,
admissions, you name it; there's been just an
explosion in legal regulation of more and
more instance in business of any kind. This is
not limited to education.
"Second, I think it's a social dynamic
that's again not limited to the education
environment. It's fairly widespread that
folks are less and less inclined to take lying
down what's done to them by persons in
authority, whether you're talking about
employment, 'studenthood, or whatever.
"We're more litigious, more inclined to
sue. And I think that is true of the University
environment as it is of most others you could
point to." Assistant to the Chancellor
Susan H. Ehringhaus, legal counsel for the
Chapel Hill campus, voiced similar
"People are coming to look to the courts
to resolve things other institutions could
resolve. In the past they looked to dther
kinds of arbiters of dispute, such as leading
citizens and the clergy. There were probably
not any fewer disputes, but they were
resolved more informally.
"1 don't think the trend is often good. 1
want everyone to have access to the courts,
but putting every human dispute in the
courts overestimates the ability of the courts
to resolve things. The courts are not
equipped financially or physically to cope
with all these ptbblems.
"We've become an over-legalized society
and people have become overly litigious."
Robinson complained about the large
number of what he called nuisance cases,
those he described as frivolous or ill
founded. He said that while such cases are a
waste of time, it is impossible to differentiate
between valid and invalid claims in advance.
"You'll v get a lot of this terribly time
consuming, insubstantial nuisance litigation
along with some other cases which may have
merit, where something wrong was, in fact,
done and ought to be corrected."
He added that if one could differentiate
between valid and invalid claims in advance,
there would be no need for trials.
Because of the increase in litigation, the
consolidated University and other university
systems have been considering the
acquisition of insurance.
"We've never had an award levied by a
court against the University," Robinson
said. "There's never been a judgment
awarding damages. But that could change
tomorrow or next week, I suppose."
Robinson said that UNC is in the process
obtaining insurance that would cover all
D W may o
by Karen Millers
In a special meeting Sunday night, the
Campus Governing Council (CGC)
voted unanimously to hold a
referendum in the spring elections on a
constitutional amendment that would
give the Daily Tar Heel partial finance
independence from the CGC.
If the students approve the
amendment, the Daily Tar Heel would
receive at least 16 per cent of yearly
The amendment would also create a
board of directors for the Daily Tar
Heel that would serve as a publisher.
This job is now a responsibility of the
The fee allocation to the Daily Tar
Heel is now determined each year by the
CGC. Daily Tar Heel editor Alan
Murray told the Rules and Judiciary
Committee before the CGC meeting
that the set percentage would end the
danger of CGC exerting de facto
censorship over the paper by lowering
appropriations. He said the change is
necessary to insure editorial freedom.
"I think there's a real, basic
philosophical problem in having the
accountability (of the paper to the
students) be by way of the Student
Government (SG)," Murray said, "since
part of the function of the Tar Heel has
got to be to cover SG."
Murray said the primary way that the
paper stays accountable to the students
is through the election of the editor.
Under the amendment, Daily Tar
Heel funds would be exempt from SG
Treasury Laws but would still be subject
to the regulations of the Student
Activities Funds Office (SAFO).
"The monies will be handled by
SAFO," Murray said. "SAFO will
determine the accounting procedures.
SAFO will make sure that our money is
accountable." He added that the
Carolina Union is also regulated by
SAFO but exempt from SG Treasury
employees of the consolidated University, as
well as all members of governing boards. The
policy would cost between $20,000 and
$30,000 yearly, providing protection of up to
$ I million per case.,
"This insurance,,' Robinson said, "is being
bought as protection against the contingency
that some day a complaint might result in a
damage or award, the requirement that
either the University or some individual pay,
some money to a plaintiff."
H e said that the desire for insurance stems
from concern among public officials that
they can be held personally liable for
mistakes made in high risk jobs, including
certain positions with the University.
"I think the concern is significantly
exaggerated. In a sense we're buying some
reassurance, but I would be very much
surprised if there were many judgments of
any substance recovered against individual
employees, - administrators, or board
"The need for that reassurance is a reality
that has to be addressed, but the problem is
not as severe as people have been led to
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Everyone in this situation is happy. UNC offers a special
program giving dental students the opportunity to work on live
patients, and student patients are able to get their dental work
' Staff photo by ChariM Hardy
done at reduced costs. Although the inconvenience of signing
up far in advance for appointments may deter some, most are
are willing to put with the long wait.
They do their work at reduced rates
Aspiring dentists are longing for your teeth
by Charlene Havnaer
The high cost of dental work often causes students to
ignore the need for dental care until it is too late. A
sudden toothache or a reminder from home that one
should see a dentist every six months often sends the
student to the Yellow Pages in search of a local dentist.
Although the Chapel H ill area offers over 40 dentists
to choose from, the money-conscious student may find
it beneficial to look into the programs offered by the
UNC School of Dentistry.
The School of Dentistry has two programs offering
interested persons reduced rates on dental care
performed by UNC dental students.
The undergraduate student clinic offers routine
dejital care at 25 per cent of private dental service. The
work is performed by second, third and fourth year
dental students under the supervision of a faculty
The graduate dental clinic offers specialized dental
care such as orthodontic periodontic (gum treatment)
and prosthodontic (replacement of teeth) work at 50
per cent of the average cost. The work is done by
graduate students specializing in these areas under the
supervision of a faculty member.
The purpose of the programs is to provide the dental
students with practical clinical experience, according
to F. William McCracken, assistant dean of the UNC
School of Dentistry and Doctor of Dental Surgery.
Only persons with dental problems on which the dental
students need practice are eligible to participate in the
programs, McCracken said.
Persons interested in participating in the program
are screened by dental school faculty members, and an
X-ray is taken of their mouths to determine the type
and amount of treatment needed, McCracken said.
This information is put into a computer which matches
the needs of the patients with the needs of the dental
students. It may take from two weeks to 90 days for the
computer to match a patient with a student. Patients
who are eligible to participate are notified by the
student who will be working on them. Patients who are
not matched with a student within 90 days are notified
that assignment is unlikely.
McCracken said that last year approximately 50 per
cent of the persons screened had dental problems that
could be worked on in the program. Only 80 per cent
of these could be assigned to a dental student.
If a patient is accepted for one of the programs, he is
given a complete diagnostic checkup and a treatment
program is developed according to his needs,
McCracken said. The patient must agree to allow the
School of Dentistry to complete this treatment.
McCracken said that one drawback of the programs
is the amount of time involved. It takes a dental
student approximately three times as long to complete
the work as a private dentist, he said. To be accepted,
the prospective student must be able to be available
once or twice a week for three-hour clinic periods.
Another time factor is the length of time it takes to
get an appointment. Appointments must be made with
the School of Dentistry several months in advance.
m M mam f f
One concern CGC members
expressed about the bill is the 1 6 per cent
appropriations guarantee. The
percentage based on this year's budget is
$51,200; the Daily Tar Heel actually
received $53,534 this year, representing
less than 25 per cent of its total budget.
This appropriation allows for a price of
less than two cents per copy per student.
Murray said the average price of a
college paper is between three and five
"We will try to survive on this as long
as we can," Murray said, countering the
argument that the Daily Tar Heel might
ask for more funds in the future.
"I don't have a lot of faith in the CGC
as an. institution," said committee
member Bruce Tindall. "1 don't think it
should have a lot of power over the great
institutions of our University. So, I'm all
for anything that will give the Tar Heel
The seven-member board of directors
specified by the amendment would
govern the operation of the Daily Tar
Heel. It would include:
one student appointed by the
student body president to serve during
the term of that president;
one student appointed by the
elected editor of the Daily Tar Heel to
serve during the term of that editor;
one student appointed by the
Media Board to serve for one year;
one student appointed by the board
of directors to serve at least one year;
one individual to be chosen at large
by the board of directors to serve two
one faculty member from the
School of Journalism; and
one faculty member for the School
of Business Administration.
The two faculty members would be
chosen by the board of directors to serve
staggered three-year terms. The editor
and business manager of the Daily Tar
He eh would serve as non-voting
members of the board. The Media
Board would make initial appointments
to the four board-appointed positions.
Spring Exam Schedule
Quizzes are not to be given in this semester on or after Friday, April 22, 1977.
All 9:30 A.M. Classes on TTh
All 1 1:00 A.M. Classes on MWF
All Fren, Germ, Span & Port 1,2,3 & 4
Russ 1 & 2, and Educ 41
All 4:00 P.M. Classes on MWF, Econ 61
All 10:00 A.M. Classes on MWF, Phil 21
All 8:00 A.M. Classes on TTh
All 5:00 P.M. Classes on TTh, and all classes
not otherwise provided for in this schedule
All 8:00 A.M. Classes on MWF
All 12:30 P.M. Classes on TTh, ChenvI71L
All 2:00 P.M. Classes onMWF
All 12:00 Noon Classes on MWF, Chem 170L
All 3:30 P.M. Classes on TTh, Busi 71,72,73
All 9:00 A.M. Classes oh MWF
All 1 1:00 A.M. Classes on TTh
All 2:00 P.M. Classes on TTh
All 1:00 P.M. Classes on MWF
All 3:00 P.M. Classes on MWF
All 5;00 P.M. Classes on MWF
Mon. May 2
Mon. May 2
Tues. May 3 8:30 A.M.
Tues. May 3 2:00 P.M.
Wed. May 4 8:30 A.M.
Wed. May 4 2:00 P.M.
Thur. May 5 8:30 A.M.
Thur. May 5 2:00 P.M.
Fri. May 6 8:30 A.M.
Fri. May 6 2:00 P.M.
Sat. May 7 8:30 A.M.
Sat. May 7 2:00 P.M.
Mon. May 9 8:30 A.M.
Mon. May 9 2:00 P.M.
Tues. May 10 8:30 A.M.
Tues. May 10 2:00 P.M.
Wed. May 11 8:30 A.M.
Wed. May 11 2:00 P.M.
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