Black History Month-themed writing contest first for UMHB
Jan25

Black History Month-themed writing contest first for UMHB

Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, Oprah Winfrey, Langston Hughes, Barack Obama, and many others. Every individual has a unique story that is woven into the dynamic history of hardships and triumphs of the black community. Each year, the United States honors the black community and their achievements during the month of February. According to history.com, every U.S. president has set aside February as Black History Month since President Ford in 1976. This year, Humanities professors Dr. Janene Lewis and Dr. Nathaniel Hansen hosted the First Annual Black History Month Writing Contest for UMHB students. Because this was the first year, the only requirements for the contest were that the entries had to be unpublished and able to be read aloud in under 15 minutes. Students could turn in entries to Dr. Hansen until Tues. Jan. 17. The winners of this contest will have the opportunity to present their work at the Windhover Writer’s Festival on Feb. 15-17. “One of the cool things about this contest is that the top three or four entries will have a spot on a panel at the Windhover Writer’s Festival,” Lewis said. “We have people come from across the country to the writer’s festival, so it’s a good time for student writers to get their voice out there.” Although there was not a specific writing topic for the contest, Dr. Lewis suggested that entrants write about faith and its role in African-American culture since this is a predominate theme at the festival. Lewis and Dr. Hansen created this contest to spark conversations about a month that can sometimes be overlooked. “We don’t do much with Black History month,” Lewis said. “This is a small way to start that conversation.”. Junior english major Guillermo Lopez chose to submit two pieces of poetry to express his views on racial equality not only for African-Americans but all races. “I entered this contest because I wanted to express my understanding of what I believe Black History Month signifies: equality despite racial status.” Lewis believes that honoring Black History Month is important because it is important to not let a topic such as race divide a country. “Black History Month commemorates numerous leaders who clarified the position African-American citizens had in the States. These leaders stood and fought for beliefs that gave African-American citizens a chance to be equal through all aspects of life,” he said. “Though the focus was on the integration of African-Americans, other minorities could also learn from this. I think the importance in writing about Black History Month focuses on reminding...

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Central Texas Christmas Activities
Dec07

Central Texas Christmas Activities

Published in the December 7, 2016 issue of The Bells “It’s considered the most wonderful time of the year” and there’s lots to do and seein the Central Texas area to celebrate the season. Here are a few you might want to check out. Salado Christmas Stroll/ A Christmas Carol/ A Tuna Christmas Just 15 minutes down the road, Salado, TX offers an annual Christmas stroll. Patrons are able to walk the historic town’s main street and enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas. The stroll is Dec. 9-10. According to the Village of Salado’s website, stores will open around 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday and close around 9 p.m. During this time, street vendors offer Christmas goodies and free food samples, while live music plays in the background, and kids visit Santa. First Baptist Church of Salado also performs a live Nativity scene, where patrons can see the Christmas story come to life. While in Salado, check out the 24th annual production of Charles Dickens’ classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his four Christmas Eve visitors in A Christmas Carol at the Tablerock Amphitheatre. The play will begin 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday night. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and $3 for children. In the mood for a Christmas comedy? Look no further than the Georgetown Palace Theater, and their performance of A Tuna Christmas. The show began Dec. 2 and will run nightly until December 30. Tickets are $30. The show is about the “hilarious inhabitants of Tuna, Texas as they try to win the annual Yard Decorating contest, save their Christmas play and their sanity.” As you can see, there are many events to choose from. So, grab a coat, and find your holiday spirit in Central Texas. BLORA Nature in Lights If you’re in the mood to see Christmas lights, check out the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area “Nature in Lights” display. You will see over 130 light displays on this five-and-a-half mile drive-through experience. BLORA will be open every night from 5:30 to 11 p.m. from now until Jan. 8. There is a $15 entrance fee per car. Trail of Lights Can’t get enough Christmas lights? The Trail of Lights in Austin offers over 40 displays of Christmas lights. While there, children can also enjoy a carousal or ferris wheel ride.The Trail of Lights open Dec. 10 and will close Dec. 23. Tickets are free until the Dec. 17th, when they will be $3. The event is open from 7pm to 10 pm nightly....

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Weathersbee departs from UMHB: Director of Student Life makes difference during time at university

Published in the December 7, 2016 issue of The Bells Earlier this fall, Dr. Byron Weathersbee, Vice President of Student Life, announced his departure from the university following the end of the semester. Weathersbee and his wife, Carla, have accepted positions at Summer’s Mill Retreat Conference Center in Belton. “This place has been incredible,” Weathersbee said. “We have mixed emotions. We’re excited about what we’re going to do, but yet…we will greatly miss the students and the student interaction; no question.” Weathersbee, affectionally referred to as Dr. B, has served at the university since the fall of 2009. During his tenure at the university, he has seen and helped implement many changes on campus. “It’s been a phenomenal time to be a part of UMHB’s history,” he said. “When we came here in 2009, it was before we built these $100 million worth of facilities, so we’ve gotten to see those facilities being built. I’ve really been riding on the coattails on some phenomenal leaders.” Weathersbee spends his time working with the deans and directors of campus recreation, spiritual life, student organizations, campus activities, intramurals, career services, the health center, and judicial affairs to make sure that students are receiving everything they need during their college experience. “One of the things that UMHB does so well, and what drew me to this place, is that we’re very student friendly,” he said. “Students are the very centerpiece of what we do… I hope that we’ve been able to have an impact on seeing that happen.” The Student Life division has had several notable accomplishments under the leadership of Weathersbee. In the past 7 plus years, Student Life has established new Game Day traditions/events such as the CRUise, the Cru Spirit Dance, Welcome Weeks’s Spirit and Traditions rally. They also created a Network of Christian Minsters, which evolved into “ONE.” The divison also helped usher in Sodexo’s transition to Bawcom Student Union, as well as, helped oversee changes in various programs such as Stunt Night, Family Weekend, Miss MHB Pageant, and others. Junior history major Danny Kown works closely with Dr. Weathersbee due to his involvement with Student Government Association. Weathersbee works diligently with the SGA to decide on important issues that will affect the student body. “Dr. B has really helped me grow as a leader,” Kown said. “Being in Student Government for the past two years and really getting to help serve alongside Dr. B has been nothing short of a blessing. I hope that wherever he goes in life it will serve him well.” Kown fondly remembers the time Dr. Weathersbee helped him film a parody video of...

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Cru basketball shoots for a successful season of play

Published in the November 16, 2016 issue of The Bells Run, shoot, score. The Cru men’s basketball team prepares for another successful season under Head Coach Ken DeWeese. The Cru’s first home game will be against Southwestern University this Saturday, Nov. 19, at 4 pm. According to Coach DeWeese, the men practice hard every day to prepare them for this season. “At this particular point we can play and we can play quick,” DeWeese said. “Half court defense is a strength because you can always do that. It’s just based on effort.” DeWeese believes that many factors go into scoring on any given night. “Scoring is based on score, rhythm, how you feel, if there are people in the stands… There are so many factors. That’s one of the fascinating things about the game.” The team has five returning players this year, which Coach DeWeese believes that this is a disadvantage to the team. “We only have five returning players, but have 17 [players in all]. I’d like to have 15 back from last season, but we had a bunch of seniors last year. It’s just one of those things.” One of the returning players, sophomore sports management major Demarius Cress strives to be a leader to his team. “One strength I bring is leadership. Somebody has to be a leader when the coach isn’t watching on and off the court,” he said. DeWeese hopes that the team will not only win at every turn, but work as a cohesive unit. “Our number one goal is to win the next game. Ask any one of our players, we always want to win the next game,” Deweese said. Cress wants the team to continue to improve each game. “We want to accomplish a lot of things, but I know we will take it one day at a...

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Black Friday: Great sales, but at what price?

Published in the November 16, 2016 issue of The Bells Ninety percent off. 50 percent off. Signs everywhere are already advertising the lowest prices of the year. Soon people will be pushing others out of the way and fighting to get the last item on the shelf, all in the name of saving a buck. On Thursday we spend time talking about what we are thankful for and eating turkey with our families. Then Friday comes and once-thankful people are fighting over electronics, home décor, and other material goods, pushing and shoving to get the best deal. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Black Friday just as much as the next person. Black Friday has become an integral part of the American Thanksgiving weekend. It’s just as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey and football. It’s the day that officially begins the Christmas shopping season. I usually get up early every year and seek out bargains myself. However, I think that Black Friday’s gotten out of hand. According to moneycrashers.com, Black Friday didn’t become the busiest shopping day of the year until 2002. In fact, from 1993 until 2001, it ranked between the fifth and 10th busiest shopping days of the year. Why the sudden increase of shoppers? Stores began to open their doors on Thanksgiving day.Patrons no longer had to wait until the early hours of Friday to go shopping. Stores such as Best Buy, Macy’s, and Target began to offer “early bird” shopping while grandpa was still passed out in his recliner. Despite the savings these stores offer, the stores should remain closed until after Thanksgiving. This is a time for being thankful for the blessings God has bestowed on His people, for laughing with family, and enjoying delicious food—not bundling up and scratching and clawing for the last big screen TV. According to a recent article by USA Today, CBL & Associates, which oversees many malls nationwide including Mall of America, will not be opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day. Their reason for closing? CEO Stephen Lebovitz stated that they decided to close, so their employees could spend time with their families. The fights and stampedes that have broken out over Black Friday are excessive as well. Car accidents, stabbings, shootings, and even death have occurred because of Black Friday shopping. According the New York Daily News, a Walmart employee was trampled to death in 2013 by bargain-crazed shoppers. In the same store, a pregnant woman was trampled on, which resulted in the miscarriage of her child. Other shoppers go to such methods as pepper spraying fellow customers to get the deal they want,...

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