Play day for local children
Feb21

Play day for local children

As junior social work major Bethany Franz and her group pulled up to the park, they were greeted with huge smiles and kids running to the cars before anyone had even gotten out. They were attending one of the new ministry outreach programs of Hope for the Hungry, called Hope Play Day. The Hope for the Hungry volunteers split up into two groups going to the two different sites, Mitchell Circle and Belle Oaks Apartments, which they usually cover during the week. This time, they would be staying longer than an hour. “Each semester Jen Sutton (director of children’s ministry at Hope for the Hungry), Johanna Bartlett and myself sit down and plan events that we want to organize for the kids to participate in,” Franz said. “We decided to plan this play day so we could do something different from what we do weekly. We wanted to hang out with the kids for longer than an hour to continue to build deeper relationships with hopes of sharing the love of Jesus with them through our actions and words.” The activities during the day included baseball, chalking, hula hoops and cooking hamburgers. Franz and other members also decided to make Hope Play Day Valentine’s Day themed by creating cards and decorating red and pink    cookies. “The Bible activity we did that day was from 1 Corinthians 13 relating God’s love to Valentine’s Day,” Franz said. Hope for the Hungry usually meets Tuesdays at Mitchell Circle and Thursdays at Belle Oaks Apartments, with either Franz or Bartlett leading the group in their familiar         blue shirts. Their main goal is to go to these two local low-income/government housing facilities, play games, tell a Bible story and develop relationships with as many children as God places before them. The group’s mission statement is “Sharing the Bread of Life with a Starving World.” Many students are thrilled to be a part of such a good cause. Freshman exercise and sports science major Morgan Baker said, “We feel like we need to help all these little kids and take joy in helping others. It’s our duty as Christians to help. Jesus even said in the Bible in Matthew 18, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’” Sophomore social work major Kristen Kimmel said, “I love seeing the way college students react with kids. We turn into kids ourselves by playing with chalk, playing on the swings, or hula hooping.” It’s no secret that the children love having the UMHB students as their temporary playmates and friends. Franz said “One thing that...

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Glee phenomenon sweeping across campus

Two years ago, glee clubs were seldom heard of although several high schools had them. Then Fox came out with the hit TV show Glee, a comedy about outcast teens who have a talent for singing and dancing. These kids, with the help of their Spanish teacher, form a club that performs modern and classic musical numbers. The show became an instant phenomenon, and high schools as well as colleges adopted the show’s ideas. Glee club was given a whole new meaning. Sophomore psychology major Garrett Michael, UMHB’s Glee club founder and president said, “UMHB has plenty of singing groups, but they’re mostly classical. Our music can relate to today’s popular music. I honestly did get the idea from the show Glee though,” he said. Just like the TV show, UMHB’s Glee club is an eclectic group of students. “Most of the people in our club are like the kids from Glee, outcasts not able to get into One Voice or other musical organizations. And each of us brings something different to the table, ” Michael said. A normal practice for the members begins with auditions. The process is simple with the executive members asking for the person auditioning to sing more than one song. After auditions, members practice for upcoming events. With only 13 members now, the club hopes to expand. Sophomore education major Micaela Moreno said, “I see Crusader Glee becoming very successful in the future as a club that UMHB can be proud of it. I can’t wait for everyone to hear us perform our upcoming songs.” Junior psychology major Brittany Richardson joined Crusader Glee because she has a passion for performing and singing. “Whenever the TV show Glee started, I was instantly addicted and wanted to be a part of a glee club so badly,” she said. Crusader Glee’s first performance was at Crusader Christmas. “We all got together and came up with a few Christmas songs and a little choreography,” Richardson said. “We got to celebrate Christmas by performing great Christmas music.” Even though the group made a few mistakes in the performance, Crusader Glee received positive feedback. Richardson said, “I believe what makes Crusader Glee different than other organizations are the people. These people really have a passion for the club and making music and aren’t just participating to add another bullet to their resume or taking up some spare time they happen to have open.” The group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays in Mabee 253 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Michael hopes that in the future, Crusader Glee will be able to perform in chapel. He said, “We need more guys to...

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Changes on campus: crack down on chapel, enforce drug policies

New semester. New classes. New…rules? Students coming back to UMHB are faced with changes to chapel and the dorms. Most of the new adjustments are to chapel. This semester, chapel is only offered Wednesdays at 10 and 11 a.m. According to Vice President of Student Life Dr. Byron Weathersbee, this was done for two reasons. “One, so no chapel would miss out on a good speaker. For example, Wednesday chapel could have an amazing speaker and Friday chapel would hear about all the good reviews but get a different speaker. Also, this allows students to be able to take a 10:00 or 11:00 class.” Usually, all four doors to the chapel are open for students to leave when chapel is over and students can scan IDs. However, this semester students can get out only two doors so there won’t be mass confusion with students entering and exiting chapel. Two new procedures that may frustrate some students is not being able to sign if they forget their ID and being locked out five minutes after chapel has started. The time of chapel has always been enforced, but this semester, the new schedule has to be tight to eliminate chaos. Weathersbee explained the elimination of sign-in sheets saying,  “Students were starting to take advantage of the system. They weren’t just signing in themselves, but their friends too. We did that because we’re going toward the one-card system. Students use their IDs for the dining hall, gym, apartments, book vouchers,and soon Cru Cash..” Sophomore art major Kate Winchell said, “I don’t think chapel’s new rules are that big of a deal. I know of a lot of people who were signing others in and vice-versa. And I’m honestly surprised they haven’t changed the rules sooner.” Weathersbee said, “We are getting some really good speakers this semester. We’re hoping to get doctors, scientists, etc., to share their Christian vocation. We don’t want to hear just from preachers. That’s why we have good chapels, so people get excited about it, even those who aren’t required to take it. I’m excited about the future, and students should be pleased at what’s to come.” Dorms will also face changes. This semester, the school has issued a policy of zero tolerance for synthetic marijuana. Although the drugs have never been allowed on campus, instances of abuse last semester forced the school to create the policy. Beall Residence Director Christian Hammonds said, “Now that we’re aware of its existence, we created a policy to enforce it. People kept saying ‘we didn’t know we couldn’t have it on campus.’ Now they know.” Weathersbee said, “I know someone who almost...

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The Beltonian provides more entertainment to Belton
Jan25

The Beltonian provides more entertainment to Belton

Tucked away at 219 East Central Avenue in Belton is a little movie theater called The Beltonian. Not only is this small establishment a movie dinner house, but it also hosts entertainment such as comedians, clowns, sports games and talent shows. People can even rent the theater for birthday parties, fundraisers and political events. The Beltonian’s history traces back to the 1900s when it was used as a church, billiard hall and an antique store. It closed in the 1970s only to be revamped later with surround sound, stadium seating and new decorations. It was also a place for UMHB students to go where the movie was cheap (occasionally free) and the atmosphere was fun. Sadly, The Beltonian closed in 2008. This past summer,  Wesley A. Riddle and his wife Maria Aida Riddle bought the Beltonian and readied it again for business. Manager Kelly Moran, who took over in December  said,  “I think they bought The Beltonian because they fell in love with the history of the building since it’s been here since the 1900s. They could see the theater had a lot of potential and couldn’t wait to restore the old artifact.” Some compare the old theater to a more popular one, the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. Both theaters allow audience members to eat and watch movies at the same time. Former employee and sophomore education major Aubrey Turner said, “The difference between the Alamo Drafthouse and The Beltonian is that The Beltonian has more of a personal feel to it. We (servers) were required to stick around the whole time in the theater in case anyone needed anything. Each table had a flag in the middle and if it was in the air that meant the guest needed something. If it was down, they were fine. We would also frequently talk to the guests and see how they were doing.” The owners are trying to keep its old antique feel, but  at the same time modernize the equipment and improve the food quality. “We’ve made many changes to The Beltonian. During renovation we improved the snacks and dinner. We serve alcohol now,” Moran said. “We also renovated the audio and visual capability to the theater. Everything is  100 percent audio and digital video.” Also in keeping with  the historic character of the theater, The Beltonian has been showing classic movies such as Gone with the Wind. The overall atmosphere creates a friendly, fun environment for both students and locals. Turner said “Our uniform was western wear so we could keep that ‘Belton Texas’ sense. However, if it was kids night, we wore costumes.” UMHB is looking to...

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Unity key to promising play on court
Jan11

Unity key to promising play on court

The women’s basketball team has been dominating the court for the past few games. The recent victory against the University of the Ozarks, with a score of 73-66, gave the UMHB women an 8-3 overall and 5-2 in American Southwest Conference. This puts them even closer to winning the ASC conference tournament and the National Championship. Junior sports management major and guard for the team Miranda Shorter said, “Our sights are set on the National Championship like with every season, but winning the west side will allow us to host the ASC conference tournament here at UMHB.” Junior and wing Lauren Reece said, “Our main focus is to take one game at a time and not look too far into the future. Meeting our game goals will lead us to success of each individual game, which will lead us to the success of our season goal.” This year, changes to the team include a different lineup with incoming freshmen and transfers. Most of the team’s leaders/seniors from last year have also graduated. Sophomore  forward Ashleigh Humphrey said, “We’ve had quite a few people step up this year. Our starting lineup usually includes Brittany Zamora, Caitlin Barganier, Jenny Black, Lindsay Eaton and Brandy Dittert. Also the players coming off the bench getting in the game do an outstanding job. I think that’s what’s different from last year as well. Teammates coming off the bench get out there and get the job done if it’s for five seconds or five minutes.” What makes the team unique is close unity and friendship. Sophomore exercise and sports science major and guard Cortney Poncik said, “Not only are we teammates, we are all really good friends off the court, hanging with each other even after practice. I would say we have become family, knowing we have each other’s back in all circumstances.” The team is led by head Coach Kim Kirkpatrick-Thornton who has guided  the Lady Cru to five ASC Championship Tournament appearances. She also took the UMHB women to a 21-6 overall record last season and helped the Cru women win the ASC West Division title for the first time in the program’s history. “Coaching is often challenging and stressful, but those memorable games that come out in your team’s favor are very encouraging,” Kirkpatrick-Thorton said. Reece said, “There are times in practice when we are so exhausted both physically and mentally, but our coaches continue to push us because they know we can keep going and that it will help us reach beyond our potential.” The team is filled with encouragement for each other on and off the court. “Coach K and...

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