The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 03, 1995, Image 1

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Huskers take two of three
from Tigers, page 7
Arts & Entertainment
Hank Williams Jr. revs up _
Lincoln audience, page 9
April 3, 1995
McElroy’s image remains with students
By Brian Sharp
Senior Reporter
When Arthur McElroy walked into
room 112 of Ferguson Hall on Oct.
12, 1992, he said nothing. He simply
raised the barrel of a .30 caliber semi
automatic rifle and attempted to fire.
The gun jammed.
Two years later, the image of
McElroy standing in front of the actu
arial science class remains vivid in
students’ minds.
Jay Severa, who now lives in
Enfield, Conn., was in the class that
“Just hearing his name—you still
I " 1
Shear anguish
By Melanie Branded
Staff Reporter
Forthe first time since 1991, Andrew Loudon
is taking a break from student government.
“This has been my life for four years,” he
Loudon finished his 1994-95 term as presi
dent of the Association of Students of the Uni
versity of Nebraska and UNL’s student regent
last week.
As a freshman, Loudon was appointed a
senator for the division of general studies. He
served as speaker of the senate as a sophomore
and was appointed chairman of the Government
Liaison Committee as a junior.
Loudon said one of his significant accom
plishments was the defeat of the minus-system
grading proposal. For his other major accom
plishments, he listed a compromise with the
University Program Council in selecting its
executives and event directors and lobbying the
NU Board of Regents’ not to start a separate
engineering college at the University of Ne
braska at Omaha.
He said the grading proposal, rejected by the
Academic Senate, was an issue he didn’t expect
to encounter. Through an extensive lobbying
get some pretty intense feelings,”
Severa said.
Severa had not heard a judge’s
decision acquitting McElroy of all
charges before being contacted Satur
day afternoon.
When McElroy walked into
Lancaster County District Courtroom
No. 3 on Friday, he again was silent.
But this time, he was escorted by two
armed sheriffs deputies, and the life
decision being made was not in his
Judge Bernard McGinn pro
nounced McElroy not guilty by rea
son of insanity. The prosecution, de
fense and students in the actuarial
science class that day said they ex
pected that ruling.
McGinn ordered McElroy re
manded to the Lincoln Regional Cen
ter pending a May 4 preliminary hear
ing to determine if McElroy is still a
danger to society and/or himself.
McElroy was charged with at
tempted second-degree murder, mak
ing terroristic threats and two counts
of using a weapon to commit a felony.
Severa said that despite the strong
emotion that still surrounds the inci
dent, he also remembers the odd be
McElroy was “rather unusual,”
Severa said. He would get angry if
Jay Calderon/DN
Delbert Tolliver, right, winces as he gets his hair cut by Duane Butler. Butler’s family has operated the Butler Barber
Shop for 100 years. See Insight on page 3.
Loudon pleased with ASUN term -
effort of academic senators, Loudon said, ASUN
senators “put the issue to rest.”
He said some goals of the VISION party
were not met, including the re-evaluation of
tenure for UNL professors and adding bus routes.
Executive officers decided re-evaluatingten
ure was not in ASUN’s best interest, Loudon
said, and StarTran’s contract with the university
to provide service solved the busing problem.
Loudon said he thought he made a signifi
cant impact as student regent and represented
students well.
“There were several issues where I was able
to convince members to vote differently,” he
One of those issues was the proposed in
crease of Internet access fees.
Loudon said the senate voted to lower the
increase, and he was able to convince some
regents that it would not benefit students.
“They at least listened to my opinion,” he
said. “That was important so I could convey the
feelings of the student body.”
Loudon said he now must focus on law
school, which he will alter after graduating in
Some administrators and regents said they
were impressed by Loudon’s leadership ana
demeanor. But at least one became disheart
ened by his remarks about Chancellor Graham
Spariier, who last month accepted the presi
dency of Penn State University.
James Griesen, vice chancellor for student
affairs, said he didn’t like Loudon projecting
his views as the students’.
“That bothered me,” Griesen said. “1 haven’t
been pleased with his comments about Graham
Griesen said Loudon helped to create the
impression that Spanier’s “liberal social agenda”
was more important to him than the educational
quality of the university.
Still, Griesen said he thought Loudon was an
effective leader. :
“On the whole. I’ll give him high marks as
student body president,” he said. “He’ll do well
in his future endeavors.”
Regent chairwoman Nancy O’Brien of Wa
terloo said Loudon was effective as a student
regent and impressed her with his knowledge of
“It’s important for student regents to be able
to stand up and speak about student issues,”
O’Brien said.
someone accidentally kicked his desk
or touched his belongings, Severe said.
As McGinn read from a four-page
decision, McElroy sat quietly, his gaze
fixed on the judge. McElroy’s hair
had grown long, and was combed
straijpit back. His full, black beard
was marked with grey.'
“The court now finds and orders
that the defendant, Arthur Lee
McElroy, has proved ... he was not
responsible by reason of insanity,”
McGinn said. “He did not understand
the nature and consequence of what he
was doing and did not understand that
what he was doing was wrong.
“The court now acquits the defen
dant of the charges ... on the grounds
of insanity alone”
Chris Sul li van, who was also in the
class, said he was satisfied and not
upset by the verdict. He said McElroy
should remain separated from the pub
But Sullivan said he thought
McElroy’s mental state was such that
he knew what he was doing that day.
“People need to be accountable for
their own actions,” Sullivan said.
“When you have an individual that
has a law degree... The level of intel
ligence that he has kind of argues
See McELROY on 6
^ _
Journal, Star
futures vague
after buyout
By Brian Sharp
Senior Reporter
The newsrooms of the Lincoln Journal and
Star have become a rumor mill in recent weeks.
As the scuttlebutt flies about who will stay
and who will go, final decisions about the news
papers’ future have not been made.
The impact of those decisions does not end
in the Journal-Star building at 926 P St, espe
cially for a town that has spent the past 100 years
growing up around the newspapers.
The buyout of the Lincoln Journal by Lee
Enterprises, of Davenport, Iowa, was completed
Friday. The next day, it was announced that
former Lincoln Star editor Tom White will
return to serve as editor of both newspapers.
The original announcement of the buyout,
and the naming of the new editor both were
unexpected, employees say. What Happens next
is anybody’s guess.
Patty Beutler, The Lincoln Star’s teen-page
editor and general-assignment reporter, said
she was relieved the merger had finally come,
and optimistic about what might happen.
But Beutler wonders if she will continue to
be part of the newspaper, for which she has
written 24 years.
“It has become very difficult for everyone,”
Beutler said of the uncertainty. “Reporters like
to know. We have had lots of questions, but
nobody has the answers.”
Beutler was out of town the past two weeks
and returned to work Thursday.
“I’m grateful not to have been here,”, she
said. “There have been a lot of rumors, a lot of
distractions. There is a lot of tension in the
Don Walton, a columnist and reporter who
has been at the Star more than 30 years, echoed
those comments.
“It’s pretty clear here that nobody knows
from the top to the bottom,” Walton said. “No
body knows who stays and who goes.”
Walton also is the professional advisor to the
Daily Nebraskan.
llie history of the papers goes back to 1867,
when the Nebraska Commonwealth was first
published. That paper eventually evolved into
the Lincoln Journal.
J.C. Seacrest got a job with the Journal in
1887, and eventually gained control of State
Journal Printing Co. in 1922.
The Lincoln Daily Star was founded in 1902.
In 1950, the State Journal Printing Co. merged
with Star Printing Co., but editorial staffs re
mained separate. The Star discontinued its
evening edition the next year, while the Journal
stopped publishing a morning newspaper.
The two papers maintained a partnership
until Friday* when Lee Enterprises officially
completed a $59 million deal to take sole con
trol of Journal-Star Printing Co.
Employees of the Journal recently received
letters terminating their employment with the
newspaper and offering them positions with
Lee. But the offer has not calmed any nerves.