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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 3, 1999)
Amendment allows input
■ Student voice in NU
governance was expanded
through student regents
about 25 years ago.
More than 25 years ago, students
did not have a voice in the governing
body of die university system.
The University of Nebraska Board
of Regents existed as a group of eight
adults and no students that met to talk
about and decide what the university
ought to do.
Because of an*amendment to the
state constitution passed in December
1974, the board now has four students
who represent their campuses.
Each campus in the University of
Nebraska system has one student
Ronald Clingenpeel was the first
person to serve as student regent for the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and
he said it was an interesting experience.
Suddenly, students had a voice.
“We had the opportunity to speak to
any issue at any time,” Clingenpeel
said. “No longer were we relegated to
short, set appearances before the board.
Students could no longer be shut out of
critical conversations regarding the life
of the university.”
Though they had a voice, they had
Student regents today do get to
vote, but it does not count in the official
tally, said Andy Schuerman, UNL stu
Schuerman said though his vote
does not count toward the final tally, the
opportunity he has to voice his opinion
makes up for that.
“The ability to sit as equals and dis
cuss is really invaluable,” Schuerman
said. “It really overshadows any
inequality of our vote.”
Clingenpeel said it didn’t matter
that he wasn’t given a vote 25 years ago.
He was given a voice, and that was
enough for him.
“The real issue is voice,”
Clingenpeel said. “You can vote all you
I believe in a democracy, and the people
affected by decisions ought to be at the table.”
want, but the ability to discuss and
come to a common understanding is
“People are converted in their heart
by relationship, not by casting a ballot
Change someone’s heart, and you can
change a policy.”
Schuerman said the student regents
used to cast their votes after board
members had already cast theirs.
It has since been changed because it
didn’t make sense to hear which way
the students would vote after the final
decision had already been made.
Regent Chuck Hassebrook said the
board benefits from students’ presence.
“In a large measure, the university
is there to serve the students,”
Hassebrook said. “I believe in a democ
racy, and the people affected by deci
sions ought to be at the table.”
Without the student regents, the
board would be more insulated from
student concerns, he said.
Schuerman said the four student
regents benefit from the board as well.
“I’ve gained a broader perspective
on how UNL fits into the university
system,” he said. “It’s made me privy to
the politics that go on among campuses
and to what extent the regents involve
themselves at the campus level.”
The student regent amendment
grew out of the student movements of
the late 1960s and early ’70s,
Students were becoming more
interested in the American political
process, and they wanted to be more
involved in decisions that affected
So, they pushed to establish die stu
The amendment to the constitution
was proposed in the Legislature and
placed on the fall 1974 ballot.
Clingenpeel said it was up to the
students to promote the.amendment
Students from the University of
Nebraska at Omaha and die University
ofNebraska Medical Center offered lit
tle help, he said.
Most of the work was pushed onto
UNL’s student government group, the
Association of Students of the
Clingenpeel said he and several
others talked to civic groups through
out the summer of 1974 and tried to get
as much press coverage as possible.
Final election results showed voters
had shot down the student regent
amendment It was not until December
that Clingenpeel found out absentee
ballots had pushed the amendment
through by fewer than 1,500 votes.
The attitude of regents and admin
istrators toward the students changed
almost immediately, Clingenpeel said.
People who had been cordial before
but never overly friendly were suddenly
inviting the student regents out for
Schuerman said student regents are
unusual nationwide and that most uni
versities don’t have them.
But they are important, he said.
“We talk like any other member
does,” Schuerman said. “All regents are
responsible for their own region, but
there’s also a broader view. It’s for the
greater good of the institution.”
Clingenpeel agreed that students
need to be involved.
“When students stop taking an
interest and active part in helping to
mold the institution, the institution will
rio longer be able to respond to then
needs,” he said.
“Progress occurs when an institu
tion serves the people. Stagnation
occurs when people only exist to serve
the institution. Progress is sweet.
Stagnation simply stinks.”
Report: Airline service quality to lower
By Michelle Starr
Flying the friendly skies this holi
day season may not be too friendly of
According to research by the
National Airline Quality Rating, trav
elers might expect a lower quality of
service from now until January for all
The report, based on 1998 statis
tics released in April, also ranked air
lines in order from highest quality to
lowest but forecast an overall drop in
quality for the holiday season com
pared with other times of the year.
“If travelers pick one of the high
er ranked airlines, they’re more likely
to have a good experience,” said
Brent Bowen, director of the
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Bowen, along with Dean Headley,
associate professor of marketing at
Wichita State University, recently
released a report that compared data
from November, December and
January of 1998 to forecast 1999’s
The report compiled national sta
tistics such as consumer complaints,
overbooking, delayed flights, denied
boarding, age of the fleet and mishan
dled baggage from die Department of
Transportation and the National
Transportation Safety Board.
The report does not examine
problems with equipment.
The report shows that U.S.
Airways will offer the No. 1 service,
according to 1998’s airline perfor
mance during the holiday season.
U.S. Airways hopes to continue
In our own standing from last year, were
quite proud of our service, but you can’t
always count on your past performance
U.S. Airways spokesman
the same amount of quality this year,
said Rick Weintraub, primary press
spokesman for U.S. Airways based in
“In our own standing from last
year, we’re quite proud of our service,
but you can’t always count on your
past performance,” Weintraub said.
Following U.S. Airways in rank
ing from best to worst are:
Continental, Delta, Southwest,
American, Northwest and American
Southwest Airlines, rated No. 1 in
quality service for 1996 and 1997,
moved to fourth for 1998. Linda
Rutherford, spokeswoman for
Southwest Airlines, which is based in
Houston, Texas, attributed the differ
ence to a change in the rating system.
Rutherford said Southwest
Airlines’ quality has not declined in
the past year. If anything, she said, the
airline characteristically has the low
est number of customer complaints.
The National Airline Quality
Rating has been released annually
since 1990 and is used throughout the
nation as a gauge for airline quality,
“We’re the only place that evalu
ates the airlines in this quantitative
capacity. Nobody does it like we do,”
Michaela Schaaf, program coor
dinator for NASA Nebraska Space
Grant and Epscor at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, said about 50 mil
lion people across the nation would
see or use the report.
This year’s travel season may be
different from previous years because
ofY2K, Bowen said.
Bowen said he didn’t think there
would be Y2K problems because he
was confident that the government
had everything under control for trav
el, but travelers seemed more con
cerned with Y2K.
“Airlines are already seeing a
decrease in booking around New
Year’s,” Bowen said.
Rutherford disagreed that Y2K
has decreased flights, adding that
Southwest Airlines had an increase in
bookings this year.
Airlines generally decrease the
number of flights on holidays
because people usually are where
they want to be going, Rutherford
Regardless of quality of flights or
the threat of the Y2K bug, airline rep
resentatives said they expected
flights to run smoothly this holiday
Chow chow dogs
shot in back yard
By Jake Bleed
Senior staff writer
Two dogs were shot early
Thursday morning in their masters’
One of the dogs, which were both
chow chows, died after being shot in
the chest, and the other was taken to
Kansas State University for care of a
gunshot wound to the leg, said Kent
Forney, the veterinarian who initially
treated die dogs.
Between 2 and 2:11 a.m., a car
drove down the alley behind the home
at 4619 Holdrege St. A person in the
car shot the dogs, which were in the
Raven, a 4-year-old female, was
shot in the chest. Forney said she
arrived at the Forney Animal Clinic in
shock and that the bullet had passed
through the 39-pound dog.
Forney said he was unable to stabi
lize the dog’s condition enough for
surgery. The dog died at about 6 a.m.
The other dog, Jewel, a 2-year-old
female, was shot in the tibia, Forney
said. A small bullet fragment remained
lodged in the dog’s leg.
Forney said he did not operate on
Jewel because he was not sure he could
keep the wound from being infected.
Kansas Stated facilities are better suit
ed to deal with the wound, Forney said.
Forney said Jewel was a well
behaved animal and reacted to the situ
Raven belonged to Rick
Schroeder, 29, who told police he
heard the dogs barking at 2:11 a.m,
Lincoln Police Sgt. Dennis
Duckworth said Schroeder told
police he did not hear gunshots. Police
found a shell casing at the scene that
came from a large caliber handgun,
Jewel belongs to Schroeder’s
roommate, Sean McNulty, 31. Both
men live at 4619 Holdrege St.
Raven was valued at $300,
Bereuter sole candidate
so far for House election
By Josh Knaub
Doug Bereuter has no announced
competition for his House of
Representatives seat in the 2000
Devorah Lanner, a spokes
woman for the Nebraska
Democratic Party, said local
Democrats were trying to recruit a
candidate to oppose Bereuter.
“We don’t have a candidate for
the first district,” she said. “I don’t
know what’s going to happen with
Bereuter was first elected to the
House in 1978. He represents
Nebraska’s first Congressional dis
trict, which includes Lincoln.
Robert Sittig, a retired UNL
political science professor, said
unseating Bereuter would be a
Sittig said Bereuter’s track
record of winning elections by large
margins was discouraging to poten
According to the Federal
Election Commission, Bereuter
captured almost 75 percent of votes
in beating Democrat Don Eret in the
1998 election. That was up from the
70 percent of votes he earned in
beating Democrat Patrick Combs in
Sittig said it was difficult to
unseat incumbent representatives
because office-holders gain name
recognition from media coverage.
He said it was rare for challengers to
gain name recognition anywhere
near that of incumbents.
Challengers also have a hard
time raising funds, Sittig said.
“The major donators, the politi
cal action committees and such,
bend terribly toward incumbents,”
Sittig said. “This is true for
Republicans as well as Democrats.”
According to the Center for
Responsive Politics, Bereuter had
$ 119,197 as of June 30 for the 2000
Federal election rules prohibit
individuals from raising money for
an election before declaring candi
Sittig said he expected at least
one Democrat to enter the race
before the March filing deadline.
“What will happen is a pretty
reputable Democrat will accept the
task and go through the motions of
running,” Sittig said.
Lanner refused to speculate on
any potential candidates for the
“We stay neutral during the pri
maries,” she said.
Sittig said the most likely sce
nario for a Bereuter loss in
November included a moral or ethi
cal lapse by the congressman.
“If he were to engage in an
unethical or illegal act, that is usual
ly the context in which incumbents
are defeated,” Sittig said.
Sittig said incumbents also
become ripe for a loss when they
forget to pay attention to their dis
“That’s certainly not the case
with Bereuter,” he said.
Woman sentenced for role in death
From staff reports
The last of five people convicted
of breaking into a north Lincoln
home and killing a 15-year-old boy
was sentenced Thursday to 15 to 30
years in prison.
Angela Marie Vonseggern
pleaded no contest to manslaughter
and use of a firearm to commit a
On May 10, 1998, Vonseggern
and four others broke into a house at
2820 R St. armed with shotguns,
looking for a pound of cocaine and
Christopher Rucker was killed
in the break-in, and two other men
The other four people who took
part in the crime are in prison.
Brenda Novak was sentenced to
two consecutive terms of 10 to 20
years for manslaughter and use of a
weapon to commit a felony.
Lester Wagner was sentenced to
17 to 32 years in prison after being
convicted of manslaughter.
Robert O’Neill and Jerrold
McLeod, the two men convicted of
killing Rucker, are both serving life
sentences for homicide.
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