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The Antelope

The Antelope

“I LOVE NU” day draws large Loper crowd in Lincoln

Students mingle as they wait for the legislators to arrive – Photo by Alex Hammeke


“I LOVE NU” Day was well-attended by UNK faculty and students who visited the Nebraska Capitol building to advocate for the Nebraska University system and talk with legislators. The delegation from Kearney was the largest of all campuses with nearly 50 students and faculty members who rode to Lincoln on a charter bus.

Ted Carter, the NU president, welcomed the large cohort of university students, faculty members and administration.

“There is no aspect of Nebraska life — not one single thing that’s done in this state — that is not touched by our university system,” Carter said. Carter was joined by UNK Chancellor Douglas Kristensen, UNO Chancellor Joanne Li and UNMC Chancellor Jeffery Gold. UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green was away on travel duties and was unable to attend.

 On the commute to Lincoln, John Falconer, senior advisor to the chancellor, thanked the crowd for their attendance and previewed the day’s events. Jon Watts, vice chancellor for business and finance, started a game of UNK trivia with Loper swag prizes for the students.

When the delegation arrived at the capitol, NU students wrote ‘thank you’ cards to senators. 

Republican Senator John Stinner and Democratic Senator Jen Day spoke with the students and faculty.  Stinner, the chairperson for the appropriations committee, attended UNL for both his undergrad and graduate degrees, while Day earned her political science degree from UNO in 2016.

The group then watched the unicameral discuss an amendment to a bill for Grand Island’s Law Enforcement Training Center, which was brought forth from Democratic Senator Megan Hunt. LB721, a bill that would use $60 million American Rescue Plan Act funding to expand UNMC’s campus in Kearney, was not discussed on the floor on Wednesday.

Students had the chance to meet with legislators as well. 

Republican Senator John Lowe stepped out of the unicameral discussion to speak with the large UNK delegation waiting outside the chamber. Lowe is an alum of Kearney State College, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1982.

“Senator Lowe being from Kearney and representing Kearney is a really big supporter of the NU system, and they had been in hearings all morning, including hearings regarding the ARPA bill (LB721),” said Emily Saadi, the newly-elected UNK student regent. “In our conversation, he was feeling really positive about that outcome, so that was really encouraging to see.”

Students finished out the day in Lincoln with some “University Unity” ice cream from the UNL Dairy Store, which consists of strawberries and cream flavoring with strawberry swirl, chocolate chips and blue candy coated chocolate pieces. The ice cream flavor incorporates the colors of all four universities in the NU system.

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