Texas Secretary of State urges students to vote
Oct14

Texas Secretary of State urges students to vote

Texas Secretary of State Carlos H. Cascos was on campus Oct. 6 to speak with students about the importance of voting. The Secretary held an open forum with young voters where he asked them why some of them don’t vote and offered solutions to their concerns. Secretary Cascos began by sharing a story of how voter turnout has impacted his own political career. In 2010, Cascos was running for re-election as County Judge in Cameron County. “This is when it gets to where every vote is important. I get a call from the elections administrator. He said, ‘Congratulations, you won by 87 votes.’ At 1:00 in the morning, I get another call. He said, ‘We’ve found a box [of ballots]. You lost by 5 votes,” Cascos said. It turned out that the box had already been counted. The election went to a recount and Cascos ended up winning the election by 69 votes. However, that election was an eye-opening moment. “Right then and there, there was an awakening that every vote does count. Every vote is important,” he said. Cascos also urged students not to simply fall under the umbrella of a certain political party. Instead, he challenged students to only vote for candidates they are familiar with and believe in. “There’s such a thing called the straight-ticket vote. Whether you’re a democrat or republican, I disagree with it,” Cascos said. “Neither side of the aisle has a monopoly on good government. They both have good ideas and not so good ideas.” The secretary asked students who don’t vote to reveal the reason why. Sophomore political science major Sam Casey said he hasn’t voted because he doesn’t feel that politicians have done a good enough job to earn his vote. “It’s like I’m the boss and you’re the interviewee. I’m not going to go search for you and try and find you for the job, you need to apply for the job. As a voter you need to come earn my vote. So I haven’t voted because I haven’t felt compelled to vote for someone,” Casey said. Cascos discussed several reasons why people would decide not to vote – including a lack of knowledge about candidates and not having a favorable candidate to vote for – but said that in the end, avoiding the polls restricts the control that citizens have. “Let me recommend something. Go and vote anyway and vote a blank ballot. It counts as a number. State and federal officials look at those numbers. If there’s 10,000 blanks, I think that sends out a much louder signal,” Cascos said. “When you put in a blank ballot,...

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BSM celebrates 95 years of serving UMHB
Oct14

BSM celebrates 95 years of serving UMHB

Ninety-five years ago, the 19th Amendment was passed, allowing women to vote, the American Professional Football League was formed, and the first ever Baptist Student Union in Texas was established at Baylor Female College. In 1920 the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor was chosen as the “laboratory” for the first BSU in Texas because of its roots in Christian faith and service. UMHB has always focused on the idea of teaching not only the knowledge found in books, but the knowledge found in knowing God. This is apparent in the 1945 Centennial Series: According To His Purpose. “During the past one hundred years… the college, and the student body itself have been concerned with ‘including the Christian religion within, and not just alongside of the educational process,’” according to the series. The University’s mission served as the foundation for organizations such as the Mission Circle, Women’s Ministry Union, Student Christian Association, Young Woman’s Auxiliary, and the Baptist Student Union. The name Baptist Student Union, however, was changed to the Baptist Student Ministry in 1994 to better describe the purpose of the organization. Despite this name change, the goal of the BSM has remained very much the same since its beginning in 1920. “[The BSU] has its object in the winning of others to Christ and His Church; the enlistment of Christians in Bible and Mission study… the calling out of the called for special service,” 1920 Student Secretary Joseph P. Boone said in a 1940s pamphlet about the ministry. Today the BSM offers over 20 ministries that impact the students as well as the community surrounding our campus. BSM director Shawn Shannon believes that the constant growth and change of the BSM is what has made it such a driving force on campus. “This is my 36th year in campus ministry. My 16th at UMHB. UMHB is a precious place. I am convinced that we can touch the world from here,” she said. Shannon is thankful her time here on campus and the opportunities it has provided for ministry. “The campus is a strategic place and the college season of life is crucial for making significant decisions… and what an incubator the campus is for relationships. What an important time to pursue Christ with others and for the sake of others,” Shannon said. It’s this passion for ministry that has inspired many students on campus to get involved with the BSM, including senior interdisciplinary studies education major Rebekah Peyton. “There is such an amazing peace in knowing that I am joined together in my UMHB experience with other students who are trying to follow Christ, lead ministries, and also be...

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Deaf but not disabled: Author visits campus, shares inspiring story
Oct14

Deaf but not disabled: Author visits campus, shares inspiring story

Almost 40 years ago, a six-year-old little girl lost her hearing due to a serious bout of spinal meningitis. Later, this same little girl would overcome many obstacles, become Miss Deaf America, adopt a Deaf child named Zoe, and publish a book. This little girl’s name was Brandi Rarus. “When I lost my hearing about 40 years ago, I had no idea what an incredible journey I would go through,” Rarus said. Rarus spoke to UMHB students on Wed. Aug. 7, during chapel services about her incredible story. “It showed everyone on campus that being Deaf is not a handicap. It was really exciting to meet Brandi,” sophomore English major Guillermo Lopez said. Once Rarus became Deaf, she struggled, lost between the hearing and Deaf worlds. Because she could hear and speak before she was 6, she remained in hearing education, until she attended a Deaf camp. This camp proved to be a turning point in Rarus’ life. “Camp Mark VII was a rude awakening for me. It changed me,” Rarus said. “Everyone signed. The cooks, the lifeguard… everyone.” While Rarus was at camp, a minister taught the children that being Deaf is a gift from God and that they did not need to be ashamed of it. “I realized that I was okay. I didn’t have to keep trying to become someone I couldn’t become. I really think had I not gone, I probably would have gone to a hearing college, and married a hearing man,” Rarus said. From this point on Rarus embraced her Deafness. Rarus attended a Deaf college and married Tim, a Deaf man. Later down the road, Rarus desperately wanted a baby girl. However, God had another plan for Rarus. She birthed 3 hearing boys, the first hearing children in 124 years on Tim’s side of the family. The Rurus’ were looking into adoption when they received a phone call from the agency saying they had a Deaf female child. The Rarus’ knew that this girl, Zoe, was meant for them. “Zoe found her way to her home, my home,” Rarus said. “I cannot count how many people have said she’s lucky to have me, but I want to say ‘no, I’m lucky to have her.’” After adopting Zoe, Rarus dabbled in writing articles, but she could not get them published. Then Zoe’s story idea was born. Rarus interviewed Zoe’s birth family, and her first adoptive family to compile a book. Through Rarus’ book, Zoe’s birth mother and father were able to let go of their animosity towards each other and forgive. “When I started the book, BJ and Jess did not talk to...

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International students get a taste of Texas
Oct08

International students get a taste of Texas

For a few short hours on a Friday night in a small Texas town, students from all over the world were able to come together to share their cultures at a Baptist Student Ministries event called Texas Night. The event took place on Sept. 25 from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Lord Conference Center at Parker Academic Center. The night was full of dancing, food, smiles and laughter, as students from many different places and backgrounds got a taste of what true Texan culture is like. “It was mostly a dance. We teach some line dances and two-stepping. We also do some American culture games such as Jeopardy about Texas trivia,” English and Christian studies major Jake Raabe said. While the event only lasted a few hours, the memories and friendships that were made that night were ones that will truly last a lifetime. “It’s important for us to allow students to meet and blend different cultures together,” Raabe said. “The purpose of Texas Night is to assimilate internationals to Texas culture, and also to help internationals and Americans build relationships. There are students here from all over the world. We want people to meet here,” Raabe said. The event seemed to be a hit as students, traditional and international alike, joined in on the festivities. “Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. [The international students] really enjoyed the large line dances where, if I remember correctly, only one or two students stayed off to the side,” junior international business and business management major Dylan Hall said. Shawn Shannon, the Director of the BSM, was pleased with the impact Texas Night had on the international students. “We ended up with around 80 people total or so there. We all had a lot of fun,” Shannon said. Future events are already being planned that will allow International students and American students to gather and share their lives and cultures with one another. “In November we will be having an International Thanksgiving meal where we will have a meal for both international and American students as another way to make sure we are allowing students to meet,” Raabe...

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CAB has new ideas for upcoming year
Oct08

CAB has new ideas for upcoming year

Campus Activities Board is a student organization that allows UMHB students the chance to help plan activities for the students. From huge events to passing out small gifts for students, CAB plans it all. “Every campus activity meeting is set up similarly. We asses the events that we had the week prior and then we plan for upcoming stuff,”Assistant Director of Campus Activities Jeff Sutton said. During the first week of classes, the student organization spent a lot of time talking about a leadership conference they attended that helped the organization come up with event ideas for the rest of the year. “Now we are taking all of the information we gained at the conference and actually calendaring out events and letting students sign up to lead those events and plan all the details of those,” Sutton said. He also said its main goal is to be an outlet for students to have some social experiences. “We want to create community on campus while equipping students to lead and learn,” he said. The assistant director said CAB’s meetings are definitely different than most. “We have a structure but the structure submits to the people. Our meetings are always 30 minutes and after we discuss our previous week’s event and figure out our next event, we break up into smaller groups to get work done,” Sutton said. CAB has already begun planning and executing future events that will happen throughout the year. “This semester alone we are working on some new events that we have never had on campus before. We are participating in Preview Weekend, October Hump Day Giveaway which is a pumpkin spice giveaway, National Night Out, study break, Christmas events, passing out bubble wrap to help relieve stress, Disney Trivia Night, and many, many more,” Sutton said. While CAB gives students the opportunity to experience many things, Sutton believes there is a bigger impact. “The best thing you can get out of CAB are relationships. It’s a great way to meet new people and serve. You take things you are learning in a classroom and put it into real life experience,” Sutton said If students are still interested in joining CAB, the meetings are every Monday at 9 p.m. in the creative thinking space on the second floor of Maybee. “The great thing about it is that we have an open enrollment which means that anyone and everyone can join at anytime,” said Jeff...

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SGA hopes to have big impact on campus policy
Oct06

SGA hopes to have big impact on campus policy

Student Government Association representatives recently met for the first time this semester to indoctrinate new members and brainstorm about ways to improve the student experience on campus. The organization had many new ideas at this first session because of an influx of fresh faces. “The only people that are returning senate members are those on the executive cabinet and then one or two of the other senate members. So we have a fresh senate; they’re still learning how everything works,” External Vice President Kirstie Wallace said. Despite many being new to SGA, the senate members are ready and excited to bring their ideas of change to the table. “SGA is not just about pushing agendas, but rather representing the 3000 students that attend UMHB,” Freshman Class President Tyler Baker said. “It is the only club at school that can have a direct effect on policy. I joined because I wanted to be involved in helping make our school even better.” Getting involved and listening to classmates is exactly what the members are doing. At the SGA meeting on Sept. 22, the senate members threw out many ideas that had been brought to them by fellow students. One of these ideas was inspired by a concern about the sun glare from the windows on the first floor of the Student Union Building, as well as in Mayborn Campus Center. “I propose getting blinds where the computers are in the SUB. It’s really bright and you can’t see the screen if you’re using the computers,” senior Senator Collin Cavendish said. “[I propose] possibly getting blinds and fans in Mayborn as well.” Another issue SGA hopes to address has to do with parking restrictions. Students have mentioned that commuters are being allowed to park in residential parking spots at all times, but residents are only allowed to park in commuter parking spaces after 2:30 p.m. Freshman cell biology with clinical lab science major, Bryanna Edwards, agrees with this issue and has expressed her frustration with the lack of parking spots closer to residential and academic buildings, and the competition this has led to. “As a Remschel resident there is very little parking. We are always competing with Stribling residents and other students for parking spots by the dorm. I know commuters take lots of residential spots as well because there isn’t enough commuter parking either. It’s just a constant competition for spots,” she said. Other ideas mentioned during the meeting were a return of the Homecoming 5K, a Day of Culture, and benches to provide seating at the bus stops. The association also voted to nominate sophomore Treasurer Jake Fereday as the...

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