Free vaccinations encourage healthier living

By Angel Bell Students are busy, but in a world full of germs and disease waiting to attach themselves to flesh, it is important to make an effort to prevent sickness by vaccinations. Sophomore sociology major Stacey Davidson believes they are a great idea. “It’s important for students to get vaccinated in order for them to have the best health possible,” she said, “especially at school where diseases have a tendency to travel fast.” The university offered several vaccines in a free shot clinic this month. Sophomore nursing major Megan Skarpa thinks clinics are a good way to help control sickness on campus. “When someone is vaccinated, it not only is a good health choice for them but those around them,” she said. “Being in college, viruses travel fast, and it’s important to take care of yourself and also those around you. The free shot clinic is a very good idea because college students typically do not have a lot of money to spend.” At the clinic on Sept. 29, students were offered five vaccinations. The shots were only available on a first come first served basis and included the meningitis, Gardasil, hepatitis B, MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) and tetanus booster vaccines. Many students may not be familiar with the newer Gardasil vaccine, which is used to help prevent certain strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV) and cervical cancer. UMHB Nurse Debbie Rosenberger believes this vaccine has potential to help protect women against cervical cancer, but she also thinks that people must carefully consider what is done with their own body. “If you are female up to age 26, it is recommended that you receive the Gardasil vaccine,” she said. “You can insure your personal health habits. What you can’t control is your future mate. (Because of) poor choices, this person could carry HPV and give it to you without any symptoms themselves. Then you develop cervical cancer.” The meningitis vaccine is recommended for students living in campus housing. Rosenberger thinks it is better to get rid of a disease before it happens and is looking to attract students to the free clinics who are not able to pay for vaccines. “Prevention beats intervention any day of the week,” she said. “The purpose of (a) shot clinic is to enable those who can’t afford the vaccines to get them. If folks are under-insured, meaning they have insurance but it does not cover vaccines, then they can come.” Rosenberger also recommends an alternate program for younger students. “Any 18-year-old falls under the federal program (called) Vaccines for Children,” she said. This allows them to “receive immunizations at the...

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SGA sets a higher bar when dealing with school issues
Sep30

SGA sets a higher bar when dealing with school issues

As students come back to school for the year and begin to settle into a routine, jobs and the often strange hours of college life, student associations have also begun preparations for the upcoming year. One important organization, if not the most significant to the student body, is Student Government Association. SGA is often an overlooked outlet for students to voice concerns, ideas and opinions. Leadership of SGA is reaching out to the students to aid in change. “We want students to voice their ideas,” Director of Student Oraganizations Kristy Brischke said. “Everyone can participate in student government; you don’t have to be elected to help with change. We want clear communication with the administration and clear communication with the students themselves. Our goal is to work as a clear channel between the two.” One issue student government faces is getting out information to the students themselves. They have tried to reconcile the issue electronically. “Our online voting last year seemed to work well and was more popular with students,” Brischke said. “We are looking into trying to increase our online capability as another way to get students more involved.” Newly elected freshman internal senator, biology major Andrew Christian, said, “I think the online voting is much better than any kind of written ballot. I believe it makes the voting based much more on who people believe will be the best candidate for the job rather than who is the most popular.” Senior student body president Tatenda Tavaziva said, “Unlike in years past, information about student government is now readily accessible online to anyone interested.” One way for people to have their voice heard is through Student Speak, which is when “the Vice President of Student Affairs, Steve Theodore, and myself sit and answer questions in the SUB,” Tavaziva said. “Or you could voice your opinion by just stopping me or anyone in SGA as we are walking and telling us any ideas, suggestions or proposals you might have.” These are just small examples of the steps the organization is taking to get students more involved. “Last year, through God’s help, I believe SGA laid a very solid foundation in terms of being the voice of the students,” Tavaziva said. “In my second year as president, I would like to see us raise the bar in every aspect of student government both internally and externally.” Raising the bar will be quite an accomplishment after the successful year in 2007-2008. Last year alone, SGA was responsible for not only doing away with the sticky sign-in/sign-out dorm process but also with the end of late night fines and the institution of...

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O’Rear to be president
Sep30

O’Rear to be president

Dressed in purple and gold, Randy O’Rear stood on the pitcher’s mound, prepared to lead the Cru baseball team to another victory. As a student athlete, he never imagined in 20 years he would lead the school in a different way. But from the center of the field to the president of the university, O’Rear has never been a stranger to UMHB. “It is not unusual for the board of trustees to do a succession rather than a search for a new president when they already have someone on campus they believe in and has proven to be successful,” said university President Dr. Jerry Bawcom who steps down June 1 as president and becomes chancellor. He believes O’Rear is the right choice. “It would be a significant loss for the leadership of this institution if we didn’t take advantage of Dr. O’Rear’s knowledge, experience and his already existing relationships with others.” Bawcom said O’Rear has successfully contributed much to the school, including increased enrollment and progressive physical campus improvements. “Dr. O’Rear’s greatest accomplishment has been leading the institution in strategic planning and institutional visioning,” Bawcom said. “He knows and understands the mission of the university. As an alumnus, nobody could love the institution more than he and his family do.” O’Rear will be the first UMHB president who is also an alum. He graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration in 1988 and an MBA in 1997. He received a doctorate in higher education management from Baylor University in 2004. O’Rear believes his past will help him lead the school as president. He said, “I think having experienced the quality of our faculty and staff as a student makes me appreciate all that the university is about even more. I was blessed to experience this school as a student and what it was like to truly have committed faculty in the classroom.” O’Rear’s Crusader roots run deep as well as his desire to see the school accomplish great things. “I wake up every day and can’t wait to come to work to try to make a difference,” he said. “I am blessed to serve here.” O’Rear’s plans include expanding what has already been built. “Dr. Bawcom has guided the university to a really high level of excellence, and my goal is to work with the faculty and staffand continue to pursue higher and higher levels of that.” As president, he hopes to establish solid internal and external relations. “We have a strategic five-year plan that goes out through 2010, and it has been a good road,” O’Rear said. “I will work with faculty and staff, and we’ll craft a...

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Hurricane Ike causes devastation
Sep30

Hurricane Ike causes devastation

While Hurricane Ike did not hit Bell County with much more than storm clouds, many university students worried about friends and family who live in the storm’s path throughout other parts of the state. Freshman elementary education major Emily Cherrier is from Texas City, Texas. Her family decided not to evacuate. “I was extremely worried because Texas City was right in the middle of the projected path,” she said. Cherrier’s family went to her grandfather’s house because of its past success with strong storms. She said, “They also boarded up all the windows, bought lots of water and food, filled the tub with water, brought in all the pets and prayed.” For a while, Cherrier was not very concerned about the hurricane. “When my mom told me they were putting valuables up high and boarding up the windows, I realized it was serious,” she said. “They didn’t want me to worry, so they tried to down play the situation, but I could tell they were more concerned than they were letting me see.” She tried to do normal activities on the day Hurricane Ike hit, like campus run and cheering with the Couch Cru at the UMHB football game against Southern Nazarene University, but she found the day was still stressful. Cherrier said, “My first Crusader football game was definitely a nail-biter, not because of a close score or anything, but because the entire time all I could think of was my family bunkered down and preparing for a storm. I felt like I should have been there with them. That night was very restless. I’ve never felt so helpless.” During and after the storm hit her hometown, Cherrier worried about her family who would be affected. “It was really nerve-wracking for me because I had a hard time getting through to them on my cell phone,” she said. “But when I could get through, at one point my mom told me water was beginning to leak down the walls some, and the wind was very strong. But again, she tried to mask any fear she was having.” Her family’s homes had little damage, but houses nearby were heavily damaged. The main issue was water and electricity. “My family got (utilities) back after about three days, but I know some people did not get electricity again until just (Sept. 23).” Cherrier said her family got through the storm and the aftermath with God’s power. “My family has been so blessed,” she said. “I am so thankful for everyone’s prayers and support. It helped so much— more than anyone will ever know.” Junior social work major Kaitlen Allen is from...

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