The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 11, 1991, Page 4, Image 4

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    Eric Pfanner. Editor, 472-1766
Dililv Bob Nelson, Editorial Page Editor
^ T 111/an^ Victoria Ayotte, Managing Editor
* “O'" rV | C H Jam Pedersen, Associate News Editor
JL It. 1 i- Emilv Rosenbaum, Associate News Editor
4 University ol Nebraska-Lincoln
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I Discrimination
ROTC must follow university laws
jk cademic senators got out of their back-slapping mode
Tuesday to send a strong and timely message to the
Defense Department about its discrimination against
UNL students have rallied for years against the policy,
which keeps gay and lesbian students out of ROTC programs.
They did so again Wednesday, in conjunction with marches on
college campuses nationwide. Last March, the Association of
Students of the University of Nebraska passed a resolution
condemning it.
But so far, nothing has changed.
Perhaps the military establishment doesn’t consider students
of high enough rank to rate an audience with the decision
In that case, Tuesday’s Academic Senate action could prove
effective. Faculty bodies at other universities across the nation
have adopted similar statements. If enough professors — who
wield clout over the curricula and programs taught at their
universities — followed, the Defense Department would have
to listen.
It the top brass rail to listen, the resolution forces action at
the local level. The senate would urge the UNL chancellor to
* “renegotiate the contracts of the three branches of ROTC at
UNL in order to eliminate credit for all ROTC courses” if
I homosexuals continued to be excluded on Jan. 1, 1993.
\ The resolution was not a knee-jerk, politically correct appeal
to pacifism. It doesn’t call for administrators to boot ROTC off
g campus, merely for ROTC to follow UNL non-discrimination
l policy. Hence the generous, 1 1/2-year cushion.
ROTC does have value. By infusing the armed forces with
fresh batches of college-educated citizens, it supports the idea
of a civilian-controlled military. That’s one of the pillars of our
| democracy.
But another pillar is the rule of law. And under the univer
| sity’s laws, programs may not discriminate, among other
5 things, on the basis of “individual characteristics.”
That euphemism, folks, stands for sexual preference.
Sexual preference is not, as the military claims, a security
risk. It shouldn’t be used as a pathetic excuse to disqualify
someone from serving.
With academic brass now joining the fight, the Defense De
| partment soon will have to take notice. Or ROTC will flunk
— E.F.P.
Traditions back male schools
Your editorial criticizing Virginia
Military Institute and the Citadel,
Military College of South Carolina
(DN, April 5), comes from your lack
ing concern for traditions. These are
traditions of “The Deep South.” I
have been informed that the South is
considered Texas in these here parts.
Since I have not attended VMI, I can
only rightfully speak for The Citadel.
I only lacked one year in completing
the transformation to “The Citadel
Man,” but that is my loss. Before you
start tearing down all-male institu
tions, prepare for the same to happen
to your all-female institutions.
Let me first address the claims
you, Mr. Editor, have against the
military service academies. Given by
your statements, women are already
faced with mistreatment and harass
ment at these institutions since they
were allowed admission in 1976. So
why do you want to create a new
place for this harassment to continue?
Speaking in my opinion and not for
either of these two fine military insti
tutes, VMI’s Kcydets and The Cita
del’s Cadets would rather destroy their
respective schools before allowing
women admission. I will not address
the problems of where to house the
women, but this wouULmean locks on
the barracks doors. The results would
be the destruction of the first building
block of each corps. This is honesty,
and how can you have it with locked
Late Monday nigh ton CNN Cross
fire, this issue was a hotbed of anger.
The name of the female Virginia state
senator escapes recollection. She said
it is OK to prevent state funding for
VMI’s all-male institution but the all
female institutions (private or not)
arc above this ruling. She was quickly
labeled a “Virginia feminist senator”
— and rightly so I might add. Under
Virginia slate law, all schools private
or public receive state money for each
Virginian enrolled during a given
school year. She also knows that VMI
will be destroyed before women arc
allowed to enroll. Even with this
knowledge, she is HELLbent on VMI’s
destruction. Typical as .her type is
portrayed, she wants it all. The male
institutions opened for women, but
women’s institutions closed to men.
Here is an idea for each of you to
ponder. Why are there no unisex grcek
nouses? Each of you want your bond
ing whether it is male or female. That
is why you have your sororities, and
we have our fraternities.
By the way, why is the DN con
cerned with issues in Virginia and
South Carolina? You should first clean
up the trash in your backyard before
looking into that of others — trash
being defined as race and gender
A.M. Hedrick
graduate leaching assistant
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Disabled students offer example
I was pulling an all-nighter, des
perately trying to get a passing
grade in the algebra course that
has haunted me each day and night
like Dickens’ ghostof Christmas past.
I racked my brain trying to recall
stuff I wanted to forget. I worked
problems, yet I kept coming up with
the wrong answers. The light would
not come on, not even a flicker.
Then I started to create rationali
zations for my obvious mathematical
incompetence. I was a victim of a
covert educational plot to retard the
left side of my brain. This retardation
must have started back in elementary
school. I never did trust my sixth
grade math teacher.
The result of this mistrust is that
earlier in the semester I was afraid I
would be the first person in line at
drop/add. I had convinced myself to
give up.
Then another light flickered on. It
was the image of Ed, one of the stu
dents in my math class.
He’s one of those students who
always does his homework. He’s
always on time for class; one of those
guys who always asks the most in
formed questions and who always has
the solution to problems before any
one else. You know the type.
After two weeks of this excellence,
I started to wonder how he did it. Yes,
he studied, but what drove him to
The more I watched him progress,
the more I began to see a connection
between my math anxiety problems
and that which propelled Ed.
At that instant, Ed became my
inspiration and the major reason for
my not avoiding something l knew I
was afraid of.
I jumped back into the books trying
to memorize formulas and to apply
them practically. I kept this vigil until
3 a.m., when I began to crash and
slowly bum out.
As I closed my eyes trying to get
the B-squares and negative constants
to go away, I remembered the bumper
sticker on the back of Ed’s wheel
chair. It reads, “I just want a little
more out of life than I expect to get.”
Now keep this to yourself. Ed’s
one of those students they call “dis
abled.” But that doesn’t define the
person I’ve watched for 13 weeks.
“How can this be7” I foolishly
Early Americans
placed their empha
sis on form and
beauty, so they at
tempted to hide all
that was not perfect
and damn those.
who weren’t to back
streets and hovels.
They built g world
\vjth n a hoidsis. ql
barriers for hu
mans whg wjre
i pondered. How can people who have
to enter most buildings from back
doors deal with being students?
1 drif ted off to sleep thinking about
the Cartesian Coordinate system and
That next morning I talked to my
professor and arranged for a math
tutor. Next I made an appointment to
see a counselor to talk about my math
anxiety. 1 was determined to over
come my disabling fear of numbers.
I was going to follow Ed’s ex
ample and continue to struggle against
the odds.
According to Kathleen Juad/emis,
an attorney for the law firm of Cline,
Williams, Wright, Johnson and Old
father, in her summary of the 1990
Americans With Disabilities Act, 43
million Americans have one or more
disabilities and the numbers arc in
Jaudzemis said society has histori
cally isolated, segregated and dis
criminated against individuals with
disabilities. She said discrimination
is particularly critical in employment,
housing public accommodations,
education, recreation, health services
and access to public services.
This kind of discrimination, she
said, costs the United States billions
of dollars each year in unnecessary
expenses resulting from dependency
and nonproduclivily.
Jaudzemis said that unlike victims
of other discriminations, these indi
viduals often have had no legal re
course outside of several watered
down laws governing educational
programs for the handicapped.
But in July 1990, President Bush
signed a law providing legal reme
dies for special populations who arc
discriminated against in employment,
public services, mass transportation
and accommodation by private insti
In the Americans with Disabilities
Act, discrimination is broadly defined
as any action that intentionally ex
cludes individuals with disabilities
from participation in mainstream
activities. The law is a result of years
of struggle by disabled Americans to
obtain their civil rights.
The math light bums each night at
my desk, and it occasionally flickers
in class. Regardless of my final grade,
I have been presented each day with a
lifelong lesson in perseverance and a
fine example of excellence in a world
not designed for special students like
Ed. Students who in spite of barriers
continue to travel through a world
constructed for the “perfect” person.
Early Americans placed their
emphasis on form and beauty, so they
attempted to hide all that was not
perfect and doom those who weren’t
to back streets and hovels. They built
a world with no borders or barriers for
humans who were “ablcd.”
Well, Ed is one of the most ablcd
people I’ve ever met Now, if I could
learn his math skills, maybe, just
maybe, I might be “normal” one day.
Whatever that is.
Ghoison is a senior news-editorial miyor
and a Daily NebraAan columnist.