The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 11, 1940, Page 4, Image 4

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Thursday, April H, 1940
Union offers collegians recreation facilities
eight years
of struggle
Today on these two pages are
stories of the Union, and what it
has to offer the student who will
take the trouble to use its facil
ities, but behind its . luxurious
quarters is a story of eight long
years of struggle for the realiza
tion of a dream so that the stu
dent of today could enjoy a Stu
dent Union.
The honor roll of those who
made the Union more than a "pipe
deam" includes: Ray Ramsay, Os
car Norling, Elmont Waite, Bill
McCleery, Robert Thiel, Jack
Fischer, Irving Hill, Ed Murray,
Arnold Levin, Ralph Reeder, Al
Moseman, Senator George Norris,
Congressman Henry Luckey,
Chancellor Emeritus E. A. Bur
nett, State PWA Administrator
John Latenser. and President
Ramsay starts move.
Ray Ramsay, the then alumni
secretary, and Oscar Norling, eu
itor of the DAILY, began the drive
for a Union in 1930. First con
etructive step came a few months
later when the Alumni council ap
pointed a student union commit
tee. Under the direction of Ram
say a series of articles, running
over a three year period, were
prepared and ran in the DAILY
and the "Nebraska Alumnus."
Then the Innocents took up the
fight and Ramsay and. the presi
dent of the honorary, Bill Mc
Cleery. went to the University of
Missouri campus to inspect their
new Union. Questionnaires and in
quiries were sent to all colleges
with Unions.
Robert Thiel. as head of the
committee, made investigations,
and found a number of legal bar
riers that would have to be re
moved before the Union could be
built. In 136 the Student Council
took up the fight and under presi
dent Irving Hill and with the aid
of the board of regents indicated
that there might be a possibility
of removing the legal barriers
Meanwhile the committee did all
In its power to keep student in
terest in the project alive.
Students willing to pay.
. Jack Fi3cher, DAILY editor, an
nounced In November, 1935, that
Petitions circulated among stu
dents indicated that they would
be willing to pay a small fee to
defray the cost of maintenance.
A similar survey among alumni
disclosed that they would furnish
the building. Then Nebraska's
representatives at Washington
went to work to get the WPA
endorsement of the Union plan.
The next phase in the history of
the Union was the approval by the
regents of the petition for secur
ing the federal funds. This oc
curred Friday, Feb. 14, 1936. The
greater part of the struggle was
On Oct. 23, 1936, the DAILY an
nounced that a $180,000 assured
a new Union for the university.
The issue that day was given over
entirely to discussion of the new
building its architecture, uses and
history of the drive up to that
Construction Interrupted.
Actural construction was inter
rupted and the builders had to
postpone the date o. its comple
tion. On May 4, 1938, the build
ing opened with a grand open
house ceremony. The DAILY put
out a special 12 page edition to
celebrate, the event. The edition
carried the history of the struggle
of the Union up to that date.
The following night Orrin Tuck
er played the first "name band"
dance in the ballroom. Since that
time the activities of the building
have increased, and the value of
the Union to the student body has
increased a hundred fold.
Huskcrs approve
Harmony Hours
Over 60 percent of students at
tending the Sinfonia Harmony
Hours in the Union are boys and
over hO percent are not School of
Music students, according to
Union surveys.
Tschaikowsky Is generally the
most popular composer though re
quests for Ravel's "Bolero" top the
list. " Trlste" by Sibelius,
"Rhapsody in Blue" by Gershwin,
the Nutcracker Suite run close
behind. Strauss, Beethoven, and
Wagner are also in demand.
Through these doors
trZ M i,J, I I f ; q M
. :
h - Mi p7 n
ly.'1 I k I I i I 111
A . n : I j I I I T
.r M 1fTn TliTfW lif i J
Thru these doors hundreds of university
students pass every day in search of entertain
ment, in search of a place to play and profit
ably spend their leisure time. Here away from
the atmosphere of the classroom they can relax
and use their leisure hours in the pursuits of
simple pleasures. For this privilege all stu
dents enrolled in the university pay an annual
fee of 6 dollars to help maintain the building
and earry on its program.
AM students enrolled in the university pay
the fee, but many do not take advantage of
Courty Lincoln Journal and 8(ar.
what the Union has to offer. Student and fae
ulty leaders of the past dreamed and struggled
so that the student of today might be able to
enjoy such a building. On these two pages is
recounted the story of that eight year struggle
as well as the stories of what the Union has
done in its 2.'J months of existence and what
it plans to do in the future. Here are outlined
some of the things the Union offers the stu
dent if he will only take the trouble to drop
in and take advantage of the facilities pro
vided for his use.
Inquiring Reporter finds .. .
Student plans for use of new building
went the way of all good resolutions
By Bob Aldrich.
The average student uses the
Student Union only about an hour
every day, according to the In
quiring Reporter's survey made
Wednesday, and the lounge is the
most used feature of the building
with the grill taking second place.
The result of a sampling of opin
ion as to the Union's advantages
levealed that most students drop
into the lounge or grill for a few
minutes between classes to rest,
coke, or play cards or ping pong
or perhaps read in the Book Nook
but I still think a library would
have been the better thing to
build," another said. "Recreation,
some study, caking, and other so
cial activities will be the essence
of my sojourns," a third prophe
sied. "By caking, I don't mean
necessarily that a girl has tJ have
a date to go caking. Two or three
girls can go a-caking and have
The noon hour
heaviest traffic.
sees by far the
Students plan. . .
On May A, 1938, the day the
Union was opened to students, the
Inquiring Reporter asked ten peo
ple how they intended to utilize
the building. The principal differ
ence between the enthusiastic
plans made then and the way they
are carried out today seems to be
that many students planned to do
most of their studying in the
Union. Rome people do study there,
of course, but the library still
holds first place as a study center.
Social activities.
"Coking, parties, other social
activities, and studying will be
my main interests in the Union,"
one of the questioned ones replied
two years ago. "The Union's o. k.
Program includes
fine arts classes
and exhibits
An attempt to develop student
appreciation of art has been made
by the Union thru its many ex
hibits, Htudcnt projects and hobby
With the co-operation of the De
partment of Art, photographic and
student art work has been dis
played in the Book Nook. Two ex
hibits of the picture of the month
and a representative student
painting have been hung in the
main hall.
A sketch class, carving and
modelling have offered free ma
terials and instruction to students,
not in the hope of awakening
latent genius, but with the Idea
of creating an active interest in
just as much fun as when they are
dating. Personally I think the new
Union Is Just as Important as a
new library would have been."
"I think the building will be a
better place to gather in friendly
groups thnn cheap drug stores and
beer joints," one student said.
Others rated the ballroom as the
most important feature.
But vvlnt do students do in the
Union? Well, Joe College (yes,
he's still going to school) whips
over right after history class. If
he hasn't got a date he drops into
the lounge and looks for his
friends. After joining them in a
general bull session for a few min
utes he drifts into the grill for a
coke. Joe has an hour to kill be
fore ec class so he persuades a
couple of pals to play ping pong.
Aftenvard Joe may get in a game
in the card room or pick up the
latest befit seller In the Book
Of the ten questioned Wednes
day, four said they averaged an
hour a day in the Union. Two
students estimated their stay al
three hours, another at nine to
ten hours a week. Two Huid re
spectively, "once a week" and
"about an hour a week" and the
tenth was an ng student who said
she veiy seldom came to the
Student fees
pay expenses
of activities
Each student at the university
spends six dollars a year for the
use of the Union. This fee, In case
you are interested, is divided up
and used to finance various fea
tures and activities of the Union,
the complete cost of which is ap
proximately $39,000.
Union expenses are divided Into
seven groups. They are: general
operating expense, equipment
maintenance and depreciation re
serve, activities fund, wages and
salaries, new equipment and build
ing improvements, special furni
ture retirement fund, and principal
and interest on loan.
Catering costs extra
The catering department does
not share in the allotment of stu
dent me' Kciship fees, and must
therefc e be self-supporting.
General operating expenses cost
$2,000 and includes things such as
office supplies, bookkeeping forms,
stationery, postage, advertising,
Insurance, auditing charges, book,
and magazine subscriptions.
Another $2,000 goes for th
equipment maintenance and depre
ciation reserve. Money is set aside
each year to replace in the fu
ture and keeD in current repair all
equipment not used in the catering
Activities fund takes $2,700. The
Union program of dances, hobby
groups, recitals, lectures, shows,
etc., are paid for from this ap
propriation. Any income from
dances or other functions is added
to the fund, and expenses in turn
are deducted.
$9,000 for salaries
Nine thousand dollars go to
page wages and salaries. This in
cludes the salaries of the director
and office staff, bookkeepers, ac
tivity managers, extra custodians,
checkers, and all other student
employes not working in the cater
ing department.
Set aside for new equipment
and building improvements is
$1,300. The amounts spent for ntw
equipment and for building im
provements are specifically ap
propriated by the board of man
agers. The special furniture retirement
fund requires $4,000 from which
unpaid balances on furniture and
equipment in the Union are paid
off in yearly installments.
Eighteen thousand dollars is for
principle- and interest payment on
the loan. The building was partly
paid for by a government grant,
and other necessary money was
borrowed from a bank. Approxi
mately $18,000 will be paid back
annually until and Including 1952.
No profit on food
In the catering department
which is self-supporting, food Is
priced on a non-profit basis, but
it must bring enough income to
pay for the food, the preparation
and service expenses, and to carry
insurance, to lepair and replace
equipment, and to pay all other
expenses regularly assumed by a
catering unit.
The catering department In
cludes the cafeteria, the Corn
Crib, the faculty dining room, and
all of the banquet and party serv
ice. A manager supervises this de
partment, and the food is prepared
by a full time staff. As many
Jobs as can be handled by stu
dents are filled accordingly, ami
approximately one hundred earn
meals waiting tables, washing
dishes, cleaning, and doing other
woi k.
The student's six dollars pio
vides t he maintenance of many
activities, services, and conveni
ences. There is free checking for
clothes and books from 8 a. in. to
closing time daily. A Postal Tele
graph and Western Union station
is provided at the office desk. All
campus and alumni organizations
may held meetings at no cl.nite.
The travel burenu provides h
dealing house for rides home at
vacation times.
The ticket selling service sells
tickets to nil campus functions, ex
cept athktic activities, at t lit
office desk. Lounge rooms arc
The cafttera Is open for lunch
and dinner every day. At the Ct i n
Crib there are hot and cold plate
lunches and fountain service every
day. Open for luncheon Monday
thru Fiiday is the faculty dining
ro(jni on the second floor wl.eie
hot and cold plate lunches are
A lost and found department for
(See ACTIVITIES, page 5.)