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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 22, 2000)
UNL student plans to run for legislative seat
Philip Erdman, a 22-year-old
University of Nebraska-Lincoln stu
dent, grew up on a farm nowhere near
the state Capitol.
But die senior agriculture educa
tion major from Bayard is drawing on
his agricultural background to vie for a
seat in the Nebraska Legislature, rep
resenting the 47th District.
Erdman, who grew up on a farm,
said running for political office was
not something he had dreamed of all
His first exposure to the
Legislature came in February 1999,
when he testified at a public hearing.
Following the hearing, several
people in attendance told Erdman’s
father, Steve, that his son should run
for public office.
Philip Erdman said although he
appreciated the comments, he didn’t
seriously consider running for office.
“I instantly thought of my weak
nesses and not my strengths,” he said.
But the more he thought about it
and the more people he talked to, the
more seriously he began to consider
getting involved, he said.
Erdman formed an exploratory
committee in April 1999 to decide if he
should run for office, and the majority
of people who Erdman’s committee
contacted were supportive, he said.
“That made me realize what a
great opportunity it was,” he said.
Erdman determined that accessi
bility, agriculture and action are the
fundamental components of his cam
He made himself more accessible
by attending small festivals and county
fairs in his district
He has also spoken to high school
classes, businesses and a number of
commerce banquets, he said.
“I could just throw my name on the
ballot, but instead I’m investing my
time to get to know the people,” he
Erdman’s slogan for his campaign
is ‘Tor Legislature For You,” he said.
He has applied this to his cam
paign by going door to door to meet
people in his district.
“A lot of people have never been
asked for their vote,” he said.
Erdman continued to improve his
accessibility when he and Matt
Kreifels, a junior agriculture educa
tion major, designed a Web site*
www.erdman20Q0.copn> sphis con
stituents can find out where he stands'
on issues and how to get involved, he
Another of Erdman’s priorities is
bringing young people back to rural
One plan Erdman suggested to
help combat the shift from rural to
urban communities is something he
calls Operation Vision, he said. -
Operation Vision would set up a
scholarship fund for students in rural
areas to go to college in Nebraska.
The plan would also offer rural
area internships for students, which
could result in permanent jobs for the
students after they graduate, he said.
Erdman said he feels the plan is
important because not every young
person who wants to live in a rural area
can take over the family farm.
Some people may view Erdman’s
youth as an obstacle, but he is using it
to his advantage, he said.
“My personal values and beliefs
may be in line with die older genera
tion in my district, but I also have the
ability to reach out to my generation
and their issues,” he said.
He also said an important aspect of
being a senator is adapting to the
“Things have happened in die past
five years (in agriculture) that no one
had experience in,” he said.
Erdman’s father said Philip
Erdman has always been self-motivat
Steve Erdman said when Philip
Erdman was in third grade, he told his
mother he would be valedictorian of
'his senior class, a goal he later
“I don’t think he even knew what
valedictorian meant,” Steve Erdman
Steve Erdman said Philip
Erdman’s campaign is a continuation
of his leadership skilk,and he doesn’t
think Philip Erdman’s youth will be a
major obstacle because other senators
have been elected at young ages.
Current Nebraska Secretary of
State Scott Moore was elected es a
state senator for the 24th District in
1986, when he was 25 years old i;
Moore said his youth and exuber
ance were his greatest assets and said
PHIL ERDMAN, SENIOR agriculture education major from Bayard, HE, Is run
ning for the 47th District seat in the Nebraska Legislature. One of his focus
bs is knowing the people he is representing. He has gone door to door to
meet them and even has a Web site.
inexperience should not be a setback
for young candidates.
“Unless you’ve been directly
involved in the Legislature, you’re
inexperienced,” he said.
Erdman is not the first to run for
the Legislature at a young age, Moore
“It’s unusual, but not unprecedent
ed,” he said.
Erdman has been involved in sev
eral activities during his years at UNL.
He served as the Nebraska Future
Farmers of America president in 1996,
president of Burr Residence Hall and
as a member of the student advisory
board for the college of Agricultural
Sciences and Natural Resources. He
has also been involved in Fellowship
of Christian Athletes.
Following graduation, Erdman
said he plans on returning to Bayard to
work as a farmer.
“Having a job outside the
Legislature is the only way you can
truly identify with the people,” he said.
Going without sleep
may have benefits
University of Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. (U-WIRE) -
According to a recent study, pulling an
all-nighter may have more benefits than
many students believe.
The study, done by researchers at
the University of California, suggests
that more of the brain actually begins
functioning after sleep deprivation.
Contrary to expectations, researchers
found that after 35 hours without sleep,
the pre-frontal cortex of the brain
becomes mote active.
The pre-frontal cortex aids in short
term memory functions, compensating
for the effects of sleep loss.
However, some local experts
warned against the findings of the
“Mental abilities are impaired by
sleep restriction,” said Stgye Weber of
the UW Hospital Sleep Disorder Clinic.
“Performance is afti^fed beyond 48
Many UW^MadfsSji students also
find the resists of the studyiiard to
believe. '• ,j:;
“I hear you go crazy after 72 hours.
I believe that your mind starts moving in
other directions when you don’t have
enough energy,” sophomore Kenzie
Other students jaSiTthe study as an
intriguing insight into the realms of the
mind. v' ■' ^ ^ j
“I think the study makes sense,”
senior Gretchen Chojnacki said. tSTfhe
body always has ways of overcoming
According to the study, the region of
the brain known as the parietal lobe,
which collates information, becomes
more active after a lack of sleep.
This compensation is more effec
tive when dealing with language rather
than mathematical problems.
Many students experience dreaded
all-nighters. Regardless ofhow mysteri
ously their bodies function, everyone
seems to have a way to combat the
“As a landscape architecture stu
dent, it’s almost expected to have a few
sleepless nights,” Riesselman said. “I
drink coffee and listen to music.”
Pulling the occasional all-nighter is
not unhealthy, Weber said. However, the
repetition of constant all-nighters can be
hard on die body.
“Repeated episodes of no sleep dur
ing a week will affect irritability and
nastiness,” he said. “This can affect
quality of life.”
Although drinking plenty of coffee
may seem like the answer to staying
awake after a long night, caffeine is not
something that should replace sleep,
•“When studying for exams, take a
catnap of 20-30 minutes rather than
boosting yourself with stimulants,”
Weber said. “Ift better to compensate
with sleep than coffee or Mountain
Even with the aid of naps or caf
feine, some students simply can’t han
dle staying awake for 24 hours or more
at a time.
vf “I don’t really pull all-nighters,”
Senior nursing student Angie Husky
said. “I can’t fipctioa without sleep.”
As a housefellow in a university res
idence hall, Chojnacki also believes in
getting her needed sleep.
“I normally get eight hours,” she
said. “I can’t handle it without eight”
Different student habits and class
schedules seem to demand a different
amount of sleep each night. UW med
ical Professor Guillermo doPico said
thafall students should set schedules for
“Sleep enough, at least seven to
eight hours,” he said.
Despite the potential to activate
more facets of the brain, sleep depriva
tion may not be an ideal life-style
“I heard that getting too little sleep
actually speeds the aging process,”
Riesselman said. “This makes me ner
Weber mentioned the significance
of a sleep study published over a month
ago in Lancet, a medical journal.
“The study shows that sleeping less
mimics the effects of aging,” he said.
“The bottom line is if you want to stay
young and healthy and learn more effi
ciently, you must sleep.”
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