Maya Little and her supporters walked out of the second half of her Honor Court hearing Friday afternoon after Little expressed concern over the fairness of the trial.
The Graduate and Professional Honor Court gathered at 3 p.m. Friday for the second half of the hearing that will decide Little’s fate for painting Silent Sam with red paint and her own blood in April after Thursday's hearing ended with tension. Audience members found pro-Silent Sam material on adjudicator Frank Pray’s social media, and deliberations ensued concerning his ability to be impartial.
The hearing ended in a hard stop yesterday during these discussions because of a scheduling conflict in the Student Union room where the hearing was taking place.
When presiding officer Amelia Ahern walked into the room with the other adjudicators on Friday, Pray included, she delivered a speech affirming Pray’s impartiality.
She ensured his record of support for the statue would in no way affect his ability to consider Little's case impartially, which ended the discussions about Pray's position as an adjudicator because the Honor Court is responsible for rooting out partiality.
Little protested, saying her right to a “fair, impartial and speedy hearing” was directly compromised by Pray’s continued presence.
“I am the ultimate decision maker, and I have taken everyone’s viewpoint into consideration,” Ahern said.
At this point, Little said she was positive she wasn't going to receive a fair trial.
“I am going to walk out,” she said.
And she did, along with the entirety of her supporters, who made up most of the crowd. In the hallway she delivered a statement outlining her grievances with the process.
“I asked Pray about the number of previous comments he has made on the news, in the Carolina Journal, at BOT meetings, on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media,” Little said. “Despite having half a year to discover the bias that students found immediately, the Honor Court gave me less than five minutes to object to Pray's place on my panel.”
The Honor Court reconvened and the trial is proceeding without Little or any of her witnesses. Her lawyer remained there to represent her, but she has waived any additional evidence or defense that might be considered in her case.
“I believe that Pray’s comments qualify, as noted in 2A4 of the Instrument, as conduct that impairs the capacity of University and associated personnel to perform their duties, manage resources, protect the safety and welfare of members of the University community, and maintain the integrity of the University,” Little said.
The UNC Graduate and Professional Student Honor Court declared Maya Little is responsible for violating Section II.C.2.A of the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance, "stealing, destroying, damaging, or misusing property belonging to the University or another individual or entity."
The Court decided to sanction Maya Little with a written letter of warning and 18 hours of community service to be completed within three months.