The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 01, 1988, Page 4, Image 4

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    Plf Frlitm-ial NdSaskan
4 J_| Vi JL iUiiCtl Tuesday, March 1,1988
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Mike Reilley, Editor, 472 1766
Diana Johnson, Editorial Page E.dilor
Jen Deselms, Managing Editor
Curt Wagner, Associate News Editor
Chris Anderson, Associate News Editor
Joan Rezac, Copy Desk Chief
Joel Carlson, Columnist
"" . 7""
$1,500 too much
But state senators deserve a raise
Nebraska state senators
will have to either com
promise with the state’s
voters or remove legislative sal
ary limits from the state
Constitution if they hope to in
crease their wages.
Legislators gave fim-round
approval Friday to two constitu
tional amendments that would
increase their pay. One amend
ment, LR7CA, would increase
senators’ salaries from the cur
rent $400 a month to $1,500 a
month. The amendment, which
will require voter approval, was
originally introduced as a
$l,000-a-month raise but was
amended to $1,500 during
Friday’s discussion.
A proposal to quadruple sena
tors’ salaries won’t go over well
with Nebraska voters. Senators
should stick with the increase to
$ 1,000 a month instead of bank
ing on tight-fisted voters to give
them $1,500.
A second proposed amend
ment. LR258CA, would be the
best route for the senators to
take. The resolution, sponsored
by Sen. Bill Barrett of Lexing
ton, would remove the amount of
senators’ salaries from the
Constitution. It also would cre
ate a citizens’ commission ap
pointed by the governor that
would suggest salary changes
every four years. This proposal
would give the constituency a
voice in the senators’salary but
wouldn’t prevent senators from
receiving a reasonable salary.
The $400 a month the sena
tors currently cam isn't enough.
If passed, the salary increase
would be the first for the Legis
lature in 20 years. Four hundred
dollars a month is barely enough
for a college student to survive
on, let alone a state senator.
During discussion .Friday,
Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha
put legislative salaries in the best
perspective. He said that during
his 18 years as a senator, he has
earned only $86,000. He added
that private firms have offered
him jobs that pay that much in a
Another senator, Tim Hall of
Omaha, said he is considering
leaving the Legislature if sala
ries aren’t increased.
“It’s very difficult for me to
serve in this body with three kids
and a mortgage and a wife who
likes me home for dinner,” Hall
Under the current pay struc
ture, the Legislature risks losing
good senators because they can
no longer afford to serve their
state. It also discourages middlc
and lower-class people from
running for public office.
At a time when University of
Nebraska-Lincoln faculty sala
ries have stolen most of the spot
light, voters need to remember
what their senators arc doing for
them — and how much they get
for it.
Reader: Apathy problem must be solvec
lorry Dondlingcr’s letter (Daily
Nebraskan, Feb. 24) is noteworthy in
its implications. She ignores the fact
that apathy exists among independ
ent students primarily because of the
Association of Students of the Uni
versity of Nebraska.
Think about it. If you saw an or
ganization that advocates blanket
tuition increases and surcharges,
consistently rejects qualified inde
pendent students in the appointments
process, and then has the audacity to
call you “apathetic,” would you want
to become involved?
Her assertion that all residence
hall students who arc experienced
leaders have been and will be active
in ASUN is untrue. What constitutes
“experienced” leadership in the real
world docs nol necessarily meet the
criteria set by a Greek-dominated
appointments board. Residence hall
students who apply for positions
sadly Icam this.
The idea that additional informa
tion and support to the halls will
compensate for Greek dominance is
similarly absurd.
Apathy can only be solved when
student government seeks to more
closely identify itself with the inter
ests of all students.
Brian Svoboda
political science
Reader says ‘Action X’ title is ‘immature’
This is in response lo Dave Reiter
(Letters, Feb. 17).
I have watched many letters come
and go in the past few weeks about
condom week, safe sex,Cathcr Resi
dence Hall’s efforts and putting con
dom machines in bathrooms. I have
quietly agreed and disagreed with
opinions on the various issues.
However, I feel Reiter s letter
comes from someone who is choos
ing to run and hide from the situation
and subject at hand.
First of all, anyone who has to call
sex “Action X” is a bit immature. If
you can’t talk about it right, don’t talk
at all.
Second, I think it’s a major mis
take to infer that some University of
Ncbraska-Lincoln students can’t
survive without sex by saying it is
physically, psychologically and so
cially impossible for them. I don’t
think it’s any person’s right to judge
the rest of the campus on sexual
issues or any other. I would hope that
having respect for others’ values is
more important
And who is so bold to say that
UNL students deserve to have the
state spend tax money to install con
dom machines in the residence halls?
Well, I can’t answer who in particu
lar, because I don’t know. But what I
do know is that the United States’
government and many state govern
ments are doing what they can right
now to help stop AIDS. Having con
doms around could also prevent an
unwanted pregnancy.
Reiter, I would seriously recon
sider what you wrote about the rest of
the population here.
Mary Pat Dolata
interior design
UNL vs. Harvard: no contest?
Difference is at the bottom of the student roster, not at the top
Ihave been to the mountain
top — and I’ve seen the
educational promised land.
Surprisingly, the University of Ne
braska-Lincoln isn’t that far from the
top as an institution of higher learn
For years I’ve heard students be
rate their UNL education as second
rate. They argue that if only UNL
were a “big-name” school, then they
would have a real education. To those
who have said this, I’ve been on your
side. I’ve lamented about the green
ness of the grass on the other side of
UNL. How well educated I’d be if
only I were at Stanford, Princeton or
Recently I spent some time in
Boston at the Harvard National
Model United Nations. Having been
there, I must admit the ivy has been
ruffled just a bit. And the vines
wrapped around UNL have been
I sat in on a political-science class
at Harvard. As it turned out, it was the
same course I had taken here. They
even used the same book. Unlike
Nebraska, the Harvard class had only
eight students. UNL’s was three
times that number. Every Harvard
student was articulate, defending his
or her position pretty well. The same
could not be said of each individual in
my UNL class. All members of this
Ivy League class spoke. Not true
back here in the Big Eight, where the
verbally articulate numbers roughly
equaled Harvard.
Before walking into class, I fig
ured the weight of the Harvard intel
lect would be too much for my mere
Nebraska legs to carry. But this
didn’t happen. No awesome persua
sive rhetoric or sharp wit was shown.
Had any upper-echelon UNL class
mates been there, they could have
held their own.
The Harvard professor actively
led his class, prodding and prying for
inconsistencies. His UNL counter
part played a more passive role, fa
cilitating sludcnt-to-studcni debate.
Though treated to one class and
markedly different leaching styles, I
cannot say this very gixxl Harvard
professor was head and shoulders
above the competition as I had ex
pected. In other words, the professor
from UNL gets similar high marks in
my grading book.
After class, I spoke with the Har
vard professor, who previously
taught at the University of Washing
ton He echoed those commonly held
conceptions, or misconceptions,
about Harvard students — exceed
ingly bright, uncommonly sharp,
outside the intellectual realm of us
mere mortals at “inferior” institu
tions. Or at least those were his views
before coming to Harvard. After two
years, the Angels had landed.
The creme dc la creme at Harvard
arc no brighter, he said, than those at,
say, a Washington or Nebraska.
“The best student I ever had —
probably ever will have — was at
Wash U,” he said.
The big difference, he went on to
say, lies not with those top students,
but those at the bottom. A prestigious
private institution like Harvard can
afford a higher quality cut-off line
than a state-supported school like
Any cattle fed country kid can
become a Comhusker. Hardly so for
those harboring hopes for Harvard.
While a big Ivy League school with a
rich tradition like Harvard can afford
to skim off the cream, Nebraska geLs
a lot of milk.
Thai’s inevitable at a state-run
school established to provide its resi
dents a quality education at an “af
fordable” price — not a word in the
Harvard vocabulary.
The professor’s other main point:
Most students are very active outside
ihcclassroom. Among the students in
his class are the Harvard heads of
Young Democrats and Young
Americans for Freedom.
And yel these two didn’t strike me
as young John F. Kennedys or Barry
Goldwalers, any more than we think
a young George Norris or Willa
Cathcr could possibly be sitting next
to us in our UNL classrooms.
My Harvard-to-Nebraska saga
could stop at the words of one profes
sor, in one classroom, on one day at
Harvard. But 1 saw the fruits of his
message come to term.
While participating in the Har
vard National Model United Nations,
1 witnessed a student unite the world
powers, including the United Stales
and Soviet Union (practically un
heard of in the real U.N.). This dele
gate, leading Eastern kids around like
a matador dragging a bull by the nose,
was from UNL.
Taking a break from the confer
ence, I slipped out to see the John F.
Kennedy Memorial Library. The
slain president, one of our country’s
most admired, was a graduate ol
Harvard. The library contained a
room full of Kennedy quotes. Unlike
my previous Harvard experience, the
weight of this Harvardites’ words
was staggering.
Practical politics teaches us that
politicians’ speeches aren't always
written by those public officials who
bestow them upon the world. It
wasn’t until I returned home that 1
realized Kennedy’s spccchwritcr
was Ted Sorenson — a graduate of
As educational institutions go,
UNL isn’t the Harvard of the Plains.
Each year, the university must find
belter ways to allocate shrinking
funds. Each year, professors leave for
greener monetary pastures at other
schools. Years and money will he
needed to reverse this trend.
But one weekend taught me some
thing that more than four years of
college could not. The quality of
one’s education doesn’t depend on
the institution as much as n does on
the individual.
Coffey is a senior political science major
and a Daily Nebraskan arts and entertain
ment reporter.
Imprecise use of word ‘Hispanic
causes confusion, counselor says
There is a growing contro
versy and fuss over the cur
rent use of the word His
panic. There arc personal campaigns
across the United Stales beginning to
protest the use of the imprecise word
Hispanic as the term used to describe
all U.S. residents of Latin-American
extraction. The reality is that no eth
nic group fits the Hispanic label.
Each individual within a culture
has been affected by unique experi
ences as well as by common cultural
experiences. One of the central issues
Puerto Ricans and others must con
tend with is their perception of their
own ethnic or cultural identification.
Identification refers to a process by
which an individual assumes a pat
tern of behavior characteristic of
other people in his or her' environ
ment. Although identification
clearly refers to the totality of self
experience, the term cultural identi
fication refers to that part of the self
that includes those values, altitudes
and standards that constitute cul
tural-group membership. To be a
Chicano/Mcxican is to reaffirm our
pride in our R AZA. To be Hispanic is
to compromise and to accommodate.
The decade of the 1970s was sup
posed to resolve the issue of what we
would call ourselves. Unfortunately,
wc as a people did not come up w ith
a term that was satisfactory . Instead,
Chicanos/Mcxicans, Cubans and
Puerto Ricans have been caught up in
the frcn/.yofpoliticsand psychologi
cal warfare that paints a picture of a
people on the move. Slogans such as
“The 1980s will be the decade of the
Hispanics” swept us into using the
term Hispanic.
Understanding the psychology of
the C hicano/Mcxican American has
not been easy. In the past, it seemed
that many were ashamed to be Chica
nos/Mcxicanos. They claimed to be
Americans — they even denied hav
ing any Mexican blood. But how
could they explain their last name?
Easily: They were Spanish; they
were Americans of Spanish descent.
In 1988, they arc now Spanish rather
than Chicano/Mcxican American
still for the same denial reasons.
Every time wc use the word His
panic, arc we not consciously or
unconsciously denying our rightful
ethnic identity?
For our young Chicano/Mcxican
children, it’s important that they
have a good self-concept and iden
tity. It’s important for positive self
esteem that they tie their ethnic iden
tity to their cultural background.
America, long known as a “melting
pot” of diverse racial and cultural
groups, has forced the concept of
assimilation upon many of its immi
grants. Yet we have learned that wc
can be good American citizens under
the concept of acculturation. Many of
us have made positive contributions
to the United States, but not at the
expense of denying our ethnicity.
In spite of the confusion anil in the
public mind of us as a single group.
Chicanos/Mcxicans, Cubans and
Puerto Ricans embrace cultures
almost as rich and varied as America
itself. If our names arc varied, so too
are the ways we feel, see and think
about our ethnic pride.
Is it really hot air over nothing —
over an insignificant word like His
panic? To promote things Hispanic is
not to understand history correctly.
Has anyone bothered to find out w hat
Hispanic means or represents? In the
World Book Encyclopedia, the word
Hispanic is defined as Spanish,
meaning that when we hear people
talk about Hispanic culture, they are
referring to Spanish culture. Spanish
culture historically in the Americas
was one of conquest; it was imposed
on our populations. In the dictionary,
Hispanic is defined as an adjective
referring to Spanish and Portuguese.
I’m not quite sure that Cubans,
Puerto Ricans and Chicano/Mcxi*
cans are pioclaiming that through
this Hispamcizing, they want to
claim their European roots. Yet it s a
fact that Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto
Ricans, and people from Central
America and the Caribbean arc
lumped together for convenience.
Dr. Marty Ramirez
Psychologist Counseling Center