2 • THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2017
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dear reader, When I was young, my mom never told me which way she voted. But she would always take me to the polls with her to watch her vote in both local and national elections. Before I could even read the names of candidates listed on the screen, she would let me stand on my tippy toes to press the buttons selecting who she wanted to vote for (this is probably super illegal – sorry for outing you, Deb). Then she’d let me have her “I Voted” sticker that I would proudly wear at Briarwood Elementary the rest of the day. My social studies teacher mother fostered in me a love for the democratic process, not necessarily a specific party or ideology. For that, I’m so thankful. It wasn’t until the 2008 presidential election that I began to follow a certain candidate. 13-year-old Lauren became especially intrigued by a young, optimistic black senator from Illinois. As I curled up on my couch to watch presidential debates for the first time, I was drawn to this man’s ability to sincerely connect with all types of people and by his
over-arching message of inclusivity and hope. I was finally able to understand and follow a campaign from start to finish. I remember being teary-eyed in my living room as I watched the first African American presidentelect take the stage in Chicago to give his victory speech. Barack Obama was my president. As a general rule, reporters are not supposed to disclose political leanings. That’s not what this is. But as the president that has held office for the majority of most University of Nebraska-Lincoln students’ lives passes the baton, I felt it necessary to reflect on the way his leadership has affected young people. Whether you agreed with him entirely or not at all these past eight years, I believe the following are lasting (non-policy-related) impacts President Obama had on my peers: His presidency ushered in an era of political activism among millennials, both liberal and conservative. He is the reason my interest in politics was piqued and probably the root of why I declared a political science major when I came to UNL three years ago. I know this is the reason many of my peers also de-
veloped political awareness. He was the first president of the social media era, meaning the electorate could now communicate as the leader of the free world in 140 characters or less. It meant GIFs of speech sound bites, memes of him and Vice President Joe Biden and a video of Michelle Obama doing carpool karaoke with James Corden. These things made the president and his family accessible and “cool.” When I saw him speak in Kansas City in my senior year of high school, I heard a president who, despite pressure and criticism, spoke with grace and humility. Who invited input from all backgrounds and perspectives. Who elicited respect for the highest office. I will give the president that follows him as much respect. And the president after. And the president after that. And I will teach my future children to do the same – telling them stories of the man who served as the first example of my country’s leader. Of the man who got me to care. In his farewell address, President Obama charged Americans to come together in a divisive political climate:
“Democracy does not require uniformity,” he said. “Our founders argued, they quarrelled and eventually they compromised. They expected us to do the same. But they knew that democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity. The idea that, for all our outward differences, we’re all in this together, that we rise and fall as one.” He started and ended with hope. With a message of finding common ground with those unlike us. Let’s live and lead like that, too. Best,
Lauren Brown-Hulme Managing Editor
front page file photo by margaret davenport
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MANAGING EDITOR
Founded in 1901, the Daily Nebraskan is the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s only independent daily newspaper written, edited and produced entirely by UNL students. The Daily Nebraskan is published by the UNL Publications Board, 20 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St., Lincoln, NE 68588-0448. The board holds public meetings monthly. © 2016 DAILY NEBRASKAN
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THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2017 DAILYNEBRASKAN.COM
Freshman class retention rate lowest in years Aaron Hegarty dn staff writer
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln had its largest-ever incoming freshman class in 2016, with 4,860 students. Of those, 865 won’t be back to begin their sophomore year next fall, assuming the freshman retention rate is consistent from a year ago. The one-year retention rate for the 2015 freshman class, or the proportion of firstyear students who return the following fall semester, was 82.2 percent, according to the Office of Institutional Research, Analytics and Decision Support. “It’s an indicator of whether students are being successful in their first year,” said Associate Vice Chancellor Amy Goodburn, who leads graduation and retention initiatives. UNL’s rate is by far the lowest in the Big Ten, according to each university’s Common Data Set. All other Big Ten institutions have a one-year retention rate greater than 90 percent, excluding Iowa at 87 percent. “It’s a challenge for us,” Goodburn said. “We’re a very different institution from some of those other Big Ten peers.” Goodburn said less challenging admission requirements are a reason why UNL’s retention rate is relatively low. She also said the university has a different mission than other Big Ten schools because it is the only land grant research institution in the state. “It bothers me that our students aren’t succeeding in the ways that we’d want them to,” Goodburn said. “But I also understand that we have [a] different demographic population, and different academic preparation of our students. It’s not surprising to me, but it’s always something that we’re trying to work on.” That effort has also proven to be an uphill battle as the rate has declined in recent years. The 2015 freshman class’ 82.2 retention rate was the lowest since 2003, a 1.8 point fall from 2013. Outside of that, the retention rate has hovered between 80.8% and 84.4% since 2001. However, while the retention rate experienced a downturn recently, UNL’s enrollment has been increasing by an average of 388 students each fall since 2013, according to IRAD enrollment data. Goodburn said the decrease in retention rate may be because as UNL’s enrollment increases towards the goal of 30,000 students by
“It’s a challenge for us. We’re a very different institution from some of those other Big Ten peers.” 2020, the proportion of out-of-state students and underrepresented minority students increases. “We already knew that those students have lower retention rates,” Goodburn said. “Out-of-state students have a lower retention rate because sometimes they feel they can get a similar experience in-state at a lower cost.” One freshman who did not return for his fall semester is Rugger Holmes, who cited poor academic performance and family problems as reasons for his departure. Instead of continuing his bachelor’s degree in journalism, Holmes is now focusing on work and pursuing a music career. “I figured I would complete school going in,” Holmes said. “I think definitely that [family problems] played in to me not
doing well in school. But also, I’m just not a school person. I’ve never been good at school. I wasn’t motivated to get to class or anything.” Holmes said he is not surprised that 17.8 percent of students are not attending the university a year after beginning. “I think some people just aren’t as motivated to get an education,” Holmes said. “I don’t think that getting a college degree is the determining factor on whether or not you’ll be successful in life, and I think other people are starting to realize that.” Holmes was a William H. Thompson Scholar last semester, a scholarship based on financial need. He said lower academic standards could cause the lower retention rates. “I got into the university on practically a full ride getting a 2.6 [GPA] in high school,”
Holmes said. “I think that the University of Nebraska lets people in pretty easily, and definitely gives them opportunities.” Improving retention rates are part of UNL’s enrollment goal of 30,000 students by 2020, according to a 2014 Lincoln Journal Star article. “We are making a major effort on retention, in part, because it is the right thing to do -- to do everything we can to make students successful -- and we would be doing these things if our retention rate was 95 percent,” then-UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman said in the 2014 article. As part of those retention efforts, UNL now asks students to complete a survey at New Student Enrolment. The survey categorizes students in topics such as grit, motivation, time management and academic preparation. This, along with the students’ GPA and ACT scores, allows the university to target students who need extra support and point them towards relevant success programs such as the writing center or study shops, Goodburn said. Many of the student success initiatives were created in the last five years. The First Year Experience Office, which offers free academic coaching and group workshops, was founded in 2013. The Military and Veteran Success Center opened in 2015. In addition, new advising programs were developed, including Compass, which helps undeclared students choose a major and develop a plan. While the programs haven’t improved the retention rate, they have helped improve the four-year graduation rate, Goodburn said. According to IRAD, the four-year graduation rate for first-year students in the fall of 2012 was 40.1 percent, a 7.1 point increase from 33 percent in the fall of 2009. The four-year graduation rate has steadily increased from 18 percent in 1996. The average graduation time is four-anda-half years, Goodburn said. “I think that’s exciting,” Goodburn said. “We’re seeing that students are using fouryear plans and getting the message that a four-year graduation rate is possible for them … So now, our goal is to just get more of our students to graduate. We’re getting the ones who are graduating, graduating faster. Now we’re trying to retain more of them.” news @ dailynebraskan . com
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THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
Dunkin’ Donuts takes part in recycling campaign
courtesy photo Sarah Wontorcik DN Staff Writer Every day, Dunkin’ Donuts manager Vernon Joseph and his team send anywhere from 80 to 100 pounds of coffee grounds to be composted. Midway through the fall semester, the Dunkin’ Donuts in the Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons began participating in efforts to reduce waste through composting pre-consumer waste. On top of composting, Dunkin’ Donuts also recycles any plastic jugs from flavorings and milk. Since its opening, Dunkin’ Donuts has also made it a point to keep the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus styrofoam-free by using double-walled cups instead.
“We definitely want to do our part to reduce waste on a worldwide effort and go green,” Joseph said. UNL food vendors composting pre-consumer waste is part of the Association of Students at the University of Nebraska’s initiative toward making UNL a zero-waste campus. Early in the fall semester, the Environmental Sustainability Committee launched a project to divert waste from the landfill and instead send it to Big Red Worms, a composting company in Lincoln. “From the few students that we’ve talked to, students are like, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s really awesome. We need that.’ They really appreciate that UNL is going to a sustainability mindset,” said Eric Garcia, Sustain UNL vice president and member of the ESC Zero Waste
committee. “We throw away so much. The landfill can only take so much.” Joseph said composting has actually made things easier for him at Dunkin’ Donuts since there is less waste to handle. “Everybody on the team is working to [compost], and they understand the importance of participating in this green effort by the university,” Joseph said. “Dunkin’ Donuts has a brand geared toward [being environmentally conscious] nationwide, so we are able to help them out at the store level with that effort.” Garcia said he believes students are becoming more aware of the environment and the steps that can be taken to preserve it. He attributes this awareness to UNL’s student body becoming more diverse, open-minded
and environmentally conscious. “The university needs to move in a direction where it’s more sustainable to appeal to younger groups of students, who grew up in an era that’s had a lot of focus on environmental issues and being environmentally conscious,” Garcia said. Garcia also said he thinks the ESC is one of the most active committees within ASUN as a result of students placing a higher priority on sustainability. “ESC is a path to bring change on campus,” Garcia said. “[Recycling] is something that students want to happen.” news @ dailynebraskan . com
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Student art on display at Lux Center Jessica Larkins DN STAFF WRITER The designs of 18 University of NebraskaLincoln students are currently on display at the Lux Center for the Arts in Lincoln. The exhibition, titled “Let There Be Light,” features work from students who completed the studio art foundation and drawing courses. The exhibition was featured in a First Friday celebration on Jan. 6, but will also be on display through Jan. 21. The Lux Center for the Arts, previously known as the University Place Art Center, is located at 2601 N. 48th St. The Lux is free and open to the public. Mikayla Zulkoski, a freshman art major, said the exhibition needed a positive title because many people are anxious about the upcoming year. “I would view [the exhibition] as kind of giving off my own little bit of light and doing what I can to make the world a better place,” she said. The exhibition features everything from self-portraits to three-dimensional art. Students selected their best work for the exhibi-
alanna johnson|dn tion. Because of this, there is no overarching theme to the exhibition. That’s why the title “Let There Be Light” was the perfect name, Zulkoski said. “Really, we just wanted an optimistic name for the new year,” she said. Participation in the exhibition was optional, but Zulkoski said the class was beneficial to her as a student and a future artist. Students had their work displayed in a professional show, and they made personal websites. The
websites featured images from their work, a biography and a curriculum vitae. After putting in the work all semester, Zulkoski said she was glad to have the chance to show everyone what she had accomplished. She chose a 3-D needle-felted sculpture of a “beast” to display. Zulkoski said a lot of her family came to see her work displayed at the Lux. “It was really inspiring,” she said. “It made me want to make more work so I could show it
off again. I felt really proud of myself.” Sandra Williams, associate professor of art, was the instructor for the course. She told Nebraska Today the inspiration came from her efforts to continually pair reallife experience and academic objectives. Williams said students participating in the exhibition of their work is an important part of their development both academically and professionally. It’s also important for students to start setting goals early, knowing they will have the rest of their academic career to reach those goals. Zulkoski said Williams is a selfless professor who encourages students to do their best. She also said Williams taught students how to promote themselves as artists. “I felt like she fit five hours of class in what little time we had together,” Zulkoski said. “If you do an art major, I would recommend Sandra’s course.” NEWS @ DAILYNEBRASKAN . COM
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6 • THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2017
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
UNL professor developing anti-ice concrete
courtesy photo Mia Everding dn staff writer
Christopher Tuan, a civil engineering professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, had an innovative idea for a new type of concrete in the early 1990s “When I was working for the Air Force, it was an important task to de-ice the runway,” Tuan said. To combat the hazard of icy runways, the new concrete would consist of normal material, with steel fibers and shavings mixed in. A separate power source then heats the steel particles and prevents snow and ice accumulation. Initially, Tuan said people in the concrete business were skeptical, but he won over the Federal Aviation Administration. They especially took interest because of
how it could change winter flying. Airports that are notoriously icy and hazardous could use the concrete to heat tarmacs and stop cancelling flights or closing airports, he said. With the FAA’s funding, Tuan was able to begin work on his project. However, in the past, not much work had been done to tackle such a large task as thawing entire airplane runways and tarmac. Experimentation with heating cables in pipelines and other de-icing technologies had started, but for the most part, those ideas had failed. “Most academic people are limited,” Tuan said. In the past, people trying to start projects such as Tuan’s did not have the resources necessary for completing such work. By the time Tuan had started his project in the mid 1990s, then-President Bill Clinton was cutting the military budget, and Tuan never got the chance to implement his work for the
runway. That was his reason for leaving the Air Force. “I proposed the project on concrete to the Department of Roads, and began work in ’96-’97,” Tuan said. In 2002, the Nebraska Department of Roads granted Tuan a bridge to begin his work on. “I was able to implement collective concrete-heating pavement - with this actual piece of architecture” Tuan said. Since 2002, other professors have aided Tuan in his work. Lim Nguyen, a professor of electrical engineering, said in a phone interview that he has been involved for approximately 15 years. “Tuan had been able to do initial work, but he needed help with testing with electrical work with concrete,” Nguyen said. He became a part of the team that worked on the bridge in 2002, and after, he and Tuan built an experimental concrete heating pad
outside the Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha. After the project’s successful debut, two of them are looking forward to the second phase of the project. Phase two consists of building a largescale tarmac pad at the Atlantic City International Airport in New Jersey. After the approval of the phase two proposal plan from the FAA, and after their approval, the process of building the tarmac can begin. However, this second step will not necessarily include Tuan. Instead, a construction contractor will be hired. Phase two is expected to last at least a couple of years. If phase two proves successful, more widespread implementation can take place. “Norway has expressed interest, but we need to prove it in the U.S. first,” Nguyen said. news @ dailynebraskan . com
THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2017 DAILYNEBRASKAN.COM
Chef Karim’s Mediterranean Grill reopens
Grace Bradford dn staff writer
For 30 years, Chef Abdel Karim Chhibbane has traveled the world. His culinary career began in Marrakech, Morocco where he helped his parents with their restaurant. To continue on with his interest in culinary arts, Chhibbane moved to Lyons, France. For four years, he cooked and learned from some of the greatest chefs in the world. While still working in France, he planned a trip to see some friends in California. During his visit, Chhibbane made the decision that California was where he would move to next. “I fell in love with the United States and the people,” Chhibbane said. His move to California gave him the opportunity to work as an executive chef and cook in kitchens all over the state, including his own when he opened a Moroccan restaurant in Santa Barbara. Chhibbane ran
this restaurant for 18 years, until he made his next move to Lincoln. He said after a prior visit to Lincoln, he decided to move because of how much he enjoyed the people. “People in Lincoln are the sweetest people,” Chhibbane said. By moving to Lincoln, Chhibbane also brought his Mediterranean cuisine along with him. For three years, Chhibbane focused on remodeling a building that would later become his Mediterranean restaurant, Chef Karim’s Mediterranean Grill. His years of traveling around the world to cook are reflected in the menu, which consists of Mediterranean food with other cuisine influences, including French and Moroccan. Though Chhibbane will be the first to say that he doesn’t have a favorite item to cook on his menu. “You have to be in love with every dish,” Chhibbane said. However, Chhibbane said the restaurant business remains difficult, no matter where he is. He said that the restaurant business is
KARIM: PAGE 9
margaret davenport | dn
DAVENPORT: Chef Karim’s exceeds at decadence Margaret Davenport dn staff writer
Chef Karim’s Mediterranean Grill opened in May 2016, bringing Mediterranean cuisine to Lincoln. After a management hiccup that forced them to close suddenly, the restaurant is back in the swing of things. Located at 333 North Cotner Blvd., the restaurant is open only for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and for brunch on Sunday. Having just gotten back into the dreadful groove of school, I ordered a coffee with my dinner. I don’t know who supplies their coffee, but I took a sip and immediately said out loud: “This is excellent coffee.” It wasn’t bitter and had an almost sweet flavor to it. Next time I go, I will be sure to ask where they source it from. I ordered the cream and zesty mussels off of the appetizer menu, and I fell in love. The mussels can be served either “cream and
zesty” or “wine and garlic” and the waitress highly recommended the former. The sauce was in fact creamy and zesty. It almost tasted like an alfredo sauce but was somewhat peppery. All of the mussels were steamed perfectly. The most exciting part of eating the mussels was pulling the mussel out of the shell. I had to hold the mussel in my hand while I pried the little sea creature from it with a fork. My hands got very messy because of the sauce and instead of doing the polite thing and wiping my hands on my napkin, I found myself licking my fingers clean. A basket of six or seven slices of garlic bread came out with the mussels and I ate every last one of them, dipping them in the left over sauce. It was pure bliss. After being tempted with the dessert menu, I selected a slice of chocolate cake to finish the even with. I expected the slice to be
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margaret davenport | dn
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THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
Lincoln band aspires to promote, grow in new year Sam Crisler dn staff writer
Skyler Roland says 2017 is going to be the year of Leighton. Roland fronts the Lincoln hard rock band Leighton, which he founded nearly six years ago while he was still in high school at Lincoln Northeast. Since then, the band has experienced a series of lineup changes, including the departure of founding drummer Ryan Northup. But within the last few years, they’ve settled into a four-piece made up of Roland and three University of Nebraska-Lincoln students: bassist Dane Christiansen, lead guitarist Garrett Helling and drummer Cole Christiansen. Leighton’s next show is on Thursday, Jan. 12 at Duffy’s Tavern with Left of Reason and Faded Black. The members have developed a musical style that is primarily hard rock but pulls influences from artists across an array of genres. Helling said he takes inspiration from ’80s metal bands like Van Halen and Mötley Crüe, while Dane Christiansen said he tries to inject at least some sort of country bass stylings into each Leighton song. Roland said he listens to rap and pop artists, like The 1975, far more than he listens to rock. But Leighton’s myriad of influences and musical tastes find a middle ground in hard rock songs propelled by down-tuned guitars and impassioned vocals, all while still retaining a pop sensibility. In the time since its formation, Leighton has made a name for itself in the Lincoln music scene by playing countless shows around town and by sharing the stage with big-name touring bands like Saving Abel and Wayland, which Roland said were meaningful experiences. “It’s so humbling because you don’t realize how small you are until you see these big bands and their fans and how dedicated they are,” Roland said. “It really motivates us to work harder.” And they have been working harder. Roland said while Leighton added to their fan base after those big shows, they always had to tell those fans that they didn’t have any music released that they were proud of. But in November, the band hit the studio with producer Chris Steffen to record their first EP, which they plan to release sometime this winter. Steffen said he’s proud of how the EP has turned out, describing the record as incorporating big drums, thumping bass and loud guitars into “good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll.” Dane Christiansen said the music on Leighton’s EP shows a significant maturation
courtesy photo for the band compared to the songs they had written earlier on in the band’s history. He said while their older material followed the typical verse-chorus-verse structure, the music on the EP often includes as many as five or six different sections in one song. And he said Leighton’s collaborative songwriting process is important in the progression of the band’s sound. “We’re always bouncing ideas off of each other when we write,” he said. “Every single thing we write is a group effort.” Dustin Hunke, who booked Leighton’s shows with Saving Abel and Wayland, as well as numerous others, said he’s seen a positive evolution of the band since he first saw them live. “They have continued to become a tighter, and heavier, band since then,” Hunke said. “The dudes have continued to impress me with their progress every time I’ve seen them play.” And while their songwriting grows more complex, many of the songs the band writes stem from Roland’s infatuation with pop music. In the majority of Leighton’s songs melody
seeps its way through the distorted guitars and crushing drums and culminates in emphatic hooks. Roland said he realizes that pop songs are what are most successful and that elements of pop should be incorporated into his own music. “I think somewhere in my subconscious, I just kinda pull that out and I’m like, ‘I need to do something like this,’” he said. “That way people are gonna like it, and they’re gonna want to listen to it.” The band agrees that while their ultimate goal is to make it big, their reasoning for it isn’t for the money, but simply to reach as many listeners as possible. “We want as many people’s ears to hear us as we can get,” Roland said. “And I think that’s way more important than money would ever be.” And Steffen said he thinks Leighton indeed has the potential to build a vast fan base. “I think these guys have the talent and drive to get out there and be heard on a world stage,” Steffen said. “It’s not necessarily an
easy thing to pull off these days, but I think they can definitely do it.” In order for them to be able to attract a wider audience, Christiansen said they’re taking steps to treat Leighton like a brand or a business by giving each member promotional tasks, like social media and handling merch, and holding each other accountable to those tasks. “We’re developing roles for ourselves in the band aside from being musicians,” Roland said. “That’s why I think we’re gonna make 2017 the year for Leighton. It’s gonna be a busy year for us.” Roland said he even hopes Leighton will be able to go on their first tour this summer to spread their music to as many people as possible. Along with their branding efforts and the release of their new EP, Roland said he thinks the timing is right for Leighton’s breakout. “We can actually start growing a fanbase,” Roland said. “It’s gonna be nice, man. I’m so excited for it.” arts @ dailynebraskan . com
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KARIM: FROM PAGE 7
one of the riskiest but best businesses to be in. “You get to make people happy,” Chhibbane said. “The people you serve also become your friends.” When Chhibbane opened up Chef Karim’s Meditteranean Grill last May, he said one of the main difficulties he faced was making sure he found the right staff to work alongside with. “It’s hard to find people who have the desire to learn and who have the passion,” Chhibbane said. General manager, Lewis Whitemagpie, describes the current staff as being one big family. “I have never met someone so passionate about the thing he does,” Whitemagpie said. As the business at Chef Karim’s Meditteranean Grill continues to increase,
Whitemagpie sees the restaurant having a bright future. “I would like to expand the restaurant, open up more locations and make it the most popular Mediterranean restaurant in Lincoln.” As his restaurant picks up business and becomes more successful, Chhibbane continues to look at the word success with a different meaning. “Being successful means getting people’s respect,” Chhibbane said. The chef doesn’t look back on taking a chance on Lincoln. Even Nebraska’s frigid weather doesn’t dim his spirits. “The weather doesn’t matter,” Chhibbane said. What matters more, he said, is whether or not he is happy. “I’m happy where I am.” ARTS @ DAILYNEBRASKAN . COM
DAVENPORT: FROM PAGE 7 thin, but what came out looked to be about a fourth of a cake. It was huge and drizzled in a berry sauce with slices of strawberry and shavings of chocolate. When I couldn’t finish it, the to-go box could not close due to the sheer largeness of it. The entrees for the dinner menu are a bit pricy for the average college kid, ranging from $16 for the vegan platter to $27 for the french rack of lamb. Salads, soups and appetizers are also available. Each dessert was $6 a piece, and if every dessert is as large as the chocolate cake was, I’m sure they are all worth the money. Chef Karim’s Mediterranean Grill is the most beautiful restaurant in Lincoln. No other can even compare. The combination of the colorful tiled floors, the white table clothes and the marble countertops in the restroom make you feel as though you are having a quick luncheon at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The wait staff was fantastic. When the hostess saw me approaching the front door, she rushed out to open it for me, something
I’ve never had happen at any restaurant I’ve ever visited. The waitress did not hover, and when I asked where the restroom was, she actually led me to it. The best part of the evening was having Chef Abdel Karim Chhibbane come out and make sure the meal was to my liking. He approached every table, charming as can be, and made sure everyone was happy ending every conversation saying that if anything else was needed, to simply ask and he would prepare it straight away. It was pure class. If you want to impress a date on every level, take them to Chef Karim’s Mediterranean Grill. It will blow away not only your date but also you. Don’t let the high prices scare you, because any other restaurant in the country with this much poise and sophistication would have its entrees at $50 a plate. You need to go. 5/5 Stars ARTS @ DAILYNEBRASKAN . COM
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THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
Keeleigh Thayn makes gap year worthwhile Joe John dn staff writer
Freshman international business major Keeleigh Thayn spent a gap year before college living and exploring Istanbul, Turkey with the Rotary Youth Exchange program. Through John Baylor’s local ACT prep program , Thayn was recommended to the rotarian in charge of exchanges with the program. “Keeleigh seemed to have the ambition and self confidence that lends itself to great success with a gap year,” Baylor said. “So anyone who exhibits that kind of poise is someone I particularly suggest would take a gap year.” After a lengthy application and interview process, the rotary decided to sponsor Thayn’s exchange. The Rotary International Exchange program is an exchange program for students in secondary school. The Rotary website describes the exchange program as a chance for students to “learn a new language, discover another culture, and truly become a global citizen.” Baylor said he is a firm believer that a gap year can provide new experiences and accelerate self-awareness. “During a gap year abroad, someone can indulge in learning a musical instrument, playing sports, learning a foreign language or any other passion,” Baylor said. “That can really help a young person discover what she truly cares about and what she truly does not care about.” In high school, Thayn spent five years studying French, so she had high hopes of going somewhere in Europe for her exchange. Thayn’s top four choices for host countries were France, Belgium, Switzerland and Brazil. “The rotarian in charge clearly had other plans for me,” Thayn said. “He thought the starkly different culture of Turkey would provide me with the greatest learning opportunity given my age and interests; a year and a half later I fully approve of this decision.” The exchange process began for Thayn when she was 17 years old and overwhelmed with emotions. “I was excited to do something different from my peers and go outside my comfort zone,” Thayn said. “However, going to a country you know absolutely nothing about would scare anyone.” In her time abroad, Thayn said she met her “friends for life,” but also got the chance to embrace an entirely different culture. “I lived with a host family whom I love
austin coudriet | dn
“I was excited to do something different from my peers and go outside my comfort zone.” dearly, and I got to learn so much about another culture,” Thayn said. “From a new language to learning to love new food.” Thayn said she grew so close with her host family that they began telling people she was their actual daughter. “I continue to talk to them every day and miss them more than anything,” Thayn said. “For the first time in my life, I got to have a little sister, and she made every day of my exchange so bright.” One of the hardest parts of the trip for Thayn was learning to become comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
“On the first day, I maneuvered four international airports on my own and got into a car with random strangers, who are now my family,” Thayn said. Thayn said one of the hardest things for her to get used to was the language change. “Although the language only seemed like a small piece of this giant puzzle, it made the beginning really tough,” Thayn said. “When I met my little sister the first day we communicated purely with Google translate and drawing pictures.” Thayn said one of the most memorable moments of her trip was climbing on to a roof
where a scene from “Taken 2” was filmed and taking in the view. “For hours on end we sang and played ukulele and looked over all of Istanbul’s many treasures,” Thayn said. Thayn said her trip was much more than that; it was like a second life. “There’s a quote that floats around exchange students that states, ‘It’s not a year in my life, it’s an entire life in a year,’ and that couldn’t be any truer.” ARTS@DAILYNEBRASKAN.COM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2017 DAILYNEBRASKAN.COM
LARSEN: Infrastructure plan a road to nowhere
Ben Larsen dn staff columnist
When I think of the height of government ineptitude, I think of Alaska’s “road to no-
where.” The three mile stretch of road in a sparsely populated stretch of the Last Frontier, which was paid for by $223 million from the federal government , stands as a paved monument to the absurd ways politicians can take your money and put it towards meaningless projects in the name of building America’s infrastructure. Regrettably, it seems that the next president’s bold plan for infrastructure is in the vein of such absurdity. Our elected representatives should reject such a rash proposal, especially Sen. Fischer, a member of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Steering clear of what looks to be a flaming pile of fiscal wreckage would be a wise move on behalf of Nebraska’s citizens. There have been few details on the Pres-
ident-Elect’s infrastructure package as of yet. During his victory speech, the new chief executive mentioned that he was concocting a “trillion dollar infrastructure plan.” His campaign website notes this, while also mentioning that the package will somehow be deficitneutral. So far only Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart and the next White House chief strategist, has described such a plan in even the most rudimentary of ways, although his statements are just as scant on details as his boss’s. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Bannon said simply “we’re going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks.” There’s a great word to describe Bannon’s idea: reckless. The Oval Office isn’t the place to craft grand schemes which have no
plausible pathway to success, done only in the name of “seeing what sticks.” Conservatives once argued that policies should only be adopted when they have a record of success, and remembered that ultimately it’s the humble taxpayer who’s stuck with the bill when Washington screws up. Some still cling to this philosophy, but are increasingly adrift in a rising nationwide wave of heedless Bannonism. As America goes down Trump’s infrastructure rabbit hole, it’s important to establish what may seem to be a surprising point: our nation’s roads and bridges aren’t in nearly as bad of shape as politicians claim. In fact, the quality of our infrastructure is no different than the other G7 countries. Despite the
LARSEN: PAGE 14
COBB: UNL pet policy should be more leniant
Rhainnon Cobb dn staff columnist
Pets have always been an important part of our lives and many of us have grown up surrounded by them. Whether they were small or large we have all found some pet to love and care for. In the transition from one stage of life to the next it is nice to have something that can bring familiarity and comfort. Often this can be an animal. However, most college students will find that if they head to their dorm with their lifelong friend by their side they will probably be stopped at the door. Dorm pet policies have been criticized across multiple campuses and are often so
strict that they don’t allow for negotiation. For most people, college is a time of responsibility and finding your passion. We would expect that having an animal is something most college students can handle, so why don’t universities allow them? Often it is easiest for the college to play it off as something to avoid high risk situations and prevent allergy complications that may affect other students, however there are dozens of campuses that actually allow pets. For instance MIT allows animals in some of their dorm rooms, allowing cats to roam the hallways and even go into their neighbor’s room providing the floor agrees to it. Fellow Big Ten member University of Illinois allows students in certain apartment style housing to request permission to have two companion pets. If more campuses begin to allow pets on campus, it might make other campus reconsider their policies regarding pets. Animals improve the health of their owners as well as teach responsibility and time management . Many colleges have puppy therapy rooms during finals week, others bring in dogs to help sooth students during stressful weeks on campus. UNL even does this for finals, but what happens if we were to allow animals on campus year-round?
The UNL Housing policy on animals currently states “Non-dangerous fish which live completely underwater are the only pets permitted in the halls. No cats, dogs, gerbils, snakes, birds, crabs, turtles, frogs, spiders, etc; only fish are allowed. Aquariums may be no larger than 25 gallons. Aquarium gravel must not be disposed in toilets or drains.” While the policy does allow for fish, there is a major difference between the affect of a fish and that of an animal that can actually interact with you. The University has some arguments as to why they don’t allow animals such as “Pets can pose a threat to the health and safety” to the community. Individuals with disabilities are at particular risk. For instance, dogs running freely pose a particular hazard to individuals using service animals. Pets on campus can also be destructive, causing damage to grounds, buildings, and property.” . However many of these potential harms can be avoided with careful consideration. Some steps that the university could take include registering animals that come on to campus or setting rules on what happens with animals that are brought to campus. By having specific dorms designated for animals we can lower the chance of allergies and avoid any major health risk.
The UNL animal policies have been too strict for too long, and there are far more benefits to having pets than the potential complications of allowing them. Campuses across the nation have been testing the use of animals in dorms and determining how to make them effective and welcoming for everyone. It is time that UNL steps up and joins the campuses who are adopting the open pet policy. College is a time in our lives where we are expected to take responsibility and show that we can manage and assert our time as needed, so why take away our chance of having a pet? It is time that as a campus we become more aware of the policies and change the ones that need changing. If you want to help in welcoming animals on our campus write letters to the office of administration or talk with friends. Get groups together to talk to administrators and residence leaders about the positive impact a more pet friendly campus can have on the community. RHIANNON COBB IS A FRESHMAN POLITICAL SCIENCE AND GLOBAL STUDIES MAJOR. REACH HER AT OPINION@DAILYNEBRASKAN.COM OR VIA @ DNOPINION
THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2017 DAILYNEBRASKAN.COM
Open quarterback competition awaits Huskers Brett Nierengarten
dn senior sports editor
Editor’s note: College football never stops and with that in mind, the Daily Nebraskan sports staff decided to take an early look at each position group heading into the 2017 season.
“O’Brien completed 75 percent of his throws as a senior...” For the first time in a long time, Nebraska’s quarterback is uncertain heading into spring practice. For three full seasons, it was a forgone conclusion Tommy Armstrong would be the starter. Prior to Armstrong, Taylor Martinez started for three full seasons before an injury in his senior season paved the way for Armstrong, then a redshirt freshman, to start the final eight games of the season. However, Armstrong and his long-time backup, Nebraska native Ryker Fyfe, have both graduated, which means the two-deep at quarterback is in for a makeover.
Tanner Lee, junior Lee comes to Nebraska with two seasons of eligibility remaining after transferring from Tulane, where he started for two seasons. Coming to Tulane, Lee was widely regarded as one of the top quarterback prospects in program history. However, Lee never quite lived up to expectations. He was serviceable in his two years as Tulane’s signal caller but did nothing overwhelmingly impressive. He threw for a total of 3,601 yards to go along with 23 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Now, after a year working on NU’s scout team, Lee appears to have a good chance to take the starting position vacated by Armstrong. At 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, Lee is the ideal size for a pro-style quarterback and has the arm strength to make big time throws at the Division I level. Both head coach Mike Riley and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf were impressed with Lee in practice throughout the season.
file photo | dn Patrick O’Brien, redshirt freshman The clear challenger to Lee is O’Brien, a highly touted recruit from Southern California. O’Brien completed 75 percent of his throws as a senior and completed 32 passing touchdowns. Like Lee, O’Brien has great size as quarterback. He is 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds and was a top-10 ranked quarterback in the Class of 2015 by Rivals and 247Sports. In his only action at Nebraska, O’Brien was 6-of-10 for 59 yards and threw an interception in the 2016 Red-White game. O’Brien
redshirted this season, but suited up as the team’s emergency quarterback last season. Now, he has an opportunity to go from emergency quarterback to starter.
Tristan Gebbia, freshman Like O’Brien, Gebbia had one of the greatest high school careers in the history of California. As a three-year starter, the Calabasas quarterback threw for 13,109 yards and 141 touchdown passes. Gebbia never threw for less than 3,300 yards and 35 touchdowns in a season, with
the best season of his career being his most recent. As a senior, Gebbia completed 70 percent of his passes to go along with 5,338 yards and 61 touchdown passes. At 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, Gebbia will need to bulk up before he can be a productive Division I starter, so it seems more likely that he’ll redshirt than be No. 1 on the depth chart in the fall. sports @ dailynebraskan . com
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2017 • 13
Seniorless backfield leaves big shoes to fill Mikale Wilbon, junior
The sophomore from Chicago, Illinois, could be another prospect to see more playing time in the upcoming season. He saw some playing time in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Wilbon’s 2016 season ended with 89 rushing yards with his longest carry being 32 yards. The Chicago native’s best game came in his hometown during Nebraska’s 24-13 victory against Northwestern in October when he rushed for 55 yards on six carries.
dn staff writer
Editor’s note: College football never stops and with that in mind, the Daily Nebraskan sports staff decided to take an early look at each position group heading into the 2017 season. After Nebraska’s 38-24 loss to Tennessee in the Music City Bowl, spectators and fans are trying to discern if the Husker’s offense is strong enough to continue to pursue a ground game. With the team’s go-to running back Terrell Newby graduating this spring, it’s up to others to step up to fill his spot.
Jaylin Bradley, freshman A recent recruit out of Bellevue, Nebraska, Bradley could also be a player to watch. The Bellevue West High School senior made a verbal commitment to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in early January. The senior led his team to a Nebraska Class A State Championship title in late 2016. During his senior year alone, the standout running back had a total of 324 carries totaling 2,915 yards and 50 touchdowns. Bradley joins Nebraska’s 2017 recruiting class as the fifteenth commit as well as being the only running back in the class.
Devine Ozigbo, junior A sophomore from Sachse, Texas. Ozigbo is a versatile running back standing at 5-foot11 and weighing 230 pounds. In 2016, Ozigbo came out of the gate strong rushing for 103 yards in the Husker’s win against Fresno State. After Nebraska’s 62-3 loss to Ohio State, Ozigbo didn’t see much playing time due to an ankle injury. However, in the bowl game against Tennessee, he took the field again and rushed for 66 yards averaging 9.4 yards per carry. Ozigbo ended the season with 412 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards for five touchdowns. In the 2017 season, Ozigbo is expected to be a key component of the Husker offense.
file photo | dn Tre Bryant, sophomore The true freshman running back out of St. Louis, Missouri, rushed for 172 yards during the 2016 season, with 97 of those yards during the Huskers’ last two regular season games against Maryland and Iowa.
At the conclusion of the season, Bryant received the 2016 Newcomer of the Year award. There was discussion during the preseason whether Bryant would redshirt or not. He didn’t but made a solid impact and gained valuable experience on both offense and special teams.
sports @ dailynebraskan . com
NU offensive line hopes to establish consistency Riley Bowden
dn assistant sports editor
Editor’s note: College football never stops and with that in mind, the Daily Nebraskan sports staff decided to take an early look at each position group heading into the 2017 season. It was an up-and-down season for the Nebraska offensive line in 2016. It was a young group. It was a beat up group. And ultimately, the offensive line was a group that showed flashes, but left much to be desired. In the Music City Bowl, Tennessee tallied four sacks against the Huskers, and Nebraska was only able to muster 61 yards on the ground. The line will no doubt be looking to regroup in 2017 and will be protecting a new signal-caller and bell cow back.
Nick Gates, junior
Gates is the most talented player on the offensive line, and probably will be again in 2017. However, he had just as tough of a day against Tennessee as any other Husker offensive lineman. He had the toughest assignment in defensive end Derek Barnett. Barnett, the future first-round pick, had his way against the Huskers, and you would be hard-pressed to find a drop back that he didn’t affect in some way in the first half. Gates will be looking to bounce back strong this spring heading into the 2017 regular season. He had a huge impact on the line in his sophomore season, and no one should expect anything less in his junior campaign.
Jerald Foster, junior
Foster had potential going into the 2016 season, but he was sidelined for the majority of it after suffering a knee injury in fall camp. Despite originally thinking he would miss the
entire season, he was able to play a handful of snaps late in the season. Foster will be a junior in 2017, and will no doubt be eager to make a bigger impact than he was able to in 2016. He was charted as a left guard in 2016, but if next season is anything like this season, there will be some shifting in position for this group of linemen.
Michael Decker, sophomore
Decker, an Omaha native and Omaha North graduate, was second on the depth chart at center to Dylan Utter for the Music City Bowl. Utter moved to center from guard last spring as the Husker offensive line was shaken up due to injury and departures. With Utter graduating, Decker will be a candidate to replace him. Center is the only offensive line position that loses a starter in 2017, and Decker will have a big opportunity to step in. He will compete with redshirt freshman John Raridon among others for the starting center spot.
file photo | dn Tanner Farmer, junior
Farmer stepped in at right guard as a sophomore in 2016 and gained experience that will be valuable to this group next season. Expect Farmer to make a big jump from
SEE OFFENSIVE LINE: PAGE 14
14 • THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2017
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
LARSEN: FROM PAGE 11
“Canada is superior to the US” trope, our transportation framework is rated as more structurally sound than that of our hockeyobsessed neighbor to the north. (p. 257) Now, it would be a misstep for Americans to take comfort in our ranking. After all, the quality of most developed nations’ infrastructure is still mediocre. However, having some context can prevent us from taking rash measures out of desperation, as Trump seemingly wants to do. It’s also difficult, if not impossible, to comprehend how the president-elect’s proposal wouldn’t blow a hole in the deficit. The idea behind the plan is for the losses incurred from providing a tax credit to the tune of $137 billion to private investors to be made up through profits for the investors and revenue for the government by getting construction workers off the sidelines and back into the workforce. Here again the Trump plan conflicts with reality. The scheme rests on the assumption of there being a dearth of construction jobs, when really the sector’s unemployment rate is 5.3%, only slightly higher than the country’s overall rate of 4.7%. In Trumpworld there may be enough income tax receipts to pay off his highway bill, but back on Planet Earth the motion would be sure to put America even deeper in the red. Instead of drafting their current concep-
tion into a bill, the Trump Administration should instead consider other, more effective policies. First on the docket would be a repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act, which would eliminate the artificial inflation of construction wages, returning them to reasonable market levels and saving the federal government $13 billion. (p. 115) The retained money could provide funding for infrastructure projects that investors can’t turn a profit on, such as waterpipes, or could be returned to state and local governments in the form of grants. The new administration should furthermore be unambiguous in defining the limits of the federal government’s role in infrastructure policy. It may be too much to ask for a seventy year old, but I sincerely hope Trump changes his mind. Pursuing infrastructure policies which crack down on pork-barrel spending while also looking beyond private-public partnerships would be better for both his presidency and the country than a type of Bannon-fueled New Deal. Until then though, Trump’s plans are both a road to nowhere and a bridge too far. BEN LARSEN IS A SOPHOMORE POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR. REACH HIM AT OPINION@DAILYNEBRASKAN. COM OR VIA @DNOPINION.
OFFENSIVE LINE: FROM PAGE 13 the 2016 season to the 2017 season. He was a highly-rated lineman coming out of high school, and with nearly a full season’s work under his belt, he could be a key piece on the right side of the Nebraska line.
Cole Conrad, junior, and David Knevel, senior
Conrad and Knevel both tallied a good amount of time at right tackle this season, and both will be returning for the Huskers in 2017. Conrad will be a junior in 2017 and Knevel a senior. Knevel missed some time late in the season, and Conrad played solid snaps in his absence down the stretch. Conrad is a walk-on from Fremont, Nebraska, and made the start of his career
against Ohio State this season. Both Conrad and Knevel will provide solid depth to the right side of the line in 2017.
John Raridon, Boe Wilson and Matt Farniok all maintained redshirt in the 2016 season and will no doubt add depth to this Nebraska offensive line. If you factor in Jalin Barnett, who will be a redshirt sophomore in 2017, the Huskers will have a lot of new faces eager for playing time on the line. Raridon, Wilson and Farniok, were all solid recruits coming out of high school and had positive redshirt seasons. SPORTS @ DAILYNEBRASKAN . COM
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