Grace Gorenflo: Hello and welcome to The Daily Nebraskan’s weekly news podcast. Here we take you through our top three stories of the week in case you missed them. My name is Grace Gorenflo, assistant news editor, and this is Your Week on Campus.
First we have Board of Regents reporter Zach Wendling here to tell us about Sustain UNL’s efforts to urge the University of Nebraska to cease investments in fossil fuels. Zach?
Zach Wendling: Well, Grace, Sustain UNL and the Environmental and Agricultural Law Society at UNL are advocating for change by urging the University of Nebraska Foundation to divest, or completely move all investments away from fossil fuels.
The campaign for divestment is in its beginning stages at UNL, and students will, in the coming weeks, start educating the campus on the immediate impacts divestment can have against climate change. The two recognized student organizations will begin tabling around campus, begin distributing a petition to urge university officials to act and begin meeting with faculty and other RSOs to receive endorsements to help their cause
I met with NU President Ted Carter, who spoke at a student forum last year about his views on climate change and spoke in favor of looking into what would be best for the NU system. Carter said the system has to be smart and open to ideas, but said they will look into where it makes sense to instill changes without taking away from what we already enjoy. He said the concerns of students are being heard, and their passion for climate action is acknowledged not just as an issue for Nebraskans, but as a concern nationwide.
Sustain UNL and the Environmental and Agricultural Law Society are expected to make an appearance and speak at the Board of Regents meeting this Friday. The group has already met with the NU Foundation, but is hoping for action from the Board of Regents soon.
Gorenflo: Great. It will be interesting to see where that goes. Thank you, Zach.
Wendling: Of course, thank you.
Gorenflo: Next Association of the Students of the University of Nebraska reporter Becca Holladay will update us on potential changes to the Student Code of Conduct. Becca, what are we looking at?
Becca Holladay: Hi, Grace. So, last week there was a feedback session where assistant vice chancellor for Student Affairs Jake Johnson presented the proposed changes that he and his team have made to the Student Code of Conduct. Some of these changes included adjustments to the section on the misuse of alcohol and other substances, and what constitutes the borders of on campus. A group of students attended the session to provide feedback, and one of those members was Jacob Gideon, a junior computer science and finance double major.
The section that addresses the misuse of alcoholic beverages had some significant revisions. As it stands, it would allow the UNL Police Department to hold any student responsible for being intoxicated while near campus, not just on university property. Additionally, the code language defines no clear definitions for what it means to be “near campus.”
Gideon was not a huge fan of this specific revision, saying that this would allow the UNL police to potentially prosecute something that could be constituted as legal behavior. Vice chancellor Johnson defended the revision, saying that the university just wants to encourage healthy, responsible behavior among students.
However, Gideon said, “Go to O Street. Students are intoxicated everywhere. Perhaps completely irresponsibly, but entirely within their rights to be so.”
Other changes include the removal of “you” as a second person pronoun in favor of the word “students” and the replacement of any gendered pronouns, such as he or she, with “they” to be more inclusive.
Gorenflo: Great. Thank you, Becca.
To close out today, we’ll chat about reporter Erica Courtney’s story on a new mental health campaign ASUN kicked off last week.
Inspired by an initiative launched at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016, ASUN has started the Green Bandana Project, which encourages students to tie a green bandana to their backpack or other personal items to signify that they are an ally to those struggling with their mental health, as well as someone safe to talk to.
The allies are also encouraged to carry around resource cards they can hand out to those who approach them for help. The campaign had a two-day kickoff last week, and, from now on, there will be permanent booths around campus where students who did not previously receive a bandana can pick one up.
Alright, thank you everyone for tuning in to this week’s podcast. Be sure to check out dailynebraskan.com for more on these stories and even more UNL news. Tune in next time and enjoy Your Week on Campus.