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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 3, 1994)
Thursday, February 3,1994
Adeana Left in.
Wi Ilian Lauer...
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
.Opinion Page Editor
.Associate News Editor
Arts & Entertainment Editor
Km ioki \i
Follow their lead
Greek support of hazing bill is admirable
If LB 1129 becomes a law, hazing will become a crime in
Nebraska. Individuals found guilty of hazing could face a
maximum of six months in jail or a SI,000 fine or both.
Organizations could be fined SI0,000.
If hazing becomes a crime, it will happen with the support of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln greek system.
At a hearing before the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee
Tuesday, former Interfratemity Council President Scott Bunz and
current President Nick Rcifschneider testified in support of the bill.
The practice of hazing has too long been a part of greek life at
UNL. Hazing docs not encourage healthy camaraderie. It is abuse.
Although fraternities make valuable contributions on this
campus, hazing weakens their position. It makes them deserving of
less respect and a target for criticism.
By supporting an anti-hazing bill, fraternities show they arc
willing to progress and to evolve into stronger, more esteemed
Following Jeffrey Knoll’s hazing and fall from a third-floor
window at Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, greek leaders have acted
admirably. They have responded to outside discipline and have
shown that they are also capable and willing to discipline them
A bill outlawing hazing will make both UNL and the greek
More than toys
Stronger efforts needed to help children
People who fight for children’s rights are often labeled as
radical. A push to guarantee the dignity of children is often
labeled as an attempt to let children take drastic actions such
as divorcing or suing their parents.
But the need for stronger efforts to help children was made clear
Wednesday in Chicago. Police on a dmg raid discovered 19
children living in an apartment littered with feces and crawling with
The Associated Press reported that five children slept on the
bare floor in their underwear, while others fought with a German
shepherd for food scattered on the floor.
The children were taken to a shelter for neglected children after
being examined at hospitals. Six adult relatives of the children were
charged with contributing to child neglect.
Children arc not property. They are not playthings to be treated
as casually as dogs. If found guilty, the adults in this case should
be punished to the full extent of the law. They should not have
custody of the children.
Advocating rights for children docs not necessarily mean saying
they should be free to do whatever they want. It can simply mean
that children should not have to live in filth unfit for humans.
Tomorrow can only be as bright as today’s children make it. The
United States needs to take action to ensure what happened in
Chicago can’t happen again.
I III I OKI \l 1*01 l< \
Staff editorials represent the official policy of the Spring 1994 Daily Nebraskan Policy is set
by the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. Editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the
university, its employees, the students or the NU Board of Regents Editorial columns represent
the opinion of the author. The regents publish the Daily Nebraskan They establish the UNL
Publications Board to supervise the daily production of the paper According to policy set by
the regents, responsibility for the editorial content of the newspaper lies solely in the hands of
I I I I I K I’l >1 H \
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief letters to the editor from all readers and interested others.
Letters will be selected for publication on the basis of clarity, originality, timeliness and space
available. The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to edit or reject all material submitted Readers
also are welcome to submit material as guest opinions. The editor decides whether material
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Nebraskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St., Lincoln, Neb 68588 0448
Lhl I IKS l<> I III Km I ok
I think it’s funny the way Paul
Koester (DN, Jan. 31) refers to the
pro-life movement as “anti-choice,”
conveniently giving it a very negative
image. It’s also funny that while
Koester used to be pro-life, as he be
came more “open-minded” and more
educated, his opinion changed to pro
choice, implying that only closed
minded, uneducated people are pro
life. What’s not funny are his stereo
Not all people who arc pro-life
want to keep sex education out of
schools. I believe that with more edu
cation, some of these pregnancies can
Not all pro-lifers are the radicals
you see on the news, bombing abor
tion clinics and shooting doctors.
We are not trying to impose our
morals on others; we are only fighting
for the rights of the unborn children.
I also do not agree with the “there’s
no room for more children in this
world so abort the unwanted ones”
theory. An unborn child has just as
much right to life as you or I.
However, Koester is right about
one thing. Both movements should
work together to prevent unwanted
pregnancies. But we should certainly
not end them.
No ‘yes or no’
I would like to respond to Frank
Emsick’s letter (DN, Feb. 1). I find it
very disturbing that he has reduced
the complex moral issues of the world
into simple “yes/no” questions. Ev
erything is now reduced to a neat,
computer-like equation, in which ci
ther a “yes” or a “no” is the result. How
convenient. Of course this equation
seems to be based on Christian morals
and values. Fortunately, not every
body has, or is required to have, these
same morals (much to the chagrin of
I will now demonstrate the absur
dity of such thinking, which I will call
“the equation,” by re-evaluating the
questions posed by Emsick’s letter.
“Is abortion right?” The equation
says “no.” What ifthe woman is gang
raped or is the victim of incest? What
ifthe mother’s health is in jeopardy?
Does the equation provide for these
“Is it right to hurt someone?” The
equation says “no.” What if that per
son is on the verge of killing someone
you love? It it okay to hurt that person
to defend yourself?
“Is premarital sex right?” The equa
tion says“no.” If the answer is defend
ed by some Christian-based morals,
then I would say this answer applies
only to the people who subscribe to
these morals and not to the rest of us.
“Is God good?” The equation says
“yes.” I have to ask, does the equation
know who or what God is? Is it Bud
dha, Zeus, Christianity’s God — or
Frank R. Emsick, god of infinite wis
dom? It sounds like a question of
human faith to me. But this equation
is only a feclingless algorithm, inca
pable of reasoning, only producing a
“yes” or a “no.”
We all know that a yes/no equation
could never answer any of these ques
tions without clear definitions of such
terms as “right” or “hurt” or “good.”
These things mean different things to
different people, depending on their
rat ionalization of the situation. Emsick
may be thinking, “Well, it’s my equa
tion. I define right or wrong, good and
bad, etc.” Well, that’sjust great. Then
Emsick can govern his life according
to his equation, but he shouldn’t pre
sume to make these definitions for
In his letter, Emsick states one can
“rational ize cth ics down the drain and
see anything the way one wants to.”
Oh, how true. This is the only thing I
can agree with. You see, the great
thing about America is people are free
to do just that, rationalize and think
freely, although it appears the right
to-lifers don’t want it this way.
Emsick’s equation could not apply
toeverybody.orevena tiny fraction of
everybody, because the beliefs of soci
ety are far toodiverse. This ^especial
ly true because a great deal of the
world’s population is not Christian.
I have attempted to shed a little
light on Emsick’s questions. Unfortu
nately, most people will now sec shades
of gray instead of the black-and-white
answers Emsick would like to see
exist. This is how the world is. Most
things arc not absolute. People who
sec things as absolutely rightor wrong
may not have their eyes closed, but it
doesn’t matter because they arc al
This leads me to my conclusion:
Keep an open mind, set your own
moral standards, and think before you
write ridiculous letters to the editor.
‘Good old days’
Before people rush to the voting
booth to re-elect Gov. Nelson and all
of the other Democratic incumbents,
let’s review the past fouryears. Firstof
all, 1 don’t see a Mercedes-Benz or
BMW plant here in Nebraska. The
reason we failed to attract these com
panies is not transportation restric
tions; it is the unwillingness of the
government to allow tax breaks and to
provide a competitive package.
Millions of dollars have been cut
from the University of Nebraska bud
get. Have people forgotten already the
hysteria that dominated this campus
at the prospect of losing classes and
departments? When Kay Orr was gov
ernor, she gave yearly grants to the
university. Nelson cut part of Orr’s
While Nelson’s trips abroad to pro
mote Nebraska agricultural products
have been commendable, he has fall
en short of bringing new businesses to
the state. While South Dakota, Colo
rado and Iowa attain more and more
businesses, Nebraska has floundered.
Nebraska has been unwilling to cut
taxes, especially the property tax.
Travel and tourism has been abys
mal compared to our neighbors. The
demise of the film commission illus
trates this. Just as the state was gain
ing ground in Hollywood, the budget
was pulled from the office, and the
state has lost millions in revenue.
As for Nelson’s crime bill, the
phrase that comes to mind is “Johnny
come lately.” Just as the Clintons arc
finally discovering the worth of fam
ily values, so Nelson is finally jump
ing on the bandwagon of crime pre
vention after years of Republican pur
I still miss the good old days of Orr
and Ronald Reagan, when people at
all levels of the economic ladder, re
gardless of gender, race or religion,
were prospering. Now Nebraska seems
to be caught in the doldrums.
Hopefully 1994 will be the year
that conservatism and common sense
will free the people of the nation and
the state to strive for better things and
give us all a chance at the “good life.”
Jason A. Beineke
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