Hurricane Harvey: UMHB students share their thoughts about life after the storm

It has been a little over a year since devastation wreaked havoc in the Houston area. What started as a small tropical storm quickly became a category four hurricane, causing a large loss of life and property. On August 17, 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit on the eastern coast of Texas. According to the Houston Public Media from the University of Houston, the hurricane caused at least 72 fatalities. The rise in water was measured at 12.5 feet at the Aransas Wildlife Refuge. According to worldvison.org, 135,000 houses were affected by Hurricane Harvey as many people lost their homes and everything they owned. Harvey also became the second most expensive hurricane in the United States since 1900 (worldvision.org). Fox news estimates an average of 154 billion in damages across the state of Texas as a result of the storm. Sarah Harvey, who just happens to have the same last name as the name of the storm, is a senior marketing major at UMHB, whose hometown, Port Neches, was heavily affected. “The night Hurricane Harvey hit, it was controlled chaos,” Sarah said. “Everyone who had a boat was out in the floodwaters rescuing people from their homes that had filled with water. My family made it up to our church, where my mom was on staff at the time. The gym at the church hadn’t flooded, so it became a shelter in the area. The rains didn’t stop and the flooding continued all through the night. For days after that, the water didn’t go down. I felt so helpless because I was here in Belton.” In response to the disaster and all the people in need, various communities came together to help one another. Brianna Flanter, a freshman biology and pre-dental major, witnessed her neighborhood and the surrounding cities outside of Houston band together to create a bit of light in this dark time. “I actually live about 30 minutes outside of Houston so everything around us got flooded,” Flanter said. “All my neighbors, friends, and family got water in their houses. However, even in literal high water, everyone stayed extremely positive. Rescue boats from people in our town, other towns, and even other states came to help us out.” “When the flooding dried out, people immediately started helping people demo their homes and donating at shelters. Most of the shelters in Houston actually couldn’t even accept more food. Houston really came together and it made me really emotional.” Both Flanter and Sarah Harvey became involved in the helping process, assisting in various ways. “My high school was working really hard to put on a musical that was supposed to open...

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Taking a look back: 17 years since 9/11
Sep12

Taking a look back: 17 years since 9/11

On September 11, 2001, America was attacked by 19 men who had been trained by Al Qaeda. The men hijacked four passenger planes and at approximately 8:45 a.m. an American Airlines Boeing 767 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. 18 minutes later, people watched United Airlines Flight 175 crash into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. At approximately 9:45 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the west side of the Pentagon. United Flight 93 was also hijacked and crashed into a field in western Pennsylvania at 10:10 a.m. (BBC and CNN). During the attack at the World Trade Center, 2,763 people, including 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers were killed. At the Pentagon, 189 people, including 74 people aboard American Airlines Flight 77 were killed. All 44 people aboard United Flight 93 were killed. A total of 2,996 people lost their lives during these terrorist attacks, making it the deadliest terrorist attack in American history (BBC, CNN). The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed from the heat and explosion caused by the plane, just 15 minutes after both Boeing planes crashed into the Twin Towers. At 10:30 a.m., the North Tower collapsed. Approximately 10,000 people were treated for injuries after the towers collapsed, and only six people who were in the towers when they collapsed survived (History.com). The jet fuel from the Boeing aircraft that crashed into the Pentagon started a fire which led to a structural collapse of that building as well. None of the members aboard American Airlines Flight 77 survived (History.com). Passengers aboard United Flight 93 discovered that the flight was being hijacked and took action. It is believed that the passengers and flight attendants were able to overwhelm the terrorists with a fire extinguisher, causing a loss of control of the aircraft. The plane plummeted at approximately 500 miles per hour and crashed in a field in western Pennsylvania. None of the members of Flight 93 survived (History.com). Americans have worked to preserve the history of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. Museums and memorials have been opened across the nation to remind the American people of the tragedy of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the brave people who gave their lives to protect others. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum, located in New York City is dedicated to preserving the lives lost during the Attacks. UMHB freshman social work major Natalie Gonzalez Blanco visited the museum in 2017. “The original flag that was flown by the towers was on display at the memorial,” Blanco said. “They...

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First Generation dinner: Making transitions and learning traditions
Sep12

First Generation dinner: Making transitions and learning traditions

To welcome the 370 first-generation freshmen who became Crusaders this year, The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s President Randy O’Rear hosted the third annual First to Go Welcome Dinner on his front lawn on campus Thursday, Aug. 30. The recently established annual dinner is held for first-generation freshmen to help them get in touch with other students, faculty and even President O’Rear himself. Students had the chance to eat Cru dogs for the first time, take pictures in a photo booth and participate in a raffle for UMHB themed prizes. UMHB defines the term ‘first-generation’ as a student where neither parents received a bachelor’s degree or higher. Katie Gregory is the head of the First to Go (F2G) program and a Student Success Specialist in the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE). She personally contacts each student before the school year starts and answers their questions. “There have always been first-generation students attending UMHB, but [this is the third year the program has been active].“As each year passes, we enhance the program to be more impactful and beneficial for students,” Gregory said. Statistics show that three out of five first-generation college students do not complete a degree in six years, and 60 percent of the first-generation students who drop out of college do so during their first year. These are two statistics UMHB is trying to change. By providing recourses and answering questions, the F2G program is helping first-generation students realize that they are not alone and have many people who want them to succeed in life beyond UMHB. “Originally, I felt we had such a large number of first-generation students and I felt that the university could do more for that group of students and encourage them. The national statistics communicate that it is hard to be successful as a first-generation student,” President Randy O’Rear said. He started hosting the dinner to show first-generation students that UMHB cares about their well-being and achievements. He wanted to show the incoming freshmen that they are not alone in this and help is all around them. “They came to Mary Hardin-Baylor because they want to obtain a college degree and we are here to help them reach that goal,” O’Rear said. Many students have some sort of idea about what college will be like or they can ask their parent about their college years. But first-generation students don’t really know what to expect because they are the first in their family to experience college. Freshman social work major Mary Herschberger says that a big challenge for her is breaking the cycle of not attending a college. And she feels the pressure to succeed...

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Summer break brings changes to campus

Over the summer, UMHB made some notable changes to different areas of campus, the most recognizable being the renovation of the Living Flame and the gas lines that power it. When the flame was renovated, the campus decided to relocate three plaques surrounding the flame to different areas of the school. Junior Christian studies major Ashley Boutte said that she noticed the renovations to the flame when she returned to campus. “As a junior, I had the honor of being a part of the first class to go to the newly renovated flame during welcome week. I think it looks more professional this way.” Other changes that occurred over the summer include moving the senior bell from the quad to the Musick Alumni Center and Museum, as well as the renovation of Presser Hall’s first and second floors. Tyler Baker, a senior political science and speech communication double major and UMHB Student Body President, said he was pleased with the changes. “I think it was a good idea. I was pleased that it is now all concrete around the flame and I think it represents UMHB well,” Baker said. “Moving the senior bell to the alumni museum makes more sense because that is where we will all end up. It is a way to connect seniors with the alumni community.” Dr. Steve Theodore is the Senior Vice President for Administration and Chief Operating Officer of UMHB, and he oversaw all of these projects. “We did everything with the students’ interests in mind,” he said. Dr. Theodore says that there are a few more projects in the works. One that is already in action is the expansion and rebuilding of the parking lot in front of Davidson Hall. The new parking lot should be finished by mid-September. The school also plans to complete an addition to Hardy Hall by next fall. Then, the Mabee Market on the first floor of the Mabee Student Success Center will be moved into Hardy Hall along with a new Moe’s Grill. The previous location of the Mabee Market will then be converted into an Einstein Bros. bagels, providing another dining...

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Cru football prepares for the upcoming season
Aug29

Cru football prepares for the upcoming season

The first football game of the season is quickly approaching, and the Crusaders will face the Lions of Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania for their first game on Saturday, Sep. 8, 2018. Fans are expecting another stellar season from the Crusader football team this year, mainly due to the fact that the team has gone undefeated in their regular season games for the past two seasons, and they have made it to the NCAA Division III Stagg Bowl in Salem, Virginia for the past two years. In 2016, the Cru went undefeated all season and defeated the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh 10-7 in the championship, winning the national title. In 2017, the Cru had another undefeated season, which brought them back to the Stagg Bowl. Unfortunately, they did not find similar success as they did the previous year, and they lost 12-0 to the University of Mount Union. There were twelve seniors on last year’s roster, and their presence and skill on the field will be missed by the team this season. Among these graduates is defensive tackle Haston Adams, who has reached a rare achievement by signing an NFL contract with the Arizona Cardinals. Last year, Adams recorded 4.5 sacks, 20.5 tackles for loss, three pass deflections and one forced fumble. These statistics earned him the title of American Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He played a pivotal role in last year’s defense, and his loss will be greatly felt by the Crusaders. However, the loss of Adams and the other seniors will not keep the team from success, as there are several key players that already stand out this season for their talent and abilities. One standout player to watch this season is senior wide receiver TJ Josey of Angleton, Texas. Last year, Josey had 930 receiving yards on 41 receptions, eight receiving touchdowns and an average of 62 yards per game. “He is a gifted athlete, very talented. He has the potential to break every receiving record UMHB has if he matches his stats from last year”, said Wallin. With the promising talent and great teamwork of the players, the future looks bright for the Cru, and the team is feeling confident about the possibilities for this upcoming season. Senior offensive lineman Eric Blair said, “We have each other’s back no matter what. We will prepare for each week the same way that we always have.” Wallin also had a positive forecast this team’s season. “Expectations are high, not only outside but inside the program as well. We have had two championship appearances two years in a row now. I would say the expectation for...

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Welcome, Class of 2022

Welcome Week at The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is a five-day, fun-filled program that includes sessions about spirit and traditions, inflatables, food trucks, and events that help new students get to know their peers and understand the significance of becoming a Crusader for life. This campus-wide event, established in 1940, continues to evolve every year, and this year, the largest incoming class in UMHB history took part. Freshmen business major Jared Poe said, “Welcome Week was amazing. I connected with my Cru group a lot.” “The dubbing with my Cru group” is what Poe said was his favorite part. “We were so excited to be Crusaders for life.” In 1940, Welcome Week was a nine-day event that consisted of “Teas, dinners and lecture courses” according to a document of the “Freshman Schedule” in the Musick Alumni Museum Library. By 1979, Welcome Week had come to look like the fun-filled event that today’s students are familiar with. However, it was called “New Student Orientation” and consisted of a week-long program that included free movies, sporting events, placement testing, barbeques and swim parties. In the 1980s, the name was changed back to Welcome Week and has maintained the title to this day. One person who truly understands the rich history of Welcome Week and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor itself is Ms. Betty Sue Beebe. She graduated from UMHB in 1961, later becoming the Alumni Director in 1981 for 21 years, the Director of Alumni Development for the following seven years, and then she worked part-time as the Alumni Museum Curator until 2017. As a student, Beebe built lasting friendships with those eventually dubbed “North End Gang” because they met in the north end of Stribling Hall. They have since traveled the world together. Sophomore Psychology major Naomi Lewis, who was a Cru Leader for Welcome Week 2018 talked about being a Cru Leader for the first time. “I really liked getting to see how eager the students were when they first came to UMHB,” Lewis said. “I got to settle some of their nerves that they had. I wanted them to have the best Welcome Week experience.” Senior Christian Studies and Public Relations double major Samuel Kinnin, who was also co-director of Welcome Week 2018, describes the impact of the event in his own life. “My favorite thing about Welcome Week is seeing the transformation in the lives of new students. They come in shy and nervous about their college experience, but throughout the week, they get outside their comfort zones and make new friends,” Kinnin said. “It’s so rewarding to watch that process and see how much this event...

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