The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 10, 1997, Page 5, Image 5

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! Black History not l ry
Complain, complain, complain.
Even if there were an extra two or
three days in February, what would
we do with them? For example,
everybody’s favorite gripe is that
Black History Month is too short —
as if an extra 72 hours would make
all the difference in broadening theii
ethnic education.
“Oh boy! Now I’ve got time to
read that book on Kwaanza I’ve
been meaning to get.” Or “Hot
diggity! Seventy-two extra hours to
rent Malcolm X!”
I don’t think so.
I think that there should be a
r little song for Black History Month
— like “The Twelve Days of
Christmas.” I even came up with a
few verses — like to hear it? Here it
“On the first day of Black Histor)
Month, my teacher said to me,
‘There once was a dreamer named
On the second day of Black
History Month, my teacher said to
me, ‘Marshall was our first judge
On the third day of Black Histor)
Month, my mother said to me, ‘We
have actors like William Cosby.’
On the fourth day of Black
History Month, my father said to
me, ‘We’ve had dancers like sweet
On the fifth day of Black History
Month, my granma said to me, ‘The
three colors are red, black and
green. ...’”
“The Twenty-Eight Days of Black
History Month,” of course, leap year
would ruin everything.
February, for all its drab misery,
does at least have the good grace to
cane in, do what it needs to do and
get out. Granted, within that 28 days
every graduate school recommenda
tion, resume and internship applica
tion in the world is due, but hey —
it’s done just that much sooner.
Life is short, Tom Cruise is short
and so are miniskirts. Short isn’t a
problem. It’s what gets done with
short that matters. So if Black
History Month is too short for you,
guess what? It’s OK to learn about it
in March or April — heck, you
could even read about it in June or
July. If you just can’t wait, however,
I know a few places you could find
out more right now.
The Afrikan Peoples’ Union
meets every Monday night, and if
you contact John Harris (472-3755)
he’d be glad to tell you where to
pick up a calendar of events for this
month’s various seminars and
celebrations — including the oics
that have food. I don’t care what
month it is, I know students like
There are web sites and movies,
lectures and plays, but no matter
what your preference, you’ve only
got 28 days.
Hollimon-Stovall is a senior
broadcasting major and a Daily
Nebraskan columnist.
So if Black His
tory Month is too
short for you,
guess what? It’s
OK to learn about
it in March or
April — heck, you
could even read
about it in June or
I realize I should have had
numbers for each day, but you get
the idea — besides, YOU try it, in
tune, no less.
Just think if this caugfrt on —
More than ‘spare’ time
Bowling involves both participants, fans
If someone were to mention the
names Scott Ffost, Grant Wistrom or
Ahman Green, almost anyone on
campus could say with some
certainty that these individuals are
associated with the football team.
It is easy to see their accomplish
ments and those of their teammates.
It is also easy to associate the
football program with the Athletic
Department and how well supported
the program is.
Now what if you hear the names
Rob Renko, Bill Monce, Brian
Badillo or TYavis Goodsell? Hew
about John Horvick, Scott LeBeau,
Chad Oachs or Eric Aslakson?
Possibly Rick Volhard or Matt
Kingeiy will ring a bell. Certainly a
dead giveaway would be mentioning
Jeremy Sonnenfeld. Every name I
mentioned belongs to a member of
the UNL men’s bowling team.
mine uio iuuuoii team uuuuiicu
to a second national championship
in 1995, the UNL men’s bowling
team brought home a national
championship of its own.
This accomplishment is even
- more notable since both the men’s
TRnT^'Wft^^rtr^nT t»rtrooarirr?« rrtr
sports that are supported financially
by the UNL Bowling Club.
What is unfortunate is that UNL
could easily support three men’s
teams and two women’s teams at
each event if funding were available,
any one of which could dominate the
In bowling circles, UNL is a force
to be reckoned with. Mot’s and
women’s teams have continually
ranked in die top 10 teams in the
Few other universities draw the
caliber of bowler that competes at
UNL. One of the reasons UNL
dominates the intercollegiate
bowling circuit is Coach Bill Straub
and recently acquired Assistant
Coach Paul Klempa. Under their
watchful eye, good bowlers are
transformed into great bowlers, and
great bowlers set new world records.
So it was only a matter of time
before a 20-year-old sophomore
from Sioux Falls, S.D., accom
plished what no one prior had —
bowling three consecutive 3Q0
games in a sanctioned tournament.
“It couldn’t happen to a nicer
guy, would easily describe my
feelings for Jeremy and his outstand
ing achievement. He is the epitome
of good sportsmanship. He rarely —
if ever — complains about anything,
cveftjf h&i&ppt fePwJyj&SS well as
he WBMfcJ SbflWh
“As gpod a player as Jeremy is, he is
a better person.”
What makes this accomplishment
better is the timing. Jeremy bowled
his 900 series at a junior tournament
in front of aspiring junior bowlers.
What a thrill it must have been to
see this from the eyes of a child.
In seeking a positive role model
for today’s youth, few would better
fill this position than Jeremy.
It is my good fortune that I am
also a member of the team. The
UNL men’s bowling team is made
up of some very dedicated individu
als. Like any other athletes, we train
several hours a week, attend classes
and try to maintain our grades. We
have to meet the same eligibility
requirements as a member of the
football team.
Unlike the football team, we have
to raise funds to attend tournaments,
pay for equipment and other
expenses associated with competi
tion at the collegiate level by selling
raffle tickets, holding tournaments
and participating in other fund
raising events.
I’d best not slight the UNL
women’s bowling team, which is
also en route to its own national
championship this year. With the
likes of Brenda Edwards, Kim
Claus, Jenifer Larson, Angela
Chirpich, Jennifer Daugherty, Kim
Ferris, Justine Waitkus, Lori
Hillman, Jennifer Davis, Tara
Russell, Cally Winters, Laura Keas
ana rsicoie uoan, otner teams stana
little chance of surviving — let
alone defeating the women’s
bowling team. (I was required by
club law to mention everyone on the
“A” teams. Hope I didn’t miss
The UNL women’s bowling team
w mislo
Athletic Department sometime this
year. That will allow more members
of the team to compete and get
tournament experience. This can
only make the bowling power that is
UNL stronger.
Until then, I have some raffle
tickets to sell. You could win a
bowling ball and bag for just a
dollar. You could be all the support
we need to bring home back-to-back
national championships.
MacDonald is a freshman
electrical engineering major and a
Daily Nebraskan columnist
A matter of concern
In 1971, when I was in the
seventh grade, I made a new
friend at Irving Junior High
School. His name was Eric
Shanks and we went to the
Snowflake Ball together at the
His two wonderful parents
Lela and Hughes took us to the
event and came to meet my
parents Tom and Lu before the
ball — an act I now see as a
conscious effort to keep waters
smooth during racially turbulent
As an 11-year-old, I was not
aware of the reason for their visit,
nor the kindness of it. I now see thi
it was the differences in our races
that prompted suclka kind gesture.
The Snowflake was my first ball,
and I thought all parents had coffe<
together on the way to a dance.
While Eric and I have re
mained friends, I have actually
seen more of his mother Lela —
one of our community’s most
repsected human rights advocates
and valued treasures.
Eric has been committed to
helping those in need, those
without the same skills, opportu
nities and talents which he came
by naturally. I have come to
respect his compassion, concern
and insight on issues affecting
human rights and racial equality
and have admired his choice to
make those issues his life’s work.
When Eric announced that he
was beginning a hunger strike to
protest the Sigma Chi Fraternity
cross burning ritual, I was deeply
moved to know and count as a
friend someone who could act
upon the courage of his convic
tions by challenging something
that tore apart many of our
What Eric — and those of us
who choose to—can see, is
something more than the mis
guided acts of a few fraternity
men in Lincoln. It is something
historically imbedded in the
social conscience of thousands of
similar young men across this
country who have experienced
this ritual as a part of a national
fraternal initiation process.
While we need to take
responsibility for this event in our
own communtiy—let us not be
so naive as to think that this
ritual occurs only in Lincoln.
Having dealt with a national
orgainzation for the sorority of
which I am an alumna, 1 know
what tight reins the national
organizations hold over their
local fraternities and sororities.
I am certain that if the Sigma
Chis in Lincoln were holding a
secret ceremony that their nationa
organization had explicitly forbid
den, they would have lost their
national charter much faster than
the cross burned. It is the lack of
vigilance by the national organiza
tion of Sigma Chi which further
fuels my concerns as to the nation
wide pervasiveness of this terrible
It is not just the local fresh
eyed pledges, caught up in the
intensity of the initiation process
with their desire to become a part
of a closely knit fraternity, who
deserve our reproach. It is those
preceding them in this initiation
rite — the alumni — who must
assume the responsibility of -
assuring that these rituals do not
contain an inflammatory social
It is extremely
disturbing that
this talented and
influential group
did not confirm
that a ritual re
vealing such obvi
ously racist and
symbolism had
been totally re
moved from the
initiation pro
message beyond their purported
narrow purpose.
Sigma Chi alumni are judges,
legislators, educators and elected
officials in the state and around
the country. They are charged
with providing the social con
science of the fraternity, the
source of wisdom, experience,
values and historical perspective.
It is extremely disturbing that
this talented and influential
group did not confirm that a
ritual revealing such obviously
racist and inflammatory symbol
ism had been totally removed
from the inflation process. It is
equally disappointing that only
the accidental public disclosure of
this rite triggered the recognition
of its outrageous implications.
Eric Shanks took an important
and courageous step to bring
focus on the obviously still
pervasive issues of racism and the
symbols of hateful speech. By his
hunger strike, Eric put his life on
the line in order to ask student
groups to denounce racism.
While the student organiza
tions have prepared a statement
which will presumably satisfy
Eric Shank’s request, I would
hope that for the sake of our
broader interests in this issue,
that enough calls could be made
to the national Sigma Chi office
to compel them to denounce
racism and to expressly forbid the
use of such an inflammatory
ritual from their intitiation
process nationwide.
I After so many lessons in •
• multicultural behavior and
diversity, a statement denouncing
racism should seem as controver
sial as an announcement promot
. ing oxygen when breathing, but
we evidently have made little
. progress. Please call or write the |
Sigma Chi office to ask them to
take a step as simple as breath
Please do it for Eric, for
Lincoln, for each of us.
Guest columnist Patty
Pansing Brooks is co-founder of
the Brooks, Pansing Brooks
Lawfirm and past co-chair of
the Lancaster County Republi
can Party.