Students earn class credit, life experience in trip to Europe
Apr02

Students earn class credit, life experience in trip to Europe

THE BELLS — Pure adrenaline is the only way to explain the overwhelming excitement felt as the surging engines of a Boeing airplane lift the monstrous machine off the ground and into the air, sending a group of 16 Crusaders on their way to Europe. It isn’t every day that students get the opportunity to study abroad in Belgium and Germany, but 14 students had their chance to go overseas during spring break. Those who went on the trip were enrolled in either international economics or international finance. Senior international business major Daniela Loera is no greenhorn when it comes to traveling. She’s been on three trips with the McLane College of Business. “Study abroad is a chance to not only learn about stuff from professors but see it happen and play right out in front of you,” she said. “It’s important for Americans to understand other cultures instead of staying in their own little bubble.” The group of students, led by international business professor Dr. Michelle Reina and economics professor Danny Taylor, hit the ground running after a seven-hour flight from Chicago to Brussels, Belgium, where much of the European Union work occurs. The group spent three days in Belgium. They visited the Parlamentarium, where they learned about the European Union’s parliament. They also met with senior trade adviser Ira Bel and economic officer Marco Sotelino at the U.S. Embassy Annex. These men explained the economic state of Belgium and how Belgians do business much differently from Americans. Sophomore finance major James Ewing had gone on a trip to Europe before but never to study abroad. Before college, Ewing visited Italy, but he found Belgium and Germany to be quite different. “It really showed me that just because you’ve gone out of the country once, you’re not even near to seeing the whole world yet,” he said. “Every single place is totally different. The way of life is different, and to really understand that, you have to go experience it for yourself.” After their time in Belgium, the students traveled by train to Frankfurt, Germany, a large European banking center and home to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. At the stock exchange, they had a VIP tour and learned about how differently Americans and Europeans look at the stock market. The group also visited the Deutsche Bank headquarters where they listened to a presentation about the international vision of the German bank. Their last banking visit was to the German Central Bank. The students heard a lecture on European economics and the European banking system and then explored the Money Museum at the German Central Bank. With the Transatlantic...

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New student body president has high expectations
Apr02

New student body president has high expectations

THE BELLS –By Wesley Ashton Results are in for university student body president,  and next year’s SBP is sophomore engineering science major Christian Harper. Voting took place March 3-6 after a long road of advertising, debating and reaching out to the students of the university. The campaign started with the student government presidential debate Feb. 27 when all four candidates talked about their different platforms. “My previous affiliations with SGA include serving as both the freshmen class president and vice president,” Harper said. “I plan to address several issues, including campus dining, the housing process, creating more parking, making textbooks tax free and improving the chapel experience for everybody. Something else that is very dear to my heart is the bridging of the social gap between students and student athletes on this campus.” Harper ran against junior psychology major Alex Aleman, junior international business major Jonathan Kendall and junior economics and marketing major Ryan Sewell. Candidates chalked the side-walks, posted on dorm doors and loaded tables with advertisements in hopes of representing the university’s student body. Ultimately on March 6,  the email went out that Harper had won. “As student body president, I look forward to serving my fellow students as liaison between the student body and administration,” Harper said. “I endeavor to improve each student’s educational, social and spiritual experience here at UMHB.” Harper is a football player at the university and uses that as a platform to get to know others. He wasn’t involved in SGA last year but hasn’t allowed that to stop him from staying up to date on current issues facing students. “I didn’t think people really had issues with so many things,” Harper said. “Then I started asking what we could do better. I really found through SGA I could make a difference. Freshman year, I really got a feel for what I wanted to do here at UMHB. We need to go to the people to build community on the campus.” Besides getting football players more involved on campus and reaching out  to them, Harper wants to try to make the chapel experience more appealing to students at the university through the addition of a band. Students came out in support during voting week for the vision Harper has for the campus—the year to come will make his dreams of change that much closer. “I like his idea of bringing a band into chapel and looking at the past bills that weren’t passed and seeing why they didn’t,” freshman cell biology and chemistry major Kristan Gomez said.  “I hope that the other candidates who didn’t win will help Christian become a good...

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Annual event provides play through houses
Apr02

Annual event provides play through houses

THE BELLS — By Josh Bradshaw Reaching Out, a large service project that happens once a semester on campus, provided students with many of different opportunities to give back to the community recently. One opportunity was to take playhouses to military families living in the surrounding area. Students from different groups and organizations had been building the playhouses under the sponsorship of The Campus Activities Board. Sophomore exercise sports science major Alexa Billington had been looking forward to this opportunity for over a year. “My friends got to help take the playhouses to different families last year, and I missed out. I was super jealous because they got to actually spend time with the kids and play with them in their new house.” Elizabeth McNutt, a sophomore exercise science major, and Courtney Craig, a freshman nursing major, both work for the CAB and were able to see the service project through to the end. “It has been really fun spending my week helping to build the different playhouses, knowing that I would get to deliver them to a family at the end of the week,” McNutt said. She describes the special connection she has with the military families as her dad has served with the Army since before she was born. “My heart goes out to the different recipients as I know some of what they have gone through. It can be tough when one of your parents has to go to fight in a different country, and I’m glad that I have this opportunity to help give back to families like mine.” McNutt, Craig and Billington were in the same group and were sent to a family at Fort Hood. The mother and four boys “were so excited to see us,” Craig said. “They were running up and down the street and couldn’t contain the joy that was inside of them as we pulled up with their new house in the bed of our truck. I didn’t realize the significance of what we were doing until we saw the children’s faces.“ Once playhouse was lifted off the truck, the group planned out their strategy regarding how they would raise it over the backyard fence. All the while, the four boys, ranging from 2 to 7, could not hide their joy. “It was tricky trying to get the house into the backyard because the kids were so excited,” Billington said. “It really made us realize that such a small gesture could make such a difference.“ Billington’s group made the most of the opportunity. Armed with paint and paintbrushes, provided by CAB, the students helped the boys paint their new...

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Sport Spotlight: Thomas Orr
Feb25

Sport Spotlight: Thomas Orr

THE BELLS — Thomas Orr is a senior sport management major from Hutto, Texas, where he attended Hutto High School. Before joining the Cru, Orr attended Panola College in Texas and State Fair Community College in Missouri. He played two seasons for the Cru and helped lead his team to the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championship Game last season. He now serves as the student assistant basketball coach. Orr chose UMHB “for multiple reasons—basketball, the winning tradition is excellent here, it is also close to home so my parents can watch me play, and I just like the feel of the community walking around campus and the surrounding support that they have,” he said. He talks about the change of roles. “The transition was kind of hard, especially losing in the National Championship game. I kind of feel like I still have a little bit left to prove, but my time is up. It’s hard to say. Playing to now coaching… you are right there in a game. It’s like you’re injured and just waiting to get back on the court. But I have enjoyed the transition, and it feels good,” Orr said. Throughout his basketball career, he has collected many favorite memories. “My first one would be my senior year of high school when I scored a career high 41 points in a playoff game. My second one would be in the conference tournament against Hardin-Simmons where I scored 38 points, my career high at the college level. And then the national championship dunk of course,” he said. After college, Thomas hasn’t made a final decision on what he wants to do. But basketball will surely be involved. He said, “My dream job is to become a head basketball coach somewhere. I don’t know where. People always say they want to go to Duke or something like that, but I could go coach anywhere. As long as I am the head coach, I will be...

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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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Paranoia puts McLane residents on their toes
Feb25

Paranoia puts McLane residents on their toes

THE BELLS — McLane dormitory was a war zone this February as its signature game, the annual Paranoia competition, was in full swing. The game is a favorite among McLane residents, said junior finance/accounting major Cody Lee, who is an RA in the dorm and is in his third year playing Paranoia. “Paranoia is awesome,” Lee said, “It’s one of the more fun things to do at McLane and one of the best opportunities that is offered anywhere at UMHB.” The game turns highlighters into weapons as those who play the game attempt to mark the skin of their “target” at any location on campus except for classrooms and Hardy Hall. No marking on the face is allowed, but everything else is fair game; strategizing, cutting people off at entrances and exits, tackling, almost anything goes when someone is trying to take out a target. A unique aspect of the game is its nature of confidentiality. When residents sign up to play, they put their name down quietly and individually so other residents are in the dark about their participation. When the game begins, each player receives a “target”—the name of the person they have to mark. If they mark that target, the target then hands them the name they were going after, and the game continues this way until only one is left standing. Although competitors know whom they are going after, they don’t know who’s after them, creating the feeling of paranoia. “It literally makes you paranoid, which can be fun sometimes,” said Ross Phipps, a sophomore criminal justice major. He has a word of advice for those who play in the future: “If it seems like someone’s after you, they probably are.” The inspiration to play the game can come from different purposes, but one common goal rises above the others as a primary motivator: victory. “I wanted to win… I wanted to rub it in everybody’s faces,” said Kyle Woods, a freshman criminal justice major. “I didn’t last too long, though. I got out, like the second day.” Stories like Woods’ are common, as few residents make it past two weeks. However, some survive for several more weeks, which means the game could last for months. Senior Christian Ministries major Jesse Malina won this year’s competition officially ending the Paranoia. There can only be one competitor left standing but even participants who did not win are quick to talk about how much fun the game was. As Phipps said, whether or not you win, the paranoia – and accompanying adrenaline – are worth it. He tells those who are curious about the experience, “If you...

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