Harris to take office
Mar29

Harris to take office

He can flip his eye lids inside out, loves eating cheese enchiladas and has trophies from turtle racing. He is junior international business major Kassidy Harris and is now adding student body president to his list of feats. The newly elected Harris is often described as a servant leader, personable, loyal, determined and passionate. Director of Student Organizations Kristy Brischke describes Harris as eager. “My first memory of him is before he transferred in last year. He called me so many times about Welcome Week and asked so many different questions,” she said. “He just seemed so eager, and I think that will transfer into his work ethic and work in Student Government Association in general.” Harris has a list of several ideas he would like to propose during his presidency, but overall his main focus is servant leadership and the encouragement of unity among organizations. “It is really hard to say that I am going to change a lot of things on campus because UMHB is … amazing,” he said. “However, we have so many organizations that there is a split, and I really hope to bring unity to the campus.” One of his ideas is to purchase several golf carts to use as transportation once the university closes Moore Avenue by the chapel and King Street. “Since we are not big enough to have buses, why not have golf carts that will carry people around,” he said. “It could offer more work study positions and help students get to class.” As student body president, Harris will oversee the executive cabinet by planning and running the meetings as well as representing the student voice for many committees. Sophomore social work major Caitlin Hiett will serve under Harris as the internal vice president and is looking forward to working with him. “I was very happy to find out that Kassidy was elected as student body president,” she said. “He wants to be someone personable that can walk alongside the student body and serve and encourage them throughout the remainder of his college career.” The voters were behind Harris as well. Harris beat the other six candidates in the election with 32.5% of the votes and the runner-up pulling in 12.6%. Because of his love for UMHB and his desire to serve, Harris is currently involved in many different activities on campus such as Welcome Week steering committee, Stunt Night steering committee, Baptist Student Ministries Drama Ministries, Search Cru and Student Foundations. Brischke believes that Harris will be able to balance all the activities but knows from experience that he will have to start choosing. “I don’t want the student body...

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Iditarod receives volunteers from Alaska Missions
Mar29

Iditarod receives volunteers from Alaska Missions

Known as the last great race on earth, the Iditarod takes mushers from all over the world on an 1,150-mile dog sled journey through the icy Alaskan tundra. From Anchorage in south central Alaska to Nome on the western Bering Sea coast most residents in the Alaskan community gets involved as well as volunteers from the lower 49 states. Senior international business major Tommy Wilson used his spring break to help out with this Alaskan tradition.  He teamed up with Alaska Missions for an eight-day trip to Nome where he served as needed. Wilson was impressed with the way the organization helped the city run events, which included snow-machine transports across the Bering Sea, finish-line security, custodial work, kids clubs and sports clinics for the town. “The missionaries there are not trying to create an event and come up with something different from the Alaskan culture,” he said. “Instead, they are looking at the culture and asking themselves how can we minister to them.” Wilson’s responsibilities included frying food for the community basketball tournament for the concession stand and working in the dog lot to take care of the mushers’ dogs after the race. Alaska Missions seeks to create projects that are evangelistic in nature and help to break down barriers to the Gospel. Brenda Crim, Baptist collegiate minister at the University of Alaska in Anchorage has been helping provide volunteers in Nome for five years for the Iditarod Outreach. “We position ourselves where Alaskans gather and create servant evangelism projects,” she said. “We eventually became their (Nome’s) go-to group because of our quick response.” Although the jobs were not glorious, by laying hay down for dogs to sleep on at 2 a.m. or mopping a gym floor, Wilson was able to share the gospel with several people. “Our volunteers serve and share the Lord in a low-key manner, through friendship and serving. We keep returning year after year, and more doors continue to open for us,” Crim said. “This year we saw 42 decisions for Christ.” Assistant director of the UMHB Baptist Student Ministry Jena Coulson has recently discovered the problems that Alaskans are dealing with, such as high suicide rates, alcoholism and molestation. “The statistical information has made me aware of the deep need for healing in this land which only the Father can provide,” Coulson said. The BSM supports Go Now missions, which sends students to Alaska for two-week summer trips to serve where ever they are needed. On his way back to Texas, Wilson met a Nome native who recognized him from working at the concession stand. He thanked Wilson for volunteering his time and...

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Modern-day pirates

Pirates be not just a thin’ o’ t’ past. They don’t just exist in movies starring Johnny Depp or just make good Halloween costumes. They are still making headlines today. Somalian pirates are making quite the name for themselves so far this year. With more than 660 hostages and some 30 vessels under their control, they are gaining power over one of the world’s most important     shipping channels. Somalia is located at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden, which leads to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.  The country has not had a functioning government since 1991 and still continues to struggle with fighting between warlords. International military officials have vowed to fight the pirates who have moved into the waters off the coast of East Africa to try and make it more difficult for the pirates to capture ships and earn multi-million dollar ransoms.  However, the pirates are fighting back. Last month, four Americans were taken hostage and killed by pirates.  The U.S. military said that the deaths mark the first time U.S. citizens have been killed since a wave of pirate attacks began six years ago. How many more innocent lives will be lost before piracy becomes an act of war? It is OK to pretend to talk like a pirate and wear an eye patch, but where will the government draw the line?  Pirates are not just fictional characters. Other recent attacks include a Danish couple, their three children and two crew members who were captured and are currently being held hostage. This is unusual because pirates do not usually target and hijack family yachts. It does not matter if Somalia has a government or not. If there is a Somalian ship filled with pirates floating on open waters, why shouldn’t we sink it? We sank our enemies’ ships and boats in WWI and WWII, why stop now? Innocent lives are being threatened and taken by money-hungry buccaneers, and we are letting them. Granted, the military has been involved, but not to the degree it should be. Abdullahi Mohamed, a pirate who told The Associated Press he has ties to the gang holding the Danish family, said they will be killed if any rescue operation was carried out. If the vessels owners cannot pay the multi-million dollar ransom the pirates demand, they may keep the ship and use it to stalk other vessels until they run out of supplies or break down.  The pirates are upping their ransom to roughly $5 million per hijacked ship. Thankfully yachters are realizing the danger of the pirate-infested waters and taking precautions when having to sail near the...

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Chemistry for golf players high
Mar08

Chemistry for golf players high

With the men’s golf team beating its competitors by a 21-stroke victory, the women’s golf team hopes to do the same this week during the UMHB Spring Invitational tournament. The men’s team has won this home tournament three years running and is starting off the spring season strong.  Players have set high goals for themselves and hope to accomplish them before the ASC Championship tournament in April. Men’s golf Coach Aaron Rodeffer said, “Our expectations are to win the conference tournament for the third time in four years and to compete in every invitational tournament we play this spring.” Rodeffer realizes that the cohesiveness between the golfers and the mixture of mature players and young talent are just a couple of the team’s strengths this spring. Sophomore accounting major Ryan Berry also sees the team’s has a strong chemistry and believes it will help them be successful.  Berry took second place at the UMHB Spring Invitational, helping him earn the title of ASC Men’s Golfer of the Week in February. The men will play in three more tournaments before the championship and hope to make it to Nationals in May. March 14-15 the team will travel to Blanco, Texas, to play in the Texas Lutheran Invitational tournament. “I would compare the tournaments we are playing now to quizzes in class and the conference tournament as the exam,” Berry said. “If you are consistent with your quizzes, then the exam should come easily, but hard work is a must in order to succeed.” The same goes for the Lady Cru golf team. The players set high expectations early on in the season and are already looking toward winning conference and going to nationals. Women’s Coach Darla Kirby said, “We set our goals very high. It is easy to meet minimal goals, but if you settle for the utmost goal of winning a national championship, you are going to work very hard.” The women won two tournaments in the fall and hope to achieve at least that and more this spring.  Kirby sees that the women are huge competitors, and she knows  they work hard until the very end. Freshman finance and accounting major Kelly Gonyea won an individual title last season at the Schreiner University Fall Classic and is already looking forward to nationals this season. She believes that the women can, “hit the ball pretty far, and that our bad days aren’t as bad as most other schools.” The team is also young with five freshmen and two sophomores, but they do have one senior, Allison Williams. Kirby said, “She has worked really hard to improve her game, and...

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Honors Program to host professor for three-part series
Feb21

Honors Program to host professor for three-part series

Scholar, professor, activist, speaker, author, husband, father, friend – Dr. David Gushee wears many different hats. The distinguished university professor of Christian ethics is the director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University in Georgia. Gushee will deliver part one of his three-part lecture series in chapel Wednesday titled “Sanctifying Every Life.”  Sponsored by The Honors Program and the Center for Baptist Studies, Gushee will be discussing the sanctity of human life. “I am talking in three different ways about the ancient and beautiful Christian belief that every human life is infinitely sacred in the sight of God and should be treated accordingly by us,” Gushee said. “I believe this is the most important theological and moral belief in Christianity.” Gushee has written 12 books including Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust and Religious Faith, Torture, and Our National Soul.  His next book project  will be finished this summer and will explore the theological and ethical conviction that human life is sacred, which is the topic he will be discussing on campus. He was educated at the College of William and Mary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he earned a Ph.D. in Christian ethics.  He has continued in his vision for his life, offering service through scholarship, teaching and activism in Christian ethics. In addition to the chapel presentations Wednesday at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.,  Gushee will cover “Sanctifying Life in Early Christianity”  at 3:30 p.m. in Manning Chapel. To conclude his series, Gushee will finish with “Christian Rescuers and the Sanctity of Life” Thursday at 11 a.m. in Manning. “My talks will include an overview of the theme in chapel then a talk on how the early church lived this belief out and finally a discussion of Christians who lived this by rescuing Jews during the Holocaust,” Gushee said. Dr. David Holcomb, associate professor of history and political science and director of the Honors Program, thinks students will enjoy the lectures. Gushee is a “leading evangelical spokesperson on many important ethical issues. He also has the reputation as an engaging and student-friendly speaker,” he said. In 2010, Gushee helped found the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good which is just one of the many organizations he is a part of. Other groups include Evangelicals for Human Rights, Climate Change and Peacemaking. The lectures are inspired by Gushee’s publications, especially his most recent project. Holcomb said, “Dr. Gushee’s lectures will draw from his forthcoming book entitled Sanctifying Life. He will challenge the audience to think about the sanctity of life more holistically, rather than trying to boil...

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