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 reporter Jolie Peal here to discuss Thursday’s Committee for Fee Allocations meeting, where members discussed budget requests for the next fiscal year. Jolie, where does the committee currently stand?
Jolie Peal: Well, currently, all of the committee unanimously approved all of the budgets. But that was like a preliminary vote, so this upcoming Thursday they’ll be voting again to finalize all those recommendations. But they talked a lot about the different ones that were asking for more money, one of which was The Daily Nebraskan.
The Daily Nebraskan asked for $8,500 more to pay for Hearken, a technology-based organization that fuels Curious Cornhuskers. And Allen Vaughan, the general manager for The Daily Nebraskan, said that the reason they’re asking for this is because it helps them connect with readers, it helps them with networking and organizing events, just to increase those student organizations.
And, next, the DailyER, they talked a lot about, just questioning, “What do you pay your staffers?” And they don’t right now. But they didn’t ask for an increase in budget, they were just asking for the same budget from last year.
The next thing they talked about was the Lied Center, and the Lied Center asked for a 13.5% increase from their budget last year, which was $185,000. Their budget has been the same for a couple years, and they asked for this increase because they saw a student demand for student tickets. They have an Arts for All program, which gives out a certain amount of free tickets, and then they also give half-priced student tickets. And they saw the student demand going, so they wanted that increase in budget to show it.
And then the last big decrease, actually — ASUN asked for a $68,528 decrease in their budget, and that came from they have one less full-time staff member, and they also had a reorganization of their staff starting at a lower salary. So they didn’t really need that much money anymore, so they were asking for a decrease.
Gorenflo: And what are next steps for the fees, when do we know for sure what CFA plans to do with these fee requests?
Peal: Well, so, this Thursday, CFA will once again vote on these finalized recommendations, and once they do that — they’ll approve them or disapprove of them — then they go off to ASUN and we’ll see ASUN vote on them either late February or early March. Just their final vote on whether they’re going to take these budgets in or not.
Gorenflo: Awesome. Thank you, Jolie.
Now reporter Zach Wendling is going to give us the rundown on three upcoming bills in the Nebraska Legislature that could impact students. Zach, what’re we looking at?
Zach Wendling: Well, Grace, every year there are a lot of bills introduced in the Nebraska Legislature that have the potential of impacting the University of Nebraska. Three could have a large impact on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln if they’re approved this year.
According to Melissa Lee, director of communications for NU, the system’s top priority is LB 1008, which would create a Nebraska Career Scholarship for students studying math, engineering, health care or computer information systems. The bill was introduced by District 19 Sen. Jim Scheer, speaker of the Legislature, at the request of Gov. Pete Ricketts.
According to the bill, the [NU] Board of Regents would receive $2 million for fiscal year 2020-21. Students would be required to register with their respective campus to obtain a Nebraska-based internship, apprenticeship, clinical position or major-related field of employment prior to completing their program of study. Lee said NU President Ted Carter will testify for the bill at an upcoming Appropriations Committee hearing.
LB 962 was introduced by District 8 Sen. Megan Hunt this legislative session and would create the Nebraska Fair Pay to Play Act, which, according to the bill, would allow student athletes to enter contracts to receive compensation for the use of their name, image or likeness rights or athletic reputation. If approved, the bill would become operative on July 1, 2023.
Finally, LB 1036 was introduced by District 46 Sen. Adam Morfeld on behalf of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska and, according to the bill, would lower the age of majority in Nebraska for healthcare decisions from 19 to 18, allowing those 18 years of age or older make these decisions for themselves without the consent of a parent or guardian.
Sen. Morfeld said the current age of majority causes problems when students try to get timely healthcare, and ASUN voted to officially give its support on Jan. 29. A Judiciary Committee hearing for the bill was held on Jan. 31
With 40 days remaining in this legislative session, we’ll be watching for what passes, what doesn’t and what future impact these bills may have on the NU system.
Gorenflo: For sure. There’s a lot happening. Thank you for being on top of it, Zach.
Wendling: Thank you, Grace.
Gorenflo: To close out today, we’ll chat about reporter Erica Courtney’s story on preventative measures the university has taken in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
On Jan. 31, UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green announced his decision to cancel all spring study abroad trips to China. Public affairs director Leslie Reed said they are trying to find alternative study locations for the Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management students who had planned on going.
According to Reed, the University Health Center will follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines if a student is believed to have been infected.
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.