The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, May 06, 1997, Page 4, Image 4

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    Pride, prejudice making waves across campus
By Chad Lorenz
Senior Editor
Among the things students saw
outside UNL classrooms this academic
year were inspiration and accomplish
ments, tragedy and conflict, and the
politics of administering students and
faculty at the University of Nebraska
Right before finals week last se
mester, students heard about the trag
edy of a UNL cheerleader who criti
cally injured her neck during practice.
Tracy Jensen, ajunior from Lyons, was
temporarily paralyzed from the neck
down because she fell while practic
ing a routine tumbling maneuver on
Dec. 4.
Jensen nas spent uie past nvc
months in rehabilitation at Craig Hos
pital in Englewood, Colo. University
students, even those who never met
her, supported her through fund-rais
ing benefits to help pay her medical
bills. Cheerleaders from across the
nation have been at her side to raise
her spirits and offer support.
She has recently taken her first
steps since the accident and has shown
signs of near-complete recovery.
Other big news at the university
wasn’t as inspirational, but shook the
student body even more.
Environmental issues
In January, racial tensions rose
because of an off-campus fraternity
ritual that involved the burning of a
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Sheriff’s deputies discovered 30 mem
bers of Sigma Chi fraternity perform
ing a ceremony that re-enacted the
forming of the fraternity. Authorities
later found the charred remnants of a
6-foot wooden cross.
The reactions from minority stu
dents and administrators brought on
a string of forums, talks and negotia
tions among students, administrators
and community leaders.
Administrators have said the cross
burning wasn’t necessarily the cause
of racial tensions at UNL, rather an
episode that uncovered the lack of di
versity awareness taught to students.
Efforts to soothe UNL’s climate for
women advanced when a consultant
declared the athletic department was
not a hostile environment for women
Beverly Ledbetter, an attorney for
Brown University, was hired by UNL
to study the athletic department and
interview women athletes. Chancellor
Moeser ordered the investigation be
cause a women’s task force claimed
in 1996 that women-athletes faced
harassment from men-athletes and
athletic department staff.
She delivered her report last month
stating that women felt fellow athletes,
coaches and staff supported them like
family. Occasional cases of harass
ment had been true, but were not as
common as the public perceived them.
Plugging in
The administration drew criticism
from students in December when In
formation Services decided to pull the
plug on the university’s computer
modem pool.
The modem pool allowed students
to dial in from off-campus locations
and access Huskemet at no cost.
Administrators told students that
the demand for Internet access and
rising cost of modem-pool upkeep
forced them to shut the system down.
Students now have to pay a local
Internet provider to call the UNL com
puter network.
Students were apparently more re
ceptive to efforts to advance technol
ogy services.
In March, Information Services
authorized a new technology fee that
would add $2 per credit hour to stu
dents’ tuition bills for the next aca
demic year. The fee will increase an
other $2 in the 1998 fall semester and
one more dollar by fall 1999.
Curt Ruwe, president of the Asso
ciation of Students for the University
of Nebraska, said students supported
the fee, which would bring much
needed upgrades to UNL’s computer
labs and classrooms.
Students also will potentially ben
efit from the new beverage alliance
next year. The university is still con
sidering a contract with Coca-Cola or
Pepsi Co. for the rights to exclusively
sell one of the companies’ products on
l ne contract could mean millions
of dollars each year for students in the
form of more technology upgrades,
funds for Campus Recreation, schol
arships and resources for career and
internship opportunities.
UNL is expected to give the NU
Board of Regents a recommendation
to vote on this summer. Vending Ser
vices employees would immediately
start converting UNL to a single-bev
erage university.
Making connections
UNL administration and faculty
got into a couple tangles this year over
decisions about a proposed post-ten
ure review policy and a new univer
sity-wide e-mail system.
The original post-tenure review
proposal stated that tenured professors
could be subject to review every six
Please see CAMPUS on 13
They are a-changin!
As the semester quickly draws to a
close, remember the University Health Center
professionals are here to serve your healthcare needs
throughout the summer.
University Health Center Summer Hours
May 12-August 15
Monday - Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturdays & Holidays: 10 a.m. -12 p.m.
(closed Sundays)
Good look on finals & have a great summer!
Marni Speck/DN
STUDENTS saw the last of Droyhill Fountain as renovation started on the Nebraska Union this year.
-. . - - ,
Controversy cramps unicameral
uxe passion eventually raaea
by the tedious day-to-dayness of
marriage, so has gone another
year of the Nebraska Legislature.
I started covering the Legisla
ture two years ago, and I was
happy to sit in on emotional
public hearings (Nebraska is one
of the only states that holds a
public hearing for every bill),
while a more experienced
reporter endured monotonous
floor debate. I recorded all the
drama of testimony concerning
same-sex marriage and abortions
in the Judiciary Committee. I got
juicy quotes about sex and
religion. The other reporter was
forced to comprehend book
length bills on tax reform.
At the beginning of this year’s
90-day session, there was a
plethora of the soap opera-like
hearings, once again on the same
controversial issues: abortion,
same-sex marriage, the death
People who felt strongly about
the issues packed the hearing
rooms to make sure they got a
few minutes to add their prover
bial 2 cents to the discussion. I
began to realize, however, that
most of the bills people felt so
strongly about would never make
it out of committee.
The bills that did make it out
of the hearing room were not the
Erin Schulte
ones drafted according to a
religious belief or a moral code,
not the ones that cause gut
wrenching controversy.
The bills that have dominated
floor debate instead were those
involving intricate property tax
laws, school consolidation and
state aid formulas. Yea! Let me
tell you, there weren’t as many
passionate protestors or staunch
supporters clamoring for atten
tion at the Capitol when these
bills came up.
But these bills — the tax bills,
the consolidation bills (some
times, for me, the boring bills) —
are the legislation that will affect
more Nebraskans than all those
wanting to marry a gay partner or
get an abortion or who are
awaiting execution put together.
Like Tom Cruise said when he
presented the FBI with overbill
ing charges in “The Firm,” “It
ain’t sexy, but it’s got teeth.”
LB806, for example, proposes
that the state reduce its number of
school districts from 656 to 289.
This means possible closing,
consolidation or merger for
hundreds of Nebraska’s rural
schools. Balconies in the Legisla
tive chambers have been full as of
late with people curious to see
how the school consolidation
issue will unfold and wanting to
talk to their senators.
LA/giaiaiui d mui v-*
than 40 amendments to LB806,
and much of debate time has been
eaten up by trying to unravel the
tangled lines of words in the
lengthy bill and its committee
amendments. The death of Sen.
Jerome Warner will no doubt add
to the discord: he was known as a
rifl-fixer, a problem-solver, the
genius of Nebraska tax law.
As lawmakers inch ahead with
their tax laws, memories of
theatrical, heartfelt testimony
during committee hearings have
faded into the black and white of
the endless stream of amend
ments and motions. And whoever
said you couldn’t legislate
morality was right — at least for
this session of the Nebraska
Schulte is a senior news
editorial major and a Daily
Nebraskan senior editor.
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Daily Nebraskan
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