The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 08, 2001, Image 1

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March 8, 2001
Volume 100
Issue 123
Since 1901
Daily Nebraskan
Nebraska legislators
develop a policy that
would ban racial profiling
In News/5
Nebraska’s tournament
slate becomes tougher
without Kimani Ffriend
In SportsThursday/10
English professor brings
hands-on approach to the
ASUN President
Joel Schafer
(right), explains
the reasons for
his veto of a bill
that would have
cut the Daily
Nebraskan's stu
dent fee alloca
tion by nearly 80
percent on
Senators failed
to override the
veto. After a
meeting that
lasted over
three hours,
senators tabled
discussion on
the newspaper's
budget until
after spring
ASUN asks for apology from regent
The student government voted
unanimously Wednesday to ask for an
apology and clarification from Regent
Drew Miller over statements he made at
an NU Board of Regents meeting, which
some people have deemed racially
Angela Clements, Human Rights
Committee chairwoman, presented
Senate Resolution No. 6, which asks for
Miller to clarify his statements and to
issue an apology.
Miller’s statement was made during
a Saturday discussion about recruiting
students to the University of Nebraska.
During the discussion, Miller said
stepping up the university’s efforts to
recruit minorities could hurt NU’s aca
demic rankings because he said
minorities score lower than their non
minority counterparts on standardized
Miller was responding to a sugges
tion by University of Nebraska at
Kearney Chancellor Gladys Styles
Johnston, who is black, that NU should
recruit more minorities.
Since the meeting, some students
and administrators have voiced con
cems over Miller's comments.
But Miller said his comments were
taken out of context.
Miller wrasn't being racist, he said,
he was simply pointing out the cultural
biases that exist in standardized tests,
including the ACTs and SATs.
Recruiting moreminorities then,
Miller said, will bring down the univer
sity’s standardized test average - a
measure often used in academic rank
ings, including those in the often touted
U.S. News and World Report rankings.
These bad rankings will steer peo
ple away from the university, Miller
If NU's academic rankings go fur
ther down, overall recruitment vvill suf
fer, Miller said.
“If we ignore the issue and let our
selves drop in the ratings, wee’ll pay a
price,” he said.
But some students said rankings
shouldn’t be administrators’ only con
Rami Nabulsi. a senior electrical
engineering major, spoke in favor of the
resolution during the ASUN meeting.
Diversity is an important element to
education, Nabulsi said.
“It’s not about how they score on
tests, it's about what that contribute,
and they contribute a lot,” he said.
“Minorities bring so much to the edu
cation that students get here.”
As an international student from
the Middle East, Nabulsi said he is a
resource to students in the classroom.
“I learn, and I teach at the same
time,” he said.
Joel Schafer. AS UN president, said it
doesn't matter why Miller made the
comment, the ramifications of it need
ed to be addressed.
Schafer attended the Saturday
Board of Regents meeting in Kearney
where Miller made the statements.
"I have spoken with faculty of color
and students of color, and they told me
that it had this way of making them feel
completely insignificant," Schafer said.
Despite his comments. Miller said
he is in favor of minority recruitment,
and in fact voted along with the rest of
the regents to approve the overall
recruiting plan discussed at the
Saturday meeting, including the call for
increased minority recruiting.
Miller said he made the comments
Please see MILLER on 6
in full force
Members of the journalism
community came out in full
force at Wednesday’s ASUN
meeting to voice their concerns
over possibly substantial cuts in
the Daily Nebraskan’s student
fees allocations.
They came in response to a
bill student senate passed
March 1 that would have cut the
newspaper’s funds more than
80 percent - from $50,300 to
That bill was vetoed
Wednesday by Association of
Students of the University of
Nebraska President Joel
Schafer, and despite an effort to
override the veto, the veto
Please see JOURNALISTS on 3
DN funding
from ASUN
After about three hours of bickering and play
ing pick the magic number, student government
Wednesday postponed making a decision on the
Daily Nebraskan’s budget.
Association of Students of the University of
Nebraska President Joel Schafer vetoed a bill
passed March 1 that would have cut the Daily
Nebraskan’s funding by more than 80 percent.
Speaker of the Senate Jason Mashek, leading a
charge to override Schafer’s veto, encouraged sen
ators not to be intimidated by the president.
To override the veto, two-thirds of the entire
ASUN senate - not just the senators at the meeting
- had to vote to override it.
A veto override failed with six senators for and
13 against.
i ne committee tor bees Allocation previously
voted 6-2 in favor of a giving the Daily Nebraskan
$50,300 to pay for a portion of the newspaper’s
printing and production costs. With this funding,
the newspaper estimated a profit of $61,350 for
this year.
Mashek proposed an amendment March 1 that
would have given the Daily Nebraskan $9,513.
With the student fee decrease, the newspaper’s
profit would be an estimated $20,000. The amend
ment passed 10-8 on March 1.
When asked how he determined $20,000 to be
an acceptable profit, Mashek said he “just pulled it
out of the air." 1
Brent Stanfield, CFA chairman, said the Daily
Nebraskan hasn’t justified why it needs to make
such a profit.
The newspaper doesn’t need a substantial
profit because it doesn’t pay rent or utilities and
also has a hefty savings account, Stanfield said.
Russell Willbanks, Daily Nebraskan
Publications Board chairman, said student fees
pay for only 20 percent of the newspaper’s printing
and circulation costs - making the $1.19 per stu
dent a subscription of sorts.
Advertising revenues pay for the rest of the
newspaper’s printing and production costs along
with all other costs, including salaries and equip
ment, he said.
But because advertising revenue fluctuates
and the economy looks as though it’s taking a turn
for the worst, the newspaper’s profit estimates
might be off - especially if advertisers start pulling
Please see ASUN on 6
Senators extinguish
bill banning smokes
■ LB227, which would stop
smoking in restaurants, was
Smokers won’t have to worry
about changing their restaurant
eating habits this year.
Legislators defeated the
restaurant smoking bill on
Wednesday in a 19-29-1 decision
after the bill waited to be debated
on the legislative floor for more
than a month.
LB227, introduced by Sen.
Nancy Thompson of Papillion,
would have banned smoking in
restaurants unless they had a
liquor license or a separately
attached room used for private
social functions.
Thompson said the bill came
down to several senators who sup
ported the bill talking about public
health benefits and senators who
opposed the bill not wanting to
impose regulations on businesses.
The debate on the restaurant
smoking bill is similar to the
debate that surrounded the
Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act
before it was finally passed in
1979, Thompson said.
The Clean Indoor Air Act,
which mandated separate smok
ing and nonsmoking areas in
restaurants among other things,
took several years of being intro
duced and debated in the
Legislature before it was passed.
During debate, Thompson
amended the bill to take out the
definition of a bar, included in
section four of the bill, because
the Department of Health and
Human Services are working on a
more specific definition of a bar.
Several other amendments
were proposed during the course
of a three-dav debate on the bill
but failed to get adopted.
Among the proposed amend
ments that failed was an amend
ment by Sen. Gene Tyson of
Norfolk to exclude small restau
rants from the smoking ban.
Another failed amendment,
proposed by Sen. Adrian Smith of
Gering, would have banned
smoking in cars if children under
18 were present.
Smith said he voted against
the bill because of loopholes in
the bill and because it infringed
on private property rights.
“I am actually allergic to
smoke and try my best to avoid it,”
Smith said.
“But who am I to say to private
property owners that they can’t
allow consumers of a legal prod
uct on their property.”
Sen. Doug Cunningham of
Wausa said his wife can't stand
going to smoke-filled restaurants
and neither can he.
Banning smoking in restau
rants is not a function of govern
ment, he said, and restaurant
owners should make the deci
Please see SMOKING on 5
Feathered friends fly with a purpose
■The memory capability of
birds has amazed Kamil for
nearly 20 years.
The definition of the phrase
“bird-brained” may need to be
As a University of Nebraska
Lincoln researcher has shown,
birds can posses an astounding
Anyone who has ever forgot
ten where they parked their car
could take a few lessons from the
Clark's nutcracker.
"The nutcracker has an
amazing ability to remember
locations,” said Alan Kamil, a
UNL professor of biology.
The Clark’s nutcracker lives
in the high altitude regions of
Arizona and Colorado. It spends
each fall harvesting and burying
pine seeds. With a special throat
pouch that allows it to earn,' up
to 90 seeds at a time, the nut
cracker deposits this future food
in numerous locations.
“Each fall, an individual bird
will bury as many as 20,000 seeds
in five to six thousand locations,”
Kamil said.
In winter, the birds will
return to these sites, finding the
hoarded food even when the
area is blanketed with snow.
Field studies have shown that
the nutcrackers have a very high
rate of seed recovery.
“Biologists are trying to
understand exactly what it is that
allows the bird to remember the
sites,” he said.
Kamil has been studying
birds for nearly 20 years. When
on sabbatical in Sydney,
Australia, Kamil said he devel
oped his hypothesis.
"Once it occurred to me, it
was so obvious,” he said.
Kamil has found that the
Clark's nutcracker is capable of a
very' precise search for its stored
food because of its ability to find
metric relationships between
multiple landmarks.
While some species of birds
may navigate by magnetic com
passes, solar or astral indicators,
the nutcracker uses landmarks
to find its cached seeds. Though
a spatial location can be found
by a single landmark, an increase
in the number of landmarks
used resulted in an increase in
successful seed searches.
The use of these multiple
landmarks is not mere redun
The nutcracker, like the
homing pigeon, has an internal
compass that helps them to nav
Kamil said his research
showed that the multiple land
marks counteracted the effects
of compass error in the nut
Kamil published his findings
last month in the Journal of
Experimental Biology and said
he has already received feedback
from other ornithologists.
In April, he will be traveling
to England to speak on his find
In the meantime, Kamil and
his research group have con
structed a new laboratory sce
nario for the birds in the base
ment of Manter Hall.
Sharon Kolbet/DN
Alan Kamil, a UNL biology professor, stands next to a photograph of a bird known as
the Clark's nutcracker. In his research, Kamil has found that the nutcracker uses mul
tiple landmarks in the winter to find the thousands of seeds it buried in the fall.
In a 24-sided room, the
researchers have put posters on
the wall. The posters serve as
visual landmarks for the birds
when they go to bury their seeds
in the lab’s sandy floor.
After the birds have become
familiar with the room, Kamil
plans to shift all of the posters 90
degrees to see what effect the
change will have on the nut
cracker's seed finding abilities.
Kamil said the research has
many implications.
“Other animals use land
marks. This research may help us
understand how humans navi
gate.” he said.
“If you have ever asked
someone for directions, you
have seen how some people use
landmarks while others don’t.”