The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 16, 2000, Image 1

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    Does ASUNreafty represent
students’opinions abort
gracing scale resolution?
In Opinion/4
The Nebraska women’s
soccer team is one of
the nation’s elite after
only seven seasons
In SportsThursday/10
The Lincoln Community
Playhouse tempts viewers
of all ages with the playful,
bumbling bear, Paddington
Grading resolution fails to make the curve
The student government decided Wednesday
night to ditch its plans to recommend a change to
UNLs grading system.
The resolution that would have recommended
the Academic Senate change the university's grading
system from using only plus grades to using plus and
minus grades failed.
Joel Schafer, Association of Students at the
University of Nebraska president, said the resolu
tion’s Mure reflected students’ wishes.
“I was glad to see the resolution fail,” he said. “I
don’t think that students were in favor of it"
Senate resolution No. 4 failed with a vote of 14
against, nine for and one abstention.
“Alot of senators felt it was unnecessary,” Schafer
said. “We wouldn't see any benefits from moving to a
plus-minus system But there would have been a lot
of negatives.”
Kourtney Mueller, the senator who proposed the
resolution, said UNLs grading system isn’t the best
for students.
She said the grading system, which doesn’t
include minus grades, made University of Nebraska
Lincoln grades less valuable than those from other
“The inflated grading system decreases the value
of our grades,” said Mueller, chairwoman of the aca
demic committee.
Mueller received about 100 e-mails from stu
dents discussing the resolution. ASUN also received
about 100 e-mails.
Graduate Sen. Jeffrey McCune encouraged sena
tors not to pass the resolution because students and
senators weren’t educated enough about the resolu
“We, as a government, don’t fully understand the
ramifications of this,” he said. “Talking to senators, I
realized this.”
Arts and Sciences Sen. Aja Bowling said the
change would make students concentrate on their
GPAs instead of what they're learning.
“This could foster an unhealthy attitude on our
“A lot of senators felt it was unnecessary. We wouldn’t see any
benefits from moving to a plus-minus system. But there would have
been a lot of negatives.”
Joel Schafer
ASUN president
campus, and I don’t want that” she said.
Business Sen. David Kavanaugh said because
UNL’s grading system was different than its peer
institutions, students weren’t able to compare them
selves to people who go to other schools.
“The fact of the matter is that we are compared
against our peers, and I would expect the University
of Nebraska to prepare us for that," he said.
ASUN speaker Jason Mashek said even if the new
grading system ended up lowering GPAs, the resolu
tion would give more value to UNL degrees.
“Twenty years from now, are you going to be
telling people what your GPA was or willyou tell them
the university you gotyour degree from?” he asked.
The proposed system would have helped profes
sors grade students more accurately, Kavanaugh
“We just feel that having a grading system like this
will allow professors to better judge the work that stu
dents do,” he said.
In others news: Senators unanimously passed a
bill that calls for a constitutional convention.
This was an important start to the process that
would rewrite ASUN’s constitution, Schafer said.
“I think it is important that we passed this and to
get moving on it,” he said. “And this is the first step.”
The constitution hasn't been changed since 1965
and it’s due time for a change, he said.
“This is something that we need,” he said. “ The
time has come for us to change this.”
Bush, Gore
state cases
to nation
■ Both candidates address national television
audiences, offering stances and seeking support.
A1 Gore made a surprise proposal for a statewide
hand recount of Florida’s 6 million ballots
Wednesday night, and George W. Bush swiftly
rejected it, calling the effort under way in several
Democratic-leaning counties an “arbitrary and
chaotic” way to settle the presidential race.
With their futures tied up in a
knot of legal battles, the presiden
tial rivals made dueling appear
ances on national television, calling
for a quick end to the contested
election but disagreeing on how to
“Our goal must be what is right
for America,” the vice president said
at his official mansion in
“This process must be fair, this
process must be accurate, and this
process must be final,” Bush said
from the governor’s mansion in
Their evening addresses capped
a whirlwind day of legal activity that
_ gave both weary camps tasted of
victory and defeat - but no clear
road to completion.
The Florida Supreme Court, all Democratic
appointees, rejected a request from Republican
Secretary of State Katherine Harris to block any
manual recounts while the courts decide whether
the process is legal.
The high court’s ruling, though far from the final
word, gave Democrats new vigor in their ballot-by
ballot bid to trim Bush’s 300-vote lead in the state.
Officials in Broward and Palm Beach counties hun
kered down for an excruciating hand count of 1 mil
lion ballots.
President A1
^ NateWagner/DN
VICTORY CHEER: Elizabeth Kozisek waves a Match Booster Club flag after the Husker women's volleyball team defeated the Iowa State Cyclones 3-1, Wednesday night at the Coliseum. Kozisek has
been coming to support the Husker volleyball team for 15 years, she said, and has been a member of the Match dub for 13 years.
UNL graduate begins career in Unicameral
The secretary of state also announced she
would not accept the hand-counted ballots, calling
the counties' reasoning “insufficient.” Harris vowed
to certify the Florida election results Saturday with
out the hand recount totals. Gore's lawyers said they
will challenge her decision today.
In another front, Bush’s lawyers filed a 182-page
appeal in a federal appeals court in Atlanta. The
Texas governor lost a round Monday on his move to
shut down the recounts in Palm Beach, Miami
Dade, Broward and Volusia counties.
Legal matters aside, both presidents-in-waiting
launched fierce public relations campaigns in the
court of public opinion. They wanted to look pre
pared to serve, but not hungry for power.
“This is the time to respect every voter and every
vote,” Gore said from his official residence, framed
by pictures of his family.
Gore pledged that, if Republicans allow manual
recounts to continue in Florida’s Broward, Palm
Beach and Miami-Dade counties, he would accept
without challenge whatever tally those recounts
should yield - added to certified results from 64
other counties and overseas absentee ballots due by
midnight Friday.
“I will take no legal action to challenge the
result, and I will not support any legal action to
challenge the result,” Gore said, offering to drop the
threat of major Democratic litigation that has hung
over the proceedings for days.
He suggested a meeting with Bush before state
officials certify the results “not to negotiate, but to
improve the tone of our dialogue in America.” And
he said both candidates should meet again after a
Please see ELECTION on 5
■ Less than six months after
graduating, Phil Erdman,23,
beat incumbent Gerald Matzke
to become one of the youngest
state senators ever.
Phil Erdman's first job fresh
out of college is not your typical
entry-level position.
Erdman, who graduated from
UNL in May defeated incumbent
Gerald Matzke for District 47's
seat in the Legislature.
At 23 years old, Erdman is one
of the youngest people to ever be
elected to the Legislature.
“It's been exciting,” he said.
Being young, though, will not
affect Erdman’s performance, he
He said his expectations were
similar to the expectations of any
n s lmporiam 10 gam respeci
from other senators and push for
legislation that will benefit your
constituents, he said.
No matter who you are or
how old you are, you need to do
those things, he said.
Erdman will not be alone as
he enters new and foreign waters.
Seven other senators serving
their freshman terms will learn
together, he said.
It’s this process of becoming
comfortable with the
Legislature’s nuts and bolts and
establishing an office and staff
that will be difficult, not over
coming age-related difficulties,
he said.
Erdman does not expect to be
treated like a child by older sena
tors, he said.
In fact, many senators have
contacted Erdman to offer him
help and instruct him on the
workings of the legislature, he
"They're helping me get off
on the right foot," he said.
Secretary of State Scott
Moore, who was elected to the
legislator when he was 25 years
old, said Erdman won't receive
any flak for being the young guy.
Erdman will have to learn die
ropes, which takes awhile, Moore
said. But the older senators will
treat him as an equal when the
Legislature is doing its work, he
When Moore was elected to
the Legislature, he said he was
treated just like any other sena
Outside of hearing rooms,
though, some of the other sena
tors would affectionately refer to
him as “the kid,” he said.
When it comes to his policies
and plans, Erdman insists he will
not be anyone’s kid.
Erdman said issues that mat
ter to his district would dominate
his priority list, not issues about
his age.
Specifically, Erdman said he
would focus on educational
problems, which have plagued
the state in the past.
The state funding formula for
education has to be tweaked so it
isn’t so volatile, he said.
School districts now have to
guess how much money they will
receive because the system
changes the amount of money
Phil Erdman,23,is
one of the
senators to serve.
Erdman said his
age won't affect
his work and said
he planned to
focus on educa
and fighting
against abortion.
“It’s up in air, and 1 will welcome any
Phil Erdman
District 47 Senator
they will receive all of the time,
Erdman said.
It is vital to stop fetal tissue
research and so-called partial
birth abortions, Erdman said.
These practices do not match
the values of Nebraskans, he said.
“I want to be on the front
lines of both issues,” Erdman
To change his plans into reali
ties, Erdman is gunning for a seat
on either the Appropriations,
Agriculture, Education or Health
and Human Services committee.
But where he finally lands
depends on what the senior sen
ators do.
Once the older senators
choose their spots, Erdman will
know more about his options.
For now, he said he would
wait and try to learn about his
new job.
"It’s up in air, and I will wel
come any committee,” he said.