SGA hopes to improve communication this semester
Feb25

SGA hopes to improve communication this semester

THE BELLS — The Student Government Association serves as a link between the student body and the administration. Its purpose is to serve as the voice of the students. This semester, the organization is pushing for change in an effort to improve communication between students and professors. Two bills that SGA is pushing involve the university’s attendance policy and the advising process. Student Body President Collin Davies said the discrepancies with both of these are causing complications for students. “We’ve been looking into the advising process and the attendance as well,” he said.  “We’re attempting to make both of those processes something uniform.” The attendance policy is currently handled individually by each college of study. However, within each college, professors tend to act differently. “Currently, on paper there is an attendance policy, but if your professor doesn’t count attendance, there is no policy in effect,” Davies said. Such inconsistencies have become a problem for nontraditional students who may need to miss class to tend to family matters. “If a student has a sick kid, that’s an unexcused absence,” Davies said. “Maybe they can miss their 8:00, but not their 11:00.” Director of Resources Erin Prica believes the university should have an attendance policy in place, but she also thinks that missing class should be punishment enough. “I believe that we’re college students and we personally have the ability to make our own choices. I do believe that attendance will reflect your grade regardless and there should be an attendance policy, but it shouldn’t hurt you. It should be a reinforcement,” she said. In a similar fashion, SGA is hoping to create uniformity within the advising process. “We’ve noticed through the years that when it comes to advising time each semester, people have mixed emotions about it,” Davies said. “So we were trying to identify why that was the case and why advising for some was super beneficial and for others was a minimal event that happens every semester.” One of the biggest issues is how professors communicate with students. “With some professors you sign up online, some professors you email and some have a paper outside their door,” he said. “We’re trying to make a system for if I was asked how advising works, I could confidently tell you.” Freshman class president Nick Brusacoram said he had a negative experience with advising when he arrived on campus. “I was a freshman coming in this year and I was put in a class that I did not want to be in, just because they said this is where you need to be,” Brusacoram said. “That class didn’t really fit for...

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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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Sport Spotlight: Taylor and Tori Tucker
Feb11

Sport Spotlight: Taylor and Tori Tucker

Taylor and Tori Tucker are sisters and compete together on the Lady Crusader basketball team. Taylor is a junior and Tori is a sophomore, and both are exercise sport science majors. They went to many different schools growing up across Texas, attending Bryan Rudder and Oakwood, but graduated from A&M Consolidated High School in College Station. This season, the Lady Cru are 14-7 overall and 14-4 in conference play and currently are tied for second place with the University of Texas-Dallas in the American Southwest Conference. The Tuckers picked UMHB because of the opportunity to keep playing basketball with each other. “We chose to play together and also like the atmosphere and how family orientated everyone is,” Tori said. Outside of all the time spent on basketball, both sisters agreed that they enjoy sleeping, hanging out with teammates and play videogames. “I love playing, I love the atmosphere, and I love the audience. I also love playing with my teammates and just basketball pretty much takes away any problems you might have at the time, it’s a whole new thing when you step on the floor,” Taylor said. The sisters’ favorite memory was last season on the road against Concordia University. “We went into double overtime, so we had a lot of time on the court to play together, and we all fought really hard to win that game,” Tori said. In the game, Taylor and Tori combined for 38 total points and memories that will last forever. The sisters spend a lot of time with each other off the court as they also live together. “It can be challenging at times, but she’s not only my sister and my roommate, she is my best friend, so it makes things a lot easier,” Taylor said. After college, both have set their plans on what they hope to do. “I want to play overseas, and then after that I want to be a strength and conditioning coach and work with kids and train them,” Taylor said. Tori wants to stay near the Belton area. “I plan on attending PT school and be a PTA or physical therapist around the area,” she said. Though Taylor has only one more year left of basketball, the Tucker sisters want to enjoy it all while it lasts. “Taylor has one more year, and I’m just trying to get back out there ASAP with her. God has blessed us both with talent, and to be able to use it together on the same court is amazing,” Tori said. “Taylor pushes me to be a better player myself. I don’t compare myself to her, but we...

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Grammys bring gamut of emotions
Feb11

Grammys bring gamut of emotions

The 2014 Grammy Awards ceremony was definitely one for the books… Maybe even the same book that the AMA’s fell into. While Miley Cyrus wasn’t able to make it to the actual event (though she was spotted at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy gala), the planning committee seemed to prove that they didn’t really need her to make a statement. In fact, they seemed to do  a jaw-dropping job with the artists who did perform. We could start with the fact that Daft Punk won four Grammys – because we apparently time traveled back to the ‘90s – but that isn’t even the worst of it. Not even Lorde was the worst of the night after she got on stage to perform an interesting version of “Royals,” which won Song of the Year. It might have been the most awkward performance of the night. She needs to work on what she does with her arms next time she goes to such a big event. The Robot was out years ago. Theguardian.com actually described her as “angular.” Speaking of Lorde, what exactly was her BFF Taylor Swift doing for her performance of “All Too Well”? Last time I checked, pianos and head-banging didn’t exactly go together. And T-Swift killed it… not in a good way. Cringe-worthy moments. But not as cringe-worthy as Beyonce and Jay-Z’s performance to “Drunk In Love.” I think they realized they were both starting to become irrelevant and decided to do something to fix that. Maybe Beyonce got lessons from Miley, or maybe she is just trying to make up for the fact that her surprise, self-titled album release back in December wasn’t as surprising as she hoped it would be. But then, we never know the exact reasons for celebrities’ desperate attempts. Do you wanna play with magic? Katy Perry apparently does. Dressed in a witch outfit, she performed “Dark Horse.” This was one of the better and  more humorous numbers, complete with smoke and brooms used for dancing. One of the greater controversies of the show was that Queen Latifah wedded about 34 couples toward the end of the show. With Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Madonna and Mary Lambert singing “Same Love,” the couples of different ages and races, some gay and straight, were married at the Grammys. Of course they were married off-stage, so it wasn’t a big show for them, but it still caused quite a scene on social media. Viewers who had heard the news before the awards show were outraged that they would be doing such a thing. Once it was done, people couldn’t believe that they had gone through with it....

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Campus Police to install new safety equipment
Feb11

Campus Police to install new safety equipment

You’re running down Crusader Way at 10 p.m. feeling pretty safe, because of the newly installed lights.  As you come to the end of your first mile, you see a shadowy figure reach out to grab you from the train tracks. What do you do? You could attempt to fight and run away, but where do you run? Before this happens, there are some preventative measures every student can take to be proactive in personal safety. The university is taking new steps to help protect students against campus crime. “If you do run by yourself, which we don’t suggest, carry your cell phone,” Chief of Police Gary Sargent said. “If you don’t take a cell phone, stop an officer on patrol or use one of the ten emergency call boxes.” Sargent said it’s also important to make yourself visible to others. “Definitely wear bright colored clothes so you stand out when you’re running in hours of darkness. Choose your paths, and stay in the lighted areas of campus with sidewalks rather than running on the streets,” he said. The university will bring a variety of new safety equipment to campus in the near future. “Our push right now is to install the interiors of campus with cameras that we can monitor,” Sargent said. “As we approach the end of the semester, we will probably have 128 cameras online.” The university has taken many steps to protect students from all matters of danger. Some of these measures include having police available 24 hours, and the installation of light poles around campus. Currently, the school is seeking to install card scanners on every building across campus. This is being done to help prevent individuals from gaining access to buildings in which they shouldn’t be. “We exist to reduce opportunities for crimes to occur on campus. We do that a lot of different ways — utilizing the technology and personal resources available to us,” Sargent said. “Our goal… is to put a card scanner on every building on campus. We are currently in the process of putting a card scanner on the Meyer Christian Studies Center. That installation is going to probably cost $20,000 or more.” Even with the presence of campus police, crime on campus still continues to occur. “The police have done a really great job at making our campus safe,” freshman music education major Stephen Price said. “From personal experience, I have had my Xbox stolen, and the campus police responded immediately. They helped me file a report and investigated the problem.” With the university continually growing, campus police face new challenges to meet the demand for public safety....

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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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