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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 3, 2000)
NIKKI BEHAN, from the campus group Students for Life, waves a handful of petitions in front of the ASUN senate
while speaking against an ASUN bill that would support research at UNMC with aborted fetal tissue. Beran
believes the group collected more than 250 signatures in a 24-hour period.
■ Prohibition of aborted
fetal tissue research would
• not break any laws,
attorney general says.
Supporters of a legislative bill that
would ban research using aborted fetal
tissue received some good news
Attorney General Don Stenberg
reported that prohibition of the
; research would be legal.
Stenberg conducted a lengthy
analysis to determine whether the ban
ning of aborted fetal tissue research
was legally permissible, said Steve
Grasz, chief deputy to the attorney
Stenberg determined if the bill is
ti . ...
Bill would be legal
properly drafted, a ban on the research
would be legal.
Stenberg looked at existing cases
and case law to come to his decision,
Stenberg’s decision was not
specifically about the proposed bill; it
just discussed the legality of such a
ban, Grasz said.
Sen. Jim Jensen of Omaha, chair
man of the Health and Human
Services committee, requested
Stenberg’s study early in the legisla
tive session because he thought the
bill might end up in his committee, he
“I wanted to have any information
I could whether a ban would be legal,”
The bill has been referred to the
Judiciary Committee, and a hearing
has not yet been scheduled.
The bill gained momentum when
Sen. Paul Hartnett of Bellevue made it
” I wanted to
could whether a
ban would be
his priority bill, which increases the
chances the bill will be debated before
the entire Legislature, Jensen said.
Jensen said he had requested the
attorney general to do studies in the
“He’s paid to provide information
to us,” Jensen said.
c3 : .. ' ; ; v ; -
Pratt appointed interim dean
By Kimberly Sweet
The head of the English depart
ment will temporarily take on the
reins as dean of the College of Arts
and Sciences beginning Feb. 21.
Linda Pratt, English department
chairwoman, will serve as interim
dean of the university’s largest col
lege. She was appointed by Richard
j. Edwards, vice chancellor for academ
She will take over the duties of
Brian Foster, who is leaving the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln to
become provost and vice president for
academic affairs at the University of
Pratt, who will fill the position
until a national search for a new dean
is complete, said she was looking for
ward to taking on the job.
“I think it will be a challenging
job,” Pratt said, “but there are a lot of
exciting things going on in the col
- r David Brinkeiboff, associate vice
chancellor for academic affairs, said
Pratt has shown leadership in many
areas throughout the university.
Three years ago, Pratt was
appointed by NU President Dennis
Smith to serve on the University of
Nebraska’s Task Force on Gender
She has served as the chairwoman
of the English department for the last
four and a half years.
Pratt also served as president of
the American Association of
She has taught at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln since 1968.
Selecting Pratt to serve as interim
dean required polling faculty chair
persons as well as other people
throughout various departments.
Brinkerhoff said Pratt will make
an effective interim dean.
“She can do a really good job for
us during this interim time,” he said.
Foster was scheduled to leave
UNL about April 1. He will still
depart at the same time, but the over
lap of his and Pratts tenure will allow
him to be a resource for her,
A committee to search for Foster’s
permanent replacement was recently
formed, and a national search will
^ I think it will be
a challenging job,
but there are a lot
of exciting things
going on in the
Arts and Sciences interim dean
begin soon, Brinkerhoff said.
He expects the process to take at
least a year. If everything goes
smoothly, a new dean could be in
place by the spring of 2001,
An acting chairperson to replace
Pratt in the English department has
not yet been named.
Pratt said her main goal for the'
next year is to help the college move
forward on initiatives Foster began.
“I hope to help some of them
bloom,” she said.
ASUN from page 1 *
people performing the practice, but
the people who are using the legally
garnered material for the benefit of
research at UNL.”
Fine and Performing Arts Sen.
Erin Reitz spoke out strongly in favor
of the bill.
- . -V . --
“It scares the hell out of me to
think the state can dictate what I can
and can’t research at school tomor
row,” Reitz said.
The bill passed with a vote of 13
9, with two senators abstaining.
“It isn’t a victory yet,”
Schuerman said after the bill had
UNL Students for Life
get petition support
By Kimberly Sweet
Word travels fast, especially for
members of UNL Students for
After hearing the student sen
ate would vote on a bill that would
send the lobbying arm of ASUN to
the Legislature to oppose banning
the use of aborted fetal tissue in
research, the group sprang into
A 24-hour effort to amass sup
port for a petition led to hundreds
of signatures and a vocal majority
at the Wednesday night meeting of
the Association of Students at the
University of Nebraska.
The Nebraska Union room
where the senate met was filled to
capacity with observers. Most of
them were Students for Life mem
bers, eager to discuss their views
on the issue that has spurred debate
between university officials and a
variety of city and state anti-abor
But this time, it was the stu
The legislative bill up for dis
cussion was one sponsored by Sen.
John Hilgert of Omaha.
The bill would ban the use of
aborted fetal tissue in research at
the University of Nebraska
After Students for Life found
out about the ASUN bill intro
duced by President Andy
Schuerman that would lobby to
oppose the legislative bill, group
members went to him to explain
the bill didn’t represent the opin
ions of all UNL students, said
Becky Schlautman, co-president of
Students for Life.
Students for Life member
James Andrews said because
ASUN claims to be the student
voice on issues, legislators could
get the wrong idea.
“ASUN is an organized student
organization for all students,”
People took the
effort to come up
(to the second
floor) and sign it.
Students for Life co-president
Andrews said. “Passing the bill
would take away other student
groups’ power to lobby the
Legislature as Well.”
After a meeting with
Schuerman to clarify the bill’s
intentions, the group had one day
to organize itself, Schlautman said.
Mass e-mails, efforts to com
pile research and phone calls to
members and senators took place
in 24 hours, she said.
On Wednesday, the members
camped out in a room on the sec
ond floor as potential petition
signers appeared throughout the
day. •, t
By 3 p.m., the group had more
than 100 signatures.
Schlautman said the petition
drive shows students care about the
issue of research involving aborted
“We aren’t even on the main
floor,” Schlautman said. “People
took the effort to come up (to the
second floor) and sign it.”
The group has been active in
working with other anti-abortion
groups across Nebraska since it
was founded, Schlautman said.
But this was one of the first
times the group has gotten the
opportunity to voice its opinion on
an issue at the campus level, she
Schlautman said Wednesday’s
hurried petition drive was a small
example of what the group is capa
“This is just one day,” she said.
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