The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 05, 1995, Page 8, Image 8

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    Students urged to fight cuts
From Staff Reports:
Time is running out to fight
proposed financial aid cuts, said
ASUN president Shawntell
Hurtgen, but students can sti 11 make
a difference.
The Association of Students of
the University of Nebraska unani
mously approved a bill at its meet
ing Wednesday night that pledges
to lead students in a fight against
Congressional cuts.
“We really need to come to
gether,” she said. “I think a lot of
students are still in the dark about
what’s happening to them.”
Students sometimes feel that
changes in federal government
won’t affect them, she said.
'“It’s really going to hurt our
campus,” Hurtgen said. “We’re a
large institution with a lot of people
on federal student loans.”
ASUN will organize a campaign
that lets students oppose the cuts
through the mail, over the phone
and electronically.
Students can come to the
senate’s office in the Nebraska
Union for a list of addresses, a
sample letter and phone numbers,
Hurtgen said. A computer in the
office will be set up so that stu
dents can write a message and have
it sent to about 300 electronic ad
The proposed cuts will be
brought before the U.S. Senate
floor Oct. 10.
“While our time is very lim
ited,” Hurtgen said, “I think it’s
going to be a very good effort.”
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Study reveals hidden homeless
By Ted Taylor
Staff Reporter
Nearly 320,000 Nebraskans are
identified as near-homeless because
they are at risk of becoming home
• less during the next year, according
to a study Gov. Ben Nelson released
That number was added to the
9,280 people officially recorded as
homeless for a day or more in Ne
braska in 1994.
Nelson’s press secretary, Dara
Troutman, said the study would im
prove the problem at the state and
community level.
“This is the first of its kind in the
state,” she said. “It will help us target
and meet the needs of the homeless,
and not just the housing needs, but
social needs, as well.”
A statement from the governor
defined the near-homeless as people
living in substandard housing, people
at risk of being evicted, people threat
ened by domestic violence or people
living in facilities of a short-term
treatment program.
“Mental illness, AIDS or the HIV
virus and domestic abuse seem to be
the largest contributing factors to
homelessness,” Troutman said.
Nelson’s statement listed three .
priorities for the state to alleviate
homelessness and near-homelessness:
• The need to implement a uni
form, systematic data collection and
record-keeping process for identify
ing homeless and near-homeless per
• The need to help service provid
ers implement a comprehensive pro
gram for homeless and near-home
less families through care systems
and service delivery.
• The need to create affordable
housing for families earning 80 per
cent or less of an area’s medium
Troutman commended the state’s
homeless advocacy groups and ser
vice agencies for their response to the
“It’s been difficult to count the
homeless in the past,” she said.
“Eighty-five percent of the surveys
were returned from the people who
directly work with the homeless. This
gives us a very comprehensive look
at the problem.”
Teresa Priefert, community de
velopment consultant for the Depart
ment of Economic Development, said
the organization would put the infor
mation from the study to use soon.
“This gives us a good starting point
to assess where we’re at and look at
where we need to go,” she said. “It is
considered an excellent statistical
sample for projecting an unduplicated
Switched roles give new view
By Paula Lavigne _
Senior Reporter
Dr. Peg Blake’s title may be a
little misleading.
Although she directs the Univer
sity Health Center, her doctorate is
not in-the medical profession. It’s in
Blake is part of a university pro
gram to switch administrators and
directors in student affairs. The pro
gram was designed to give everyone
a better understanding of how differ
ent branches of student affairs oper
She usually fills the position of
assistant vice chancellor for student
affairs. The one-year switch with
UHC director Kunle Ojikutu began
. in August.
Blake said the switch was a pro
fessional development opportunity.
“You find when you do a job for a
certain number of years it becomes
fairly routine,” s^e^said. “After this,
you go back with a certain perspec
tive and renewed energy.”
Though the job duties are similar,
she said, the medical field is foreign.
Blake said she had to take a crash
course in Health Center 101 to help
James Griesen, vice chancellor for
student affairs, defend the health cen
ter at an NU Board of Regents meet
ing last week.
Not knowing the medical field
made her-ask. more questions at the
meetings, Blake said. She leams as
she goes.
“I could make changes,” she said,
“but it’s more of an ongoing process
of helping the health center meet its
goals of serving the community.”
And learning about the health cen
ter will be beneficial when she re
turns to her assistant vice chancellor
ship, she said, because the center is
an extension of student affairs.
Meanwhile, back in that office.
Ojikutu-is having a similar experi
“It’s been interesting ,” he said. “It
gives me a better understanding of how
the whole student affairs operates from
administration to financial aid.”
Ojikutu has been in the health
profession for more than 20 years and
agreed thefnew job was a refreshing
“I’m doing new things. I’m learn
ing new things. I’m getting new
knowledge,” he said. “And there’s no
limit to knowledge.”
Ojikutu plans to use that knowl
edge. He has a more aggressive plan
for change than his counterpart.
“You can get a lot done in a year,”
he said. “Maybe I have some new
perspectives on how some of the
things that have been done can be
“You can always make an im
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