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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 10, 1998)
ASUN votes against assembly
■ The 25-member group
would have represented
students based on their
places of residence.
/ __ _,
An assembly intended to more
widely represent students was shot
down Wednesday by ASUN senators
who think representing students shruikt
be their job.
The Association of Students of the
University of Nebraska voted against
legislation to create a 25-member
assembly based on students* place of
ASUN President Sara Russell said
she was disappointed her legislation did
not pass. But Russell said she is appre
ciative of the senate and its constructive
ideas and discussion.
“I’m glad to see that people have
minds oftheir own to kill a bill,” Russell
said. “It shows people really do care and
have concerns over student representa
Russell said she proposed the
assembly as a way to equal representa
tion in student government
“Since I was a freshman equal rep
resentation and parking concerns have
been the number one issue among stu
dents,” Russell said.
The bill would have brought more
representation to students, she said
“There would be more eyes and ears
of students,” Russell said. “It would
have benefited die whole student body.”
Strong opposition of the bill came
from senators’ concerns over whether
greek students would still dominate stu
Senator Jeff Woodford said greek
students do live in residence halls and
off campus, as well in their fraternity
and sorority houses.
“If you elect by place of residence,
you still could get greek domination,”
Russell nodded her head with hesi
tation and agreed.
“In theory,” Russell said, “Yes,
greek students could dominate die new
Marlene Beyke, ASUN director of
development, said that when students
are appointed to positions based on
place of residence, ASUN goes by the
university policy of using a student’s
“It’s simpler this way,” she said. “We
cannot control if they are greek or not”
Kara Slaughter, academic commit
tee chairwomen, said appointing and
electing students based on their place of
residence would bring only awareness
to university concerns.
“Where you live is a better determi
nate of how you view university issues
then what college you are from,”
Slaughter said. “We are trying to get at
die issues which affect how we live and
Strong discussion arose over die
senate’s capability of representing its
colleges and constituents. Russell said
she is concerned senators are not talking
to their respective college constituents _
about ASUN matters.
Senator Paul Schreier said senators
need to ask themselves whether they are
doing their elected jobs correctly if they
think they need an additional assembly.
“Passing this would be a change in
student government policy,” Schreier
said. “Yes, it’s another organization for
student interaction and representation.
But isn’t that ASUNh job?”
Senator Andy Schuerman dis
“We would be doing our job if we
pass this,” Schuerman said. “This is a
very tangible step to show those alienat
ed students we are actually working for
The bill died 18-10 with two sena
Russell said she still plans to look
into writing a constitutional amendment
to create an assembly. It would be
responsible for researching and bring
ing forth assembly bills to ASUN.
Beyke said if a constitutional
amendment is proposed and passed it
would go on the March ASUN election
ballot If the student body passes the
amendment students would be appoint
ed to the assembly and elected to assem
bly positions the following election.
“I’ll give it a try,” Russell said. “If
die senate doesn’t like it at least I tried.”
Alumni face end of defunct chapter
Traditionally Jewish house closed doors in 1990
By Josh Funk
Senior staffwriter, ■
Fifty years after the Sigma Alpha
Mu Fraternity house was built, UNL
announced plans to demolish it, signal
ing the end of the chapter.
< Since its founding in 1926, the
Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity played an
important role on campus in housing
Jewish students when no other fraterni
Then diminishing membership and
an uncertain house identity prompted
alumni to close the house in 1990.
After several unsuccessful attempts
to revive the chapter in the 1990s, there
are no immediate plans to at UNL.
“There are a lot of people with a lot
of good memories,” said State Auditor
John Breslow, forma fraternity presi
dent from the early 1970s.
“But time goes on and some things
pass. (Sigma Alpha Mu) is one of
As part of its 12-yea plan to shape
City and East campuses, UNL
announced Thursday it wants to tea
down the houses of Sigma Alpha Mu
Fraternity and Alpha Chi Omega
Sorority, which occupy the southeast
and southwest conos of 16* and Vine
The houses would give way to
Memorial Mall, agreen space extend
ing from 14* to 17* streets.
The Sigma Alpha Mu house has
It (Mi aMMrfii 1 L.u A 1—1 m.:
urn xu^ua vrn
Omega, an active sorority, will have to
be relocated to 16* and R streets where
a new house is to be built
When the Daily Nebraskan first
contacted Sigma Alpha Mu alumni
Wednesday, the ahimni had not heard of
the plans to demolish the house.
A common first reaction to the news
among chapter alumni was that die uni
versity should buy the property before
they plan to demolish it
The property has been for sale for
several years, but die university has not
made an offer satisfactory to the ahimni,
[SAMFoundation President Lee Polikov
The SAM Foundation is the alumni
association that owns the house.
Pclikov, Sarpy County Sheriff’s
Chief Deputy and former house presi
dent, said Ihe university made an offer
Either Jewish kids joined
our fraternity or they didn’t
join any fraternity."
SAM Foundation president
on the house last year that was so low
the foundation did not even respond
“I have an obligation to the mem
bership to maximize the property
value,” Polikov said. “If that means
changing the zoning and putting in a
doughnut shop, so be it”
University officials said they will
try to negotiate a fair price for the house.
“We will try to work with them to
acquire the house because it is in our
plans,” Vice Chancellor for Student
Affairs James Griesensaid
But most SAM alumni feel that die
sadness of the situation passed when
they couki not maintain the chapter.
Now they just want what is best for
their property, Polikov said
“(The university’s) plan may be dif
ferent from our plan,” Polikov said
The fraternity was founded in 1926
L_- —__* 1_a_1_x_1 __1 j
i/y agiv/u}t ui Jtwuti diuucuu wuu tuuiu
not get into other fraternities.
For many years the house chose its
members from a smaller group of stu
dents that no other house would accept
SAM gave Jewish students a place
to beloogto on campus, Polikov said.
When Polikov rushed the fraternity
in 1966 there were still two rush weeks
at UNL, one far most students and then
one just for Jewish students.
‘Either Jewish kids joined our fra
ternity or they didn’t join any fraternity,”
Though die national organization
made a change in the 1950s to include
students of any faith, Polikov said it was
not until die early 1980s that the UNL
chapter accepted its fust non-Jewish
In its early decades, the separate
rush week and a stronger religious idem,
tity helped the SAM house identify
potential members, Polikov said.
But when it was forced to compete
for members in a formal rush week, die
SAM house was ill-prepared and mem
bership diminished, he said.
After its long Jewish tradition, the
house was forced to find a new identity,
which hurt membership, said Steven
Sommer, chapter adviser from 1990 to
1996 and an associate management pro
“The natural market was not there
anymore,” Sommer said, “and the house
never came together.”
As an alumnus of the Berkeley,
Calif., SAM chapter, Sommer had
always heard good things about the
“Nebraska was always the crown
jewel in die national organization,”
Sommer said. “It is sad to see it go.”
After their final attempt to revive
the chapter dissolved last year, alumni
must fare the realization that their house
is no more.
For some that realization came
when they removed their “wall of pri
ors” that commemorated former frater
nity presidents from the house two years
ago, Folikov said.
“It’s a break in history.”
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