Mixed reactions mark election’s end
Nov16

Mixed reactions mark election’s end

After the costliest presidential campaign in American history, President Barack Obama won his bid for a second term. Although he triumphed over his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, examination of the popular vote shows the victory was small. When such tight margins accompany an election, Americans get a sense of how politically divided their country is. Several students at UMHB voiced their thoughts on the recent election and offered predictions for what the next four years will hold. “I had a choice, but I didn’t really like either,” sophomore history major Matthew Boden said. “I liked certain things about each candidate.” The kind of political dilemma that Boden expressed might be explained by a growing sentiment that circumstances will not reverse themselves as a result of who is elected. He said, “I feel as though not much will change.” While some were not impressed with either candidate, others had more definitive views. “I preferred Romney over Obama,” freshman biology major James Poppenhussen said. He was more confident in the Republican nominee on fiscal matters. The economy was among his priority issues. “I preferred Romney because of health care plans, tax reform, and his plan to get our economy out of what it is right now,” Poppenhussen said. Deshone Jones, a freshman business and computer information systems major, had a contrasting response. He favored Obama. “Looking at Romney’s side with the financial aid, he got a big ‘no’ from me,” he said. “Most college students can’t afford it, so we rely on financial aid, so I voted for Obama.” Concerning the Nov. 6 outcome, Jones said, “I’m very pleased.” Senior accounting major Elizabeth Alven also weighed in. She supported Obama because she prefers his economic plan. “Given the near economic collapse that President Obama inherited, the recovery will take an extended period of time,” she said. “I believe that President Obama’s economic recovery plan is more balanced because it requires sacrifice from all Americans.” Alven is also confident in the president’s ability to handle foreign affairs. She said, “In addition, Obama has done a very good job on the international front. Romney has limited experience in world affairs.” Although Alven liked the Democratic candidate, she did not like the 2012 campaign on either side. “I was disgusted with the whole election, from both parties, but was pleased with the outcome,” she said. Like Jones, Poppenhussen and Alven, Jonathan Brachman, a freshman accounting major, identified the economy as his most important issue. However, as a Libertarian, he was disappointed that Ron Paul did not win the Republican nomination. Brachman’s next favorite participant was Gary Johnson, who ran as the Libertarian candidate. He...

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New online housing process debuts for spring placement

Gone are the days of standing in long lines or waking up at 5 a.m. in order to secure living accommodations. There’s a new housing program in town, and it’s set out to make the process much easier for both students and the residence life department. Applications manager Robin Schilling explains how and why the method for choosing housing changed. “The current manual housing process was getting to be a very long and difficult process. We had tried last year to create a process in house for room selection, but that had its own set of problems,” she said. After looking at different outside vendors, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life Donna Plank decided on StarRez, a software program used by universities, such as Texas Christian University and Boston College. With the help of the new web-based application, the housing process will now be done in steps, not only making it easier for students, but also cutting back on server issues experienced last semester. Schilling said, “The reason for the multiple step approach is to better understand the needs of the student. The first step is to get an idea of any changes the student wants to make. Those that want to make a change will then be assigned a time to complete the room selection process. Students will avoid waiting in long lines hoping their room is available.” The first step began Nov. 1. Students had four days to pick their housing for the spring semester, choose a roommate if they didn’t have one and verify that person. This step could be done at any time of their convenience. To prevent traffic, only 75 students were allowed onto the website at the same time. So far, students are having a good feeling about the new procedure. Sophomore finance major Kristina Liu said, “It seems easier to use than last year’s setup. When I was doing the first step, I didn’t have any problems at all. It was quick and easy. I think it would be helpful if you are just going to find a random roommate, but the specific room selection option seems the most useful.” Step 2 began today. Priority numbers and time slots were sent via email Nov 9, and instructions went out yesterday. Plank wants to assure students a repeat of last semester’s mishaps won’t take place this time. “It’s not like the first-come, first-serve thing that we did. When we opened the door, we opened it to 500-600 people, and sure enough 500-600 people sat down at 5 in the morning all at the same moment, and all of them tried...

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Alumni dedicated to fighting slavery

While reading the statistics associated with human trafficking, many people find themselves easily overwhelmed with the enormity of the issue. And with millions being affected around the world, it may even seem like too large a problem to solve. But for some UMHB alumni, the tragedy is something they cannot ignore. Through different methods, organizations and circumstances, they have worked to educate, bring awareness and fight the injustice of modern day slavery in whatever ways they can. After graduating in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in music, alumna Charlotte Bumbulis began a career in education. But within the fifth year in the field, she started to struggle with her vocational and spiritual identity. “I enjoyed teaching, and I knew I was good at it, but I felt like there was a lot more to the world that I was missing out on,” she said. In the midst of this soul searching, Bumbulis attended First Baptist Austin’s first global market event to support fair trade, which seeks to buy and sell goods within a system that honors those who produce them. “I think it was very much a divine, active thing that was going on,” she said. While there, Bumbulis specifically remembers being struck by a particular patchwork bag she came across. “I remember thinking, ‘This is a beautiful picture of restoration. This is a bag that’s made out of what’s normally seen as scraps and trash and useless products, and now it’s woven together to be something beautiful and reused and restored,’” she said. “That was very powerful in my life.” Bumbulis soon decided to leave her teaching job, while at the same time, the director of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission was looking for someone to begin a fair trade initiative targeting Baptist churches in Texas. She said, “Those things were happening simultaneously. I feel like that was very much God moving in my life.” From there, Bumbulis spent the next two years developing what is now the Good News Goods program, a ministry that seeks to promote ethical consumerism through fair trade opportunities. She also did a lot of speaking and traveling with churches to educate others about the realities behind what they purchase due to human trafficking and forced labor. “There’s a price tag,” Bumbulis said. “We see the price that we’re paying, but there’s a much deeper price that someone else is paying on our behalf.” It was after a screening of a documentary on human trafficking that former UMHB alumna Kathlee Roscoe began to have a heart for the issue. “I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that this horrible evil was...

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Annual Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor pageant showcases talent, beauty
Nov16

Annual Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor pageant showcases talent, beauty

Glitter, heels and Cru spirit strutted the stage in the form of the annual 2013 Miss MHB pageant. The two-day show allows female students to portray their talents and gifts to the Crusader community. Miss McLane Hall, sophomore Kat Pasichnyk, was crowned Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor 2013. An English secondary education major, Pasichnyk will represent the university in parades, community activities, meeting and greeting trustees and important school occasions. The theme this year revolved around the 31st chapter of Proverbs and its message about becoming a godly woman. Miss MHB 2012 senior elementary education major Lauren Rodriguez led devotionals before practice. Each day, she focused on a different aspect of the character of the Proverbs 31 woman. “Through pageant, I just wanted the girls to take each minute intentionally, knowing that the Lord has called them here for a purpose. … He’s doing a work in every girl throughout the whole experience,” she said. President Dr. Randy O’Rear selected senior marketing major Jenna Jones for director this year. Jones assisted all aspects of the production. She hopes that contestants learned more about themselves and the God they serve. “This is one of the biggest traditions at UMHB…. Everyone sees the show and not the practice. But pageant isn’t just the production. It’s the experience of growing as sisters in Christ,” she said. Jones encouraged the young women as they polished talents and stepped out of their comfort zones. “My favorite part has been watching the girls grow…being in a stressful environment is where you can do that the most. The coolest thing is the difference from the first night of practice until show week. It’s amazing how much work these girls have put into this,” she said. Practice began Sept. 24 and continued for six weeks. Stiletto boot camp, “heels practice,” taught the contestants to walk with grace and confidence. Friday featured judges’ interviews and individual talents the contestants worked so hard to perfect, while Saturday spotlighted a group dance, platform speeches and evening gowns. Among other things, entrants recited poetry, rapped, danced, and played instruments to showcase their unique abilities. Sophomore Spanish major Melanie Gatlin played the piano and sang one of her favorite songs. Last year, she watched pageant from the crowd and decided she wanted to be involved this year. “I saw all of the community that was built by the girls, and I wanted to be a part of that….God definitely opened the doors…. My favorite part has been getting to know people individually…It’s so sincere and genuine.” But Jones said her main goal for the girls was for them to take their experiences beyond the stage....

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UN meddles at polls

After much controversy in Texas over voter identification laws and accusations of voter suppression, Texas officials learned that a group made of members from other nations from the Organization for Security and Cooperation would be coming to monitor American polling stations. The announcement angered Attorney General Greg Abbot. He sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlining his concerns. Abbot was adamant that Texas law be upheld. “If the OSCE wishes to visit Texas during election season, we welcome the opportunity to educate its representatives about the state’s electoral process. But OSCE is not above the law, and its representatives must at all times comply with Texas law …,” Abbot wrote. According to his letter, what sparked Abbot’s concern was a request in a communication to Clinton from the United Nations that the organization not to be “restrained in their activities.” Many Americans saw the activity as an attempt to make sure Texas and other states were abiding by voter laws. Abbot also wrote, “In addition to my desire to defend and enforce Texas election laws, I am also concerned that an unnecessary political agenda may have infected OSCE’s election monitoring activities.” He was bold enough to infer some politicians were conspiring against Texas. Abbot did not object to the visitors’ presence in the state as long as they were there to learn. “While Texas may welcome visitors from any nation or international organization who wish to learn more about the steps the state has taken to protect the integrity of state elections…,” Abbot said. He explicitly stated that they must abide by Texas law. Many Americans were outraged that representatives from foreign countries who may have witnessed few, if any, peaceful elections in their lifetime would be helping to watch for voter fraud. It is one thing for people to observe so they can help create a better system in their own nation, but to give them the responsibility that comes with the word “monitor” is simply wrong. In an interview with Fox News, Abbot said Texas law mandates that unauthorized persons who come within 100 feet of a polling station would be subject to arrest. He made clear that the state’s aim was to uphold its laws’ and it would prosecute lawbreakers. According to Fox News, Nuri Elabbar came to the United States with poll watchers from more than 60 countries. “It’s very difficult to transfer this system as it is to any other country. This system is built according to trust and this trust needs a lot of procedures and a lot of education for other countries to adopt it,” Elabbar told Fox. Ironically,...

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