Discrimination in higher education
May06

Discrimination in higher education

Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was published previously in print on the opinions page. Opinions do not necessarily reflect the adviser’s, staff and/or the university’s viewpoint. THE BELLS — Controversy is brewing as the Supreme Court last week upheld the University of Michigan’s decision to ban the use of racial considerations in admissions, further strengthening the state’s constitutional amendment, which nullifies affirmative action. This brings up questions of institutions and individuals in the United States engaging in what some like Dr. Benjamin Carson call “reverse discrimination.” If equality of opportunity was what universities cared about, why should race matter?   In a piece he wrote for townhall.com titled “Beyond Affirmative Action,” he says, “…Let’s take a child who is a member of a racial minority with parents who are successful professionals who have given their child every imaginable advantage. The child applies to a prestigious university with a 3.95 grade-point average, excellent SAT scores…. This child would obviously be an excellent candidate for admission.” He contrasts the first student with another. Carson writes, “Let’s take another child who is white, but whose father is incarcerated and whose mother is an alcoholic. Despite these disadvantages, the child still has a 3.7 grade-point average, very good SAT scores and a resume that includes several low-paying jobs. Without taking any other factors into consideration, the choice is clear: The first student would be admitted over the second.” This does nothing when trying to overcome racial discrimination. In an attempt to right the wrongs of the past, minorities have been given preferential treatment when it comes to higher education, scholarships and job applications. To an extent, this may have been warranted, but now as progress is made on the racial front, do we need to keep the same programs in place? Trying to reach the goal of unity by focusing on differences is like riding a bike and staring at a wall you’re trying not to hit. The result is almost always a collision that could be avoided. Is it right for an African-American student to get into an institution while a Caucasian student who has a higher GPA doesn’t get admitted because of a noble intention? No. Where is the equality in that? Why does any state still allow these rules that only artificially level the playing field? Is it racist for a Caucasian to get a job because he or she happens to be more qualified than an African-American candidate who applied for the same position? The fairness that comes from true equality would tell the employer that race is truly a non-factor...

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God brings theaters to life
Apr15

God brings theaters to life

In an era when darkness and violence have come to be the thrills moviegoers seek, glimmers of light are flickering across the silver screen. Competing with blockbusters like Divergent, God’s Not Dead brought in viewers interested in a message of life-changing redemption. The plot is derived from various real-life stories of court cases and students who challenged the authority of professors and universities to force them to abandon their faith. The multiple storylines that are interwoven to build the plot are fresh and strong. Nothing is sugarcoated. The message of the gospel reached people where they were. Some accepted it, but others rejected it. Further, superb acting by Kevin Sorbo, who played Hercules in the 1994 series, combined with appearances from the popular Duck Dynasty couple, Willie and Korie Robertson and Christian rockers, The Newsboys, draw upon a wider demographic of moviegoers than some other Christian films. The story is set mainly on a college campus where a freshman needs to fulfill a philosophy credit. He ends up in the class of a professor who is a devout atheist. The instructor tells the entire class to write “God is dead” on a piece of paper and sign it. The young student, passionate about his Christianity, refuses. The angered professor issues an ultimatum. The student must prove in three lectures that God does, in fact, exist. If he fails, he fails the class. As the lectures go on, the true reason behind the professor’s unbelief begins to come out. In a heated exchange, he admits that he hates God, to which the student replies, “How can you hate someone who doesn’t exist?” Finally, after the final week of class periods devoted to the existence of a creator, a driver strikes the professor in an intersection. A pastor and a missionary who provide a side plot and comic relief are at the scene when it happens. The pastor prays with him, and he dies in the street reconciled with God whom he once hated. The movie ends at a Newsboys concert where Willie Robinson, who had heard of the freshman’s strong defense of his faith, encourages everyone present to text “God’s not dead” to everyone on their contact list. The movie audience receives the same mandate right before the credits roll. Because of the full range of emotions, the well-developed storyline and the call to action, this is a must see for Christians looking for practical ways to share their...

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Ukraine circumstances no longer foreign topic
Apr02

Ukraine circumstances no longer foreign topic

THE BELLS — Over the past year, tensions in Ukraine have been steadily intensifying, culminating in a sudden escalation over the last several weeks. Violent protests caused bloodshed and damage to buildings in the capital city of Kiev. Within the past few days, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has sent soldiers into the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine, a former soviet state, saying it belongs to Russia. Crimea, which contains most of the ethnic Russians, voted last week to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian federation, a decision the U.S. and most of the international community refuse to recognize. Janet Holland, a freshman business major traveled to the troubled region with a group of UMHB students over the Christmas holiday. It was a mission trip with an organization called Children’s Emergency Relief International, also known as CERI. The journey’s purpose was to take warm winter boots to orphans in L’viv and to spread the message of the Christian faith. When media reports of violence first started reaching the U.S., Holland’s initial reaction was to ignore what she was reading and hearing. She said, “At first when I saw the news articles, I tried to avoid them because all of the conflict made me really sad. I made some really wonderful friends that are still in Ukraine, and I love the country.” In recent weeks, Holland has realized the gravity of the situation, so she wants to stay informed. “I’ve been trying to read all the articles I see about it, though, because it’s getting really serious, and I want to know how bad it is and if any of my friends there are in danger. I feel like the country is just being bullied by Russia because Russia knows that Ukraine can’t really fight back,” she said. Prior to the mission trip, the intense violence had not yet begun, but students were able to witness physical evidence of the building tension. They were even prepped for it. Holland said, “We were definitely aware of the conflict. Our translators advised us to be careful and avoid using Russian words even though they understand Russian…. There were also protestors in the middle of town, and we would pass them every morning going to our warehouse.” She said the people were warm and enjoyed their presence in their region. “Everyone was very welcoming,” Holland said. “Ukraine isn’t typically a tourist country, so many of the children haven’t seen very many Americans. They thought we were the best thing since sliced bread. We would walk into a school building, and the children would just surround us and practice their English. The adults seemed very...

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Life: An issue for not aborting

THE BELLS — As the Texas gubernatorial race heats up, a subject that’s commonly debated among citizens of the U.S. is brought to the front of voters’ minds once again—abortion. The fight became more intense when Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor stood on the floor of the Texas senate for an impressive, but unfruitful 13-hour filibuster against sweeping abortion restrictions. Her day-long speech came to an end when Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst determined that she had strayed too far off topic. The tougher abortion laws were passed, but Davis and her like-minded supporters haven’t given up. Opposing them is a growing effort among teens and young adults in Texas and the United States to end abortion. They believe that life begins at the moment of conception. Mike Perry, a sophomore Christian Studies major is a staunch pro-life advocate and member of UMHB’s anti-abortion group, Cru For Life. He has life experiences that fuel his passion. He said, “I have a very personal connection with the … movement. I first got involved with the movement when I was in high school. It became an important part of my life. I had a friend named Mary who was wanting to abort her baby and I called and I met her at the abortion clinic. At the clinic, we talked outside for a while and then walked over to the pregnancy aid center.” The woman did not go through with the abortion and decided to keep her son. For Perry, the way this story played out is confirmation his efforts are not in vain. “Her baby is now almost 4 years old.… I love him and he was named after my middle name, Alexander. I found out soon afterwards from my grandmother that my connection runs much deeper.” Though Perry was glad he could make a difference with his friend, he did not realize that abortion affected his life in an even more personal way. “Upon hearing about this, my grandmother informed me that my mother, before I was born tried to abort me twice and both attempts failed,” he said. “The first time, the paperwork was not correct and she had to fix it and come back. The second time the machine broke down about three to five minutes into the procedure. God saved me from the horrors of abortion twice.” Perry sees a need for males to be involved in the fight against abortion. “I think that I as a man in the pro-life movement, I can make a two-fold difference…. I can dispel the rumors that men are not involved in the pro-life movement and that they...

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New sign, old street, lasting legacy
Feb25

New sign, old street, lasting legacy

THE BELLS — The university and the City of Belton witnessed history as Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoke at an unveiling ceremony to commemorate the re-naming of 9th Avenue to Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. City and church officials gave opening remarks. Alexa Stewart, president of the Association of Black Students introduced the guest speaker. She said, “Dr. King stated, ’Faith is taking the first step, even when you can’t see the whole staircase.’ Today, this street is merely a street on his staircase. MLK will run right through our campus. While our diversified students cross back and forth across this street, we are overcoming racial boundaries Dr. King fought to see banished.” King’s speech consisted of a series of stories about her family, specifically her uncle. A recurring theme in each speaker’s remarks was love. She recounted hearing as a little girl how an angry group of men attacked MLK and tried to strangle him. Proud of how her uncle handled the situation, she recollected, “He said…. ‘They tried to choke me to death with my tie, but I made a decision. The harder they tried to kill me, the harder I was going to love them.’” King also told of how American evangelist Dr. Billy Graham came under intense pressure from his own peers for inviting Dr. MLK to speak with him at a crusade in Madison Square Garden in New York City. Graham grew tired of segregated worship in the U.S. Echoing that sentiment, MLK wrote, “The most segregated hour in the South occurs on Sunday morning.” An elderly African- American woman who did not see King’s acceptance of Graham’s offer was outraged and stabbed MLK in the heart with a letter opener. He was rushed to the hospital. The doctor who performed an emergency surgery told him that if he’d sneezed, he could have died because the letter opener could have gone into his heart. King told those present at the ceremony that little children of all races would meet her uncle and say to him, “Dr. King, we’re so glad you didn’t sneeze.” In the chapel services she spoke at, she talked about how her faith, although she wandered away from it at one time, is what has sustained her life. Her father, MLK’s brother was a minister as well. He instilled in her an unquestioning confidence in God. She said, “Daddy helped me to really believe the Bible and the miracles of Jesus…. I never believed in Santa Clause. It just didn’t make sense. This Caucasian man was going to come down our chimney, even though it...

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