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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 6, 1999)
By Jessica Fargen
Senior staff writer
A UNL professor arrested for
indecent exposure last week is
maintaining his innocence, and uni
versity officials said it is too early
for disciplinary action.
“No one from the university has
suggested to me that any action is
necessary at this time,” said
Richard Durst, dean of the UNL
Fine and Performing Arts
If Ron Bartels, a UNL associate
professor of graphic arts, was con
victed of the indecent exposure
charge, that would be the time the
university would possibly consider
taking action, Durst said.
Bartels was arrested Wednesday
at his home at 3061 W St. and was
held several hours for questioning.
A motorist allegedly saw the 50
year-old Bartels masturbating
Wednesday morning as they both
drove south on Ninth Street, police
Bartels said his arrest is a case
of mistaken identity and denies the
“They said that I was honking,
that I didn’t have my shorts on and I
was trying to get attention in traf
fic,” Bartels said. “This is just
something that I just never did. And
I certainly do deny that charge.”
People that know
me know that this is
not any sort of
activity that I
would have ever
associate professor of graphic arts
While Bartels denied in a Friday
Daily Nebraskan story that he was
arrested, he now says he was heavi
ly medicated because of oral
surgery when interviewed.
Bartels said he was confused
during the interview, and consid
ered the arrest more of an interroga
Durst said he had spoken with
Bartels about the incident and
Bartels “suggested to me ^that the
allegations were false.”
Durst said he has not received
any phone calls concerning
Although recent media and
police attention has been damaging
to him, Bartels said, he had the sup
port of his colleagues and students.
“I was not doing that in my car
and beyond that I’ve gotten so much
support from my students and my
faculty that it’s been very uplifting,”
Bartels said. “People that know me
know that this is not any sort of
activity that I would have ever
Sally Wise, chairwoman of the
Academic Senate’s Academic
Rights and Responsibility
Committee, said the committee has
no role in this situation unless a
complaint is filed.
The Academic Senate commit
tee considers things such as faculty
tenure revocation and faculty and
student discrimination cases based
on formal complaints.
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Property taxes likely
to rise, Johanns says
By Jessica Fargen
Senior staff writer
Property tax valuations increased
more than 8 percent last year, mean
ing higher property tax bills, said
Gov. Mike Johanns.
The raise is yet another reason to
try his proposed property tax rebate
plan, he said.
“It appears to my judgment to be a
warning sign that property taxes are
likely to rise in the next year,”
Johanns said of the valuation
Johanns touted his proposed
direct property tax rebate plan during
a Monday conference call from San
Francisco, where he was preparing to
depart on an Asian trade mission.
Johanns said if state spending
increased even at a modest rate of 3
percent, property taxes would end up
going up. That’s where his plan
“The true approach to tax relief is
to either leave the money in people’s
pockets or return it to them before
you have excess in the treasury,” he
The plan, LB881, would give
Nebraskans relief in the form of a
rebate check for a portion of their
property tax bill.
But the plan is at odds with the
Legislature’s recent work to reduce
property tax burdens through lower
levy limits. LB881 is held up in the
Legislature’s Revenue Committee.
Taxpayers would be jumping the
gun if they assumed their property
taxes will increase just because the
state valuation did, said Scott Gaines,
property tax associate with the
Nebraska Property Tax Division.
“They won’t go up because of the
valuation changing,” Gaines said.
Gaines said valuations increase
because buyers and sellers are buying
and selling property for more than
they were last year or because of new
The 8.2 percent increase in valua
tions could also mean less state aid to
local school districts, Johanns said.
“Local resources or valuations
increasing dramatically will have an
impact to reduce state aid,” Johanns
said. “As local resources increase, the
need for state aid decreases under the
In related news:
Johanns departed Monday for a
trade mission to Taiwan and Japan to
encourage foreign investment in
Nebraska agricultural products.
Johanns will be joined by Merlyn
Carlson, state agriculture director;
Allan Wenstrand, economic develop
ment director; and Bryce Neidig,
president of the Nebraska Farm
Johanns will return April 14.
Universities take close look
at greek systems, culture
Indeperideiit Florida Alligator
University of Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (U-Wire) -
With three fraternities, two of them tem
porarily suspended, under investigation
for alcohol and hazing violations and
two fraternity chapters kicked off cam
pus for such violations, University of
Florida administrators are following a
national trend of re-evaluating the effec
tiveness of their greek judicial system.
“We need to look at the judicial sys
tem,” Dean of Students Julie Sina said.
“I’m not sure it really works. We can see
that it hasn’t had an impact on the sys
Through the Alcohol Task Force
established in July, UF researched new
ways to reduce alcohol abuse among its
greek members. But they still do not
feel UF has an effective way to deal with
these problems, especially in light of the
most recent cases.
“We’re introducing students into a
system that, by and large, drink more,”
said task force member Andy Miller,
coordinator of health education at UF.
“Are we normalizing this behavior?”
Last month, Delta Chi Fraternity
was suspended and charged with violat
ing seven Student Conduct Codes. The
73-year-old chapter faces a hearing at 7
p.m. Friday to determine whether those
violations, including illicit sex, drug use
and underage drinking, occurred.
Last week, Pi Kappa Alpha
Fraternity was suspended after parents
of a pledge told administrators their son
was hazed March 29.
And Tau Epsilon Phi Fraternity is
under investigation for allegedly serv
ing alcohol to minors, after university
police found an intoxicated 20-year-old
female student in the parking lot.
Similar cases are occurring at most
major universities, each of which are
developing their own way of addressing
alcohol abuse and hazing problems
Some of those academic institutions
are taking a no-excuses, no-hesitation
approach to curbing the problem. One
of the most drastic examples is at the
University of Iowa in Iowa City, whose
fraternity houses went dry last year.
Unlike Iowa, the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill is trying
to control its 47-house greek system by
making the judicial process as well
publicized as possible.
Rob Binder, UNC’s director of
Greek Affairs, publicizes all judicial
cases of fraternities and sororities.
“One of the problems that I’ve
found is that groups know when organi
zations get caught, but they don’t know
what happens afterward,” he said.
Binder said he wants UNC greeks
to know the consequences of their
actions and those of their peers.
“Students, greek members and their
parents have a right to know what’s
going on,” said Binder, who sends e
mail to greek students detailing the
sanctions placed on houses.
He feels the greek system is in con
stant need of revision and evaluation.
“We all need to evaluate our own
greek systems and see what we can do
to fix our problems,” he said. “The solu
tions are going to be different for each
campus, because each campus has dif
ferent problems and people involved.”
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