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.
Thanks for tuning in, and happy new year. To mark the start of a fresh semester, we’re going to do something a little different this week. Joining me are four news reporters, each of whom are going to give us a rundown on what changes regarding their beat we can expect to see on campus in the coming semester.
First we have University Housing and Dining Services reporter Hanna Christensen here to tell us about some changes to our dining systems this semester. Hanna?
Hanna Christensen: So, first of all, the director of Dining is looking to add kiosks in to Abel [Husker] Heroes. And there already is a kiosk over in East Campus. And he said you take your ticket to the cashier, the cashier scans it and knows how much to charge. So, basically, it just makes it so that you can order ahead for your food. He’s also looking to extend the dinner meal period to 12 a.m. He said he’s excited about giving students new options with this and being able to have things open late at night. And he wants to make sure they’re working around students’ schedules. In particular, Abel [Husker] Heroes will be open later for sure.
Also, the Selleck renovations will be beginning in May. Renovations will be making the Selleck dining hall more of a food court style and there will be seven different concepts.
Gorenflo: Awesome. Interested to see how those all go. Thank you, Hanna.
Christensen: Thank you
Gorenflo: Next Association of the Students of the University of Nebraska reporter Becca Holladay is going to tell us about new initiatives we will see from our student government in the coming months. Becca, what’s up first?
Becca Holladay: Hi, Grace. First we have #FlipToGreen, which starts this semester. #FlipToGreen is a joint initiative between ASUN and the [City] Union to encourage students to sit with someone they do not know. There will be flip cards on the tables in the union dining area that let students indicate whether other students can join them.
Next up we have the Night of Listening, which is Tuesday, Feb. 18. Students and elected officials from the local, state and federal levels will come together to discuss policies affecting students and it will give attendees a chance to voice their opinions directly to those who are implementing the policies.
In March, we have the ASUN elections, where students will vote for the elected ASUN positions for the 2020-2021 term. Finally, we have the EcoCoin initiative, which allows students to opt out of a plastic bag when purchasing items from C-Stores and instead use a wooden token to donate to a selected campus organization. This was planned to launch with the start of the spring semester, but it is now expected to launch in April around Earth Day.
Gorenflo: Here with us now is University Police reporter Jolie Peal who has some updates on recent crime and UNLPD’s plans for the upcoming semester. Take it away, Jolie.
Jolie Peal: Alright. So, this past semester a lot of consistency in crimes was especially with auto thefts. We had three stolen vehicles over the semester. But, along with that, we had nine [instances of] items, or just things, stolen from vehicles. So, university police really recommend that, you know, you lock your vehicles, you don’t keep valuables in them. And just making sure that you’re doing everything that you can to prevent these because once it happens, it happens and then it’s a whole debacle. So, that’s a big thing I saw this past semester that I hope I don’t see this semester. But also over the winter break that we just had, there was a lot less crime because you lost all the students that were on campus, they all went home. So there wasn’t a lot of crime being reported, but I expect to see that up and at ‘em again.
But, also, something I’m excited for this semester to really dig into is the social media presence that UNLPD has. You know, they have Facebook, Twitter. And something they do is they spotlight a cop every month and this month it’s Officer [Peter] Delgado and his K-9 Justice, which is really sweet. And they just do interviews with them, talk about what they do and let you get to know them and let you know that, hey, university police are people, too.
But, also this semester, I hope to look into different fun things they’re doing, too, like a Greek liaison officer, these new positions of safety to help increase that presence, specifically with certain societies or clubs that are a big presence on campus. And, also, just the new officers they’re getting, or new people that are working and student interns. They have a lot going on that I’m interested to see what they’re doing with.
Gorenflo: Awesome. Thank you, Jolie.
Lastly Board of Regents reporter Zach Wendling will remind us what we can expect to see from the University of Nebraska’s new president this semester, among other events regarding the board. Hi, Zach.
Wendling: Hi, Grace. So, first and foremost, Walter “Ted” Carter officially became the eighth University of Nebraska system president on Jan. 1, assuming the office from Susan Fritz who returned to her position as the executive vice president and provost for the NU system. At a Board of Regents meeting on Dec. 19 last year, the regents approved the creation of a Presidential Transition Committee. The team will consist of no more than 10 to 15 people and is still being formed, according to Melissa Lee, the director of University Communications. According to the minutes of that meeting, President Carter hopes the committee will help support his goal of creating a five-year strategy for his presidency within his first 100 days of taking office in April.
At their first scheduled meeting of the year, on Friday, Feb. 7, the regents will likely vote for next year’s vice chairman and discuss next year’s budget for the NU system, which will be important to look ahead to for any increases to tuition or any other monetary changes for students and staff.
Current vice chairman Jim Pillen will lead the board into the new year as the next chairman, assuming the torch from Chairman Tim Clare, and, of the remaining regents, a new vice chairman will be selected. After serving for six years each, District 1 Regent Clare and District 2 Regent Howard Hawks will either seek reelection, or a new candidate will vie for their seats. Currently, it has not yet been announced whether either will seek reelection. And, because the District 2 seat is up for an election, Hawks is not eligible for the vice chairman position.
So, Grace, the regents are looking ahead to some big decisions in the next meeting in February.
Gorenflo: Yes, for sure. So much to look out for. Thank you, Zach.
Wendling: Thank you, Grace.
Grace Gorenflo: 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.