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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 2, 1998)
Can’t buy brotherhood
Fraternity bonds made with time, sacrifice and support
MARK ZMARZLY is a
senior English and speech
communications major and
a Daily Nebraskan colum
I buy my friends.
I don’t have much money so they
aren’t good friends. Just kidding, fellas.
That’s the reason I joined a fraterni
ty. I figured I wouldn’t make any friends
on my own sol’d better buy them. I pay
for the privilege of friendship.
What I can’t figure out is why my
room and board at the fraternity was
only $3,240 for the school year. Dorm
rates next year are $3,640. Our double
occupancy rooms are bigger than the
dorms. Our room rates also include
extended cable. If I’m paying for my
friends, why am I not paying as much
as a person living in a dorm?
It is a commonly held stereotype
that members of the greek system
buy their friends.
There are social, pledge and initi
ation fees the first year that push your
total living expenses as a freshman
over that of someone living in the
dorms. There are also in-house scholar
ships, paid offices and payment plans
that reduce that cost back below that of
living in the dorms.
I didn’t join a fraternity because I
feared I wouldn’t fit in. I joined
because I thought the guys there would
be loyal friends for life. On March 27,1
received a reminder of that fact.
It was the last day of spring break.
I was sitting around with five friends
in our Panama City Beach (Fla.)
hotel room. We were sitting around
talking, waiting to go out for the
evening. We were supposed to be talk
ing about the week, women, the trip
home or what club we would be going
Instead we were talking about
another friend of ours who was back in
In March 1996, a brother in my fra
ternity came up to me at 8 a.m. the
Thursday before spring break. I had
heard his little sister had passed away
the night before. He walked into my
room and told me when the funeral was
so I could spread die word among the
I asked him how he was holding up,
and he broke down crying. I hugged
him for 10 minutes, not knowing
what to say. I told him how sorry I
was and that I would see him at the
I didn’t know his sis
ter, I didn’t even
know he had
morning. But I felt an instant connec
tion to the pain he was going through,
and I felt devastated The fimeral was on
Saturday. My fraternity brothers took
off work, delayed spring break trips, put
off going home and even came back
from out of town to be there in support.
When we arrived, the church was
packed. There were five seats reserved
in the pews for myself and four of the
other officers. The other 30 or 40 of my
brothers watched the funeral on a tele
vision in another
ing, without sound.
We weren’t there to hear the funeral
service. We weren’t there to speak. We
were there to support our brother. That
support came in die form of simply
being there for him.
We saw our friend for a total of
only 30 seconds that day. In those 30
seconds, he walked out of the church,
looked over at all of us standing in the
grass and said to his mother, “That’s
That brother had a difficult time
with the death of his sister. The next
time we saw our friend he made it
obvious how much our support
that day meant to him. When I
think of that day I think of
tragedy and pain, but most of
all, I think of support.
Brotherhood and the fraternity
experience are concepts without defini
tion. When someone comes up to me
and asks me to explain what brother
hood is, I can’t. It is something differ
ent to all members.
Friendships are formed and tight
ened in every aspect of our lives. A
simple conversation over dinner can
make a friendship stronger. Fraternities
and sororities add another dimension to
Members of the greek system are
there for a common purpose - to add
their abilities and skills to the organiza
tion. This common purpose and the
shared experiences bond members
together tighter than in a normal situa
tion. You work and live with these same
members, and it only increases the
bonds that you feel.
Just two weeks ago the women of
Gamma Phi Beta Sorority buried a sis
l ter and friend, Laura Cockson. These
women have been each other’s
A. support for the last two weeks.
Not only have they given a
shoulder to each other but
also to the Cockson family.
' The grief that all of these
Hi family members feel is eased
|Hf/ ever so slightly by the knowl
fHI edge that so many people knew
H and loved their daughter.
Im| The goal of this article is not
jf^Ul to convert all members of this
WJ campus to greeks. The truth is
ERr that being greek is not for every
one. It takes a lot of time, dedica
W tion, personal sacrifice and selfless
f ness. The unity and friendship that
results from this conscious time sacri
fice has been enormous.
I could not imagine surviving and
excelling the way I have ova- the last
five years without my fraternity broth
ers. People in the dorms may have
friendships that match or even exceed
the ones I have described above.
If you believe that greeks pay for
their friends, I won’t disagree with you.
We pay with time, sacrifice and
Doing the job
Clinton has given Starr more than enough to investigate
JOSH MOENNING is a sopho
more advertising and political
science major and a Daily
Who will defend the prosecutor?
Thanks to the always-brilliant Clinton pro
paganda machine, special prosecutor Kenneth
Starr’s popularity level has recently plunged to
Newt Gingrich- and Saddam Hussein-like
Listening to Clinton’s loyal attack dogs, one
gets the impression that Kenneth Starr is no
less than Beelzebub himself.
The president’s spinsters would have the
electorate believe that Starr is indeed^ very
bad man: a wholly partisan, vindictive and
“scuzzy” prosecutor who pursues the president
with a Captain Ahab-like vengeance.
Clinton and his team have once again been
able to masterfully spin and distort the truth. In
the process, they have duped a large part of the
nation and assassinated the character of a good
man who is guilty only of doing his assigned
People shouldn’t dislike Ken Starr. He’s
simply doing his job, and he’s doing it well. If
you think you have a problem with Starr, your
real problem probably lies in the ill-conceived
independent counsel statute.
It’s amusing for many conservatives to hear
liberals complain about the broad powers that
Starr now possesses as special prosecutor.
You see, the independent counsel statute is
the cherished creation of Democrats. The
statute was established in 1978 during the
Carter administration and was embraced by lib
erals during the Reagan and Bush eras.
But now that the tables have turned,
Democrats have found that their beloved cre
ation doesn’t always play nice.
While many liberals delighted in the statute,
most conservatives have consistently opposed
it. They rightly foresaw the problems that could
come with such a powerful independent coun
They said its broad and unlimited powers
were unconstitutional. Joseph DiGenova, a
GOP lawyer and former independent counsel,
has called the statute a “monstrosity.” Supreme
Court Justice Antonin Scalia also has repeated
ly aired his grievances with the statute.
Indeed, the independent counsel is not cir
cumscribed by the normal considerations of
money or efficiency. The budget is unlimited
and deadlines are nonexistent. In fact, part of
former independent counsel Lawrence Walsh’s
investigation into the Iran-Contra affair is still
Liberals incessantly whine about the length
of Starr’s 3‘/2-year investigation and the $26
million of taxpayer money he has spent in the
However, what they fail to mention or con
sider is that Bill Clinton is the ultimate source
of the things being investigated. If the president
and his friends weren’t so prone to scandal and
weren’t so skilled in the art of subterfuge, Starr
would be back in Malibu, Calif., right now.
But our president has given the special
prosecutor so much to investigate.
Starr’s original job was to investigate
Whitewater, but then came the death of Vince
Foster, the travel office firings, the “misplaced”
FBI files and finally Lewinsky and Willey. It’s
not as if Starr is on some mad goose hunt
searching for dirt on the president. It comes to
him, and he has gotten authorization from
Attorney General Janet Reno to look into each
and every one of these matters.
In reference to criticisms that Starr has cost
taxpayers too much money, people should
remember that the Whitewater fiasco itself cost
federal taxpayers more than $60 million. Also,
it’s important to note that Clinton’s public legal
defense team has consumed millions of taxpay
er dollars so far in his scandal-ridden presiden
While people who know virtually nothing
about investigative law are busy undermining
Starr, most legal experts, regardless of their
political affiliation, agree that Starr is doing a
New York University Law Professor
Stephen Gillers, a liberal who was opposed to
Starr being chosen as special prosecutor in
1994, admits that since Starr ha£ been on the
job he has followed “standard operating proce
dure by piftsecutors - every time, every place,
One Justice Department official said in a
Washington Post report, “Starr really has not
done anything to abuse the kind of latitude that
the system grants him.”
Another official noted, “We are talking
about a guy who wanted to hang it up and move
to Malibu after all,” referring to Starr’s aborted
career switch to become the dean of Pepperdine
Starr bashers also should remember that
claims that Starr’s investigation has produced
nothing are completely unwarranted.
In fact, the counsel can boast of several
major convictions - of former Arkansas
Governor Jim Guy Tucker, Clinton’s
Whitewater business partners Jim and Susan
McDougal and former associate attorney gen
eral Web Hubbell. The counsel also has secured
10 guilty pleas from other banking figures in
The last person who should be criticizing
Starr is Clinton himself.
After all, the big guy authorized the inde
pendent counsel statute in 1994 and, in effect,
made it easier than ever for a special prosecutor
to take down a president.
What was he thinking? Is he so full of him
self that he believes he can get away with any
thing without ever being called on it? His spin
doctors are good, but are they good enough to
save a presidency that, despite its facade of
high poll numbers, grows weaker with every
How much does Starr really have on the
president, and is it enough to bring impeach
ment? NO one really knows.
In my opinion, he’s got more than people
think he does. Will it be enough to rid our
nation’s highest office of the most deceptive
president of modem times?
Only time will tell. ___
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