The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suspended a disciplinary hearing for a student because the U.S. government may investigate the undergraduate’s claims that the school retaliated against her for speaking out about sexual assaults on campus.
Proceedings of the Honor Court, a conduct board run by students, will be paused with regard to the case, UNC Chancellor Holder Thorp, said in an e-mailed statement today.
UNC is the subject of two investigations of its response to and reporting of campus sexual assault cases after a group of women filed complaints with the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights this year. Landen Gambill, who is part of that group, has filed a separate claim that the university tried to silence and discredit her through the Honor Court, the Daily Tar Heel student newspaper reported yesterday.
“Recognizing the potential conflicts that may exist by allowing both processes to continue, we have asked the Student Attorney General to suspend the Honor Court proceeding pending an external review of these allegations of retaliation,” Thorp said in the statement. “The university takes all allegations of retaliation seriously, whether against an individual or an institution, and this allegation is no exception.”
The Honor Court case was brought by Gambill’s ex-boyfriend, who she has accused of rape, according to the Daily Tar Heel. He has said that Gambill’s discussion of sexual assault made the campus environment intimidating and uncomfortable for him, the student newspaper reported. Gambill has denied identifying him publicly.
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