The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 22, 1999, Page 6, Image 6

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    Plans for honors hall adapted
LINK from page 1
Maintenance workers could
work in both Selleck and the
Kauffman Center, he said.
Regent Charles Wilson of
Lincoln said the tunnel was a posi
tive addition to the hail, which was
scheduled to be finished in 2001.
“We have everything to gain and
nothing to lose,” Wilson said.
The $400,000 tunnel will be
funded with money donated by
Carole and C. Edward McVaney,
UNL alumni, who gave $32 million
for the honors hall and program.
NU President Dennis Smith said
the donors were contacted, and they
wanted the money spent in this way.
At their Saturday meeting, the
regents also discussed an annual
gender-equity report presented by
the universitywide committee on
gender equity.
Child care dominated the dis
cussion after a representative from
each NU campus presented steps
made toward equity on their cam
The report updates the regents
on seven gender-equity goals set by
the board in 1991.
The University of Nebraska at
Omaha was commended for its
child care facilities in the equity
report. The report said that in the
center’s last survey, 95 percent of its
users were “very satisfied.”
Other campuses are taking steps
to improve the availability and
accessibility of their care facilities.
UNL, for example, is looking to
increase contact with private child
care facilities near campus to
increase accessibility to faculty
members, staff and students, said
Nancy Mitchell, a gender equity
committee member and UNL
advertising professor.
Ninety-five spots exist at the
UNL child care facility, which is
run by the Nebraska Union.
In other regents business:
■ The board voted to strike the
proposed tenure termination of
UNL Associate English Professor
Bruce Erlich from its agenda.
Erlich submitted a letter of res
ignation Thursday, which the uni
versity has accepted. He will retire
from his position at the end of
Erlich, who had worked for the
university since 1973, taught pri
marily comparative literature cours
es in the English department and
German literature in the modern
languages department.
Officials did not disclose rea
sons for the proposed tenure termi
■ The board approved a $2.2
million proposal to replace UNL’s
outdoor track.
The project will include adding
a new sub-base to the track; improv
ing the infield; relocating the throw
ing, jumping and other related
events; and improving the electrical
and timing capabilities.
Joe Selig, associate athletic
director, told the regents no home
track meets were held in the last
year because of the condition of the
“It’s hard to have a track pro
gram without a track, and that’s
about where we’re at right now.”
Your roommate snores.
Your biochemistry syllabus is 8 pages long.
You get 5 free hours of online time
every month with Navbc
(Hey, at least there’s something to smile about.)
Happy news! If you're a UNL student,
faculty or staff member, you get 5 free
hours of Internet access every month when
you sign up for one of these Navix plans:
Low Usage Plan: Get 15 hours of online
time for just $6.50 a month.
Medium Usage Plan: Get 40 hours of online
time for just $10.00 a month.
High Usage Plan: Get 250 hours of online
time for just $19.50 a mopth.
Additional minutes for each plan are just
$.02 and activation is free! And if you keep
your usage for that month under 5 hours,
your service for that month is also free!
Navix is fast, easy and reliable, letting you
go online at speeds up to 56kps. There’s
a local Help Desk and even an 888 access
number to use when you travel.
Call University Telecommunications at
472-5151 (students) or 472-3434
(faculty or staff). _
Or, stop by 211
Nebraska Hall. ilUIIA(S
laiaraat lartitte
Making It eaaler to communicate."1
| You mutt be i UNL student faculty or rtaff numb* to qmWy tor thtu ptom. Hcttopt wftwtrt is MtotM in Window md Macintosh union.
Operators handle
bizarre questions
OPERATORS from page 1
schedule of events on campus that
If asked, they can also attempt to
find the phone number of male strip
pers in town or the type of hot dogs
served at NU home football games.
Operators handle about 6,000 calls a
day; 8,000 when there’s bad weather.
The information bank they provide
has more than 300,000 residences
and businesses.
Bruce Bemt, manager of opera
tor services, said the service coming
out of Nebraska Hall was out of the
“This is one of the few switch
boards at universities that provide as
much service as we do,” Bemt said.
“I would consider this not a switch
board, but an information center.”
Colleen Huls, die day supervisor,
has worked in the department for 16
years. She said people would be sur
prised at the range of questions oper
ators have answered.
“A lot of times they start out,
‘This is a really dumb question,”’ she
said. “And you want to say, ‘I’ve had
a lot dumber.’”
Here is a collection of the oddest
questions operators said they had
been asked:
■ How to tell when a piece of
chicken is My cooked.
■ What channel the television
show “Friends” is on.
■ How to get former NU
Football Coach Tom Osborne on the
phone as he coached on the sidelines.
■ How to jump a dead battery.
■ How ADDS is transmitted.
■ Where O Street is located.
■ If a chicken has a wishbone.
Two non-students work from
midnight to 8 a.m. Most of the time
four to eight people are working.
Students usually work the 4 p.m.
until-late evening shift.
Came Knievel, a senior speech
pathology major, has been working
as a phone operator at UNL for 2 lA
years. Her brother, Jeff, has been
working there for 1 Vi years.
“I don’t know why, but some
thing about it has always sounded
interesting,” she said. “You don’t
know the face with the voice on the
other line.”
Knievel said callers got pretty
emotional when they heard school
was off for the day, such as during
October 1997’s snowstorm.
“‘Oh, I love you, man,’ students
have told me when they hear that we
are not having school,” she said.
Annie Greer, who has been a
UNL operator for 12 years, said stu
dents often jumped the gun when it
“Even if we have a little snow,
they think that they are going to close
the college,” Greer said.
Before UNL, Greer was an oper
ator for the state capitol. Instead of
computers, they used books, she
A lot of times they
start out, This is a
really dumb
question!And you
want to say,
‘I’ve had a lot
dumber! ”
Colleen Huls
Switchboard supervisor
said. It was the closest thing to the
old-fashioned telephone operators
most people think of.
Knievel’s brother, Jeff, a junior
sociology major, had conjured up the
same vision of operators.
“I thought I’d be working with a
bunch of old ladies,” he said.
Jeff said he liked the laid-back
atmosphere of his job, which is why
he said he planned on sticking with it
until graduation.
When he works on weekends or
Friday nights, a lot of drunk students
partake in a little drinking and dial
ing. Sometimes they want the phone
number for the closest pizza place or
the phone number of someone they
had just met.
His biggest pet peeve is rude
“You try to be as kind as you
can,” Jeff said of rude callers, “then
you rip them when you get off the
Greer said the phone operators
were trained to be nice. And they are,
even when people are rude.
“Sir, you don’t need to talk to us
like that,” was how Greer said she
dealt with rude calls.
Rudeness can entail callers tak
ing a condescending tone with oper
ators, Huls said.
“There’s a tendency sometimes to
think we’re not intelligent people,”
Huls said. “Sometimes we have peo
ple talking down to us.”
Besides providing information,
Huls said she had learned a lot
through instructing people on where
to go.
“There’s a lot of information to
know, and you learn a lot in a job like
this,” Huls said. “You know a lot of
what you need to know to get a job
Adam Coulter, a junior broad
casting major, has been an operator
for 2 years. Like most of the other
operators, he just wants people to
realize that the voice on the other end
of the line is more than a voice.
“Most people don’t realize that
there’s so much information here,” he
said. “I don’t think they realize how
much we do.”
Union renovations offer
expanded game room
GAME from page 1
planned to broadcast cable sports
networks, will be added as well,
he said. Traditional board games,
including chess and checkers, also
will be available.
“We will be willing to try any
thing that the student might want
to do,” Buysman said.
Daryl Swanson, Nebraska
Unions director, said the union
had been without a recreation
room for about two years.
Swanson said the union had
always had a large recreation
room, and in 1959 included a 10
lane bowling alley in the base
In 1985, the alley was tom out
to expand the bookstore. A small
billiard room was opened in the
south part of the basement, which
was made into the Daily
Nebraskan offices two years ago.
Swanson said after the com
pletion of the union’s new addi
tion, if was decided to bring back
recreation services to the build
The new recreation room is
open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.