Business students sew hope and seam memories in Peru
Nov16

Business students sew hope and seam memories in Peru

By Brittany Pumphrey It’s not every day that an opportunity arises to change someone’s life, but for the College of Business, the chance presented itself. Two professors and five graduate students recently visited two towns in Peru to oversee a company entitled Threads of Hope. The organization is a group of about 20 women who hand sew patterns into usable items such as oven mitts and Bible cases. Once they are completed, the items are sent to a distribution center in Plano, Texas, to be sold. The graduate students’ responsibility on the trip was to collect research and provide feedback for the business. Associate Professor and Director of the MBA program Dr. Terry Fox was one of the professors who went on the trip. Fox enjoyed his time in Peru and called it an incredible experience. He described the two villages, Lima and Ayacucho, in which the students spent their time. “Belton is a world away from Lima, and Lima is a world away from Ayacucho,” Fox said. Lima is the city where the women worked and sewed the items together. There, the team took time with the women, learning how the business works and taking notes. They also interviewed some of the workers during the process. Fox said, “It was a fact- finding type of trip and … just meeting everyone was amazing. They were so open and welcoming.” He described his trip as being more beneficial to him and the students than it was for the women in Lima. Business management graduate student Michael Kattan also accompanied Fox on the trip. He describes his favorite part about his journey. “The three-hour bike tour was really fun … some accidents happened, but it was fun.” It was Kattan’s first time being introduced to a different environment other than the United States and his home country of Lebanon. He found it interesting to learn about the different cultures and the way they do things in Lima. However, he did find some similarities of his own culture. “It reminds me of being back in my village by the way they dress,” Kattan said. He also believes that they got more out of the experience than the natives just by learning how they ran their business. “It was a great experience I will remember for a long time,” Kattan said. Business administration graduate student Mary Beth Kelton was interested in going on the trip to help with the non-profit side; she was moved in more than one way. “I enjoyed experiencing the differences in culture and working with the women directly. It was humbling to see poverty in real life. They...

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Students dress to impress for Poe
Oct30

Students dress to impress for Poe

By Jasmine Simmons Characters like Princess Leia Organa, Greek mythology’s Medea, and even Mickey and Minnie Mouse could be found in the Moon building Oct. 26 attending the Edgar Allan Poe Festival. The event is an annual party hosted by the university’s chapter of the International English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, and the English Society, an organization that gives students who are not members of the honor society a chance to participate in select activities throughout the year. “This event came from Sigma wanting to get into the spirit of the season while encouraging literacy among the campus community,” Chair of the English department and co-adviser of Sigma Tau Delta Dr. Jacky Dumas said. Named after the dark and eerie 19th century writer, the gathering is a 13-year tradition where Sigma Tau Delta members dress up as interesting characters, eat delectable snacks and participate in fun activities. “The Poe Party is a get-together with my friends in the English department where we honor one of my favorite writers,” junior Kelsey Blecher said. “The party was great this year because everyone put more thought and energy into it.” Many members of Sigma Tau Delta showed up in unique costumes. Senior English/history major Faith Forester came dressed as Zombie Barbie complete with tiara and open wounds. Forester created the Barbie-gone-grotesque image using fake blood, liquid latex and tissues. “I like to watch Michelle Phan make-up tutorial videos, and I actually got the idea from her,” Forester said. “I really like zombie stuff. I took her idea and made it my own.” Not only did members of Sigma dress to impress at the party, there were also a couple of canine companions imitating stars as well. “(My boyfriend and I) brought our two Shih Tzus, Wicket, full name Wicket Chewbacca of Endor, and Eddy, full name Sir Edgar Allan Pup,” Blecher said. “Wicket was dressed up as Chewbacca and Eddy was dressed up as Ewok, both from Return of the Jedi.” There were plenty of festivities at the party, such as the decimation of a pumpkin piñata, the oration of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven” and the telling of ghost stories. Also, the honors society presented an award for an original writing piece contest to senior English/history major Maria Martin for a poem she wrote. “My favorite part of the party was without a doubt when we took turns telling ghost stories,” junior English major Sarah Norrell said. “Whether you believe in ghosts or not, it is so much fun listening to other people talk about experiences they’ve had and getting creeped out.” As an English organization, Sigma Tau Delta...

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Letter to the Editor

This is a response to the October 2 Bells writing that referred to Muslims, and ostensibly a film, in a tenor exemplified by such phrases throughout as “no brains, brainless mobs in the Muslim world, turned violent, ridiculous, unruly crowd, irrational, herd mentality, against their better judgment, dangerous, scary, politically profitable to defend the honor of Islam, violent mob, blind obedience,” on par with crass media stereotypes of Muslims, film or no film. No comparison/framework is given characterizing Christians who kill millions throughout history, or even in reference to U.S. un-Christian policies in the Middle East. A film or any one thing (such as the acquittal of police beating a Black) is basically only a precipitating factor as it called in social science, and blowback (as the CIA refers to responses to those policies of ours deemed criminal and immoral) occurs, or as a Congressperson admitted, there was already a “long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012.” Since we are in academics, note that much of Islam and Arabic culture laid the foundation for much of academia. Since we refer to ourselves as being in Christian academia, note that Islamic and Arabic cultural emphasis is on hospitality to others. In fact regarding the latter, a Waco Baptist missionary who has been in the Middle East for 30 years reiterated that here recently as well. Dr. Jose Martinez,...

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‘New Normal’ in families

By Jasmine Simmons From June Cleaver to Snookie, there has been an obvious change in family dynamics over the past half century. As society becomes more tolerant to alternative lifestyles and social practices, family life develops new facets as well. In today’s post-modern society, families are breaking June Cleaver’s utopian picture of happiness in the home all over the country. It is an understatement to say that the standards of the average family have changed from the days of Leave It to Beaver to present day. If a family from the 1950s were to gaze into an American household today, they would be shocked to see single parent homes, households with teen mothers and same-sex parents to list a few deviations from the 1950s American household. Divorce, a concept that was basically taboo in the 1950s, has impacted a large majority of households. Teen pregnancy is on the rise in the States. High schools are now making child care centers in school buildings, so teen mothers can continue their education. Six states have legalized same-sex marriages, and activists in other states are fighting for its legalization. Unconventionality is running rampant in families across the United States. While the reasons behind such families may vary, it is still alarming how far contemporary households have veered from the model of the conventional family in earlier generations. Oddities in families are cinematic gold for media outlets like television and movies. The MTV television program Teen Mom showcases the lives of high school teenagers who have become mothers. The New Normal, an ABC sitcom, tells of a single mother who works on becoming a surrogate for a gay couple. Movies like Baby Momma and The Back-up Plan depict single women who desire to have a baby without a partner whatsoever. These television shows and movies acknowledge the changes in family dynamics and profit greatly from them. Standards are being refined as it pertains to the home and the family dynamic. Still, acceptance is not always the best policy. Within this era, where there is a development of different ways of life, a line must be drawn when deciding between what is permissible and impermissible. Things are not as they once were. People are not as they once were, and as a result a new normal has been set for the U.S. and the families that exist within...

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Why I’m voting Democratic

By Ella Rowand I consider myself a moderate Republican. Nevertheless, I am voting for the Democratic candidate. Mitt Romney, like any politician, has his good and bad policies and ideas. However, I feel that as a presidential candidate, he has more of the negative than positive. The biggest reason I am voting Democrat is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare. The controversial legislation, while not perfect, has many benefits for me and my family as well as millions of others around the nation. For example, millions of young adults are covered under their parents’ health insurance until they are 26 or married (myself included). Abortions have dropped 62% since the birth-control mandate went into effect. I could continue on and on about the benefits of this bill. Romney wants to “repeal and replace,” meaning he will distribute waivers to the states while he works on repealing the bill and then leave it up to the states to deal with the issue. Each state would have its own laws and policies regarding health care. The problem with this is that it puts us back at square one. If the states had been taking care of the issue all along, ObamaCare would not be necessary. The Romney campaign says that the ACA will take money from seniors, raise taxes by an exorbitant amount and add to the deficit. However, rather than taking money from seniors on Medicare, Obama is reducing overpayments that have been being made to providers. The bill does raise taxes, but not in the way Romney suggests. And while there is much debate on whether or not ObamaCare adds to the deficit, in the long term, the bill is meant to reduce health care costs across the board. This is not to say Romney does not have any good points. For example, his Social Security reforms are a solid step in the right direction. Closing loopholes in the tax code is a smart and long-needed reform. But saying that lowering taxes and cutting regulation will create jobs just is not true. A lack of regulation is part of what caused the recession. While Obama has been president, he has worked diligently to lower the unemployment rate. Since the peak of unemployment in 2010, the rate has steadily declined under the Obama administration. Romney says he has a great plan to jump-start the economy, but he has yet to state any real specifics about this plan. On his website and during the debate, he touts his “5-Point Plan”: energy independence, emphasis on higher education and job training, trade reform, eliminate the deficit and encourage small business...

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