The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 15, 1999, Page 6, Image 6

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    Fees launch UNL into future of technolo
By Kim Sweet
Staff writer
UNL students are reaping the
benefits of an ever-increasing tech
nology fee tacked onto their tuition
bills, administrators said.
The opening of a computer lab
and the addition of computers in the
Nebraska Union and Nebraska East
Union are just a couple of the most
visible places the fee is at work, said
Pam Holley-Wilcox, director of
information technology support.
More than 20 new computers in
Love Library, the replacement of
more than 40 general-use computers
on East Campus and a new, more
helpful peer help line are some of the
other additions to technological sup
port at the University of Nebraska
The fee, which was raised to $4
per credit hour this year, was respon
sible for the opening of the computer
lab in the Nebraska Union. Since it
opened Feb. 8, Nebraska Unions
Director Daryl Swanson said the lab
and the six stand-up computers out
side the lab have had a constant flow
of traffic.
Some days, students have waited
in line to sit down at the 28 new PCs
and Power Macintoshes, said Linda
Roos, manager of user education at
information technology support.
“The third day it was open in the
morning, there was a line,” Roos said.
“It seems students have figured it out
already where it is at.”
Swanson said the quick populari
ty of the lab was impressive because
the Monday morning opening was
While the computer lab is open
during the regular operating hours of
the Union, Swanson said he is setting
the grand opening of the lab at April
By that date, Swanson said, he
expected the new west entry to be
complete, which will make the lab
accessible 24 hours a day.
Once the entry is finished, stu
dents will swipe their UNL identifi
cation cards to enter the stair tower
outside of the union. They will be
required to swipe their ID once again
to enter the lab.
Opening by April 5 would make
the lab available for end-of-semester
tests and projects, Swanson said.
The addition of the lab, along
with computers to check e-mail in the
Nebraska and Nebraska East Union,
are cooperative efforts of Information
Services and the Nebraska Unions,
Swanson said.
Along with access to new com
puters, students now have access to
extended help hours for dealing with
computer problems, thanks to the
technology fee.
Last semester, the student help
desk extended its hours Monday
through Thursday until 11 p.m.,
Holley-Wilcox said.
Holley-Wilcox said the later
hours would help the large number of
students who did computer work at
night instead of during the day.
The help desk, which can be
accessed by calling (402) 472-3970,
is staffed by employees who can
guide students through software
packages and help students with
computer problems.
Along with providing help during
the evening hours, Holley-Wilcox
said information technology support
was looking into providing tutoring
for students to get one-on-one assis
With the completion of these pro
jects, another slate of projects will be
proposed to spend next year’s $5-per
credit-hour technology fee.
The fee will increase a dollar for
the third consecutive school year, and
will remain the same from then on,
Holley-Wilcox said.
What the fee will fund will be
decided in part by the student govem
ment’s technology fee advisory
board, she said.
“The third day (the Nebraska Union
computer lab) was open in the morning,
there was a line.”
Linda Roos
Information Technology Support manager
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£ For Human connection: |
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£ Employee Assistance Program 700 N. 16th $
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£ • Fen Shui Y
£ Sponsored by: Employee Assistance Program, Comerstone/UMHE Church, Campus ^
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Let y©up Smile be $
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Gang-related felonies
Gang members who commit
felonies would face stiffer penalties
than unaffiliated citizens under a bill
heard by the Judiciary Committee
Omaha Sen. Jon Bruning testified
Friday in support of LB 159, which
bumps up penalties one classification
level for gang-related offenses.
The bill defines a “gang” as a
group of five or more people who
commit or conspire to commit
felonies, the crime of possession of-a ^
controlled substance, or violence or
intent to use violence.
“Gang activity” occurs when
someone participates in a gang know
ing that the gang commits felonies.
“These folks must know that then
gang continually commits felony
offenses,” Bruning said.
Bruning offered an amendment
that would exempt crimes that are a
IB felony or higher because that
would make the violator eligible for
the death penalty. Seventeen states
have similar legislation.
Omaha Sen. Kermit Brashear,
who is chairman of the Judiciary
Committee, wondered how prosecu
tors would prove gang membership.
Hearsay and circumstantial evi
dence would be used to prove gang
membership, Bruning said. That is
the biggest obstacle for attorneys, but
was a small price to pay for safer
communities, he said.
“To me, society’s interest is
served in giving attorneys this tool,”
Bruning said.
Attorney General Don Stenberg,
who testified in support of the bill,
said a 1997 interim study showed a
general consensus for this type of leg
islation. Hastings Police Chief Larry
Thoren also testified in support of the
Mike Kelley, a lobbyist for the
Nebraska Criminal Defense
Attorneys Association, was opposed
to the bill because the bill’s definition
of “gang” was subjective.
“It could mean different things to
different prosecutors,” he said.
Party revelers celebrating New
Year’s Eve this year would be able to
add some spark to their soirees under
a bill sponsored by Gering Sen.
AdrianSmith."^ ^
LB621 would allow vendors to
sell fireworks between Dec. 28,1999,
and Jan. 1,2000. Twenty-six senators
have signed onto the bill.
Smith, who testified in front of
the Judiciary Committee on Friday,
said he introduced the bill so people
could legally buy fireworks to bring
in the new century with a bang.
Instead of going across state borders
to get fireworks, the bill would keep
money in the state, he said.
“I think it will keep some tax dol
lars in the state and generate some
revenue instead of spend it,” Smith
Money generated from sales tax
revenue from fireworks would be put
in the state’s Fire Insurance Tax Fund.
That money* is used for fire preven
tion activities.
The committee took no action on
the bill Friday.
Computer crimes
People who commit crimes via
the Internet such as credit card fraud
or transmitting child pornography
would face stiffer penalties than peo
ple who commit those crimes sans
computer under a bill sponsored by
LB79 would bump up the penalty
classification one level if the crime is
committed using a computer. If the
crime is already a Class IB felony or
higher, the law would not apply
because that would make the person
eligible for the death penalty.
Crimes committed with a com
puter are increasing as technology
advances, Bruiting said, and those
crimes carry more severe conse
“With a computer, you can prolif
erate the crime,” Bruning said. “You
can commit the crime with the push
of a button.”
Senators half-jokingly, half-seri
ously pointed out that the bill would
increase the penalty for actually
using a lap-top computer to physical
ly harm someone.
The Judiciary Committee heard
testimony from Stenberg in support
of the bill. Kelley testified in opposi
Eighteen states have similar com
puter-felony laws.
Stenberg said capability for crim
inal activity is increased with a com
puter because of difficulty in finding
violators. The effects are multiplied
on the Internet, he said.
A pornographic picture of a child
broadcast over the Internet is more
damaging than if the picture was cir
culated on the street, he said. Credit
card fradd and stalking also are
crimes that, if done over the Internet,
can be more detrimental.
But Kelley pointed out what he
saw as holes in die bill.
“If you did it 80 times, you could
have 80 counts of die same thing,” he
said. /-r
The committee took no action on
the bill
Compiled by senior staff writer
Jessica Fargen
Daily Nebraskan Editor
The 1999-2000 editor in chief formulate editorial policies,
determine guidelines for the daily operation of the newsroom, hire
editorial staff, help determine the content of the
and prepare the editorial wage budget. Applicants must
newspaper experience, preferably at the Daily
begins Aug. 1, 1999 and lasts until May 5,
| The editor earns $1000/month (except in December, March and May) and reports
to the iJfoL Publications Board. The editor must be enrolled in at least six credit
hours during each of the two 1999-00 semesters, maintain a 2.0 minimum G.RA., and not be on academic
probation. Applications are available at the Daily Nebraskan office, basement of the Nebraska Union, and
must be returned with up to five clips by noon Feb. 22.