FYC turns freshmen into leaders on and off campus
Apr20

FYC turns freshmen into leaders on and off campus

First Year Council is an organization exclusively for freshmen leaders. In FYC, students develop leadership skills, help other organizations on campus, and plan two major campus events. “FYC gives first year students on campus the opportunity to develop Christian leadership skills with a bunch of Christian backgrounds and Christian ethics behind it,” junior cell biology major, and FYC leader Thomas Middleton, said. “FYC has been one of the greatest experiences I’ve had. Being in it as a freshman as a member, and now being the head leader, I’ve gotten to see both sides of it. It’s opened up my eyes as to what it means to be a leader.” FYC meets every Monday at 9 p.m. to play games, discuss techniques to become better leaders, have devotional time, and build relationships. There are 45 total members in FYC. Every year the organization holds two main events: Date Auction and Spring Formal. These events take many hours to plan and execute, and helps these students put their leadership skills to the test. Date auction is held in the fall semester to raise money for the Spring Formal. Last semester, FYC raised $1500 to go towards formal. Date auction is an annual tradition that allows female students to bid on dates that male students have created. The highest bidder wins the date. This year’s auction included a day hammocking in the quad, dinner at The Gin, a trip to SpareTime, and various others. “[Date Auction] was a really fun experience for all of us. It was our first big event to work together on, and it was crazy to see the whole event come together,” freshman communication public relations major, Jenna Forrester said. While Date Auction is a fun event to plan, the Spring formal is the big event students look forward to all year. This year’s Spring Formal was held at Tenroc Ranch in Salado on Saturday, April 9. “[Spring Formal] is a time to come together, dance, have fun, eat a little food, and just be silly with our friends,” Middleton said. The theme was “Fly Me to the Moon,” and students had the option to pose with a moon at a photo booth. FYC hired DJ Jeremy for the entertainment, and students munched on sliders, pizza slices, and other various food items. If students didn’t want to dance, they could join in on a spirited game of giant Jenga or walk along the trails by the facility. FYC is devoted to serving the university and community in any way they can. Along with planning some of the university’s biggest events, FYC has also helped with football games and...

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Crusaders build playhouses for military families
Apr20

Crusaders build playhouses for military families

The beginning of April brought not only April showers in preparation for our May flowers, but also CAB’s Cru Playhouses for military families. Each year, mulitple associations around campus make a playhouse for military families. The event was done the weekend before Reaching Out, in conjunction with the service event, and continued throughout the week. Students delivered the houses at the end of the week and then painted them with the families. This event not only benefits those receiving the playhouses, but those working on the projects as well. Each year, the event draws out both positive vibes and great times, for the participating families and students. “Cru Playhouse’s is something we do every year at the Campus Activities office,” said Victoria Fae, a senior cell biology major. “We purchase 10 to 12 playhouses every year, and different organizations sponsor each house.” Fae explained that the organizations help military families not only off campus, but also those on campus as well. “We build [the houses] during the whole week with the organizations. During the week leading up to [Reaching Out] we deliver the playhouses,” she said. Fae has participated in building playhouses since her freshman year. She enjoys impacting so many military families. “My favorite part is delivering the houses that Saturday with my organization,” Fae said. “It’s just really fun to decorate with them and meet the children, play with them, and give them something that’ll last for a long time.” The children that receive the playhouses get to play and hang out with the UMHB students and volunteers while they were painting the houses. Often times, the military families recieving the houses are also UMHB students. The playhouses are given to military families as an appreciation and gratitude gift from the school. “My favorite part was building the houses,” said freshman marketing major, John Merritt. “We build houses for the kids so that they can have fun and use their imagination.” This serves as a time for fellowship within the community and the campus. It brings students closer together with those currently serving in the military and those who are no longer...

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Cru Culture: Stress-Away; The final Leg of the Spring semester
Apr20

Cru Culture: Stress-Away; The final Leg of the Spring semester

As the semester winds down, students become anxious and stressed to complete the school year. After months and months of study groups, late night snacking, and sleepless nights, it is time to say goodbye for awhile and enjoy the summer. However, at this point in the semester, many students feel burnt out and the finish line becomes hard to see. Don’t worry, you are not in this alone. Three weeks may feel like a lifetime at this point, but soon enough we will be walking out of our last final. And although stress is something you hear people say all the time, it is a real thing and can be affecting you more than you know. So, it’s important to find ways to de-stress. The university will have puppies on campus for the Play Day events on April 14, because they have been proven to lower your blood pressure. But if you can’t get out to pet the puppies, here are five de-stressors that will help you get through the rest of the semester. 1. Listen to Music Listening to classical music is a great way to slow down and de-stress. According to the Huffington Post, this type of music “slows your heart rate, lowers blood pressure and even decreases levels of stress hormones.” However, any music that you enjoy can “flood your brain with feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine,” according to the site. So, grab a pair of earphones, open Spotify and listen to your favorite songs. You can even make a Stress Relief Playlist. 2. Chew Gum According to a 2008 study, chewing gum can “relieve anxiety, improve alertness, and reduce stress during episodes of multitasking.” Another plus is that your breath will smell amazing. 3. Turn Off Your Phone I know it sounds crazy, (absolutely insane) but power your phone off. Take an hour or two and stay off social media, restrict yourself from texting or calling. When we are constantly on our phones, our brains are constantly at work and trying to take in what is all around us. When our phones are on, we feel pressured to respond to all of our messages and calls. Studies show that talking on the phone can raise your blood pressure. Taking time away from social interaction can give your brain a break and space to think. Plus, it is also a good way to actually get homework done. 4. Eat Candy (Reasonably) Consuming something sweet can reduce stress in a great way. This is because it “stems the production of the stress hormone, glucocorticoid.” While this may sound great, this is also the reason why “emotional eating” is...

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‘God’s Not Dead 2,’ A sequel for the books
Apr20

‘God’s Not Dead 2,’ A sequel for the books

Christians are slowly becoming a minority in the world, and the debate over “separation of church and state” has gained momentum in recent years. The God’s Not Dead movies, produced by Pure Flix Productions, are based on real court cases that deal with this issue. The first God’s Not Dead film follows Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) as he debates his college philosophy professor (Kevin Sorbo) after refusing to sign a piece of paper with the words, “God is dead.” Harper’s evidence wins his class over, and the movie ends with Sorbo reconciling with God before tragically passing away, while the rest of the city is enjoying a Newsboys concert. In God’s Not Dead 2, we are taken back to high school. Devout Christian and AP History teacher Grace Wesley (Melissa Hart) must face the repercussions of answering a student’s (Haley Orrantia) question in class relating the teachings of Jesus to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Throughout the film, you’ll root for Hart as everything around her crumbles. Her fellow co-workers, as well as the media, turn against her, while she faces the possibility of losing her teaching certification. Things do not look good for Wesley as incriminating evidence builds around her. It’s not until her handsome, non-believer lawyer, Tom Endler (Jesse Metcalfe), decides to fight the case with a new perspective, that things start looking up. Returning from God’s Not Dead is Pastor Dave (David A.R. White), who provides comic relief in the film, while still adding to the storyline. Reporter Amy Ryan (Trisha LaFache), who is now in remission from her life-threatening cancer in the first film, struggles with finding her faith. And Martin (Paul Kwo), the Chinese foreign-exchange student who converted to Christianity at the end of GND, returns with many (147 to be exact) questions about the Bible for Pastor Dave. Other appearances in the film include Sadie Robertson from the popular A&E TV show, Duck Dynasty, and the Christian rock group, Newsboys. Over half of the movie takes place in a courtroom. And although this may sound a bit tedious, the filmmakers do a good job of keeping the audience interested and unsure of the final verdict, while transitioning effectively between the main storyline and the various subplots. The filmmakers chose actors and actresses that fit the part of their respective characters perfectly. However, I felt like some of the characters could have been more dynamic such as Orrantia’s onscreen parents (Maria Canals-Barrera and Carey Scott). I also felt like there were a few stereotypes in the film that weren’t necessary, such as picking (or not picking) the jury...

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‘Batman v Superman,’ super flop
Apr20

‘Batman v Superman,’ super flop

*******Possible Spoilers********** Out in theaters now, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice has mixed reviews. The PG-13 film has its most positive ratings from the loyal DC Comics fan base, though some of the fan base and most of the movie critics found the movie to fall flat to the hype surrounding the film. The film takes place after the events from the 2013 film Man of Steel, which was also directed by Zach Snyder. Man of Steel has an overall better rating then Dawn of Justice. Man of Steel has a 56 percent from Rotten Tomatoes and Dawn of Justice has a 29 percent from Rotten Tomatoes. Dawn of Justice opens with another Batman backstory. It then moves to the events that happened at the ending of Man of Steel. But it is shown as the destruction caused by Superman through the eye of Bruce Wayne. After all that, the story fast forwards a few years into the future, where Superman is being praised for his heroic duties, while Batman’s obsession of Superman has caused him to be more ruthless. The story progresses once more when a civilian, who lost his legs due to Superman’s fight in Man of Steel, defaces a statue built in honor of Superman. Shortly after these events, Bruce Wayne meets Clark Kent at a party hosted by Lex Luthor. While attending the party, Wayne spots a woman unlike the others who is later revealed to be Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is portrayed by Gal Gadot, who is most known for her work in the Fast and Furious films. Wayne is at the event to steal some information he needs to figure out something he is searching for by putting it on an external drive. While Wayne is distracted, Prince moves in to steal the drive. Throughout the film Wayne is plagued with nightmares that show a post-apocalyptic world where Army officials are seen wearing a black armband with a Superman logo. During one of these nightmare sequences, we see a cameo from the Flash who is portrayed by Ezra Miller. Miller is best known from his work on Perks of Being a Wallflower, 2012, and Trainwreck, 2015. Batman really commits to defeating Superman after an explosion leaves Superman as the only survivor. Prince returns the stolen drive to Wayne, claiming it is coded and she is unable to retrieve her picture. Wayne solves the code and there he finds files on Cyborg, The Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and a thing of kryptonite in Luthor’s possession. Then begins the fight of the century, with Luthor as the grandmaster. Overall the movie...

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Sophomore Karley Free shines on and off the field
Apr20

Sophomore Karley Free shines on and off the field

Sophomore first baseman Karley Free has played softball for almost all of her life. As a leader both on and off the field, Free has played a significant role in the team’s success this season. “I started playing tee ball at age four,” Free said. “I’ve played select softball since I was eight and I was also on the varsity team at Henderson High School for four years.” While Free has had many people throughout her softball career that have made her into the player she is today, there is a particular person that has been the most influential. “My dad has inspired me most in softball because he’s always been there to push me to get better on and off the field,” she said. Choosing to continue her softball career at UMHB was an easy decision for Free, as it was a perfect place to call home. “I chose to come play at UMHB because it was a different place for me to move to and continue playing that wasn’t too close or too far away from home,” Free said. “My favorite part about playing here is the people. My teammates never fail to make me laugh.” Although Free is only a sophomore, her strong leadership and team skills on and off the field can be seen every single day. “I feel I am a leader on the team because I try to encourage my teammates every day and push them to work hard,” she said. With a 14-15 overall record this season, Free and the rest of the team hope to become more and more successful as this season continues to improve their record. “For the rest of the season, I hope we continue to get better every series and work as a team. Hopefully we can get a spot in the conference tournament,” Free said. The seasoned softball player plans to continue playing softball and hopes to continue her passion for sports in her future career. “I am planning on getting my masters in sports administration/sports management and working in college athletics or at a professional level in baseball,” Free said. Softball has become more than just a game for Free, as it has taught her many more things about life and about herself. “Softball is so important to me because it helped me build a strong work ethic, good character, and become responsible,” Free said. Playing this season hasn’t always been easy for Free, as she recently lost someone who had a huge impact on her sotball career. “I had a close friendship with an umpire since I was about 10 years old that passed...

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