The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 16, 1964, Page Page 2, Image 2

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    Page 2 Wednesday, December 16, 1964
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City Action Needed
An incident on 14th Street yesterday again pointed out
the need for some improvement to be made at that corner.
It is not only a trauma for the students trying to cross the
street, but also for tine drivers.
Yesterday a girl was hit. Apparently no injury took
place. Probably nothing would have been noted about the
accident if it hadn't been for an alert photographer walk
ing by at the moment.
But the danger still exists. Periodically students get
hit and knocked down, but the case is immediately closed
without an afterthought. In most cases they aren't even
Again the Regent's action in recommending closing
the street must be applauded. But now it is up to the city.
They must turn the property over to the University and
allow it to be closed if a solution is to be reached.
Thousands of students cross the street every day. A
different street light would not be more effective. It would
continue to be ignored.
The Daily Nebraskan urges the City Council to grant
the Regent's request and make that street a safe place.
The street is not really necessary' in cross-town traffic
as it does not lead to anyplace that could not just as easily
be reached by another route. And probably another route
would be faster because of the snail's pace that must be
maintained there.
A mall in front of the Administration Building would
add beauty to the campus and set the building off with the
prestige it deserves.
r 1 1 1 -i I iii ii i 1 1 " in mm Tl 11 in r "
Litter And Language
Dear Editor:
Some time ago there was
a letter published telling of
the shortage of waste con
tainers on campus. Although
this is definitely true, 1
wonder how many students
would actually use them if
they were available.
It is easy to criticize the
University and its author
ities, however the students
need to be criticized here.
In the lunch rooms down
stairs in the Union, a person
arriving after 12:00 noon, or
even earlier, often cannot
find a table free from sticky
ice cream and all the refuse
from the previous inconsid
erate person's lunch.
It seems to be the general
rule, of at least one regular
group of card players, that
anything tossed within a ten
foot diameter of the waste
baskets can be counted as
in. We should not expect
Union personnel to clean up
after us since we are not
paying for busboy service.
Some consideration for oth
ers as well as pride in our
University needs to be ex
hibited. Another item of disregard
shown toward others is in
the language being em
ployed in these rooms,
largely by the card playing
groups. There are still a few
of us who manage to find a
sufficient number of words
in the English language
without injecting profanity
into every sentence, and we
do not appreciate being sub
jected to a constant barrage
of it while eating our lunch
es. Respectfully yours
Kenneth Petersen
Are You Sic?
Dear Miss Smithberger:
Your display of erudition
in fault-finding Mr. Fay
ant's letter tended to make
me sic. (sic) Of the eleven
examples of misspelled
words you cited, you were
right in seven cases and
wrong in four.
I have no quarrel with
your annoyance at college
students who cannot spell
only please be sure YOU
are right before you put the
blast on a writer.
Do you feel a little sic?
Editor's Note: Yes, Mr.
Spelvin, I felt a little sick
when I saw the finished
product as it came out in
the paper. In the original
letter and in the copy sent
down to the typesetters the
words were all misspelled,
but an alert typesetter not
ed the misspellings and cor
rected them as he set the
type, thus making the spell
ings correct and the sic no
tation incorrect.
Hire Rieger
Dear Miss Smithberger:
Perhaps the simplest solu
tion to your entire news
paper probletn would be to
hire James Rieger or some
one like him as he seems to
have the entire problem
down to a science with a
workable solution. But if
you do not heed his sug
gestions . . . and you seem
to have few workable ones
of your own . . . there's al
ways skywriting.
Current news doesn't seem
to be one of the paper's
strong points either. Could
you possibly i n c 1 u d e an
nouncements of pinnings be
fore they become engage
ments . . . this could save
a lot of explaining and un
necessary and nasty criti
cism of the newspaper.
Linnea Johnson
Girl Hit
Dear Editor:
I thought that considering
the regent's proposal that
14th street be blocked off
that you would be interest
ed to know that a girl was
knocked down by a green
and white '53 (approx)
Chevy this morning at
about 9:25. A couple of her
girl friends helped her up
and helped her as she
headed back the direction
in which she came. The
driver of tie car, an slder
ly gentleman (accompanied
by his wife) checked to see
if she was hurt and then
drove on Heaving the scene
of an accident??) I was on
my way to class so I don't
know any of the people in
volved. To the best of my
knowledge it was not re
ported to the police.
AREN'T Y00601N6
I pon't think go..
Passing Through I
David F. Trask
One of the most intrig
ing developments of the
semester is the appearance
of three independent news
papersall of them seeking
publicity for various view
points which their publish
ers deem insufficiently ex
pressed in normal student
outlets. All the mimeo
graphed papers are openly
or covertly critical of "of
ficial" publications, espec
ially the Daily Nebraskan,
and two of them, the Bar
barian and the Gadfly, are
extremely harsh in their
condemnation of various
campus institutions, notably
the Greek system.
None of the three sheets
seems likely to win prizes
for literary merit, journal
istic expertise, or proof
reading, but they ought not
to be dismissed on such
specious grounds. After all,
it takes considerable initia
tive and labor to produce a
paper of this sort. And
further, if some articles
seem to imply the existence
of conspiracies aimed at
the Student Council, surely
a highly indefensible posi
tion, nevertheless the pa
pers have clearly pointed
out a number of patently
obvious abuses which ought
to be criticized severely.
These papers may con
ceivably represent the ad
vance guard of a student
movement at the University
of Nebraska comparable to
those which swept eastern
campuses earlier in the
decade, leading ultimately
to the enormously influen
tial and constructive contri
butions of students to the
civil rights movement and
the disarmament move
ment, and the present agita
tion on the west coast,
notably at the University of
California, where the issue
is the civil liberties of stu
dents. The advocacy of
Friends of SNCC by the
Gadfly is certainly a sur
prising and heartening en
terprise which merits praise
from all enlightened quar
ters. The important fact about
What's Left?
The present huge U.S.
military force, which Secre
tary McNamara has de
scribed as large enough to
destroy all possible enemies
many times over even after
absorbing a first strike,
plus the continuing Soviet
American detente, pro
vides the U.S. with an op
portunity to reduce military
spending substantially with
out endangering military
security. It also provides
the U.S. with an opportun
ity to test the sincerity of
a recent Soviet challenge to
move towards sanity in the
nuclear age.
In a policy speech to the
General Assembly of t h e
United Nations last week,
Soviet Foreign Minister
Gromyko proposed that
militarily - powerful coun
tries should cut their arms
budgets by 10 to 15 and
devote the money saved to
assistance f o r developing
countries. It is not enough
just to react to Russian
moves, but I hope the na
tion will at least do that
much to the recent Soviet
It is interesting to note
that Senator George Mc
Govern made a similar pro
posal on the floor of the
Senate in 1963. It is also in
teresting to note which na
tion was the first to take
seriously the idea of chal
lenging another country
with such a proposal. The
U.S.S.R. is to be commend
ed for its stand, and t h e
Johnson Administration
should make every effort
to come o ;i workable
agreement with the Soviet's
over the reduction of mili
tary expenditures, thereby
limiting the possibility of a
nuclear holocaust. Last New
Year's day President John
son called for an "unre
lenting peace offensive in
1964.'' Now that offensive
has been brought to h i m,
with a few weeks left in
that year.
The U.S. now has a stock
pile of nuclear weapons in
excess of any conceivable .
need. We already have 10,
000 nuclear weapons in Eu
rope which is enough to in
sure the demise of the Con- :
tinent if war should come, j
More bombs and more "ov
erkill" capacity will n o t
make us any safer. The old
myth that the greater our
defense expenditures t h e
greater our security must ,
the papers is that some stu
dents are obviously fed up
with the debilitating bland
ness of the student body, a
condition for which the fac
ulty and administration
must accept some responsi
bility, A little noise is bet
ter than no noise at all,
even if the noise is some
times nothing to write home
, about. These papers are not
afraid to step on toes, and
since they have aimed at
quite a few targets, they
have apparently hit t h e i r
mark in at least some cases.
It is easy to dismiss these
papers as the work of irre
sponsibles, but those who do
so have not thought through
the situation. Of course, the
publishers of the unofficial
sheets ought to be required
to practice responsible
journalism, but there is
nothing inherently irrespon
sible or improper about a
harsh attack on something,
so long as libel and slander
do not enter the paper. And
let us not mistake carica
ture and satire for libel and
An earlier column in this
series noted the existence of
considerable "social para
noia" among the student
body, a tendency to assume
that evil things conceivable
are in fact very probable.
It was attributed to grow
ing lack of attentiveness on
the part of the University to
the real needs and aspira
tions of the students. These
papers clearly reflect some
of this paranoia, but its anti
dote is not to be found in
ignoring or repressing those
who manifest it, but rather
in effective treatment of the
situation which gives rise to
it. Meanwhile, more power
to the clandestine press! I
hope it will flourish until the
need for it has passed, an
event which does not appear
imminent. I do have one
request to make of the pub
lishers. Please no more of
that truly barbarous verse
which has appeared. Why
not publish some of the good
student poetry which now
lacks an outlet?
give way to this new real
ity of the nuclear age.
Present levels of military
spending and military for
eign aid are distorting our
economy, wasting our hu
man resources, and restrict
ing our leadership in the
world. The current dilem
ma in Viet nam is a clear
demonstration of the limita
tions of military power. I
submit that America will
exert a far greater impact
for peace and freedom in
Asia and elsewhere if we
rely less on armaments and
more on the economic, po
litical, and moral sources
of our strength.
The Johnson Administra
tion should respond with
great interest and favor to
the Soviet Union's latest
proposal to move the world
back step by step from the
precipice of death, while at
the same time using the
money saved from the sui
cidal arms race to assist the
developing nations in throw
ing off the yoke of poverty.
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O'A M() s TIIVH., nil.
For Engineers Endorsed
By Ernest G. Hoffman
Some time ago. an En
gineering professor came to
class with the graded ex
ams, but before he handed
them back, he wrote on the
blackboard a list of words.
In one column he wrote mis
spellings and errors in us
age, and in the other col
umn the corrections; then
he returned the papers with
out comment, letting that
list speak for itself. Another
Engineering professor add
ed a bonus question to an
exam in which he asked
which letter ends third per
son singular verbs. Finally,
the following is from an En
gineering laboratory instruc
tion sheet: "Poor spelling
is inexcuseable when reports
are written oustide of class.
Each mis-spelled word is
worth one point".
It would be embarrassing
to have to quote some of
those mistakes listed on the
blackboard or to admit the
percentage that didn't know
the answer to that bonus
question. I quote these ex
amples only to point out. if
it needs pointing out, that
Engineering students are
poor masters of their own
language. Although this is
hardly a profound observa
tion, it does lead to the
question whether the Engi
neering student should con
tinue to remain indifferent
to this weakness in his ed
ucation. I believe he should not.
The broadening role of the
Engineer in our society is
demanding more than just
technical competence.
Whether we like it or not,
Engineers will become more
and more involved in poli
cy making decisions and
consequently there will be
an increasing need for the
Engineer to be able to ex
press and communicate
ideas effectively. Now, this
may seem like a purely vo
cational reason why Engi
neers should be concerned
about language and I sup
pose it is; but beyond that,
it is to everybody's inter
est to have the men who
may be running things as
broadly educated as pos
sible. At present, the Engineer
ing student is among the
most highly trained gradu
ates and yet he is also
among the least articulate.
There is nothing inherent in
the Engineering mind (if
there is such a thnig) to
account for this. The pur
pose of this article then is
to try to understand why
this is so and to suggest
a way to improve the situ
ation. To find the reason for the
Engineers' poor use of lan
guage, I believe we must
look at his training pro
gram. The most obvious
fact is that the Engineering
curriculum, from the Fresh
man to the Senior year,
English Sessions
Kotains practically no
courses where the student
has to submit his writing to
critical analysis. In theory,
this shouldn't matter be
cause everyone is already
supposed to be able to write
good basic English when he
comes to the University,
but, in fact, this is an adcai
istic assumption. It would
seem that the Engineer
should fjet some experience
in writing in his Social
Science and Humanities re
quirements, but all t h e s e
courses, and this includes
the six hours of E n g 1 i s h
Composition, arc on the in
troductory level in which
the exams are mostly of the
multiple choice and short
answer type. Now, there is
a good reason why this is
so. No department could
give regular essay exams
or assignments to the truly
vast numbers of students
that crowd into these cours
es. The present ratio of stu
dents to teachers would
make the reading and grad
ing of essays an impossible
task. But unfortunately, it
is the Engineering student
who is handicapped most by
this lack of writing at the
introductory level. All this
doesn't make too much dif
ference to non-engineers be
cause when they reach their
more advanced courses the
exams are more often than
not essay, and students are
required to write term pa
pers (I am a Senior and I
have never had to write a
term paper in my entire
college career).
As the examples at the
beginning of this article
show. Engineering instruc
tors are trying to do some
thing by at least reminding
the student that even though
he is an Engineering ma
jor he should pay some at
tention to writing respect
able English. But. of course,
the Engineering professor's
job is to teach Engineering
and not English, so if some
thing is to be done it will
have to be done outside the
Engineering departments.
Obviously, any practical
scheme would have to in
clude all Engineering stu
dents, be worked out within
the present budget limita
tions and without disturbing
the basic Engineering cur
riculum. As a student, it is
naturally impossible for me
to be aware of all the prob
lems, but I would like to
offer at least one sugges
tion. Suppose the English De
partment replaced some of
The Daily Nebraskan
RICH HALBERT, mannrini erf-
itnr; FRANK PUTSCH. news ed
LYN HOEGEMEYER, senior staff
writers; WAI.I.TS LI "TOKEN, JIM
OLSON, junior staff writers;
I.EE MARSHALL, copy editors;
RICH EISER, photographer; PEGGY
SPEECE, (ports editor; BOR SAM
lrELSON. snorts assistant; Bob 1.EP1
NEARSON, business assistants; LYNN
RATHJEN. circulation manaaer; JIM
DICK, subscription manner.
Subscription)! ratea per emesler
or b per year.
The Dally Nebraskan U published
at Room 51, Nebraska Union, on
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Fri
day by University of Nebraska tta
dents under the Jurisdiction of the
Faculty Subcommittee on Student
Publications. Publications shall be
free from censorship by the Subcom
rmttee or any person outside the
mcimjera of ine Nebra.
.ii are responsinie for what
cause to be printed.
leiemuu JawtiEHt
&1:'9WtMii:.iy:i:i::fi::' '?MtW$(&;?: V
" '"
their sections of Freshman
English with special sec
tions for Engineers. Now,
this is not unprecedented;
the English Department rec
ognizes that foreigners have
special needs and they have
created special sections for
them, so why not do th
same for Engineers. These
Engineering sections could
meet only once a week in
order to lighten the load on
the instructors and enable
them to give one essay as
signment a week. Also,
since out of every 100 Fresh
men Engineers only about
40 graduate 'as Engineers,
it would be wasteful to have
these courses in the Fresh
man year. To avoid this
problem, the fulfillment of
this requirement could be
defered until the Sophomore
or Junior year: at these
levels nearly all of those
still in Engineering stay in
It is true that these spe
cial sections would have a
different course content
with the emphasis shifted
from learning facts about
language to actually prac
ticing it. This is not meant
as an implied criticism of
the content of the present
Freshman English Pro
gram, it merely means that
some compromises would
have to be made to retain
the present basic Engineer
ing curriculum and still
give all Engineers the writ
ing experience of which
they have been deprived.
My fellow Engineers might
object that really we are
not much worse than non
engineers; indeed, this may
be so, but ultimately this
is irrelevant. The important
point is not how we com
pare with anybody else but
that we should be better
than we are. Even though
two courses of essay writ
ing would not transform us
into literary masters, they
would nevertheless make
us write better and most
probably broaden the range
of our thinking.
1 About Letters I
Tki. DAILY NKBftASKAN rarltos S
H readers to m H for expreesfom
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lews of rtewpofnt. Letters mast fee
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