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The Daily Tar Heel

Student congress passes 2 changes

With the tipoff of the 8 p.m. basketball game against the University of Maryland less than an hour away, Student Congress proceeded with a notably hurried pace at their meeting Tuesday.

Student Body President Christy Lambden began his State of the University address, which, among many things, touched upon UNC’s athletic scandal.

“We cannot ignore that there is the need for a debate to be had about the role sports should play in the college environment,” said Lambden. “That is not, however, a debate that should be held exclusively at Carolina. This is a national issue which should be tackled and debated at a national level.”

In the wake of the charge leveled by former athletic reading specialist Mary Willingham that many student athletes are not college literate, Lambden stressed the accolades of UNC as an academic institution and the importance of taking pride in being a member of the UNC community.

Lambden also reiterated his commitment to do everything in his power to implement a new sexual assault policy at the UNC before the end of his term. He is a member of the Sexual Assault Task Force, which originally aimed to make recommendations before the start of the fall semester, but the group is still working.

“I understand that the new policy has been a long time coming and the students want, need and deserve a new policy,” he said.

As change remains a constant theme at UNC, Lambden stressed his confidence in the administration.

“There is no doubt that the chancellor, provost and other senior leaders at the University arrived at a challenging time, but we have already seen that take action, be open and accept that the University has made errors in the past,” he said.

Also on the agenda for Congress were two amendments to the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance, both of which passed with ease.

Members approved the addition of self-plagiarism, or the submission of an assignment that is the same as, or substantially similar to, one’s own previously submitted work without authorization, as a violation of the Honor Code.

Despite the use of the phrase self-plagiarism, the issue is not considered plagiarism, said Undergraduate Student Attorney General Anna Sturkey.

“The concept of self-plagiarism is not really what is being addressed, so much as a violation of the procedures of the academic process,” she said.

Undergraduate Honor Court Chairman Nathan Tilley said violations of this amendment will not necessarily be considered any more or less serious than plagiarism.

With the amendment approved, it will move forward to the Faculty Executive Committee before being sent to the Faculty Council and Chancellor Carol Folt.

Congress also made one more amendment to the honor code. In spring 2013, former chancellor Holden Thorp approved the inclusion of faculty on the honor court for certain portions of academic cases, as well as scaled sanctions and a lesser burden of proof for the prosecution in honor court cases.

Congress approved language changes to facilitate the implementation of these provisions.

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