Campus political analysis
Oct21

Campus political analysis

The Bells recently conducted a survey on the 2008 presidential election. A total of 670 students and 148 faculty and staff indicated which candidate they would choose for president. They also rated which national issues were most important and gave their views on a series of questions regarding religion in presidential campaigns. According to the survey, students’ choice for president, most important issues and beliefs on religion in campaigns were nearly identical to those of faculty and staff. Students as well as faculty and staff expressed overwhelming support for Republican presidential candidate John McCain, favoring him over Democratic candidate Barack Obama by nearly 30 percentage points among students and 40 points among faculty and staff. Nationally, most polls show Obama with a slim to moderate lead over McCain. The discrepancy between those numbers and the campus survey could reflect UMHB’s location in a particularly conservative area of Texas, its Baptist affiliation, and a sizeable number of students in the military or with military spouses, groups that tend to vote Republican. Dr. David Chrisman, associate professor and chair of history and political science, speculates the high percentage of McCain supporters among the faculty and staff is related to what they teach. “It’s not surprising due to the size of the business and nursing faculties, which probably have more McCain supporters,” Chrisman said. “Our faculty is probably not as liberal as you might see at other schools.” The economy dominated the issues section of the survey, with more than 64% of students and 82% of faculty and staff selecting it as important to them. This possibly indicates concern over the well-publicized financial meltdown sweeping the credit industry and the resultant rise in unemployment. Chrisman attributes higher economic anxiety among faculty and staff than students to the fact that many students are unemployed and attending school with their parents’ money. “It doesn’t hit home for students as much as faculty. They’re not going to feel the effects until it hits their parents.” Chrisman saw the fact that a majority of students listed the economy among their primary concerns as a positive development for normally apolitical college students. “We try to get students interested in issues beyond the culture wars. This economy will affect us all.” The war in Iraq ranked second, reflecting the university’s proximity to Fort Hood in Killeen and concern over the continued presence of more than 150,000 American soldiers stationed in Iraq. Roughly 45% of faculty and staff and 50% of students marked the issue as important. Health care came in third, with close to a third of all respondents selecting it as important, reflecting worry over the rising...

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Presidential candidate profiles: Barack Obama
Oct21

Presidential candidate profiles: Barack Obama

Barack Obama Democrat Age: 47 years old Education: Law, Harvard University Occupation: Illinois Senator Religion: United Church of Christ Interesting Fact: The first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. Economic Policy -Would provide $50 billion to jumpstart the economy, provide more jobs -Would give middle class tax relief Health Care -Would create a new national health care plan for those who cannot afford coverage. -Supports greater regulation of the private health insurance industry. War in Iraq -Plans a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops engaged in combat operations. -Will keep pressure on Iraq, focusing on training Iraqi security forces. Energy -Acquire energy independence with renewable fuels and clean coal. -Build more hybrids and promote ethanol use. -Implement a national program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Same-sex Marriage -Believes marriage is between a man and woman. -Supports civil unions for same-sex couples Education -Strongly supports pay increases for teachers. -Reform and fund the No Child Left Behind -Will create a new American Opportunity Tax Credit to provide free or low-cost public education for those eligible. Immigration Policy -Wants to extend welfare, Medicaid and Social Security to immigrants. -Voted no on declaring English as the official language of the U.S. -Voted to build border fence and establish guest worker program. -Would allow  undocumented immigrants in good standing to pay a fine and learn English in order to become a U.S. citizen. Abortion -Pro-choice, supports Roe v Wade. -Opposes notifying parents of minors who seek out-of-state abortions. -Would provide $100 million to reduce teen pregnancy through education and...

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Presidential candidate profiles: John McCain
Oct21

Presidential candidate profiles: John McCain

John McCain Republican Age: 72 years old Education: U.S. Naval Academy Occupation: Arizona Senator  Religion: Episcopalian Interesting Fact: As a third generation naval aviator, he was shot down over Vietnam in 1967 and held as a prisoner of war for more than five years. Economic Policy -Plans to keep taxes low and restrain federal spending. -Create good jobs by promoting new markets in the United States Health Care -Plans to provide tax credits for families and individuals to buy health insurance. -Would promote healthy lifestyles to reduce the need for medical care. War in Iraq -Opposes withdrawal until Iraq is stable. Energy -Supports increased oil drilling,  nuclear energy, and alternative fuels -Would work to decrease dependence on foreign oil. Same-sex Marriage -Would let states decide on issues of same-sex marriage. Education -Would provide school vouchers for private education. -Opposes implementing federal testing standards. -Supports increasing teacher salaries. -Supports freedom to choose schools Immigration Policy -Advocates tightening border security. -Supports allowing additional legal immigrants through expanded visa programs. -Electronic employment verification system to screen employees quickly. Abortion -Pro-life, believes Roe v. Wade should be overturned. -Would promote child adoptions. -Opposes creation of human embryos for research...

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Presidential election: Polls and platforms
Oct21

Presidential election: Polls and platforms

A poll was conducted that surveyed 670 students and 148 faculty and staff, asking whom they would choose for the 2008 presidency and which foreign and domestic issues are most important to them. Below are the results of the questionnaire. Quick facts about the candidates and proposed solutions to dominate political issues are also provided. Obama or McCain? As the presidential race approaches the finish line, many wonder who will be the 44th president of the United States of America. According to a poll taken on the UMHB campus if the elections were held today students, faculty and staff would vote: Issues The following graph shows the recent poll’s results for the most relevant issues regarding the election. The poll compares faculty and staff’s top choices to those marked most by...

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Civil rights, football fuel ‘The Express’
Oct21

Civil rights, football fuel ‘The Express’

The Express is not just a name. It is history. The film is a story of an athlete who overcomes social discrimination and provokes black athletes across the nation to stand out from the crowd. This production is not a football film. It is more than that. Ernie Davis’ story begins in Uniontown, Penn., in a transitional era  when segregation in schools was normal and when civil rights to every American, regardless of race, was added to the Constitution. The young Ernie Davis has a poster of Jackie Robinson, a role model who inspired many black athletes to pursue their dreams and break through social oppression, on his wall. Davis’ grandfather, Pops, is his guardian throughout his childhood who instills in him at a young age that he can do anything and to follow Corinthians 15:10, which says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” This verse gives Davis’ character a meaning larger than just football. In his high school years, the now older Ernie Davis played by Rob Brown, impresses college scouts, breaking through would-be tacklers and running circles around players, much like his favorite player, Jim Brown, played by Darrin Dewitt Henson. Needless to say, Davis is a beast on the gridiron. The Syracuse head coach, Ben Schwartzwalder, played by Dennis Quaid, recruits Davis to play for the Orangemen. He provides helpful advice and stands up for his players despite his own possible persecution as an “n-word lover.” The movie has more racial slurs than most would appreciate, but it shows how hard it was being a black American during that time. The racially-charged storyline builds into climax when Davis and the Orangemen face off against the University of Texas Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl. The unforgiving fans and brutal players from UT make a victory in Dallas seem impossible. Coach Schwartzwalder says about the national championship, “This is more than a game now. I can see that just as plain as any of you.” The visual appeal in the film is impeccable. Old film clips mixed with fast-paced action makes watching the games extremely pleasing. The cinematography used in the film is by far the best of the fall season. The camera angles are unique. The production makes use of several different techniques, each enhancing the film into a superfluous retelling of Ernie Davis’ story. This inspirational film is a treat in a rather unimpressive fall movie season. The Express...

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