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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 1, 1997)
TODD MUNSON is a
major and a Daily
“Many a Zen master envies the
Hinsdale s serene ability to teach the
eternal truth that it is in loss that one
gains and that, here in the solitude of
the Hinsdale is most certainly where
men come to find themselves.” -
Rodger Welsch November, 1986.
(Taken from a plaque above the uri
nal in an Architecture Hall bath
For the past two weeks, I’ve been
on a mission.
It took me to, what some would
consider, hell and back. It wasn’t a
search for the holy grail, but it comes
in a close second. My quest was to
find the campus’ holy stool.
1 hat s right — the perfect toilet.
Due to some silly law, my search
for the perfect hopper only includes
men’s rooms. That’s OK though
because it seems that women have no
problem doing their business in any
Old john. Blame it on some weird
chromosome in the XY chain, but
men simply cannot drop their friends
off at just any pool.
Ladies, look around right now.
See any men grimacing like they just
watched their dog get hit by a by a
runaway monster truck? If you do,
chances are he has to go No. 2.
Watch him suffer as he refuses to do
the smart (i.e. womanly) thing and
go visit the nearest can.
Instead, he’ll endure the pain for
hours, days, or weeks until he can
return to the solace of his home toilet
and a 6-month-old Sports Illustrated.
But spmetjut^s Mother Nature’s
call is too strong and she demands
the call of the wild be answered
before you get home.
Atmosphere required when it comes to finding relief
That’s where my handy guide
comes in. Where on campus to sit
broken hearted trying to — you
know how the rest of the verse goes.
Going for the multimedia
approach, I asked for the help of a
certain talk show where the subject
matter is usually at the toilet level.
The folks at “Three Men and a
German,” heard every Monday from
11 p.m. to 1 a.m. on 90.3FM KRNU,
encouraged their vast audience to
call in and vote for their favorite
campus toilet. My plan was to write
down all the responses and go check
To the lone person who called in
and voted for Love Library, I thank you.
The search begins...
To ensure that I would have plen
ty of, uh, research material, a major
change was made in my diet. In two
weeks I ate five pounds of spinach, a
dozen boxes of Mueslix, and drank
enough Fiber-Con to fill a pony keg.
The result of my crusade was
nothing less than sheer rectum
scorching fim. Here are some high
Let’s start with the Sheldon
Memorial Art Gallery. The elevator
ride to get to the bathroom scores
some points but the design of the
bathroom takes them all away. In an
artsy fartsy place like the Sheldon, I
figured the toilets would be carved
from virgin Italian marble, there
would be raw sheets of silk with
which to wipe, and miniature statues
of David would cheer you on.
All the artsy stuff was left
upstairs and all the fartsy was con
fined to the men’s room. I would
have to recommend it to those who
easily get performance anxiety.
During my visit, not a soul came in
to join the party.
Next was the basement of Avery
Hall, home of probably the most
antiquated john on campus. Real
neat layout and plenty of room but
the concept of wooden toilet seats is
Just imagine the horror of having
to go to the University Health Center
to get a splinter extracted from one of
your buns. If it ever happens to you,
make the university foot the bill.
Halfway through my search I had a
problem - die friends didn’t want to go
to the pool anymore. No worry, I’ll just
go to die Campus Recreation Center,
jog a few laps, shake my innards up,
and check out the bathroom.
My plan worked until a strapping
young buck walked past and his
towfel fell off before my eyes. That
loaf crawled right back into the oven.
That night the urge came back
while I was in Love Library. Nothing
inspires bodily functions like search
ing for a document m the stacks.
In the ground level boys’ room I
encountered a huge safety concern.
Two of the stalls have a feature I
labeled the “Pendulum of Death.”
When you release the latch on the
stall, the door, which for some
unknown reason is spring loaded,
swings at you with brute force. If
you get hit just right, I bet you could
sue your way to a free education.
The final stop was in the
Nebraska Union, where a banner
proudly announced the opening of
the new bathrooms. It was an
improvement. The stalls now have
doors but the faux marble is top
tacky and seeing a hobo wash him
self in the sink was a major turnoff.
The NebraskaUnion is the one place
I refused to do my business. I rate it
half a notch above your average bus
stop only because there’s pinball to
take you mind off nature’s call until
you get home.
My research lead only to another
question: How much toilet paper
does UNL use?
Pat Bartek of the Custodial Crib ■
had the exact figure. In a calendar
year, not counting the residence
halls, UNL uses 66,432 rolls of
The figure from the residence
halls was less exact, between 600
800 cases with 96 rolls per case. If
you add the two figures using 700
cases as the average you get 133,632
rolls of the white stuff.
This leads to a bigger question.
Why, in this age of gross commer
cialism, doesn’t the University have
an official toilet paper spon
Let’s get rid of the abrasive
government issue fine-grain
sandpaper and get
something billowy 1 \
and soft with some
aloe vera perhaps.
TVio mrvn ^ '
mixture, four years of wiping would
give students a brand addiction that
would carry over into their post
To pinch this column off, the per
fect toilet is on the first floor of the
Neihardt Residence Hall. One stall, a
shower, a good sized sink, and most
importantly a lock.
You could stay in there for days.
BARB CHURCHILL is a
graduate student in saxo
phone performance and a
Daily Nebraskan colum
That is what the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln needs most.
Or do you all prefer what others
say about us now?
Bad as it is now, it’ll be much,
much worse if the powers-that-be at
UNL refuses to observe the Martin
Luther King Jr. holiday on January
What, you don’t agree?
Just think of some of the wonder
ful things that people say about us
now. “The best thing that comes out
of Nebraska is 1-80.” “How do you
get a Nebraska grad off your front
porch? Pay for die pizza.”
Those are the facts, folks. This
place isn’t exactly known for its cos
mopolitan nature or personal refine
ment. The vast majority of people
think that Nebraska grads are “hicks
from the sticks.”
Maybe they’re right.
After all, if the angry white men
in the UNL faculty senate refuse to
allow the Martin Luther King Jr. holi
day to take place, we WILL look like
idiots. Maybe all of these other peo
ple, such as Mike Kils (source of the
above offensive jokes) of the
Colorado Springs Gazette, are right
Or, maybe they’re wrong.
On Nov. 21, the faculty of both
Minorities at stake
UNL’s racial climate could benefit from added holiday
East and City campus met in support
of a Martin Luther King holiday that
cancels classes for faculty, staff, and
“It’s not just about getting a free
day,” said Rodrigo Cantarero, an
associate professor of community
and regional planning. “We’re an
incredibly heterogeneous world.
People who will be graduating need
to deal with the majority out there,
where they’re the minority.”
Cantarero is speaking in refer
ence to a 1992 study by UNL’s
Bureau of Sociological Research.
That survey was on the racial climate
Guess what? Whites felt there
was no problem; minorities felt quite
And, of course, this little problem
that we’ve had in trying to decide
whether or not to observe the King
holiday didn’t sit too well with his
widow, Coretta Scott King, when she
was here in town.
King understandably (and obvi
ously) believes that the Martin Luther
King Jr. holiday should be celebrated
across the country.
King said, “I look forward to your
reconsideration and to that affirma
tion in the not too distant future.”
Chancellor James Moeser tried to
ease her mind. Moeser said, “The
university should honor Dr. Martin
Luther King with a special holiday
and I believe that it will.”
No offense, chancellor, but you
must “put your money where your
After all, Moeser knows what
will happen ifUNL refuses to honor
King. Other states have ignored the
King holiday, to their economic detri
For example, in 1993, Arizona
refused to honor King. There were
direct and immediate consequences
to Arizona’s action. The NFL took
away the 1993 Super Bowl, and
awarded it to Miami.
Later, Arizona caved in; but it
was too little, too late. The Super
Bowl didn’t come back to them, and
they lost mega-millions in Super
On a lesser scale, this will happen
to Nebraska if we refuse to honor
We need as many bargaining
chips as we can in order to recruit
qualified women and minorities.
Currently, women and minority
professors encompass just 36.6 per
cent of the faculty. In practical terms,
this means that “Joe Blow Student”
may never have a black professor
during four to five years of study.
John Payne, chairman of the NU
Board of Regents, was called upon
this past June to defend its relatively
few minority and women professors.
“We believe diversity in higher
education is critical if we are to pro
duce graduates who will be able to
work and compete effectively in the
global economy,” Payne said.
Payne also confirmed several sta
tistics. In 1996, women comprised
28.2 percent of the faculty (all ranks).
And, in 1996, minorities comprised
8.4 percent of the faculty (all ranks).
Mr. Payne, answer me this: If you
are a minority professor, why in the
world would you want to come hare?
These figures are unacceptably
low. However, they are a slight
improvement from 1991, when
women professors comprised 25.4
percent and minority professors com
prised 5.9 percent.
If UNL refuses to honor King,
how in the world is UNL going to
attract quality women or minority
As it is. Nebraska has a bad repu
tation on race relations, thanks to
incidents like the one in Norfolk.
Never heard of that, you say?
Well, this story isn’t exactly fit for
human consumption, at least, not in
Ricky Moses, who was applying
to be a parole officer with the
Nebraska Department of Health and
Human Services, was well-qualified
for the position. However, Moses is
black, and that evidently concerned a
few state employees.
Senior parole officer Lois Dover
expressed “concerns” to her supervi
sor, Michael Reddish, that a black
person as a parole officer wouldn’t be
accepted by the local residents,
because Norfolk (like most of the rest
of Nebraska) is more than 95 percent
Stories like these make my skin
Who cares whether or not Moses
is white, black, Hispanic or Martian?
And what business does Moses’ race
have to do with how well he could do
his job as a parole officer, should he
And they certainly don’t help
when it comes to recruitinj women
or minority faculty members.
After all, in the past year we’ve
had the Sigma Chi cross burning, an
“unfortunate” incident; racism was
Then, we have this Norfolk inci
dent. The Nebraska Equal -
Opportunity Commission said, “Two
of die hiring committee members did
discuss their concerns regarding
whether a black parole officer would
fit into the Norfolk community.
However, evidence indicates that the
same hiring decision would have
been made even in the absence of this
Once again, an “unfortunate”
incident; racism was not intended.
Can the state of Nebraska survive
a third incident of unintentional
The consequences of ignoring the
Martin Luther King Jr. holiday are
profound, and more is at stake than
just “taking another day off” or
“missing a chemistry lab.”
UNL is the premiere institution of
higher learning in Nebraska. We are
justifiably proud of our high academ
ic standards, our many celebrated
graduates, and our excellent football
team. But, we should not settle for
second best when it comes to racism.
Observe the King holiday, and
then you have a chance in minority
Observe the King holiday, and
improve our reputation.
Observe the King holiday, and
wipe the egg off of our collective
Anything less would be uncivi
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