Farm advocates hunger alleviation
Jan26

Farm advocates hunger alleviation

The chicken runs across the field as a group of students follow it closely behind. Searching the farmland junior education major Kathryn Groseclose picks up pieces of wood, hoping to start a fire. The temperatures are freezing, electricity unattainable and the team’s success is dependent upon the members’ ability to catch, pick and prepare their own food. This is the World Hunger Relief Farm in Elm Mott, Texas — a 42 acre plot of land near Waco where visitors and workers learn farming techniques and are exposed to world hunger. Over the Christmas break, Groseclose was one of six students who spent a week on the farm as a part of Go Now Missions with the Texas Baptists. “It completely changed my perspective on food production,” she said of the experience. Like most people who feel separated from the issue, Groseclose never realized the importance of being an advocate for the cause. “Before I went to the farm, I thought world hunger was not something tangible that I could change,” she said. “I just felt sorry for people suffering.” The farm is just one of many organizations raising awareness of the impact of starvation and malnutrition. While food insecurity is clearly a problem in Third World countries, the issue is also in “our neighborhood,” advocates said. More than 36 million Americans are food insecure, which is largely related to poverty. Texas has the highest percentage of people affected in the nation, and more than 3 million children are on food assistance programs. “World hunger is a reality that we can act on. We can make changes,” Groseclose said. “It can start with paying attention to our own communities and its needs, and closely watching how we shop. Sometimes we buy products where the people who are doing the laboring aren’t getting paid for the work they do.” On the farm, Groseclose and the other students were educated on food needs and practices around the world and the responsibility each person has to end hunger. The team cleaned and maintained vegetables from the garden, milked goats, took care of the livestock and went without running water and electricity. Because of her one – week stay, Groseclose said she now has a better understanding of food production worldwide and how to be proactive domestically. She said ways to do this include growing your own garden, buying from local farmers and paying close attention to nutrition labels. She adds that consumers shouldn’t eat items with more than five ingredients or ones that they cannot read. “My hope is to make more people aware of what hunger is and what they can do...

Read More
New series, Life Unexpected, wows fans
Jan26

New series, Life Unexpected, wows fans

It’s about time a show came out that’s worth an hour every week. Life Unexpected is the best show since Gilmore Girls, and it’s no surprise critics have compared it to the unique relationship between Lorelai, Rory and Chris and the teenage love drama in the independent film, Juno. For those who have been searching for a show to be a die-hard fan of, this may just be it. The pilot is catchy and the characters are inviting — viewers feel like they’ve known them since going to high school with them. The dialogue combines comedy, drama and emotion, and the relationship between the main characters is priceless. The show is about a 15-year-old girl named Lux — played by Britt Robertson — who is tossed from foster home to foster home and is searching for independence. Locating her parents so they can sign her emancipation documents, Lux finds her plan destroyed. The court dismisses her request and gives joint custody to her irresponsible father, Nate, played by Kristoffer Polaha, and her cynical mother, Cate Cassidy, played by Shiri Appleby. Unsurprisingly, the biological parents’ discovery of their daughter comes at a bad time. Nate is a bar owner who has no plans of growing up any time soon, and Cate is a successful radio talk-show host who just got engaged. But Cate realizes she can’t keep running from important relationships and invites Lux into her home. However, it’s not that easy. Though Cate and Nate hadn’t seen each other in the 15 years prior to Lux’s news, the high school partners’ juvenile attraction never graduated or moved on. It’s easy to see by the way they look at each other, they still have feelings for each other — which could pose as a problem for Cate’s fiancé and coworker Ryan Thomas, a sweet, gentle guy who’s willing to help take care of Lux. The relationship between the biological family of Cate, Nate and Lux is classic and easy to dive into beginning with the pilot episode. Life Unexpected is a cute show and is a good portrayal of a real-life situation without the corny soap-opera drama or the melodramatic teenage edge like the ones that come on Noggin. The show, which comes on at 8 p.m. Mondays on the CW, deserves 4 out of 5 bells and is a season...

Read More
Cru jump starts season with commanding win
Nov24

Cru jump starts season with commanding win

The basketball team opened its season with a win against Trinity University Nov. 18 at home in a non-conference match. “It was good,” senior guard Zane Johnston said. “We got an early win. A lot of the new guys played really well, and our defense made a big lead in the beginning.” Though the team brought back nine players, they have only 46 career starts combined, which means fans will see many changes from last season’s play. “This year’s team has 12 new faces. There are no similarities,” Head Coach Ken De-Weese said. The Cru graduated 10 seniors last year, but will bring back four seniors, including guards Zane Johnston and Reshaud Jackson, and forwards Rich Moore and Ervin Johnson. “It’s a challenge,” Johnston said. But he and the rest of the team are hopeful. “We have three seniors right now, and one more after football is over. We have a lot of transfers coming in with experience, and we’ve been playing as a team for several months now.” The team’s record last season was 19-8 overall and 16-5 in American Southwest Conference play. Players advanced to the semifinals of the ASC Championship Tournament before falling 65-60 to U.T.-Dallas. However, this year the team was picked to win the ASC West Division in the league’s annual Preseason Coaches and Media Poll. “People don’t know what we have because we have so many new people,” Jackson said. “We come from different places, but we play well together and have a good chance.” He said the team’s expectations are high. “We’re bigger than we’ve ever been and faster,” Jackson said. “I’m impressed. We’re way ahead of schedule from where we are normally at this time of year.” The team’s goals include qualifying for the ASC tournament, winning ASC West Division, winning the ASC Post-Season Tournament and qualifying for NCAA Tournament. DeWeese said the team will face challenges in pursuit of its victories as normal. “Putting together a team that is competitive for post-season position, planning to win, keeping people healthy and happy on the team and keeping a team together … is challenging enough, and the obstacles and adversity are there every day,” he said. They are looking forward to a good season. Johnston said, “We’re excited where we’ll end up in conference.” UMHB will face ASC Champion U.T.-Dallas Nov. 28 in...

Read More
Baptist convention inspires, encourages
Nov24

Baptist convention inspires, encourages

Critical political and social movements were discussed during the Baptist General Convention of Texas’s annual meeting in Houston Nov. 15-16. UMHB faculty and students attended, including university President Dr. Randy O’Rear and Chancellor Dr. Jerry Bawcom. Both were honored during one of the sessions for their service to higher education. The conference was an opportunity for Texas Baptists across the state to gather to make decisions and vote on matters, but BGCT President Randel Everett said, “The annual meeting is about more than business; it’s a time for fellowship and worship, too.” Attendees and BGCT churches were encouraged to pursue the Hope 2010 challenge — a Texas Baptist Initiative to share the Gospel with every Texan by Easter 2010. “The probability of us accomplishing that goal … is not likely,” said Convention President David Lowrie. “But accomplishing it in the next few years is very likely. I am excited where we’re going.” Churches across the state are reaching out to their communities with whatever resources they have and are hoping to involve all people in the mission. This year, conference leadership took a step in engaging younger generations of Baptists by providing workshops for those under 35 called STREAM. “It’s exciting to see younger people getting involved because we have to share these resources with them,” Everett said. An anonymous person made a generous contribution that allowed for UMHB students to go to the annual meeting, and covered meals and hotel rooms. Nine universities were represented in the BGCT. Convention President David Lowrie said the institutions were some of the Texas Baptists’ greatest treasures. College of Christian Studies professor Dr. Leroy Kemp said, “It’s important for them to fellowship and get the opportunity to see how the Baptists work, and hear … the history.” Speakers addressed various issues, including the challenges of church leadership and ministerial outreach. “If you want to change the world, be Baptist. Re-claim the name,” said Alan Lefever, who encouraged young people to embrace their doctrinal foundations. “Depend on the proud heritage of men and women before us,” he said. Junior Christian ministry major Zachary Raygoza said attending the conference was a highlight of his semester. “It challenged and inspired me to look for where Christ wants me to fit into His will…. We’re given opportunities to make a difference, and we need to realize these opportunities,” he said. “(The speakers) encouraged me to listen to what the Lord wants for my life and refreshed me to seek Christ in all that God has for...

Read More
National, local communities face the aftermath
Nov12

National, local communities face the aftermath

After 13 people lay dead and 29 wounded, Fort Hood will never be the same. The mass shooting was the deadliest in history on a U.S. military base. Eyewitnesses say they saw soldiers in bloody uniforms escaping the center where the shooting took place and going to other buildings in the area for safety. Nov. 5 was a dark day when the enemy came from within America’s own ranks. The suspected shooter is 39-year-old Army psychiatrist, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan—a Muslim-born American who helped other soldiers during their counseling before going on his own rampage. Army Pfc. Kyle Caffas, who is serving in Iraq, was relieved when he found out his wife, Kelsy, was safe at home in Texas after the massacre. Kelsy Caffas, a UMHB junior, lives on post, but did not go home that night. She had learned about the shooting from someone in her Greek class who received a text message. “I was really shocked; it seems so unreal,” she said. Caffas realized the gravity of the situation after she got out of class. “I can’t get back to my house,” she thought. “It’s scary when you can’t get back to your house.” She decided to hang out with friends on campus for awhile. When Fort Food later reopened, Caffas knew she had to make the trip back because she had food in the slow cooker at home. But she feared spending the night. “I felt more comfortable staying on campus. I didn’t want to be so close to where (the shooting) happened,” she said. Caffas stayed at a friend’s apartment that night as the reality of the tragedy began to sink in. The shooting happened at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, a location her husband was no stranger to. Every soldier, before and after deployment, goes through the building — and her husband would becoming home soon. However, Caffas couldn’t talk to her soldier until the next day when she found out that a member of his unit was among the first injured in the event. She said it was a “panicky situation for them.” As for Bell County, the community — including UMHB — is left full of stories and heartache from the tragedy. While soldiers are trained to see death, and locals know it’s a possibility, this attack from within post was more than unexpected. Former Army Ranger Nate Self, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2005 and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, said the event, regardless of the cause, will leave America with questions. As a decorated serviceman with a Purple Heart, Silver Star and Bronze Star, Self has suffered emotional and...

Read More