Students fight to make it to finals, summer
Apr29

Students fight to make it to finals, summer

While temperatures rise and grades fall, students only have one thing standing in the way of their long awaited summer break—finals. As if wrapping up the semester was not already stressful enough between packing, moving and saying goodbyes, students are required to endure a series of assignments that sends young scholars all across the world into a frenzy of panic.   Though many students tend to have the perfect game plan in mind for surpassing the dreaded week of finals, everything seems to fall apart once the stress of exams bounces them right back to reality.   “Hash tag ‘Team No Sleep’” junior journalism major Adam Ramirez said. “As much as I try to tell myself that I will get things done in advance and get plenty of rest, it never happens.”   Typical.   It is the inevitable semester-end exhaustion all students are forced to face where they discover the fine line between priority and necessity and choose between the two. It is like the equivalent of selecting the BEST answer on one of those ridiculously difficult nursing tests students chat about.   Undergraduates making the transition from high school to college can vouch for this.   “I studied in high school, but I definitely did not study this much.” Freshman undeclared major Brook Shuck said. “It’s a lot different now, and it’s much harder.”   While these aspiring learners shared a behind-the-scenes look into their preparation process, a common trend remained evident; as students work their way up, expectations go down.   Freshmen come in composed, knowing it pays to get As, but upperclassmen learn quickly that Cs get degrees.   Senior nursing and cell biology major Kia Torres knows firsthand the struggle.   “As of now it seems like I am crying, begging and crawling my way toward my degree,” she said. “This definitely wasn’t me freshman year.”   Regardless of their current GPA perception, all students do what they can to survive the semester with a bit of     sanity.   “I try to be productive for thirty minutes to an hour, and then I’ll reward myself.” Shuck said. “sometimes I meet up with friends, hit up Starbucks or even take a quick 20 minute break to get on social media.”   Others opt for different means of concentration.   “Coffee is everything.” Torres said. “If I could get an IV infusion of caffeine throughout the entire week I think I would probably ace every test.”   Although efforts have not quite been successful to create the intravenous stimulant accessible to the developing minds of young adults, it is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug...

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Easter Pageant continues to draw crowds after 76 years
Apr15

Easter Pageant continues to draw crowds after 76 years

Hundreds of students, staff and locals gathered Wed. April 1 to witness the last days of Christ’s life. Everything from his first miracle to his suffering on the cross and his resurrection from the tomb plagued the crowd with a multitude of emotion.   For this year’s 76th annual Easter Pageant, university president Dr. Randy O’Rear personally selected senior nursing major Nathan Forester and senior public relations major Jasmine Simmons to represent the life of Jesus and Mary, respectively.   “When I was asked to portray Mary in Easter Pageant, I was very honored and a little confused.” Simmons said. “When it comes to being chosen for something like that you never think that it will be you.”   Forester selected his 12 disciples, and Simmons chose seven ladies to represent her mourners for this year’s production. Throughout the year Forester and Simmons each led his and her group through practices, weekly devotion and random fellowship activities.   However, it was more than just logistical training that led to a successful show. Many of the committee, crew and cast challenged themselves to prepare outside of practice.   “Getting ready to portray Mary was a preparation of the heart,” Simmons said. “Being casted as one of the leadership roles of Easter Pageant, people might assume that you have everything worked out.”   The same circumstances applied to senior public relations major Payton Pierce, who was chosen by President O’Rear to lead this year’s production.   “A lot of that was preparing myself for the role of leadership.” Pierce said. “The Lord sort of dropped this in my lap and said, ‘Here you go! Run with it.”   While practices never proved themselves flawless and the cast and crew bore the weight of responsibility on their shoulders, each person knew that the experience continually proved itself rewarding.   As Pierce focused on relationship building and encouragement towards the cast and crew, she was able to understand the best way she could lead by example.   “I did this by giving myself grace and knowing the Lord has given me this opportunity,” Pierce said, “And in anything and everything I do, I’m going to glorify him through it.”   This year sophomore nursing major Morgan Greentree, who considers Easter Pageant one of her favorite university traditions, participated as a crowd’s member for her second time.   While she never partook in a production quite like this one, she loves being a part of this UMHB tradition because it serves as her little reminder of what Christ did for her and everyone else that day on the cross.   “We want to show...

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Week shines light on sex trafficking
Mar04

Week shines light on sex trafficking

Freedom Movement made great strides last week as the group celebrated End It Week Feb. 22 – 27, an effort created to inform college students on the cruelties of human trafficking.   “End It Week is our big event,” senior Public Relations major and co-vice president Andi Hale said. “It’s our main push for awareness and fundraising.”   The campus organization planned for a five-day crusade as a way to spread the message behind its actions, complete with guest speakers, a special documentary and a glow-in-the-dark dodge ball tournament while Freedom Movement wrapped up the work week with the worldwide event, “Shine A Light On Slavery Day.”   Each student sported a large red X across his or her hand to show support for the cause last Friday.   Freshman art education major Sam Shamard has seen first-hand the effects of human trafficking during a semester in Athens, Greece, last year. During her time abroad, she was exposed to the heartbreaking issue while working in the immigrant ministry, which sparked her desire to make a difference.   “It changes your perspective on so many things, knowing there are people all over the world not living in freedom,” Shamard said. “We are given freedom in Christ, and not only do these people not know this, but they are in physical bondage.”   Others, like Hale, heard about the growing problem of human trafficking through word-of-mouth. This eye-opening experience led to their involvement in order to equip others with the means to act on the information.   “I have an advocate’s heart and a passion for people,” Hale said. “Anytime I hear about injustices, it gets me worked up.”   Freedom Movement, inspired by a 2011 Passion conference in Atlanta, was brought to campus the following year by a group of students, which included the organization’s current president Nathan Gilmore and co-vice president Alec Loyd who were moved by realties and brokenness of human trafficking. The organization remains prominent at other college campuses around the United States.   While the efforts of Freedom Movement continue to grow, its endeavor is simply to provide support for similar nonprofits by raising funds and providing awareness.   “We didn’t want to compete with nonprofits already in place that have resources to effectively fight human trafficking,” Hale said.     As a result, the organization selects a local nonprofit to work directly alongside with for a period of time. This year, Freedom Movement tailored its efforts to assist Jesus Said Love, a Waco-based group passionate about building relationships with dancers and strip club employees.   Members of Freedom Movement invited a representative of the organization...

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Love not bound by day
Feb18

Love not bound by day

Did you spend your weekend picking “love me, love me not” flower petals? Did you rush to the store on Sunday to buy up all the chocolate and heart-shaped goodies at 75 percent off, or did you buy yourself a bouquet on Saturday to relinquish your feelings of loneliness?   If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, you have probably suffered from the singleness-on-Valentine’s-Day epidemic that plagued the nation this past weekend. Sigh. It’s OK my friends. I’m right there with you.   Gather around all you single ladies (and I guess men too). I know it’s not easy braving the world alone on Feb. 14.   Couples are holding hands; flower bouquets are shoved in your face and the empty dinner timeslot on your planner seems a bit haunting. Suddenly, you might realize your love life is about as exciting as watching a snail cross the sidewalk. Reality check.   A Valentine’s Day for those of us repping the single status, in most cases, becomes what you make of it.   If you proudly embrace not being someone’s other half, this worldwide love celebration might be just a typical day for you. You are probably immune to the masses of red and pink hearts that exist everywhere you turn, or it just gives you a perfect excuse to indulge in those 10 chocolate covered strawberries without having to share.   Maybe the day of love hits you a little harder than most. Just embrace it with a good romantic comedy, a cup of hot cocoa and a best friend. After all, it’s just another 24 hours to push through.   For some, love is something people hope for with every open door, yet for others, they probably don’t believe in that fairy tale shenanigans. Maybe you are the one who goes chasing after every semi-positive encounter with a member of the opposite gender, or on a totally different spectrum, you are all about the independent life. However, if you are anything like me, you can’t decide what toppings you want on your ice cream, much less what you’re looking for in your dream man.   Whether you are the hopeful romantic, the cynic, the desperate, the independent or just plain confused, Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be the yearly reminder that you are still single.   Let it be the one of the many reminders of the merciful, patient and everlasting love that only your heavenly father can provide.   Whatever your love story may be, or lack there of, just know that you are adored, highly favored and abundantly blessed by the...

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Speech Cru sets its sights on nationals
Feb18

Speech Cru sets its sights on nationals

Speech Cru brought home two third place sweepstakes awards at the Cowtown Swing Tournaments hosted by Tarrant County Community College and West Texas A&M Jan. 23-25.   University sponsor Kathy Owens praises the participants on their accomplishments as the team’s year-long run approaches an end.   “We’ve done so much with the little we have,” Owens said. “I am proud that our team can hold its own against the big schools with large teams and even larger budgets.”   Students prepare for their final tournament later this month on the road to nationals. Qualifiers so far include senior political science and history double major Zach Craig, junior speech communication and political science double major Kelzye Isham and senior public relations major Jasmine Simmons.   With each competition, Speech Cru members never seem to disappoint. Junior history and political science double major Stephen Bedwell set a precedent for the team’s future debaters.   “I am happy especially about the Top Novice in Lincoln-Douglas debate award for Stephen Bedwell,” Owens said. “Our program just took up debate in October, so it’s nice to be recognized.”   Owens, assisted by her husband, Dr. Kerry Owens, has led the university speech team for the last decade seeing tremendous strides in the program, none of which could have been done without the dedication and enthusiasm of the students.   “What I love is that the students aren’t here out of requirement, but because of the passion they have for it,” Isham said.   “Even if you don’t have any past experience with speech, it’s a really good thing to take a risk on,” she said. “It’s very conducive to learning and very conducive to growing your confidence in all of life, not just public speaking.”   Owens encourages any student who is interested in becoming part of the team to email her at...

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