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THE HONOR SYSTEM
Two hours later, they had agreed on a
solution: D'Amore would do five to 10
service hours at the career center and
write letters of apology to the recruiters.
It was the solution that D'Amore had
suggested after learning of the charges,
but the attorney general had insisted she
had to go through the process.
A mediation alternative would take
pressure off the attorney general's staff,
leaving more time and attention for those cases
that do need a full ttial, supporters say.
Although the average time to ttial is about
two months, in circumstances such as with
the computer science students it can take
much longer. Both Coggins and Trinh have
said they favor an alternative process.
Plea bargaining and mediation also
could result in more educational outcomes
for students who are charged with viola-
tions, said Appiarius, a licensed mediator.
"You fit the punishment to the crime, not
to be punitive but to educate them about
what it's like to be an academic COllll TIU-
nity and how what they did broke at the
heart of the academic community," he
said. Before recendy leaving UNC, Appi-
arius created a mediation training program
through the Office of Student Affairs, but
it is not affiliated with the Honor Court.
D'Amore was one of28 students who
completed the training last year.
Bob Adler, chair of the Comrnittee on
Student Conduct, said he is glad the com-
mittee is discussing mediation and plea
bargaining as options, but he would not
want it to be the first route available to
students. He said the goals of the system
include punishment, rehabilitation and
deterrence as well as education."Do I
think education is the primary goal of the
system? It's among the most important,
but it's not the only goal," he said.
In an action unrelated to the debate at
Chapel Hill about the Honor Court, the
UNC System Board of Governors in
April appointed a task force to study
student disciplinary procedures on all 16
system campuses. Its goal is to ensure that
procedures at different schools - not all
of which have honor systems - are ade-
quate and fair, including appeals systems.
A question of trust
Changing the system may spare future
faculty members and students the ordeal
that Coggins and Trinh faced. Both say
there is no doubt in their minds that such
changes are necessary. But that comes as
small comfort to the two, who say their
experiences left them disillusioned with
each other and with a system that was
supposed to support the faculty-student
relationship at the heart of the Univer-
Mter his conviction for cheating was
overturned on appeal, Trinh is back on
solid ground as he enters his senior year.
But he said last spring that he no longer
feels fully at home at Carolina - if the
case had happened a year earlier, he said,
he would have transferred to another uni-
versity after the experience. Academic
integrity and a fair and honest judicial
system are "a joke" at Carolina, he said.
A T-shirt sold in one of the shops on