UNC-Chapel Hill Faces Backlash Over Sexual Assault Victim Landen Gambill’s Honor Court Charge
The Huffington Post By Tyler Kingkade 03/06/2013
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is under intense community backlash after news broke that Landen Gambill, a sexual assault survivor, faces possible expulsion for “intimidating” her alleged abuser.
Gambill was part of a group that filed a federal complaint against UNC over the way the institution treats sexual assault victims. Though Gambill has never publicly identified her abuser, other than to say he’s an ex-boyfriend and a current UNC student, her alleged attacker filed an Honor Court charge against her last week.
The American Association of University Professors’ Committee on Women stood by Gambill and urged the university to drop the charges in a letter to UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp.
“Charging a plaintiff in a sexual assault case with an Honor Court violation appears very much like retaliation for raising the issue of sexual assault,” wrote professors Ann Green and Donna Potts, of St. Joseph’s University and Kansas State University, respectively. “Such action by UNC can only serve to silence survivors of sexual violence and to contribute to the chilly campus climate delineated by the recent ‘Dear Colleague’ letter issued by the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education.”
The university has insisted it has nothing to do with the Honor Code charge, but the AAUP noted the administration does have oversight of the Honor Court system. Indeed, the Committee on Student Conduct, comprised of students, faculty and administrators, “oversees the implementation of the Honor Code and the workings of the Honor System at UNC,” according to its website….