When masked streakers ran into Balaban’s Economics 101 class on Oct. 9, she said she was petrified at first, thinking they might have a gun. That fear quickly wore off as she sprung into action and sought to unmask the streakers.
“My big thing was I wanted to get the masks off because I wanted to identify these guys for the Honor Court,” Balaban said. “Honest to goodness, that’s all I was doing.”
She said she has received mostly positive feedback for her reaction, but some people on social media have said she should have let the incident go.
Patrick Conway, chairman of UNC’s economics department, said he supported Balaban’s reaction.
“Anything to speed the movement of those guys out of the classroom was appropriate,” he said.
Dean of Students Jonathan Sauls said he has no opinion of Balaban’s classroom management, but he was unaware of any University policy her actions might have violated.
Sauls said the University has disciplinary policies to address disruptions, but it is difficult to write policies describing how professors should handle disruptions while they are happening.
“There is danger in trying to forecast for people what’s supposed to happen in a given situation,” he said.