The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 13, 1992, Page 5, Image 5

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Law, order redeem Legislature
Last week, I had to spend a day
at the Legislature to cover
debate on a bill.
Only a small portion of Nebraska’s
residents ever get to attend a legisla
tive session. With that in mind, here
are some observations that might
provide some insight into what actu
ally goes on in the halls of our state’s
The general legislative sessions
are in the legislative chamber, a room
the size of a gymnasium minus the
bleachers and cheerleaders.
On Tuesday, most of the legisla
tors were there, but not all at the same
time. They ran in and out of the cham
ber all day, as if they were trying to
hold down two jobs at once.
There were Veterans of Foreign
Wars volunteers wearing red jackets
and guarding the entrances. They were
friendly, elderly men who made sure
nobody got onto the floor without a
pass, including me.
Pages also were there. Pages are
young men and women who sit at the
front of the room and wait to take
messages to the legislators or run
errands, or do whatever.
Pages all wear blue vests over nice
clothing and always seem to be smil
ing, the way only young Republicans
can smile.
Most of the debate Tuesday after
noon was about a bill that would have
raised the price of vehicle registra
At least, I think that’s what the
debate was abdlit. The legislators
somehow managed to work every topic
imaginable into the discussion, and it
was surprising to learn how many
things are related to cars.
For example, there’s the issue of
vanity or personalized license plates
and how much people should pay for
them. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
And I should point out that the
debate was lukewarm, at best. Com
pared to a presidential debate, or a
debate over whose turn it is to do the
dishes or take out the trash, it wasn’t
very interesting at all.
In fact, there seemed to be such a
strong lack of disagreement that I had
trouble telling who was supporting
the vehicle registration bill and who
was against it. *
One senator stood up and talked
awhile as the other senators shuffled
papers and talked with each other and
the pages poured coffee.
Then that senator lit his pipe and
another senator stood up and began
Paees all wear blue
vests over nice
clothing and always
seem to be smiling.
the H'flv only young
Republicans can
There were a few limes when the
senators actually exchanged words
over the microphones, but they al
ways used a very respectable tone and
they never raised their voices.
Part of the debate was about using
the extra registration fees to make
driver’s licenses more difficult to
I sat up and paid attention at that
point, having some vague recollec
tion of once hearing about someone
who had been rumored to have a fake
driver’s license.
About every hour, the legislators
stopped debate and took time to intro
duce visitors.
These visitors were sitting up in
the balcony. There was a group of
high school students from somewhere,
some elementary students from some
where else, their teachers and maybe
a bus driver or two.
The senators all applauded to let
the guests know how glad they were
to have these students and teachers
and bus drivers visiting the legisla
tive chamber.
Then they went back to debating
how much they were going to charge
these visitors and the rest of Nebraska’s
residents to drive cars.
Of course, legislators don’t spend
all of their time engaged in floor
debate. One other task they have is to
attend committee hearings.
Some of these hearings arc inter
esting and thought-provoking. Oth
ers arc often hard to distinguish from
a church service.
That really isn’t fair to church,
because most church services only
last an hour and these hearings can
last decades, or so it seems.
People from all walks of life, in
cluding college professors and ad
ministrators, come to these commit
tee hearings to ask for money or to
testify for legislation or to give their
These hearings, while often tedi
ous, seem to be the place where most
of the the real work gets done in the
People on both sides of an issue
have a chance to talk to the legisla
tors, and legislators get to ask ques
tions and shuffle papers and smoke
Aside from committee hearings,
there are all kinds of other activities
going on in the Capitol. Thousands of
things, actually.
I don’t know what these activities
are exactly. I doubt anyone does. But
whatever they’re doing involves
paperwork by the tons and bureau
crats running hither and yon in the
dark corridors.
I remember going on a tour through
those corridors when I was a kid. My
fellow fourth-graders and I were
amazed and delighted to find naked
women painted all over the floor of
the Capitol.
Democracy in action didn’t really
impress most of us, but this state
sanctioned celebration of nakedness
was even better than our trip to the
Sheldon Art Gallery in third grade.
I still don’t know who those women
on the floor of the Capitol are sup
Posed to be. Truth, Justice and Miss
ebruary maybe, or, to be more in
tune with American politics, Fawn
Hall or Gennifer Flowers.
If the women are supposed to be
Truth, Justice and Liberty, it is ironic
that they are on the floor, where sena
tors, lobbyists, journalists and other
citizens trod all over them each day.
Maybe the architect had a sense of
irony and planned it that way.
Somehow, the stale is run from
these floors and boring meetings and
unheated debates.
Democracy in action, or inaction,
isn’t as flashy as MTV or as fun to
watch as . . . well, about anything 1
can name.
But a little more than 100 years
ago, the only laws in this state were
made by those who had guns, and I’ll
take pipe smoke to gun smoke almost
every lime.
Green is a senior news-editorial major, a
Daily Nebraskan senior reporter and a col
Fires show risk, waste of paper towels
..... . . . . . . . . • . .•_ _ *■ i
I m writing mis letter in response
to the article on recent residence hall
fires (“Police suspect arson in Resi
dence Hall fires,” DN, April 10).
According to the article, several of
the fires were bathroom trash-can fires.
Not to excuse the alleged arsonist(s),
but paper towels arc the real culprit
As a student who has lived in the
residence halls for four years, I have
seen the unnecessary risk of fire and
waste that paper towels represent.
Bathroom trash containers overflow
ing with paper towels and other squan
dered resources of the planet arc a
daily sight in every bathroom of the
residence halls. If the paper towels
would not nave ocen preseni, u s a
safe bet that several of these fires
could have been prevented.
Not only arc paper towels an un
necessary risk, but in tight budgci
times, they are like fat that needs
trimming. $30,000 is wasted annu
ally in the residence halls on papci
towels. The residence hall students
know this and that is why, in the
recent RHA elections, students voted
favorably on a survey that asked il
they would be willing to give up
pap)er towels. The survey statcmcni
went on to say that the money saved
would be used in the development ol
an expanded recycling effort and tc
keep housing rates down. I hope the
aUlIllllIMJailUII Will UlM* Uiia
account when deciding whether or
not to allocate money for paper tow
els in the 1992/93 fiscal housing budget.
Students want lower housing rates
and they want a full-scale recycling
effort. Is giving up paper towels so
high a price? Before 1985, residence
hall students used cloth towels. More
over, paper towels arc non-recyclablc.
Let’s conserve financial and natural
resources and use cloth towels as we
i once did. Support recycling and re
duce waste in the university budget!
Jeff Riggcrt
, senior
biological sciences
Hunting is unjustified killing
This Idler is sent oul lo Arnold
Remington and to anyone else who
seems to care. However, it was Ar
nold Remington who seemed confi
dent enough to think that what he was
saying in his Friday DN letter (“Hunting
not ‘subliminal hatred,’” April 10)
had any points of relevancy to it.
1 am not an animal rights activist,
at least not a radical one. and I am
also not a hunter.
Hunting may not be a result of
“subliminal haired,” but I think it is
rather obvious to the rest of the world
that it is cold-blooded kiO ig.
No matter how wrong i s to cal
meat, or for medical tests u j forced
upon unsuspecting anima or for
farmers and slaughterers t kill and
process pigs and cows, ct certain
aspects of our present soci require
that these things happen.
For one species to si ivc and
prosper, another must die. You said
that, Arnold Remington, not me. I
think that if the human race can create
video phones, heat-seeking missiles,
nuclear bombs and send humans into
outer space, then we could also figure
out a way to survive without hunting.
Only a primitive man would be able
to support that argument.
You said in your article that if you
were just mean and evil why wouldn’t
you just massacre a bunch of mice in
the comfort of your own home? I
don’t know. I assume you said that
because you arc inferring that when
you hunt you arc suddenly a sports
man. That seems to be the second
most-popular argument for hunters
these days. I don’t sec any sport in
shooting a defenseless animal from a
blind side, or any side for that matter.
Let me see you go out into the woods
naked with a knife and try to chase
down a prairie dog, or bow-hunting
after a frightened whitctail, not one
asleep by a forest brook.
The most popular excuse for hunt
ing is that it controls the population
explosion. You said that the informa
tion in your letter came from “scien
tific wildlife population dynamics
equations.” I was blind to any scien
tific evidence in that article.
I am not trying to change your
views, only challenge your opinion.
Killing is simply not moral if it isn’t
justified, and it is very difficult to
justify! Pardon me, Arnold, but I’m
going to kill a hunter, I hear they
make a good jerky.
Kevin Eubanks
English and German
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Campus Representative: Steve Jorgensen
Call Now 467-2617
UNL Residence Halls are expanding
their desk hours and responsibilities.
We need reliable students to staff these positions.
•Provide information and resources to students
•Monitor access to building
•Enforce escort policy
•Register guests
•Assist with appropriate responses to emergency situations
•Notify other staff of situations which require their attention
•Maintain log oi prooicms ana unusual situations
•Answer office phones
•Perform administrative duties
•Attend regularly scheduled meetings
•Participate in pre-service training sessions
•Perform other duties as assigned
•$4.50 per hour
•No uniforms
•Meet lots of people
•Gain valuable work experience
•Refine your leadership skills
•Work around your class schedule
•Be part of a progressive team
•Provide a valuable student service
Positions available for summer and fall of 1992
Pick up an application at any Residence Hall Desk
Application Deadline: April 22,1992