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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 14, 1998)
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 to policy set by
the regents, responsibility for the editorial
content of the newspaper lies solely in
the hands of its student employees.
People, not laws, need
to stop hate crimes
Matthew Shepard’s friends say he was
worried about being accepted at the
University of Wyoming because he was
open about his homosexuality.
So, imagine how good he probably felt
when two men approached him in a bar and
made him believe they understood how he
felt, made him believe they were his
Maybe he was too trusting.
Arthur Henderson and Aaron James
McKinney allegedly told Shepard they
were gay in order to lure him away, rob, tie
up, beat and, ultimately, kill him.
President Clinton has denounced this
horrible act and continues to ask Congress
to pass legislation that would make it easi
er to federally prosecute hate crimes.
But hate-crime legislation is not
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some rare occurrence, but the culmination
of anti-gay and lesbian sentiments rampant
throughout our society.
Homosexual people have been made
scapegoats. They have been blamed for the
disintegration of the American family,
never mind the fact that many homosexu
als want a marriage and family and hold
them in high esteem.
City and state governments have tried,
and sometimes succeeded, in making laws
that actually make it legal to discriminate
And how often do people who would
never describe themselves as being homo
phobic use the word gay as a synonym for
stupid, as in “That’s so gay.”
Why is it so easy to forget that homo
sexuals are individuals? Having feelings is
not a trait inherent to heterosexuals. The
two men in Wyoming are evidence of that,
and the images and words society uses hurt
gays and lesbians very much.
And now, as if Shepard^ family hasn’t
experienced enough pain, members of the
westboro baptist Church in lopeka, Kan.,
have said they will demonstrate at his
Can’t they afford his family the same
respect and dignity they would want for
theirs for at least one day?
Matthew Shepard’s life was taken from
him; it is important his personality and
autonomy are not. No one should forget
hate crimes have a face.
Shepard was a person who had a family
and friends, who like the rest of us proba
bly wanted companionship and support
Instead, two men decided they were jus
tified in taking his life because he was gay.
And unfortunately, until society stops
spreading hateful and hurtful messages
against homosexuals, Shepard will not be
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 or 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:
Gone, but not forgotten
They could not join other fraterni
ties, even had they wished to do so.
Not that they weren’t intelligent or
qualified as decent, bright and well
mannered young men. But they were
And it was not the Middle Ages. It
was the 1920s and probably today, too.
So, they formed their own group
and in 1926 became the Sigma
Omicron chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu,
a national Jewish fraternity.
During the next 30 or more years,
despite a usually small membership,
their contributions to the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln scene were of such
magnitude that a brief summary is in
order and is an important part of uni
This small group was the perenni
al house on campus in scholarship,
with many Phi Beta Kappas, Beta
Gamma Sigmas, honor roll listings
and leaders in almost every campus
organization and council.
In one five-year span, from 1936
to 1941, three editors in chief, a busi
ness manager, news and editing man
agers and many reporters, all on the
Daily Nebraskan, were Sigma
state auditor, two national supreme
priors of the fraternity itself, a
Pennsylvania commissioner of
Consumer Affairs, the founding con
tributor of the University of Nebraska
Center for Judaic Studies and cancer
research grants were all Sammies
from the Lincoln chapter.
The record of public service and
contribution to the welfare and well
being of their state and America and of
the university itself was reflected fur
ther in the armed forces duty of many
members in World War II and Korea,
many of whom returned home with
Purple Hearts and some of whom per
The Sigma Alpha Mu chapter in
Lincoln was a model, a shining light in
the national organization. The chapter
was always a competitor, and eventu
ally a winner, for the Founder’s Cup,
and its honors record among the cam
pus activities and organizations was
outstanding, having provided leaders
in almost every group on campus.
In the 1970s, the fraternity
changed its constitution to open
pledging, regardless of religious
choice, and later began to pledge non
Jewish men. But nothing could pre
vent the demise, as headlined in The
Daily Nebraskan a few weeks ago.
“Alumni face end of defunct chap
ter Traditionally Jewish house closed
doors in 1990.”
The national office tried several
times to reorganize and revive the
chapter, even though the house had
become almost a derelict structure.
We of that not-too-long-ago era
may salute ourselves and those who
have left us. We are thankful for life,
love, friends and family and wonderful
memories of those glory days.
UNL class of 1941
Daily Nebraskan editor in chief
I was reading through The Daily
Nebraskan to see what you all were
saying about Saturday’s game.
Between what I read, and what I have
experienced from Nebraska fans over
the past years, I am thoroughly
c Last year in San Antonio, a
horde of Nebraska fans showed
-Nyv) up and watched a much more
powerfulComhusker team crush
hie Ags in an embarrassing Big
CnS^J 19 Phamninnchin Aftf*rthf»
Alpha Mu members. One
member, along with anoth- /
er campus personality, was /
almost wholly responsible V
for the development and
building of the student
union, which opened in
Sigma Alpha Mu proudly had
members of the Innocents Society for
10 consecutive years. Athletes from
the house were varsity members of
football, basketball, swimming and f''
gymnastics teams in the 1930s and ^
later. Professionals in every field, ^
arts and sciences, engineering, L
teaching, medicine, law, religion, v.
writing, soldiering, politics, drama,
etc., were commonplace among its
alumni. Several were professors at
The head of a nationally famous
hospital, a Federal District judge, a
Nebraska Supreme Court chief jus
tice, a chief judge of the Nebraska
Workmen’s Compensation Court, a
U.S. senator, the mayors of two large
Nebraska cities ... were Sigma Alpha
A Broadway playwright, the writer
of an amendment to the U.S.
Constitution, presidents of syna
gogues and temples, were or are
A presidential confidante and
White House inner staff member and
chairman of the Federal Power
Commission, an elected Nebraska
game, the NU fans I came in
contact with complemented me on
our band, and the Corps of Cadets,
rather than g! * it over the punishing we
had just received. I left feeling
Nebraska fans had enormous class.
I Well, that opinion was reinforced this
\ past weeken d.
5 On Friday night, as with every
5 other Friday night in Aggieland, Ags
f were out partying around town.
Dotting the town also were Nebraska
fans having some fun the night before
the game. But unlike other teams that
have rolled into College Station,
Nebraska fans were having a good
time with Aggies, not in spite of
It was a pretty common sight to see
Aggies and Cornhuskers buying
drinks for each other at local bars.
Then after the game, Nebraska
fans continued to show the same savvy
they show after a victory. In the second
yehr of the Big 12, it seems like the
A&M-NU rivalry is the one to watch.
I can’t think of a better class of team or
its fans to have such a rivalry with.
Tony M. Camiili
commander, Co. E-l
Texas A&M Corps of
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