London studies program celebrates 10 years of cultural immersion

Published in the Oct. 26, 2016 issue of The Bells Ten years ago, four students were starting packing lists, making sure their passports were in order, buying clothing appropriate for cooler weather, and meeting with each other, preparing for the journey ahead. While the rest of the student body was getting ready for the end of the fall semester, four students were getting ready to spend their spring semester in London, England. These four students were the ones who received the opportunity to go on the maiden voyage of the London Studies program at UMHB. Ten years later, the program has given many other students the opportunity to spend the spring semester of either their sophomore, junior, or senior year experiencing the city of London. “[This program] has been a remarkable experience for all the students who have participated,” said the professor in charge of organizing the program, Dr. David Holcomb. “It is amazing to see students transformed by living and studying in London.” The London Studies program is a luxury trip compared to students that study abroad in public universities. Students don’t just attend classes in London, they get to experience the history and culture that the city has to offer. In fact, this program has discouraged the use of classrooms. Rather, students learn with the city as their classroom. Some of the classes are held at historical sights or at museums, while others visit these attractions many times. In addition to learning outside of the classroom, students go to at least one theatrical production a week, and every Friday they go on day trips, visiting other nearby cities or famous attractions in the area. The highlight of time spent in London studying abroad comes halfway through the semester when the students get to go on a 10-day coach tour of Northern England, Scotland, and Whales. This short trip includes visiting and experiencing the cities of York and Edinburgh, as well as staying a couple of nights in a lodge in the Scottish Highlands. This program offers a once-in-a -lifetime opportunity. And the cost is kept at just a small number above the price of tuition. “Very few programs take you on trips,” Holcomb said. “This trip is unmatched for what is included in the program.” Since the first four students went to London in 2007, some positive changes have occurred. One of the best changes is that students now get to live in London flats that offer a kitchen. The first year’s students were living in European-style hotels that didn’t offer as many comforts as what they receive now. The program, which had once just included Hardin-Simmons...

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The Cru celebrates homecoming with week of events
Oct26

The Cru celebrates homecoming with week of events

Published in the Oct. 26, 2016 issue As October draws to a close, one major event comes closer and closer — an event that serves to celebrate those who created the school’s legacy and to welcome them back to campus with the sole intention of honoring them. Homecoming is a week-long celebration leading up to the rivalry game versus Hardin-Simmons University. This week-long event included a “Taste of Belton,” the “Full House dance,” and “Family game night,” among others. The first of the homecoming celebrations occurred in 1909 and has since taken place in either the fall or the spring. Over the years, it has become tied to football, meaning it happens in the fall, in either late September or early October. Alumni and students alike attend to cheer on the Cru football team. Events were held every day of the week and included games, giveaways, and concerts. These are organized and executed by the Homecoming Steering Committee, the team that puts brainpower and hard work together to plan everything that happens during this anticipated celebration. “Homecoming was incredible. They did an awesome job putting on events throughout the week to get students excited. I loved all of the events leading up to Saturday,” said freshman elementary education major Jackee Lawrence. Beginning Sunday night with the Color Clash on the Rec fields, Homecoming week started off strong. Twitter feeds were flooded with pictures of students covered from head-to-foot in powder paint and grinning from ear-to-ear. Monday featured a mass tank top giveaway, followed by pictures on King Street, and wrapped up with the “Taste of Belton,” where restaurants from the area served some of their signature menu items. On Tuesday, students were invited to King St. once more to make themselves a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the middle of the day, and to come back that night to dance those calories off at the “Full House Dance.” Wednesday showed us that UMHB students definitely know how to “Hit the Quad.” The day’s events included lawn bowling, ladder golf, pumpkin painting, and board games during the “Family Game Night” event. Thursday included the first performance of one of the most anticipated parts of homecoming week: Stunt Night. This event is put on by representatives from each of the four classes. Each group is given a theme, which they take and create an original skit. “Stunt night is an absolute blast to be a part of,” junior chemistry major Ashley Hastings said. “I’ve gotten to know so many people from my class that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. Our rehearsals are so much fun that the commitment never felt...

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Famous football alum comes home for honor
Oct26

Famous football alum comes home for honor

Published in the Oct. 26, 2016 issue Six years after the birth of the Crusader football team, a special player joined the team in 2004. His name — Jerrell Freeman. Freeman now plays for the Chicago Bears and has years of success following his time at UMHB. Because of his success, the university retired Freeman’s jersey and number during the homecoming showdown against Hardin Simmons Saturday. Head Football Coach Pete Fredenburg presented Freeman with a framed replica of his jersey midfield during halftime. Joining Coach Fredenburg and Freeman were President Randy O’Rear, his wife Julie, Freeman’s mother and father, and Cru Vice President of Athletics Randy Mann. Freeman’s nieces and brother unveiled a marker located in the south end zone bearing a number 8, a few of his athletic accomplishments, and his last name. This permanent marker will remain in Crusader Stadium as a reminder for past players and as a motivator for future players. To celebrate the retiring of the jersey, the first 3,000 people who walked through the gates Saturday received a commemorative T-shirt with Freeman’s name and number. Freeman played varsity ball for the Cru for four years, and he helped lead the Cru to their first post-season win in 2004. He also became the first American Southwest Conference player to be named a National Player of the Year when d3football.com voted him National Defensive Player of the Year in 2007. The American Southwest Conference named him Male Athlete of the Year in 2007-08. He also became the university’s leader in tackles. Following his Cru football career, Freeman signed with the Tennessee Titans. He went on to play for the Canadian Football League team, the Saskatatchewan Roughriders, where he was named an All-Star. Three years later he would sign with the Indianapolis Colts, where he led the team in tackles for two seasons. Currently, Freeman plays for the Chicago Bears where he leads in tackles in his league. When Freeman came to UMHB to play ball, he never would have imagined how far he would come. “I just came here [UMHB] because I love the game,” Freeman said. “I just wanted to be the best player that I could be, and it has allowed me to be who I am today.” Freeman officially became a UMHB grad in 2003 when inbetween a football season he finished his degree in criminal justice. No other football player has ever been honored in such a way, and according to Vice President for Communications and Special Projects Dr. Paula Tanner, the decision to honor him this way was made by the coaching staff and members of the upper level administration....

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Strange things are happening on Netflix

Published in the October 12, 2016 issue of The Bells The Netflix series Stranger Things is an ode to movies like The Goonies and E.T. The show premiered in August when audiences were looking for a show to binge watch over the summer. The show was an immediate hit with the Netflix audience. Here is a brief synopsis (without spoilers) for those who have been living under a rock and have not watched this amazing show. Stranger Things is set in a small suburban town during the 80s. The storyline centers around a group of four nerdy friends who are shocked when one of them goes missing one night. In the midst of this disappearance, a girl with a shaved head appears in the young boys’ lives. The girl possesses strange powers and claims to know where the missing friend is located. This makes the boys and the young girl work together to find him and bring him home. The grieving mother and brother of the missing adolescent boy are also trying to solve the missing boy’s disappearance and uncover the truth. The town’s police chief also becomes deeply involved in the boy’s case and slowly uncovers the swhats really going on. The show also follows the older sister of one of the boys. Her storyline begins with a focus on typical teenage problems, but in a string of events she becomes involved in uncovering the mystery as well. Strange situations happening in the small town bring all these individuals together. Nothing is what it seems to be, and there are sometimes more questions than answers. The thing that is so grabbing about this series is that it sends you on a nostalgic trip to the late 80s when science fiction and boyhood films were king. The story is amazing, but it’s the chemistry of the actors that also pulls you into to the show. The actors seem invested in the story as well. The young boys are played by Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhand, Caleb McLaughlin and they are the best child actors that have graced the screen in a while. Millie Bobby Brown plays the mysterious girl ,and even though she has little dialogue her performance is amazing. Winona Ryder, who plays the distraught mother, and Charlie Heaton, who plays the lost boy’s brother, give emotional performances that have the audienceempathizing with their struggle. There is something for everyone to enjoy in this Netflix series and there is never a dull moment. Even if science fiction is not your thing, this show is worth viewing at least once. So, do not continue to live under that rock. Join...

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Personal trainers available to help students amp up fitness

Published in the October 12, 2016 issue of The Bells Motivation to workout can be difficult when you have classes, homework, a job, and a social life to juggle. However, staying fit in college is very critical to the wellbeing of a student. According to Health, 70% of students gain weight during their four years in college. Fortunately, the university has a solution for students who desire to take their fitness to the next level – personal training. “It’s a great way for [students] to learn more about weightlifting, about nutrition, and if they want to achieve weight loss, how to do that safely,” said Sue Weaver, Director of Campus Recreation. All trainers at UMHB are certified and work around a student’s schedule. “A lot of [personal training] is about doing things the right way and doing things the safe way,” Weaver said. “The other thing is that they get personal attention.” What’s interesting about this program is that not only do trainers work around a student’s schedule to find the right time to have a session, but participants also have workout sessions tailored to their needs. “We try to match our trainers to what [student’s] are looking for. So if a trainer’s never done a triathlon, and somebody’s interested in doing a triathlon, we’re going to try to find somebody to do that,” Weaver said. If a student does not want to work out by themselves, they have the option to do a session with a friend or a group of friends. “One of the things you can do in personal training is you can actually do a buddy session with a partner,” Weaver said. “Both you and a friend can get a personal trainer together and then you can have two accountability partners, your trainer and your buddy.” One of the trainers, John Daulton, has been a personal trainer for four years and is certified through ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association). He says that there are many fitness activities one can participate in, from a beginner’s level overview of general fitness, to navigating the weight room and improving on a certain sport. Daulton says that students should participate in the personal training program if they want to gain more knowledge on the correct way to exercise. Student’s can apply for the personal training program by picking up an application at Mayborn’s Fitness Center. After choosing a personal trainer, the next step would be to choose which package you would like to purchase. If you want a single session, the cost of training is $25, whereas a group session would be $10 a person. After you fill out...

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FAFSA available as of Oct.1

Published in the October 12, 2016 issue of The Bells As of Oct. 1, 2016, students may start filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), for the 2017-2018 school year. This policy change comes straight from the Department of Education in the hopes of making the process of applying for financial aid easier. “Because the FAFSA will ask for older income and tax information, you will already have done your taxes by the time you fill out your FAFSA, and you won’t need to estimate your tax information and then go back into the FAFSA later to update it,” according to the Department of Education. The tax information needed on this year’s FAFSA is from the 2015 tax return and must be from the year requested on the application. “Not having the option to use either this year’s or last year’s information isn’t ideal,” sophomore nursing major Erica Anderson said. “People would like to have the choice between the two because one could be better or easier than the other. Also, jobs change, income and expenses change from year-to- year, so telling people to use their information from last year won’t give the most accurate result.” The Department of Education suggests that if a family’s income has drastically changed since 2015 that the student visit the financial aid office to talk about the situation. Despite the fact that the information used for this school year came from last year’s tax return, the figures given will not just automatically roll over to the new application. “Too much could have changed since you filed your last FAFSA, and there’s no way to predict what might be different, so you’ll need to enter the information again,” the Department of Education said in an informational handout geared towards students. Additionally, if a student was not married and has changed that since they filled out their last FAFSA, they will need to add their spouse’s income information to their application. “Similarly, if you filed your 2015 taxes as married, but you’re no longer married when you fill out the FAFSA, you’ll need to subtract your spouse’s income,” the handout stated. Students are encouraged to fill out the application as quickly as possible. There are several types of financial aid that are awarded on a “first come, first served” type basis. Work study in particular is a concern. Each year there are only so many positions that may be filled, and according to the UMHB financial aid website, students who want to receive or keep their work study positions must fill out the FAFSA by the end of October. The change in...

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