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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 8, 1993)
■' ’:TOK|| I
Pain paved man’s road to UNL
plans to help
By Kristine Long
UNL junior Thomas
Prather says he has been
to hell and back.
His trip started at age 12 when
he first smoked marijuana.
The trip got worse when he
started drinking alcohol and
using cocaine, heroin and LSD.
Homeless, he lived on the
streets of Los Angeles, Chicago -
and Detroit. He served lime in
jail for stealing money to buy
food. He spent six months in a
hospital recovering from the
third-degree bums he got when
his trailer house burned down. He
had no friends, no career and no
Prather’s trip lasted almost 17
years. But he has finally relumed.
Prather said he wanted to help
other drug addicts recover and
pay back those who helped him
He said he was lucky to be
“I kind of figure I’m running
on borrowed time,” Prather said.
Prather, who grew up in
Urbana, III., said his addiction
started because he was in the
wrong place at the wrong lime.
Prather said one reason he
turned to drugs was that he was
bored with school.
“In some of my classes I fell
like I knew more than the
teachers,” Prather said.
Prather also said he had a low
self-esteem because his peers
made fun of his small size.
“They nicknamed me ‘Mos
quito,’" he said.
So with few friends and a low
self-esteem, Prather said, he
became a prime target for his
drug-dealing older friends.
Prather said he thought drugs
could be his ticket to friendship
But soon he didn’t need
friends to have fun. Prather said
once he withdrew from people,
his life revolved around drugs.
After graduating from high
See PRATHER on 2
Tom Prather, a junior psychology major at UNL, was once homeless and addicted to
add?etio>ra*h6r n0W wants t0 9et a iob where he can help people recover from drug
By Jeff Zeleny
NU Board of Regents mem
bers disagreed on whether a
5 percent University of Ne
braska tuition increase,recommended
Tuesday by the Legislature’s Appro
It of McCook
posed to increasing tuition, because
NU has lower rates than other schools.
However, the tuition rates don’t show
the entire picture, he said.
“When we compare Nebraska to
Kansas or some other states, we m ight
be lower in tuition, but the state ap
propriation is lower,” he said. “The
students arc paying a higher percent
Lincoln Regent Charles Wilson
said he was concerned about the pos
sible tuition hike and said it should be
the last option considered.
“I think we should do everything
we can to try to minimize tuition
increases,” he said. “The Legislature
is going to expect the students to pick
up some portion of the increase in cost
— there isn’t any way politically
Wilson also said the N U campuses *
tuitions were lower than most other
institutions in their respective peer
groups, despite what people might
“I know it is high to the students;
but relative to other institutions, our
tuition is not high,” he said. “Depend
ing on what peer group you pick, it’s
in the medium-to-low area of tuition.”
Regent Nancy O’Brien of Water
loo said she disapproved of the
committee’s recommended tuition
increase. Raising tuition would be her
last choice, she said.
“To my knowledge, it’s not up to
the committee to set tuition,” she said.
“The board docs it, and we lake it very
The committee also proposed the
previous cut recommendation of
$13.98 million be cut in half. Blank
said the new proposal was better, but
that it still could have a devastating
effect on the university.
The $7 million cut will have to
include eliminating programs, so dif
ficult decisions lie ahead for the board,
“You can only take out so many
phones for so long,” he said. “When
you’re comparing academic classes
to research, it’s not a fun time to be on
the Board of Regents.”
Two students needed on search committee, Benes says
By Steve Smith
Controversy has arisen about student rep
resentation on the search committee
for a new University of Nebraska presi
dent, but at (east one NU official said student
representation was accurate.
In previous presidential searches, the com
mittee allowed one student representative, said
Regent Nancy O'Brien of Waterloo, co-chair
woman of the search committee.
“It's worked well before," O’Brien said.
“The students get a direct role in the selection
process this way."
The NU Board of Regents decided last month
to establish a 17-mcmbcr presidential search
committee by this Saturday.
At that meeting, thcn-ASUN President and
Student Regent Andrew Sigerson urged the
board to appoint two students, rather than one.
He said one student could not adequately rep
resent students from all four NU campuses.
The board, however, was not convinced, and
the motion Tailed.
O’ Bricn said Tuesday that one student on the
committee was an adequate number.
“If it were, for example, the selection of a
chancellor, then we would definitely look for
more student feedback," she said.
But students don’t have as much direct
contact with the president as they would with
their chancellor, she said.
AS UN President Keith Bcncs disagreed.
“The central administration may be a little
bit more removed than the chancellor,” he said,
“but the decisions that they make still affect
“We need a bigger voice in the selection
O’Brien said the board of regents respected
the students' view on the issue.
/ don’t think the decision to
put one student on the
committee was any kind of
slam on their Intelligence.
‘‘I don’t think the decision to pul one student
on the committee was any kind of slam on their j
intelligence,” she said.
O’Brien said central administrators, faculty
members and ihc chancellor’s office could
lobby for more spots if students were allowed
another position on the committee.
“Every constituency could ask for more
representation," she said. “And then we’d be
asking for trouble."
The fairness of representation depends solely
on perspective, O’Brien said.
“I do feel that one student can represent all
four campuses," she said. “We’re not necessar
ily looking for representation on a campus
standpoint, but simply the perspective of a
Benes said he still thought one student could
not adequately represent the interests of more
than 52,000 students in the NU system.
“There will most likely be one faculty mem
ber, one central administration official and one
person representing the chancellor’s office from
each campus on the committee, yet only one
student for UNL, UNO and UNK ” Benes said.
Benes said he was looking into the feasibil
ity of petting another student on the selection
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