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The Daily Tar Heel

He’s Not Here T-shirts point finger at broader issue

Boyer, who designed the shirts himself, is selling them for $20 on teespring.com until Oct. 6. The proceeds go to the GoFundMe that supports the family members of crash victim Darlene McGee.

On July 19, former UNC student Chandler Kania drove drunk and hit a car as he was going the wrong way on I-85, resulting in the deaths of three people and injuring another. He had purchased alcohol underage at He’s Not Here.

On Sept. 2, the state ABC Commission recommended He’s Not surrender its liquor license on or before Nov. 6.

The local bar is a popular destination in Chapel Hill and is well-known for its oversized Blue Cups.

“He’s Not Here is as much Carolina as the Old Well for some people,” junior Will Henriques said.

Henriques believes the sanctions are too severe.

“I don’t think a bar that has served the students and community and has become a true staple of Chapel Hill should be totally lost to everyone based on one night,” he said.

UNC ethics professor Lois Boynton said bars face a financial and moral dilemma when it comes to serving underage clients.

“There is not an easy answer,” she said in an email. “While bars may put themselves at a disadvantage by not opening their doors to students who are not of drinking age, they can also risk of fines and revocation of their licenses if they serve those who are underage. For a place like He’s Not Here, those penalties could put them out of business.”

Boyer described the downtown bar as an institution of Chapel Hill.

“It is a safe place to be introduced to drinking,” he said.

Boyer said he assigns singular responsibility for the accident to the driver.

“This is the age of Uber. There is never a reason to drive drunk,” he said.

Junior Sultan Henson was less sympathetic toward He’s Not.

“If these establishments want to keep their place, they should be model businesses. It is important to keep up standards,” he said.

Although Boyer has only sold a couple shirts, he said the popularity is not important to him.

He said he believes the important thing to focus on is combating drunken driving through selling T-shirts.

Senior Susie Proctor questioned sending the money to the families after they had sued He’s Not and La Residence.

“It would make sense to donate the money to drunk driving prevention,” she said.

But Boyer said he had a moral obligation to donate the proceeds to the McGee family.

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“It’s simply the right thing to do.”

arts@dailytarheel.com