The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 28, 1990, Page 4, Image 4

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Editorial Board
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Eric Pfanner, Editor, 472-1766
Victoria Ayotte, Managing Editor
Darcie Wiegert, Associate News Editor
Diane Brayton, Associate News Editor ,
Jana Pedersen, Wire Editor
Emily Rosenbaum, Copy Desk Chief
Lisa Donovan, Editorial Page Editor
Quibbles ’n bits
Don't let your fingers do the walking
Tired of walking into an exam late because you couldn’t
find a parking stall?
Maybe you should transfer to Governors State Univer
sity in suburban Chicago. Students in psychology and manage
ment courses there are able to take quizzes without leaving
home. Instead of plugging their meters, they punch buttons on
their telephones.
i Management students took a 10-question multiple-choice
quiz by pressing No. 1 through 4, connecting their phones with
the school computer.
The telephone tests may be convenient, but they can’t
provide an accurate means of testing students’ knowledge. The
purpose of testing students in one location at the same time is
to keep them from cheating.
When students’ fingers already arc doing the walking to
register answers on the phone, what’s going to stop them from
walking farther - into the notes and textbooks where the
answers are stored?
Oil tax could spur car pools, bicycles
j t last, a tax wc can all live with.
Calif Gov. George Dcukmcjian has signed a bill that
| taxes oil 25 cents a barrel, creates a cleanup “czar” and
regulates tankers in California waters.
With the situation in the Persian Gulf, this may not be the
most popular time to tax oil, but Californians and the rest of
the country may find out it’s worth it.
The bill, the first of its kind in the United States, might
make consumers unhappy, but it will indirectly benefit them.
j[ The tax money will be used in a positive way. And as the cost
of gas rises, it will force special conservation measures such as
car pooling and bicycle riding.
Facts needed before appointment
Ijj J ecc’s baaack.
Much lo the chagrin of some NU Board of Regents
members, former University of Nebraska President
Ronald Roskens has been appointed to the NU Foundation
Board of Trustees.
Rosemary Skrupa of Omaha said she was “shocked” by the
appointment and thought that he should fulfill his job in
Washington before accepting such an appointment here.
While his appointment to the 4(X)-mcmber board is little
more than symbolic and Skrupa may have assumed loo much,
she has a point.
Roskens was fired after 12 years in the presidential seat, and
the reasons behind his dismissal have yet to be disclosed. Now
he and his wife have been quietly appointed to the foundation’s
Maybe The Good Life isn’t so bad after all.
— Lisa Donovan
and KrU: Pfanner
for the Daily Nebraskan
Movie similar to reality
Don’t be misled by the title, “The
Handmaid’s Tale.” This film is not
about the life of a tittering, mindless
domestic servant.
Ads claim the filmmaker made a
“good movie out of a good book.” I
prefer to state it this way: The
filmmaker made an acceptable movie
out of a superb book.
“The Handmaid’s Tale’’ has super
fluous “T and A” and scummy sex
scenes, but this is in keeping with the
The story is a prescient prediction
of what might happen if America
doesn’t clean up its act -- now. It is
about a society desperate to survive a
situation that it created with its own
pollution: toxic waste dumps, radia
tion and disease (don’t forget to fac
tor Factory Farming into that) have
rendered 99 percent of women ster
However, this society has not
learned its lesson. It still attempts to
gain its objectives through force and
cruelly (stepping on whoever is con
venient in order to get what it wants)
without regard to morality or fair play.
I read the book in 1986 and have
since watched many of the book’s
early predictions being fulfilled: the
monetary credit system (discussed in
the book, but not the film, unfortu
nately) has come into use in Califor
nia, leaking toxic (including radioac
tive) waste dump exist, and cancer
and AIDS arc well known.
(Think man isn’t responsible for
that? The damage to the ozone layer
has resulted in a weakening of human
resistance to disease, hasn’t it? A
specific point concerning sterility: it
has been proven, in animals subjected
to microwaves, that the reproductive
organs are the first to go. Gamma rays
arc not so much shorter than micro
waves, and isn’t it funny that the
majority of human cancers occur in
the reproductive organs?)
I believe that there’s really some
thing to Margaret Atwood’s “ .
Talc” and that if you think about it
you’ll agree. We’re set up for the
possibility. All the components of the
situation arc moving into place, and
the mechanisms already exist for such
an enslavement of the American
people; they only have to be put into
Fran Thompson
Tradition needs revival at UNL
Students, faculty must return to teary-eyed events of yesterday
Call me a traditionalist.
It was not until recently that
I became aware of this. Since
the age of 14, when I received my first
paycheck with taxes taken out, I have
known that I was a conservative. But
recognizing that I’m a traditionalist is
a new thing.
My newfound awareness came a
few months ago when I was engaged
in an exciting intellectual debate over
who was the best nighttime talk show
“Boy, there’s nothing better than
watching David Lettcrman. He’s
funny,” my friend Chris said.
But Kermit said, “Arscnio Hall is
the show for our generation.”
“Pal Sajak was so good they had
to fire him because his fans were
calling in and lying up the switch
boards,” Alan said.
When it was my turn, my instincts
kicked in. Without giving the topic
much thought or analysis, I instinc
tively answered, “Johnny Carson is
the best there ever was. My father
watc hes h im. H i s father watched h im.
So I watch him.”
Why did I say that?
I am and have always been a tradi
tionalist. My values and beliefs arc a
reflection of those of a generation or
two ago. Often, 1 long for the good ol’
days when men wore fedoras, dressed
in a suit and tic for baseball games
and stood when a woman entered a
room. I believe that this was a better
country when children read more than
they watched television and when
families actually sat down together to
enjoy a meal. Even today I will only
vote for a politician who kisses ba
And why?
Because that’s the way it has al
ways been and is supposed to be.
Certainly each of us can remem
ber a tradition that is near and dear to
our hearts. Opening Christmas pres
ents on Christmas Eve. Giving a red
rose to a loved one on that special
day. Taking the family summer vaca
tion. The neighborhood parade on the
Fourth of July. Suffenng through your
father’s corned beef and cabbage on
St. Patrick’s Day.
Traditions are what bind a nation.
They make us what we arc. They are
what we are all about. And yet we
don’t cherish them as we should.
A nation that emasculates its tradi
lions becomes a culture without iden
tity. Everyday we discard the tradi
tions of our predecessors as if they
were meaningless and unimportant in
the search for what is “modem” and
“improved.” “New” doesn’t neces
sarily mean “better.”
The University of Nebraska-Lin
coln has traditions that have been lost
or have diminished in the search for
modem life. Every spring, students
on this campus used to gather to ac
knowledge the academic achievements
of their fellow students. !t was called
Ivy Day. While it is still recognized,
it is revered by few What was once a
grand tradition at the University of
Nebraska is now but a mere program.
Is this merely the passing of another
tradition or have scholastics slipped
this far out of the collegiate value
1 could go on and on about impor
tant traditions that are no longer
observed at UNL. Remember the card
section at the football games? How
about groups such as Corncobs and
Tassels that used to gather on the field
as the football team ran out onto the
field? What ever happened to the
harmless rivalries that prevailed on
this campus? And all-university for
On Oct. 13, UNL will attempt to
celebrate another tradition that has
become attenuated. Years ago, it used
to be the celebration of the year. It
honored the past, present and future.
It involved several weeks of hard
work by students, faculty and com
munity leaders, and every year it was
a success.
Homecoming. In all reality, UNL’s
Homecoming is nonexistent. It con
sists of the annual football game, an
ill-attended dance, a small parade,
and a few poorly constructed yard
displays erected ai the last minute by
fraternity and sorority members.
Would you want to come home to
If you have ever visited another
large university during its Homecom •
mg, you understand my point.
A few years ago, I was on the
campus of Oklahoma State Univer
sity during its Homecoming celebra
tion. Extravagant parades. Magnifi
cent floats. Yard displays that took
weeks to construct (and looked like
it). Campus activities that students
and alumni actually attended. Special
celebrations sponsored by local busi
nesses. The entire campus was deco
rated in a festive atmosphere. It was
truly an event. Nebraska used to have
something like this.
Blame must be placed where blame
is due. I don’t want point fingers at
the University Program Council, the
administration or the Homecoming
Committee. The blame lies in one
ltappearsas if the traditionsof this
institution have little significance
anymore. Homecoming is nothing
more than another football game. When
it comes to this tradition, apathy runs
rampant among students and faculty.
While this may be the general atti
tude, it is we who arc losing out.
Years ago, Homecoming was a
display of pride. It was an opportu
nity to show off the campus and fa
cilities toalumni and visitors. It made
the statement, ‘‘We go to the Univer
sity of Nebraska-Lincoln and arc proud
of it!”
w c a 11 reaped the benc 11 is. a i u m n i
got all tcary-cycd while reminiscing
about the good old days at their alma
mater - so teary-eyed that they often
whipped out their checkbooks to “keep
a good thing going.”
Youths witnessed the display of
pride and announced to their parents,
“l want to go to the University of
Nebraska someday.”
It was good for them. It was good
for us.
October 13 is still several weeks
away. Perhaps we should challenge
ourselves in attempting to revive and
restore a tradition that is of such great
importance. Attend a Homecoming
event. Build a quality yard display.
Decorate your car. Dress like Husker
Bob for the football game. Learn the
words to a Nebraska song. Hug an
After all, it’s a tradition.
Fahleson is a second-year law student and
a Daily Niebra&an columnist.