The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 25, 1999, Page 4, Image 4

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Erin Gibson
Cliff Hicks
Nancy Christensen
Brad Davis
Sam McKewon
Jeff Randall
Bret Schulte
to nowhere
Construction project
is waste of money
Among the various projects the regents
approved this past weekend, one caught our
particular attention.
It was the approval of a $400,000 under
ground tunnel from Kauffman Residential
Center to the Selleck Quadrangle.
Kauffman will be the new honors dorm on
campus, part of a $32 million donation
made to the University of Nebraska
Lincoln toward the honors program.
The tunnel was suggested by the univer
sity, not the donators, who then agreed the
project would be a good idea. We have to
On the most basic educational level, the
tunnel provides no value. It doesn’t buy
books, it doesn’t build programs, it doesn’t
help attract quality professors or students.
It’s highly doubtful that a tunnel of cement
will be one of the key selling points for
prospective students in the honors pro
gram. If it is, well, then there’s something
seriously wrong with the honors program.
Apparently, the tunnel is to provide
honors students with access to Selleck din
ing services. Of course, they could always
walk outside to the dining services.
However, UNL Housing Director Doug
Zatechka said it was either build this tun
nel, or bring food to the students. Making
students brave the cold was not an option.
Also, the tunnel allows Kauffman to be
maintained by the same maintenance staff
as the one that maintains Selleck, thus dou
bling the maintenance staff’s work. We
wonder if anyone asked the UNL mainte
nance staff in Selleck about that.
Zatechka also said the tunnel is the only
way to prevent elitism. Otherwise,
Kauffman students wouldn’t mingle with
Selleck students. This seems like an insult
to honors students, saying they can’t make
friends without an underground tunnel. For
students who live in the other dormitories
around campus, we wonder if their number
of friends has increased dramatically by
way of the tunnels.
Really, the whole tunnel is just a waste
of money. And probably more than
$400,000. How many times have construc
tion projects went over budget? And when
you have a $31.6 million safety net to work
with, going over budget isn’t exactly a
problem, is it?
But it is a problem when it’s a university
trying to build a strong honors program. It
should be about ideas, not things. Schools
aren’t ranked necessarily by the strength of
the living quarters, but their academic pro
grams. (Anybody who’s ever been to the
University of Kansas knows that.)
A tunnel should be the very last thing
we should have our minds on with this hon
ors program. Sir Winston Churchill once
said, “We are shaped by the building we
live in.” But this tunnel is one building we
just don’t need.
Editorial Pallcy
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of
the Spring 1999 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 publ isher
of tiie 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 poJicy set by
the regents, responsibility for the editorial
content of the newspaper lies solely in
the hands of its student employees.
Letter Policy
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:
-i_\LL_L. _
A letter from the prez
I’m writing because I want to set
the record straight about the ASUN
constitutional amendment proposing
to change the constituencies from
which ASUN senators are elected. I
have heard and overheard story after
story about what this amendment sup
posedly is and would do. The problem
is, almost all of what I’m hearing is
wrong. Unfortunately, it is the misin
formation and opinions formed as a
result that spread like wildfire.
Although I can understand the confu
sion resulting from numerous debates
about various aspects of the amend
ment, it’s time to let people know about
the amendment - as it stands.
Granted, I have my own
opinion about this issue,
but my concern
today is more
about voter
education on
the issues
than for a v
legitimate ~ \
fate for the
ment. I am
for this
ment. In
fact, I
wrote the
initial legislation,
uui my pugm is uui rag
necessarily to convince you ^
of its merit. Don’t get me wrong; I
want the amendment to pass, but I
would much rather see it fail because
people were truly informed and did not
support the idea than to see it fail
because nobody really knew for what
they were voting.
The facts:
This amendment would:
A) Increase the size of the body of
elected senators from 35 to 40.
B) Change the districts from which
senators are elected such that:
i) Senators will no longer represent
only large academic units (colleges
and divisions); but,
• ii) Under the new system
- 25 seats will be apportioned, as
now, among the academic units;
- 10 will be apportioned among
three identified “types of living units”
(residence halls, greek houses and off
campus dwellings); and,
- 5 seats will be held by persons
elected from the student body at large.
The five additional at-large seats
would be reserved only for certain
individuals. - Wrong. The at-large
seats are just that, at-large. They are
open positions to be voted on by the
entire student body.
The 10 additional living unit seats
have already been “divvied out” to
specified residence hall clusters.
-Wrong. The “types of living units”
and groups thereof cannot be specified
in the constitution. These will be clari
fied, should this amendment pass, in
the bylaws.
The seats for residence hall stu
dents will duplicate the mission of our
Residence Hall Association. - Wrong.
The legislation that passes through
RHA and ASUN are traditionally dis
tinct. ASUN’s scope is not residence
hall specific, just as RHA’s scope is not
This is a misdirected attempt to
“solve” the ASUN representation
problem. - Wrong. No legislation in
the world could ever solve any repre
sentation problem. Only activism,
multilateral communication and visi
Sbility can. This legislation creates
more avenues through which stu
/4 A M A A M <4 A A< /4 A 4 A /% ^
involved in ASUN.
Finally, I’d like to just clarify the
driving force behind this amendment
(realize these are my opinions). It was
written to open doors to a student gov
ernment that has been historically per
ceived as closed and elusive. It was
designed to give people an option. To
allow interested students to decide
which path best suits them as a route
through which to get elected and a
capacity in which to serve.
If you have any questions or con
cerns about the amendment or the elec
tion, call the office at (402) 472-2581,
visit our office at 115 Nebraska Union,
And please, please... get informed
before you vote on March 3rd.
Sara Russell
ASUN president
Propaganda machine
Would it have been possible to have
any more conservative propaganda in
one issue of our beloved school news
paper? Not only was there a one-sided,
questionably ethical insert added, with
no opposing point of view offered, but
there were two conservative letters in
the editorial section. Normally this
paper has seemed to be good about
offering both sides in a given debate,
but that principle must have slipped
everyone’s minds on this day. The pro
life propaganda insert seems to be
uncalled for. This paper should be
more responsible than to distribute this
campuswide. The paper should have
either advocated it as an editorial or left
it out. There is no counter-point
offered, and there is no direct identifi
cation of what it is. The DN should not
be in the business of being a platform
for any extreme group just because
they pay. The insert should be clearly
marked as what it is, a paid advertise
ment, and the DN should clarify its
stance on the issue, so that we do not
get the impression that the DN con
dones the views in the insert.
Journalistic responsibility would man
date this. You are not the Wall Street
Journal. You are the sole paper for a
community of college students, and
f your responsibility is more. You have
the responsibility to promote certain
values, and it is irresponsible to pub
lish this insert without an opposing
view or without a clear marking of
what it is: propaganda, nothing else.
Please refrain from distributing this
type of propaganda, from any
source, be it liberal or conservative,
in the future.
Ed Fox