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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 3, 1995)
in si dell I 7 |
Osborne announces new
assistant coach, page 7
Arts & Entertainment
T.S. Monk to jazz up Lied
Center, page 9
February 3-5, 1995
Victim’s crusade moves bill forward
By J. Christopher Hain
Roy Stephens, 43, has seen a trend running
through his life — an unfortunate trend.
Thursday, he testified before the Judiciary
Committee with the hope of preventing a simi
lar trend in the lives of potential Nebraska
victims of sex crimes.
Stephens was lured into captivity from the
streets of Southern California at the age of 8 , he
said, by a man who promised him a hot meal,
but instead sexually abused him.
At 24, Stephens was sent to prison for
crimes he said he committed as revenge against
the adults who exploited him as a child.
In 1988, he helped establish the Missing
Youth Foundation in Nebraska as a result of
the abduction of Jill Cutshall of Norfolk.
Stephens, now living in Omaha, has contin
ued to speak out cm the concerns of children.
He testified to the committee in support of
requiring people convicted of certain sex crimes
to register with law enforcement officials.
The committee heard testimony on four
bills dealing with certain types of sex offend
ers. Three of the bills, LB730, LB776 and
LB645, dealt with registering sex offenders.
After the hearing, the committee voted 6-0
to advance LB645, the Sex Offender Registra
tion Act sponsored by Sen. Chris Abboud of
Omaha, to the floor of the Legislature.
LB645 requires people convicted of first-,
second- or third-degree sexual assault, assault
of a child, debauchery of a minor or incest to
register with the sheriff in the county where
The sheriff must then forward to the State
Patrol the description, photograph, fingerprints,
social security number, address and place of
employment of the sex offender.
A sex offender registration bill is needed to
bring Nebraska in line with a provision in the
1994 federal crime bill that requires all states
to register sex offenders or face a 10 percent
reduction in federal crime bill funds.
Currently, 40 states require sex offenders to
register with law enforcement officials.
Registering sex offenders is important,
Abboud said, because convicted sex offenders
are likely to continue committing similar acts.
Gary Plank, a criminal behavior profiler
with the Nebraska State Patrol, said sex offend
ers had a higher rate of repeat offenses than any
other crime group.
Plank saida 1988 study in California showed
that over a period of 15 years, 49 percent of the
people arrested for sex crimes committed an
other sex crime.
These types of repeat sex offenders could be
attracted to Nebraska, Stephens said, if Ne
braska doesn’t register sex offenders and other
Stephens said the bill also should pass to
give employers a way to adequately check the
background of employees who must work with
“We need to empower the community,”
Thirty-six years ago, Stephens escaped his
captor in California, but he still hasn’t escaped
the memory of the incident. However, he said
he considered this bill a step toward preventing
similar incidents for future victims.
“It’s a crusade that I have taken.”
Honored teacher attends to the details
By Beth Narans
John Gruhl is not a showman
or an entertainer.
He believes the best lectures
come from hard work and
accurate details. %
“I prepare very carefully, and
I think this shows,” he said.
This preparation does show
for Gruhl, who has been a
political science professor at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
urum was one ot two unl
professors nominated by other
faculty members for the Out
standing Teaching and Instruc
tional Creativity Award. Winners
of the award, which is a univer
sity-wide honor, will be named
“He is very deserving of the
nomination,” said David
Forsythe, chairman of the
political science department.
“He is certainly an outstanding
teacher. He is very committed
and devoted to his students.”
Gruhl also has been named as
a charter member of the
university’s Academy of Distin
guished Teachers. The academy
was created to identify outstand
ing teachers at UNL and encour
age them to share their expertise
with others at the university and
throughout the state.
inree other UNL professors
also have been named as charter
members of the academy. Six
more will be named in March,
Forsythe recalled an incident
last spring when Gruhl slipped
on ice and broke his jaw. With
his jaw wired shut for six weeks,
he still managed to teach his
smaller classes, Forsythe said.
A temporary replacement
was hired to teach the larger
classes, but Gruhl attended every
session, Forsythe said.
“That is just typical of the
kind of devotion he has,”
Gruhl, 47, doesn’t see himself
as being much different from
“I do the same kind of things
most other people do,” he said.
One thing Gruhl insists on is
learning all his students’ names.
He saia students had commented
in evaluations that his learning
their names was the best thing to
ever happen to them at UNL.
Gruhl also strives for com
plete accuracy in his lectures.
“He researches his lectures as
if they were journal articles,”
Forsythe said, “I’ve never known
anyone else to be that accurate.”
Gruhl said he prepared
carefully because he was not
comfortable just “winging it.” .
He also has a good feel for
what is interesting to students, he
said. He said he tried to grab
their attention with clippings and
These attention-grabbers are
included in his textbooks. He has
co-authored two versions of an in
troductory American government
ji See GRUHL on 3
By Matthew Waite
t Senior Reporter
A proposal to raise housing rates
for incoming freshmen by 6.5 percent
has been forwarded to the NU Board
of Regents, the vice chancellor for
student affairs said Thursday.
James Griesen said the rise in rates
would cover the costs of rewiring the
residence halls and providing all the
rooms with direct access to the
But new students wouldn’t foot
the bill alone. Returning residence
hall students, whose housing costs
are frozen as an incentive to return,
also would see a $60 increase per
year, Griesen said.
unesen said tne cost ot a double
room, 20-meal contract would in
crease by $205 from $3,145 to $3,350.
Only 1.9 percent of the 6.5 percent
increase would go toward the com
puter network upgrades, he said. The
other 4.6 percent of the increase would
go toward inflationary costs.
With the increase, Griesen said,
the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
still would have the lowest resident
housing rates in the Big Eight.
Doug Zatechka, former director of
housing, said as many as four resi
dence halls would be rewired and
connected to the system by the time
residence hall students started to sign
up for housing for next semester.
Zatechka said he would meet with
the Residence Hall Association this
weekend to get feedback on which
halls should be rewired.
Bv fall, Griesen said, $200,000
will be spent on upgrades to all halls.
The upgrades include:
— Forty-five new computers will
be put in the residence hall computer
—Sixty-seven existing computers
will be upgraded with hard drives.
— Met work connections will be
installed into the labs. $34,900.
— A student information server
will be created. $7,000.
— Software licences for all com
puters will be bought. $5,000.
Andrea Casart, president of RHA,
said she supported the move, calling
it a great compromise.
Casart said the proposal being for
warded to the regents was better than
the original proposal. She said RHA
See COMPROMISE on 2
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