Jun 27, 2017



NEWS

McKenzie drops four UJC charges

Honor Chair retracts accusations against four CD managing board members; charges against editor-in-chief still stand

Honor Committee Chair Ann Marie McKenzie dropped University Judiciary Committee charges against four of the five members of The Cavalier Daily's managing board yesterday.

The managing board was accused Sept. 14 of breaching the confidentiality of a former writer accused of plagiarism. McKenzie filed charges contending that an unsigned editorial written by the managing board divulged information which compromised the student's honor proceedings. She charged the five members with violating Standard 11 of the University's standards of conduct, which prohibits "intentional, reckless, or negligent conduct which obstructs the operations of the Honor or Judiciary Committee, or conduct that violates their rules of confidentiality."

According an email sent by UJC Chair Victoria Marchetti early Monday morning, McKenzie has since retracted her accusations against Cavalier Daily Managing Editor Andrew Seidman, Executive Editor Matthew Cameron, Chief Financial Officer Allie Vandivier and Operations Manager Alyssa Juan. Charges are still pending against Editor-in-Chief Jason Ally.

Both McKenzie and Marchetti declined to comment on the developments, but Seidman speculated that McKenzie dropped the charges in the interest of preserving the Honor Committee's reputation.

"It makes the honor code look bad because she's discouraging people from reporting incidents to the Honor Committee," he said. "By taking action against individuals who have reported incidents of plagiarism, Ann Marie McKenzie has created a perverse and bizarre system whereby individuals are punished for doing the right thing." Seidman added that he did not believe McKenzie had "nefarious intentions" in filing the charges.

Because McKenzie, the complainant, dropped the charges against the defendants, it is not clear whether free speech claims by the managing board were a factor in the decision. Only the UJC itself can formally determine whether or not it has the purview to hear a case.

Earlier this week, the managing board argued that the case did not fall within the jurisdiction of the UJC, citing a clause in the UJC constitution which states that the committee "shall not have jurisdiction over the exercise of journalistic and editorial functions by student groups."

The UJC disagreed in a decision released Thursday night, concluding that individual students publishing information in a newspaper are not automatically exempt from UJC jurisdiction.

"The fact that the alleged disclosures occurred in a newspaper does not necessarily absolve the individual students of their duties to uphold any binding Honor Committee policies," the decision reads. "It is evident from the written arguments submitted by both sides that there are clear factual disputes that require further investigation."

Representatives from the Honor Committee, UJC and The Cavalier Daily managing board convened at a meeting Friday to discuss the direction of the case, members of the managing board said. The meeting was moderated by University Spokesperson Carol Wood and Patricia Lampkin, vice president and chief student affairs officer. Both administrators felt the meeting was a productive endeavor.

"The fact that all were willing to come together to meet is very positive sign and shows a great deal of leadership on the part of each student," Wood said in an email. Lampkin echoed Wood's sentiments, but noted that the conflicting ideals were still pervasive in the discussions.

"I thought it was a positive step that the three groups were willing to begin a conversation and try to develop an understanding of how the groups have different responsibilities and purposes," she said in an email. "That said, it was clear that throughout the meeting there were differing opinions and expected outcomes."

Ally acknowledged the heightened tensions, but said the meetings were key in fostering an open dialogue between the parties.

"There were members of the managing board that were frustrated at some of the topics discussed during the meetings and perhaps rightfully so, but in spite of that I did see genuine progress come out of the meetings," he said. "I think they really did establish an avenue for everyone to stay in communication throughout this whole process." He added that the parties are still "in frequent contact with each other."

Although the UJC does not operate on precedent, the Committee has encountered previous issues with jurisdiction with regard to student media groups. In 1985, an ad hoc committee within the UJC proposed an amendment to the UJC bylaws which would grant the body jurisdiction in student media cases. The proposal prompted a coalition of opposition from a number of journalistic organizations on Grounds.

"There was a group of us who got together and made clear our position, which was [that] any effort to give a student governmental entity the authority to regulate what is published in a student media outlet constituted an abridging of the First Amendment," said Greg Trevor, The Cavalier Daily's editor-in-chief at the time. The ad hoc committee ultimately decided to uphold the exemption for student media despite arguments that the bylaws do not afford students enough recourse when their individual rights are compromised by media outlets.

As for the pending charges against Ally, Seidman said the decision to move forward with Ally's case is tantamount to "holding the editor-in-chief of The Cavalier Daily hostage."

"We refuse to let the leader of this organization go to the kangaroo court that is the UJC, an institution whose leaders don't even know its own constitution," Seidman said.

-Although Ally and Seidman read this article before it printed, no member of the managing board edited or altered this piece written by staff members.


Published September 27, 2011 in News









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Commentary

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Nameless
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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I always sign my name when commenting here, except now I won't. I can't. I would not want to be guilty of interfering with an Honor trial.

Ms. McKenzie, you have stifled my speech, stolen my voice, and cheated the student body of its right to free discourse. Congratulations, you have successfully destroyed the Community of Trust. I don't trust you. Nor the "Honor" system.

Ms. Marchetti, you are equally to blame in even considering hearing this outrageous "case," when the UJC Constitution explicitly states you cannot hear such a case on journalistic/editorial grounds. We must have a free press. Nothing that has been said in the CD risks the integrity of these supposed justice systems more than hearing the truth of these organizations' actions.

What pisses me off more than the farce of the sanctity of "Student Self Governance" is that you are risking the livelihood of Mr. Ally - this petty scuffle could seriously damage his career and life. I have no faith that the systems as they stand, especially under current leadership, would give him a "fair" trial nor that a jury of his peers will find him not guilty of a significant offense.

Furthermore, if you can arbitrarily drop charges against the other four CD editors, you must realize that you are acting outside of any code of justice. This must be an all-or-nothing decision or you are clearly targeting Mr. Ally personally. Such apparent discrimination, maliciously intended or carelessly enacted, is further evidence of how little judgement these large and powerful organizations possess.

Whatever Honor or UJC's intentions or rules - the appearance of justice is often more important than justice itself. And right now whatever justice you think you might gain from prosecuting or hearing the case against Mr. Ally (or any of the editors), has cost the community much more throughout this whole charade.

Stop this nonsense right now: Resign. Both of you, Ms. McKenzie and Ms. Marchetti.

Most certainly this is just a first step - these organizations need to be restructured and some other checks need to be put in place to save students from the gross power wielded by incompetent fools. It really scares me that such people have the power to terminate a student's education. The Deans in their wisdom, I'm sure are letting the students work this out for themselves - but if they had the sense to figure this out, they wouldn't have gotten themselves in this predicament in the first place.

Do the right thing and drop all these ridiculous charges, remove yourselves from these organizations and let the community begin to formulate how to respond to such egregious violations of our trust.


Shocked
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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I am shocked at the sheer lack of professionalism demonstrated by the Cavalier Daily in all of their responses to this issue. These articles have been anything but unbiased, including their juvenile and melodramatic lead editorial published yesterday. If the Cav Daily wants any of us to take this or any story seriously, they should refrain from histrionic verbiage such as "kangaroo court" in their articles and stick to the facts. With the Honor and Judiciary Committees unable to comment on the matter (they are too busy protecting the confidentiality of Mr. Jason Ally and upholding Standard 11), why should we believe anything you write?

Shame on you, Managing Board. You became over-run by emotion when you were forced to face the consequences that all UVA students are bound to. If a professor or student published such detailed information about an Honor case publicly, there would be an outrage of a different kind, and that student would certainly be facing Standard 11 charges. I guess I never knew what it was like to be able to hide behind the veil of the press while I was a student at UVA, I would have been held accountable for my actions.


Alumni
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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As an alumna of the University, I am appalled by the behavior of Ms. McKenzie and of the UJC, which decided to expand its jurisdiction even though the black-letter rules say that the matter is outside its purview. The whole thing smacks of petty politics; perhaps McKenzie is a friend of the plagiarizer? I hope this matter blows over and the Honor Committee and UJC go back to prosecuting actual offenses.


bobgreen
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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Okay...so if I tell a white lie to my frat brothers or accidentally on purpose misspell a word and get away with it at the scrabble club- then it's going to the UJC? This is not a class but an extra-curricular activity. The paper should police and correct themselves. Oh brother...they think they're BIG brother.


Patricia
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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Wow, just... wow. The 4th day of the SAME argument by the CD managing board - this makes me sick to my stomach. Part of being a journalist is reporting the news in an unbiased way, which they clearly have shown they are unable to do.


Michael
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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There are a number of issues at play here, and the unfortunate thing is that everyone seems to be making generalizations rather than really analyzing each component fairly.

I wasn


Sean
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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Humbled as I am at their adoption of my term Kangaroo Court when referring to the UJC, I have a question for anyone passing by these threads that seems to be so enamored of the dead Honor Code. Where were you last semester when a Law School student filed a false police report and tried to get the media to but false accusations against UVA Police officers?

If you think for one second that a newspaper has no right to print a story about itself and a writer they dismissed because they found evidence of plagiarism because of some silly code the UJC thinks they can hammer them with, then how is it that a guy at UVA can - and did - brazenly admit to lying and making the cops jump through hoops investigating a false allegation. Indeed, why didn't anyone on this UJC do anything about that real, actual Honor violation?

Does this makes sense on any rational level to ANY of you?


Reed
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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Holy God there is not a modicum or intelligent discourse anywhere.


Echo
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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I'm impressed that the CD MB has managed to ratchet up their whine to an entirely new level. I thought the Consensus Clause debate was as biased and whiny as they could get, but this is a new and incredibly disappointing level.


Sean
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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Reed, I've gone back and checked out the Perkins story from last semester.

http://www.cavalierdaily.com/2011/05/10/law-student-fabricates-racial-profiling-incident/

It appears you had no interest in that story at all, at least not in the comment threads. And even if you did not know about it, you seem to have no interest in it now either. You're here suggesting that the UJC somehow has the right to throw journalists out of school for writing about their own paper, despite the fact that we enjoy freedom of the press in this country and their own constitution exempts same.

I know that you are fascinated by this ridiculous little gnat of a drama between the CD and the UJC while the grizzly bears of a few others are towering over you and breathing steam. Fair enough. But the rest of us are not required to have your highly selective blinders/straws on. I am no fan of this managing board, obviously. The last was was 3/5 admirable, but that is irrelevant now. I still defend the current board in this particular case.

Have you considered that the UJC might just have been motivated here by personal embarrassment over the Perkins case? Maybe even the Margaret Lipman controversy? And perhaps they were very eager to have a go at making themselves relevant again, and putting the past behind them? In addition, can you grasp what others might conclude given the interest some of you have in this case while ignoring the others?

And if you are going to look down your nose at the way others write, I suggest you have another look at the one sentence you just posted..


Bob
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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Sean,

Wasn't there a comment earlier that Honor charges WERE brought in the case you referenced, and the trial is upcoming shortly?


UVA Fighter
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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Did anyone see Seidman's unintelligable interview with NBC 29 last week? Yeah, that is exactly who I want representing my university in the public. I've been around here a long time, and I've never seen a more unprofessional, whiny and pathetic group as the Cav Daily Managing Board. "Kangaroo court" - glad the MB has resorted to name-calling, that keeps with the appropriate age of which they have been acting. What's worse is that language is in a news article rather than an opinion!

The sad thing is that they don't realize that the case against them is very weak - but that is a question FOR THE TRIAL not a jurisdictional argument. They could very well be found not guilty! But that's not good enough for this incredibly indignant, childish and pathetic MB who will stop at nothing to further antagonize the situation rather than seeing how it will play out. I am ashamed that this is the only student newspaper available to read.


Reed
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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Were I to attempt to illuminate the number of fallacious statements and woeful misunderstandings found primarily in these comments, but also in this article, I fear I should crash the CavDaily's servers. We should really cease with the character snubs and strawmen arguments.

The fact that it was Anne Marie, the honor chair, that filed these claims makes this look more controversial than it really should be. What if the accused had filed the claims, feeling his confidentiality was breached? It does not seem improbable that he might think this. Would this have caused such a scandal? But any student can file a claim if they believe a S.o.C. has been breached. Anne Marie believed so, as a student she has the ability to file a claim.

And frankly the attacks to the UJC are entirely unwarranted. Their involvement is that they received a filed claim. They have no choice but to receive the claim. They then decide if it should move to a trial and formal charges. Their doing everything they have to do to function. The CavDaily moved and published the "CavDaily faces UJC charges" before the UJC could even take the first step to formally decide if they would move forward. But because the circumstances are shrouded in emotion and ignorance people are crying for blood from anyone involved.

Article:


Reed
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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Sean: I'm responding to your comment in a separate post. First, you allude to my typo "or" instead of "of" in my first post. Thank you for pointing it out, and also implying that my comment, regarding the poor logic and gut-reactions of people involved in this debate, is hypocritical because of a small typographical error. That is precisely the sort of methodology of which I was speaking!

As to the issue of the fabricated racial profiling incident: I have not mentioned it because, quite simply, it is totally irrelevant in the issue at hand. If you must know my opinion: I was livid when I learned about it. I believed he should be brought up on honor charges. I would not be surprised if he IS in fact brought up on them and we don't know yet because of, gasp, the confidentiality clause. I do not need to comment online to care about an issue. The reason I commented here is because I think the rights of individual students are actually in the cross hairs.

Don't know what conclusions will be made, nor do I have anybody breathing down my back.


Jerry
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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As a usually proud alum, I am astonished by this controversy. Can a student journalist really be expelled from school for reporting news? Is that what U.Va. has become? I can only hope that this story is an unseasonal April Fools Day joke.


Marvin Edwards
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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Does the Cavalier Daily claim the right to publish the names of all honor court suspects it is aware of pursuant to the UJC's constitution's xclusion of cases involving "the exercise of journalistic and editorial functions by student groups"?

If not the UJC, then what prevents the Cavalier Daily from publishing honor court suspect's names?


Sean
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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Margaret Lipman and Jonathan Perkins got their UVA degrees last May. Everyone in/at Honor, the UJC, and the Cavalier Daily were obviously AOK with that. Although I am not a fan of the CD managing board, to suggest that they did not have the right to cover this story about their own paper because of a dead Honor Code is absurd - especially given the exemption for journalists. For those of you who still think Perkins is awaiting a trial, would not the two articles about him last semester fall into the same category as this little charade?

Can any of you honestly grasp how silly this looks now that UJC has dove into this ill advised attempt to (originally) throw 5 kids out of school for writing a news article? AS IF the minutia of the Honor Code EVER trumped the first amendment. And as if UVA itself was not dealing in dishonesty every day of every week.

And Reed, it was you who threw down the gauntlet suggesting that yours is the only intelligent discourse around here. So that opens you up for someone to point out flaws in your one sentence bemoaning that. I am not the grammar or spelling police. But I can point out a confusing typo in a post that itself makes such an arrogant statement.


Patricia
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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Sean -

Unlike the Honor Committee, the UJC can do a wide range of punishments for violations. I don't think anyone really believes that these students will be expelled for this - heck, even DUIs and bar fights only get nominal amounts of community service apparently. No one died or was seriously injured here, so I doubt that suspensions or expulsions will be the result.


Bob
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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Sean-

Interesting how you still haven't responded to reports that Mr. Perkins was reported and his trial is upcoming, or the question of why YOU didn't report Ms. Lipman (which you could have done, even as a non student). Seems like you are the one who can't handle facts that challenge your worldview.


Sean
(12/31/69 7:00pm)
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This phantom Perkins trial thing is starting to take on the air of a UFO coverup, Cheney doing 9/11, or the secret decoder ring in the Ovaltine can. It's October tomorrow, folks.

As for Margaret Lipman, I don't personally think that she even wrote that article herself. I was told that only a UVA student or faculty could report her, and I knew the system was a politically motivated joke already as it is. I was pretty gung ho at first, but I didn't want to even pressure someone else to do it. One of my allies changed her mind about doing so, and reminded me that Ms. Lipman was very young and impressionable. I try never to blame UVA students entirely for the indoctrination they get here. We all decided that getting back to the document we were writing was, in the aggregate, a much more productive use of our time.

Nonetheless, her statement directly and deliberately misstating a medical fact is still there for everyone to read. As is UVA's own forced admission that it is indeed not factual. We're staying focused on the people still in control rather than a single alumni who lied to everyone about a serious health risk on behalf of her political agenda.



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