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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 1, 2001)
Page 4 Daily Nebraskan Thursday, February 1,2001
Editor Sarah Baker
Opinion Page Editor Jake Glazeski
Managing Editor Bradley Davis
Systematic funding of
private schools illogical
Follow the money, and it points you to a
state government that professes to be gravely
concerned about its state university system
but doesn’t, at least in one case, back up lip
service with action.
Last year, students attending the University
of Nebraska received just a tad under $1 mil
lion in state-funded financial aid.
Meanwhile, students attending the state’s
private institutions - Creighton, Nebraska
Wesleyan and company - cashed in to the
tune of $3.4 million.
Divide the pie, and you see private school
students, which encompass one-fifth of the
state’s college enrollment, received 57 percent
of the aid from the Coordinating Commission
for Post Secondary Education for the 2000
2001 school year.
This may be mere pocket
change in UNL’s total state aid,
but it still matters. Nebraska
legislators shouldn't be in the
business of funding private
education, even indirectly.
Their primary goal, especially
in the wake of UNL’s docu
mented mediocrity, should be
to strengthen the state’s public
schools with any tuition-pay
ing students they can.
It seems so simple to us.
Private colleges aren’t subject
to the same rules and regula
tions that state schools are. A
state body like the Legislature
trying to tell a private, religious
institution like Creighton what
it can and cannot teach would
cause an uproar.
Yet students are attending
these same private institutions
with the help of state funds and
maybe even because of state
Sure, middle-class students who want to
attend private college will be hurt if the aid
program is restructured to ignore school cost.
This, of course, is the private schools’ fault
and problem. They, unlike UNL, set tuition at
whatever price they want. An apparent option
is lowering the cost of tuition to offset the loss
of state aid.
We can already hear the predictions of
doom for private colleges. Less tuition money
means fewer programs, inexperienced pro
fessors and (gasp!) even graduate students
Funny. That's what Nebraska’s flagship uni
versity looks like right now.
The irony of upper-crust private schools
like Wesleyan and Creighton sinking to UNL’s
level is rich, but highly unlikely. The same pri
vate school officials that will bemoan the
demise of private education will be simulta
neously working to make sure that demise
Whether they’re successful or not isn’t our
chief concern, nor should it be the chief con
cern of the state.
That concern should be the University of
Nebraska and its students.
Sarah Baker, Jeff Bloom, Bradley Davis, Jake Glazeski,
Matthew Hansen, Samuel McKewon, Kimberly Sweet
The My Nebraska welcomes brief tetters to the editor and gueslbolumns, but does not guaran
tee the* pubfcabon. The Daily Nebraskan retains the n^rt to edit or reject any material submitted.
SubmHtedrnalerial becomes property of the Daly Nebraskan and cannot be returned. Anonymous
submissions w* not be published. Those who submit letters must identify themselves oy name,
year in school, major arxVor group affiliation, if any.
8ubmkmator1alto:Oafly Nabraefcen, 20 Nebraska Union. 1400 R8t Lincoln, NE 68686-0448.
Editorial Policy —'
Unsigned adRorials are the opinions of the Spring 2001 Daly Nebraskan. They do not necessarty
reflect the views of the University of Nebraska-Uncoln, 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 artist The Board of Regents acts as publisher of the Daily Nebraskan; poli
cy is set by the Daly 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
bMty for the editorial content of the newspaper lies solely in the hands of its employees.
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Letters to the editor
No more bull
Alisa Hardy says that No Bull would try to switch
student’s e-mail to a "Web-based provider” and calls
that approach "more efficient”
This is just plain wrong, and No Bull should be
careful in what it wishes for.
The bigred e-mail system, while not perfect, is
not “troublesome” when compared with other sys
Compare it with the Lotus Notes system, which
crashed twice yesterday. If his imperial majesty, L.
Dennis Smith, has his way, all University of
Nebraska students will be moved to Lotus Notes for
Ask any staff or faculty (who are forced to use
Lotus Notes by fiat) what they think of this. Better
yet, ask the people who run the systems required to
There is (at UNL) no future alternative to bigred
other than Lotus Notes. Yet, there are “Web-based”
opdons for students to use with bigred. Bigred can
be used with standard e-mail clients such as
Netscape, Eudora, Outlook, etc., and it can also be
used with UNLs BlackBoard Web site. For the point
and-drool crowd, it will even work with Hotmail arid
No Bull should try harder before they go blindly
trying to “improve" things.
Sodal Security numbers secure?
I am glad that someone in the upper echelons of
power has made the realization that there may be
problems associated with using students’ social
security numbers as a means of tracking a student
throughout the university system.
Ever since I filled out my first forms here at UNL,
I have been appalled at the carelessness with which
these very personal numbers are tossed around.
During the previous summer, 1 worked on Offutt
Air Force Base as an assistant secretary. As a govern
ment organization, they had to comply fully with
various laws, the least of which was the Personal
Data Privacy Act of 1974.
This act of Congress requires that any piece of
paper emblazoned with a person’s Social Security
number be summarily destroyed when no longer
useful As a result, a large part of my time was spent
in a small closet feeding a shredder reams of paper.
What bothers me is that I know for a fact that the
university is not in compliance with this act and
takes no such precautions when it comes to han
dling my personal information.
Regardless of the administration’s financial
qualms, this situation must be fixed. I know from
personal experience that many institutions utilize
Social Security numbers as a reliable means of iden
tification. With a person’s number in hand and a lit
tle bit of initiative, access to bank accounts, credit
cards and other stores of private information
become as open for dissemination as the newspa
If the university has any sense of respect for their
students’ privacy (they are doing fairly well keeping
the Daily Nebraskan away from Judicial Affairs
records), then they will take advantage of the bright
minds over in Ferguson and fix this potential prob
lem for everyone.
Sweet tropical dreams
me coolness or my room
comforts me, and as I look
around my bedroom, I am at
least content to feel the quiet
ness of being stagnant. There
is nothing to do but lie here
and dream. My mind rocks
and sways to tne swells ot the
breeze that blows. Yasmin
My curtains softly carry McEwen
my thoughts back to green ■■■■■■■■■■■■■
rain falling down on monster
sized palm trees in Guyana, their leaves bigger than
small children, their coconuts the size of large
pineapples and their pineapples the size of water
They're sweet and porous when you bite into
them, the juice comes gushing out and you have to
wipe away the rivers of sweetness that drip and run
down the sides of your mouth.
The pineapple stands are scattered along the
country road. There are no signs and no turnoffs, only
tiny thatched huts along the shoulder of the muddy
road with girls in grass skirts and machetes that swing
in big arcs splitting the giant fruit
I am ridLig in the back seat of my grandmother’s
white Jaguar. The seats are brown leather, and the car
has a smell to it that I cannot describe only to say that
it smells positively English. She wears a wide brim
hat, and her gold jewelry is piled on so thick that I
can’t see her wrists beneath the heavy bracelets that
go clink, clink as we drive on, heading further into the
We are on our way to her sugarcane plantation
where she will bring food and rations to one of the
families that lives on her land. The road becomes wet
and dark. The mud is a watery, milk-chocolate brown,
and the tires are slick, making spongy tracks as we
The car lurches over a large bump in the road; I
look back to see a prehistoric-sized snake, his length
stretched across the road and further still into tall,
green grass. I am too shocked to scream, and my
grandmother doesn’t even take notice. She is focused
on the road and the Bobby Darin coming from her
I am 10, and this is my second time back to this
country where my mother grew up and where my
grandmother refuses to leave. This is her home after
She has learned to survive here. More than that,
she has learned to make herself a success even after
she and my grandfather divorced more than 30 years
ago. At one time, they owned shipping yards and built
They donated money to build churches, which
were then named after my mother and my aunt They
useu iu icute meir gins uui oi sunuui iu iravei lur
months on excursions that took them to see the Pope
and the Queen of England.
My mother was driven to and from school by their
chauffeur, and she often told the story of days when
she didn’t want to go to school. On the way to school,
she would take her shoes off and throw them out the
window, and when they got to school, the chauffeur
would open up the door and say, “Where are your
My mother would say, “I must have forgotten
them,” with a big smile.
So he would get back in the car and drive her
home, where she would hide under the baby grand
piano while the driver explained in agitation to my
grandmother what had happened.
Playing under the baby grand, my mother would
invent a life all her own. Her adventures became bed
time stories she would tell me years later as I was
being tucked into bed. "Mom, please tell me the sto
"S” had a post office under the piano where she
organized and delivered her father’s mail. “S” had a
candy store too, which she operated from under
neath the piano until her older sister came and said,
“I will buy all of your candy, but it will have to be cred
ited to my account.” Which “S” agreed to in full
enthusiasm and happily handed over all of her candy,
only to find that when she wanted to collect, the older
sister laughed and said, “You know I don't have any
“S” learned a lesson. Never give her big sister any
thing without receiving something in exchange first
“S” had a little scooter that she would ride around
the block, and she had a big collie named Snoopy. She
had cooks to torment and big geese in the yard that
honked at her and sometimes chased her, but Snoopy
kept them at bay. There was a parrot who would
knock on the door with his claws when she was in the
shower, and his voice would imitate someone who
wanted to get in the bathroom; He would squawk, “let
me in, let me in.”
Over the years, my mother's stories have contin
ued on, and I suddenly feel shame for not returning to
Guyana for more than 19 years. All those times my
mother returned, my sister in tow, she would later
recite exotic stories of the jungle and the green fertile
land, the flowers, the smells and most of all her peo
ple, my people.
Always she would ask me, “Will you please come
visit grandma with me?” Always an excuse, always a
reason, “No, I can’t possibly...”
Regret fills me. My grandma is 78 now. As I feel the
cool tides of sleep beginning to wash over me like soft
rustling waves, I know it's time for me to make a
return trip. There can be no more excuses. Time does
n't wait for those who ignore it
I stare into
your eyes and feel
as if all my wishes
could come true.
As if the ster
ling silver nobility
and cotton candy
wisps or my
dreams come to Dan
life in the rolling, Lea men
liance of the blue ocean globes wrapping
the earth of the iris of your eyes.
I am lost. Words seem to fall all
around me like rain on summer after
noons when I would lie in my hammock
and watch the drops roll along its weave,
forming puddles on the wax tips of the
My world trying to grasp - trying to
find die words I can’t find for this feeling.
I wish I could. I wish I could find the
i wisn mat we couia oe mere now,
lying in my hammock. Maybe then we
wouldn't need the words. 1 wish we could
be together sitting in wooden beach
chairs, sipping sunsets through the bot
toms of glasses.
I wish that I could paint the world
Picasso coated blue.
Make the sun a giant ruby orange. Peel
back its deep brilliant flesh and sink my
teeth into its Crayola-crayon orange
inside. The sweet tang on my tongue,
firecracker sparks of summer.
I wish Iwas a kid again. I could play in
cardboard boxes, build pillow forts, wear
my Ninja Turtle pajamas and my shoes
Vanilla Ice, flip up die collar on my denim
jacket and sport my huge '80s flat top,
and that social status was still based on
owning the biggest box of Crayolas with
the sharpener on the back.
Above all else, I wish I could still walk
around at family gatherings in my
I can see the faces of those days as I
look out into the fields that rest behind
me, tall grass-waving, flowing water, and
I know-I know that they will fade, softly,
gently, forgotten. Distant cotton, blan
keting, warm, comforting, touch, rolling
across my heart like beads of water on
grass following the rain - and here they
will stay, simple, soft remembrances,
faded portraits in the summer sun.
Sometimes, I wish we could all go
back into those fields and find the inno
cence of the days when it didn’t matter
who you played with. When skin colors
bleed together like watercolor paintings.
When nothing mattered but the sandbox
and a tub of plastic army men.
I wish I knew what happened to
Saturday mornings. My world was once
defined through the hot batter and blue
berry juices of my dad’s pancakes. Why
the downhill slide in Saturday morning
cartoon lineups? I miss Garfield. Did the
Smurfs retire to sunny Jamaica? Can a
mushroom house grow in that weather?
I wish we still had recesc. Time for
making your move under the twisty slide.
Create playground basketball dynasties.
Dominate the gridiron of four-square.
Settle battles of "am not,” “are to” with
“my dad can beat up your dad,” or “I
know you are, but what ami.”
I wish we still had the days of: supper
was over three hours ago, but the game
never is; diving touchdown catches, way
past our curfew; game-winning, fade
away "I wanna be like Mike” three-point
shots; I just won the Worid Series, Mickey
Mantle, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Ted
Williams, step aside for a moment home
run shots that seem to travel forever as if
ume was on noia.
These days are different
Playing in the sandbox is a late night
covert operation. I have to hide my Fruit
Loops addiction. Picking up a date on a
Big Wheel doesn't seem to impress the
ladies quite like it use to.
No longer is it cool to consume things
that aren’t a part of any recognized food
group. Maybe we finally learned the
“ummmm, those berries look good, but I
sure threw up afterwards” lesson.
I wish I could stop my world, pretend
I was in elementary school and when the
teacher wasn’t looking, I would take it off
I wish I could paint a self-portrait.
Build a house. Cook a gourmet meal.
Stand at the top of the world. I wish I
could play the piano. Compose a sym
phony. Take a shot at acting.
I wish I had a swimming pool full of
pillows to sleep in. If tomorrow the lungs
of my life were to collapse in a puff of
smoke -1 wish I would have written a
novel. Changed the world. Stayed in bed
for a day. Climbed a tree. Gone fishing.
Been to Europe. Spent an afternoon with
my grandma. Played with my cousins.
I wish that we didn’t have to put our
dreams aside. That we weren’t also work
ing toward them. My life teeters on the
edge of self-nullification-abalancingact
of heart pressed against the cold steel of
reality. Take it for what it’s worth - as if
there was no tomorrow.
As for me, I wish - in your eyes - and it
feels as if it could all come true, but if it
doesn’t, I think I will be okay as long as I
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