Setting the Record Straight: Clarifying Today’s Article in the DTH

Daily Tar Heel
Daily Tar Heel

There were some inaccuracies in today’s DTH article concerning the resolution voted down in Congress yesterday. Miss Owens did an admirable job (far better than the usual DTH fare), but there were more nuances in the issue than her article let on.
First off, the title is misleading. We as Congress cannot “punish” people: that is left up to the judicial branch. We can’t pass bills of attainder of anything. The bill stated we shared the sentiments in the email Chancellor Thorp sent out on April 14th.

“Student Congress representatives couldn’t get enough votes to pass a resolution calling for the chancellor to discover and punish those involved in the April 14 protest of former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo.”

We weren’t calling for Chancellor Thorp to punish people. We were merely reiterating the statements he made in his email. The resolution stated that we wanted “discover the identities and press criminal charges if warranted [italics mine]”, which is substantially what Chancellor Thorp said in his email.

“The resolution — which began as an affirmation of free speech but was amended to urge Chancellor Holden Thorp to strengthen his focus on investigating the incident — caused significant debate among representatives about the role of Congress and the feelings of their constituents.”

The primary “Be it resolved” clause in the bill already had language that affirmed Chancellor Thorp’s decision. The amendment merely strengthened that language by quoting from his email. It basically specified what part of the “immediate and appropriate response” (the original clause) we were affirming.

A slight digression- Apparently the latter was enough for Speaker Levin-Manning to say the following: ““There were a lot of different amendments to it that turned it into something that I did not intend it to be.  I submitted the resolution with the intention of it being a positive statement from Congress.”  Ironically, over the weekend he submitted a resolution saying exactly what was amended in this resolution.  How affirming Chancellor Thorp’s position is in any way not positive is beyond me.

Overall, the article was fair and accurate.  Well done Miss Owens.  It appears as if the era of DTH myth-making has come to an end. *knock on wood*

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