Cru Knights: a Gatsby-approved party
Feb25

Cru Knights: a Gatsby-approved party

Lights. Camera. Cru Knights. The legendary man pageant is one of the highlights of the spring semester. Each year, male students from across campus come together to represent an organization or group. They dance, make videos, strut and compete to win the title of Mr. Crusader Knights. This year, 23 men hit the stage under the direction of junior computer graphics design major Lauren Theodore. The goal was to put on a show that would transport audiences back in time and showcase the hard work each contestant put into the performance. For this year’s theme, the directors selected Roaring Twenties. Each advertisement and decoration featured Art Deco elements, and all the glittering gold and extravagance resembled a party Jay Gatsby himself would be proud to host. The set, designed by junior exercise sport science major Shannon McGorty, wowed audiences and cast members alike. Sophomore public relations major Katie Valenzuela helped run social media on the promotions team. She was excited to find ways to make the theme come to life for the audience. “We were like ‘Hey, come dressed in your best Roaring Twenties Great Gatsby outfit,’” Valenzuela said. “We (wanted) to transport these people into a different place and really create an awesome show for them, so for the audience to be able to be part of the production is something really neat.” Juniors Braxton Tucker and Taylor O’Rear emceed the event, transitioning between dances and videos with 20s-styled jokes and one-liners. “Please silence all cell phones because they don’t even exist yet,” Tucker quipped on opening night. The competition began Friday with parody videos submitted by each contestant. Their assignment was to spoof a viral YouTube or music video. New spins were put on old favorites ranging from “Charlie Bit Me” to the Sonic commercials with those two guys in a car, and a few music videos in between. After each cluster of parodies, one set of men would perform their group dance on stage. The contestants ended the night with a large group dance. Saturday evening was filled with struts, interviews and plenty of dancing. Former Mr. Cru Knights and alumnus Tanner Clarke was featured in a number before crowning this year’s champion later in the evening. “I’m really blessed to do this from a different perspective. Getting to pour into these guys every single day, doing devotionals at practices, really helped me to be part of their lives even though I wasn’t a student anymore,” Clarke said. “Giving away at this point is a blessing for me because I get to pass on what I had as a student to somebody else.” After an interview...

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A Letter from Student Body President Collin Davies
Jan29

A Letter from Student Body President Collin Davies

 Spring. New Year. Second semester. Welcome back to Mary Hardin-Baylor, or if this is your first semester, a special welcome to you as you begin your journey here. I am currently privileged to lead you and your fellow classmates as the student body president. This honor prompts me to think about students and this university now more than any other period of my education. For this I am grateful. There are many reasons to be excited about being a student here, and I would like to urge you to continue to make Mary Hardin-Baylor an exciting and transformative experience for future students. How should we make the most of our college experience? We quote scripture in times of excitement or deep sadness and claim the words as life, but how true the words of scripture are in all seasons. Primarily, prioritize a relationship with the creator and author of all things. May your identity be in Jesus Christ and your confidence in him. This will prepare you for success in college and beyond. You should also identify and pursue that which interests you most. There are many venues on campus that will develop you as an individual into a better-equipped learner and doer. Do not forget about the community. For many of us, the setting of UMHB was a point of examination prior to school selection. Be sure to explore all opportunities whether on or off campus, and begin to pursue your goals. Finally, invest in relationships. There will be very few settings quite like college for the remainder of your life. Use free time and the availability of others wisely. Continue to build old relationships and also begin new friendships. Learn to pour into relationships, but also learn from relationships. Unsurprisingly, as student body president, I am constantly being challenged and sharpened by individuals with more experience and knowledge than myself. For the university in particular, there are many reasons for my contentment. I am grateful for the present diversity. I am thankful for the relationships that shape and support character. I am excited for the new and eager for the future. I am indebted to the examples of leadership modeled on this campus by administrators, professors and staff members. Thank you for believing that I could lead the student body well and supporting me as an individual and the Student Government Association. Know that you are thought of highly, prayed for often and of interest to this university. ———————————————————————————- Davies offers encouragement to students with this verse: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so...

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Dream wedding for one Crusader
Nov20

Dream wedding for one Crusader

The Waco Convention Center boomed with bright and buoyant brides from all over central Texas, their fingers crossed, anxiously waiting for their name to roar through the microphone saying they had won the prize. It was the Central Texas Engagement’s $40,000 Dream Wedding Giveaway at the Oct. 27 Event for the Elegant Bride. It was a mere chance, a simple luck of the draw, a few cards out of the hundreds that rolled in the raffle cage; despite the odds, UMHB senior Christian studies major Mary Parrish walked away with a dream come true that she did not anticipate. “There was a very small glimmer of hope,” Parrish said. “It was more like, ‘Wow this would be so awesome if it happened, but it probably won’t.’” The closing act of the bridal show left moms, brides and a few fiances on the edge of their seats while they sat creating a feet-stomping drum roll that excited the crowd. Parrish and her fiance, Herman Iles, a psychology major at Baylor University, sat near the emcee as hosts drew the first name, but it was not hers. “We drew the first winner, (but) she declined the prize although she was aware of the rules,” Central Texas Engagements publisher Michele Berger said. Name number one was a bride from Dallas who wasn’t ready to let go of her own venue and pre-planned details, leaving the hosts no choice but to select another card. Brides who chose to participate in the drawing were given a few simple stipulations, which included the date, location of the reception and the bride’s presence during the sweepstakes. “All of the brides had to agree to get married on July 25, 2014,” Berger said. “Eligible winners (also) had to be present in order to win the drawing.” Following the first pick, much of the crowd had dispersed as the frantic winner tried to make a decision, and Parrish, her mom and Iles made their way out the door. Lucky for them, a florist stopped the couple to give away samples. “We were looking at the bouquets when they made the announcement saying ‘don’t leave yet,’” Parrish said. “I’ve never ran so fast in a pair of heels in my life. I just wanted to get back up there.” Although the couple each thought they would stay a little longer to listen to the second call, Parrish was one step ahead. “I was going to turn to ask her, ‘Hey do you think we should go back up there?’ and before I (began) she was already halfway up there.” Iles said. “Well I guess we are going back.” Parrish...

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Christmas controversy leads to winter wordplay

Don we now our fun apparel… wait, what?  Jack Frost may not be nipping noses yet, but the holiday spirit is now in full swing. Besides, the National Football League marketing for Thanksgiving is practically nonexistent, which leaves Christmas the object of every other commercial or magazine ad people lay eyes on during this season. Given the religious nature and origin of every child’s favorite celebration, controversy is always sure to present itself once people start singing carols and drinking hot chocolate. This year is no different, thanks to a Hallmark Christmas tree ornament that is causing many faces to turn candy cane red in outrage. The decoration is a miniature tacky sweater that has altered lyrics to “Deck the Halls” on the front. The words read, “Don we now our fun apparel,” while the original reading is, “Don we now our gay apparel.” This caused a huge social media backlash from both gays and straights. Some of the complaints said that Hallmark was implying that gays dressed differently and that it was wrong to be gay. This is a classic case of “d—– if you do, d—– if you don’t.” To younger generations, the word gay is immediately related to homosexuality, which could lead to confusion as to the intent of the ornament. This misunderstanding would, without a doubt, lead to less business from tradition–friendly families and younger generation heterosexuals. However, when Hallmark felt compelled to diverge from use of the word “gay,” the homosexual community became furious with the greeting card company. After all, there is no crime more distasteful than discrimination. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Hallmark can only expect coal for Christmas after this costly mistake. Add “gay” to the list of controversial words on everyone’s lips during the holiday season. Other tension points that show themselves to the Christian community year after year include Merry X-mas, Happy Holidays, Santa Claus and the origin of the Christmas tree. The holiday is Christmas, nothing else. Santa Claus is not real, and the history of the Christmas tree is unknown. Let’s put everything into a Christian university perspective. Christmas is a holiday intended to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ sent as a gift from God to save people from their sins. That should be the true nature of Christmas–not controversy, presents, trees or Rudolf. Is Christmas a celebration for Christians only? Obviously, the holiday is observed far beyond the reaches of a certain religion. Christians should not get caught up in angry debates and controversy, but should focus on sharing the gospel during this season. When Dec. 25 finally rolls around, people should...

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Meaning transcends tradition
Nov20

Meaning transcends tradition

The approaching holiday season provokes thoughts on how and why people celebrate Tradition. It’s a word commonly associated with the holidays. With Thanksgiving and the Christmas season upon us, families will be going through the motions of rituals they perform every year, sometimes not giving much thought to why they do them. Sophomore education major Savannah Davis said the holidays are a time of reconnecting. “When I think of tradition,” she said, “I think of family and friends. Safe. Comfortable. Fun to do every year.”   Sometimes the motivation of a custom can change with time. Davis gave an example of when this is true. “At Christmas when we were younger, we would always put out cookies for Santa. But now we still put out cookies for him even though we no longer believe Santa’s real. The meaning is different for us now, but we still do it because it’s tradition.” There is one particular custom that Davis enjoys. “The day after Thanksgiving, we set up our Christmas tree. We’ve had the same one since I was 4. We have decorations we’ve collected over the years. I want to keep some of them and hope to do the same thing with my kids.” Passing customs down through the family is something that sophomore art education major Alana Filban connects very closely with the definition of tradition. She said, “I see it as something that happens every year with family and is carried on through the generations– something that’s comfortable and planned.” Like Davis, she, too, has a favorite holiday ritual. “Christmas Eve, we open one gift. Christmas morningwhen we get up, I love looking at the Christmas tree and drinking hot chocolate. I like it because I don’t get to see my family that often,” she said. Filban places an emphasis on reconnecting with relatives. She’s been making plans for how she will draw the ones she loves nearer during future holiday seasons. “I want to bring my family closer together. I would make every child in my family feel loved and special,” she said. Filban makes an effort not to forget why she celebrates certain holidays. “I remind myself that Thanksgiving is a day to think about how thankful you are. Christmas, for me, is about connecting with family. Every year, I’m reminded of Jesus. It’s a big celebration time to remember him and what he’s done for me. It’s a reminder that he’s alive.” Junior graphic design major Brittany Davis, Savannah’s older sister, is concerned about a societal holiday tradition she sees as harmful to the true meaning of what this time of year is supposed to symbolize....

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Deck the halls with boughs of duck calls
Nov20

Deck the halls with boughs of duck calls

The Robertson family from the hit show Duck Dynasty is at it again. They showed the world that their talents don’t end with making duck calls and hilarious television. On Oct. 29 they released their first Christmas album, Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas. Listen to one song, and you will quickly see that the humor in the show has transitioned into fun Christmas carols. The album has 14 songs, with some of the more popular  being “Ragin’ Cajun Redneck Christmas,” “Hairy Christmas” and “Duck the Halls.” Every song on the track has its own personality. For instance, in the song “Christmas Cookies,” Phil Robertson talks about Miss Kay’s Christmas cookies, which will surely bring some laughter. You might think that the songs would be poorly done, but in reality the Robertson family can sing. Not only do they do a fantastic job themselves, but they brought in some of the most notable and sought-after voices in the country music industry to accompany them in this album. Luke Bryan, Josh Turner, Alison Krauss and last, but not least, the king of country music himself, George Strait, make an appearance. The songs are a mixture of traditional Christmas hymns with a southern twist, to the Robertsons’ very own construction of Christmas carols.  As many know, they are a religious family and not afraid to confess their love for Christ. This is evident throughout the album. It is currently #1 on the Top Country Albums chart. This should be encouraging—that people who may never listen to Christmas music are getting a true feel of the season The album ends with Phil Robertson saying a prayer that  emphasizes what  Christmas  is all about. Yes, some of the songs are a bit goofy, but a number of songs on the track clearly point out the reason for the season. There is a song for everyone on this album. It mixes country music and Christmas carols perfectly with relevant and meaningful lyrics. I am usually not a fan of Christmas music, but this album is different. “Camouflage and Christmas Lights” stood out to me because it paints a picture of the Christmas season that only people from a small, southern town can appreciate. As well done as these songs are, they could stick around for some time and maybe even become Christmas carols your kids will be listening to. Really, how do you make a better Christmas album than one that has Si Robertson and George Strait in the same song? If you don’t want to buy the whole album, which I strongly encourage, make sure you at least check out some of their...

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