Thankful for Thor:  a review of the new film
Nov16

Thankful for Thor: a review of the new film

Marvel has been producing quality movies since Iron Man debuted in 2008, and Thor Ragnarok falls in line with Marvel’s other superhero films. Thor Ragnarok’s opening debut was Nov. 3 and has been received with mostly positive responses. On IMDb, it has an 8.2/10 rating, and according to Vulture, the third installation to the Thor movie series earned the highest rating of any Marvel movie on Rotten Tomatoes. The film begins with Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, chained up by a fiery monster named Surtur. Escaping to Asgard, Thor meets up with his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and they’re transported to earth to find their father. After discovering that they have an evil sister named Hela (Cate Blanchett) who decides to take over Asgard, the duo find themselves on a mysterious planet called Sakaar run by the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). As the power struggle ensues in Asgard, Thor is trapped on Sakaar, forced to battle gladiator-style against none other than Hulk. The rest of the movie is about Thor and his focus on getting back to Sakaar to confront Hela. This was by far my favorite Thor film, as Thor: The Dark World, that was released in 2013, was a disappointment. It was boring compared to Thor Ragnarok, which was filled with many comedic moments as well as plenty of action. There are some characters in the movie that make a stunning debut, such as Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), a fierce and brave warrior who quarrels with Thor constantly. There’s also Korg, another warrior trapped on Sakaar who wants a rebellion against the system on Sakaar. And of course there’s the Grandmaster, who rules over the planet with great eccentricity. Also, the Incredible Hulk makes a return after his last appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Perhaps my favorite part about this movie is the incredible graphics. Everything appears so lifelike, and, no spoilers, but the last fight scene is one of the most epic ones I’ve ever seen. Would I recommend this movie? Absolutely. Whether you’ve always been a Marvel fan or know little to nothing about the franchise, this film incorporates all kinds of genres that are sure to please just about anyone. In an industry that seems to be rehashing the same ideas over and over again, this film is refreshing in its originality. Thor Ragnarok breaks the typical barrier of an action film, combining humor, adventure, and drama in one package. Also, make sure to stay after the movie for two after-credit...

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Cru celebrates Friendsgiving
Nov16

Cru celebrates Friendsgiving

Thanksgiving, a time of year where turkeys are gobbling and the end of the fall semester is slowly approaching. Across campus, the leaves are changing colors, from Texas brown to fall yellow, and plans are being made for Friendsgiving, an annual tradition for friends to get together and celebrate the holiday. Friendsgiving has been an ongoing tradition for years, and has become vastly popular amongst friend groups on campus. The event gives friends a chance to celebrate their friendships. During this event, there is also an abundance of food. Because it takes place in an apartment or dorm, it usually doesn’t include a full-blown turkey dinner, but a more college-friendly feast. Some ideas for such a feast could include: individuals bringing a different fast food item, everyone bringing a homemade dish, or turkey sandwiches with various thanksgiving-themed foods. “I didn’t know Friendsgiving was a thing until I came to College.” said Annah Jane Paschall, junior art education major. “Friendsgiving to me has been so fun because it brings a group of people together and helps us all really get into the holiday spirit and focus on the things we are thankful for. It also helps us all slow down in our busy schedules and focus on the present moment. My tip would be invite people to your friendsgiving that you enjoy spending time with. Allow yourself to soak up that time and not worry about anything else going on.” Thanksgiving classics such as games and communion are welcome at friendsgiving events. Often, the gathering includes not only time for food and friends, but a time to break away from the stresses of the semester. Some fun ways to prepare for friendsgiving could include decorating and getting the apartment (or dorm) ready for guests. Some easy and fun ways to do this would be decorative place settings, signs that are photo op ready, and putting lots of disposable cameras around for your friends to snap shots all evening. “Last year, me and my friends had a Friendsgiving, and I told my friends about it. We’re looking forward to doing one this year,” said freshman nursing major Valeria Ortiz. “Obviously, it’s going to be different because we’re in dorms. But we all decided that we wanted to de-stress. This semester has been tougher than we thought it would be. My friends and I are all planning on bringing a bunch of junk food and setting up some chairs. We’ll probably play Cards Against Humanity. It’s going to be so much fun and I’m so excited.” Kick off this holiday season in style by hosting a Friendsgiving, or attending one. With a...

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McLane Thanksgiving fundraiser a success
Nov16

McLane Thanksgiving fundraiser a success

The season of thanks and giving is in full swing, and with UMHB’s win against ETBU Saturday came one more thing to be thankful for. The men of McLane Hall pledged to donate a Thanksgiving meal for each touchdown scored against ETBU. These meals will be distributed to local families in need before Thanksgiving. The Cru football team scored four touchdowns in their 31-21 victory over the ETBU Tigers, the tenth win of their undefeated regular season. However, McLane Hall raised over $135, enough money for six meals, so they will be donating in surplus this year. Daegan Fletcher, a sophomore Christian studies major, was one of the RAs responsible for gathering donations. Fletcher enjoyed the open-handed spirit of giving displayed by the hall’s residents. “It’s good to see a bunch of guys in the dorm come together for a good cause,” Fletcher said. “I hope our small donations will fill both the hearts and the stomachs of the needy this Thanksgiving.” Sophomore business major Taylor Billingsley was another RA impressed by the willingness to give shown by the McLane men. “It’s actually quite touching to see how much these guys care,” Billingsley said. “Watching broke college guys go through their wallets for spare change, just so others can enjoy Thanksgiving is what this holiday is all about.” Billingsley appreciated how much his fellow students care for their community. “This event always shows how much McLane hall cares about the people of Belton,” Billingsley said. “What better way to spread Thanksgiving joy than with the gift of a good meal?” This is the sixth year McLane Hall has held Turkeys for Touchdowns. In that time, the residents of the hall have provided more than 35 families with Thanksgiving meals. Additionally, they have donated over $1,400 to Helping Hands Ministry of Belton. Last year, Helping Hands donated 1,678 meals to the needy during the holidays. McLane Hall looks to continue their tradition of generosity for years to...

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‘Fixer Upper’ couple assists boys’ home
Nov16

‘Fixer Upper’ couple assists boys’ home

During mid-October, stars of the HGTV show Fixer Upper Chip and Joanna Gaines hosted their annual Silobration in Waco, where a local organization, The 4-1-1, was presented with a check that will benefit the Temple-area youth. The famous couple received many applications for the ‘Chipstarter’ Dream Launcher Contest and narrowed it down to six finalists who were each presented with an award at the Silobration. Crusader country’s very own Marcus Wimby, along with Kim White and Dion Alexander were among the finalists. They were awarded $40,000 to use in the demolition and remodel of a house in east Temple that will be used as a safe hangout for local boys. The goal of the 4-1-1 is to provide young boys in the East Temple community a safe and fun place to spend their time while learning different skills. This will all take place in a house that was previously owned by Civil Rights activist Myrtle Captain. This house has been the site of many charitable events and organizations in its lifetime, and after it is revamped it will once again be a place that helps the community. White, who owns the home, started 4-1-1 after realizing that there weren’t a lot of opportunities for young boys in the area. Her role will be to serve on the board of the non-profit, which will involve coming up with the programing for the house as well as acquiring food and donations. White plans to be involved in an administrative capacity, while Wimby and Alexander run the home. “We want a balance of experience and relationship,” White said, “Each boy will set their own goals: long-term or short-term and we will sit down with them and go over how to obtain those goals and how they can do certain things to reach those goals through every day decisions.” White said she chose Wimby and Alexander because they have offered to volunteer with the boys without an incentive. She also saw that the boys respected and responded well to Wimby and Alexander and that the two were able to guide the boys in a special way. “I knew that whatever this was, we needed to make sure it kept happening.” White said. Wimby is currently a senior business major here at UMHB and will graduate this December. He had previously met the Whites through volunteer work where he worked alongside Alexander. They both got along with the boys so well that when White shared her idea, they were on board. Wimby hopes to give the boys a positive outlook on life and help them realize that their circumstances are temporary and they won’t...

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New organization helps vets feel more at home
Nov16

New organization helps vets feel more at home

According to the Veterans Affairs office, there are 480 military veterans on the campus. That’s nearly 13 percent of students, faculty and staff. To celebrate those who dedicated their time to service, UMHB played Marches of the Armed Forces at halftime of the home football game on Veterans Day, and students wore red to their classes on Friday. Despite the high percentile of veterans, Mike Harrigan and Thad Imerman noticed a lack of social groups for veterans. With this absence in mind, Harrigan and Imerman formed Veterans Helping Veterans, a Bible study through the Baptist Student Ministries that’s dedicated to creating a group specifically for veterans and ROTC cadets. Harrigan, senior pastor of Fairview Community Church and senior biblical studies major, said Veterans Helping Veterans is a Bible study group for veterans, where they also discuss any veteran issues here on campus or in their lives. “We have experience and contacts with veterans’ administration, and hospitals, but we concentrate on the spiritual formation and spiritual health of the veterans. We want them to feel a little bit more at home here.” The organization’s founders understand the struggles of veterans because they both have served in the military. Harrigan spent 21 years in the Army and retired as a first sergeant, while Imerman was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant from the Army. They found the process of continuing their educational career difficult, and seek to aid other veterans who want to further their academic careers. “[The group] helps a lot in validating the experience. I had veterans coming into campus as transfers, not new students. There was no sit-down explanation of what benefits they’re going to get, that the VA provides for them…there was no real guidance given for these vets coming in. The camaraderie also helps with those still suffering from PTSD or separation from the military.” Through their connections and experiences throughout the VA and other benefits of the military, Harrigan and Imerman are able to assist newly discharged or retired veterans who are still adjusting to civilian life. Since veterans are nontraditional students, most of them commute from the Temple or Killeen areas to school each day, isolating them from traditional campus life. “They’re gonna feel sort of lonely,” Harrigan said. “This is another way to get our arms around them in that so they feel welcomed and a part of the program. It’s an easy way to create that camaraderie again.” Imerman praised the group for its ability to connect him with people he wouldn’t have otherwise met as a journalism major. “I’ve met four or five veterans I didn’t know, and an ROTC kid.”...

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Tori Pharris crowned Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor
Nov15

Tori Pharris crowned Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor

Twenty young women, representing student organizations, classes and residence halls displayed their inner beauty at the annual Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor Pageant this Veteran’s Day, Saturday, Nov. 11. Miss Search Cru, junior mass communication major Tori Pharris was crowned 2018 Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor. Pharris will represent the university at parades, Crusader Knights and other campus events. She will also work to carry out her platform, “supporting military families during deployment.” “It’s kind of overwhelming,” she said. “I just went into the pageant with the expectation of, ‘let’s just have fun and meet some new people,’ so it’s kind of crazy.” Junior psychology major Sarah Szyperski directed the pageant, along with her assistant directors, public relations majors senior Rhema Jones and sophomore Mary De Acetis. “[Directing] was honestly one of the biggest blessings and honors of my life. It’s such an honor to put on this big of a tradition, and work alongside two awesome assistant directors.” The contestants were judged by four categories: interview, talent, platform, and evening gown. The night began with the talent portion. From singing about avocados, to dressing like Napolean Dynamite, to karate chopping a boyfriend, the talent portion brought many laughs and smiles. Pharris’ showcased her musical abilities during the talent portion of the pageant by playing the school’s alma mater using water glasses. “The school song means so much [to me,]” Pharris said. “By the end everyone was singing, and it made it much more heartfelt.” The contest also had the evening gown portion, where the ladies showcased their grace and poise. The ladies then performed a group dance together, and the top five finalists were announced. Each were given interview questions about their platforms and the organizations they were representing. While the judges collaborated on the winner, co-emcee Annah Jane Pascall performed an original song that she performed last year when she was a contestant in the pageant. Runner-ups for the pageant were Miss McLane Hall Sarah Jane Leaverton, Miss Junior Class Jenna Albright, Miss Senior Class Katie Winekauf, and Miss Baptist Student Union Hannah John. 1st runner-up John said that she looks forward to supporting Pharris through her reign as the 2018 Miss MHB. “I don’t plan on stopping with my platform, but I’m excited that I get to support her.” Several special awards were given out to a few young ladies. Miss Freshman Class Ally Jordan won best talent for her Bon Qui Qui Starbucks skit. Best Evening Gown went to Miss Student Foundation Hannah Yoes. Miss Farris Hall Keyarius Johnson won both Best Interview and the Congeniality Award. “We are all just family, so it was an amazing feeling to...

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