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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 11, 2000)
Editor Sarah Baker
Opinion Page Editor Samuel McKewon
Managing Editor Bradley Davis
University should make use
of Rotunda Gallery
A little more than a year ago, the Nebraska
Union became cultured.
It got a bit of style, a bit of finesse and a bit
of ambiance that can’t be found through
Burger King or a computer lab.
It got an art gallery.
The Rotunda Gallery, a sofdy lit, surprising
ly quiet room located centrally in the union,
not only afforded students the chance to see
some art, it gave other students the chance to
show art - something easier said than done.
But this year, thus far, the gallery has been
dark. The doors have been locked and the only
art to grace the area have been posters hung
on the glass panels outside the space.
Somehow, we think this defeats the whole
The gallery, which opened in April 1999,
was meant to give UNL art stu
dents a new home while
Richards Hall - a building near
the outskirts of campus - was
Now the Richards Hall reno
vation is almost complete, and
the student artists will have a
second new, shiny home. Albeit
a new, shiny home that’s locat
ed in a gallery space most prob
ably don’t even know exists and
wouldn’t take the time to find
even if they did know about it.
We’d harbor a guess that
most students don’t even know
where Richards Hall is.
Our questions are many.
What happens to the gallery
space in the Union?
What happens to the artists?
After the two-year renova
tion to Richards Hall is com
plete, Student Involvement is
supposed to be taking over the space.
So, if that’s the case, where's the art?
And, most importantly, no matter who
controls the space, what happens to the stu
dents who want to see art but don’t necessari
ly know where to look?
We remember Nebraska Unions Director
Daryl Swanson telling us that without this
space the Union would be a “cultural waste
So what does this mean for the fate of the
union? Are we destined to look at the bare,
desolate walls of an empty, dark gallery?
Or, worse yet, must we look at a gallery
space that, while once utilized, is now filled
with chairs and tables just like the rest of the
It’s a fact
we nope not.
It’s a fact that most UNL students don’t seek
out culture - the Sheldon Art Gallery, with its
dismal student attendance, is living proof -
but the Rotunda Gallery gave us hope.
But we ask that Swanson - and Student
Involvement - not forget that there were
always students perusing the Rotunda
Gallery's work. Don't forget that there are
always students who like something unex
The doors to the gallery need to stay open.
The lights need to be turned on and the walls
need to be covered with works. There’s no
shortage of art, artists or interested viewers.
This is a problem that can - and should - be
Sarah Baker, Bradley Davis, Josh Funk, Matthew Hansen,
Samuel McKewon, Dane Stickney, Kimberly Sweet
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes briefs, letters to the editor and guest columns, but does not guar
antee their publication. The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to edit or reject any material submitted.
Submitted material becomes property of the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be returned. Anonymous
submissions will not be published. Those who submit letters must identify themselves by name,
year in school, major anchor group affiliation, if any.
Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 20 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St. Lincoln, NE 68588-0448. E
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of the Fall 2000 Daily Nebraskan. They do not necessarily
reflect the views of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its employees, its student body or the
University of Nebraska Board of Regents. A column is solely the opinion of its author a cartoon is
solely the opinion of its atist. The Board of Regents acts as publisher of the Daily Nebraskan: poli
cy is set by the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. The UNL Publications Board, established by the
regents, supervises the production of the paper. According to policy set by the regents, responsi
bifity for the editorial content of the newspaper lies solely in the hands of its employees.
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Letters to the editor
An English lesson
So, I was just wondering. Has Emily. Moran. Taken
an English class. Here at the University. Of Nebraska?
In her column. On September 8.1 counted at least
38 fragmented. Sentences. And exactly 2 paragraphs.
Out of 15. That didn’t have a grammatical. Error.
The subject she chose to write about could have
prompted discussion and been very insightful to her
However, the first thingT said after reading this
article was “Take an English class, honey!”
I thought the idea behind an opinion column was
to present your opinion to others and let them decide
the value of said idea.
Emily Moran might have thought she was stating
her opinion, but the point of the article was lost on
Sober and hungry
I am writing to express my extreme disappoint
ment with Nebraska state law enforcement regarding
their “alleged” sobriety checkpoints.
On Friday Sept. 8,2000,1 soberly drove around
Lincoln hoping to score myself a free meal from
Runza, but I was unable to locate even one sobriety
checkpoint. I tried everything to attract the attention
of the police (i.e. driving erratically, speeding, etc.),
but after hours of driving, I was forced to return home
sober, low on gas and without a Runza Meal Steal.
So I put it to Nebraska law enforcement and
Runza: Where’s my reward?
I have been a (relatively) law-abiding Lincoln citi
zen for nearly a year and a half now, and I haven’t even
received so much as small fries or a medium soft
drink, let alone a coveted “meal steal.”
So long as Nebraska has now been reduced to
bribing its residents to abide by the law, I would also
like to point out that on Sept. 8,1 also did not commit
any murders, traffic any illegal narcotics or engage in
any violent felonies.
Shouldn’t I be entitled to a Runza franchise or at
least a year’s worth of free meals?
If so, please mail them to my apartment. I am
earnestly waiting for a reply.
Clean, sober and starving my ass off:
NU Law student
I found the Sept. 7 article, “Only lucky few make
trek to Notre Dame” quite disturbing.
How is it that only 461 tickets out of the4,000 allot
ted to the University of Nebraska for the STUDENT
migration game actually went to students?
Even more disturbing was the fact that the
remaining tickets went to “wealthy benefactors”
based on a “gift” point system.
While it may be true that, as students, we do not
contribute as much monetarily to the university as
people who can afford to donate $13,000 to the
school, it is also true that without the students there
would be no university.
We supply the bodies that give our professors
something to do every day. We supply the fees that
keep things like the Daily Nebraskan and Campus Rec
We supply the athletes that contribute to the
entertainment for our “wealthy benefactors.”
We are, in essence, the heart and soul of this insti
tution, and we should be treated as such.
Go to any home football game and tell me what
you see. You’ll see the students pushed way up in the
comers of Memorial Stadium while those who “give
more” to the university are enjoying the prime seat
You can see what the university deems as more
important, and it's certainly not the students.
I think that it's time that someone did some re
evaluating on priorities before those students who are
disillusioned with the current system are wealthy
enough to contribute to the school.
Once the current benefactors are gone, the uni
versity will turn to us to continue the "tradition” of
contributing to the school.
But how many of us are going to contribute to an
institution that behaved as though we weren’t alive
when we were a part of it?
What’s more important - money or students?
“It is part of the social
mission of every great news
paper to provide a refuge and
a home for the largest possi
ble number of salaried
-Lord Thomson of Fleet
I like to think of myself as
a writer, but I’m not.
Although I do a lot of
writing - columns, book
reviews, essays, articles, and more -1 hate every
minute of it.
Perhaps that’s not true: Revising is fine, and I
always get a little thrill out of seeing myself in print.
But the actual act of sitting down and writing is
plain torture; trying to think of something worth
saying, making the proverbial order out of the chaos
of thoughts in my head and expressing them in a
way worth reading is not something I enjoy.
~~~ I envy writers like Dickens or Vonnegut who
were constantly overflowing with ideas and could
sit down and write for hours on end.
I’ve resolved that if I ever write a book, I’m going
to be like Jack London; supposedly, he wrote exactly
500 words a day and often stopped in the middle of
a sentence when he reached that number.
I write solely nonfiction, mostly about "current
issues.” I haven’t written fiction since I won the
“Budding Young Author” award back in eighth
grade for some cheesy sword-and-sorcery story.
I realized, recently, that I write nonfiction
because it allows me to avoid risks. The risks aren’t
contained in what you write about, they are con
tained in the way you write it.
I pick on religion, political groups and college
administrators all the time, and it never worries me.
I know that I can make the arguments and defend
But fiction, on the other hand, troubles me
because I have no wall of rationality to stand
behind. The ability to make dialogue sound “real,”
to make plots interesting and to write something
truly original are not talents many people have.
Perhaps I’m simply afraid to find out if I have
them or not.
I'm not exactly sure why I write. I think part of it
is the aforementioned little thrill that it’s a little dent
in my solipsistic armor to know that others are actu
ally going to read something that I wrote while lying
on my little dorm-room bed listening to The Dave
Part of it, I must admit, is a missionary’s zeal for
spreading The Truth. Of course, my Ihith is not the
Word of God, but the Word of Liberalism or
Rationalism or what have you; the effect, however,
is the same.
I sincerely believe that I’m right on most things
and therefore, am all too happy to share it with
What I really am is a Reader. I read voraciously.
All kinds of stuff - comic books, fiction, nonfic
tion, magazines - are prey for my carnivorous
appetite. I think, to at least some degree, my desire
to write exists to justify my desire to read.
I know that one day I’ll be dead and everything
I’ll have read will not matter a shred; but at least by
writing I feel like I’m using that information for a
Giving back, if you’ll allow a cliche, to the writers
who gave to me. Creating instead of just devodring.
In my vainer moments, there is even a tiny hope
that some of what I write will live after me - my own
little grasp of immortality in a godless universe.
Of course, this is the most futile of desires. Only
a tiny percentage of writers achieve fame, and their
importance usually dwindles with time.
Admittedly, there are some who have lasted cen
turies, such as Shakespeare or Aristotle, but even
the few who have survived are usually not remem
bered in the way they would have wished: We read
Plato’s “Republic,” but few seriously entertain the
notion of philosopher-kings; some students are
forced to slog through Dickens' “David
Copperfield,” but hardly anyone reads it for the pur
pose if was intended: pleasure.
As Itoain said, “Classics are the books everyone
talks about but nobody reads."
We have returned to the beginning: If I hate writ
ing so much, why do I do it? Unfortunately, the
answer still eludes me.
Regardless, in the words of Isabel Colegate, “It’s
not a bad idea to get in the habit of writing down
one’s thoughts. It saves one having to bother anyone
ed from radio to
starts today on
In the wake
protests against Dr. Laura and her
nasty anti-gay stances, many corpo
rate backers, such as Xerox, Proctor
& Gamble and Radio Shack, have
withdrawn support. Several major
channels in key areas have refused
to air the program.
But not in Lincoln.
Apparently some bigwig thinks
there will be a sizable audience for
Dr. Laura’s show.
Sadly, they’re probably right.
People will watch it.
For those out of the loop, the gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgendered
community and their supporters
have protested Dr. Laura many times
On her radio program, she’s
called gays and lesbians a “biologi
She also calls the homosexual
activist movement "the
McCarthyism of the 21st Century.”
An interesting analogy, one tied
to the fact that many have labeled
her comments hate speech.
And it would be just that: hate
speech from the dregs of AM talk
The last major personality to
emerge from this low-fi hive was
Rush Limbaugh, who once claimed
that if the polar ice caps melted, the
sea level wouldn’t rise.
Dr. Laura, coming from this fine
tradition, has similar tact and credi
The problem, of course, is that
her words are backed by the Bible
and a powerful institutionalized reli
gion, both of which have the mysti
cal ability to transform spasmodic
diatribes against the powerless into
grand professions of faith.
Dr. Laura has a fairly large fol
lowing because of her adherence to
"biblical literalism” and the conser
vative doctrine that states America is
suffocating in an immoral sinkhole;
only traditional faith can resurrect
the old holy empire America.
Ahh, for the good old days: Our
wars were glorious, the armor of our
faith gleamed and our women kept
silent and apron-clad.
Ironic that one of the generals in
this holy insurrection to reclaim that
America is a professional woman
who is an Orthodox Jew.
Nevertheless, the resistance exists,
its edicts are set and its goals are
Here is an example of one of the
great dilemmas in American society:
the basic rights that often overlap
and sometimes clash.
The GLBT community assumes
(and justly agitates for) the exten
sion of civil rights - basically the
right to live peacefully, free from
The conservative religious com
munity assumes the right of freedom
of religion - to hold religious beliefs
and practice them without interfer
An equally just assumption.
But the rhetoric espoused by the
conservatives clearly marginalizes
the rights of the GLBT community.
Naturally, GLBT groups have
protested Dr. Laura’s speech on the
grounds that it incites hate and
So which side takes precedent?
Gays and lesbians are full and
complete humans, not “errors” or
divine burps. At the same time, reli
gious freedom is a natural right, it
must not be diminished.
The difficulties lie with inserting
specific religious doctrine into pub
lic policy. The effort nullifies the
rights of other religious groups and
is, thus, self-defeating.
In the same respect, efforts of
GLBT activists to curb hate speech
will return as a muzzle for them as
These rights must be protected
for all Americans.
To the activists, I say: Let Dr.
Laura speak. It is more a case for her
dismissal than any protest.
To the conservative resistance, I
say: Too late. Yours is a backlash
against a changed culture, and you
can’t change it back.
Instead of resistance, why not
work to enrich the culture with a
more positive message?
Why not work harder to emulate
Christ, who was so ready to love even
his tormentors, not to mention all
who were downtrodden and out
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