Inappropropriate costumes are the scariest thing this Halloween

Published in the October 26, 2017 issue of The Bells Halloween is just around the corner. Many students plan on dressing up and celebrating Halloween in some way, but we should be careful when we put together a costume for the big celebration. Having poor taste in costumes can really ruin the night and cause the costume wearer some embarrassment. While most costumes would be fine to wear to a  Halloween party or while trick-or-treating, there are some costumes that should not be allowed on the streets this Halloween night. Dressing up in costumes for Halloween is a way for some to express themselves in a unique way. However, a Halloween party is not the time, nor the place, to be controversial, especially when a costume pokes fun at a national crisis. It has never been and never will be funny or practical to dress up as a Boston Marathon victim or the Twin Towers. It is considered rude to dress up as a character from a culture other than your own. We have all seen those Native American or Indian princess costumes at our local Halloween stores. Sure, it might seem like a good idea, but it’s actually very demeaning to the people who represent that culture. It would be funny if I went as a Starbucks-obsessed teenager with UGG boots because I represent that specific culture, but it would not be funny if I dressed up as a belly dancer and paraded around in a lifestyle I know nothing about. It can be seen as racist and culturally ignorant. This also includes the use of black face. Black face is seen as racist and in poor taste. One thing that I have never understood is why men’s costumes are so focused on genitalia and women’s on sexuality? I’ve seen so many tactless costumes that focus on these parts and completely detract from the fun and the festivities of Halloween. Another question is why are most women’s costumes so revealing? It’s usually cold on Halloween night, and it’s not practical to be walking around a neighborhood in a costume that shows too much skin. You are able to portray a nurse or vampire without being immodest (and cold). It is also not a good idea to dress young children up as characters from shows portraying adult themes, like Walter White from the TV series Breaking Bad. I understand that this specific costume was very popular when it was airing, but it’s not a kid-friendly show and therefore, is not a kid-friendly costume. While children’s costumes are less controversial than others, parents should still be aware of the messages they...

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ARK Foundation hopes to bring freedom to trafficking victims

Published in the October 12, 2016 issue of The Bells Many civilians of Bell County are unaware that as they go about their day, other citizens are forced to participate in human trafficking right under their noses. On the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHRTC) website, Belton, Temple, and Killeen are located in the hot zone along Interstate-35. There have been 45 confirmed cases of minor sex trafficking identified just at the Bell County Juvenile Justice Center since 2014, which confirms its prevalence in this part of the country. In 2012, ILO estimated there were 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally, and according to a US organization that studies human trafficking, the Polaris Project, approximately 100,000 children are estimated to be in the sex trade in the United States each year. Many people think this doesn’t happen in America, but it does. In fact, Texas is number two in the country for the most human trafficking areas. Texas is so involved that 20 percent of all U.S. trafficking victims will travel through Texas at some point. Human trafficking is an issue that involves men women and children of all ages. Trafficking has been a global issue for over a decade and many don’t know it even exists. However, there are groups that strive to end this epidemic. The Ark Foundation is a group that focuses on the human trafficking going on in Bell County. Kathy Ylostalo, the director of the ARK Foundation here in Belton, said the ARK Foundation does more than raising awareness about the trafficking problem. “[Our foundation is an interdenominational, faith-based, non-profit organization that focuses on assisting children and adults in crisis, to help them experience Acceptance, Restoration, and Kinship through close interpersonal relationships, and by being shown the transformational love and truth of Christ,” Ylostalo said. The organization sees their job as being the newest Noah’s Ark. Since Noah led God’s people and animals to safety, they hope that their cause is able to restore hope to victims and empower new beginnings. The Organization also references the Ark of the Covenant, which went ahead of the Israelites in battle. The foundation also hopes to go ahead of these victims and fight agaist human trafficking. The ARK Foundation exists to bring good news to the afflicted and freedom to the captives. Their goals include assisting the victims to encounter Jesus Christ and grow in understanding the freedom of trusting and walking with Him, as well as finding their value in Christ; Providing assistance and guidance that helps victims find resources for physical and spiritual needs; Aiding those who are trapped in enslaving life circumstances to...

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Inside look at upcoming Crusader Fall Sports: Find out how your favorite sports teams are gearing up for the season

Published in the September 14, 2016 issue of The Bells UMHB football isn’t the only sport in the spotlight this fall semester. The Cru soccer, volleyball, and basketball teams are also gearing up for the season. While each team wants to win their region’s conference tournament and advance to nationals, there are also other goals the coaches are keeping in mind. Basketball The women’s basketball coach, Mark Morefield, is planning to win the division and go on to host this year’s conference. And if they don’t get the chance to host, the team aims to win the conference and progress to the NCCA nationals. “I feel good. I think we are finally starting to put our stamp on the program,” Morefield said. The coach admits that this season will have its ups and downs, but he says during this time the team will grow closer together and sharpen each other’s skills. He also hopes to improve their conference record. Volleyball This season the women’svolleyball team will also be going all out for the upcoming tournaments. “We want to win, but there’s a lot more to athletics and being on a team than just winning,” says head coach Rob Frost, “We had a lot of success on the court last season and lost in the conference championship match. We are working hard to learn and get better, and go further this year.” Soccer Women’s soccer is also on the rise this fall. The team has already played some pre- conference games, and are looking forward to representing the university on the field. At this point, the conference championship is the team’s number one goal, according to coach Barry Elkins. “We have gotten progressively better each year and currently have an experienced team,” says Elkins. The soccer team is comprised of returning players, so each player is well versed in her role on the field. They know how each other works, the coach said. The team plans on building each other up, and picking up where they left off last year. The men’s soccer team is also taking the field once again, with more determination than ever before. Head coach Brad Bankhead said the men had a rough start to the season because of rain delays. But an early win has given the team a positive outlook on the season. Forward, junior Caleb Latson said the team’s morale is boosted when the fans show up to cheer the team on. “We want more people out here with energy to cheer us on as a team,” Latson said. “ You know we are doing it for the school and ourselves, and we love...

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Crusaders travel around the globe during summer
Aug26

Crusaders travel around the globe during summer

Published in the Aug. 24, 2016 edition of The Bells This summer break gave many UMHB students the chance to explore the world beyond campus and their hometowns. For several of these globally-minded Crusaders, travelling meant doing mission work and bringing the gospel to unreached people groups. From England to Africa, students made an impact all over the world. Jennifer Callaway – Kenya, Africa Sophomore english and Christian studies double major, Jennifer Callaway spent her time at an orphanage in Kenya, loving on the children of Naomi’s Village. She and the rest of the group from the Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church, spent time playing with the children and making them feel special in the eyes of God. “I have had a passion for Africa since I was in the eighth grade,” Callaway said. “I also know the Lord has called me to minister to orphans and so this was a great opportunity for me.” The group also travelleed to nearby communities to interact with local people. Callaway said her personal goal was to have the Lord shine through her and that He was glorified in everything she did. “My favorite experience on the trip was worshipping around the fire in Swahili with the kids at the orphanage,” she said. Sarah Harvey – India Sophomore Christian studies and marketing double major, Sarah Harvey spent two months in India, working with local villages to help in any way she could. The Christian studies major said her trip included more physical labor than she thought it would, but despite the extra work, she saw God in the midst of chaos. Along with physically assisting the people of India, Harvey and her group also went outside of the city a few times a week to share the gospel with the unreached people of the area. The sophomore says she went to India to be solely obedient to the Lord, and that she had a personal goal of finding the unreached people and sharing the gospel with them. Her favorite experience was sitting in a “stuffy” 10 ft x 10 ft room with 25 other believers. “The Indians were singing in their native language and my partner and I were singing in English. I closed my eyes as we praised the same Father in all different languages. It immediately reminded me o Revelation 7:9-10, ‘After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out wtih a loud voice, ‘Salvation...

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Ryan Lochte scandal in the Olympics
Aug24

Ryan Lochte scandal in the Olympics

Along with coverage about USA’s success in the summer Olympics in Rio, came a media firestorm over the alleged robbery of American swimmers Ryan Lochte, Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and James Feigen. The gold medal-winning athletes claimed they were robbed at gunpoint by police officers at a gas station after a night of partying in the Brazilian city. This story was not unlikely as details began to emerge about the supposed burglary, it became clear that the swimmers were not telling the whole story. Even after the swimmers admitted that their account was false, it was uncertain what exactly happened, and if the Rio government was somehow involved. The Rio government has had problems with police corruption and violence in the past, and the police have been linked to controversy surrounding other Olympic athletes. In Lochte’s first interview about the accident, he said he and his teammates were, “pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing… and they pulled us over.” He goes on to say that the swimmers were forced to the ground, robbed, and held at gunpoint. The star athlete admitted that he was drunk and could not remember many of the details. But his story seemed to fall apart when he spoke with Today Show anchor, Matt Lauer. In this interview, Matt Lauer pointed out that the story was different in certain areas. Lauer pointed out that Lochte’s story seemed to vary from what he originally told police. It was later confirmed that Lochte had in fact fabricated the story to cover up an incident involving vandalism on the part of the Olympians. When the survallience videos surfaced of what happened that night, it became obvious that the swimmers were at fault. The security camera footage that has now been played over and over again on every news network and social media site. It shows the four Olympians walking into a narrow alley to urinate before knocking over and breaking a sign. A worker of the station watches the swimmers as they walk out of the alley and get into a cab. Two police officers, who seem to notice the incident, come from the opposite direction and ask the taxi driver not to take the men anywhere. The swimmers get out of the car, and Ryan Lochte flees the scene while the officers take the other three back to the alley way to show them the broken sign. I understand these men went to a party and had been drinking before, but that does not explain why they decided to lie. It appears that...

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