Alerts issued as gas leaks occur around construction

By Jasmine Simmons Caution tape surrounded the perimeter of the construction site as the foul odor of gas tainted the air. Police stood nearby, and students walking by wondered what the cause of the commotion was. During the first weeks of the semester, Aug. 4, Aug. 23 and Sept. 4, some dorms and campus buildings had to be temporarily evacuated due to breakage in underground gas pipes. “Construction is the cause of the gas leaks,” Chief of Police Gary Sargent said. “A lot of it has been hitting abandoned gas lines. They are abandoned, but they tie back into the main line.” The leaks occurred outdoors at construction sites on the south side of Beall Hall and along King Street where the areas underwent in-ground work. Residents received notification about the leaks through text messages. “We ask that students pay attention to the alerts that are sent by campus police,” Associate Dean and Director of Resident Life Donna Plank said, “and follow the instructions they are given in those alerts and follow the instructions given to them by staff members.” Students should update personal information in the university’s system so they can receive messages in case of emergencies. Junior math major and Beall resident assistant Lacy Hill experienced the importance of having updated information in the system firsthand during the gas leak at Beall. Hill returned to the dorm after class and let herself in through the back door. “After I grabbed what I needed for work, I left through the front doors, which are usually unlocked 24/7,” Hill said. “As I was leaving, I noticed they were locked and the scan card machine light was red. I had just switched phone providers, so my number changed, and I didn’t get the text notification that was sent campus wide.” Hill contacted her resident director, Christan Hammonds, who informed her about the gas leak. “I knew that the gas wasn’t poisonous,” Hill said. “It was still scary knowing that if somehow there was a fire, I could have been blown up in the building.” Potential explosion and nausea from gas fumes are the two main reasons why buildings are evacuated in the event of a gas leak. Students should report any cases where they can smell natural gas in the atmosphere. “If a student is asked to ‘shelter in place’ by going into their room or apartment and staying there with the windows closed, or evacuate a space quickly, the most important thing is for students is to follow those instructions quickly,” Plank said. With ongoing construction around campus, fire safety is vital for those living in residence housing. National...

Read More
New theater, grand expectations
Aug21

New theater, grand expectations

By Antonio Hebert Since its opening this past May, Grand Avenue Theaters has been a big hit with Belton area residents and UMHB students. Boasting six large fully digital screens, a cafe and vintage soda parlor, the theater offers a long-awaited and convenient venue for entertainment. Prior to the announcement of the theater’s construction, many thought a movie theater was a service that Belton needed. Business manager Daniel Bucher, a UMHB alumnus, said, “The community has been really pleased. We have gotten so many comments about how they can’t believe this is finally here and how we have needed this for a long time.” A large number of people in Belton would travel to places like Temple, Killeen, Waco or Austin to take in a movie. Ironically, residents of many Central Texas towns now drive to Belton for a movie. David Leigh, the theater’s acting general manager, said, “We are having a positive response from neighboring communities with people coming from Killeen, Gatesville, Waco and Austin.” Aside from native Central Texans, another sector of Belton’s population is happy to have a new theater, the UMHB student body. Many have been to the theater multiple times and are pleased with its convenient location and the five dollar college day begining Tuesday, Aug. 21. Junior nursing major Taylor Frank was present at the theater’s midnight opening on May 5, the same night The Avengers premiered. She was impressed. She said, “I think it’s perfect for the small town of Belton. The workers were just so nice. I had a great time.” Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life Donna Plank arranged an outing to the theater to see The Bourne Legacy. Plank said, “Belton has needed this for a long time, and I am glad someone finally realized that UMHB students are a large population of people who need things like this right here in Belton and not just in Temple or Austin or Killeen.” Plank said that more than 70 people attended with her group. She was impressed with how well the staff handled themselves. “It was great. The theater owner worked with us to make getting in as a group very easy, and we were able to sit together as a group.” She said the group enjoyed their experience and plan to return. Two resident assistants who were present for the event were junior accounting major Seth Michaelson and sophomore communication major Wesley Ashton. Michaelson, a resident assistant in Getty’s Hall, said, “The theater was super clean, and it even smelled nice. The seats were comfy, and the screen was the perfect distance away.” Ashton, the head...

Read More
Letter from Dr. O’Rear
Aug21

Letter from Dr. O’Rear

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor! Whether you are a new student experiencing college life for the first time, a returning upperclassman or a graduate student back on campus after summer break, we are glad you are here. Over the summer, our faculty and staff have been praying for you, preparing for you and anxiously awaiting your arrival. Now that you are here, we are excited to kick off the 2012-2013 school year! When you look around campus, you will notice many changes have taken place. The Baugh Center for the Visual Arts, UMHB’s brand new art facility, just opened on the south side of the university. Next door, work continues on the Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center, while the student union building and the first on-campus home for our football team, Crusader Stadium are rising up out of the ground. The ongoing construction is a physical reminder of the blessings and growth we are experiencing at UMHB, and I am glad you are here to be a part of what promises to be a remarkable year in the life of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. As we start the new semester, I would like to encourage you to get involved in the many activities available to you at UMHB. During the fall, there is always something happening on campus. Go to as many events as you are able, try new activities, enjoy your classes and immerse yourself in the Crusader traditions. It is my hope that when you cross the stage to accept your diploma at the end of your educational journey, you will truly have received an education for life and had the experience of a lifetime. I am excited about our future here at UMHB, and excited that our future is you. Welcome home, Crusader!   Randy O’Rear, Ed.D....

Read More

Student body president welcomes incoming freshmen to campus

I want to personally welcome each of you, the class of 2016, to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. I am very excited to spend this coming year with each of you. Know that you have been prayed for, and you are still being prayed for as you begin your journey in this new chapter in your life. As your student body president, one of my goals is to see relationships formed on campus as we model the body of Christ. My prayer is that you will find friendships that you will obtain for a lifetime, and that you will have experiences that will last for a lifetime. I couldn’t agree more with the university’s motto, “Education for life…Experience of a lifetime!” I hope to see this become part of your college career. When I think over my time here at UMHB, being involved has been one of the most important aspects of my experience. Having attended a different university before coming to UMHB and not being involved there, I can truly say that this is the key to a successful next four years. Just as there are many parts to the body of Christ, there are many different ministries and organizations that make up this university and allow you to grow in your spiritual life. It is important to our campus that you are personally involved in one of these opportunities. It takes each of us to truly make this place a Crusader home. Another key to your first successful year is getting plugged into a church. Though it can be a scary moment, it is crucial to surround yourself with fellowship and believers in Christ. I pray that each of you will find a church home and plug yourself into that ministry. This year, let’s stand tall, be proud, hold up our C’s with dignity and form unity on this campus. From football players to baseball players to band members to First Year Council, let’s make this the best year this university has ever seen. Let’s truly live out Isaiah 6:8, as we say “Here am I, Lord. Send me.” This is your year, class of 2016, and I couldn’t be more excited to serve alongside each of you. Good luck as you embark on this new chapter. I am so glad that you have chosen UMHB to be a part of that. Now let’s go get ‘em Cru!   Kassidy Harris Student Body...

Read More
Rec Plex causes spike in student life
Aug21

Rec Plex causes spike in student life

By Katelyn Holm The sounds of jackhammers and concrete mixers welcome change and growth on campus this year. A relocated and reinvented Rec Center joins the list of newly completed Cru construction. The building, situated between the intramural fields and residence halls, features both new equipment and recreation opportunities. Dubbed the Rec Plex, the building sits alongside three sand volleyball courts, two basketball courts and two tennis courts. Director of campus recreation Sue Weaver shared her enthusiasm for the facility. “We are really excited about the new Rec Plex. It’s a great location because we are in the heart of all the residence halls. We have increased the amount and variety of equipment that you can check out on your own or as a group.” In the future, Weaver hopes that students will initiate sporting events rather than relying solely on organized activities. “There doesn’t have to be formal recreation going on. Students can make their own activities.” “We are adding more outdoor equipment as well, like tents and camping stoves, even life vests for trips to the lake.” Because the courts are open for use at all hours, students just swipe their Cru cards for access to the facility and lights. This addition encourages students to initiate games and activities outside of intramurals, which many students have already taken advantage of. Even new Crusaders have expressed their enthusiasm for the expansion. Freshman computer science major Riley Massey said, “It’s really exciting to hear about the new improvements being made on campus. It’s especially nice to have improvements to things that we use a lot, like the courts. With all of these changes, I am really looking forward to intramurals.” Intramurals kick off with flag football and Spike Fest, both of which can be registered for online, a change that should make registration less difficult. Starting this fall, all sign-ups for organized intramural sports will be done through imleagues.com. With the link on the Rec Center page, this method will be easier and more convenient for students and the rec staff. Weaver explains the short process. “To sign up for a sport, all members of a team must go the website and create a free account. It is really simple. The hardest thing about it is taking that five minutes to create an account.” But even with the additions to campus, some Crusaders find it hard to say goodbye. Sophomore business major Charlie Rod reminisced. “The old outdoor courts held a special spot for me. My first year at UMHB, I made so many great memories on the basketball, volleyball and tennis courts. It was a bit disappointing seeing...

Read More