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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 29, 1996)
Thursday, February 29,1996 Page 4
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University of Nebraska-Lincoln
J. Christopher Haiti.Editor, 472-1766
Doug Kouma......._.Managing Editor
Doug Peters.......Opinion Page Editor
Sarah Scalet.Associate News Editor
Matt Waite.;...Associate News Editor
Michelle Garner.....Wire Editor
Jennifer Mapes ...: .Columnist
Issues being ignored in campaign
Leap year is a pain.
The miserable month of February is a day longer.
Rather than vaulting into March, the month that sees the begin
ning of springtime, we are forced to languish in February for yet
But that’s not the worst of it.
The worst thing about Leap Year is that we, the students of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, have to suffer through an extra day
of ASUN campaigns.
A I /V J _
STJ1U Wt UU.
Yesterday, students were treated to a debate during which the
OFFICE party dropped a bombshell — there is a political machine
functioning on this campus.
So what else is new?
Every year, there is an “establishment” party running in the ASUN
elections. The names change, but the faces always seem vaguely
And every year, it seems, an “anti-establishment” party runs
against the “machine,” seeking to establish a new political ordei; so
other people get a chance to participate in a power structure that —
hmmm — has no real power.
But at least one party is using big-time power politics strategy.
Following the example set by virtually everyone running for the
Republican presidential nomination, the OFFICE party fired off a
few salvoes in the ACTION party’s direction Wednesday, unveiling
a chart depicting the workings of the “corrupt” political machine. In
a flyer, the OFFICE party asks: “Can UNL afford to let this nepo
tism continue?”. i * •
Student government elections are usually not pleasant experiences.
But when one party’s platform centers on overturning a political
machine rather than introducing fresh, constructive ideas, it’s even
worse than usual.
Negative campaigning generally is frowned upon, especially when
it’s the only campaigning.
Thankfully, the two parties had been relatively low-key until yes
terday. For the next week, however, we can expect the usual deluge
of stickers, candy and handouts, culminating in Wednesday’s “did
you vote today?” barrage.
There is an upside, though.
It’ll all be over soon — till next year.
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FORKS is SlfAPLV
1 TRVIM& TO
Property of Bob Dolt
Leap Year Day
1,440 bonus minutes wasted in cold month
Today isn’t Thursday, or at least it
It should be Leap Year Day, and
only Leap Year Day. That’s it, and
Before you decide I’ve gone mad,
let me explain.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this
crazy little extra day we get every
four years, and I’ve decided it’s a
crying shame to just tack it onto the
end of February and treat it like a
Because it’s not.
It’s an extra day. A freebie of
Think about it for a minute. What
exactly is Leap Year Day, and why
do we have it?
According to Webster’s New
World College Dictionary, in a 366
day leap year, “the additional day,
Feb. 29, makes up for the time lost
annually when the approximate 365
1/4-day cycle is computed as 365
Incidentally, this extra day occurs
in years that are exactly divisible by
four — the same as presidential
But what does this mean to the
average person? Not a whole lot, it
I balled that veritable information
source, the university operator, and
asked her why exactly she thought *
we have leap years. Even she didn’t
“Something about the earth,” was
all she said.
“So what university source might
I contact for more information?” I
“Your guess is as good as mine,”
she said. She probably thought I was
weird. Go figure.
The Lincoln operator, well, she
had a better idea.
“Because there are extra minutes
and hours, the way our clock is,” she
told me. “So every four years, they
have enough added up to make an
Exactly. An extra day. So why
don’t we get to enjoy it?
What I’m about to propose is
revolutionary. It would disrupt
calendars, schedules and databases
around the world.
It would be a worldwide
holiday, every four years, just for
“Everyone in the world
would join hands and
offer a giant toast to the
great calendar gods in
the sky. ”
one day. It would bring the extra day
back to the people.
It would be a celebration of an
extra minute we could have had
every day — or an extra six hours
we could have had once a year —
Mostly, it would be a celebration
of the feet that the rotation of the
planets and the mechanisms of our
wristwatches are still a little askew.
Today wouldn’t be Thursday. It
wouldn’t be a day of the week,
really. Instead, it would be a day
between Wednesday and Thursday.
It wouldn’t be a day of the month,
but simply Leap Year Day.
Everyone in the world would join
hands and offer a giant toast to the
great calendar gods in the sky.
OK, I do realize there are
problems with implementing this
holiday. It would have to be every
one, everyone in the world, that
decided to make the change.
But the calendar is there. It exists.
Someone invented and estab
lished it, so someone
should be able to
change it, too.
The problem is, I’m not sure
exactly who to propose this idea to.
The United Nations? Bill Gates?
God? And whose?
One thing’s for sure — it would be
a popular move, especially in an
Six out of six people I’ve spoken
with think it’s a great idea.
Even the university operator
thought it sounded pretty good.
“That sounds pretty good,” she
“You should start a petition,”
someone else suggested.
So here’s my proposal. We’ll just
start here. Everyone should forget
their classes today. Don’t go to work.
Everyone meet outside, at Ante
lope Park. Bring your Frisbees and
beer and whatever party favors you
most enjoy. (The police can come, but
they won’t be working.)
Tomorrow, we can go on with our
ordinary lives, and Leap Year Day
will be nothing but a fond (albeit
And while we’re at it, who wants
an extra day in February? Who
decided that? I say we move it June.
The day between June and July. Or
the day after the last Friday in June.
Every four years.
The time has come. We must quit
squandering these extra minutes from
Scalet is a senior news-editorial and
English major and a Daily Nebraskan
associate news editor.
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