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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 28, 2000)
HEATH MELLO COMFORTS nerve-wrecked Cecily Rometo with Mike Butterfield before their campaign
the announcement, but also the party’s debates and public appearances that were to follow.
announcement. A lot of preparation went into not only
Empower party begins, ends with details
EMPOWER from page 1
People were looking tired.
Mello, Rometo and Butterfield sat
on the couch in the sorority’s base
ment, and everyone circled around
them. Mello led the charge. Campaign
manager Sarah Kippenbrock, who
had lost her voice, sat opposite him
eating chips and cheese with some of
They shot out ideas, such as
improving the use and facilities of the
Culture Center, including ES/IS
requirements on the ASUN Web site
and what hours NU on W&eeiskshould
Mello, Rom^p.and Butterfield
took notes. *
A topic that brought considerable
mulling was making teaching evalua
tions universal and keeping them on
file in the ASUN office for students to
It was a hot spot for Rometo, who
sat on the couch listening to com
ments supporting the idea, itching to
explain why such a proposal is “dan
Rometo, whose father, Albert
Rometo, is a UNL music professor,
said the file could turn into a “hate
file.” The idea is eventually knocked
off Empower’s platform.
Other ideas, such as improving
parking or changing the distribution
of ASUN senate seats, are also
knocked down, mostly because they
were unpopular. Or in some cases,
you’d hear: “If we put that on our plat
form, we’d lose.”
had two gen
ings a week:
bers and one
called a work
to students, not
Iln mill ■«-«
Empower presidential candidate
party, where they would do busy
work, such as paint posters for greek
houses or highlight names in phone
But the three executive candidates
and who they deemed their cabinet -
freshman coordinators, a treasurer, a
graphic designer and others - had
more. They would meet before the 3
p.m. Sunday meetings. On Fridays
they met at 5 in the union.
And it wouldn’t be strange if just
Mello, Rometo and Butterfield met
one, two or even more extra times dur
ing the week.
After their platform meeting that
Saturday afternoon, they visited for
about 30 minutes at the sorority
The three then met at Butterfield’s
residence hall room in Neihardt
Residence Center. They stayed there
until close to or after midnight - mak
ing it about a 10-hour day.
At this meeting, the three put on
new faces - less business, more fun.
They planned to hammer out their
platform - make it official and have it
done, so Mello can take it to a meeting
the next day around noon. But there’s
a lot of sidetracking.
Among the tangents, a discussion
arose about whether the group should
report a keg of beer Mello would
receive as a gift at the Empower Meet
the Candidates party at Mainstreet
Cafe that next Wednesday.
Donations to student election
groups have to be reported to the elec
toral commission. But Mello insists
the keg is a personal gift and that they
shouldn’t have to worry about telling
can’t legally drink it.
It takes time, but Rometo ancP
Butterfield convince him otherwise.
They don’t want to get into trouble
see it that way,”
Butterfield nods his
head and kind of reit
erates her thought.
said, having alcohol
at the party is perfect
ly legal. The event
will be in a bar, and
the people drinking
tne oeer will De at least zi. iney
shouldn’t worry about the image hav
ing beer at the party brings.
What to wear at the event? Reflect
our attitudes, Mello said. They don’t
want to look unapproachable, too pro
they don’t want
to wear jeans and
a T-shirt, either.
Then, it’s agreed:
khakis and a but
for the guys and
prepare for their
Interface is not
a power word.”
Empower perty member
at debate preparation meeting
ment to oe neia tne same day as tneir
Meet the Candidates night. How to do
their speeches? Rometo said she’ll
have hers typed out, point, bullet, bul
let. She can’t write it out. She’ll get
lost in the content.
Butterfield said he’ll do the same.
At the end of
for Mello the next
the other parti
he planned on ad
are meeting in
for their final
dent join them.
in who the
port in its
At this poiflHHpraid the opinion
wouldn’t makagilTifference in the
election. He aljHbesn’t know that at
this point th^ditorial board had
already chosen. And it wasn’t
At this meeting, Mello is helping
Rometo prepare for her first debate -
just the president and second vice
president were invited to the previous
is not here.
ticed her opening
“That’s how I
talk, though, Rometosaid.
It’s true, especially in a public
Mello said: “You’re talking to stu
dents, not faculty.”
And then in a sing-songy voice, its
meaning not completely known, he
said: “This is like Broadway, man.
Broad - way,” and lifts his hand up and
down, as if he’s conducting himself.
And later, after Rometo reads
more of her speech, Mello mocks her
in a high voice:
“I’m Cecily Rometo, and I’m
nervous. My hand looks like it’s
swimming, but don’t wornLigaaft still
talk with this othsaid,
_ . Rometo
the kinks in
a power word.”
speech, a supporter
from his economics
se the word “empower”
debates that Mello
attended by anyone
ally claimed his
behind past elections,
T-shirts were ordered. A banner
for outside the Nebraska Union was
purchased. Booths were reserved.
Greek house banners were painted.
And many, many meetings were held.
But, according to Mello, what
really mattered was the week of the
And more importantly, the day of.
By Lindsay Young
Even if you wanted to, you
couldn’t have predicted when an A
Team meeting would be held.
Every once in awhile, by chance,
I’d run into presidential candidate
Joel Schafer. “When are you meet
ing next?” I’d say, wanting to get a
peek into the makings of his party.
We don’t know, he’d reply.
“Hey Hal! When are we meeting
again?” Schafer asked his campaign
manager Hal Hansen, who in reality
did more of the busy work, such as
designing A-Team’s infamous
newspaper ads, while Schafer ran
the party. “Sunday,” Hansen would
The place was always question
finally, I was able to pinpoint
one. I arrived a little after 7 p.m.,
when the meeting was scheduled to
start, at Joel Webber’s house, which
he shared with two roommates.
Webber lets me in, and instead
of seeing everyone ready to meet as
I am used to following Empower, I
see his roommate sitting on the
couch playing a video game. No one
else is there.
I sit down and wait. Fifteen min
utes later, Schafer shows. About
five minutes after that, Hansen
shows. And nobody knows for sure
when Riley Peterson, first vice pres
idential candidate, would be com
ing. But they knew he was supposed
to be late.
No one seems too concerned.
The party seemed to have its own
way of getting things done.
Amid all this waiting, talk
ensued about how the campaign was
Was the letter to the editor
against the A-Team’s plan to fight
credit-card solicitation planted by
another party? Hansen asks.
The Daily Nebraskan isn’t pick
ing up on our attacks on the other
parties, Schafer says. We have to
look to other means to distinguish
acnarer says tne party isn t too
far behind the other groups in plan
ning. Hansen responds: “I don’t
know about that.”
A brief discussion of who their
target audience is follows: It’s not
the greeks, though in the end, a few
greek houses supported A-Team.
Christina Riesselman, Schafer’s
girlfriend and the party’s treasurer,
arrived, and the party went over its
Doing fine, especially with
much of the A-Team’s costs covered
by Schafer’s father.
Discussion jumps back to Daily
Nebraskan and the ads to come.
Hansen is nearly done with the one
that will run the coming Friday.
There’s not an agenda, but typi
cal campaign strategies are dis
cussed: handing out T-shirts, stuff
ing residence hall mailboxes with
A-Team fliers - complete with
Schafer’s phone number and
address - and making announce
ments during Monday night greek
President’s Day is also that
week, and they talk about dressing
up as Abraham Lincoln and George
Washington and having a booth in
the Nebraska Union to draw atten
tion to themselves.
The idea never materializes.
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