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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 20, 1998)
_sums_ _ah_ FRIDAY
Cookie doesn’t crumble Lil’ Big Man February 20,1998
Nebraska sophomore guard Cookie Belcher says Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials, a four-piece
he’s looking to step up his play to an all-confer- blues band from Chicago, will perform at the NOT QUITE In The CLEAR
ence level. PAGE 7 Zoo Bar tonight and Saturday. PAGE 9 Mostly cloudy, high 39. Cloudy tonight, low 28.
VOL. 97 COVERING THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN SINCE 1901 NO. 107
By Brad Davis
UNL could celebrate Martin Luther
King Jr.’s birthday with a day off from
classes as early as next year, the NU
Calendar Committee said Thursday.
The committee, comprising two
representatives from each University of
Nebraska campus, recommended the
university cancel classes on King’s
birthday - the third Monday m January.
James Gnesen, UNL vice chancel
lor for student affairs, said the commit
tee's decision reflected the opinions and
desires of most UNL faculty members,
students and staff
“If this recommendation is put into
effect, it is extremely important that we
respond with meaningful educational
and community service programs that
will truly honor the memory of Dr.
King,’’ Gnesen said.
NU Provost Lee Jones, who
makes the final decision to cancel
classes for systemwide holidays, said
he was pleased with the committee’s
“The cancellation of classes will
allow for a much broader spectrum of
activities during the entire day to
honor Dr. King and the philosophy he
The university will implement the
holiday by January 2000, although it
could be implemented next year, he
To determine whether the university
can enact the holiday next year, Jones
said, NU Board of Regents guidelines
require each of the four campuses to
provide a plan detailing how it will
make up for the day's missed classes.
NU Spokesman Joe Rowson said
Jones would confer with the university
chancellors and determine if the holiday
can begin next year.
The NU Board of Regents must
approve both break recommendations,
but the board will not consider the pro
posals during their Feb. 28 meeting.
Proposal would end
By Brad Davis
If it has the same effect as
California’s Proposition 209, a constitu
tional amendment proposed by Omaha
Sen. Kate Witek could eliminate some
affirmative action programs at UNL.
LR314CA, if advanced by the
Legislature’s Judiciary Committee,
would ask Nebraska voters to prohibit
government programs that “discrimi
nate against or grant preferential treat
ment to” certain groups.
The bill would ban discriminating
against or granting preferences to indi
viduals based on race, sex, color, ethnic
ity or national origin.
During the committee hearing on
Feb. 13, when questioned why the bill
didn’t identify homosexuals as an offi
cial group, Witek said the bill reflected
language in Proposition 209, which also
did not include sexual orientation.
Witek said her Proposition 209
based proposal would not eliminate all
affirmative action programs - only
those that include discriminatory or
.An educational program that would
help “anyone that needed help” would
remain unchanged under her legisla
tion. she said.
Matt LeMieux. executive director
of the American Civil Liberties Union
Nebraska, said he thought Witek’s pro
posal was part of a national movement
to abolish affirmative action programs.
At the University of California,
Berkeley, a public school where
Proposition 209 was enacted, only one
minority student was enrolled in the
first-year law school class, he said.
“It would have a devastating effect
on the educational atmosphere at the
university,” LeMieux said. “We’d be
foolish to deny that part of the educa
tional experience at a major university is
being educated with a diverse student
But NU Law Professor Richard
Duncan said discriminating and granti
ng preferences to achieve diversity
broke federal law.
“What a lot of people don’t know,”
Duncan said, “is that many of the things
the university already does - some of
the scholarships designated for minori
ties only - almost certainly violates the
The problem with race-based affir
mative action is that the program
assumes the minority group has been
discriminated against, and that the
majority group has done the discrimi
nating, Duncan said.
“We often focus on the claims of one
side.” Duncan said, “but there are a
whole bunch of silent v ictims out there -
white males who can't apply for a posi
tion set aside for minorities or females.
“(White males) sent their applica
tion in, and it got thrown in the waste
basket because they were the wrong
race or gender," Duncan said.
Witek agreed. When some say affir
mative action creates a “level playing
Please see BILL on 6
LT. COL. PAUL ADAMS holds a picture taken of himself during his days spent as a fighter pilot for the U.S.
Army Air Forces during World War II. Adams said he was the victim of racial prejudices even while he was
fighting for his country.
Vet now fights with education
Editor s note: In honor oj
Black History Month, the Daily
Nebraskan is printing profiles of
prominent black leaders in
Lincoln and at UNL. Today is the
last in a five-part series.
By Brian Carlson
When Lt. Col. Paul Adams
returned from World War II in
August, 1945, America’s long
weary spirits had begun to lift.
The Allied victory in Europe
He has strong values for whats right, not
just for black people, but for everybody”
Scott Middle School principal
had been secured. Two U.S. atom
ic bombs had devastated Japan,
making victory in the Pacific
imminent and shaping the course
of world history for the rest of the
U.S. soldiers returned home
to ticker-tape parades, and the
United States celebrated the tri
umph of its ideals of liberty and
Please see ADAMS on 2
Poet: ‘Sail on’ for unity’s sake
By Josh Funk
The rhythmic pulse of bongo
drums resonating through the
Cornhusker Hotel’s Grand
Ballroom signaled the opening of
the 21st annual Big 12
Conference on Black Student
Government with a traditional
After some welcoming
remarks from organizers and
poetry readings by local stu
dents, poet Nikki Giovanni, the
conference's opening speaker,
UNL junior Lynn Bowers said
Giovanni’s writing transformed
“She made me want to hug
myself inside out,” Bowers said.
Giovanni used historical
examples to advise student lead
ers on sex, school and persever
“Sex is overblown,” Giovanni
said. “If it was that good you
would not have to get drunk to do
Giovanni urged men and
women to take responsibility for
their own sex lives.
From sex Giovanni moved on
to some stereotypes black col
lege students face.
Many people believe that
blacks have a free ride to school,
but Giovanni cautioned students
not to believe that.
“You are here because some
body black (in the past) dreamed
you would be here,” Giovanni
“You have a tremendous
responsibility to those people.”
Giovanni cited examples from
black history from colonialism
and slavery to show how black
people had to work together to
achieve everything they have
Please see GIOVANNI on 6
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