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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 9, 1998)
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Time to say
Peru State is a waste
of taxpayers ’dollars
The Legislature should close Peru State
College’s doors for good.
A debate that has raged for more than a
year must now be brought to a close with the
release of a report on whether to remodel or
move the college.
The Nebraska Coordinating Commission
for Postsecondary Education heard from con
sultants Thursday who estimated it would
cost more than $100 million to move die col
lege to Nebraska City, which some special
interest groups have proposed.
Another presentation informed commis
sioners that it would cost about $27 million to
renovate the current dilapidated campus in
Peru, which is in desperate need of modern
Nebraska taxpayers cannot be asked to
pay such exorbitant amounts for a school that
is worth increasingly less.
Though the costs would be spread out
over time, to illustrate how ridiculous it would
be to ask taxpayers to foot the bill, consider
these figures based on this year’s enrollment
figure of about 1,800: To move the school, the
state would be paying roughly $56,000 per
student. To renovate the existing campus, the
state would be paying about $15,000 per stu- •
All this for a campus that is failing to meet
the needs of its region. Figures from a
Coordinating Commission report show that
more students from the six-county area the
state college serves attend Southeast
Community College and the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln than attend Peru State.
Statistics show the school is failing acade
mically as well. Compared to its peer institu
tions that graduate one-third of their students
in five years, Peru graduates only one-fifth.
About half of Pern’s freshmen drop out before
their sophomore years.
The town of Peru - lacking in even the
most basic services - offers little to students.
Nebraska City, on the other hand, says it
would be a good new home for Nebraska’s
But supporters of the move must realize a
college cannot be looked at through the eyes
of a financial planner - it is not an economic
boon nor a diploma mill - it is an institution of
higher education for the good of all
Students looking for a small-school
atmosphere can find it in the other state col
leges or community colleges near Peru.
Though alumni, students and faculty
members will no doubt mourn the closing of
their college, they must realize that taxpayers
cannot continue to throw money at a failing
Having honorably served Nebraska since
1867, Peru State has simply become redun
dant and must close. *
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of
the Fall 1998 Daily Nebraskan. They do
ndt 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.
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, 1400R St. Lincoln,
NE. 68588-0448. E-mail:
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Over die last five years, I have read
numerous letters in the DN dealing
with homosexuality and the Christian.
In these five years, I have been frustrat
ed at the misunderstandings many peo
ple have of the Christian faith, both in
regards to this issue, and in general.
There are many conflicting opin
ions of what a Christian' is, so I feel I
need to start by explaining briefly what
. I mean by Christian. To nuke it clearer,
I will use die term “follower of Christ”
instead of “Christian.”
Followers of Christ are people who
have accepted Jesus Christ as their
Lord and Savior, believe the Bible to be
the word of God and therefore strive to
understand and follow it What is cru
cial to understand is that followers of
Christ do not make their own rules. We
believe that God has spoken the truth
in his Word (the Bible). To ask follow
ers of Christ to believe something that
is contrary to the Bible is asking them
to deny what they believes is the truth
of God. This is a key to understanding
our position on many issues.
One of the issues addressed in the
Bible is homosexuality. I won’t bore
you by quoting verses, but the'Bible
does condemn the homosexual act. So,
whether or not we followers of Christ
like it, we believe that engaging in
homosexual activity is wrong. The
same is true of many other issues -
stealing, cheating, getting drunk, adul
tery or pre-marital sex. I want to stress
that with all of these, it is to a large
extent the act that is wrong, not the ten
dency or the uree.
It’s not as if God has singled out a
small group of people and said “I think
I’ll pick on the gays.” In fact, He hasn’t
singled out anyone - we have all
engaged in wrong activity. I have lied,
cheated, used and belittled others and
done many other wrong things. In
God’s eyes, I am no better or no worse
than someone who gets drunk, com
mits adultery or engages in homosexu
ality. We have all done wrong in God’s
But this is not the end of the story.
God does not hate gays. In the same
way, He does not hate drunkards, adul
terers, liars, cheaters, thieves or any
one. We have all acted contrary to
God’s Word, but He doesn’t hate us for
it - He hates what we have done. God is
a God of love. He loves all humans and
wants us all to know and follow Him,
because He knows what is best for us.
This is where the idea of salvation
and accepting Christ as Lord and
Savior comes into play. We who have
become followers of Christ have
admitted that we have acted contrary to
GodV Word, decided that we wilt with
God’s strength, follow His ways, not
ours, even when it means we have to
stop doing things that we really want to
do. We have decided it is worth having
a relationship with God. We don’t
always understand why we can’t do
certain things, or must do others, much
like the relationship with a. child and
Because followers of Christ recog
nize that we have acted contrary to
God’s Word as much as anyone else,
and because we recognize that God
loves us anyway, we do not (should
not) hate anyone, including gays.
Unfortunately, there are many who “in
the name of Christ” condemn and
commit hateful acts toward gays. They
are acting contrary to God’s Word -
they do not understand .God’s love.
God’s love is available to anybody who
seeks to know Him and follow His
In summary, we followers of Christ
do not hate gays, but we also cannot
accept the behavior as appropriate. I
don’t expect everyone who reads this
to agree with my viewpoint, but my
hope is that you will understand it
Charles A. Cusack
computer science and engineering
I, too, saw “The Brandon Teena
Story,” and at first was a little con
cerned that broad, generalizing criti
cism ofNebraskans might detract from
the power of the story - that Teena
Brandon was brutally murdered
because of ignorance and fear, quali
ties which are not inherently
It was that shot near the banning,
with the carls hazard lights flashing on
the “Nebraska ...The Good Life” road
But my fears proved to be unfound
ed, and as the story unraveled, I became
so focused on the compelling voices of
the people involved that I wasn’t stuck
thinking of them as “Nebraskans.” I
thought that many voices were given a
lot of play - of course the most notably
absent voice (aside from some writings
and the recorded interrogation) was
that ofTeena Brandon.
To assume that because this
vicious, hateful turn of events (the
beating, rape and murders) happened
in Nebraska, all Nebraskans are
vicious and hateful is not a “natural”
response to this film; that would be
similar to assuming that because Teena
Brandon wrote bad checks, all trans
gendered people are criminals.
Of course, all Nebraskans aren’t
homophobic murderers. But this crime
did h^Jpen here, and that should make
us uncomfortable as residents of this
state and citizens of this planet. And
frankly, the purpose of the film was not
to give a “balanced” view of
Nebraskans; it was to tell one very spe
I thought that one of the most com
pelling parts ofthe film was when peo
ple talked about how they just wanted
Teena Brandon to leave town, to go
away, to disappear, basically. Later in
the film, people spoke of John Lotter
in similar terms, wondering why he
kept coming back to Falls City, won
dering whv he didn’t just stay away.
Moments. > that made this story par
ticularly r. and disturbing.
In ail' is talk of Nebraskans,
shouldn’t we remember that Teena .
Brandon w.is a Nebraskan, too?
If the him makes us uncomfort
able, we need to feel that discomfort, to
make it productive, not just try to shove
it back inside, to make it disappear.
When the discomfort fades, we can
forget about what happened, forget that
we might be complacent not strictly as
Nebraskans, but as people who live in
the world together. When the discom
fort disappears, we can forget that what
happened to Teena Brandon was inhu
mane. When the discomfort disap
pears, we can forget Teena Brandon.
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