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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (May 2, 2000)
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Floyd accomplishes goals
through campus involvement
- By Josh Funk
There were times when LaTonya Floyd ques
tioned wiiy she was at the University of NebraSka
After Sigma Chi Fraternity members burned a
cross as part of an initiation ritual in 1997, Floyd
wondered what kind of place she was paying to
A year later former English professor David
Hibler sparked controversy with what many called
a racist e-mail, and again Floyd wondered.
But instead of leaving, the graduating market
ing and finance major got involved on campus and
worked to make a difference.
“Sigma Chi prompted me to get involved,” said
Floyd, who was in the middle of her freshman year
then. “I went to those meetings with the chancellor,
and I found myself having to ask questions.”
Floyd demonstrated a talent for leadership both
actively and by example, said Assistant Director of
Student Involvement Reshell Ray, who has known
Floyd since she was a freshman.
“LaTonya takes kind of an unassuming role,
but her influence and presence are still felt,” Ray
said of Floyd’s leadership.
During her four years here Floyd became
involved in many different organizations where
she knew that she could contribute.
“LaTonya was aware of issues on campus rele
vant to students of color, and she was willing to
speak up,” said Ray, who worked with Floyd as
director of the Culture Center until moving to
Student Involvement two years ago.
Floyd, who attended Papillion High School
after growing up in Aberdeen, Miss., said that she
has had to learn to balance her personal life and her
After die cross burning, Floyd said she decided
to get more involved with the Afrikan People’s
Union and the Big 12 Black Student Government.
Floyd helped plan the gospel extravaganza for
the 1998 Big 12 Conference on Black Student
Gdvemment, held in Lincoln.
From that base, Floyd found other involvement
opportunities for herself.
Floyd’s resume, which is too long to list,
includes Mortar Board, LeaderShape, the honors
program, being a resident assistant, numerous
advisory boards and several internship programs.
Ray said Floyd did more than join and help
lead organizations. She always found ways to get
Floyd said she learned that trait from her moth
er, who would always invite other people’s children
into the house to feed and take care of them.
“I’m always promoting involvement. That’s
just my nature,” Floyd said. “My responsibility is
to make sure students of color know about oppor
tunities on campus.”
Despite her heavy involvement, Floyd never
complained of being overburdened, Ray said
“LaTonya did not view it as being overtaxed,”
Ray said. “She got what she wanted out of her
In addition to Floyd’s leadership and hard
work, Ray said she would also miss Floyd’s infec
tious giggle that permeated the Student
Involvement office even when Floyd was stressed
Floyd said that her experiences taught her to be
Open-minded and that leadership within a group
can be as important as the leader in front. --
By Lindsay Young
Matt Knobbe always questions things Mien
they’re going smoothly.
It’s the type of guy he is.
“I sit back and ask, ‘Is everything going
smoothly because this is the right thing to do, or
is it because no one cares enough or is outspo
ken enough to suggest a different course of
action?”’ said Knobbe, a graduating senior in
He likes to cover all the bases.
He said his girlfriend hates to go shopping
with him because it’s always a “process.” He
must go to a few different stores to make sure he
gets the best deal.
“Hopefully that’ll translate into the busi
ness world,” he said, smiling
It’s already translated into his work in the
Residence Hall Association, which he was a
member of the five years he was at the
University ofNebraska-Lincoln. Talking to fel
low RHA members will tell you that. He’s well
known tor playing devil s advocate.
Jadd Stevens, who has known and worked
with Knobbe for four years, said Knobbe is
often the voice of reason.
“I’ve seen him get into conversations that
need to be steered,” Stevens said. He said
Knobbe gives suggestions but never knocks
down someone’s idea.
Knobbe lived in Abel Residence Hall
throughout his tenure, serving as a floor presi
dent, hall senator and hall president For a hall
with a lot of resident turnover, Knobbe was a
constant. He also was chosen as the election
commissioner this year because of his ability to
separate politics from rules, said Stevens, for
mer RHA president.
“It would’ve been a big challenge,” he said.
Throughout his time in RHA, he worked at
connecting his hall with other organizations for
activities such as Abelpalooza, a band festival
that raised money for a program that provides
resources few: underprivileged children. His hall
worked with his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, to
organize the event.
Knobbe was a founding member of the fra
ternity a couple years ago -he thinks maybe he
was the fourth member.
He said he had always wanted to be in a fra
ternity, but most don’t recruit year-round, and
most don’t recruit from upperclassmen. Pi
Please see KNOBBE on 11
As she looks forward to starting work at
Mutual of Omaha’s corporate office after gradua
tion, Floyd said she knows she will be prepared for
the demands of life, in part because of the experi
ences she had in college.
to raising awareness
By Veronica Daehn
In four days, Laura Schweer’s
work at the University of Nebraska
Lincoln will be done.
Even though the UNL senior psy
chology major is graduating, her
work will continue.
From the time she was a sopho
more, Schweer was involved with
promoting eating-disorder aware
ness at the university.
At the start of her junior year, she
started Eating Disorder Education
and Prevention, a group that worked
to plan Eating Disorder Awareness
Week and bring light to eating-disor
Last summer, Schweer decided
more needed to be done.
“This is such an important issue
that we need to talk about this more
than one week a year,” she said.
So she started SHINE, Students
Helping Individuals Nurture Esteem.
The group consists of 10 students
chosen to be peer educators on the
issues of eating disorders, body
image and wellness.
The students began giving pre
sentations in February and were
overwhelmed with requests.
“This is definitely something
that’s going to grow,” she said.
Sonja Hegge, a junior news-edi
torial major, will take over the
SHINE program when Schweer
Hegge said she got to know
Schweer through helping with
Eating Disorder Awareness Week
and the SHINE program.
“I’ve been the one who’s worked
the closest with Laura,” Hegge said.
“Since she’s leaving, I’m going to
take over for her.”
Schweer’s work with eating dis
orders is related to what she wants to
do in the future.
In June, she will begin graduate
school at Baylor University in Waco,
Texas. She plans on getting a doctor
ate degree in psychology, specializ
ing in eating-disorder therapy and
“It was easy for me,” she said. “I
loved psychology. I knew I wanted to
be a therapist.”
Schweer, also a 4.0 student who
will graduate as a Chancellor’s
Scholar, said she wants to make a dif
ference in the lives of people strug
gling with eating disorders.
“I’ve seen so many people per
sonally affected with these issues,”
she said. “Most girls aren’t superfi
cial, but that’s how they’re made to
feel. I hate that.
“Women deserve equal rights.
They won’t ever achieve that if
they’re so focused on appearance.”
She not only wants to promote
awareness of eating disorders but
also wants to encourage people to be
“If people eat right and are exer
cising four or five times a week,
whatever size you are is fine,” she
Schweer was involved in more
than just eating-disorder awareness
during her stint in college.
She was president of Phi Mu
Sorority last year and membership
director the year before that.
This year, she was named to the
Homecoming Court and was recent
ly named the Innocent’s Society
It was never hard for her to do
everything she did, she said.
“I’ve always been a perfection
ist,” Schweer said. “I didn’t come
here with the intention of doing (all
these things). It just kind of hap
KNOBBE from page 10_
Kappa Alpha does both. Knobbe said
there’s more diversity in his fraternity
“Itls a much-needed shot in the arm
(for UNDs greek system),” he said.
Alter he graduates, Knobbe will be
continuing at Internet Inc., a telecom
munications company in Lincoln.
Knobbe won’t be remembered as a
talking head for or against aborted fetal
tissue research or another controversial
cause. He said though he had opinions
on such things, he devoted himself to
what is more immediate and important
“My cause has been making the
residence halls a better place to live. I
guess I could say I’m doing that for
myself,” he said.
“But really, I treat every year like
I’m going to be back the next year, not
the Tm-out-of-here mentality.’”
Stevens said Knobbe worked dur
ing his final year to fill the shoes he was
leaving behind. He said an increase in
government activity this year in
Knobbe’s hall has, in turn, increased
interest by its residents.
“I think they’re going to be pretty
well off” Stevens said.
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