Friday morning at the end of UNO’s “dead week,” Dean of Students Cathy Pettid sent out what was the second letter in three days addressed to student organizations.
The letter offered guidance in the form of a new interim policy that requires student government, greek life, student government agencies, and other registered student organizations to include a disclaimer on all social media posts.
“The views and opinions expressed in this social media post by our student organization are solely those of the individual members and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Nebraska at Omaha or other student organization.”UNO Student Life disclaimer
These changes come after consideration as to whether student organizations should follow the same guidelines that university departments and divisions adhere to.
Not every student nor organization took the news well, with organizations such as SustainUNO and UNO Network for Disability Awareness taking to Instagram to poke fun at the required phrase.
The Gateway received over 20 responses to a questionnaire, with most airing frustration over the required blurb.
“Demeaning. Student orgs for diverse populations who speak out against oppression should speak on behalf of UNO or we really aren’t all for Omaha,” said one user.
“I think people r kind of blowing it (the policy) out of proportion,” said another.
Some student organization leaders believe the measures may have been taken by the university in order to appeal to donors, Governor Jim Pillen and the Nebraska legislature. The NU system just recently compromised on a 2.5% budgetary increase for the 2023-2025 fiscal period, although the bill is not yet final.
“They don’t want student organizations, agencies or student government to make some sort of post that goes viral, gets on the news and then they’re left to clean up the mess,” said Women and Gender Equity Center student director Zoe Miller.
This comes after a letter stating the Nebraska system’s “rules of engagement” was sent to staff and recirculated among student organizers in February. One rule intends to govern behavior around specific legislation, with another stating that capitol visits should go through Heath Mello, Vice President for External Relations.
UNO WGEC continues to promote the “Bans off all bodies” event taking place Tues. May 16 at the Nebraska state capitol.
“We want to secure an agency and student organization bill of rights where It’s affirmative and something that will last,” said Student Government Vice President Nate Ostdiek.
Students met Monday afternoon to discuss steps going forward in response to the university’s actions.