UNC System May be at Legal Risk for Ordering Students to Leave Dorms

Jackson A. Lanier

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Lead: The UNC system ordered all students to clean out their dorms and leave campus. Now that campuses across the state are closed, the Board of Governors now legal problems to face. Jackson Lanier has more

Jackson: Before Spring Break, Morrison dorm was home to over 800 students; now, it sits empty. On March 17, the UNC System ordered students to leave their dorms and campus. During their March 30 meeting, the Board of Governors discussed the consequences of their previous decision.

W. Marty Kotis, III:  So, you know, I think some of the uncertainty and the angst right now is a question of, are they going to get a refund for their housing and meal expenses? … And then the second part of that is, have we addressed the residential tenants legal rights under the north on a statute 4225. And any concerns about violating those rights and the potential liability associated with that?

Jackson: The question asked was whether the UNC System was at legal risk for forcing students to vacate their dorms.  Specifically, the Board was concerned if they violated NC GS 42-25 which dictates how, when, and why landlords can evict tenants. Thomas Shanahan, legal counsel to the board of governors, told the board not to worry.

Shanahan: As Dr. Roper said, we are not unusual we’d like many, many, many universities across the country are dealing with that same precise issue. … So the decision was, it is better for public health. It is better for individual health to substantially reduce the number of people in close quarters in residence halls, so many universities across the country have made that decision.

Jackson: While Shanahan assured the board that concern for the students’ health was a sufficient reason to force students out of their dorms, President Bill Roper also announced that at the next Board of Governors meeting he will present a proposal to refund students for their housing. In Randleman, I’m Jackson Lanier. Carolina Week.

Tag: Bill Roper has said that he is seeking help from the State and Federal government to help refund students.

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