Both parties in university court case receive deadline

The plaintiff and defendant in Audrey Mitchell vs. the University of North Alabama have until Nov. 21 to decide to unanimously end or continue the case, according to a recent court order.

If both Mitchell, director of Environment Services and Housing Facilities Management, and the university do not agree to end the case, the district court will randomly draw and assign the case to a district judge, according to the Oct. 11 motion.

Mitchell’s claims include race-based employment discrimination and harassment from fellow university employees. Mitchell began reporting claims of harassment and discrimination in 2010, according to the lawsuit.

This decision to move forward follows UNA’s response to Mitchell’s claims in an Oct. 11 document in the case.

The university’s response includes denying some claims, agreeing to those which describe factual accounts and not responding to some saying they “lack sufficient information to either admit or deny the allegations.”

In the response, UNA “denies it discriminated against, retaliated against or harassed (Mitchell).”

The university also denies claims of intimidation and providing a hostile work environment for Mitchell.

Further denials include violation of Mitchell’s due process during an appeal to a reprimand, violation of her civil rights and abuse of power by those Mitchell has reported to.

Senior Avery Jackson said he plans to keep up with the case in the future.

“It’s definitely a story that you have to pay attention to,” Jackson said.

Overall, sophomore Evie Liles said she believes discrimination can be an issue in 2016.

“Discrimination is still real,” she said. “It never went away. It’s definitely not as bad as it used to be, but there’s still racist people or those who segregate against (others). If there’s a case, there’s a case.”

Both parties are expected to attend a Nov. 7 status meeting via phone to discuss the case unless they submit requested paperwork beforehand.