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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 10, 1973)
the Big 8
Gov. J.J! Exon has proposed that a commission be
established to study the best schools in the Big 8 and
determine how well NU compares to them. The
proposal, which has been endorsed wholeheartedly by
the NU Board of Regents, will include a study of how
much tax support each institution receives and how it
The idea for the study is a good one. NU President
D.B. Varner has said frequently that the goal of the
state system should be to be at the top of the Big 8
before the end of the decade. And he has lauded the
proposed study as being something which "will give
(NU administrators) a framework-" in which to work
toward this goal.
As noted by the Lincoln Sunday Journal and Star,
it will be difficult to define "quality" when trying to
compare the campuses. But the effort is
praiseworthy, and Exon should be congratulated for
It should take about three months to make the
study, according to UNL officials. But when the
study is completed, will the University, the regents,
the governor, the Legislature and Nebraska citizens
stand behind it? It could create an awkward situation
for all of them.
For example, what if the study shows that NU is
bureaucratically top-heavy? Will administrators be
wilting to oust other administrators? What if it shows
that an adjustment needs to be made in teaching
loads; will the University be willing to fire tenured
If the study shows that NU needs more state
support, will the governor be willing to abandon his
conservative spending policy and recommend a hefty
boost in the NU budget? Will the Legislature support
such a move? And if a boost is appropriated, will the
people of the state tolerate the subsequent and
much-hated tax increase?
The answer to all these questions is probably no.
But if the University is to become at least an
academic welterweight, then that must not be the
case. Once the study commission makes its
recommendations, they must be heeded. To talk of
goals but not to make progress toward them is a flaw
in our political system which should not be allowed
to become part of the Nebraska education system as
Michael (O.J.) Nelson
Barefoot from city a Mexican homecoming
What is a homecoming? It is a return from the
new and the strange to the old and familiar. It is a
long bus ride with the knowledge that little sister will
be waiting at the bus stop, so you won't have to walk
alone, and of a collage of suddenly familiar sights and
sounds and smells. To others, it means the necessary
return to the rural home of their parents and a rather
inactive time, kept from being boring only by the
inevitable difference due to age and perspective.
In Mexico I viewed another homecoming. We had
left the port city of Coatzacoalcos early in the
morning, traveling to Minatitlan. It was from this city
that river crafts headed down stream into the interior.
We arrived eartv and" walked among ihsrniHtng
market day crowds neartht dock,rbuying mangtsand t
generally passing the hours, as we waited for a craft
we were told was heading downriver. The craft was
named (oddly enough) the Lusitania, and was a small
converted cattle boat which carried freight and a few
passengers down the old Coatzacoalcos River. In the
hold were two rough benches, one along each side.
There sat the old man, the children and the mothers
with babies who were headed from the city back to
The two river banks were as varied as the travelers'
faces. One side was a low, trassy bank which betrayed
its marshy nature. The other side had a high bluff-like
bank. On this side, small clusters of grass houses
stood, the homes to which my fellow travelers were
A little farther down river a young, nicely-dressed
unconcealed pride and expectan
she was his little girl.
..k made it clear
but shy Indian girl had stood up and walked carefully
toward the passage. She was home. She stood on the
prow in hei pantsuit and black patent leather shoes,
as the boat slowly nosed toward the shore. A lone,
simply dressed man waited at the river's edge. His
The gangplank of our boat was simply a rough 2 x
10 which unceremoniously was tossed to the bank at
each stop. But here the plank didn't quite reach and
settled in the soggy mud clay at the edge of the
water. The girl hesitated. It wasn't hard to guess the
value of the shoes to her. Our bosun had a
twelve-foot pole he used to help guide the boat in
shallow channels. He thrust this down into the
marginal mud, forming a sort of handrail, but still the
By this time the father had moved to the foot of
the gangplank. Standing ankle-deep in the mud, he
smiled a reassuring smile and he'dTffTrhis twd"W6"rn
hands. She lowered her head and stepped out of her
shoes. Then, clutching the shoes in one hand, she
began down the ramp. Shegrahbed her father's b.3nds
and jumped, as he pulled her toward him. She cleared
the mud, her clothes and shoes unspoiled.
Yet as her father hugged her and they left,
walking up the path to the grass house of the family,
I couldn't help but think how much difference the
shoes made. The barefoot girl had returned home
from the city.
In this time of increased emphasis on energy conservation,
I thought it would he of value to pass along several ways in
which energy use can hp reduced as regards household heat'ng.
The following suggestions have been compiled from
publication No. 14 3A of the Office of Consumer Affairs
entitled "7 Ways to Reduce Fuel Consumption in Household
Heating. ..Through Energy Conservation."
1. Weatherstrip and caulk around all windows and doors.
This can lead to a 1 5 30 per cent reduction of your heating bill
by stopping warm aii leakage or cold air infiltration.
2. Install storm windows (or insulating glass). This can cut
in half the heat that .-iC'dlossly is lost through the windows of
3. Install overhead and sidewall insulation. To insulate a
ceiling under an unf looted and well-ventilated attic, place batts
on the ceiling or spread loose insulation over it. If the attic is
floored, the insulation can be accomplished by raising a few
floor boards and blowing in loose insulation. In the case of
sidewall insulation expert technical advice should be sought.
4. Maintain an efficient heating plant. This includes having
the heat exchange surface of your heating plant cleaned when
needed and having the combustion air adjustments checked or
improved by heating specialists periodically. Air filters, if used,
also should be kept as clean as possible.
5. Close window draperies at night to reduce heat loss.
6. Close and sea! tightly against air leakage from occupied
spaces all openings into thf attic (remember, warm air rises).
Keep outdoor air vents open in attics and crawl-spaces in
winter to prevent condensation of moisture in or on insulation
or other building materials.
7. Turn off electrical appliances when they are not needed.
Repair leaking hot water faucets. Lower the thermostat, setting
in your house or apartment at night.
Although many of these suggestions rely on action taken
by the landlord in the case of students who rent, the tenant
can provide a valuable service by making the landlord aware of
steps that can be taken to reduce consumption of fuel and by
encouraging the landlord to take appropriate action.
Director, Consumer Aids Group
monday, december 10, 1973
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