The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 28, 1995, Image 1

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Today - Cloudy. 20%
chance of thundershowers.
South wind 10 to 20 mph.
Tonight - 30% chance of
thundershowers. Low of 60.
___ _September 28, 1995_
could refine
' jl vi
grade appeals
By Paula Lavigne
Senior Reporter
if '
Studentswho want to appeal a grade will
have an easier time finding someone to hear it
if a proposed Academic Senate resolution
passes in October.
James McShane, chairman of the senate’s
Commencement Committee, said a probjem
this summer encouraged him. to define Who
was in charge of ^grade appeals.
A student wanted to appeal an incomplete
grade, which would have prevented him from
taking part in the graduation ceremony less
than a week away, McShane said.
The situation was resolved and the student
graduated, but McShane said he was still con
cerned about the difficulty the student faced in
finding someone to hear his appeal.
“I couldn’t find a grade appeals committee
and that worried me deeply,” he said. “This
student deserved, a hearing.”
McShane’s resolution would ask the senate
president, Douglas Jose, to know who was in
charge of grade appeals at each department or
college level.
During the summer session, when many
people are out of town, McShane said, the
person in charge of grade appeals also should
be responsible for having someone serve in the
interim if he or she is gone.
“That might take some rule changing in the
colleges,” he said, “but if it’s our job to hear
these complaints, then we ought to hear them
when they’re hot.”
But Jose said that could be a difficult task.
If a grade appeal cannot be resolved with a
professor, it goes to a department committee
for a hearing. Then, depending on the depart
ment, it goes to the dean’s office within the
Jose said it would be hard to determine who
was in charge of grade appeals at the depart
ment level.
It would be easier if grade appeals were
solely handled by a college committee, he
said; but then departments might feel rejected.
“We don’t want to make the departments
feel like we’re trying to take away their author
ity and responsibility,” he said.
Gerald Shapiro, associate English profes
sor, is chairman of the English department’s
grade appeals committee, which, he said, is
not a high-profile job.
“No one. really knows there is an appeals
committee,” he said. “It’s not like my name
is scrawled in the men’s room.”
Shapiro said he worked out most grade
appeals through mediation, but some did go to
hearings and committee members were usu
ally available.
He said he was usually out of town in the
See APPEAL on 8
Jay Calderon/DN
Fifth-year architecture students Todd Ault, left, and Ryan Swanson work
on a sculpture near Architecture Hall Wednesday afternoon. The sculpture
is part of the “A” Festival, which is sponsored by the College of
Architecture and the College of Fine and Performing Arts.
policy draft
By Paula Lavigne
Senior Reporter ~”
The Nebraska Civil Liberties Union is con
cerned that the draft of UNL’s Harassment and
Discrimination Policy inhibits academic free
dom, the NCLU president said.
David Moshman said the policy’s defini
tion of harassment was too broad and could
interfere with free speech and academic pur
The draft states that:
“Harassment is a form of discrimination in
which unwelcome, severe or pervasive speech
or actions are directed at individuals or groups
of people ... either directly or indirectly.”
Moshman said the language was vague and
could lead to situations in which a person was
charged with harassment because he or she
expressed personal beliefs.
“The policy would make it dangerous for
people to express their views on a variety of
controversial topics,” Moshman said.
Moshman addressed those concerns in a
statement he sent to the policy committee.
Linda Crump, associate director for affir
mative action and diversity, said the commit
tee has not had time to review the statement.
The deadline for input is Friday, she said.
All statements sent fn will be reviewed by the
committee next week.
The NCLU statement describes some hypo
thetical situations that the policy would consti
tute as harassment:
“A supporter of gay rights regularly meets
with a group of gay and lesbian students and
makes frequent comments and suggestions
that the group finds supportive and helpful.
“Although the speech in question is not
unwelcome, it is nevertheless pervasive speech
... directed at individuals or groups of people
on the basis of... sexual orientation.”
The statement also cited a real example that
occurred this year when a white student said in
a class that Francisco Renteria, a Hispanic man
who died last year* after a scuffle with police,
should have learned English.
A black student disputed the other student’s
statement and said he shouldn’t have to listen
to it. The white student sought to bring charges
against the black student for harassment.
In order to make the policy more concise,
Moshman said, it should Specifyrthat:
• The comments are directed at a particular
• The comments take place over a time
when the individual makes it clear he or she
does not want to be receiving the comments.
• The comments are causing emotional
• The comments are intended to harm,
humiliate or intimidate.
Lt. Gov. Kim Robak explains a proposal to merge Nebraska
health and human service agencies Wednesday morning.
Robak unveils service merger
By Patty Wewel
Staff Reporter
A unified health and human ser
vices system will simplify access to
government aid, saving both time
and money, the lieutenant governor
said Wednesday at the Capitol.
Kim Robak unveiled a recommen
dation that would combine the Office
of Juvenile Services and the depart
ments on social services, health, ag
ing and public institutions. They
would all merge into a new health
and human services system.
The resulting agency could re
spond directly to individuals’ total
needs, she said, rather than through
many separate agencies.
Tlie recommendation came as a
result of an eight-month review by
the Nebraska Health Policy Project.
Gov. Ben Nelson said he established
the project last January to find more
efficient and effective ways to de
liver services.
Robak headed the project, which
also included officials from several
health and human services agencies.
That project has ended, but its par
ticipants now form the new Nebraska
Partnership Project.
The current departments do not
operate as a system because they
were not created as a system, Robak
said. Agencies operate as rigid pro
grams that do not interact.
“The current system was set up by
categories,” she said, “but people
don’t have problems in categories.”
Thus, individuals or families may
have to wade through a complicated
bureaucracy to get help.
For example, Don Leuenberger,
director of the Department of Social
Services, said a family might seek
several services including medicare,
child care, food stamps or day care.
Currently, he said, that family
would have to work with several case
workers from various agencies.
Though the case workers often gather
the same information, they do not
Robak said a unified health and
human service system would allow
coordination and communication. An
individual or family would no longer
See HEALTH on 6