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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (July 1, 1975)
e or con trove
By Pat Waters and Nancy Newhouse
They've got big plans. -
Some 25 per cent want to attend
college, many hoping to be counselors,
social workers or nurses. An additional
40 per cent set their sights on careers as
auto mechanics, licensed practical nurses
and electrical technicians. They're HEP
students-high school dropouts and
participants in the High School
Equivalency Program. They come from
migratory or seasonal farm work
backgrounds to earn high school
diplomas in what some feel is an alien
environment-the University of
students admit strained relationships
with dorm residence directors and
Ronald Taylor, a UN-L student and
dormitory counselor for HEP students,
said many people have preconceived
ideas, labeling it a program for juvenile
"People go out of their way to cause
problems," he charged.
When HEP students gather, they often
talk about how "tight" their community
isv They eat, attend classes and party
Their closeness stems partly from the
uncertainty and shock they experience
Hep is often glowingly portrayed as giving the migrant
poor their first real chance
HEP students come to UN-L from
across the country, but most are
recruited from Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa.
Minnesota, Colorado and Nebraska. Most
students are black, Mexican-American
The U.S. Department of Labor
financed Lincoln's program this year
with a $280,000 grant. Lincoln's HEP is
one of the country's 15.
According to HEP Director Mike
Workman, most students (about 40 are
enrolled at one time) complete the
program in three or four months. Some
graduate in six weeks. The program
claims 400 graduates since its inception
in 1968. ' '
They attend class from 8:30 a.m. to 3
p.m. and spend much of their free time
in their campus homes-Abel-Sandoz
Halls last year and Harper Hall from May
to July. Students say little homework is
In addition to free tuition and room
and board, they receive weekly stipends
HEP is often glowingly portrayed as
the program which gives the migrant
poor their first real chance.
But both university and HEP students
acknowledge a subtle but long-standing
friction existing between them, and HEP
upon arrival in Lincoln.
A June HEP graduate from Arkansas,
La Verne Rose, said she wondered if
there would be prejudice when she was
"When I got here, I asked my
roommate if she minded having a black
roommate. She said, "Are you
Alfredo Gamez, HEP associate
director and recruiter and a 1972
graduate, mentioned another kind of
apprehension: "You get scared when
you see lines of students in a cafeteria
and rows of food you don't know the
names of. You lose your appetite."
"Both sides feel they can't approach
the other group," said Mary Schmitz, a
UN-L student and adininistrative
assistant this summer in Harper Hall.
"The university students say the HEP
students are crazy," complained Joyce
Nelson, a Missouri native in HEP. "They
call us greasy HEP students."
Another student added that they are
treated like second class citizens.
Last year they invited Abel-Sandoz
student assistants and residence directors
to an informal dinner to stimulate
Three or four out of about 25 came,
HEP students reported.
"We know that one of the residence
directors in the complex felt he'd rather
not have the program's students in the
dorm," charged Shelia Roach, who is
also a HEP dormitory counselor.
University students tend to stereotype
HEP participants, she continued. If they
hear something bad about one student,
they assume it's true for the other 40,
Miss Roach explained.
Ronald Bollheimer, who was residence
director for Abel North last year (and
Ainder whose jurisdiction were 16 HEP
students), denies any unfair or
prejudicial treatment of HEP
"It's easier to blame me for being
prejudiced than to look inward for
problems," he asserted.
According to Bollheimer there were
considerable HEP-generated problems.
"Both sides feel they
other group," said
can't approach the
a UN-L student x
Many students are from large families
in small farm towns. There may be more
people living in a student's dormitory
than lived in their entire hometown,
So they draw together. But even that
calls for adjustment because students
come from varying backgrounds.
They tend to form a community and
avoid association with university
Although composing 4 per cent of the
"dormitory population, HEP students
caused 70 per cent of the disciplinary
problems, Bollheimer said.
That includes visitation violations,
alcohol in the dorm and "problems you
won't find in a normal college
population", he said.
But Bollheimer maintains residence
directors did not differentiate between
HEP and university students.
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Under Douglas 3
tuesday, july 1, 1975
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