No dogs allowed: students try to conceal their furry friends
Feb25

No dogs allowed: students try to conceal their furry friends

THE BELLS — By Sarah Hogue Pets make an enjoyable addition to seemingly dull dorm life. They add color and fun to any room. However, students must be careful about what animals they choose to bring. “Fish are the only type of pet allowed on campus and must be maintained in an aquarium,” Donna Plank, associate dean and director of Residence Life, said. “No other type of animal is allowed, including all mammals, birds, rodents, reptiles or insects.” However, that has not prevented students from trying. “I was walking down my hall in Garner, and I heard a little dog bark,” Jaclynn Koinm, Garner RA and senior Christian studies major, said. “And I was like hold up!” Koinm is not the only one to experience an issue with pets that are not allowed in dorms. “We actually had two different hamsters within a week while I was an RA in Burt,” Tiffany Williamson, Garner RA and senior psychology/premed major said. “We had a fire drill and had to run through the rooms to make sure everyone was out. One of the RAs found one hidden in the closet. A couple of days later, we found another.” While these furry mammals are denounced due to allergies, daily upkeep and smells, other seemingly not so harmful animals, such as aquatic frogs, are also forbidden in campus housing. “As to why people cannot have aquatic frogs, it is a matter of just keeping things simple,” Plank said. “Someone may say that the frog is aquatic, but I wouldn’t know from looking at a frog if it could live outside its habitat or not. Fish are pretty uncomplicated and easy to identify as being exactly what they are — fish.” If a student were to bring a pet on campus, however, that animal would soon have to go. “I have found an iguana as well as dealt with a cat while making casual visits to the apartment checking on maintenance stuff,” Nathan Forester, Ferguson RA and junior nursing major said. “In both cases, I had to inform the resident that they would have to find a friend who lived off campus that could take the pets off their hands. They were successful in doing so.” Many wonder why a student would even bring a forbidden pet on campus, especially when said animal barks. “I think people keep pets because they think it’s a fun thing to do even though it’s against the rules,” Koimn said. “It would be cool if people weren’t allergic, and it wasn’t against health codes.” However, students should not be afraid to bring fish to add a little life...

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Trans-Pacific Partnership hidden from the public
Feb25

Trans-Pacific Partnership hidden from the public

The attacks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a free trade agreement between the United States and 11 other countries. It is one of the largest free trade agreements the U.S. has ever been involved in. Pundits describe it as NAFTA on steroids. Unlike NAFTA, the majority of the American public is unaware of its existence or any of the concessions in the agreement. There has been some media coverage of the negotiations but it is incredibly limited because the negotiations have been done in secret. The website for the U.S. Trade Representative had a few press releases and fact sheets with scant information, but the working draft of the TPP remains classified to the public. Segments of the document have been censored from Congress. The most comprehensive source of information about the TPP has been from Wikileaks. Rep. Alan Grayson and Rep. Elizabeth Warren have both openly criticized the lack of transparency. Warren even voted against the nomination of Michael Froman as the U.S. trade representative ambassador. She said, “I am voting against Mr. Froman’s nomination later today because I believe we need a new direction from the Trade Representative–A direction that prioritizes transparency and public debate.” This document is a free trade agreement, and its transparency should not jeopardize national security. There is no justifiable reason for Congress and the American public to be kept out of the loop. In addition to being classified, the TPP has been fast-tracked, which means that Congress can only vote to approve or disapprove the bill. Representatives cannot amend any of the bill or even attempt a filibuster. The absolute duplicity of the executive branch of government is astonishing. They are attempting to fast-track a bill about free trade that they claim will open up borders while keeping the American public and Congress in the dark. Instead of elected officials exercising their constitutional rights, the USTR and advisory committees, consisting of representatives from different corporations, are determining the future of American foreign trade. Political commentator and activist Noam Chomsky described the TPP as an executive agreement jointly with multinational corporations. Information from the leaked chapters of the TPP shows that several provisions will be made to enhance the power of multinational corporations. One provision being discussed is extending medical patents beyond 20 years. Another provision is to increase restrictions on the fair use of intellectual property. There is no way the American public or even Congress would accept the TPP if they knew all of the included terms. This is why the agreement has been censored. Chomsky said, “This is being rammed down the throats of the populations of the world by...

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Baseball fever is back in Belton
Feb11

Baseball fever is back in Belton

Ben Shipp returns for his second season as head coach for the Crusader baseball team.  Shipp said he is eager to coach this young team after losing six seniors last year. “It’s a challenge, and there is so much to cover. However, I’m not concerned by the youth as much as excited about the talent this team possesses.” Shipp is thankful for his seniors, as they helped the new coaches adapt to the Crusader atmosphere. He said fans should keep an eye out for new players such as Tripp Reeves, Alex Smith and KJ Stark. He believes these three players have a lot to offer the team and is excited to see their future performance. Shipp is confident in the team’s speed and depth, and thinks it will provide Crusader fans with a different style of game due to the power behind their bats. He said, “The key to winning games this year will be consistency in pitching.” Junior left-handed pitcher, Ian Ekery, said, “This year’s baseball team is very young after the loss of six seniors last year, creating a learning atmosphere throughout the beginning of the season.” Although the team is full of younger players, Ekery believes it will be a lot stronger defensively. He is an exercise and sport science major and plans to pursue a career in physical therapy. Ekery wears the number 16 in honor of famous Yankee pitcher, Whitey Ford. Ekery prides himself on his change-up pitch. But he also has a number of other pitches that he has worked on in the off-season. Senior right-handed closer, Danny Horstman, believes he “should set an example in leading the young team” as one of only three seniors this year. Horstman wears the number 7 on the field in honor of his favorite player, Craig Biggio, a retired second baseman for the Astros. Horstman  also majors in exercise and sport science in hopes of pursuing a career in physical therapy after graduation. The two veteran Crusader pitchers believe the key to winning games this year will be the team’s defensive strength and ability to advance the runners. After finishing last season with an even 21 and 21 record, Shipp is confident the team will finish higher in the standings this conference season. The Crusaders, ranked sixth out of 12 in the pre-season conference, will take Red Murff Field in all new uniforms for their first home game Feb. 28, as they take on last year’s ASC champions, the Patriots of UT Tyler. The Crusaders are talented across the board but putting it all together will be the key focus for this year’s team. Last year ...

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Campus Police to install new safety equipment
Feb11

Campus Police to install new safety equipment

You’re running down Crusader Way at 10 p.m. feeling pretty safe, because of the newly installed lights.  As you come to the end of your first mile, you see a shadowy figure reach out to grab you from the train tracks. What do you do? You could attempt to fight and run away, but where do you run? Before this happens, there are some preventative measures every student can take to be proactive in personal safety. The university is taking new steps to help protect students against campus crime. “If you do run by yourself, which we don’t suggest, carry your cell phone,” Chief of Police Gary Sargent said. “If you don’t take a cell phone, stop an officer on patrol or use one of the ten emergency call boxes.” Sargent said it’s also important to make yourself visible to others. “Definitely wear bright colored clothes so you stand out when you’re running in hours of darkness. Choose your paths, and stay in the lighted areas of campus with sidewalks rather than running on the streets,” he said. The university will bring a variety of new safety equipment to campus in the near future. “Our push right now is to install the interiors of campus with cameras that we can monitor,” Sargent said. “As we approach the end of the semester, we will probably have 128 cameras online.” The university has taken many steps to protect students from all matters of danger. Some of these measures include having police available 24 hours, and the installation of light poles around campus. Currently, the school is seeking to install card scanners on every building across campus. This is being done to help prevent individuals from gaining access to buildings in which they shouldn’t be. “We exist to reduce opportunities for crimes to occur on campus. We do that a lot of different ways — utilizing the technology and personal resources available to us,” Sargent said. “Our goal… is to put a card scanner on every building on campus. We are currently in the process of putting a card scanner on the Meyer Christian Studies Center. That installation is going to probably cost $20,000 or more.” Even with the presence of campus police, crime on campus still continues to occur. “The police have done a really great job at making our campus safe,” freshman music education major Stephen Price said. “From personal experience, I have had my Xbox stolen, and the campus police responded immediately. They helped me file a report and investigated the problem.” With the university continually growing, campus police face new challenges to meet the demand for public safety....

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Mother joins children to continue family education
Jan29

Mother joins children to continue family education

THE BELLS — It’s one thing to sit back, watch your kids walk across the stage, look directly at you and mouth “I did it, mom.” It’s quite another to personally hand them their ticket to adulthood. Denise Berg, UMHB’s admissions and recruiting coordinator, was able to be on stage and share the commencement moment with her daughter, recent alumna Sami Berg.   Throughout high school, going off to college is the dream of escaping from parents into a realm of independence. Going off to college with your mom, who also attends classes, isn’t quite as ideal for most. “I had always thought I’d go to school somewhere farther away, but honestly I’m glad I didn’t,” confessed Sami Berg. “I saw all my friends driving three to four hours just to see their family, wasting time on the road. I never had to. I was half an hour away from mine. Home really is where the heart is.” The mother-daughter duo have shared classes together, as has the son. “We had criminal investigations,” sophomore accounting major Andrew Berg said. “She sat right in front of me, but the class was normal. Sure, having my mom in my class might be weird, but it helped me stay focused.” As a college student, letting things slip away from you at school can hard to manage at times. Having someone, especially your mom, to help make sure to keep your head in the game and remind you what will be due, could be nice and save a little money on planners, if you’re into those kinds of things. “Going to school with my mom wasn’t too bad,” he said. “Actually it kind of helped to keep my head on straight and do my work.” Andrew wasn’t the only Berg who had a class with his mom. Sami Berg shared a class with their mom as well. “My mother and I shared a whopping three classes together last semester,” she said. “I know — holy Batman —  but it was great. My mom has always kept me together when I’m falling apart.” The siblings and parent shared a classroom on Tuesday nights last semester. Lined up like ducks in a row, they stayed focused together. Denise Berg is the admissions and recruiting coordinator for the university. She works the standard eight to five workday and her lunch break consisted of a New Testament class, a pack of gum and a water bottle. Denise expressed the life lesson that she has made for her children, using herself as the example to show them that there are better opportunities. Wanting only what is best for them,...

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