Pranks and Riots

After the war, there was a huge influx of students on the G.I. Bill. Many of these students were older, some supporting wives and children, with military experience, who were well past the legal drinking age. Drinking on campus increased dramatically, as did pranks of all kinds, from panty raids to bonfires. UNL’s cramped city campus was not built for the enlarged student population, and as a consequence there was not nearly enough space for all the students to park their cars. This contention led up to a full-fledged riot in 1948, which tarnished the university’s reputation in the community because of police car vandalism and the rebellious nature of the college students. Although the applauded war efforts of a few years earlier helped, many in the community viewed the postwar students with disdain, which the students responded to by acting out even more.

Students demanded more practical education in the postwar years of the university. Instead of a curriculum focused on the "classics" of latin, history, english, etc, students requested to be taught practical knowledge with applications in the real world. The war had somewhat sobered the youth, and the univeristy took  turn towards intensified research and practical education as the student population demanded it.