NORTH CAROLINA – An administrative board at the Universityof North Carolina at Charlotte found the former president of the Universityof North Carolina System’s Association of Student Governments “responsible”in September for threatening the editor of the school’s student newspaperwith sexual torture and death in an e-mail message.
The board suspended Nicholas Mirisis for at least two years. Mirisis,who is also the former student body president of the university, had steppeddown from that position and his position as ASG president over the summer,following the publication of a story in the campus newspaper, the UniversityTimes,which reported that Mirisis had purchased a research paper offthe Internet and turned it in for an honors-level class assignment as hisown work.
Shortly after the publication of that story, the editor ofUniversityTimes,Jillian McCartney, discovered that her purse–containing herdriver’s license, student ID, credit cards, and house and car keys–hadbeen taken from her office.
Five days later, McCartney checked her e-mail and found a message fromsomeone with an anonymous Hotmail account who claimed to have stolen herpurse. The message had been sent within hours of the July 1 theft.
“Everything that comes out of your work is a lie,” the message began.The keys and personal information contained in the stolen purse would provide”all the information I need to track you down.”
The message threatened McCartney with being beaten, tied up, sexuallyassaulted and murdered.
“It will be a pleasure to watch you bleed to death after everythingyou have done!!” the message said, “prepare to die!!!”
McCartney said she was disturbed by the e-mail and contacted the campuspolice immediately. She said she suspected that Mirisis had sent the messageto her because of his “past behavior” and the University Timesstoryabout his academic dishonesty.
But McCartney said she does not regret publishing the story.
“There was never a question in my mind that I would print it,” she said.”It was the right thing to do.”
Mirisis is not allowed to return to the campus without a police escort.McCartney said he has appealed the administrative board’s decision to suspendhim. Mirisis could not be reached for comment.