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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 16, 1976)
monday, february 16, 1975
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It is unfortunate that the degrading drama of
the Saturday NU Board of Regents meeting was
not played before the entire UNL student body
of 22 ,000.
Instead, only about fifty students witnessed
a spectacle unequaled for petty contempt for
students, wildly erroneous opinions and emotion
that at times seemed to lack all sense of reason.
For the regents considered the two student
jack-in-the-box residence hall proposals that pop
up perennially-expanded visitation and use of
alcohol by students in their rooms.
Regent Kermit Hansen of Omaha was an s
articulate and impressive exception to the pre
dominating negative attitude. His enthusiastic
support was appreciated by students. ,
One came away from the meeting convinced
that the majority of the five regents present,
specifically Edward Schwartzkopf of Lincoln,
Robert Simmons Jr. of Scottsbluff and Robert
Koefoot of Grand Island, cannot treat student
requests with either civility or sincerity.
Not only were the students who attempted to
testify in support of the proposals hurried and
interrupted, they were in some cases the 'object
of regential ridicule.
The student regents did not fare much better.
When Regent (and UNL student body president)
Jim Say finally had his turn to speak on the
alcohol proposal, he was constantly interrupted
by Regent Schwartzkopf.
Regent Simmons, who perused an Omaha
World-Herald during part of the discussion, gave
students the 'benefit of his wisdom when he said,
"Students are children and we ought to treat
them like children."
Regent Koefoot seemed offended that
considering the proposal took too much time.
When his name was called for both votes, he
answered in a loud, imperial roar of arrogance.
Regent Schwartzkopf, in his incessant demands
to the proponents of the proposal to "give me a
benefit of having liquor in the dorms," occupied
the oratorical floor most of the time. His lack of
moderation certainly didn't deserve an answer
and neither did his question.
There are no unique benefits of having alcohol
in the residence halls, or in society at large, for
that matter. Nonetheless, use of alcohol by adult
individuals, the issue the regents were asked to
consider, is a question of rights.
If Regent Schwartzkopf wants to start a
crusade against liquor in the state, the nation and
the world, as he said, let him do it oh his own
time, as a private citizen, not as a representative
of an adult constituency which already has given
its tacit approval of alcohol use through state
liquor laws. ' . ,
Or let him apply the same prohibitive standards
equally to the university-let no liquor flow at
off-campus administrative soirees and in the
Memorial Stadium pressbox.
With or without the regents' approval, alcohol
use by adults (i.e., students) is an accepted and
traditional part of society.
Schwartzkopf asked why students wanted
booze on campus when "there are fifty bars all
five minutes away." In' another moment he
addressed the problem of drunken driving. It is
unfortunate he could not understand that alcohol
experiments will not end in tragedy when the
student is safe in his own room-as opposed to
wending his woozy way home after a pub crawl.
The real victim of the proposal was a proposed
alcohol education program in the residence halls,
which was defeated along with the proposal for
Regent Simmons comment about the students
as children seemed to hark back to the outmoded
concept of the university and "in loco parentis"
that the university should play a morally guiding
role in students' lives.
The problem with that concept, as students
are well aware, is that it is a dusty remnant of
another age-when students were not legally
The NU Board of Regents, along with the
ASUN Senate, a student-body referendum and
the Faculty Senate rejected that notion in their
definitive 1968.statement, "The Student in the
' Academic Community." Every entering university
student is given a copy of that declaration of
student rights and roles.
The Daily Nebraskan would suggest that in
their action, the regents violated both the letter
and the spirit of that document, especially the
B. Rules and Regulations
Regulations are not comprehensive codes of
conduct, but rather expressions of the general
expectations of the academic community. Upon
admission to the University each student should
receive statements of these expectations.
Rules and regulations should: " -
1 ) seek the best possible reconciliation
between personal freedom and necessary order.
2) be formulated with equitable participation
by students in areas affecting student life. . . ,
University students enjoy all the rights and
privileges of citizenship. Students are subject,
however,vto the special obligations which accrue
to them as members of the academic community.
Institutional effort should be exerted to develop,
not inhibit, intellectual and personal development
of students by the exercise of rights of citizen
ship both on and off campus.
"Equifable participation by students"-certain-ly
that guideline was lost in the chaos of
Saturday's regents' meeting.
It is significant that the five (of eight) regents
present delayed a decision about which bank
should handle university endowment funds until
the full board could consider the matter, but did
not accord the same respect to a student request.
For the second time in two years, a well- -thought
out proposal for providing alcohol in the
dorms was defeated; by a vote of four
(Schwartzkopf, Koefoot, Simmons and board
chairman James Moylan of Omaha) to one
Absent from the meeting were Regents Robert
Prokop of Wilbur, Robert Raun of Minden and
Kermit Wagner of Schuyler.
Expiration of terms of office will place Wagner,
Prokop, Koefoot and Moylan on the ballot this -November
if they wish to continue as regents.
They and others might note that students do
have some interest in how they are treated by
the board. For student "children" also are
student voters. ,
By Dick Piersol
On Crofton Sen. Jules fiurbach's outer office wall is a
plaque that reads: "If you think taxation without repre
sentation was bail, you siiuulu nee ii wiili icpicacuutiivui."
Burbach is Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature. He is
responsible for preparing an agenda each day, noting
which bills will be considered on final reading and general
and select files. Rarely do the senators finish all the
business on a given day's agenda. Just as rarely do they
finish all the business begun in a given session of the
There are now, with the current 60-day session about
half over, 97 bills on general file and almost 300 still in
committee. Burbach estimates only about 100 bills will
get to final reading before the Unicameral adjourns.
The problem of inefficiency in legislative government is
interesting particularly in Nebraska, considering the
unique distinction of it's one-house Legislature. We are
ahead of the game in that respect, but the problem still
Accoiuiiig to CuiifoCu, ilic solution is limiting the
number of bills introduced. Each senator may introduce
10 bills, but committees also may introduce bills as roany
as they see fit.
Another possibility, Burbach said, is conducting public
hearings of bills in the morning, coming to order in the
afternoon and staying until the day's prepared agenda is
finished-even if it takes until late evening. Burbach thinks
that probably would eliminate much repetitious debate.
Currently, the senators are in session from 9 or 9:30 am.
until noon with public hearings conducted in the
Nebraska is one of few states which require public
hearings on til bills, and Burbach it not ready to give that
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up, nor are many others, although it is tha most time con
suming part of the Legislature.
The non-partisanship of the Nebraska Legislature is
another feature which may slow the order or business.
Party caucuses may not predetermine the outcome of is
sues, but again that's not necessarily bad.
Burbach thinks non-partisanship gives the people of the
state more input.
Sen. John Cavanaugh of Omaha agrees. He says a non
partisan Legislature is more efficient, "from the stand
point of serving the public." -
Another bottleneck is the requirement that all bills be
read in full on final reading-some of those bills more
closely resemble War end Peace than simple statute
revision. No one will say if that requirement was made
when some of the senators were less familiar with the
three Rs than they are today.
But Utica Sen. Dougla Bereuter is not among those ,
ready to scrap complete final reading, lb arid sometimes
mistakes are discovered la bills after they have reached
llowever, hii constituents are dismayed by the appa
he jsS gCneni1 Ch PwvaiHnt on the floor,
Omaha Sen. Eugene Mahoney said a possible solution
to the problem of unfinished bustoes at tha end of each
tesskw ia biennial sessions cf unliiBitU length, aa kica the
Ute disccntbued after 1969 and the kfimous 1SJ day
ISIS?1!' m ,ProvWiiJS biennial sessions was heard
pubbciy last week.
!ffn7 0PP limiting tha munber cf tl's a senator
may introduce, hsi not Introduced a I2 of his owa for .
Ttf Vv ycariH hni h tes 00 tmmn to limit
other senators. -
a"! phoney says. Is not necessity what
democracy is all about,"
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