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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 22, 1999)
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MINISTRIES from page 1
you’re just giving them a Band-Aid.”
What’s underneath for most stu
dents, Hatfield said, is a spiritual void,
often coupled with a desire for accep
tance. It’s a void, he said, that only God
Scott Pixler, leader of Christian
Student Fellowship campus ministry,
When people buy new cars, he said,
and the owner’s manual says to use
unleaded gas, chances are the car won’t
run as well if a different type of gas is
used. The same principle applies to our
lives, he said.
“We can try to put other things in
there - fill our lives with money, drink,
sex, drugs - but it will never satisfy the
way God can.”
Drugs and alcohol
Pixler said a heavy-handed
approach is especially ineffective with
students and alcohol.
The most effective way to treat drug
and alcohol abuse is to treat the cause
instead of the symptom, said Pixler,
who has led Christian Student
Fellowship for 11 years.
Students, he said, drink for three
main reasons: acceptance from peers, to
have fun and to rebel or experiment,
especially if they were forbidden from
drinking by their parents and are alone
for the first time in their lives.
out the real weakness or drinking,
he said, is that the satisfaction of alcohol
is only temporary.
“The fun you had last night isn’t
nearly as much fun when you have a
hangover the next morning,” he said.
And he said that those who get
drunk for acceptance find that any
friendships that are based on alcohol
often are fleeting.
But it is not enough to simply dis
courage drinking, Pixler said, because
whenever something is prohibited it
tends to immediately become popular.
What Christian Student Fellowship
does instead, he said, is offer students
the alternative of a relationship with
God, a relationship in which the high of
one day is still there the next morning.
Navigators member Paul Pankonin,
a sophomore business administration
major, said he is a firsthand witness to
the emptiness of alcohol23 abuse.
He said he drank to excess often
during his freshman year and early in his
sophomore year before making a deci
sion at a Navigators event in October to
abstain. His decision was not affected
by outside pressure,*he said, but was
simply a personal decision to put his
trust in God.
“If I didn’t have that loyalty toward
Christ,” he said, “I would drink as much
as anyone else.”
He said he was nervous about how
some of his Farmhouse Fraternity
brothers would react to his decision,
fearing that some may think his absti
nence was a form of judgment on those
who did drink. But it is a decision he
does not regret.
“I feel better and don’t feel guilty
about the night before,” he said. “At par
ties, I still act crazy and have a good
time, and people don’t mind that I’m not
Although Pankonin’s friends were
supportive of his decision, he acknowl
edged that some people might have a
“It’s a struggle fitting in some times
for some guys,” he said. “People get
frustrated that so much revolves around
Hatheld, who was a yell-squad and
Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity mem
ber at Kansas State University in
Manhattan in the mid-1970s, said he
can relate to such struggles because he
fought the same battles.
But what is worse in the campus cli
mate today, he said, is that alcohol abuse
is now more likely to lead to other prob
lems, such as physical and sexual abuse.
Pastor Bill Steinbauer of the UNL
Lutheran Center, said he, too, can relate
to what students are going through,
especially young men.
“I have a doctorate degree on being
a boy,” he said.
The majority of his counseling is on
sexual issues, he said, and his biggest
advice to students is that when it comes
to sex, students must believe they are
worth the wait.
Students become sexually active, he
said, because they believe that they
don’t have a sense of self-worth. But
that lifestyle will eventually leave them
empty, Steinbauer said.
“They don’t see themselves as
worth waiting for. Then afterward they
realize thatthey didn’t get much.”
Many students come to such a real
ization during their junior or senior
years, he said, although some never do.
“I’ve spoken with people who have
gone wacky with their ideas on sexuali
ty,” he said. “They have really lost con
trol of themselves and are going to have
problems later on in their lives.”
Last year, Steinbauer gave an eight
part lecture series on the Biblical book
“Song of Solomon,” a book that deals
with issues of sexuality, to help students
think about sex and relationships.
Other UNL ministries have also
dealt exclusively with sexual issues
The Rev. Melissa Finlaw Draper of
the campus ministry Cornerstone
directed a program called “Sexuality
and Spirituality” last fall. She said the
program consisted of small discussion
groups that dealt with a broad range of
sexual issues. Historically, she said, the
church has taught Christians to separate
their spirits from their bodies, when in
fact they are both part of God’s creation
and are intertwined.
Navigators and Campus Crusade
for Christ have a yearly program called
“Man Maker” that tries to explore what
it means to be a man, including issues of
sexuality and how to treat women.
Steinbauer said that challenging
young men to be godly is one of the
most important parts of his ministry.
During his all-male Bible studies, he
said, he asks his students to hold them
selves accountable when dealing with
sexual situations and teaches them to
develop their nurturing sides.
One change in female students he
has noticed over the years is that more
have joined men as active sexual pur
suers, which leads to more sexual rela
tions and consequently, he said, to more
students selling themselves short
“Nine times out of 10, sex makes
relationships more difficult,” he said. “I
encourage them to not make it harder
than it already is.”
There are 26 campus ministries list
ed in the UNL student directory, and
Hatfield said more students than ever
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Navigators, which has been on cam
pus for 47 years, divides its services up
into large fellowships, such as the
Friday night worship, small-group stud
ies and one-on-one studies. Hatfield
directs a staff of nine full-time employ
ees who administer the studies, often
held in dormitories and greek houses.
Hatfield said he thinks many stu
dents are ignorant of how involved
Christian ministries are on campus and
how many people are involved.
Tom Yeakley, director of U.S.
Campus Ministry for Navigators, visit
ed the UNL chapter April 14-17. He
said the spiritual temperature is rising
on campuses across America and that
more students are joining ministries.
But he said there is still a long way
to go to reach what he calls “revival”: a
rededication of student Christians that
would spill over to other students and
attract them to the church.
Today’s students are coming to cam
pus with greater needs than ever,
Yeakley said, whether it be from experi
encing alcohol abuse, sexual abuse or
from coming from a broken home. And
campus ministries have the solutions to
those needs, he said.
“We present Jesus as the answer,
and people are willing to come and
Steinbauer said he finds it
immensely satisfying when troubled
students accept this answer and are able
to clean up their lives.
“People who have messedoap see
themselves as damaged, as not
repairable,” he said. “But anyone can be
put back together.”
Program sheds light
on drinking problems
By Eric Rineer
While he has spent much of his life
being a man of God, Otto Schultz
knows, too, what it is like to live life on
the wild side.
Schultz, a reverend at several
Midwestern churches during the
1970s and member of All Saints
Lutheran church in Lincoln, 8251
Pioneers Blvd., often found refuge in
alcohol during his priesthood.
A recovering alcoholic for 25
years, Schultz’s drinking days may be
over, but his memories are not.
The priest is now working with
several colleges and universities
across the state to teach youngsters the
dangers of substance abuse.
“A lot of local bars and neighbor
hood bars are like religious institu
tions,” said Schultz, who recently
started an alcohol awareness program.
“You go (to the bar) - you get com
fort and pain. You get celebration in
times of joy.... There’s a certain com
petition between the religious com
munity and the bar community.”
Schultz’s program, Flashing Your
Brights, is still in it early phases, he
said, but much progress has been
made to this point.
I his spring, Schultz said he and
his staff had conducted surveys to find
out how many students agreed that, by
personal intervention, they could help
resolve a friend’s drinking problem.
After interviewing 629 students,
Schultz said 93 percent of those stu
dents said peer intervention could help
binge drinkers with their drinking
The term, flashing your brights,
was an analogy for personal interven
tion, he said.
Schultz gave an example of how to
flash brights at a person abusing alco
If people forget their car lights are
out because they are driving under the
influence, he said, flashing headlights
at those people could save them from
being arrested, he said.
Flashing brights could also be let
ting someone know how they acted
after a particular alcohol-related situa
tion, he said.
Schultz gave an example.
‘“Hey man, last night you barfed
on my shoes, and this doesn’t go with
“It’s a matter of holding somebody
accountable for their behavior,” he
Flashing Your Brights will consist
of five strategies for peer intervention,
he said. These strategies include:
■ expressing personal concerns
about a friend’s behavior;
■ holding drinkers accountable
for their behavior,
■ offering people hope for a
change in their lifestyle;
■ offering informal education;
■ 'being factual with drinkers
about their behavior.
While Schultz said he did not
believe drinking to be a major problem
on the University of Nebraska
Lincoln campus, he said he believed
that students generally consume more
alcohol than others between ages 18
“A lot of students hurt themselves
- a lot of dropout is related to exces
sive alcohol abuse,” he said.
Schultz said he did not see con
sumption of alcohol as a moral issue,
but said alcohol sometimes served as a
false god to people dependent upon
the substance, he said.
“Alcohol as a god sucks,” said
Schultz, who said he was also con
cerned that binge drinking hurt stu
Many times, males who engage in
sexual activity upon finishing a few
beers are the same males who do not
know the first thing about picking up
girls while sober, he said.
“Our theory is that one of the
things we can change is the social
Alcohol often interferes with a
person’s social skills, Schultz said. He
said young people who abused alcohol
often grew up socially awkward.
“Anytime you are under the influ
ence or aiconoi or a drug, you aon i
experience behavior in a realistic
way,” he said.
By next semester, Schultz said, he
and his staff will seek to train student
assistants on different methods for uti
lizing peer intervention in alcohol
The idea is for student assistants,
in turn, to teach those methods to other
students. Schultz said he and his staff
would also develop activities and
place ads and articles in newspapers to
promote the program.
Larry Meyer, a campus pastor at
UNL’s Lutheran Center and member
of Flashing Your Brights, said he
hoped the program would make others
aware of the dangers involved in alco
“Binge drinking, in my mind, is
irresponsible behavior,” Meyer said.
“Other than putting your life at
risk ... alcohol poisoning is part of
(the danger),” he said. “(Both) can
throw you into a coma.”
While alcohol poisoning and
drunken driving were extreme exam
ples, Meyer said there were plenty of
other reasons binge drinking put peo
ple at risk.
Some examples he gave were stu
dents engaging in unsafe sexual activ
ity or students breaking laws that they
normally would not
4 In many cases, Meyer said, binge
drinkers often get the wrong impres
sion: that friends are comfortable with
“I think if the program can give
some people some warnings that
(binge drinking) is dangerous behav
ior ... then it has done what it is sup
posed to do.”
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