Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 21, 1999)
Story by ADAM KLINKER
American writer James Baldwin once wrote in his book
“Go Tell it on the Mountain” that if people understood them
selves better, they might damage themselves less. ♦ For
most students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln - or any
university for that matter - the phrase may not be well-known.
But it is proved many times over on campuses where a
subculture of alcohol and drug use has pervaded what
administrators believe should be primarily an institution of
education and academic progress.
Charles Greene, UNL’s director of the Student Judicial
Affairs Office, would agree.
In that capacity, Greene is in charge of handling all
cases regarding violations of the Student Code of Conduct.
But really, Greene said, he’s in the business of keeping
UNL students in school and maybe, more importantly,
saving some souls.
A 1967 and 1977 graduate of UNL, Greene talks a
great deal about something he calls “the long red line.”
“This is my school,” Greene said of UNL. “It’s got my
name on it. I went to Nebraska. As a graduate, your college
becomes your moniker.
“And for the rest of the young folks in the process of
getting to be a member of the long red line - as soon as you
get that degree, you look around and say, ‘Hey, I want the
people that graduate from there to be good people.’ It gets
to be a real personal thing.”
And as Greene said, that’s the thought that keeps him
going as UNUs most visible enforcer of student policy.
Greene’s job is, as he would term it, not the most glam
orous or the most fun, but perhaps one of the most neces
sary in the UNL administrative circuit.
On a day-by-day, case-by-case basis, Greene handles
the residue of drug and alcohol violations that occur at
UNL on their own scale.
Based on his appraisal of the situation from UNL
Campus Police reports and Lincoln Police Department
reports that are in turn funneled through the Campus
Police, Greene evaluates code-of-conduct violations by
UNL students. Should he find the accusations to be true,
Greene then renders sanctions to fit the crime.
Most of the cases Greene deals with are alcohol infrac
tions, such as a minor in possession or drinking on cam
University Police Chief Ken Cauble said that more
than 80 percent of the calls campus security officers
respond to involve alcohol. Cauble’s department is respon
sible for reporting to the Student Judicial Affairs office all
student violations, on and off campus.
From the University Police, the reports are then hand
ed over to Greene, who reviews them all.
Greene’s base interest is not in punishment, but in a
modification of the behavior exhibited. Most of all,
Greene said, he wants to make sure that students stay in
school, no matter their violation.
“I look at myself as a father figure here,” Greene said.
“Good parents want to see their children stay in school, get
a degree. Young people make mistakes, old people make
mistakes. If a student makes a mistake, like a father would,
I’m going to see if I can find a way to keep them in school.”
And, Greene said, if he finds a student to be in viola
tion, he will govern with the hand of a parent as well.
Greene said one of the most effective sanctions he has
imposed in his almost two years as an administrator is
assigning community service hours to alcohol and drug
violators - not just any community service hours, but vol
unteer time at Lincoln’s Cornhusker Place, Inc.
James Baird, the executive director at Cornhusker
Place, said in recent years that several of those sanctioned
to do the service hours in the detox center have had life
“Those are the positive parts of our job,” Baud said.
“The best we can hope is to give people die opportunity to
understand some of the consequences and problems that
arise from abuse of alcohol and other substances.”
It is a case, Baird said, of people gaining a better under
standing not only of the adverse effects of drugs and alco
hol, but of themselves and their own struggles with sub
“They can take a lot from it, or they cannot,” he said.
“It’s a good experience to see on a larger scale some of
Of the approximately 400 monthly admissions to the
Cornhusker Place, around 40-60 of those are high school
and college students, Baird said.
“There’s a million stories,” Baird said. “The people
who volunteer, who work here get a real insight into what
it can be like.”
For those sanctioned to work at Cornhusker Place,
both Greene and Baird agreed that it has far-reaching pos
Such sanctions are just more in the way of the creative
sentencing that Greene carries out in his efforts to change
lives and keep students in school.
Greene said that in rendering any sanctions or hearing
a case, if there is one thing that is afforded every student
that comes through his office, it’s that the student will
receive a fair deal. But, Greene added, to whomever this
courtesy is extended, so should that person give Greene his
It’s not much, he said, but it always helps; it lies in a 15
page document titled “The Student in the Academic
Community: The Student Code of Conduct, University of
Greene said that he expects every student at UNL,
whether they are suspected of being in violation or not, to
read the code. ... ;
“Mr. Greene is very fair,” said Andrew Faltin, a student
member of the University Judicial Board. “He knows the
Student Code of Conduct better than anyone at the univer
Greene said everyone should have a working knowl
edge of UNDs policies on not only drug and alcohol viola
tions, but other rights and offenses that they should
“The key thing is that students have to read the Student
Code of Conduct, every page, every paragraph from the
front to the back, to ensure that they understand the rules
and the policies of the institution,” Greene said. “It’s noth
ing more than what the traditional American family te§p4- , o a d
' es itstfiildim.” ' ' ' , .f:;
'Greene emphasizes those family values as one of his
own motivations for executing the codes and rules that are
set down in the code of conduct. •
If students feel that they are not being heard put in the
one-on-one dealing with Greene, he then refers the case to
the University Judicial Board, a tribunal made up of facul
ty members and students.
Greene presents the case on behalf of the university,
and the panel hears arguments from both sides and renders
its decision and a proposed punishment.
Greene admits its not the best way of going about
things, but certainly the most democratic for those who
may feel uncomfortable with a one-on-one session with
“I’ll be fair with you, I promise you that,” Greene said.
“We don’t have to get the Judicial Board involved, but I can
also fully understand that from a student’s perspective.”
Though Greene’s office and his very name can some
times conjure up images of a great monolithic, untouch
able entity, Cauble said that is not the case.
“I feel that his effort is to make the university a better
place and to help students make themselves better,” said
Cauble, who is also a UNL graduate and attended school
with Greene. “He does a good job of that and making sure
that he accentuates the educational aspect as well.”
And that is a credit to his school, Greene said. As an
alumnus, he wants to see the graduates at UNL be the best
people they can be - leaving college with a better under
standing of themselves and the world.
“That long red line is full of good people,” Greene said.
“My job is to keep students in school, not put diem out. I
want to see them join the long red line and be good people.
By Sarah Fox
“Party Smart” doesn’t mean “don’t party at
all,” its members said.
Party Smart is a University of Nebraska
Lincoln student organization that encourages
students to use alcohol responsibly, and sponsors
promotional campaigns and social events for
But the organization, which started in 1991,
isn’t “out to save the world,” Bob Schroeder, alco
hoi and drug program coordinator for UNL, said.
“People think Party Smart - that’s a bunch of
people who don’t drink,” Schroeder said. “Party
Smart is out to provide services and activities for
students who drink responsibly.”
Party Smart President Angie Child, a sopho
more chemical engineering major, said the orga
nization sponsors social events with other alco
hol-awareness groups on campus.
The group co-sponsored a concert in October
for National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness
Week. They will also co-sponsor a study-break
night in the Nebraska Union with free food April
29, and a game night at the Campus Recreation
Center on April 30. ^ ;T
Although Party Smart’s social events may not
draw students from the bars, the events are an
alternative for students who don’t want to party
with intoxicated people. .
“They’re very useful for people who don’t
like to be around heavy drinkers,” Schroeder
Party Smart also shows students how their
drinking affects other people. The gfoup put up a
“Romeo, Romeo” poster series on campus for
Valentine’s Day. The posters show a drunk
“Romeo” and a disappointed “Juliet.” A statistic
reads, “Eighty-six percent of NU students think it
is inappropriate to get drunk on a date.” The
posters were co-sponsored by Project CARE, a
University Health Center educational student
“A lot of students are upset about how some
one else’s drinking affects them,” Schroeder said.
However, most UNL students use alcohol
“Most students think the majority of students
are heavy drinkers on a regular basis,” Schroeder
said. “The fact is, they aren’t.”
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