Day of fun gives students break before finals
Apr24

Day of fun gives students break before finals

Who would ever think that a duck could sport a Mohawk at Play Day this year? Students flocked around the petting farm to play with bunnies and fuzzy chicks. Without having much luck, some even attempted to catch the colorful roosters and the pony with the pink mane stood nearby watching all of the chaos unfold. Some of the other events that were held included: dodge ball, washers, ladder ball and croquet. Among other activities, students were also given the opportunity to participate in paintballing, Segway rides and a mobile zip line. Freshman psychology major Megan Bolger recalls one of the most memorable aspects of Play Day for her. “The snow cones — they had the longest line, and that’s how you knew they were delicious” she said. Bolger liked all of the activities the day had to offer, but one stood out to her the most. “I really enjoyed the inflatable twister. It was a challenge,” she said. Freshman athletic training major Katie Bristo was looking forward to having the day off and was eager to see all of the functions the day had in store. “I had a really fun day. I think Play Day was a success, and it was nice not having class and not having to pay for any of it. I probably enjoyed the paintball the most, but all of it was fun. I really enjoyed the music, dancing and DJs,” she said. Besides the fun factor, Director of Student Organizations Tiffany Wurdemann hopes students are aware of the true intentions. “Other than having a day off, the purpose of Play Day is to remember the reasons why we are here to be in community with one another. It is a long standing tradition that provides the UMHB community an opportunity to put work aside and refocus before finals come,” she said. Wurdemann explained how the events are created. “We have a Play Day committee that is made up of Student Life staff. Each of us have surveyed a variety of students on what they hope to see at Play Day, and we deliberate which activities should be chosen for the day. We also look back in the past on what was successful and reassess if we should bring it back,” she said. The rockslide and the log jammer may have seemed to just pop out of nowhere, but it actually took months for all of the ideas to become a reality. Wurdemann said, “We met a couple times in the fall and a few times this spring. In between our meetings, we would research what ideas could come to life, and which...

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Revival encourages community
Apr24

Revival encourages community

Beneath a white tent in the heart of campus, students, faculty and others from the Belton/ Temple area, gathered last month for a time of prayer, worship and reading from the Word and sharing testimonies — a time of revival. Co-Director Christian studies major Sarah Stadler said that this uniting of both the community and university is what makes the annual spring Revival such an important time. “It’s a good representation of the body of Christ coming together for this event to worship and to learn as a community,” she said. While the format of the event was much the same as years past, members of the steering committee, who planned Revival, wanted to place an emphasis on the idea of community. They decided to add a new element to help encourage attendees not just to focus on what they were experiencing, but to share it with others. Each night after speaker John Durham gave a message, small groups spread out across the quad to answer questions about what they had heard and discuss the material together in more depth. “Our heart behind that was that people would meet new people, interact and kind of be vulnerable with one another, and our main goal was that community would be formed on campus,” Stadler said. Junior social work major Kristen Kimmell was on the discipleship steering committee and said that the idea of true biblical community is especially important for college students. “We get so caught up in organizations and busy life with school and work, so we need to be able to have that core group that we can come and reflect with and kind of rejuvenate for the rest of the week, and just be able to hold each other accountable,” she said. Though much prayer went into implementing the idea of community groups, there was still some fear that people would not be receptive to the change. Kimmell said she was not sure before Revival how the new aspect of the event would be received. “Being on the committee, I was nervous about it, thinking people wouldn’t like it, or it wouldn’t have a good turnout,” she said. “That was me doubting and not putting enough faith in God.” Kimmell said that following the event, everything she heard about the community groups was positive. “I never heard a negative thing about the groups, but I heard that they were great and that there were groups that met that week and continue to meet,” she said. Stadler said that a big part of the success of the community groups was due to the support of the idea from...

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Shoeless feet raise awareness, support
Apr24

Shoeless feet raise awareness, support

You can never know someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Students lived out this old saying April 11 in an ironic twist by going barefoot for a day to empathize with those without shoes. Barefoot students walked through the quad, in classrooms and even in Hardy dining hall. Those students were taking part in Sole 2 Soul, an event that has become somewhat of a tradition. Senior exercise sport science and psychology major Sarah Hayward said, “The campus loves it, and it is just another opportunity to forget about ourselves for a moment and be the hands and feet of Christ for someone else.” Many remember the earthquake that ravaged the island nation of Haiti in 2010, but few realize that many Haitians are still homeless and suffering. A recent study published by Oxfam America estimated that more than a half million Haitians were homeless. Along with lacking shelter, many of these people lack basic necessities like shoes. In developing countries, it is generally children who do not have access to shoes. They face many medical risks including ringworm, mossy foot and tetanus. In previous years Sole 2 Soul has been sponsored in part by the Student Government, Campus Activities Board and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. This year the Student-Athletic Advisory Committee took charge of the event. “Last year SGA came to us and asked if we wanted to head up the event. It began as an athlete promoted event. This is our first year to completely run it on our own,” Hayward said. Sole 2 Soul has been about raising awareness for Haitian children, collecting children’s shoes and monetary donations. For last year’s event, Hope for the Hungry sold bracelets and encouraged students to become involved in a child sponsorship program. This year SAAC sold T-shirts featuring the Sole 2 Soul logo. Effel Harper, faculty sponsor of SAAC said, “We have been raising more money through the T-shirt sales than just donations. The shirts do not have a date on them, so they can be sold throughout the year.” SAAC and Hope for the Hungry will also accept donations of children’s shoes year round. Faculty and students are often eager to become involved in causes such as this. Throughout the year, events like Cru Can and Cru for a Cause receive significant student and faculty support. “I was impressed by the unselfishness of our campus. When I sent the email out to the faculty and staff, I had 25 orders for T-shirts in the first ten minutes. That was just faculty and staff alone. Then when we sent it to the students, I probably...

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New standard demands stricter GPA requirements

Buildings and parking lots aren’t the only things going up in the fall semester. Academic standards are rising as well. Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Steve Oldham explained that though standards are changing, they aren’t as much rising as transferring. “Really we’re just moving the target for student academics from the junior year down to the sophomore year,” he said. The requirement has been that students must have a 2.0 by their 90th hour for graduation. Under the new system, that 2.0 must be achieved at the end of the freshman year instead of the end of the junior year. “It really allows them to make the progress they need to in order to be ready for graduation,” Oldham said. “ And, hopefully, it will prevent situations like we have now where a student comes to their senior year and there’s no way they will have that GPA in time, so they’re left with debt and they might have to extend their education a year or two more.” The idea for this change started with the faculty, who are in the classrooms with students and understand how grades affect the student’s future college career. Oldham said, “This was primarily a faculty-driven issue, and they made a recommendation and I affirmed it, so it’s going into play this fall. We began conversations in Academic Affairs but at the same time, or really before that, the faculty assembly took a look at our academic standing, and they had been discussing it for a little while about increasing it.” He said there were two reasons for changing the requirements – the federal government and earlier student notification. The government changed the standard for financial aid to a 2.0 last year, so it provided a good time for the university to change its standard as well. In addition to the financial aid requirement change, moving the standard to the sophomore year offers students a better chance at being successful in their educational career. “It’s very difficult for someone to raise their GPA a significant amount once they have amassed a large number of hours already,” Oldham said. “It’s kind of like a major league hitter who’s got a low batting average in the first couple of weeks of the season. No big deal as long as they can start hitting well. But if you have a low batting average in the last couple of weeks of the season, you’re not going to raise it hardly at all. (It) doesn’t matter how many times you go to bat.” Senior marketing and management double  major Clayton Giraudin believes the new requirements will...

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TIPA awards Bluebonnet, Bells for hard work
Apr24

TIPA awards Bluebonnet, Bells for hard work

The Bells newspaper and Bluebonnet yearbook received a total of 65 awards for excellence in writing, design and photography from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association at the organization’s yearly conference March 29-31. Some competitions are onsite while others are submitted from the previous fall and spring semesters. Along with the many awards the university received, each publication brought home the Sweepstakes award in its category. This honor goes to the publication with the most awards in its division. Just one week earlier in Fort Worth, the Society of Professional Journalists awarded The Bells second place for General News Reporting and second place for Best All-Around Nondaily Collegiate Newspaper for Region 8, which includes all of Texas and Oklahoma. Senior church history and journalism major Brittany Montgomery said, “For me, TIPA was important because it verified everything we as a staff have been working on for the past year.” Montgomery is the editor-in-chief of The Bells and said that it was rewarding being a part of this year’s team of journalists. “It wasn’t just me thinking something looked great but a professional agreeing that the tremendous effort we put into our stories and photos really was worth it,” she said. For sophomore nursing major Marianna Jauregui, the yearbook is something she enjoys that is outside of  her major. She said, “Well it’s hard to be the only nursing major on the yearbook staff because literally none of my classes have to do with what we do in yearbook.” She said she enjoyed TIPA and all she learned while at the conference. “I just gained a deeper knowledge of how to make my pages better and therefore deliver a great yearbook full of memories to the student body.” Over the course of the weekend, students attended sessions where they had the chance to learn from professionals in journalistic fields. The workshops ranged from sports feature writing to finding internships. TIPA hosted writers from the Corpus Christi Caller Times. Some were photojournalists and others do video reporting for the newspaper on activities being held in Corpus Christi. Sarah Acosta is the entertainment reporter for the Caller Times showcasing the top five events for the week. Mass communication/public relations major and editor-in-chief of the yearbook Anna Gamboa said, “My favorite sessions were the broadcasting sessions. It was interesting to see the broadcasting aspect of journalism.” The Bells and Bluebonnet staffs have been working hard all year for this event. Junior public relations major Brooke Morgan said, “It’s an honor to be a part of The Bells staff and be able to work with talented people and see your hard work pay off.” Morgan...

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Students create TV program for KPLE
Apr24

Students create TV program for KPLE

A new opportunity has presented itself to the university with the cooperation of the Killeen Christian television station KPLE. An independent affiliate of Trinity Broadcast Network, KPLE is a non-profit Christian broadcasting station serving the Central Texas area. The station has recently shifted to more education-based programming through the Connect2Texas, a network of Texas-based educational content providers. It broadcasts educational programming to audiences across Texas and the nation through video conferencing webinars, which can vary in subject from math to art, and have a viewership ranging from pre-K to adults. In recent months, communication and media studies Professor Dr. Diane Howard has been working with KPLE as an adviser for programming, and she has used her students to record programs for KPLE. “I believe that our Lord has provided a beautifully equipped local television station and a well trained staff for airing of excellent programs produced by Christians,” Howard said. Recently, a group of Howard’s students made the trip to the station and split up to record five programs for KPLE in subjects ranging from Shakespearean use of prose to students with           disabilities. When the students arrived, they were directed to the set and explained the do’s and don’ts of TV. After a quick lesson, they recorded a program they had been working on for a few weeks. At the end of the day, KPLE decided to air one of the five programs but will keep the other four to try to use later. Also, all of the participants will receive a DVD copy of their programs to have for job interviews and portfolios. Howard has been pursuing a relationship between UMHB and KPLE. “Christians who are producing good programs need to seize the day and share their programs on KPLE. It is a win-win situation for all involved,” Howard said, referring to both Christian              institutions. For the university, KPLE could open a door for students to gain valuable experience in the field of broadcasting if both parties agree that they mutually benefit from a relationship. All mass communication/journalism majors require three internships as part of their degree plan: print, online and broadcast. Many internships are undertaken in the summer, but few are paid. The problem is that students often also work and take classes during the summer. Many find a summer internship to  be  a conflict and cannot afford to pile on another job. Catherine Mason, owner of KPLE affirmed that UMHB students are welcome at KPLE and commented that it has been so in the past. “At one point, students were serving as news anchors. It was a blessing for the students and the station. Of course,...

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