Three tips for incoming freshmen

By C.J. Halloran College is a scary and exciting time in every high school graduate’s life. Independence, the new friends, and the new classes can all make or break a college student’s experience. Coming from high school, college can present itself as an unexplored land of opportunities. In order to get the best out of these opportunities, finding a guide or at least some advice is an absolute must. These are three tips that might be helpful: 1. Beware of Procrastination Unlike in high school, nobody is here to push you or make sure all your work is done. It can become very easy to completely forget about homework and spend all your time with your friends or at different activities. Your professors will not let you know when things are due, they just assume you know based on the syllabus and website, so it is imperative that you organize your time properly and stay on task. “Coming into college, I wish I would have known that procrastination would be my biggest enemy.” Junior Marissa Zermeno’s words seem simple and may sound like a repetition of what your parents have said in the past, but they ring true. 2. Partake in Campus Events One of the hardest things to do when you first arrive at college is to make friends. Getting paired with a roommate you have never met before, in a hall of people you know nothing about, can be intimidating when you first arrive. The best way to make friends during that first day on campus is to sign up for Welcome Week. UMHB’s Welcome Week was created with the intention of drawing new students close to each other and having them begin making a community of people that they could see themselves hanging out with for the rest of their college careers. But new events arise after Welcome Week and throughout the semester and year, so consider attending new functions, activities, and student association or club meetings, even if they are only online during the pandemic. 3. Budget Your Food Money Regardless of how good the cafeteria food is, as a college student you will always be tempted to go off campus for food. Maybe the cafeteria is not open, maybe it is, and you just do not want what they serve that day. That temptation to go out and get some food with friends will always be there. Going every so often is not a bad idea, but every student needs to mind their food budget, because the threat of going broke by eating off campus is real.  If you decide against going to the...

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Safe Return to Campus Plan for Fall 2020

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor has a Safe Return to Campus Plan posted on its website that addresses safety in nine key areas, each with information that can be found on the umhb.edu website, in a purple box at the lower left of the page. The areas of interest address safety within academics, student life, student services, student housing, athletics, and dining services. They also highlight cleaning protocols, health and safety protocols, the mandatory reporting of symptoms of exposure, and there is a section where student notices addressing these issues can be downloaded. The topic on academics explains the CRUflex plan of content delivery and teaching this fall semester that offers students three different options for participation and learning. CRUflex has already begun to offer students the opportunity to attend class, and/or attend online synchronously, or to attend asynchronously online. The academics topic also discusses the computers required and the safe use of them, and lets students know that in some cases, specific lab instructions and protocols are provided in class.  This section also lists the general safety protocols for being physically on campus, and interacting with fellow students and professors. These protocols, guided by CDC guidelines (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), involve using masks, staying at a safe social distance, and the section specifically addresses when masks and face coverings are required, as follows:   Student Health and Safety Protocols All UMHB community members are required to properly wear face coverings or face masks: Upon entering all campus buildingsIn all common areas and shared environments on campus, including hallways, restrooms, elevators, or university-provided group transportation (i.e. vans).When entering/exiting classrooms and lecture halls andFor students, throughout the duration of the class, lab, clinical activity, etc. Faculty must wear a mask until everyone is seated and properly socially distanced in class. So as to assist in communication with the class, faculty may or may not elect to wear a mask while they are teaching. Students and employees are typically not required to wear face coverings in outdoor areas of the campus, as long as at least 6 ft. social distancing is maintained. Students are required to furnish their own face coverings or face masks that conform to CDC guidelines; plan to bring at least two to campus. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be available in all classrooms, labs and on-campus clinical areas. All students must sanitize hands upon entering a classroom. Students who do not comply with health and safety protocols in the face-to-face class classroom, lecture hall, labs, or clinical areas will be required to leave the academic activity immediately. Disciplinary action may be imposed by the Dean...

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UMHB celebrates its 175th anniversary
Feb25

UMHB celebrates its 175th anniversary

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor kicked off its 175th birthday celebration with a family-style dinner that included chicken, green beans and apple pie on Saturday, Feb. 1. Two hundred and sixty people attended the gathering, representing alumni from the years 1946-2019. “All dining on campus used to be family-style,” UMHB Alumni Director Jeff Sutton said. “This was a throwback memory for a lot of our alumni.” The night ended with a candle lighting ceremony at which alumni shared their love and support of the university. This year the tradition was taken to the internet, and over 500 alumni checked in across the globe, offering a way for everyone to connect even if they could not physically make it to the celebrations. A celebration, complete with a photo booth and school-colored cupcakes followed the candle lighting in the Bawcom Student Union. President Randy O’Rear and his wife Julie led attendees in a song of “Happy Birthday” and blew out candles on a cake, denoting 175 years. Feb. 1 has been coined by the City of Belton as the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Day. This is because on that day in 1845, the Ninth Congress of the Republic of Texas granted a charter to the university that provided the framework to form two universities: UMHB and Baylor. The school has since grown and changed drastically. UMHB is now in a different location than it was in 1845. The school used to be located in Independence, and it was a women’s school until 1971. Present-day students now shared their more recent memories and wishes for UMHB at the birthday gathering in Bawcom. “My favorite memory at UMHB is Midnight March,” student Laela Collins said. “It’s my favorite tradition because I spend it with all my closest friends.” The gathering meant even more than that to Collins, as it is one of the closing events of the year. “It gave us an opportunity to say goodbye to those friends that are about to graduate and start their lives,” Collins said. “It’s really touching to be together as a student body.” For first-year student Joftnnia Holts, Welcome Week has been the most fun so far. “I got to know a lot of new people and everyone is so different!” Holts said. “I have a lot of friends from a lot of classifications.” Another Charter Celebration will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2020 in Independence Texas. It will include a chapel service in the historic Independence Baptist Church, followed by a luncheon on the lawn. Other upcoming events commemorating UMHB’s 175th birthday include Belton’s Fourth of July Parade with the school’s float that will feature...

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ROTC members volunteer at Big Red Relays
Feb27

ROTC members volunteer at Big Red Relays

The UMHB ROTC program volunteered at the Big Red Relays event on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Belton High School. The group volunteered to serve food to the athletes competing in the event. Junior social work major and ROTC cadet Nathan Gammage coordinated with Belton ISD to volunteer at the event. He heard about the event from Nicholas Cormier, a UMHB ROTC cadet and intern at Belton High School. “I want to show how awesome our program is by volunteering and representing the program,” Gammage said. “It’s also to show people that we stand for something bigger than ourselves and to show that we love serving our community.” According to Gammage, the event went well. “I am happy to have seen all the hard work and dedication the program displayed during the event.” “We helped serve food to the coaches and participants of the Big Red Relays event, and I would say, ‘mission...

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Engaging with people
Aug29

Engaging with people

It is hard to remember what life was like before laptops were in our laps, cell phones were in our hands and “Google” was a mainstream word. Technology and media are here to stay, whether we like it or not. It is accurate to say that media has made life easier in a multitude of ways. However, has society succumbed to the convenience of and addiction to media to the point that it harms the engagement of meaningful relationships? According to Merriam-Webster, the word ‘engage’ means “to hold the attention of” or “to do or take part in.” Therefore, are we engaging with media, or has it just become mindless scrolling? The majority of media users would most likely agree that the first thing they do when they wake up is grab their phone and start scrolling. It is not something that most users have to even think about, because it has become a part of their morning routines as well as drinking coffee and brushing teeth. Many opponents of the social media craze believe that people are not really engaging with friends and family when communicating via text message or tagging/posting on social media. For the most part, I do not believe that people are really engaged with one another while communicating through social media sites, such as Facebook or Instagram. Media users are not truly communicating with another person through the ‘like’ button. Some people are more used to seeing their friend’s Bitmoji than their actual face. Too often at social events, people are busy communicating through social media rather than interacting with the people around them. The media has not only affected interpersonal communication, but attention spans as well. Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a conversation, smiling and nodding, yet not really knowing what is going on? Instead, have you been thinking about what you will name your future labradoodle and four kids or some other topic unrelated to the conversation? You are not alone. A recent study has shown that since the digital revolution, it has become increasingly more difficult for people to fight off distractions. Microsoft Corp. uncovered that the average attention span has dropped from twelve to eight seconds since 2000. At the first sign of an awkward silence, many people instinctively fumble for their phones to avoid silence’s piercing scream. According to a survey by Time, 77 percent of people between the ages of 18-24 said “when nothing is occupying my attention, the first thing I do is reach for my phone.” Unfortunately, it has become rare to see people sitting down for a meal together without their...

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