An external review of the Landen Gambill Honor Court case detailed weaknesses in the University’s Honor System and called into question the merits of an entirely student-run court.
Rutgers professor Barbara Lee’s investigation found that the student handling the case was insufficiently trained and advised, leading her to bring forward a charge that was potentially unconstitutional.
“I believe that the University’s decision to delegate both the content of the Honor Code and the disciplinary process to a student-controlled and administered process is very problematic,” Lee wrote in her report, obtained by The Daily Tar Heel.
In February, Gambill, then a sophomore, faced an Honor Court charge for engaging in intimidating behavior toward her ex-boyfriend, whom she publicly accused of raping her.
Chancellor Holden Thorp immediately suspended the Honor Court case and hired Lee to review Gambill’s claims. Last week, he dismissed the charges against Gambill and suspended the intimidation provision for further review.
Lee found no evidence of retaliation by the University in her review, but her report provided details of how the charges against Gambill developed.
The report states when the Honor Court charge was filed, it fell under the graduate and professional student attorney general’s jurisdiction to determine whether there was substantial evidence to bring it in front of the court — the standard procedure in these cases.
But according to the report, the student attorney general told Lee she had not received formal training on how to make this determination, so she followed a standard set by her predecessors — one that required a 30-percent probability that the court would find the accused guilty before the case could move forward.