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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 26, 1996)
I if MONDAY 4 \
Today - Cold with a 40
percent chance of rain.
Northeast wind 20 mph.
COVERING THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA SINCE 1901 VOL 95 NO 113 T°"Wrt " Clustery and
cold. Low around 20.
__February 26, 1996
Regents give UNO engineering a boost
By June Sobczyk
Alter more than an hour of debate,
the NU Board of Regents approved a
three-part plan to improve engineer
ing and information science programs
The plan, passed by a 7-1 vote,
improves existing engineering pro
grams at the University of Nebraska at
Omaha and creates a new UNO Col
lege of Information Science and Tech
A new Omaha Institute for Infor
mation Science, Technology and En
gineering also will be created, and will
be jointly run by UNLand UNO deans.
An amendment to the proposal,
passed unanimously by the board, in
cluded a time line that would have the
project completed by July 1999 as
well as a six-month progress review on
the construction of a building for the
Cost figures for the program and
building were not immediately avail
Regent Nancy O’Brien of Water
loo, a longtime supporter ofexpanded
engineering in Omaha, said the ap
proved planendcd two yearsofa heated
“We got exactly what we wanted,”
she said. “We got commitment to the
institute, a timetable and board moni
Regent Drew Miller of Papillion,
I he lone dissenting- vote, said the plan
could have been stronger if UNO’s
engineering building had been made
the top construction priority.
“I hope we made a strong enough
statement of support,” Miller said. “I
hope we have committed enough.”
O’Brien tried to have the project
moved to the university’s No. 1 con
struction priority, but the board re
jected that on a 4-3 vote,
Smith had talked with Omaha busi
ness leaders a lew weeks ago about
moving the construction date from
2002 to July 1999.
“We need to accelerate as rapidly
as we can,” Smith said. But he also
said the new lime line “will be a real
To show the university’s full com
mitment to the Omaha business com
munity, Miller said, the new timetable
should be part of the proposal.
“I support the change,” Miller said.
“But we should be bound to it. We
have to be committed, or support won’t
Regent Charles Wilson of Lincoln
said the only way the board could
guarantee a new time line would be if
funding for the building was guaran
teed as well.
Funding for the plan will come from
reallocation of university funds, state
funds and private donations. The plan
must be approved by the Coordinating
Commission for Post-secondary Edu
Wilson called the proposal a “com
“It’s administratively efficient and
responsive to the needs of our cam
pus,” Wilson said. “It’s a very effec
NU President Dennis Smith said
the proposal allowed UNL and UNO
to work together to strengthen the en
“It is a concept which brings to
gether elements of engineering, com
puter science and information man
agement under a whole new approach,”
Smith said. “It encourages partnership
John Paul Mua speaks during the Afro Unity Festac. The festival was presented by the African Students’Associsrtion!
Afro Unity Festac celebrates diversity
By Michaela Pieler
Dcspitelheirdifferent cultures,all people
of African descent can learn much from each
other by sharing their traditions.
That is what the first Afro Unity Fcstac
participants wanted to prove Sunday night in
the Nebraska Union ballroom.
“Out there people die and kill because of
cultural differcnccs,” said Cecil Howell, vice
president of the African Students Associa
tion. “But here, cultural differences are go
ing to bring people together.”
The festival, organized by ASA, began
with a meal of various African, Afro-Carib
bean and Afro-Hispanic foods.
About 400 visitors enjoyed the meal,
which included dishes such as a Nigerian
cereal called Ogi, a South African fruit salad
and jollof rice from Ghana.
In a fashion show, John Paul Mua and
Patricia Grant of ASA presented models
ing, loose satin dresses ranged from wedding
uWe must learn to appreciate
each other and reach out for
JOHN PAUL MUA
and festivity fashion to casual home and
Mua, the keynote speaker for the evening,
stressed in his speech the historic impor
tance of Africa, a continent three times the
size of the United States.
Many important tributes to civilization
originate from those of African descent, he
said, such as the development of the tele
phone and the telegraph.
Mua urged the audience not to underesti
mate Africa and its people.
“This land called Africa is a continent,”
he said, “not a country.”
The festival helps Africans redefine their
common history, Mua said.
“We must learn to appreciate each other
and reach out for each other,” he said.
“No man is an island,” he said at the end
of his speech. “No man stands alone.”
UNL Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs
James Griescn agreed. Cultural diversity
enriches a university campus, he said.
“A meeting like this helps us to broaden
our cultural horizon.”
The festival continued with several events,
including musical performances, poetry read
ings and dancing. The band Kusi Taki earned
a standing ovation from the audience for
their song “Takiiriasu,” which means “Come,
sing, dance and celebrate with us.”
Thirteen-year-old Crystal Nelson, a stu
dent at Park Middle School, filled the union’s
ballroom with enthusiasm as she performed
a traditional African dance.
The Festac was organized by ASA mem
bers, including Howell; Fred Afuh, presi
dent; Ola Olude, organizing secretary; and
Rudy Moseley, treasurer.
By Ted Taylor
Senior Reporter ~
She couldn’t reach the microphone, but her
testimony spoke volumes. .
iwcivc-ycar old Melissa
Giles of Omaha told Nebraska
lawmakers Friday that she
didn’t want to sec young
people 1 ike herself start smok
ing — and she needed the
“It is bad for the young
kids because they will start to
smoke and not stop,” she said.
“I think we should help them
uilcs was oncot thrccyouthswhotestified in
favor of Omaha Sen. Don Preister’s LB1151,
which would prohibit the automatic dispensing
of tobacco products. The bill targets cigarette
vending machines and self-service merchandis
ing methods that would reduce underage to
“We need to do more than we’re doing to
keep kids from getting access,” Prcistcr said.
“It’s time we treat underage tobacco use as a
real problem in the Legislature and make it a
By stopping self-service dispensing of to
bacco products and putting them behind
counters, supporters say, shoplifting of ciga
rettes would decrease among youth.
Ian Newman, a health education professor at
UN L, said a recent survey of 1,356 seventh-and
eighth-graders reported that 16 percent of those
who obtained cigarettes did so by stealing them.
“Eliminating self-service sales will greatly
reduce youth access to tobacco,” he said.
A statement from the president of the Ne
braska division of the American Cancer Asso
ciation, Dr. Alan Thorson, echoed Newman’s
“Research also indicates that requiring a
face-lo-faee interaction to purchase tobacco
does deter youths from even trying to make a
Thorson’s statement said the measure would
have positive cost implications for health care.
“By reducing the number of youths who
smoke,” he said, “many long-term health prob
lems will also be reduced, resulting in cost
savings to the budgets of Medicare and Medic
Eric Akko of the Lincoln-Lancaster County
Health Department said it was time to prevent
another generation from becoming addicted to
“LB 1150 would send a clear message that
tobacco is reserved for adults, not for children,”
he said. “Base your dec ision on what is right and
what is just for the children of Nebraska.”
See CIGARETTES on 6
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