Organization helps serve military students

By Nicole Johnson The Student Veterans Organization is quickly gaining momentum as the university’s only military-based club. Membership is open to anyone who has an affiliation with the military or simply has a desire to help or get to know a current or former service member. Junior cell biology major Jared Peirce is the SVO president and expressed the importance of bringing the university’s military community together. “There are several hundred individuals here who are veterans or family members of veterans, and they all have various knowledge bases, but no one person knows everything. The trick is getting all these people to share what they know with each other,” Peirce said. With primary goals such as assisting students transitioning out of the military, networking and connecting with Fort Hood, the SVO, which was officially chartered in the spring, anticipates having a positive influence on the university. “My expectation for this organization is for it to help improve the situation of students here at UMHB. We’ve already been able to answer a lot of questions from folks who came to the meetings as well as linking some of our veteran   members with a lucrative employment opportunity,” Peirce said. He explained that advising traditional students who are considering a career in the armed forces is another important mission. Having the right counsel in areas such as benefits for enlistees, deployments and employment assistance will help a future service member’s career progress. “I myself missed out on many opportunities as a new soldier that would have made a big difference for me if I had an experienced soldier to advise me as I signed up,” Peirce said. Freshman criminal justice major  Jeralyn Ditlevson found difficulty in adjusting to student life after spending 12 years in the military. She explained how she is grateful for the camaraderie of the SVO because it has assisted her in transitioning from the battlefield to the classroom. “Soldiers always do better when they help each other,” she said. “We just want to reach out to the vets and say ‘Hey, we’re here for you.’” As vice president of events, Ditlevson along with staff adviser Ruby Bowen hopes that more students will become aware of the 25-member organization and want to participate in its upcoming activities. An Organizational Day and Pie-in-the-Face fundraiser are just a few festivities that are on the schedule for November. Also planned are events that put emphasis on supporting those who serve like a Wheelers for the Wounded toy drive, sending care packages to troops in Afghanistan and an off-road trip for injured soldiers and their families. A connection with the Fort Hood military...

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Science Saturday inspires passion

By Katie Maze The Science Education Resource Center hosted its third annual Science Saturday Oct. 29 in the York Science Building. Attendees performed hands-on experiments and activities with student volunteers and professors from biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and psychology. Around the first and second floors of York, rooms were filled with students, teachers, parents and children exploring exhibits from each scientific discipline. Children participated in various activities and conducted small experiments designed to teach them different aspects of science. Activities included a psychology presentation, liquid nitrogen ice cream, solar-powered robots, magnetic bumper cars and live animals the kids could play with and learn about. Volunteer and junior clinical laboratory science major Sabrina Hardcastle registered participants for the event. She was eager to see the childrens’ faces as they explored new things. “This is my first year doing this, but it’s the most exciting thing to just see how a simple pencil that changes colors can fascinate them,”  Hardcastle said. “It’s so fun. I’ll definitely be back.” While parents registered their children, kids got the chance to test the theories of gravity and buoyancy by making tinfoil boats and seeing how many pennies it would take to sink them. Toward the end of the afternoon, chemistry professor and director of  the Science Education Resource Center Dr. Darrell Watson performed interactive chemistry experiments in Brindley Auditorium, several of which included watching explosions and learning about  the effects of dry ice on every-day things like bananas and balloons. “I want kids to be excited about science and to know that it is fun. … We turn science into a game for a day, and we hope  that will carry on to high school and college,” He said. Watson got the idea for Science Saturday when he saw his son lose interest in science as he grew older. Watson was motivated to initiate the program on campus when a reporter contacted him about a former student from another university who was selected out of the entire nation to study in the Galapagos Islands. The student gave credit to Watson for passing on a passion for science. “You can’t get that kind of thing in a paycheck,” he said. Watson said that Science Saturday means just as much for the volunteers as it does for the participants. He hopes that such events will motivate children as well as students to get excited about science, so  they will hopefully go on to pursue a career in a scientific field, particularly teaching. “I would love for them to see how exciting and rewarding it is to share their love of science with others. I’m secretly hoping...

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Letter to the Editor

[The Bells writer] got it wrong by ridiculing a “rock.”  It is not a “mundane issue” to belittle nor simply “insensitive,” nor something that just “happened,” but an outright racist issue.  It is not “just a name” for a Black person, as the Haskell County judge said. Perry patronized the place.  No one put him in boxes; he put himself.  The writer points to those who indicated Perry’s “trouble with … race.”  Yet the governor himself brought up the topic of secession (what the Confederacy did, as its leaders said, to maintain slavery) without explicitly endorsing it. He himself referred to states’ rights, historically code for segregated schools, etc. He himself made Rush Limbaugh, someone laden with racist remarks, an honorary Texan. He himself is the sole person who somehow felt compelled the other day to refer to the Black person Cain as “brother,” twice.  He didn’t say “I love you, brother,” to Newt nor “sister” to Michele.  He himself said the federal government has gone too far “protecting civil rights.” Christianity needs more practicing here and elsewhere.  I propose that one of the four required chapels be a service component in the community.  Now that’s a “distinctive” for UMHB, since “distinctives” are currently bandied about. A Christian practice component would make our university stand out in a positive and constructive way among other Christian colleges. Jesus said in Matthew, chapter 22, that the second great commandment after loving God is to “love your neighbor as yourself,” and most importantly that on such “hang all the Law and the Prophets.” He specified doing for “the least of these,” and elsewhere further specified the poor, the sick, and such. Instead we see cutbacks for the poor, sickly health care in Texas, proposed cuts for college aid, slashing of K-12, cuts at food banks, cuts in children’s Head Start, recent candidates exhorting “Reload” and “macaca,” while current audiences cheer for a border fence that electrocutes, dismiss a gay soldier, applause Perry’s 234 executions, and cheer that the sick be left to die. Those are non-Christian acts and The Bells should be writing against that, and for Christian acts, and the more discussed the better. Jose Martinez, Ph.D. Sociology Professor  ...

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HEB Plus to offer variety for Belton shoppers

By Spencer Turner UMHB students and residents of the Belton community will soon find a new addition to the stable of grocery stores and supermarkets. The Texas grocer HEB is in the final stages of constructing a superstore on North Main Street, across from the Walmart shopping center. Due to open its doors for the first time at 5 a.m. Friday, the new facility will present a number of improvements over the current store located roughly a mile from the construction site. Tamra Jones, public affairs official for the HEB regional headquarters in Austin, explained the motivation behind HEB’s desire to develop an enhanced venue. “We had the opportunity to move the store to a better location and provide more variety to the city of Belton,” she said. Sophomore Christian studies major Rene Martinez has worked for HEB the past several years as a central checkout specialist and will soon become part of the staff at the superstore. “Our main focus for this new HEB is to provide the best customer experience ever,” he said. Once completed, the store will occupy 117,000 square feet of space and include a variety of departments. Entertainment, Do-It-Yourself hardware, a large school section, a sushi corner and an extensive seasonal aisle highlight but a few of the options offered to future customers. but a few of the options offered to future customers. “If you’re looking for Valentine candy, you’ll know where to find it,” Jones said. An in-store restaurant named HEB Café on Your Way will serve hand-tossed pizza made with ingredients imported from Italy, while free Wi-Fi service is to be provided storewide to meet customers’ media needs. Construction on the new store also includes a full-service gas station and car wash, which opened to the public Oct. 28. Leslie Sweet, director of HEB public affairs in Central Texas, explained the company’s approach to attracting auto clientele. “We’re always going to be competitive with our gas prices,” she said. “We’re very proud of the prices that we can offer.” In recent months Sweet has  held meetings with administrative staff at UMHB to discuss possible promotions and sales ideas for students that have yet to be disclosed. The store will also provide Belton residents and UMHB students with an equally important resource: future        employment. Sweet estimates that after the current employees’ transfer requests were processed, the store hired an additional 200 “partners” to work in the new facility. “We have filled a majority of the positions so far,” Sweet said. However, she insists many more employment opportunities will arise for students and community members. “The way the company works is we make a...

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The end of an Era: Apple after Steve Jobs

By Slade Stevenson “Apple has lost a visionary and a creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.” Apple posted this somber statement on its website Oct. 5 following the death of Steve Jobs. He was 56 years of age. Jobs had been dealing with various health issues resulting from his battle with pancreatic cancer. Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976. Just ten years later, he resigned from Apple after being relieved of his executive duties. In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple and transformed it into the company the world knows today. Under Jobs’ leadership, Apple produced gadgets that revolutionized the tech world. Millions of people can now carry the Internet with them on their iPhones wherever they go. Those on opposite sides of the world can feel as though they are in the same room with Facetime on iPads. Jobs forever changed the way people use smartphones, tablets and computers. Without its chief “creative genius,” it is doubtful that Apple will be able to continue making such revolutionary products. As CEO of Apple, Jobs did much more than operate the business side of things; he played a huge role in creating the Apple products customers love so much. ABC News reports that Jobs’ name is listed on  more than 300 Apple patents. They range from everything from designs for iPhones and iPads to the glass staircases found in some Apple stores. Jobs wanted to be involved in every aspect of his company. He helped to create the products and even helped to create the stores at which they would be sold. Jobs was much more than a leader; he was a creator. Apple will   more than likely remain successful; the company must have realized that there would come a time when it would have to function without Jobs, and Apple has probably planned and prepared for this day. However, there is a big difference between simply remaining successful and making things that amaze. New Apple products will inevitably come out, but the excitement and “wow” factor that Jobs gave products is lost forever. With the loss of Jobs, Apple starts a new chapter by putting a solemn period on the previous. The chapter that began in 1976 and that would change the face of technology as it is known today. Revolutionary and innovative, that’s what Jobs made Apple. In the future, Apple’s new products will probably be viewed in the same way new Dell or Nokia products are: people will think they are cool and nice, but nothing to go crazy about. For instance, look at the new iPhone 4S. It was the first iPhone...

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