Students lead charge in war to end human trafficking
Feb25

Students lead charge in war to end human trafficking

THE BELLS — by Josh Bradshaw We live in a world where most people view slavery as a significant part of America’s history, something that has tainted this country’s past. However, according to The Washington Post, slavery is still a very real problem, with 30 million people trafficked today. The Freedom Movement, a campus organization, is doing its part to let as many people know as possible by hosting a week-long event that will culminate Friday. Alec Lloyd, a junior business management major, is the vice president of Freedom Movement. His position means that he spends his time focusing on how to implement the organization’s main goals. He describes them as  “rais(ing) money, awareness and discipleship against human trafficking.” Andi Hale is extremely passionate when it comes to issues like human trafficking. On a mini-hiatus from UMHB, Hale is spending this semester working for Show Hope, a nonprofit organization that provides adoption grants in Franklin, Tenn. She believes every campus should have different student organizations that empower students by giving information, accompanied with an action plan to help tackle issues like slavery. Hale said, “Freedom Movement is important for college campuses because we are raising awareness and funds to bring an end to this horrible injustice.” Hale said it is important for college students to be aware of the issue of modern slavery so they can lead their peers in a battle to war against the ongoing injustice. “By educating college students on the issue of human trafficking, we are raising up the next generation to fight for those who are being exploited and make an impact for the Kingdom.” One way that Freedom Movement aims to accomplish its goals this semester is through End It Week. Lloyd and his team have focused their energy on this week’s events to raise awareness to the campus as well as the surrounding community. Ross Jones, a sophomore psychology major, is in charge of promotions for Freedom Movement. He hopes as many people as possible on campus will get involved. “I hope that this week will motivate college students to fight for something greater than themselves,” he said. Jones explained the significance of the week they had chosen. End It Movement, a global organization that has a big voice in the battle against human trafficking, is encouraging as many people as possible to draw a big, red “X” on their hand Feb. 27. They hope that it will raise awareness to the issue of human trafficking. On Thursday, Jones hopes students will join with End It Movement and mark their hands. Lloyd and others will have markers at their booth in the...

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Sign language speaks loudly
Feb11

Sign language speaks loudly

As students walked into Walton Chapel on the morning of Feb. 5, some noticed the music at the beginning  of chapel wasn’t playing as usual. Other observations led them to see that students weren’t the only ones in attendance. People from around Central Texas came to see Rev. Thomas Coughlin, the first Deaf chapel presenter who communicated with the audience through an interpreter. UMHB Chaplain Dr. George Loutherback went straight into introducing how the chapel would be different because the presenter wouldn’t be speaking – he would be signing. Little did anyone know, but this was also Coughlin’s first time to deliver a service to any university. “No, I was not nervous at all.… In fact, I find it very challenging and exciting to talk to a very large student body,” Coughlin said in an email. While most people didn’t know what to expect, Coughlin gave a lot for students to think about when his topic was “Mutism: The Dark Side of Deafness.” “The inability to talk is of a greater evil than the inability to hear,” Coughlin said. American Sign Language Professor Dr. Parker Kennedy contacted Coughlin through a videophone once it was certain that a Deaf person was going to present at chapel. “Rev. Tom Coughlin is well known in the Deaf community, which is fairly small,” Kennedy said in an email. “Oftentimes, Deaf people know each other through acquaintances or places they have been to.” Kennedy started teaching at the university in the fall of 2012 and has encouraged and inspired many students to go to Deaf chats and events that happen in and around Belton. On Coughlin coming to campus, Kennedy said, “I believe that this will give the students an intense understanding applicable to the accumulation they have learned in their class thus far.” Junior psychology major Maggie Bates has been learning ASL for two and a half years and is a Teaching Assistant for Kennedy. She thinks Rev. Coughlin coming to Chapel was a great way for students to experience the Deaf community. “I think it shows that Deaf people and hearing people really are the same. Deaf people just use a different language. Having a Deaf presenter was so different than what the students are used to,” Bates said. “It’s important that UMHB students see other cultures and can appreciate them.” Bates met with Rev. Coughlin before the services and introduced him at both using American Sign Language. She said his message was something that everyone can learn from. “Deaf people love being Deaf. They embrace their Deaf culture,” Bates said. “I thought it was interesting that Father Coughlin said that everyone...

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Honky-tonk hero
Feb11

Honky-tonk hero

Jesus, honky-tonks and gunfights. How in the world are these three seemingly unrelated topics connected? Billy Joe Shaver. The rough and rugged songwriter is arguably as big a part of the history of outlaw country as names like Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. The audience began cheering the minute Shaver’s worn cowboy boots stepped onto the stage of UMHB’s Hughes Hall Jan. 28. He wore Wranglers, a light blue denim shirt and a brown felt hat with a tattered feather on it. He sat down on a stool to talk to associate professor and chairman of the music department, Dr. Mark Aaron Humphrey in the latest installment of the C3 series. Humphrey started the session by acknowledging Shaver’s importance to Texas music. He described the fine arts experience as one with Texas roots. He then asked Shaver about the songwriting process. “I started writing when I was just about 8 years old.… I think it’s a blessing or a curse. Seems like it’s different every time,” Shaver said. “Most of my songs were written trying to stay alive, and the rest were written trying to get back in the house.” The 74-year-old Corsicana native showed his quick wit with numerous jokes but was also ready to impart any wisdom he could. “I think songwriting is the cheapest psychiatrist there is, and I believe everybody ought to write,” he said. “I think everybody is capable of writing. I go through it, and just like I was writing someone I really care about a letter—you know, to make every word count and make sure it all means something.” Shaver has endured his fair share of tough times including several divorces, drug addictions and the loss of his son Eddie to a heroin overdose. Humphrey described Shaver’s story as utterly incredible. “I’ve had a few setbacks here and there, a few bumps in the road,” Shaver said. “Some of them been pretty bad.… Don’t really get to feeling sorry for yourself because everybody gets singled out every now and again…. That’s just the way life goes.” Shaver found himself facing another challenge in 2007. A conflict in a Lorena bar eventually ended with Shaver shooting a man in the face with a .22 caliber pistol. In 2010, Shaver was found innocent of aggravated assault charges. The incident was the inspiration for Shaver’s song, “Wacko from Waco,” that he recorded with Willie Nelson. Shaver told the audience in Hughes that he was innocent and had not returned fire until the other man had shot at him three times. Despite having what some might call a rough demeanor, Shaver claims Jesus Christ...

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University celebrates 169th birthday
Feb11

University celebrates 169th birthday

Eight score and nine years ago, our fathers established a college that would lay the foundation for Christian higher education in Texas. On Feb. 6, faculty, staff and students gathered to celebrate the 169th Charter Day of that university. The event began with a ceremony hosted by the Student Foundation organization. President Dr. Randy O’Rear led attendees in a prayer of thanksgiving at the grave of Judge R.E.B. Baylor, one of the school’s pioneers. O’Rear then accompanied senior nursing major and Student Foundation President Amy Kester in laying flowers on the founder’s grave. For senior international business major Daniela Loera, Charter Day is a great opportunity to remember the past. “I think it’s cool to celebrate the birthday of a university that’s been here longer than most,” Loera said. “It’s something to celebrate when you have a university that’s so rich in its heritage.” After the ceremony, campus attendees headed to the SUB for a birthday party hosted by the Campus Activities Board. To kick off the event, CAB assistant director Jeff Sutton led the entire room in singing “Happy Birthday” as freshman nursing major Courtney Craig lit the candles on a special cake. The O’Rears blew out the candles denoting “169” years. Freshman nursing major Ashleigh Jamrok joined CAB her first semester and signed up to help plan the party. This year’s celebrations included a festive photo booth, wish cards for personalized messages and cupcakes frosted in school colors. Jamrok said she could not be happier with how the event turned out. “We went shopping for all the decorations. We came up with the ideas for the photo booth,” she said. She was excited to celebrate and encouraged others to join in the fun. “I even invited professors.” Many faculty and staff members came to honor the anniversary with the president and students. “It’s always important to celebrate the rich history and legacy,” O’Rear said. He acknowledged that the founders of the university were visionary, forward thinkers who sacrificed much to achieve the goal of Christian higher education. The university’s first lady enjoys the significance of Charter Day. “We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for our founding fathers,” Julie O’Rear said. “Their sacrifices that they made so many years ago have enabled us to have such a wonderful university today.” While the history of the school is significant, this year’s celebration included several new milestones for the university. As a member of Student Foundation, Loera is witness to the growth. “I think this birthday is significant because this year in general has been a lot of firsts for UMHB, having a new stadium and upcoming SUB...

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Cupid calls for campus compassion
Feb11

Cupid calls for campus compassion

Freezing weather has taken over campus, but Cupid’s favorite holiday will soon defrost frozen hearts … or further the icy hatred in others. With the arrival of Valentine’s Day right around the corner, guys desperately search for a gift idea they haven’t already used to woo their special someone. Meanwhile, girls must conquer one of the most difficult obstacles in life: What thoughtful gift can you possibly buy a man? Women welcome chocolate, flowers and jewelry year in and year out, but only so much cologne and so many T-shirts can be bought and received with fake surprise. Then, there’s the ever-present struggle of not being in a relationship at all—where buying your fish a pink and red plant for his bowl is the most exciting gift of love you’ll give on the day. Luckily, the university has a variety of ways couples and singles—yes, even lonely people—can give back to others on the day of love. Senior political science/speech double major Loren Cowan serves as president of the Rotaract Club. After hearing a volunteer coordinator for New Century Hospice speak at one of the group’s meetings, Cowan and the other members decided to use the lovey-dovey feelings that come along with Feb. 14th to encourage making cards for hospice patients. “(It) is all about serving people, and we really wanted to focus on that this semester.… we thought it would be a great idea for this project to benefit others that may not have that special someone to share Valentine’s Day with,” Cowan said. The group camped out in the SUB on Monday, selling valentines. For $2, students were able to put smiles on the faces of people they had never met by inking personalized messages on lacey, heart-shaped cards. All proceeds went to New Century Hospice. Because getting shot with an arrow by a winged baby in a diaper sounds completely unappealing, the university’s chapter of the American Marketing Association is giving Crusaders the opportunity to send candy grams to people they love. Or just have mild affection for. Vice president and senior international business major Ryan Sewell said the group wanted to put its own spin on a cheesy high school fundraiser. “It’s not worth a dollar keeping your love hidden,” he said. “Why not use your pocket change to tell someone special how you feel or to send a good friend a nice note?” Though the organization received its charter just last year, Sewell believes things are running smoothly. He hopes the event will raise money to help finance the annual conference in April. “Our booth will have information about our organization as well as...

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New CruFit class takes exercise to water
Feb11

New CruFit class takes exercise to water

This is not your granny’s water aerobics class. On Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 6:30 in the Barbara Chaney Natatorium, located at Mayborn Campus Center, a group of health-minded AquaFit participants take over the pool to get their workout on. The new CruFit class is led by Sue Weaver, director of Campus Recreation. While this isn’t the first time Crusaders have been able to attend underwater group fitness classes, AquaFit is much more intense than the average water aerobics session. She said, “It’s awesome. Every movement is done against the resistance of water. The whole time you’re using core, leg and arm muscles. (It’s a) total body workout.” Throughout the class, participants are all smiles as they respond to Weaver’s enthusiastic instruction. The partakers, armed with yellow and blue noodles, perform various exercises such as tricep dips, core twists and even a trot across the pool. What sets AquaFit apart from other fitness classes offered is that anyone, any age can participate and benefit. “We’ve got people in their 60s and 20s. If you have joint issues, like one of the ladies we had tonight had foot surgery a while ago, you’re still able to get a good workout,” Weaver said. Another advantage to the water class is that the format is social without making participants feel exposed as they might during a fitness class that takes place in front of a mirror. Laura Burris is a freshman computer science major. She has attended all five sessions this semester. Burris participated in a community water aerobics class before trying AquaFit, but she prefers Weaver’s version. Burris enjoys that the class takes place in the afternoon. “There’s more people our age here. I really like it,” she said. Belton elementary reading teacher Laurie Sigafoose attends AquaFit. She likes to swim, so Sigafoose believes this is the perfect class for her to take to get healthy and lose weight. She had foot surgery, so working out at AquaFit allows her to get exercise without putting pressure on her foot. “I used to come for community swim before, but it was just swimming laps. I really like that this program has structure. I’m out of shape, but it was still fun,” she said of the class. If Weaver had to describe her AquaFit class in just once sentence, she says it’s “a great way to burn calories and tone muscle in the...

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