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UNO students

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Jeff Turner
SENIOR STAFF WRITER

Being around Heath Mello is electrifying. The man has a commanding presence that could persuade people of almost anything. The night of the primary, Mello was out there talking to constituents, and he smiled, like every politician. However, a sincerity was coming from Mello. The guy was talking to these people, and maybe he was genuine – maybe he wasn’t, but it wouldn’t be ludicrous to say that he was good friends with everyone in the room, whatever the truth is tossed aside.

The notable response will be that a candidate should be about policy, and have substance, and it shouldn’t be about how ‘well liked’ they are. Mello is ‘well liked’, and that would be essential to his term as Mayor, the biggest reason being that people are more likely to listen to someone they can stand to be around. With being ‘well-liked’, comes an aptitude for persuasion. That would be all Mello would need to adapt to the needs of the people of Omaha as the policy of the day changed.

Our current mayor does not seem to demonstrate that trait. Despite what claims Mayor Stothert might make (no one really wants to seem like they’re nerve wracking to be around), the evidence shines through.

None more so painfully obvious than the statement from Police Chief Tim Dunning saying that he had blocked her cell phone number. He ended up endorsing Mello.

Stothert claimed during her first debate that people didn’t like to work with her because “she’s a leader.” While it is true that if one focuses on being liked by everyone; they will be lost in the tide, there is also something to be said for the leader that can command inspiration and convince people to follow him or her and work with him or her of their own volition. That person is Heath Mello.

A criticism of Mello that keeps coming up is how nervous he seems to distinguish himself from Stothert. Mello is a moderate democrat, and so it is fitting that he adopts a style of campaigning that is reminiscent of Bill Clinton’s initial run for governor of Arkansas. Charm and persuasion take center stage. Unfortunately, he will have to hit her on something tangible. As lovely as the idea is, a candidate cannot win without at least one attack ad, it’s not realistic.

Mello ought to hit Stothert on the bus systems. The buses are hard to come by, it’s hard to not find a bus in many other towns. Omaha, in this regard, is more reminiscent of a small town than a sprawling metro. The city has a surplus, and the bus systems demand funding.

Mello also ought to focus on events where he meets constituents in person. There is a genuine difference between seeing him on TV and meeting him. It is a difference that could win Mello the race if properly utilized.

Heath Mello will bring a fresh new perspective into Omaha politics, and especially into the Nebraska Democratic party, which has largely been dominated by old white men (Rep. Ashford, Senator Kerrey, Senator Nelson, Mayor Suttle). His policy flaws pale in comparison to what he could get done with pressure.

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Photo Courtesy of unomaha.edu
Photo Courtesy of unomaha.edu

Lindsey Jump
CONTRIBUTOR

Charlotte Russell, assistant to the Chancellor Christensen, keeps UNO students safe but can’t disclose a word about the details of her job. She works in the Office of Equity, Access and Diversity and is a one-person team.

Russell, whose office is in 205 Eppley Administration Building, deals with multiple, serious responsibilities at UNO that aren’t commonly discussed. The office handles all discrimination and harassment complaints for the university, provides accommodations for faculty and staff, prepares UNO’s Affirmative Action Plan, and more.

For the past two years, Title IX reporting has taken most of Russell’s time. She said most people relate Title IX to reporting sexual assaults on campus, but it encompasses a wide spectrum of issues.

“Most of the business I get from students is not a full-on sexual assault,” Russell said. “Sometimes it’s relationship angst, sometimes it’s interpersonal violence.”

Russell catches word of these reports from many sources. The majority of reports she receives come from direct calls to her office, the Behavioral Review Team, the Omaha Police Department, the Public Safety Department and other universities in the area.

There is no one-size-fits-all method to how Russell deals with claims, but confidentiality is promised for each case.

Students affected by violence may find it difficult to cope academically. Russell can help with that.

“I never press them to do anything because it’s really their choice,” Russell said. “Some students have been able to really thrive after going through some horrific things.”

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If a student feels he or she is having difficulty showing up to class due to an incident, Russell will work with the student to contact instructors about excusing class absences or dropping a class altogether.

Jessi Hitchins, director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, said Russell has a kind and direct personality. Hitchins said these traits are important in order for Russell to juggle many roles at UNO while still maintaining her family life.

Hitchins said all UNO faculty and staff are required to report to Russell if a student discloses that he or she has experienced violence of any kind.

Russell said when offenders are reported, it helps others from being harmed as well. She stresses she is aware that people have varying levels of comfort when contacting her office.

“We don’t ask a lot of questions,” Russell said. “I figure if you’re coming to me and discussing such an intimate thing, you’re not making it up.”

Chris Grala, a student worker and advocate working for the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, said Russell’s office deserves more recognition for the work it does and why the office is pertinent to UNO’s vitality.

Russell said it is important to connect with people who have been affected by situations happening on campus or related to school events. She said her office has a responsibility to make sure UNO’s environment as well as the person effected are OK.

“The real goal is to help the student, so let us help you,” Russell said.

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Caleb Foote
Contributor

Homosexuality is a long debated topic in the realm of biblical doctrine and the church. Pope Francis
continued the conversation by saying the Catholic Church should concentrate less on same-sex marriage
and conserve their energy for more important issues.

Rev. Roza from St. Margret Mary in Omaha, Nebraska, spoke at a “fire-side chat” in the Barbara
Weitz Community Engagement Center on the role same-sex relationships have in the church and Christian life.

Roza said the topic of same-sex marriage and relationships is difficult to approach and people are very passionate about their opinions. He opted for a different approach to the sensitive topic, one that’s less judgmental and concentrates on the individual being a person.

“Love each person with every talent and gift you have,” he said. There is no greater good than wanting everyone to go to heaven.

Nobody knows the origin of being gay, whether it’s a nature or nurture, Roza said, nobody would
want to choose it. He said being gay isn’t anything to be ashamed of. He believes some people were born
gay or somewhere on the spectrum of sexual orientation close to homosexual It’s insulting for anyone to imply someone would choose to be gay, Roza said.

“However, the church holds up every person as being sacred, Roza said. The act of making another life is considered sacred within the church.”

Marriage is about a union of heart, mind, spirituality and beliefs, Roza said. Marriage is a foundation to
create the new life the church holds sacred.

We are more saturated by sexual imagery than ever, it’s incredibly easy for a person to become addicted
to the sexual imagery,” Roza said. “We’re almost a society of function addicts.”

Roza thinks it’s time we’ve opened up about the sex talk to youth. With complete respect to the people
so incredibly passionate about changing the marriage definition,

Roza said, it is a sign of acceptance and love. It’s not only homosexuals who struggle with sexual issues, Roza said. People struggle with a number of other sexual issues that are hindering their life. People need to
have the courage to admit there’s a problem and begin to change. Two homosexuals are able to have a relationship, live together and build lives together, Roza said. But to remain pure in the eyes of God, they can’t have sexual relations with one another. They’re able to live a life together as brothers or sisters. Roza said.

The ultimate goal of the church is to get everyone to accept him or herself.

“Everyone is passionate about making others happy,” Roza said. “What is our duty? To love everyone.”
Megan McAuliffe is a regular attender of the “Fireside chats.” She’s attended every chance she’s been presented with for almost two years.

“It’s a community of friends coming together,” McAuliffe said. She sees good potential within the
group, they’re a bunch of people who can be trusted and are a good support system within the UNO
community.

“Fireside chats” are held every other Wednesday in the Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center in the lower commons lounge and are open to the public. The next meeting will be held is on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015.

PHOTO BY SHANNON SMITH
PHOTO BY SHANNON SMITH

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By Phil Brown and Nithya Rajagopalan

By now you’ve heard about Wednesday’s “knife incident” at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Criss Library.

UNO student Leo Labogen was talking loudly on his cell phone and was told to quiet down. He allegedly pulled a knife on fellow student Brandon Valle, but the altercation was swiftly neutralized. With the assistance of two others, Valle disarmed and subdued Labogen until UNO Campus Security and Omaha Police were able to apprehend him.

Though the incident was resolved rather quickly — within an hour — the photos and a video taken from the scuffle surfaced and taken on an interesting afterlife.

The bizarre nature of one photograph, which shows the three students restraining Labogen by sitting on him, went almost immediately viral on social websites such as Imgur and Reddit.

The photo quickly rose to the top of both sites’ front pages. At 8 p.m. yesterday, the photo was the most popular image on Imgur and third-most popular on Reddit. Moreover, the image has tallied more than two million views on Imgur.

A video of the incident, in which the videographer maintains the same, comically-relaxed position throughout the runtime, was posted on YouTube and has since received over 40,000 views.

For UNO students who use these sites day to day, it was a surreal experience to see the familiar carpet and furniture of the Criss Library on the front page of the massive social sites.

For others, was how they found out about the news in the first place, evidenced by the Imgur comments including, “I go there. Why am I finding out about this on imgur?” and “WAIT I LIVE HERE WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?”

The Gateway will keep you informed as the story continues to develop.

If you are in need of counseling, please call 402-554-2409.

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By Richard Larson, Opinion Editor

Winning isn’t everything. After being defeated at our very first Frozen Four, it’s difficult to stand behind that concept if you were watching the Mavericks take on Providence. However, if you were one of the lucky students who traveled to Boston, then you understand the gravity of this past weekend. 

In recent years, UNO has been re-inventing itself. Implementing new logos and marketing, making the move to Division-1 athletics, setting goals for enrollment, improving campus facilities and further developing award-winning programs have all contributed to the unstoppable momentum UNO is charging the nation with. 

Most importantly, the greatest effort UNO has put forth is its dedication to being a student-centered university. This could not be more apparent with the way this past weekend was handled. 

It says a lot when your university provides the opportunity to travel nearly 1,500 miles to support a team that has seen unprecedented success this year. 

For just $250, I was able to travel to Boston to cheer on our Mavericks with more than 100 other students. I will tell you this trip was worth far beyond that cost.

The trip included bus fare, several meals, tickets to all three games, admittance to a pre-game party hosted by the UNO Alumni Association and the chance to explore the historic city of Boston. Still, it is hard to put a price tag on what students left this trip with. 

Personally, this weekend was perhaps the greatest memory I will have in my college career at UNO. Opportunities like this do not happen easily. It is with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and respect that I, along with my peers who attended this trip, thank all those who made this possible.

My favorite part of the entire experience was when our Mav army arrived at the Frozen Fest pep rally. There we were, halfway across the country, representing our city and university. I saw a great deal of pride on the faces around me. There was an energy radiating throughout our group that could never be repeated. We were an unbreakable force to be reckoned with, and nothing could come close to the feeling of that moment.
The cheerleaders and Durango took the stage with the band and we were sure to let the NCAA know that we meant business. Immediately following, we took to the streets of Boston. The band was going nuts and our iconic chants filled the alleys and intersections on our way to the pre-game party. Led by Chancellor John Christensen, we geared up for our hockey program’s most pivotal game ever.
Among many supporters, this could not have been possible without several key people. Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. B.J. Reed, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Dr. Dan Shipp, Executive Director for University Communications Erin Owen and Senior Associate Athletic Director Josh White were instrumental in making this dream become a reality for so many. 
Special recognition must be given to Senior Director for Student Involvement Bill Pickett for his legendary service to this university. He has been relentless in changing school spirit this year and continues to evolve the involvement landscape at UNO. 
Honorable mentions to Senior Director of Wellness Joe Kaminski, Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards Dr. Philip Covington and Spirit Coordinator for Student Involvement Kelsey McAlpine for ensuring the safety and success of the overall trip. Lastly, special thanks to Lee Denker and the UNO Alumni Association, MavPuck, MavRadio and all the fans who supported the hockey team from home. 
To students, I say this: believe in your university and take pride in where you come from. To UNO administrators: please continue to serve the student body and community in the remarkable and innovative manner in which you always have. 
The opening of our new arena is just months away. The result of next year’s season may be unknown, but our passion for excellence remains constant. Let this adventure become a tradition, as we look to next year’s NCAA Frozen Four. 
Fight on, Mavericks. Fight on.
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And so it begins…

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning throngs of University of Nebraska at Omaha students filed into several charter buses headed on the road for Boston.

Their destination: The TD Garden, of course.

Why? That’s where the 2015 NCAA Frozen Four ice hockey tournament will be held, duh.

Here’s a glimpse of their nearly two-day bus trip from our Gateway photographer Evan Ludes point of view…

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A huge thank you to UNO and Aksarben Cinema for helping fund the trip for Gateway photographer Evan Ludes and Editor-in-Chief Nick Beaulieu, who will be providing live updates on unothegateway.com

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UNO students on the charter bus as they head to Boston early Wednesday morning.

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A snapshot of UNO students at after grabbing a quick bite in Elkhart, Indiana.

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Passing through Cleveland! #UNOHOCKEY #BusGrind

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A quiet moment for student journalist Nick Beaulieu.

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Loud and proud! #BostonBound out of Syracuse, NY, Thursday morning. GO MAVS!

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Passed over the Hudson earlier, just crossed the border into Massachusetts! #FrozenFour #BostonBound @UNOmaha

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Student buses have arrived at TD Garden in Boston. It’s Happening #UNOHOCKEY @UNOmaha @UNOThe_Gateway

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EXCLUSIVE: A sneak peak inside TD Garden. Are you ready for some #UNOHOCKEY?

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UNO students braving the cold with Durango and keeping it fresh at #FrozenFest #UNOHOCKEY A big thank you to Gateway Staff Writer Phil Brown for snapping this image of Richard Larson, the Gateway’s Opinion Editor. #nicedancemoves

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#MavsTakeBoston @UNOmaha @UNOThe_Gateway

 

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Mavs just grabbed lunch in Syracuse, NY and continue to roll west! ETA in Omaha 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. #ShippingOutOfBoston

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Shout out to @AksarbenCinema for helping the Mavs take over Boston and bringing the experience to those at home!

UPDATE: Student buses have departed Cleveland after a delayed dinner stop. Omaha ETA pushed to 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

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A group of very drowsy Mavs waiting for the bus to fuel up one last time at Iowa 80 truck stop. Omaha ETA still 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

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We made it! Thanks again to @AksarbenCinema and @Mavpuck for supporting our awesome students!

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The UNO Maverick hockey team has seen an increase in media attention lately due to their recent NCAA success. Obviously, the buzz around campus has increased as well.

If you don’t believe us, just take a glance around campus. (There’s no shortage of UNO gear.)

With the Mavericks facing off against Providence in the Frozen Four later today, we thought it would be appropriate to ask UNO student fans about some of the team’s key players.

Their answers were quite comical. Enjoy!

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