The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 04, 2000, Image 1

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preview offers a season of change
j Friday,February4,2000 Vol99,Issue95 opinion,pages
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udents and faculty members
iraska-LIncoln. He said: “It**
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* Students immersed in culture
By Kimberly Sweet
Staff writer
During die first days of UNL junior
Erin Gartner’s semester-long stay at
Alcorn State University, a historically
black institution, she was bombarded with
one inquiry.
“Everyone asked if I was an athlete,”
Gartner said.
The question was ironic to Gartner,
one of three students from Nebraska to
participate in a semester-long exchange
program with the college in Mississippi.
Usually, the same connotations are
connected with black students at the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Gartner
The experience is one of many that
Gartner said comes down to one thing:
being a white minority at a college where
black students are in die majority.
After spending three weeks at Alcorn
State, Gartner said word has gotten
around that the three aren’t athletes.
Despite feeling singled out during the
first days, Gartner, along with juniors
Scott Worrall and Bill Alcorn, said they
are beginning to feel welcome at their
temporary school.
“Now everyone knows us as the kids
from Nebraska,” Worrall said.
For two of the students, the journey to
Alcorn State began at LeaderShape last
The weeklong leadership seminar put
Worrall and Alcorn in contact with two
students frjQin Alcorn State who also
The two got a taste of what attending
Alcorn State would be like after they
became friends with die students.
After James Griesen, vice chancellor
for student affairs, told the LeaderShape
students he was looking for candidates to
attend Alcorn State during the next year,
Worrall and Alcorn jumped on the oppor
Gartner, who wanted to have an expe
rience away from Nebraska, decided to
join die two.
They became the first three under
graduate students from UNL to partici
pate in the exchange that aimed to
increase cultural awareness for both stu
dent populations.
Melvin Davis, vice president for acad
emic affairs at Alcorn State, said he was
surprised about the students’ enthusiasm
^ He sai§, If I saw
this roomful of
white people, I’d get
a to-go tray’
Erin Gartner
UNL student studying at Alcorn State
to come to a new school for a semester.
The three came down for a day in
November to check out the campus. Much
to Davis’ surprise, the students committed
to coming, registered and signed up for
classes before they left that day.
Davis said after giving the students his
home phone number on the first day of
classes, he hasn’t received one call.
That’s good news, he said.
Four weeks into their stay, the three
students said everyone is friendly.
“Every single person you meet is so
Please see STUDENTS on 3
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Exchange makes students,
faculty the minority at schools
By Kimberly Sweet
Staff writer
It’s a long way from Lincoln, Neb., to Lorman, Miss.
The distance to drive from here to there is just more than
1,000 miles.
-.But thanks to a year-old exchange agreement between
Alcorn State University in Mississippi and UNL, miles mean
The agreement, signed / ,
last Martin Luther King Jr. •• hoth
Day by officials from both
universities, declared the institutions
Mississippi university
bring different
ulty members and adminis- thincrs tn thp
trators have traveled freely
between the schools - shar- fnhlp ”
ing knowledge about teach- **•£/*«?.
At first glance, it seems Melvin Davis
the similarities the schools
share are few.
Alcorn State has an enrollment of 3,100; the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln has 22,000.
The University of Nebraska is a Research I institution, while
Alcorn State is not.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is predominantly
white. Alcorn State University is a historically black institution.
But administrators and faculty members who have facilitat
ed the exchange say the differences between the schools is what
is making the exchange successful.
“There is die perception that historically black universities
are inferior institutions,” said Melvin Davis, vice president of
academic affairs at Alcorm State. “The position at both univer
sities is that both institutions bring different things to the table.”
The first person to make the trip between the two schools
was Alcorn State Chemistry Professor Thomas Bolden.
Months after Bolden’s first visit, numerous undergraduate
students, prospective graduate students, faculty and staff from
both schools have followed in his footsteps, taking the opportu
nity to go out of their comfort zones and experience the cultur
ally diverse climates.
Both institutions are land-grant universities, but Alcorn
State University has the designation of being the first state-sup
ported institution for the higher education of blacks in the
United States.
Keith Parker, the assistant dean of graduate studies who is
i; working heavily with die program, said experiencing different
cultures is a lot of what the exchange is all about.
“Students at UNL are very parochial,” Parker said. “It’s the
Please see ALCORN on 3
m ust teach nothing :
By Tony Moses
Staff writer
Last night, Peter Novick raised doubts about
the lessons that can be learned from the
*1 don’t know what these lessons are or what
we’re sent to learn from, die Holocaust,” Novick
said. “What is it that contemplating the horren
dous crime teaches?”
Novick, a history professor at the University
of Chicago and author of two books on the
Holocaust, spoke to a full auditorium in the
Nebraska Union on Thursday night. The Harris
Cotter for Judaic Studies sponsored die event.
Novick surmised that any lesson that could be
extracted from the Holocaust could only be the
result of a specific purpose.
He accused pro-life groups, animal rights
activists and anti-deathpenalty groups of adapt
ing die Holocaust to promote their causes.
“What are die grounds that we accept lessons
as legitimate, and what are the grounds that we
accept as illegitimate?” Novick asked. “The
Sof the Holocaust limits the lessons it can
in die ordinary world.”
Novick was more concerned with the lessons
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from everyday life that can be taught.
“All of us are repeatedly witness to injustice,
which none of us make a fiiss,” he said.
Novick pointed to a famous experiment con
ducted by Stanley Milgram.
hi this experiment, Milgram asked subjects to
administer an electric shock every time another
person made a mistake. All of the subjects will
ingly delivered the shocks, and most knowingly
delivered lethal shocks.
Novick wondered if this experiment had a
better lesson than the Holocaust. The experiment
was used as a reference to the silence of the
German people during the Holocaust
“It is the extremity of (the Holocaust) that
makes it a poor source of lessons,” he said
Novick does sot dismiss die concept of teach
ing history, however.
“One thing the study ofhistory does is expand
our experience,” Novick said
He emphasized that “vicarious experience”
was the best way to learn, and history should be
used to broaden that experience.
“One of the ways of being thoughtful and
human is thinking about the past and our place in
Please see HOLOCAUST on 3