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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 7, 1998)
In too deep
Outside help needed
with racial problems
When federal officials arrive at UNL
next week to examine its policies on race,
all campus community members - not just
minorities - should welcome them.
The representatives from the U.S.
Department of Education’s Office for
Civil Rights will make sure the University
of Nebraska-Lincoln, like other institu
tions that use federal money, abides by
Their third-party, objective assessment
should be an important eye-opener for
those on every side of our engrossing con
versations on race.
Federal officials selected the universi
ty because of its past controversies sur
rounding campus race relations. In other
words, UNL was specifically picked as an
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to stop racial harassment or may cause
That’s not news to the campus’ minori
ty students, staff and faculty members and
the nonminority students who care about
creating a safe multicultural climate.
Undoubtedly, many UNL administra
tors work diligently for the campus to wel
come all races.
And after any embarrassing incident
involving poor race relations, the univer
sity always declares that it will review its
policies and see how those problems can
But they keep happening, and that’s
proof that administrators need outside,
expert help in improving these policies.
As a third party, the civil rights offi
cials will be able to take an extensive, fair
look at those policies and suggest strong
It’s a preventative measure that will
help, not embarrass, the university by
helping it objectively assess its race poli
Such an approach is much better than
insiders reacting to perceived racism or a
lack thereof. Here at the university, the
issue of race has simply become too per
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effectively assess and improve policies
dealing with it.
Students and administrators can
expect federal officials to suggest some
real action-backed policies - ones they
can demand to see at work when acts of
racism flare on campus.
Although the media attention given to
the federal visitors’ seeming intrusion
may make many campus members
uncomfortable, it’s fortunate that these
Big Brothers are looking over administra
It will bring solutions that many
minority students have waited for, but an
assurance that they never had.
And an objective light of truth shed on
campus race policies will improve the cul
tural education of all campus members.
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of
the Spring 1998 Daily Nebraskan. They
do not necessarily reflect the views of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its
employees, its student body or the
University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
A column is solely the opinion of its author.
The Board of Regents serves as publisher
of the Daily Nebraskan; policy is set by
- the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. The
UNL Publications Board, established by
the regents, supervises the production
of the paper. According 1o policy set by
the regents, responsibility for the editorial
content of the newspaper lies solely in
the hands of its student employees.
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief
letters to the editor and guest columns,
but does not guarantee their publication.
The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to
edit of reject any material submitted.
Submitted material becomes property of
the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be
returned. Anonymous submissions will
not be published. Those who submit
letters must identify themselves by name,
year in school, major and/or group
affiliation, if any.
Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 34
Nebraska Union, 1400 R St. Lincoln,
NE. 68588-0448. E-mail:
t ^ 5 X. A‘ * ' * ' '4:
Don’t tread on my beliefs
In Monday’s column by Katya
Ovcharenko (“Who is He?”),
Ovcharenko’s statements indicate a
shuttered mind that does not allow for
any other religion than Christianity to
By her words, she indicated that
the largest belief system, Buddhism,
is invalid. Muslim, another monothe
istic faith that requires the same dedi
cation to it as Christianity does to its
god, is not tolerated. By inference,
she degrades everyone else’s belief.
Has anyone informed
Ovcharenko that there is such a thing
as freedom of religion in this coun
It is blithely assumed by too many
people in this country that the United
States is a beautiful block of
Christianity that is only slightly pep
pered by those malcontents, like me,
who try to spoil the brew. Well, sorry.
Remember the melting pot? Well,
it’s still happening, and these people
hrino th#»ir rplioinns with th*»m
Buddhism and Islam are just two
that are coming in on a regular basis.
Most of these people aren’t going
to convert. Grow up and realize that
fact. Christianity is a minority in the
world picture. Other religions will
steal the customs that Christianity
stole from earlier religions, adapt
them to their own needs and move on.
Welcome to the great cycle of life.
It’s the beauty of freedom of religion.
I also am offended by
Ovcharenko’s statements about leav
ing the Christian faith upon going to
college, and her blatant invitation to
return to the faith. I walked out of
Christianity at the age of 18, when I
came to college.
When I got out of that faith, I
found for the first time people who
would accept me as an equal. These
people didn’t care who I was or what
I believed in; they would accept me.
I also found a philosophy and a
belief system that finally made sense.
I walked into the pagan world, and I
haven’t looked back.
In her column, Ovcharenko
makes it sound like I did something
wrong. She’s lying. I did nothing
wrong. I did something very right for
me. As she is not ashamed to show
her faith, neither am I.
I am a Neo-Celtic pagan with ties
to shamanism. This non-Christian
won’t be celebrating Easter, even
though supposedly all nonbelievers
do back in Ovcharenko’s native coun
Oh, and Christians, don’t pray for
' Melanie Falk/DN
me or others like me. It is offensive to
us. It is just another part of the lies
and the control that you attempt to do.
Stop. At least have enough respect to
allow us our own choices instead of
attempting to manipulate us with
your guilt trips.
Just leave us alone and allow us to
make our own way. We don’t force
you; you don’t force us; we’re all
On the other hand...
I attended the “U” from 1969 to
1973, majoring in English and sec
ondary education, and was very
pleased to find your article outlining
the activities that are planned for
“Jesus Awareness Week.”
Among all of the skills and expe
riences I gained while at Nebraska,
the single-most important opportuni
ty I was presented with was the
opportunity to examine, and decide
upon, the reality of Jesus.
In those days (boy, do I sound
old!) everything in society was “up
for grabs.” The university was shut
down because of a student strike over
the invasion of Cambodia, societal
mores were being re-examined,
experimentation with drugs was
commonplace and the so-called sexu
al revolution was in full swing.
There were no boundaries, no
laws; nothing that could hold us back
from righting all die injustices of the
past. As you can see, that path didn’t
In the middle of this free-for-all,
someone handed me a pamphlet
about Jesus, and I was presented with
a decision; a decision I urge all of
your readers to make: Is what Jesus
claimed the truth or a lie? It’s just that
In 1969, everyone had an oppor
tunity to voice their views, no matter
how “fringe” they might’ve been.
Today’s “PC” atmosphere seems to
allow for every point of view
EXCEPT for that of the Christian.
To stand for what die Bible teach
es is characterized as narrow-minded,
X-phobic or intolerant.
I urge you to stand your ground and
deliver the message of Christ as clearly
and with as much love as you can.
Someone, like me, needs to hear it
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