99 Percent lacks focus, leader

Signs and T-shirts that read “We are the 99%” and “Eat the rich” flood the streets along with thousands of disgruntled Americans, some of whom have been camped out for days without so much as a shower. So, what do these 99 percent want? The fact is, many of them don’t even know. If you’ve turned on the news at any point in the last several weeks, then it’s unlikely you’ve missed out on what’s happening on Wall Street in New York City, and in other major cities across the country. While the Occupy Fill-in-the-Blank Movement is an unavoidable media attraction, what the protestors are yet to make clear is what exactly they stand for. On top of the lack of focus, their message seems a little muddled by inconsistencies. They claim that corporations are “evil,” that our government should stop supporting them, all while updating their Facebook statuses and posting photos from their iPhones. Seems a bit hypocritical. If they think that these businesses are destroying the country, then wouldn’t it make sense that the best remedy would be not to support them financially? Another outcry heard from the streets  concerns the unemployment crisis, which is certainly understandable. However, nobody has yet to acknowledge that the very corporations they are protesting are huge suppliers of jobs in the country. If they go, jobs go. Then where would the job market be? Many have screamed from the sidewalks that capitalism is to blame for all the problems, some even going as far as claiming socialism as the answer. They have said that competition is evil, and that we should all work together. While that may seem like a good idea in theory, without competition, the economy would collapse on itself. Like it or not, it’s what fuels our economy, and it’s here to stay. With all the different issues being raised, it is impossible to tell what direction the Occupy Wall Street movement is going to take, but one thing is for sure. It is spreading. More and more people from all over the United States are jumping on the bandwagon every day. In the wake of the Arab Spring, it almost seems that America is simply following the trend. Of course, freedom of speech and the freedom to peacefully assemble are rights that should not be taken for granted or left idle. But they should be practiced with a purpose. From the start, the Occupy Wall Street group has been without a leader and without clearly defined goals. Though countless numbers of reporters have asked what their motivation is, the responses seem vague. Without organization, it is unclear...

Read More
Growing department breaks ground
Nov01

Growing department breaks ground

With a vision to meet the growing need for nurses in Texas, the university included a new building for the Scott & White College of Nursing as a part of its master plan. One of the first steps in making this a reality was taken Oct. 21 as VIPs and guests celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony for the Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center. President Dr. Randy O’Rear said at the ceremony that UMHB has been proactive in addressing the nursing shortage by increasing faculty in the department, adding a Master of Science in nursing degree and increasing scholarship opportunities, all with the goal of drawing more students into the nursing program. It was determined that a new building was critical to continuing efforts for growth. “We identified that we needed a new facility that would not only allow our program to grow, but a facility where new facilities and the best practices could be implemented to continue our rich tradition of the highest quality nurses,” O’Rear said. The 76,000-square-foot, building will be named after the mother of Jane Meyer’s late husband Paul Meyer. The mother was a nurse. After hearing about the campus master plan last spring, Jane Meyer felt a strong connection to the project. “I know I didn’t really hear all that presentation because once the nursing building was mentioned, I zeroed in on it,” she said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “I just felt like it was the perfect fit for the Paul and Jane Meyer Family Foundation.”   She later met with O’Rear to discuss her aid toward it and contributed a lead gift of $5 million through her family’s foundation. “I have had the pleasure during my time at UMHB to work with many donors who want to honor their loved ones. However, I could tell that this day and this visit was significant,” O’Rear said. “I’ll never forget the look on Jane’s face and the resolve she had to do something very special for Paul’s mother.” Dean of the Scott & White College of Nursing Dr. Sharon Souter said that the dreams for the new building will inspire the nursing students as they work toward their goals. “The mission of Mary Hardin-Baylor is to prepare people who are faith informed, have discernment and have the ability to go out and lead others,” she said. “The mission of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s College of Nursing is the same, and we are very excited that it is going to be able to happen in this new facility.” She is anticipating the opportunities for learning and growth the spacious building and updated technology will provide to students and how...

Read More

Fires spark compassion in students

With the smoke still settling in the aftermath of the wildfires and prayers for rain still on many lips, it is hard to imagine that just a year ago, it was floodwaters sweeping through Central Texas, not flames. As Student Body President, senior international business major Kassidy Harris sat down at the first executive Campus Activities Board meeting of the semester, he looked over the agenda from the same meeting 12 months earlier, and saw that the main concern at the time was flood relief to the city of Belton. This realization caused Harris, along with others, to question what the campus could do now to aid those affected by the wildfires, the way they had in the past. Harris remembers thinking, “We have to step up. We don’t have a choice.” Due to UMHB’s proximity to the communities of Magnolia, Bastrop and other surrounding areas, many students had family and friends who lost everything. In Bastrop and Magnolia combined, 1,630 structures were destroyed and four lives were lost. “It was something that hit home. It wasn’t something that was far away,” Assistant Director of Student Organizations Tiffany Wurdemann said. Wurdemann thinks the university has a responsibility to serve those in need, even if they are outside of the community.  “I think it’s important for UMHB to care about their neighbors… We are a Christian school, and part of that is showing love to our neighbors,” she said. “I think it teaches our students and our community what is important to us.” “We decided we needed to do something, and something tangible was water,” Wurdemann said. The Student Government Association, along with the Baptist Student Ministry, turned collecting the resource into a competition between student organizations in order to further encourage others to give. “We wanted to kind of have fun with it because we knew we would get more if we had a contest,” Harris said. The organizations were asked to donate cases of bottled water, and the group with the highest number would receive extra funds added to its budget for the year. “We started collecting water, and it never stopped coming,” Harris said.                The more than 400 cases of water donated were given to the Salvation Army and First Baptist Church in Bastrop, where some members of the congregation lost their homes. Senior pastor at FBC Bastrop Dr. Raymond Edge describes the wildfires as stressful and full of anxiety because they dragged on for so long. “Some knew they lost their homes early on, and others waited to find out. It was different. The disaster was not over in hours or even in a few days....

Read More

Rich history, growth mark 90 plus years for organization

When the need for a new director of the Baptist Student Ministry arose, university Chaplain Dr. George Loutherback knew exactly whom he wanted to fill the position. At the time, Shawn Shannon was at Houston Baptist University, but Loutherback was certain God was calling her to Belton. The two had formerly served together at Baylor University, where Loutherback was BSM director. “I knew there was only one person I wanted here, and it was her,” he said. Since Shannon’s arrival in 2000, the pair has been instrumental in turning the university’s BSM into what students know it as today. With more than 20 active ministries, it is likely that many students are aware of its presence on campus, but what all may not know is that the nationwide organization has its roots right here at UMHB. On Oct.15, it celebrated its 91st anniversary at the school. As museum curator, Betty Sue Beebe has done much research on Baptist Student Ministry’s origins at the university. “I think that there’s not a lot of credit given openly to Mary Hardin-Baylor for being that first lab experiment, so that’s why I’m really interested in it,” she said. “It’s not that we were the first ones that thought about having a student group, but we were the first to try it out.” From the days when UMHB was still known as Baylor College for Women, students would meet together in different religious organizations. In order to organize and bring coordination to all of the separate groups, they were combined and known as the Student Christian Association. In 1919 Joseph P. Boone became secretary of the Student Department of the Baptist Executive Board in Texas, and had a special burden for Baptist student work. In July of that year, Boone presented his idea for what would become the Baptist Student Union and chose Baylor College for Women as the campus to develop a model of the new organization because of its already existing Student Christian Association. “I like to say that we were the laboratory for trying out the organization,” Beebe said. When the second Baptist Student Convention was held here in 1921, students from other schools were able to see and learn how to successfully operate a chapter of the BSU, and many were inspired to do so after leaving the convention. The organization has been growing ever since and became known by its current name, Baptist Student Ministry, in 1994. When Loutherback arrived at UMHB in 1997, he had a desire to update and expand the university’s existing BSM chapter to create more opportunities. “I had what I would consider a limited...

Read More

Campus hosts conference for parents of special needs children

This is the second year the university will host the annual InKidAble conference in collaboration with the Children’s Special Needs Network Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event provides free childcare while parents of children with special needs attend informative breakout sessions where they will learn a variety of useful tips, such as what government resources are available to them and how to navigate the special education program in public schools. Instructor in the education department Kris Ward thinks the conference provides both opportunities for learning, as well as a chance to connect. “The families that come here, sometimes they just learn information that they didn’t know, but other times they just get to network with other parents, and get ideas from those parents that are dealing with the same kinds of situations they are dealing with,” she said. Volunteers care for more than 100 special needs children and their siblings while their parents get a small break. “These are families that deal with issues daily that those of us who are typically developing don’t deal with, so it’s  just an opportunity for them to come learn some more, and not have to worry about finding a babysitter,” Ward said. Ward is seeking more students to volunteer with childcare. She thinks it will provide a great avenue for them to both give to others and to gain experience. “It’s an opportunity for service, and that’s part of our mission at Mary Hardin-Baylor, to serve. So we want this opportunity for students to serve,” she said. “Secondarily to that, the students learn things that are relevant to their majors. Nursing students learn about caring for children. Education students learn about working with kids, and I’m sure other majors would benefit as well.” At last year’s conference, junior education major Michael Gomez took care of a young boy for the day. He enjoyed the time he spent with him, and saw how much enjoyment the children get from the experience. “The kids just get to go and have fun. It’s really about them, and all we’re here to do is have fun with them,” he said. “My experience last year was a blast. It’s not too structured. It’s just fun.” Gomez encourages students to help with the event. “Even people who aren’t going into special education or education or if they have other majors or other interests, they should volunteer for this stuff and see what it’s like to gain a little understanding or some insight,” he said. “It benefits everyone in the long run.” Hardware engineer for the Information Technology department Angela Baker decided to use her...

Read More