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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 17, 2000)
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A helping hand?
David Gasen/ DN
tody Rockenbach, a junior family and consumer sciences major, and her dog Astrid wait for a ride Tuesday in the Services for Students with Disabilities office in the Canfield Administration Building.
Rockenbach said some students haven't felt comfortable in the office since the semester began.
*m about the
ilso haw com
rf the notes
with office changes
Senior family and consumer sciences major Tim
Schultz usually gets good grades.
But Schultz, who is visually impaired, has
watched his grades slip this semester because he has
n’t gotten the notes from his classes on time.
Schultz uses Services for Students with
Disabilities to get notes from his classes. SSD workers
recruit students who volunteer to take notes in class
es for disabled students.
And Schultz didn’t receive notes for one of his
classes all semester until two weeks ago.
Schultz said he blamed the new director of the
disabilities office for the problems he’s experienced.
Last year, the office was without a permanent
Please see HELPING on 3
BY GEORGE GREEN
The recent election turmoil has spawned political
questions that promise to linger long after the next
president takes his seat in the Oval Office.
In particular, concerns about the legitimacy of the
Electoral College promise to scream to the forefront
of political discussion when the political dust settles.
It appears as if some Democrats and Republicans
are already drawing lines in the sand over the issue.
Bob Hopkins, a spokesman for George W. Bush,
said it was hard to predict the fate of the college.
Nevertheless, he said, Bush firmly supported
America’s Constitunon, which out
lines the Electoral College.
“Governor Bush is a strong
believer in the Constitution,” he
John Cavanaugh, an Omaha
Democrat who served with Gore in
Congress during the 1970s, takes a
different approach to the issue.
Cavanaugh said the Electoral
College should be abolished before
voters lose confidence in die politi
“Every voter needs to be assured
his vote matters,” he said.
John Gruhl, a political science
professor, said opposing views on
the system would create a storm of
The only thing citizens can count on is lots of dis
cussion about elections, he said.
“We will see a lot of debate about it,” he said.
Beyond these discussions, no one knows how or if
the Electoral College will be altered, he said.
Gruhl said people upset with the college had sev
eral options to change it
The most fundamental change would be to aban
don the college for a straight popular-vote system, he
But such a far-reaching decision would take a
constitutional amendment, something that is chal
lenging to accomplish, he said
“It would be very difficult to pass an amend
ment,” he said.
John Hibbing, a political science professor, said
the problems with a popular-vote scheme extended
well beyond the amendment process.
When the amendment passed, Americans would
have to decide whether the winning candidate need
ed to secure an absolute majority of the votes, or if
some arbitrary percentage would be adequate to
crown a winner, he said.
With more influential third-party candidates’ sur
facing in national elections, the likelihood of having a
contest without a clear winner becomes more of a
possibility, he said.
Fortunately for disgruntled voters, the list of
options doesn’t end with simply mandating a mini
JFK adviser contrasts elections
■Theodore C. Sorensen says while the
Nixon results would not have changed with
a recount, Gore has every right to ask for one.
BY BRIAN CARLSON
For many historians and political
observers, this year’s spectacularly close presi
dential election hearkens back to 1960, when
John F. Kennedy narrowly defeated Richard M.
But one native Nebraskan who was inti
mately involved in the 1960 contest says the
comparisons only go so far.
Theodore C. Sorensen, a speech writer for
Kennedy who went on to become his special
counsel in the White House, wrote in a recent
op-ed piece for The Washington Post that
while the two elections are similar in some
ways, there are also important differences.
A Lincoln native who graduated from the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the NU
College of Law, Sorensen is now an interna
tional lawyer in New York City.
In a Thursday interview, he said Democrat
M Gore’s situation was different from Nixon’s.
Unlike Nixon, Gore has a chance to win if cor
rected irregularities in just one state, Florida,
reveal he is the winner.
He said Gore’s offer Wednesday to accept
the results of a statewide hand recount was a
reasonable proposal Republican George W.
Bush should not have rejected.
"I’m surprised Bush rejected that,” he said.
“Nobody knows how it would have come out
“I think until there is a count that both
sides are satisfied represents the true wish of
the voters of Florida, both parties have an obli
gation to pursue that outcome.”
Some Republicans have called on Gore to
concede the race, as
Nixon did in 1960
despite evidence of
widespread voter fraud
in Cook County, 111.,
that may have cost
Nixon the state.
But Sorensen wrote
Nixon decided not to
challenge the results
omy aiier realizing ne
had no legal basis to
win a timely victory. Even if he had won Illinois,
he would have fallen short of Kennedy’s elec
toral vote total.
“Had massive voter irregularities in Illinois
and elsewhere been found to have altered the
national electoral vote result, reversing the ver
dict of the American people and depriving
them of their most fundamental right, I have
no doubt that Vice President Nixon ... would
have brought a legal action, not as ‘sore losers’
but under a constitutional obligation,”
That “constitutional obligation,” he wrote,
is to find the full, fair and accurate result, which
is more important than premature “finality.”
Courts can play an important role in settling
such conflicts, he wrote.
In 1960, Kennedy said a margin of only one
vote would be a mandate, and that is still true,
Sorensen wrote. But the public must have con
fidence in the accuracy of the election results
to ensure the next president is not hampered
by the impression that his victory was illegiti
“If the votes are counted fairly and com
pletely, the winner has a mandate, regardless
of the margin, and there won’t be a stain or
shadow over the legitimacy of the next presi
dent when he takes office," he said
Sorensen wrote that the tenor of the 1960
and 2000 campaigns also differed.
“Ideas and issues mattered more than
money; foreign policy was seriously debated;
first-time voters were genuinely excited; and a
record-high number and percentage of sup
porters and detractors of both candidates
turned out on Election Day,” he wrote.
Despite his narrow victory in 1960,
Sorensen wrote, Kennedy carried out his man
date. He worked cautiously and incrementally,
but he fulfilled campaign pledges on issues
such as health, education, Social Security and
unemployment, he wrote.
Kennedy worked with Republicans, such
as Senate Majority Leader Everett Dirksen, on
issues such as civil rights and a limited nuclear
test ban. He asked Republicans to serve in his
administration, including Treasury Secretary
“Some objectives Kennedy achieved by
executive action. Some, he realized, could not
be obtained until he had won a second term
with larger margins in both his own race and
Congress,” Sorensen wrote. “Sadly, he had no
The next president, whether he is Bush or
Gore, can learn from Kennedy’s approach,
With a closely divided Congress and a pres
ident elected by the slimmest of margins, the
next president will have to work in a bipartisan
“I certainly hope people in both the execu
tive and legislative branches recognize the
importance of bipartisan cooperation,” he
"Bipartisanship doesn’t mean watering
everything down to the lowest common
denominator. It means shaping your legisla
Please see ELECTION on 5
Abel Hall Allies sign
BY MARGARET BEHM
After a controversial decision
to place an Allies Against
Heterosexism and Homophobia
sign on the Abel Hall government
door, the sign now keeps disap
The Allies sign on the Abel
Residence Hall Association’s door
has vanished at least 10 times
since it was first posted in
Andy Krejci, ARA president,
said taking down the sign is futile
because it would be put up again.
“It is up continuously, but
people keep taking it down,” said
Krejci, a junior electrical engi
neering major. “We’re going to
keep putting it up.”
Pat Tetreault, sexuality educa
tion program coordinator at the
University Health Center, said
there was a perpetual supply of
"I will supply them with as
many cards as they need,” she
With many students’ voicing
opposition to posting the sign on
the ARA door, Krejci said he
expected some student reaction,
but he didn't foresee this.
“We figured there would be
some concern about it,” he said.
Tetreault said she was not sur
prised the signs have vanished
from the door.
‘They’re trying to
control what people
say and do and who
University Health Center
Students are often harassed
when try to post anything that
supports the concerns of the gay
community, she said.
“It’s all about power and con
trol,” she said. “They’re trying to
control what people say and do
and who they support”
The sign’s disappearance from
the door shows homophobia
affects everyone, Tetreault said.
“What they are saying by tak
ing down the sign down is, not
only do we not support a safe
space, but we don’t want you to
indicate that this is a safe space,"
Krejci said putting the sign up
repeatedly was frustrating.
“It’s really irritating,” he said.
“If they have a problem it’s not our
problem. They elected the people
in office who voted for this.”
The people who have decided
to revolt against the sign are cow
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