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The Daily Tar Heel

New student attorney general to focus on efficiency

Amanda Claire Grayson, the new student attorney general, was nominated Sunday by Mary Cooper.

The legitimacy of the University’s student-run honor system has been in the campus spotlight for months, highlighting the perception that it is isolated from faculty and the student body.

But the system’s new leader said she is committed to turning that around.

In the week since her Feb. 19 selection, Amanda Claire Grayson has been ironing out her plans to implement her vision for the changing system.

Among these plans are a focus on outreach and education, support for the adoption of the plagiarism detection software Turnitin and improving relationships with faculty.

“It’s an interesting time to be coming in as the new attorney general,” said Grayson, who will be inaugurated April 3. “Our honor system may be going under a lot of changes, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”

After it was found last summer that the honor system had not detected plagiarism in a paper by former defensive end Michael McAdoo, Chancellor Holden Thorp initiated broad reform of the system. Since then, a faculty advisory committee and task force have been created, and the University has purchased a pilot version of Turnitin.

In that context, Grayson said her overarching goal is the creation of a more efficiently run honor system, starting with a focus on outreach and education.

“I want to make students and faculty more aware of what their responsibilities are for obeying the honor code and upholding the Carolina Way,” she said.

Grayson said she plans to create videos to teach faculty how to report and detect violations and to develop an honor system quiz for students to take before class registration.

The issue of faculty trust in the honor system has loomed large since the fall.

Grayson said she plans to build faculty confidence by involving them in every step of the hearing process and decreasing the cumbersome amount of time cases take.

Current student attorney general Jon McCay said gaining the trust of disillusioned faculty will be an important focus.

“Outreach is great, but it doesn’t help to inform people about the system if they aren’t committed to making the system work as good as it possibly can,” he said.

McCay said Grayson’s commitment will help her operate under the stress of the job that can require almost 40 hours per week.

“She’s very detail-oriented, thorough, diligent and responsible,” he said. “I trust her in making all the difficult decisions she will have to make in this position.”

Jan Boxill, chairwoman of the faculty, said Grayson’s openness to campus community voices will allow her to thrive.

“Nothing is going to be perfect with the honor system, and no matter the goal, there is always going to be positives and negatives,” Boxill said.

“But I think she is exactly what the system needs.”

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