New depth for younger athletes
Mar08

New depth for younger athletes

The men and women’s tennis teams won their way into last year’s conference tournament. This year, the Cru is back and working to do even better. “If we place first in the West Division, we can host the conference tournament here,” senior psychology major Megan Aarhus said. “My hope is to win it here, on our own turf.” The teams are in full-swing of their spring seasons. “We’ve been training since we started school back in the fall, but now is the time we have to let our hard work shine,” junior sport management major Josh Pownall said. Both the men’s and women’s teams have already played and defeated the University of the Ozarks, Southwestern University and LeTourneau University. The Lady Cru also played Trinity University on Friday but lost the confrontation 2-7. “We played really well and were ahead 2-1 after doubles.   A lot of the singles matches were really close, but they were tougher than the other teams we’ve played so far,” senior exercise sport science major Rebecca Everett said. Everett said that the women’s team has more players this year than last. “We have 10 girls this year. It’s good because it makes us work harder to earn our spot to play in the top six,” Everett said. The men’s team has proved itself victorious thus far in the season, with the beginning of conference matches just around the corner. “So far, we’ve played well enough to win, but we are going to have to keep getting better to beat our toughest competition in the conference,” Pownall said. His teammate and doubles partner, senior exercise sport science major Daniel White, is in agreement. “Our schedule gets harder from now on,” he said. White said he hopes to help the team the rest of the season by continuing to play doubles at a high level while also improving his singles play. Pownall said that this year’s team has several freshmen who changed the overall dynamic of the team. “The freshmen are only going to get better,” he said. Aarhus sees a similar trend among the Lady Cru. “The teams are younger this year, but overall, we are better than last year,” Aarhus said. “We have more depth in our line-ups.” So what’s next for the men’s and women’s tennis teams? The Cru play in their next three mathces in Belton on March 10, 11 and 23 at the Yvonne Li Tennis Center. To reach their conference dreams this season, Everett said the team needs to take every practice seriously. “I feel we need to stay focused on our training and work hard every time we step on...

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Paranoia hits McLane Hall as residents take part in highlighter war

Freshman mass communication/journalism major Jake Stamps thought he was safe when he entered the passenger door of his roommate Eli Basden’s truck. However, he did not realize that as they were pulling away freshman pre-physical therapy major Brandon Galloway had chased them and jumped over the tailgate into the bed of the truck. Galloway remained hidden for approximately 10 minutes until Stamps exited the vehicle, at which point witnesses say that Galloway leaped like Superman at Stamps. “It was one of the most shocking moments of my life. I knew he was trying to get me, but I had no idea he was in the back of the truck,” Stamps said. Stamps’ first instinct was to flee, but Galloway tore after him and chased him for 40 yards. As Galloway was bearing down on his target, Stamps slipped on the pavement and slid about five yards. Galloway walked up to his target ,marked him with a highlighter and eliminated him. For the last few weeks, the UMHB campus has turned into a hunting ground for residents of McLane. The game Paranoia pits the residents against each other. The goal of the game is to get as many eliminations as possible without being taken out yourself. Players eliminate each other by using highlighters to mark their targets. Each player is given a name of a resident to eliminate. Once the player has eliminated his prey, he receives his target’s target. While not all McLane residents participate in the event, some take it very seriously. McLane Resident Director Wendy Fitzwater said, “I have seen some guys cover every bit of skin to avoid elimination even if it’s 80 degrees outside.  Others have chosen the option of not leaving their rooms unless absolutely necessary,.While that is definitely not the point or purpose, I am surprised each year to find at least one guy choosing that form of protection.” Players employ many different methods to track and eliminate their quarry. Some will both physically and virtually stalk their prey for days, waiting for the right moment to attack. Junior Christian ministry major Shawn Cain said, “I would camp … sometimes for an hour and a half. Then I would walk past my target and turn around and take them from behind.” Another tactic is the direct approach. Freshman Kevan Mullins hounded freshman Christian ministry major Kirk Vogt for half a week. On several occasions during those days, Mullins chased Vogt across the quad. “For the last four days, he chased me for three of them, everywhere, from Hardy Hall and back. He’d wait 30 minutes and chase me back to my room; this...

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Proposed bill could mean guns on Texas campuses

A Texas bill that will give professors and students the option of carrying concealed guns on campuses is soaring through the House. The legislation has led to strong opinions, causing society to question whether or not it’s an appropriate solution to violence. Senior Vice President for Administration Steve Theodore explained the university’s opposed position on the issue. “UMHB is very safe place, and we certainly want it to stay that way,” he said.“Keep in mind that putting firearms in people’s hands doesn’t necessarily prevent crime.” Some people support the bill, because they believe individuals with firearms could prevent tragedies like Virginia Tech from occurring on their campuses. While others argue students with ill-will are going to bring guns anyway, so why not make it legal so students can protect themselves. Theodore believes otherwise. “Most citizens who carry handgun licenses aren’t adequately trained to handle hostile situations,” Theodore said. “Even well-trained individuals have a difficult time with accuracy during stress-filled, tense situations.” It’s difficult to determine how private schools like UMHB will be affected by the bill. “Since the law isn’t yet written, we do not know what effect it will have for us.  Of course, if we are compelled by law to comply, UMHB will do so,” he said. Director of Campus Police Gary Sargent examined the possible ways the campus could be affected. “The only thing that the law would do is decriminalize that penalty,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that we cannot take disciplinary action against someone for violation of a university rule.” Though UMHB’s future implications are ambiguous, Sargent knows one thing is for sure. “It’s going to become a reality,” he said. “I’m not sure if it’s going to become a reality in this legislation session or not.” Sargent believes as society becomes more violent, there’s going to be more emphasis to own guns. “Arming people is not the solution,” he said. “What we’re doing is basically combating a symptom of a much deeper problem.” A student who wishes to remain anonymous strongly believes the university should consider giving students with concealed handgun licenses freedom to carry guns on campus. However, he also thinks students should have to inform the police department and campus police that they are carrying firearms on university grounds. Assistant Professor of Biology Arch Koontz has had a gun shop for 15 years. He is particular about whom he sells his guns to, restricting sales from those he believes will be a threat, for example, individuals who arrive at his shop intoxicated. Koontz said he would not carry a gun on campus if it was legal and permitted by the university....

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College railroad crossing set for closure
Feb21

College railroad crossing set for closure

The construction on the new apartments at the back of campus has been noticed by everyone who has driven past it or who has stopped to let a large truck carrying supplies pass by. But road construction will most likely be underway within the year to close off College Street at the railroad crossing. Belton City Manager Sam Listi has been working with  the Texas Department of Transportation  and BNSF Railroad, which originally requested the closure. “They have come to us and basically proposed the closing of the College Street crossing at the railroad track. It’s primarily a safety issue,” Listi said. The  BNSF railroad is concerned with the number of accidents that occur at crossings similar to this one and is hoping that by closing the crossings, the number of wrecks will decrease. Listi said, “The railroad’s long-term goal and interest is to close as many of these at grade crossings as possible. You hear about accidents all the time where a train will hit somebody and cause some injuries or maybe even death.” The problem with closing the crossing is the access it provides to the campus from the nearby neighborhood for better traffic flow. “Is the cost benefit of increased safety something that warrants the closure of that connection?” Listi asked. The city wants to hear the responses of the people living in the neighborhood adjacent to the tracks that will be affected by the crossing closure. Listi has scheduled a community meeting for March 3 and has sent out notices to more than 100 people in that area inviting them to come. He said, “I would expect some reaction, but it’s hard to say whether that will be positive, negative, or neutral.  We’re just going to have to evaluate it and see what the sentiment is in the community about it.” Once Listi and the Belton City Council hear the residents’ opinions on it, the city council will decide whether or not to close the crossing, and, if they choose to do so, will begin the official procedure to make it happen. Listi said, “If the decision is made to close it, the council has to pass a resolution and give that info to TXDOT and the railroad to accomplish the closing and to make the physical improvement necessary to make to the crossing.” Listi has also been in conversation with UMHB about closing the crossing. Edd Martin, senior vice president for planning and support services, has been Listi’s main contact at the university. “There are pros and cons to the possible closing of the College Street railroad crossing,” Martin said. “Positive impacts will be...

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Alums turn idea into livelihood
Feb21

Alums turn idea into livelihood

Alumnus Luke Nunnally is often seen with his Macbook Pro in Bodega Bean working on his website Belboard.com. He sips a Red Bull as he and his business partner and fellow alum, Eliot Barcak, discuss the next sale for their company – a business they began as students at UMHB. Now they own the biggest local websites in both Belton and Waco. Nunnally saw that Bell County really didn’t have an outlet for local advertising. He came up with Belboard to fit that need. “When I was a junior here, I found out about Nami (a local Japanese restaurant), and it’s really great,” he said. “There is no excuse for you to be a junior and not know about it.” The concept of Belboard is simple. The site has a large grid that is covered with ads of local businesses. Every time registered users click on ads, they are sent to that business’s home page. But Belboard randomly makes some ads lucky – meaning some clicks will get users anything from a free California roll from Nami to one of the promoted “Big Ticket” items – like an Xbox 360. Belboard sells the ad blocks to  businesses that will normally get a spike in Web traffic shortly after the ad hits the site. Every click means more Internet traffic for the advertiser and more relevancy for Google searches than before. Sites with more traffic show up higher on searches than less visited sites. Getting their page to the top of Google search results is a marketing goal for most businesses. The idea has been so successful that the alumni also have sites in Waco, Wacoboard.com; College Station, Tamuboard.com; and even a satellite site in Athens, Georgia, Athensboard.com, due to a partnership with the University of Georgia. The coffee shop is an ideal location for the Belboard guys to get work done. They spend much of their time traveling between cities where they operate sites, and a local space with free Wi-Fi is perfect to meet with business owners who may be interested in a chunk of Belboard’s space. UMHB Associate Professor and Chairperson of management, entrepreneurship and marketing department Dr. Barbara Dalby sparked the idea for the site in Nunnally. She was teaching about The Million Dollar Homepage, a site that an English student broke into pixels and sold to universities to raise money for his education. The website made $2 million dollars in two weeks. “I noticed Luke was in the back of the room, and he was asking questions,” Dalby said. “By the end of class, he had bought a domain name on his iPhone.” Nunnally was...

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Writers’ Festival now more open to students

Undergraduates and others interested in writing and literature will get the opportunity to mingle with professionals in an upcoming three-day festival. The university will hold its annual Writers’ Festival February 17 – 19 in the Brindley Auditorium of the York Science Center. Former UMHB English Professor Dr. Donna Walker-Nixon and her husband George Nixon started the festival as a way to showcase their first project – the Windhover journal, which is dedicated to writers of faith. The three-day literary festival is open to the public and will feature special guests Joshilyn Jackson. Paul J. Willis. Jackson, who has been on The New York Times Bestselling List, will present the George Nixon Memorial Lecture Feb.17 in Brindley Auditorium at 7 p.m. Walker-Nixon, who now teaches creative and expository writing at Baylor University bases the success for the event on its growth over the years. “Initially, the idea was to include writers in the Southwest, but then it became broader in aspect when writers from across the United States began to attend and to conduct workshops and readings. The attendance began at 35 the first year, and then the festival gained momentum through the years,” she said. Walker- Nixon admits before her husband George died she sometimes didn’t “feel” literature, earning the nickname “German drill sergeant.” She hopes “students come to feel and experience what they read more than as just dull words on a page.” Assistant Professor of English Dr. Jessica Hooten, who took over the festival for Dr. Audell Shelburne after his leadership of six years, is passionate about her role. “Not enough people support literature, (it’s a) great way to support contemporary arts,” she said. Hooten is looking forward to hearing the keynote speakers whom she discovered at the Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing. “It’s difficult to get top speakers to come to your school …. You have to get people to do it because they love it. Some of the biggest names are difficult to reach because they have some of the biggest pocketbooks,” she said. This year, Hooten posted a video on YouTube, got a website running. moved the festival to February instead of January so students could have an opportunity to attend, and enacted the first student panel. “It’s a prime opportunity to showcase students …. They will be the next writers. We need to get them involved now. Some of them could be our key speakers in ten years,” she said. Senior English major Rachel Yubeta is participating this year and will be one of the students on the new panel. “This is the first time the festival has been open to students. I...

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