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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 5, 1975)
PACE needs help
Most students know by now that those innocent-looking white
envelopes they got from the Bursar's office last week mean digging
into checking accounts and coming up with tuition money.
What they don't realize is that if they dig just a little bit further,
they can help some student faced with an even more difficult
situation-tuition due and no money in the offing anywhere.
PACE (Program of Active Commitment to Education) got off to
a fast start in the fall of 1971 when students contributed $28,179
by adding $3.50 to their tuition payment. Faculty and staff also
contributed through a payroll plan.
The PACE scholarship -given to low income students was
conceived by an ASUN ad hoc committee in 1970 after cutbacks
were made in state and federal scholarship funds for low income
Born of idealism (supporters once predicted PACE could raise
$135,000 a year), PACE is now wallowing in neglect. Total
contributions for 1973-74 totaled only $4,753.
Even with such small amounts, PACE lias been able to help
people who otherwise might have been turned away. More than 80
students received help from PACE last year, usually in $200 to
Perhaps the economy is killing PACE. Pulling $3.50 out of an
empty wallet is something that should be left to magicians. Or
maybe students really don't care what happens to anyone else so
long as they get their degree and an adequate job.
But most likely PACE is dying because no one knows what it is.
This year's pretty yellow poster falls far short of portraying the
anguish of those who miss an education because they have brains
but not bills.
There is still time for ASUN to show off its brainchild to
students. An appearance t residence hall government meetings by
an ASUN representative or a brief announcement over residence
hall intercoms could make the difference.
And we should do our part. Check "yes" to PACE on your
tuition statement. Contributing $3.50 can't hurt as much as
knowing vou've denied someone a chance for an education.
UNL fails as idea forum
Now that Josh has gone off into the sunset
and the campus has returned to at least an
outward appearance of normality, it may be an
opportune time to examine the Great Josh
Controversy in depth.
Regardless of the uproar concerning what
undoubtedly was an increasing tasteless,
obnoxious and wasteful advertising campaign,
the central issue of whether or not Josh violated
the NU Board of Regents religion policy has yet
to be squarely faced.
Present University guidelines governing
religious activity state that: "University facilities
will not be available for any organized event or
activity if one of its essential features is religious
worship or testimony in any of its various
While this statement may be ambiguous and
imprecise, I feel that the talk given by Josh in the
Nebraska Union Ballroom (the only one I heard)
clearly and undeniably violated present
When approximately half of a lecture includes
personal testimony to Christ's affect on one's
life, I believe that can be reasonably construed as
an "essential feature."
ASUN is now beginning an inquiry to
determine the nature of any violations which
may have occurred. Beyond this action, however,
it seems obvious changes must be made in the
religion guidelines if such controversities are to
be avoided in the future.
The Great Josh Controversy brings to mind a
similar case a few years ago when the Human
Sexuality Conference inspired much indignation
and outcry only to ultimately die an ambiguous
In the human sexuality case, the central issue
involved the right of homosexuals to freely
express their views at a University sponsored
conference. The issue became one of free
expression vs. social acceptability, and for all
appearances free expression lost. Later there was
a Jerry Rubin controversy with similar results.
It looks as if the Great Josh Controversy is
destined for a similar fate. We will probably once
again decide that controversial opinions,
whatever they may be, will not be allowed to be
expressed if we find them personally offensive.
It is a real tragedy that a university
community, which supposedly takes pride in
providing a forum for diverse opinion, freedom
of inquiry and personal expression, believes that
it must deprive its students of these
opportunities and freedoms.
The 1975 Student Handbook states that:
"The acquisition, understanding and interpreting
of knowledge can be facilitated by the study and
evaluation of controversial positions. . . Students
should be permitted to invite and hear any
person of their own choosing. . '. The
institutional control of facilities should not be
used as a device of censorship. However, all
activities should be conducted in a manner
appropriate to an academic community."
It is clear that the University made a
commitment to freedom of expression, and yet
when views which differ from the socially
acceptable norm are voiced, we begin to redefine
what is meant by free expression. We intend to
have free expression, yet a past appearance on
cany us by Jerry Rubin caused outrage in all
quarters. We believe in freedom of inquiry, yet
Josh isn't supposed to give us the totality of his
ideas and experiences.
Participation in the free exchange of ideas is
an essential part of the academic community,
thus I feel that the Great Josh Controversy is not
merely a question of campus religion policy, but
involves the wider issue of freedom of
No one who went to hear Josh (or any other
speaker that comes to campus) was forced to do
so. Each person goes to hear a speaker of his own
free will and must make his own decision
whether the experience was worthwhile. Any
argument that offending views are being forced
upon someone is unfounded.
Further it seems that religious speakers should
be found no more offending than are some of the
political speakers who come to campus. Political
views are just as personal as religious views and
thus should be banned or protected-similarly.
The point is that religious speakers are merely
one aspect of the spectrum of free expression,
just as are political speakers. In a community
such as a university where free inquiry and free
expression are valued, it would appear that the
administration and students have a duty to
tolerate different views, whatever those views
The question of what limits should be placed
on the voicing of controversial views has long
been debated. A policy panel at Yale University
recently decided that "interference with free
speech should be a punishable offense, even
when talks are deemed to be defamatory or
insulting." The only limit that would be placed
on free speech would be "if a speech advocates
immediate and serious illegal action, such as
burning down a library, and there is danger that
the audience will proceed to follow such an
rhymes and reasons
The University of Negraska would do well to
follow a similar course. I can see no reason that
any speaker, regardless of the religious, political
or social views that he or she may hold, should
be barred from expressing them. Nor should they
be denied the use of University buildings if they
are sponsored by a University organiation.
If we are afraid that Josh, Jerry Rubin, Dr.
Spock or any other speaker will offend our
sensibilities or leave us feeling uncomfortable, we
have the option of not going to listen.
The University has a duty under the
Constitutions of the State of Nebraska and the
United States to "refrain from promoting any
particular religion or sect." Likewise the
University has a duty to guarantee freedom of
assembly and expression.
It seems that revising the University freedom
of expression policy to follow the lead of Yale
would be an equitable way to fulfill both
obligations. Until the issue of free expression is
squarely faced the Great Josh Controversy will
be only the latest installment of a continuing
we need Tuose
TO ADD TO OUR
Wednesday, feburary 5, 1975
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