Invisible Children helps restore peace in Uganda

An 8-year-old boy watches the last of his relatives die in a bloody attack by a group of radical soldiers dressed in sage uniforms. The men drag the little boy away to make him one of them — a rebel. Invisible Children is an organization working to stop Joseph Kony’s rebel war from capturing and utilizing child soldiers in Uganda. It also aims to restore peace and prosperity in northern Uganda. Staff from the organization presented a short film and spoke in chapel at UMHB. Otim Charles, a staff member of Invisible Children, is an engineering assistant for the Schools for Schools program in Uganda. He became involved with Invisible Children three years ago and travels with the group. “I have a lot of opportunities to share my stories and that will help change the life of so many,” he said. However, Charles was not one of the key speakers in chapel, but came as an advocate for Invisible Children. According to invisiblechildren.com, nearly two million innocent people have been affected by the war between The Lord’s Resistance Army and the government of Uganda for 23 years. The government strives to protect its citizens from the rebel militia but has failed. Consequently, peace is unheard of for an entire generation of youth. Charles is from the Gulu District, and it is his first time to travel away from home to speak about the ministry. He believes the war will come to an end and the people affected by it will see peace. “Children who are still in captivity will be able to come home and be with their families,” he said. Charles has a strong belief in the power of education. He explained how the children attending school in northern Uganda will affect the country as a whole. “They will have opportunity to have better life in the future and better leaders within northern Uganda,” he said. Charles mentors a student at Gulu University, Francis Ojok, who spoke in chapel last semester. He described his toils with education before programs assisting secondary schools emerged. “My education wasn’t consistent because I have so much problem that I couldn’t handle by myself and the most problem was the school fees,” he said. “At some point I tried myself and bettered myself and levered so much to pay my own school fees.” Ojok sees education in a broader way. “I believe education is the way to be able to sustain everlasting peace,” he said. Ojok described the state of northern Uganda today. “I would say at this point, a normal day is peaceful because we don’t have war anymore,” he said. “The...

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Roommates bake up business plan: Viva La Cupcake
Nov16

Roommates bake up business plan: Viva La Cupcake

Traveling on the road of success and failure is considered a risk for many, but a pair of UMHB students push forward with the challenge. Senior business administration major Ricardo Santos and his roommate, senior visual communication major Casey Gaffney, recently started a baking service called Viva La Cupcake. The two combined talents for the business. “I’ve always been more of a cook,” he said. Santos prefers to be in the kitchen than at a desk. His desire for baking started in his own apartment, but school remains a top priority. “It’s kind of at a standstill right now just cause I’m really worried about graduating more than starting my business,” he said. About four months ago while Santos was baking, Viva La Cupcake brewed in the minds of him and his roommate. Gaffney described what it was like to taste Santos’ cupcakes for the first time. “I took a bite of it (and) I was like, ‘Dude we can do something with this. Why don’t we start our own cupcake business?’” he said. Gaffney came up with the name of the business, which started out as a joke. “We were just trying to think of something catchy and something kind of manly,” he said. Other than creating the company name, Gaffney suggests flavors to Santos and acts as “taste man.” He will be printing shirts with the business logo on them and selling them soon. Viva La Cupcake offers various flavors of cupcakes, such as chocolate, dark chocolate, piña colada, pineapple and strawberry. The entrepreneurs aim to create diverse flavors. “We just try to stay away from the normal cupcake,” Gaffney said. “So (we) try to mix it up a bit (and) give the customers something they haven’t tasted before.” Santos desires to make cupcakes to his customers’ liking, which is the idea he wants to promote for his business. A single cupcake of standard size costs $1.50, and a dozen are about $18, but Santos says prices vary depending on size and quantity. He tries to make the prices reasonable, but he also does not want to lose money. Senior nursing major Carly Meraviglia bought a cupcake from Santos once and believes his little cakes are “top notch” and reasonably priced. “I think it is great that a student is stepping out and using his talents to start a creative business,” she said. Meraviglia encourages other students to try the cupcakes. “I hope people get the word out,” she said. Meraviglia found out about the business through Santos’ girlfriend, Lindsay Adam, who helps by decorating cupcakes and suggesting ideas. Santos continues working on designs and flavors. He...

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Day of silence for unborn
Nov02

Day of silence for unborn

Rectangles of bright red tape displaying the word “life” in black Sharpie stuck to the edges of Cru 4 Life’s tables as they waited for students to approach them about abortion awareness. The group celebrated its second annual Day of Solidarity Oct. 22 with booths set up in Hardy and the SUB offering information about the event. Junior nursing major Nikita Beltram wants students who may have had abortions to know they have love and support during post-abortion. “I hope that they realize they are not alone and that people do care for them,” she said. “It’s about loving on those women and helping them through those consequences.” Beltram described the purpose of Day of Solidarity as an opportunity to raise awareness about abortion and to express pro-life beliefs without passing judgment. She described her conversation with a student who did not believe the cause was relevant to him as a male, but she believes it is an issue that affects both genders. “If the men drop it all after having relations with a woman, the women are going to feel trapped, and they’re going to feel like they don’t have anyone to go to,” she said. “I think that men need to take up some responsibility.” Junior nursing major Ashley Filippuzzi, another member of Cru 4 Life, said a woman came up to her, explaining she was three months pregnant and currently attending Hope Pregnancy Center. The woman and her boyfriend were contemplating an abortion. However, her boyfriend was having nightmares and the woman did not believe she could go through with the procedure. “It does happen on our campus … it is important to reach out,” Filippuzzi said. Junior nursing major Eva Dedow, who is Cru 4 Life president, commented on her desire for students to recognize the importance of existing. “I hope that they see the value of life and just how important it is to everybody on campus and to know … they’re not alone in their pro-life beliefs,” she said. Dedow said the monetary donations they received will go toward baby supplies for Hope Pregnancy Center. The group also makes its presence known at the Killeen abortion mill. Members pray for unity within the church, for the abortion providers to have knowledge of what they are doing and for their conversions. The group visits children’s homes as well. Abortion attempt survivor and Christian/pro-life speaker Melissa Ohden described her trials and triumphs as a saline abortion survivor at chapel Oct. 20. Some of the high points in her story consisted of an account of how she learned she was an abortion survivor, the description of...

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A generation without gentlemen

Twelfth century knights embodied courtesy, generosity and valor. Today, society has eliminated these values. Though people cling to the belief that men should display good manners and respect toward women, many men, including some Crusaders, have yet to understand or demonstrate this concept. Media and music today often imbue negative messages and images about women into the minds of men across the country. Derogatory terms aimed at women appear in various musical genres, especially rap. Most mainstream rappers use words with negative connotations to classify women. Some fans argue that this is just how the artist refers to women. Please. A derogatory term is still an insult—no matter the context. Hurtful words still carry their true meaning, even after people try to change the original denotation. As it becomes more common to use offensive terms to refer to women, the general respect for them declines. Constant exposure to pessimistic messages about women lower them in the eyes of men. So when a guy takes a girl out and he does not open her door or pull her seat out, it’s OK. This becomes acceptable behavior. Lately, singers have become obsessed with the “independent woman.” Though this seems harmless and even praiseworthy, it’s not. Flattering a woman because she pays for both meals on dates, makes her look independent but makes the man look like a moocher. This is just another way for men to deter becoming gentlemen. Independence is great and desired by both sexes. However, the idea that the attractive woman is the independent one eliminates the duties and responsibility of a true man. Everybody wants to be needed by their significant other —needed, not needy. Both sexes have a role and an important part they play in a relationship. This may sound a little traditional, but it’s significant. A woman cannot be the only giver. The man has to give, too. Real men open doors, pay for meals, work hard for their families or the future they plan to have with that amazing woman. They occasionally send flowers, too. These attributes stick out. Men who display them embody courtesy, generosity and valor. They are not only true men but 21st century...

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Depression affecting young

Changes in appetite, sleep habits and weight and feelings of irritability, hopelessness and prolonged sadness are all symptoms of depression. This affects many students across college campuses, but universities are working against it. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, more Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease, cancer and HIV or AIDS. Approximately 15 percent of the population will suffer from clinical depression at some point. Director of Counseling, Testing and Health Services Nate Williams sees the prevalence of depression and other mental disorders on campus by visiting CollegeResponse.org. This site allows him to view data, not names of people, when determining how many students are affected. “When I see that that number is up and that number is a lot higher than what our client load is here, that tells me that there’s a lot of people out there that have this (depression) are not coming in. You need to come in,” he said. Williams revealed crisis walk-ins are up 30 percent compared to last year, and other college campuses are experiencing the same. UMHB showed its awareness about depression when Counseling, Testing and Health Services participated in National Depression Screening Day Oct. 7. Student workers passed out cards, with the website students can visit for a mental health self-assessment at www.CollegeResponse.org. The online mental health screening is anonymous and available at any time to anyone. Students can test for depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and alcohol and substance abuse disorders. Williams also encourages residence directors and assistants to use this tool if they encounter students going through a rough time. Residence staff receives training for dealing with suicidal residents through Question Persuade Refer. It’s designed to help a person who may be considering suicide — the second leading cause of death among college students. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 30 percent of all clinically depressed patients attempt suicide. Ultimately, half of them succeed. Associate Professor of graduate psychology and counseling Ty Leonard described how UMHB deters students from experiencing emotions associated with depression through campus ministries and events like Pancake Supper and Play Day. He said, “These might not directly address depression but are certainly aids that help people deal with things that lead to depression, such as being away from home for the first time and feeling isolated.” Leonard explained how challenging it is for people to realize they have depression. “Often times, it’s hard to identify when (they’re) depressed because everybody feels sad,” he said. “Sometimes the hardest thing is identifying that (they) have depression and it’s going to be difficult to handle.” Sometimes people do not recognize they...

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