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UNC SB President Elect Says Confusion About Gambill Charges Fills Campus

By Ran Northam Posted February 28, 2013 at 3:43 pm
CHAPEL HILL – The recent controversy surrounding UNC sophomore Landen Gambill has the University’s Student Body President elect pondering issues that he says need continued attention.

“I think things have already been put in place to suggest that the system’s changing,” Lambden says. “Hopefully that will indicate that the issue will be handled differently and more effectively in the future.”

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He was elected just more than a week ago to take over for Will Leimenstoll on April 2. Lambden says he has heard mixed emotions on campus about the situation.

“I think people are incredibly surprised about the charges that have been brought against Landen,” Lambden says. “I think some people are angry about the charges that have been brought against Landen. Other people are struggling to understand why it’s happened, and they’re struggling to understand where it’s coming from.”

A great bit of confusion seems to be at the heart of the matter. Was it the Honor Court that accused Gambill of engaging in disruptive or intimidating behavior? Or was it someone else? Possibly her ex-boyfriend?

“I think some of the confusion lies in the fact that not all students have a full understanding of the exact Honor Court procedure in these sorts of circumstances,” Lambden says. “There is some confusion around who has brought the charges and whether it’s the Honor Court that has brought the charges and is trying them as well. I think it’s something that the student government and the Honor Court is working very hard to try to make clear to people at the moment.”

In fact, all matters discussed by the Honor Court are confidential in nature. So, the person who officially filed the claim against Gambill cannot be announced.

Gambill actually believes it is the Honor Court attempting to get back at her for filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights against the University and speaking out publicly about how, in her mind, the Honor Court was not prepared to oversee sexual assault cases.

Regardless of how the charges are settled against Gambill, Lambden says the root of the matter is still the most important going forward.

“We need to be looking to get input from students, from faculty, from staff, and from administrators into the writing of the policy so that we are in compliance with our obligations under federal law, but that we are representing and giving students what they need, deserve, and want from the sexual assault policy,” Lambden says.

Of course Lambden also feels it’s very important that the charges against Gambill are properly reviewed by the Honor Court.
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