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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 26, 2000)
debate draws 1,000
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A
raging snowstorm couldn’t keep
more than 1,000 people from
streaming into the Statehouse on
Tuesday to weigh in on the debate
over gay marriage.
Fewer than half that number
were able to get into the House
chamber where two committees
gave people their first opportunity
to comment on last month’s state
Supreme Court ruling that said gay
couples must be given the benefits
The debate was civil, but emo
“Vermont is famous for maple
syrup, cheese, scenic beauty and
traditional values,” said Ruth
Goodrich. “Is this (gay marriage)
what we want Vermont to be famous
Lee Moffatt of Colchester said
he and his male partner deserve the
same rights as opposite sex couples.
“I, too, represent the face of
People wore their opinions on
their lapels, with hundreds of pink
circles declaring “I Support The
Freedom to Marry” mixing with
hundreds of blue ovals stating
“Don’t Mock Marriage.”
Gays and lesbians said they no
longer want to be second-class citi
zens, and those opposed to gay mar
riages cited scripture and the impor
tance of a traditional family.
Lawmakers heard a variety of
suggestions, ranging from granting
gays and lesbians the right to mar
riage, creating a domestic partner
ship system or adopting a constitu
tional amendment defining mar
riage as a union between a man and
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Union Board votes to ask
for increase in student fees
A proposed budget that calls for a
9.8 percent increase in Nebraska
Unions student-fee funding for the
2000-01 fiscal year was examined
The Union Board unanimously
decided to request $2.37 million from
the Committee for Fees Allocation.
This is an increase from $2.16 mil
lion for the 1999-00 fiscal year.
The proposed budget would call for
a 9.8 percent increase in University
Program and Facility Fees, said Gregg
Jablonski, Union Board adviser.
However, the general rule is the stu
dent fees percent increase should be no
greater than the projected increase in
tuition for the coming year, said Daryl
Swanson, director of Nebraska Unions.
University central administration
has projected a 5.5 percent increase for
the 2000-01 academic year.
Swanson said there are several rea
sons for the large increase in next year’s
Health insurance for union employ
ees is one such reason. A 40 percent
increase in health insurance costs is
expected for next year.
Swanson said this increase is large
ly because of a surge of the amount of
prescription drugs purchased by uni
“Health insurance is a big hit that is
really affecting this budget,” Swanson
The proposed budget also allows
for several new staff positions. The
budget recommends that an assistant
cash manager position be created.
Swanson said the union has seen an
increase in transactions because of the
new services the Nebraska Union
The proposed budget also calls for
the creation of a permanent night man
ager position, which would partially
replace the student night manager posi
In addition, new courtesy phones
and computer ports for students and
new cell phones for union staff have
U Health insurance
is a big hit that is
Nebraska Unions director
caused telephone expenses to increase.
“Telephone expenses are hitting us
hard,” Swanson said.
On Feb. 8, the Union Board will
present its budget to the ASUN
Committee for Fees Allocation.
The committee can then decide
whether to reject, accept or modify the
budget. TheNU Board of Regents then
must approve the budget.
If the committee decides not to
allow the Union Board to exceed the
5.5 percent increase, some things will
have to be modified.
“It will be painful to cut 4.3 percent
from this budget,” Swanson said.
CFA grants ASUN wish for fees
to cover costs of NU on Wheels
■ Program’s taxi driver
costs were higher than
By Sara Salkeld
■I !.. ■ ... n Q;, . >
To h^Jp pay for NU on Wheels,
ASUN President Andy Schuerman
requested an increase of $54,175 in
student fees Tuesday from the
Committee for Fees Allocation.
- Last year’s ASUN budget was
$219,209. This year it is asking for
$273,384, $48,217 of which is for NU
on Wheels, a free safe-ride home pro
According to Schuerman, this
year’s NU on Wheels program was
funded primarily by grants. However,
these grants were given because the
program was still in its pilot phase.
NU on Wheels Student
Coordinator Molly Schmitz said part
of the tactic used to get some of those
grants was that students would want
to pay for this program.
NU on Wheels became part of
ASUN last semester.
“The student fees will be the pri
mary funding source,” Schuerman
A large, unforeseen part of the
funding needed for NU on Wheels
was driver costs.
During the pilot period, the taxi
drivers were paid an hourly rate of
$7.25. The drivers, who usually work
on commission, make an average of
$ 11.50 to $ 12 an hour. Because of this
wage difference, some drivers were
not willing to work for NU on
Schmitz said, as a result, students
had to wait a long time for their rides.
As the number of cab drivers
began to decrease, “approximately
one out of five students who called
weren’t there for the taxi to pick them
up,” Schmitz said. “This makes the
The solution ASUN came up with
was to supplement the drivers’ hourly
wages by paying an additional $4.25
an hour, putting them at an hourly
wage of $11.50.
Schmitz said that by increasing
the wages, they found more drivers
were willing to participate in the NU
on Wheels program.
The other part of NU on Wheels
that requires money is the advertising.
Research done by Schmitz of
other universities with similar pro
grams showed that the success of the
program was proportional to the
amount of advertising done.
The advertising budget of
$13,594 for NU on Wheels includes
ads in the Daily Nebraskan, key
chains and posters.
In other business, CFA also voteci
on the University Program Council
The subcommittee for UPC
decided to give UPC a 2.9 percent
increase instead of the 7.9 percent
increase it requested.
In a subcommittee report, amend
ed twice during the meeting, CFA
members said they would like to see
an improvement in attendance at UPC
events, but also saw the restructuring
of its staff as a positive change.
Despite the fact that the group is
receiving less than requested, UPC
member Adam Kafka still said any
increase is good.
“I am pleased to see an increase
because it shows that CFA sees the
positive direction in which we are
heading,” Kafka said. “We can still
use this extra money for more pro
Cigarette ruled cause
of Lincoln house fire
FIRE from page 1
damage, we had to reconstruct the liv
ing room,” he said.
About $30,000 in structural dam
age and $ 10,000 in loss of possessions
was reported. The house was a total
loss, Schweitzer said.
Lincoln Fire Department Capt.
Rick Grell was the first firefighter on
the scene and said the entire front of the
house was in flames.
“It was tough to get close to
because it was so hot,” Grell said.
He went into die front door into die
living room area to look for residents.
“It was totally involved - flames
floor to ceiling,” Grell said.
Deputy Chief Rich Furasek of the
Lincoln Fire Department said no one
was in the house during the preliminary
Smithmier said he and a friend,
Adam Hassebroek, 16, from Lincoln,
approached the house from the front
porch to lode for people inside before
the firefighters arrived
“The porch looked like it was going
to go down,” Smithmier said,
The two, along with another
unidentified man, decided to go around
die house and kicked in the back door
to see if anyone was inside, Smithmier
“If somebody was in there, you’ve
got to get them,” Smithmier said “We
were looking for the cats, dogs, any
thing. We would have saved anything.”
He didn’t hear anyone, and the
house was completely filled with black
smoke, impairing their vision. Both of
them left the house as die firemen came
onto the scene, Smithmier said
The fire was so intense that the
house next door, 1436 N. 14* St., suf
fered heat damage on its northern exte
rior wall, Furasek said. Part of its siding
had melted off the house.
It was amazing how fast the flames
engulfed the building, Grell said.
I v' ; •
JERUSALEM (AP) - With
only three weeks to go before a
crucial deadline in the peace talks,
Israel and the Palestinians accused
one another Tuesday of not taking
the process seriously.
The sides had set Feb. 13 as a
deadline for creating the outline of
an agreement on thorny issues.
But Palestinian negotiator
Ahmed Qureia said that after 21
meetings on the final status talks,
nothing had been achieved, and it
was unlikely the sides would meet
Hoping to spur the peace talks,
the Palestinians proposed a sum
mit in Davos, Switzerland this
weekend. The summit appeared
unlikely to take place late Tuesday
because Ehud Barak has all but
rejected the idea, and President
Clinton never expressed any inter
est in it.
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