Alum takes long walk home
Sep11

Alum takes long walk home

It’s a long road from freshman year to graduation. But before taking those final steps across the stage last spring, alumnus Garrett Pekar decided to end his time at UMHB with another long journey — a 30-mile walk. Since the start of his senior year, the mass communication/journalism major had told his family and friends that he wanted to see what it would be like to walk to his home in Granger from school. Just a few days before graduation, he started his journey. Pekar began his quest at 7 a.m. May 2. His trip wasn’t a walk in the park, though; it was an adventure and reminiscing experience. Pekar said his trip was a story of two chapters, and the first half was from UMHB to Summers Mill. “The first part of the journey … was a piece of cake,” Pekar said. He didn’t have any trouble because there wasn’t much traffic, and the weather was cool. The walk gave him the opportunity to think and reflect on his years spent as a Crusader. “I was able to look back at Belton as I grew distant from it.” he said. The second half of his trip was an experience he will never forget. Once he had made it to Holland, he thought he was doing great and might even be able to get home sooner than he had projected, but instead he faced his first problem. “After walking some distance … I was almost halfway down this stretch of the road, I ran into my first real obstacle of the trip, the dogs,” Pekar said. “I approached a house, and I immediately noticed the two dogs running from the yard to the road.” There wasn’t a fence between him and the dogs. He knew he was in a dilemma. “Some dogs are all bark and no bite, but these dogs looked like they had plenty of bite,” he said. Pekar had to think fast, and he had an idea that was a long shot but might work. “I pulled out a dog whistle app I had downloaded on my iPhone, and I don’t know why I had it, but it could have been because it was free or for this moment. Nonetheless, it was worth a shot,” he said. Pekar proceeded toward the house, and the dogs began to run after him. He turned on the app, clicked a button, and it made a frequency tone that stopped the dogs in their tracks. “I didn’t think that the app would work, but it did, and I was able to keep on moving,” Pekar said. His next obstacle was...

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Baugh Center for Visual Arts first academic building in Master Plan to open doors
Sep11

Baugh Center for Visual Arts first academic building in Master Plan to open doors

The grand opening of the new Baugh Center for the Visual Arts doesn’t officially occur until Oct. 19, but the building on 9th Street across from the Mabee Academic Center has already opened its doors for the fall semester. Classes began Aug. 20 and many faculty members, along with returning art students, have shown their gratitude for the big change of scenery. Teachers and students were not impressed with the school’s prior art quarters, to say the least. Art professor John Hancock said, “Art was over at Presser Hall in the basement. We had four small rooms we did all of our art classes in. It always flooded (when) we had heavy rain. It was always dark, crowded and dirty.” Sophomore art education major Ashley Lenz, however, seemed to have conflicting feelings about the new facility. “It was mixed emotions. I loved Presser. I only went one year, but I kind of connected to it. Then again, this facility is awesome. So I was really excited to get into a new building,” she said. Chair of the art department Hershall Seals noted that he already sees a strong impact being made. “We’ve had our first week of classes, and our teaching experience has already changed dramatically because of the room to actually create sizable works of art and to have enough floor space for students to actually work,” he said. Art majors are feeling more at home, and Seals hopes this newfound optimism will show in their latest artwork. “I overheard a group of students in the hallway when I walked by. I heard one girl tell another girl, ‘I finally feel like a real university art student.’ To me, that meant so much to hear a genuine response from a student. That confirmed the professionalism of the building and just the high standards that the architects seem to call for,” Seals said. The art center comes equiped with nine major classrooms and four senior studios students can utilize for work on their senior shows, as well as a host of new tools for use on various project. Seals said, “We have been able to purchase a lot of new equipment. We have brand new potter’s wheels, new printing press, and most impressively, we are going to have a brand new bronze foundry area. We’ll also have a new glass blowing area.” Art majors now have 24/7 access to the building, giving them the freedom to work on their projects whenever they’d like. They can scan their school identification cards whenever they need entrance to the building outside of regular class hours. Throughout the semester, there will also be...

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New social media policy affects student leaders
Sep11

New social media policy affects student leaders

The university has now joined a host of other schools that have implemented a social media policy in an effort to prevent possible slip-ups on the Web from having damaging effects on individual students and the university as a whole. Athletes, along with other students in leadership roles on campus, attended a meeting at the start of the semester where administration gave them the new policy, and asked them to sign and adhere to a set of guidelines. While the university may not have experienced any major Internet blunders like some that have been seen at other educational institutions across the country, Vice President for Student Life Dr. Byron Weathersbee sees this as a preventative measure. “We’re trying to get ahead of the curve. We’re trying to be proactive and educational,” he said. The usage policy gives general guidelines for participating in social media sites, guidelines for the use of words, abbreviations, acronyms and/ or phrases and photo and video guidelines. It also requires students to provide access to their sites so that faculty are able to view them when necessary. “I think the spirit behind this is protection — protection of our students, protection of their future, protection for the brand of UMHB, protection for our Christian mission. And I think we actually owe it to students to help put some framework to it, to help set some boundaries,” Weathersbee said. Senior Vice President for Administration & Chief Operating Officer Dr. Steve Theodore said the purpose of implementing such a policy is to educate. He said, “Mary Hardin-Baylor is an educational institution, and our job is to educate people, not only about math, science, history and nursing. It’s about educating students on life and how to be successful.” Theodore said the administration is not interested in reading every word posted on Facebook or Twitter, but simply in making sure that nothing is written that goes against UMHB standards. “What we’re looking for is just the inappropriate, vulgar stuff,” he said. “It needs to come off. It’s not representative of who we are. I think it hurts our students, and in the long run, I think it will benefit them because they toned it down.” In order to help monitor potentially damaging content, the school is using a service from the organization Field House Media that filters through social media sites and alerts administration if something inappropriate is posted. Both Weathersbee and Theodore stressed that students need to be aware that what they are posting is visible to a wide audience through the Internet. “Everything you put on Facebook, everything you put on Twitter, unless you specifically lock it...

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CAB kicks off year with cookies, movies, tie-dye
Sep11

CAB kicks off year with cookies, movies, tie-dye

Whether it’s riding the waves, tie-dying shirts or chowing down on homemade cookies, the Campus Activities Board provides students with a chance at free fun. To kick off the school year, CAB threw the Back to School Bash at Belton’s local waterpark, Summer Fun. UMHB students had the opportunity to enjoy the water slides and wading pools by swiping their CruCards. Keeping with CAB style, DJ Lil Buddy spun some tracks toward the end of the night and started a dance party in the shallow end of the pool. Senior business major and executive of relations for CAB Audrey Ohendalski said, “Our T-shirt says ‘always expect a party’…that really describes what we want to do. We just want to make every event fun. I love that CAB is open to everyone and that anyone can get involved at any time.” As the activities came to an end, university President and first lady Dr. and Mrs. Randy O’Rear surprised Crusaders with a local favorite, Frosti Cones. Junior Christian studies major and CAB executive of advertising Katelyn Killian said, “Last year was the first year that the O’Rears bought everyone Frosti Cones. We were really excited that they offered to do it again this year…. It’s one of our annual events that draws a nice turnout.” Students enjoyed sitting back and floating on the lazy river before hectic schedules kicked in. Sophomore nursing major Katelyn Kretzer said, “CAB’s first event was the perfect way to start this semester. I had so much fun hanging out with old friends and making new ones. Summer Fun definitely lived up to its name because it was a blast.” CAB also threw a colorful event, supplying T-shirts and dye for a tie-dying party. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., students stopped outside the SUB and expressed their creativity through this event. Killian said, “Last year, we didn’t have a great turnout because it was a first for CAB. This year, the summer staff at CAB worked harder to find supplies, and we had over a hundred people come out this time. People didn’t even have to bring their own shirts to dye. We had a better system, and everything worked out really well.” At another event, the Crusader Parent’s Organization cooked up a success with homemade cookies in the SUB. With the help of CAB, students’ mothers baked and served cookies and milk to students and staff, giving them a taste of home. With classes now in full swing, the CAB staff thought students would enjoy a little relaxation and entertainment, for free, of course. With the help of the Grand Avenue Theatre management, they...

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Christian rappers encourage campus men
Sep11

Christian rappers encourage campus men

Churches aren’t usually associated with screaming, turntables, rockers and rappers, but Crossroads Church in Belton doesn’t mind. Just before the fall semester began, Crossroads hosted its Back to School Bash where middle school through college-aged students enjoyed a free concert before the stresses of school began. The event was part of the church’s 212generation program, which teaches 12-to-24 -year-olds how to live right and to be on fire for God. We As Humans, a heavy metal rock band, and J-Nice the Kingdom Builder, an up-and-coming Christian rapper, performed at the beginning of the show, but most of the attention was given to another.   Well-known Christian Rapper Derek Minor, formerly known as Pro, was the show’s finale. Freshman Christian ministries major Shane Longoria was part of a group of six who attended the concert with the university organization Campus Men. “He produces a quality product. Everything about his music was solid, and he’s a Christian,” Longoria said. Born Derek Johnson Jr., now rapper Derek Minor endured many trials to be performing on stages. He faced a life where his biological father lived several hours away, so music became his everything, his getaway. Although he is a respected rapper, Minor also takes time to share what is on his heart during his performance. Freshman Christian ministries major Tim Hite said, “The thing that stuck out to me the most was when he quit performing and started talking about our eternal purpose.” Minor hadn’t always been so eager to share the gospel, however. After the death of his grandparents and his godmother, he realized that life wasn’t all he had thought it to be, so he surrendered himself and his talents to God. He then released his debut album The Black Out, which caused a fuss for its lack of Christian focus. “Lecrae and BJ challenged me to let the gospel truly affect my heart,” Minor said in an interview with Newreleasetuesday.com. Lecrae was one of the first Christian rappers to capture the attention of the nation, and at that moment God used him to refocus Minor. Now Minor shares the truth he has found in God. He just teaches a little differently. “He has lyrical theology,” Longoria said “His lyrics are basically like sermons. He’s just preaching. He uses his time to preach the gospel.” During the concert, Minor did just that. “He said that when we die, are we going to leave a legacy that people remember, or are we just going to leave nothing behind,” Hite said. After the concert, Campus Men began working on building relationships, and growing as godly men. Group leader junior sport management major...

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Requirements for fine arts reshaped to help students

The purpose of the university’s new core curriculum, which made its debut this semester, is to give students a broad-based education. As part of this mission, faculty and administration decided to add a requirement that expands learning outside of the sterotypical classroom setting. From now on, all students who come under the new core curriculum must attend one event designated as a Fine Arts Experience each semester they are enrolled. The events include costume recitals, concerts and art exhibits. Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts Ted Barnes said “The faculty wants to give students the opportunity to be culturally enriched by actually seeing works.” Professor in the College of Visual and Performing Arts Dr. Stephen Crawford is head of the FAE committee and said that the program “gets to the heart and soul of the student, and that’s what the arts are really about.” Crawford explained that the new requirement is something that will aid the university in developing students that have a broad education. “The benefit for the university as a whole is always in the product that we create,” he said. “A university creates students. When (they) receive our diplomas, we want them to be experts in their field, but we also want them to be well rounded.” The FAE does not replace the three semester hours of fine arts that are also required under the new core, but are intended to work in conjunction with the classroom. “The fine arts credits are the book learning components of the arts, but nothing beats going to an actual event where you become an audience member because that means you’re also a part of the artistic happening,” Crawford said. While the courses are important, there is no substitute for experiencing the arts for oneself, he said. “It’s like the difference between reading about football and going to a football game.” Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Steve Oldham said, “We’re hoping students will not only study the arts, but they will go to an event and like it, and maybe go back even though they don’t have to.” Because it is the FAE’s first year, Crawford said it will take a little time to see how the system they have set up will work for the program. “We’ll find out, I’m sure by the end of the semester, how well it’s going and how well we’re doing of informing students as to when the events are,” he said. Most of the events take place on campus. However, as time goes on, Crawford sees the program growing. “At this point, we’re just focusing on...

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