Farewell from editor-in-chief
Apr17

Farewell from editor-in-chief

A very wise man I call my dad has always told me, “Life is about relationships.” These words have never seemed more true than now, as I reflect on my time at UMHB. I still remember leaving for college like it was yesterday instead of nearly four years ago. I didn’t know a single person. I was scared to death. But very quickly, I found a community of friends that have become my family, and they have made Belton home. When I think back over the time, many of the details blur together. But the things that stick with me are the people. When I leave, I probably won’t remember every lecture I sat through, but I will remember the classmates who sat through them with me, often grumbling together over every assignment. I won’t remember all of the late-night study sessions, but I’ll remember the moments of delirium with those who endured them with me. I won’t remember all of the good times, or the tough moments, but I’ll remember the friends whom I laughed, cried and lived life with. Whether we realize it or not, there will probably never be another time in our lives when community is so easily accessible. For many, our closest friends are just a short walk away. Along with so many activities, organizations and things to be involved with, also comes the opportunity to live life alongside others. Please, don’t take this for granted, and don’t miss opportunities to invest in the lives of the people you come in contact with daily. To my friends, professors and peers, thank you for making my experience what it has been. They say college is the greatest time in your life, and so far, I can say this couldn’t be more true. To The Bells staff, thank you for your dedication, hard work and most of all, your friendship. You have not only made my job easier, you have made it so much fun, and I could not have asked for a better group of people to spend endless hours in the lab with, cover events with, stress about deadlines with and go to conferences with. As you continue to tell stories, take photos and do all of the other things that come with journalism, remember to not only tell stories that matter, but also to cherish the time you spend together, and learn from one another. To all my fellow Crusaders, whether you are preparing to walk the stage in May, or you still have several years ahead of you, my advice is to make the most of your time with the people around...

Read More

Schools in Texas evaluate gun, safety policies

With horrific images of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary still fresh in minds, the topic of guns and safety in schools is gaining momentum as discussions at local and state levels continue, including whether or not there is a need for armed personnel. Recent incidents like these have forced many Central Texas public schools, as well as colleges and universities, to evaluate their current policies. The Temple Independent School District held a meeting Jan. 29 in order to talk about what other districts were doing, as well as to review their own plans. Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Dr. Scott Moger said the purpose was “to review security plans, to answer any questions our board had and to give them relevant information about which school districts around the state have actually passed a policy.” As far as allowing administration or teachers to carry firearms, Moger said TISD has not implemented any such policies. “It’s obviously a topic of discussion, and it’s around the state,” he said. “If you notice, there are a little over a thousand school districts in the state, and out of that, there’s a handful that have actually made the decision to do that. That’s because it’s controversial.” Moger said the district’s current safety measures include armed resource officers, who he believes do a sufficient job in protecting the schools. “We have highly trained personnel on campus that works with our staff, that knows our schools, that have established relationships with students, and know the building as well. They’re much more equipped to handle a situation than a staff member,” he said. Director of Security for Killeen ISD John Dye said that while Texas legislation dictates that school districts can decide whether or not administration is armed, KISD, like Temple, has no armed staff other than the school police department. He said, “The vast majority of school districts have not gone in that direction.” Dye believes KISD’s measures are working, and that the addition of more firearms is a complicated decision to make. “You constantly review your procedures, and I think we have a pretty good system…. When you discuss having someone armed, that’s something that you can’t pull back from. There are a lot of things that come into play,” he said. In light of recent events, Dye said it’s a discussion that will undoubtedly continue. “School safety is a large pie with a lot of slices that are brought together….Sandy Hook will certainly have people thinking and reviewing their plans and reviewing their actions,” he said. Recently, Senate Bill 182 written  by Texas Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury,  that would allow for concealed firearms...

Read More

Students take on sacred roles for annual Easter Pageant production

Undoubtedly, one of the most prestigious honors at the university is being asked to play the lead characters in the annual Easter Pageant. Senior vocal performance major Maddie Garcia will fill the role of Jesus’ mother, Mary this year. Senior chemistry major Chase Riggs will play Jesus. When Garcia was told of her selection for the part last year, she admits to being both excited and overwhelmed. “I felt very unworthy, almost.” Heavily involved in the university’s music department through concert choir, One Voice and the opera workshop, Garcia is no stranger to performing. However, she said this role is much different from those she is used to playing. “In other shows, you come, get on stage and go to the rehearsals, and it’s like a light switch,” she said. “But with Easter Pageant, I want to, and I need to, be living my life as much like Mary as far as wanting to be a strong, Christian woman …. It’s much more of a spiritual and emotional challenge as opposed to a technical challenge.” In preparing for the part, Garcia has studied what the Bible says about Mary and hopes to portray some of the characteristics she sees in her. “She had so much trust and so much strength through all of it. To me, she comes across as being so loyal and trusting and faithful and obedient and strong,” Garcia said. Though she has struggled with the weight of the role, Garcia said she is learning to be patient in seeing God’s plan for her through it. “It just feels like a lot to live up to, but I just trust that the Lord is going to be using me in any way he can or has planned,” she said. “Whether it’s me learning from other people, or me teaching other people, I have to keep in mind — because it is so overwhelming — that I have some purpose.” Director of Student Organizations Tiffany Wurdemann has met weekly with Garcia throughout the year to help mentor her through the process of playing Mary. She said said it is Garcia’s sense of inadequacy that makes her perfect for the part. “If you ask her, she feels the most unworthy person to be Mary, and you can tell through someone’s character if they’re just saying that or if they really mean it. She really, truly means it,” Wurdemann said. “That’s been something that, as we’ve been discovering who Mary was, that was Mary. I feel like that alone is why she’s perfect for that.” Long hair and an impressive beard give Chase Riggs away as the role of...

Read More
Lent is more than 40 days of reflection
Mar06

Lent is more than 40 days of reflection

At a Baptist university, it’s unlikely to find too many participants in the traditionally Catholic observance of Lent. It seems more and more, most Protestants steer clear of things considered “religious,” in lieu of a more “relational” form of Christianity. While this is generally a positive shift, something is to be learned through a season of practiced sacrifice and devotion. From the days of the early church, believers have participated in some kind of fasting and preparation leading up to the observance and celebration of Easter. Today’s Lenten practices vary. Some give up meat on Fridays, while others stay away from caffeine, sweets or a variety of other things to show devotion. But the meaning of the practice is not merely in the discipline of abstinence. For Christians, Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection should be the pinnacles of their faith, and the days marking those events ought to be approached with reverence. Record Easter Sunday church attendance reveals that many would agree, but shouldn’t the day be marked by more than a nice outfit and an after-service egg hunt? The 40 days of Lent are a time of reflection on the enormity of what the Christian faith is all about. Whether Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian or any other denomination, this  deserves recognition. In depriving themselves, believers can focus their attention on the suffering of Christ, and in some small way, through the physical yearning and prayer, relate to it. With the season beginning on the symbolic Ash Wednesday, it is also a time of recognizing our humanity. This is, perhaps, the most significant way believers can observe the Easter holiday, and something all can benefit from taking the time to do. Because of man’s sin, Christ suffered. Though Lent is not intended to be a time marked by guilt, remembering this fast should evoke a posture of gratitude in a Christian’s life, as each one celebrates the death and resurrection. Humility and thankfulness are two of the greatest benefits of the 40 days of preparation.  Without them, Easter can’t be fully appreciated. Some may see Lent as just an outdated religious practice, unnecessary for a Christian life, and others may only view it as a physical struggle to be endured. But in taking the time to understand the deeper meaning, those from all walks might just realize  its advantages. In modern Christian culture, “religion” often gets a bad rap. But like most rules, there are always exceptions, and in this case, Lent just may be that exception. If the heart behind the season is a reverence for Christ, why should non-Catholic believers shy away? This is something we could all...

Read More
Group makes peace with chicken
Feb15

Group makes peace with chicken

There was almost no escaping the controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A last summer, and it had nothing to do with their signature chicken sandwich. But recent news of an unsuspecting friendship marks hope for reconciliation, acting as a call to peace. After COO Dan Cathy’s statements defending what he believed to be a biblical definition of marriage, a fire storm soon ensued, drawing divisive lines that went deeper than spicy verses original. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) groups claimed that the restaurant chain encouraged hatred toward the homosexual community. Others came to the company’s defense. While the media proliferated the debate for months, Cathy and one of the leaders of the brigade against Chick-fil-A, founder and executive director of Campus Pride Shane Windmeyer, were taking the time to get to know each other through phone calls, text messages and personal meetings. After keeping it mostly under wraps, Windmeyer recently came out about the relationship, giving hope that perhaps members of both sides of the argument can not only be civil, but maybe, just maybe, even like each other. Something we can all learn from. Though neither of the men have given up their support of what they believe is right, their friendship is proof that differing perspectives don’t have to be the building blocks for walls between people. Campus Pride has now suspended its campaign against Chick-fil-A, but Windmeyer admits that as a gay man and LGBT advocate, he harbored a lot of anger toward Cathy. In a blog for the Huffington Post, he said, “How could I dare think to have a relationship with a man and a company that have advocated against who I am….?” However, when the restaurant mogul extended an olive branch with a simple phone call, Windmeyer accepted. The pair engaged in conversation about their lives and beliefs, and soon realized that perhaps, their differences could be overlooked. Their friendship should be a lesson to us all. In a time when politics, religion, social issues, war and a million other things threaten to divide people, it’s encouraging to see that two men, who have seemingly little in common, and champion opposing causes, can choose to find some common ground. Often, today’s hot button issues place people in two distinctive groups – for or against. And while it’s OK, and even admirable, to stand for what you believe in, we should be careful not to allow a difference in opinion to create enemies among us. Windmeyer said, “We learned about each other as people with opposing views, not as opposing people.” The keys, he said, were a commitment to mutual respect, trust and communication. Through this,...

Read More
Page 1 of 1012345...10...Last »