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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 18, 1994)
The 26th-ranked Penn
Nebraska 90-80 in the
first round of the NCAA
March 18, 1994
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Vol. 93 No. 127
call him dependable,
dedicated to theology
By Kara G. Morrison
Ministers and members of the Seventh
day Adventist Church said Thursday
that Roger Bjorklund was a religious
man when they knew him.
Defense attorneys called several witnesses to
testify about Bjorklund’s character in the sec
ond week of his sentencing hearing.
Bjorklund was convicted in November of
murdering University of
Candice Harms. Prosecu
tors arc seeking the death
penalty against him.
Bob Mohr, a pastor who
sold religious books with
Bjorklund in the literature
ministry of the church, said Bjorklund was
ambitious and dependable in the four years he
“Roger seemed to get along well with every
one,” said Mohr, who kept in contact with
Bjorklund from 1986 to 1990.
Lancaster County Attorney Gary Laceyasked
Mohr, who called Bjorklund a strong leader in
the church, whether he thought Bjorklund could
be easily influenced to do something immoral.
“1 think Roger ispretty much an individual,”
Mohr said. “I don’t think he’d be easily led
astray.” i -
Donald Yancheson, a Seventh-day Adventist
minister in Hastings, said he and Bjorklund had
been friends while the men were attending
Union College in Lincoln.
He said Bjorklund was friendly and dedi
cated to theology. Bjorklund, he said, was often
opinionated in his beliefs.
“He was extreme in his thinking at times.”
Yancheson said. “He choose not to associate
with people who didn’t agree with him.”
Lancaster County District Judge Donald
Endacott sustained the defense’s objection that
Yancheson answer questions about visits he
made to Bjorklund in jail.
Endacott said Yancheson did not have to
answer the questions because of pastor privi
Yancheson said he thought Bjorklund was
remorseful about Harms’ death, but the minis
ter said he was confused by the intense interest
Bjorklund look in the trial and legal proceed
ings against him.
Two former supervisorsof Kimberly Quality
Care, a home health-care provider, also testi
fied that Bjorklund worked well with their
clients, one of whom was a quadriplegic.
Bjorklund’s sentencing hearing will resume
today and is expected to conclude next week.
Endacott has said he will have 90 days from
the lime the last evidence is submitted in the
sentencing hearing to decide Bjorklund’s sen
Paul Olson, an English professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, recently won the Sue Tidball Award tor
Creative Humanity. Olson has spent 25 years working for American Indian civil rights. “I am grateful for the
award; I hope that I continue to do justice to the spirit of Sue Tidball."
Professor gets humanity award
Paul Olson champion of human rights activism
By Kara G. Morrison
Paul Olson is known for challenging
students to think critically, for de
fending human rights and for encour
aging activism instead of passivity.
“A university ought to be a place of
dissidencc and learning where students come
out having a sense of what they want to do,”
says Olson, a foundation professor of En
gl ish at UN L. “not just what job they want tp
Olson recently was named a recipient of
the Sue Tidball Award forCreative Human
In nominating Olson for the award, UNL
graduate student Susie Prenger said Olson
challenged the university to respond to hu
That challenge starts in his classroom.
“I try to get (students) to explore what
their real convictions arc,” says Olson, who
teaches conflict resolution courses, includ
ing one on the literature of war and peace.
Olson says he has never known students
who have had the courage to follow their
own visions who didn’t find success doing
something meaningful. He challenges his
students to explore their thoughts and their
definitions of success.
“If no pain is involved, no learning is
taking place,” Olson says.
Olson began teaching at UNL in 1957,
when activism in academia was strong.
“In the ’60s and ’70s, a lot of university
people were engaged in civil rights ... they
were politically active,” Olson said. “That’s
almost entirely disappeared.”
Now, Olson says, many faculty don’t step
outside the university long enough to know
what problems are going on around them.
And by not knowing, many fail to get stu
dents involved in their world.
“If I had my way,” Olson says, “I’d re
quire faculty members to get out of the
university part time to see what’s going on.”
He’s an activist himself.
With his research on American Indian
culture, his interest in what he sees as in
creasing poverty in our country and h is work
with his wife Elizabeth in the peace move
mcnt, Olson has been an activist within
He has spent several years on UNL's
Human Rights committee and has headed a
national committee on undergraduate edu
cation. In both capacities, Olson has chal
lenged universities to meet needsofall people.
“Highereducation is structured not lobe
very much in touch with the needs of low
income people and people from different
cultures,” Olson said.
Olson worked to ensure accreditation re
quirements wouldmakeuniversitie sac count
able for all people’s needs.
Prcnger called Olson “an intellectual gi
ant who would laugh at such a label.”
Olson laughs. He denies the label furi
ously, despite having studied in London on
a Fulbright Scholarship and receiving his
doctorate at Princeton.
Olson insists he has days where he’s a
rottcn4eacherand says his teaching methods
arc not distinctive.
“I think almost any method, if it’s done
with a certain amount of love and some
respect for the students, can work,” he says.
Electoral Commission fines VISION party for violations
By Brian Sharp
The Electoral Commission lev
ied $48.75 in fines against the
VISION party Thursday,
bringing the total to $110.75 for cam
paign violations during the ASUN
All complaints filed auainst losing
parties were dismissed oy the com
mission, a tradition from past rulings,
officials said. The RESUME party
has been fined $5 and LETTUCE, $ 1.
For the victorious party, now de
clared certified winners, no such tra
Violations that VISION had been
accused of included: removing other
candidates posters, campaigning in
residence halls.placing partysignson
vehicles and males being on a female
floor without an escort.
The commission found VISION
guilty of seven poster violations, in
volving 50 posters in all. A total of
$28.75 in fines were levied for those
Door-to-door campaigning viola
tions at Abel Residence Hall brought
a fine of $25 and an amendment that
VISION send letters of apology to
residents named in complaints and
Residents in Abel Hall said the fine
was light and didn't address the seri
ousness of the violation. Males being
unescorted and wandering the halls
not only violated the rules, but a very
personal sense of safety, they said.
Hubert Brown, a UNL broadcast
ing professor and commission mem
ber, said that while he recognized the
female residents feeling of being vio
lated, it was difficult to address in a
“What kind of fine are we talking
about?” Brown asked. “What would
assuage that feeling? 1 don’t know.”
During the hearing, Andrew
Loudon, ASUN president-elect from
the VISION party, said most viola
tions probably stemmed from a last
minute act of nervousness.
Loudon said he was in the Sigma
Phi Epsilon Fraternity house when he
got a call reporting low voter turnout.
Assuming that meant low turnout for
VISION, he said, a last-minute push
was made to get students out to vote.
With polls closing in threc-and-a
half hours, Loudon said he made the
announcement that “we gotta go,”
and the fraternity cleared out. Loudon
said he regretted now that he didn’t
take time to explain the rules.
“I’m not begging for mercy,” he
said. “I personally will be paying the
fines — not VISION. Please try and
J.B. Howell, ASUN presidential
candidate with RESUME, said after
ward that he was shocked by the out
While the commission did what it
thought was right, Howell said he
disagreed with the action.
“I guess Loudon whined enough
that he wasn’t responsible and
screamed ignorance. That’sneverbeen
an excuse,” Howell said, “but I guess
they (the commission) bought it to
See ASUN on 3
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