Officials said the arrest of Mario Schaffer, 26, of 225 Roberson Street should not pose any safety problems for students because Schaffer does not have access to residence halls.
Drake Maynard, senior director of administration for the Department of Human Resources, said University policy is to take disciplinary action only once an employee is convicted of a crime. "We don't fire anybody for being arrested," Maynard said. "It has no legal standing."
Recent employee arrests at UNC prompted the University to adopt a policy this year requiring background checks on all new staff hires.
If employees are convicted of charges brought against them while they are working at UNC, disciplinary action will be taken only if there is a causal relationship that affects their ability to function as a University employee, Maynard said.
Schaffer was arrested and charged with one felony count of possession of crack cocaine with the intent to sell or deliver, Chapel Hill police reports stated. He was released without bond.
The officers who arrested Schaffer on North Graham Street in Chapel Hill found him in possession of a canister containing six rocks of crack cocaine, reports stated. Bill Burston, director of housekeeping, said he was not aware of the arrest until a reporter from The Daily Tar Heel called him Thursday.
Burston added that it is too soon to determine whether any course of disciplinary action will be taken because Schaffer has yet to be convicted of a crime. Schaffer was not at work on Friday, Burston said. "Just because someone (was arrested) doesn't mean they did something wrong," Burston said.
Burston also said students should not be concerned because Schaffer, a housekeeping laborer, does not have keys to residence halls or rooms. And Burston said Schaffer has performed his job well for the housekeeping department in the past.
While many students said Friday that they feel safe in their residence halls, some feel frustrated by the recent string of employee arrests at UNC.
"I think that if they are going to be employees of the University, they should be held to the same standards the students are," said Michael Dorry, a freshman resident of Hinton James Residence Hall.
But because Thursday's arrest occurred off campus, Dorry said he does not feel threatened. "I am not concerned for my safety."
The University Editor can be reached at udesk@.unc.edu.
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