The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 05, 1989, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

UmvemJty of Nsbraska-Lincoln Vol. 89 No. 28
. 1 " - 1'» ■1 — ■ .—« " '
ASUN forum looks
at gangs, drug scene
By Jsnt Pedersen
Senior Reporter
An ASIJN forum on drugs and
gangs in Lincoln ended
Wednesday night before pan
elists could respond to all students’
After almost two hours of discus
sion, Paul Miles, forum facilitator
and University of Nebraska-Lincoln
special assistant for minority affairs,
stoppednne question-answer period.
He encouraged students to find other
ways to get involved.
‘ ‘There’s a lot of activity going on
around here,” Miles said. ‘‘It’s up to
you to take the leadership. My motto
is, ‘The future iscoming and it’s up to
you to decide where it’s going.’”
Devi Bohling, first vice president
of the Association of Students of the
University of Nebraska, said she or
ganized the forum to determine if
there was a drug or gang problem in
Lincoln and how it could be solved or
Allan Curtis, Lincoln police chief,
said that although cocaine use is the
biggest drug problem in Lincoln, he
would let individuals decide for
themselves if a gang problem exists
“We do have one group here that
calls themselves a gang,’ * Curtis said.
“But we don’t have the turf battles.
At this point, we haven’t had any
inner-gang violence. We haven’t had
drive-by shootings. We haven’t had
people organizing strictly for selling
narcotics firom that gang.”
After taking all those circum
stances into consideration, he said,
it’s up to individuals to decide if
gangs are a problem.
Curtis said the public’s fear of
pngs is a bigger problem than gangs
forming because scares promote a
“terrible form of racism. ’'
People transfer that scared feeling
onto others who aren’t involved in
gangs, Curtis said.
“They say, ‘If I see a black man
and he’s wearing red, then he must be •
a gang member,'" he said,
Ben Gray from KETV television
station in Omaha, said a lack of pub
lic knowledge contributes to institu
tional racism which is the basic prob
lem behind minorities' need to join
"Gang members, for the most
part, don't want to be gang mem
bers,” he said.
Gang members who arc degraded
in public schools or discriminated
against during job interviews have
nowhere else to turn, he said.
"They want to be treated with the
same dignity and respect that the
majority of the community is treated
with," he said.
But because there are few other
opportunities for inner-city blacks to
earn money, he said, they may turn to
selling drugs.
Although there are some “high
rollers" who become rich from sell
ing drugs, he said, not all gang mem
bers want to be involved with the
drug trade as many people believe.
“The vast majority of gang mem
bers who sell drugs don’t sell drugs
because they want to be involved m
the drug trade itself. It's a matter of
survival," he said.
Another widely held rumor, that
gang members slash women’s ankles
and then rape them as pan of gang
initiation, also is false, Gray said.
He said most gang members he
knows wouldn’t rum their nice
clothes by hiding under cars, waiting
to rape a white woman when many
white women already are attracted to
But improving public awareness
about gangs is only a small step in
combatting the bigger problem of
institutional racism, Gray said.
He said he hopes Lincoln city offi
cials take a more resourceful ap
proach to combatting drugs and
gangs than Omaha officials have.
SeeToflUM on 3
UNL loses Hispanic students to Wyoming
I By Cindy Wostre)
H Staff Reporter
I TV ispanic students in the Pan
* Si handle region of Nebraska
■ A JL may be going to the Univer
1 shy of Wyoming rather than the Uni >
I versity of Nebraska because of the
I stronger emphasis IJW places on
I reenuting minorities.
■ This worries Hispanic students on
jS the UNL campus, said Frank San
jjehez, the president of the Mexican
9 American Student Association.
* ‘We’d like to see more Hispanic
■students (at UNL),” Sanchez said.
He said ihe University of Ne
9 braska-Lincoln is losing students
■from western Nebraska to UW, and
■that not enough is being done by UNL
V recruit more Hispanic students.
“Hopefully ..Sanchez said,
■r’they (UNL officials) will recruit
■better out in the western part of Ne
Sanchez said MAS A members
HK^cnt into high schools in western
■[Nebraska last year on behalf of UNL.
Hie said that this year they may visit
Bhigh schools there again along with
■Affirmative Action, ^particularly in
■cousbiuff where there is a high per
centage of Chicano students.
According to 1980 census statis
Mics, there were 28,025 Hispanic
■Nebraskans out of a total state popu
Bationof 1^69,825, which is 1.8 per*
Bent of the total, However, in the 11
■ouncy Panhandle region, Hispanic
Nebraskans totalled 6,430 or 6.55
percent of a total )x>pulation of
98,244, according to 1980 census
Mexican-American Conrad Cas
taneda, a UNL junior from
Scottsbluff, said that UW is “kicking
our butts” when k comes to recruit
ing Hispanics and other minorities.
He said that when he was in .high
school, UW bad special counseling
sessions in Scottsbluff for Hispanic
UW Admissions Counselor Becky
Aspiund said that UW makes one
recruiting trip through Nebraska, but
focuses recruiting on western Ne
braska because it is geographically
closer. Currently, 270 of UW’s
10,660 students are from Nebraska,
Recruitment and
Retention Committee compiles a list
of minority students in the places
recruiters visit, Aspiund said.
The admissions office then sends
those students a copy of 9 viewbook
and a newsletter which comes out
three times a year, she said. The
newsletter includes information on
projects that UW’s Minority Affairs
Office is working on, she said.
The Minority Recruitment and
Retention Committee (hes to ensure
that Hispanic and other minority stu
dents receive the information they
need to make a wise choice of higher
education, Aspiund said.
“Minority students don't have the
same resources (as other students),”
Asplund said. “(Their) parents often
times don’t have a college educa
The fact that they lack a college
education is significant, she said,
because college-educated parents
can better help their children apply
for colleges.
Two years ago the committee
applied for and received money from
the Hearst Foundation, she said.
Since then they have applied for
money each year to continue the
committee's work.
Asplund said UW has established
an endowment fund to provide schol
arships to Hispanics and other mi
norities. The fund has about $35,000
now, and Asplund said idle hopes to
raise the amount to $100,000.
The UNL Office of Scholarships
and Financial Aid does not have any
records compiled of how much schol
arship money has been awarded to
Hispanics, according to director John
Beacon. He said, however, that if
UNL is to keep more Hispanics and
other minorities, it must nave more
scholarship money.
“In general terms, if... our mis
sion is in fact to keep and maintain
minorities in the state of Nebraska or
attract minorities to UNL... we need
more scholarship funds - money
specifically designated for (minori
ties),” Beacon said.
Paul Miles, special assistant for
minority affairs at UNL, said that
over the past few yean, UNL has
given mote minority scholarships to
>n<ty IfcrtiiftDnly Mihnilwn
attract top minority students.
He said there should be a more
diverse atmosphere at UNL so that
minority and majority students can
teach each other and prepare for
when they may have to deal with
peonle from backgrounds other than
their own.
Miles said the level of minority
enrollment at UNL has remained
stable over the pa t few years.
Lisa Schmidt, director of the UNL
Office of High School apd College
Relations, said UNL doesn't recruit
enough Hispanic and other minority
students. But, she added, it also mast
. ..... ’•sjjc'VTr ■ ‘
recruit more students from other
groups including honors students and
National Merit scholars.
Schmidt said the university did not
emphasize recruiting until her office
was established four years ago as the
Office of Pre-Admissions Activities.
In fact, she said, the admissions of
fice was told not to recruit Now,
however, that has changed.
"I think the university does what
it can in every arena," Schmidt said.
"There is much 10 be done."
She laid UNL must have more