Women’s golf team soars through spring
Apr02

Women’s golf team soars through spring

THE BELLS — By Thanh Duong The No. 7 NCAA ranked women’s golf team set off for Georgia over spring break to compete in the Jekyll Island Invitational March 14-16. Junior exercise sport science major McKenzie Ralston climbed the board from 10th place coming out of the second round and led the Cru to finish 2nd individually with an 82-75-72=229. “I worked a lot on my short game. And while I was there, it definitely paid off,” Ralston said. “I wasn’t hitting the ball great and that course played hard hitting into the greens so my short game saved me and secured me second place.” The Cru finished 12 strokes behind team champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for fourth place with a 322-315-318=955 total. Fellow junior sports management major Victoria Thane felt the team didn’t play to  its full potential.  Coming off a national championship year, expectations are always high. “As a team, we’ve played mediocre,” she said. “Going into the tournament we felt we could win, considering we won last year. Most of us play well at Indian Mound but it just wasn’t there this year, unfortunately.” Expectations for the remainder of the season are high. Coach Jackie Ralston,  named as the new head coach for the lady Cru in July, felt fortunate to have inherited the team from ex-coach Darla Kirby. “These girls have a lot of talent, and I think that with a little more hard work, dedication and some personal commitment, I see no reason why they can’t conquer and win the conference championship. Get to the national championship and also do well again. I really think they can do a repeat,” she said. Going blind into an unfamiliar course, the team is headed to Bossier City, La.  March 24 to compete in the Hal Sutton Invitational held by Centenary College. “We’ve never seen the course. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes you’re better off maybe not knowing what all is out there,” Ralston said. “Just look at the shot, play that shot. Go to the next shot.” In order to mold their craft to perfection, she said  several things needed work. “We’re going to get there. They’re making their personal commitments, continuing to work on it, and we’re trying to stay positive,” she said. “Just the air that we’ve had at our practices since then is totally different,” she said. A loss like Jekyll Island had affected the team greatly. It forced them to stay focused and be prepared for the Hal Sutton Invitational. “Something clicked, I’m sorry that it had to be  a fourth place finish to make that click happen, but I think they’re ready...

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From Belton to Afghanistan: one student’s quest to serve his country
Apr02

From Belton to Afghanistan: one student’s quest to serve his country

THE BELLS — Last year, freshman political science major Ishmael Pulczinski left the university to serve with the United States Army in Afghanistan. Pulczinski seeks ways to serve those around him and his country. He planned to become an officer in the Army through the university’s Reserve Officer Training Corps program and had already been serving in the Army Reserves at a chemical unit as a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear operations specialist, or 74D. “Growing up, I would always play with G. I. Joe men outside, so it was always in the back of my mind,” Pulczinski  said. “What really propelled me into wanting to join was Sept. 11. I was in the third grade when it happened, and when I heard the news, it woke me up that there are people who wish to do harm against this nation and its citizens. I felt compelled to join to help defend this country from those people.” Pulczinski first came to UMHB in the 2011 spring semester after completing Army basic and has always wanted to serve in the political realm. He was in Beall House Council where he lived during the fall and spring semester of the 2012 to 2013 school year. During the spring semester, Pulczinski heard from some of his fellow reservists that a unit was looking for volunteers to deploy during the summer to Afghanistan. He jumped at the opportunity. “I felt like it was something that God wanted me to do. It was something I needed to do,” Pulczinski said. “I added my name to the list of volunteers. It wasn’t until February after I had started my next semester that I learned my name had been selected. So, I dropped my courses and started the training I had to do in order to deploy.” As Pulczinski started to drop his courses, friends and the university were supportive of him. His classes were reimbursed, and his status as a student was left open for him to come back when his service is over. “The fact that he volunteered at the age that he is and quit school completely embodies the person that he is,” said Beall Hall resident director Christan Hammonds. “He cares about people and has a servant’s heart, a genuine gentleman. I have the utmost respect for military personnel, but the fact that he volunteered in the middle of college to go over there says exactly who he is. I’m ready for him to come back.” Currently, Pulczinski plans to be back in May and has already begun the process to return to the university in the fall. Although he misses his...

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New student body president has high expectations
Apr02

New student body president has high expectations

THE BELLS –By Wesley Ashton Results are in for university student body president,  and next year’s SBP is sophomore engineering science major Christian Harper. Voting took place March 3-6 after a long road of advertising, debating and reaching out to the students of the university. The campaign started with the student government presidential debate Feb. 27 when all four candidates talked about their different platforms. “My previous affiliations with SGA include serving as both the freshmen class president and vice president,” Harper said. “I plan to address several issues, including campus dining, the housing process, creating more parking, making textbooks tax free and improving the chapel experience for everybody. Something else that is very dear to my heart is the bridging of the social gap between students and student athletes on this campus.” Harper ran against junior psychology major Alex Aleman, junior international business major Jonathan Kendall and junior economics and marketing major Ryan Sewell. Candidates chalked the side-walks, posted on dorm doors and loaded tables with advertisements in hopes of representing the university’s student body. Ultimately on March 6,  the email went out that Harper had won. “As student body president, I look forward to serving my fellow students as liaison between the student body and administration,” Harper said. “I endeavor to improve each student’s educational, social and spiritual experience here at UMHB.” Harper is a football player at the university and uses that as a platform to get to know others. He wasn’t involved in SGA last year but hasn’t allowed that to stop him from staying up to date on current issues facing students. “I didn’t think people really had issues with so many things,” Harper said. “Then I started asking what we could do better. I really found through SGA I could make a difference. Freshman year, I really got a feel for what I wanted to do here at UMHB. We need to go to the people to build community on the campus.” Besides getting football players more involved on campus and reaching out  to them, Harper wants to try to make the chapel experience more appealing to students at the university through the addition of a band. Students came out in support during voting week for the vision Harper has for the campus—the year to come will make his dreams of change that much closer. “I like his idea of bringing a band into chapel and looking at the past bills that weren’t passed and seeing why they didn’t,” freshman cell biology and chemistry major Kristan Gomez said.  “I hope that the other candidates who didn’t win will help Christian become a good...

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Staff editorial: Turnitin.com
Apr02

Staff editorial: Turnitin.com

THE BELLS — Turnitin.com may not be convenient for students, but many professors view it as an effective way to prevent plagiarism. As long as students continue stealing others’ intellectual property, turnitin.com may be a burden that everyone must tolerate. The website could be a necessary nuisance. It’s a pain to have to go through the process of submitting papers through the site, but due to the dishonesty that is rampant at all levels of education, it may be for the best. Some believe students should embrace turnitin.com because it could encourage their creativity. The fact that professors can see how unique one paper is from another helps students try harder to be set apart from the pack before their papers are read. However, there are some inherent flaws to the system worth noting. Some users don’t experience problems, but many do. It can become incredibly frustrating, but still others believe it’s a good concept. A lot of people don’t like turnitin.com because it doesn’t detect whether a source has been cited, leading the site to assume that every student plagiarizes. The system could be updated so it recognizes that phrases in quotation marks are cited material. As for now, it’s an unneeded source of stress and aggravation, only adding to the tension students are already coping with. Another solution could be hard copies and a face-to-face turn in. It seems to eliminate a lot of possible technical problems by handing in a hard copy. What if the Internet crashes? Turnitin.com is a massive accident waiting to happen. Unfortunately, that’s already become a reality for some users. There are multiple accounts of students uploading their papers only to have them disappear into cyber oblivion, causing professors to give students zeros or late grades in return for weeks of preparation for papers and research projects. This is a problem that should be remedied. In addition, there is a moral and ethical problem with the website. One of its main purposes is to check for plagiarism. Making students upload their papers to a website to be checked for plagiarism before they’re graded is inconsistent with the American ideal of being innocent until proved guilty. By uploading work,  students have to prove themselves innocent to receive a...

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Annual event provides play through houses
Apr02

Annual event provides play through houses

THE BELLS — By Josh Bradshaw Reaching Out, a large service project that happens once a semester on campus, provided students with many of different opportunities to give back to the community recently. One opportunity was to take playhouses to military families living in the surrounding area. Students from different groups and organizations had been building the playhouses under the sponsorship of The Campus Activities Board. Sophomore exercise sports science major Alexa Billington had been looking forward to this opportunity for over a year. “My friends got to help take the playhouses to different families last year, and I missed out. I was super jealous because they got to actually spend time with the kids and play with them in their new house.” Elizabeth McNutt, a sophomore exercise science major, and Courtney Craig, a freshman nursing major, both work for the CAB and were able to see the service project through to the end. “It has been really fun spending my week helping to build the different playhouses, knowing that I would get to deliver them to a family at the end of the week,” McNutt said. She describes the special connection she has with the military families as her dad has served with the Army since before she was born. “My heart goes out to the different recipients as I know some of what they have gone through. It can be tough when one of your parents has to go to fight in a different country, and I’m glad that I have this opportunity to help give back to families like mine.” McNutt, Craig and Billington were in the same group and were sent to a family at Fort Hood. The mother and four boys “were so excited to see us,” Craig said. “They were running up and down the street and couldn’t contain the joy that was inside of them as we pulled up with their new house in the bed of our truck. I didn’t realize the significance of what we were doing until we saw the children’s faces.“ Once playhouse was lifted off the truck, the group planned out their strategy regarding how they would raise it over the backyard fence. All the while, the four boys, ranging from 2 to 7, could not hide their joy. “It was tricky trying to get the house into the backyard because the kids were so excited,” Billington said. “It really made us realize that such a small gesture could make such a difference.“ Billington’s group made the most of the opportunity. Armed with paint and paintbrushes, provided by CAB, the students helped the boys paint their new...

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