Accounting students volunteer to help locals with their taxes
Mar07

Accounting students volunteer to help locals with their taxes

Accounting students of the McLane College of Business are helping Central Texas citizens by working with United Way of Central Texas through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). The students are gaining experience and helping people get their tax forms in to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to receive their tax return refunds or pay what they owe before Tuesday, April 17 (Tax Day). With VITA, Central Texas residents come to various locations in Temple, Belton, Killeen and Harker Heights to have their taxes prepared and e-filed for free. VITA is set up to help clients with an income of $50,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and taxpayers with limited English. Last year, VITA filed 844 returns in 2017, but according to United Way Director of Public Relations Veshell Greene, they would like to file 1,000 returns this year. “VITA is hope,” Greene said. “The fact that these people can come get their taxes done at no charge… that’s more money they can spend in their home and on their kids. Greene stressed that VITA is a reputable program, and that volunteers must go through training with the IRS before filling out returns. The sites also have reviewers with advanced certification to validate every return before filing. “All the volunteers have to be certified by the IRS. It’s not just someone doing the returns in a garage,” Greene said. The tax filing process takes about an hour. Clients are required to fill out an intake form with questions about their financial background for 2017. They must bring their social security card or an equivalent and a picture ID. After filling out an intake form, the client will meet with a volunteer to go over the form and answer any clarifications the client might have. The volunteer will input the client’s financial information from their W-2 and any other forms the client brings in. The clients can see how much they will be getting back as soon as their information is plugged into the site. Then, the client will sit with a reviewer to go back through the return. Volunteers in the program include not only UMHB students, but also Temple High School students, community members, and United Way staff. Associate Dean Dr. Kirk Fischer teaches Federal Income Tax students, and he has encouraged them to volunteer with the program. Dr. Fischer also serves as a site coordinator in Belton for VITA. “This year we have over 45 volunteers with the VITA program because we have branched out with the pilot program at Temple High School,” Greene said. Senior accounting and management major Noe Diaz started volunteering...

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Dance Marathon raises money for McLane Children’s Hospital
Mar07

Dance Marathon raises money for McLane Children’s Hospital

On Friday, March 2, UMHB’s Heart of Gold hosted a dance marathon for students to donate money, win prizes, and dance in support of McLane Children’s Hospital. During March, the Dance Marathon takes place on college campuses across the nation on the first weekend of the month. This is UMHB’s 3rd Annual marathon. Karon Chapa, a senior pre-occupational therapy major, was this year’s host. Chapa’s best friend, Taylor, was diagnosed with a rare cancer and fought it for six years. When Chapa became a sophomore at UMHB she reached out to Taylor to see what she could do to help. “We contacted her and said, ‘Hey how can we do this? We want to make a difference for our community. How can we get involved in this?’” Taylor was able to help them jump start the first marathon while doing her own marathon and going through chemotherapy. Then Taylor planned to attend their first marathon, but passed away a month beforehand. “This whole event is in the honor of her and the honor of the kids at McLane’s,” Chapa said. “The slogan for the night is ‘Dancing for those who can’t’”. The money is going to help get 150 new beds at McLane Children’s Hospital. “We have so many kids from this area that are needing the hospital.” Chapa said. “We were walking blindly the whole year… and this event is totally God-sent. We couldn’t have done any of this without Him.” Students who attended had positive remarks about the event. “The kids that came were a lot of fun to have,” Skaiye Finney, a sophomore nursing major, said. She also said she came to help build a good support system among students and children at McLane Children’s Hospital. Alexander Williams, a senior clinical psychology major, attended because he always wanted to work with kids and he finds it to be a very rewarding experience. “It’s the best way I could’ve spent my Friday night!,” Williams said, as he was working at the marathon. “We started meeting in September… trying to get venues and stores to donate stuff… and last night we blew up about 200 balloons for this event. It’s a lot of work but it’s rewarding.” Every hour the group learned more of the morale dance (they learned a new segment of a choreography), listened to a highlight story, which featured a student, child, or faculty member who had been touched with a lethal disease, and had raffle prizes. Madison Merryman, who dressed up as Disney Princess Belle, exclaimed that she was ready for the event. “I was really excited.. I absolutely love this! I was actually...

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Caleb Fitzwater dubbed Mr. Crusader Knight
Mar07

Caleb Fitzwater dubbed Mr. Crusader Knight

Junior Caleb Fitzwater, representing McLane Hall, won the title of Mr. Crusader Knights on Saturday, Feb. 25. “It was definitely shocking,” Fitzwater said of his win. “I’ve never been given so many hugs in one night, which is kind of cool.” The show featured many funny moments, along with several surprises, including a green screen that the contestants used during a group dance. Junior Isaac Felan directed Crusader Knights along with assistant directors junior Daniel Martinez, senior Tori Bradbery and senior Ben Roark. “I worked with contestants, I worked with ticket sales and ushers, and I did anything I was asked to do,” Martinez said. “My role was to help the guys feel comfortable with the show, while offering input on the production.” Martinez said that he was proud of all the hard work that the men have put in since they began practicing and it showed on the night of the competition. “The show was amazing, and the guys brought it,” he said. “The introductions, the spotlights, the videos, the top six answers… all of it was amazing and hilarious. I am proud of these men for rising up and owning the stage.” This year, as part of the theme, it was announced that NBC liked Crusader Knights 2017 so much that they decided to film the 2018 Crusader Knights competition before a live studio audience. Ellie Ball hosted the competition, while Aria Flores, Anthony Tharp, Jenna Forester, and Chris Box emceed. The night began with the contestant videos. Each contestant prepared a one-minute video before the competition to be projected on the screens. The contestants picked TV shows to base their videos off of. Some featured TV shows included The Andy Griffith Show, I Love Lucy, Happy Days, The Office, Even Stevens, and more. Following each video, the contestants were given pre-determined questions, which they had to act out. The competition also included several group dances. The top six finalists for Cru Knights included Mr. Phi Mu Alpha James Jones, Mr. Farris Hall Jacob Hindman, Mr. McLane Hall Caleb Fitzwater, Mr. Junior Class Chase Mariott, Mr. Sophomore Class Patrick McElyea , and Mr. Burt Hall Peter Zuniga. The six finalists were required to answer two finalists’ questions read by 2018 Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor Tori Pharris before the judges made their final decision. The competition also included several individual awards. Senior marketing major Vincent Sigler, representing University Ambassadors, won Best Spotlight. Best Video went to Freshman biology major Steve Villalobos, who represented First Year Council. Sophomore marketing major Christian McConnell, representing Independence Village, took home Best Interview, and Freshman mathematics major Andrew Berg won the Timothy Award, which...

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Campus rehearses for 79th Easter Pageant
Mar07

Campus rehearses for 79th Easter Pageant

“It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.” – Luke 23:44-46 The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor celebrates the life, death and resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ in the 79th annual Easter Pageant. Easter Pageant is one of the most beloved campus traditions by students and viewers alike. Hundreds of people from all over come to see this production and many more are able to access the livestreams of the show that started with the spring of 2017 showing. Sophomore Christian studies major, Jacob Chesser, is this year’s Easter Pageant director. He played the role of a temple guard during his freshman year on campus and was surprised when he was asked to be the spring 2018 director. “It was a difficult transition because last year I only saw the scenes I was in and when I was asked to be a director I thought, “man I haven’t even seen what the whole show looks like”. So I have been watching the [livestream] from last year a lot, and it has been cool. It’s a big responsibility but I am honored to be here and I feel very supported.” Senior Glen Fontenelle places an imaginery crown of thorns onto senior Matthew Langford’s (Jesus) head. Photo by Madeline Oden/ The Bells Acting as Roman guards, seniors Matt McVey and Glen Fontenelle, practice escorting senior Matthew Langford, who is portraying Jesus. At background left is freshman Jaden Napolez. Photos by Madeline Oden/ The bells enior Aaron Midkiff, who normally portrays Pontius Pilate in the Easter Pageant, stands in for a thief as actors practice lifting a man’s weight on the cross during rehearsal at Luther Memorial on Thursday, Feb. 28. Seen pushing the cross up left to right are: junior Ethan Grill, junior David Taylor, freshman Jaden Napolez, senior Matt McVey, and senior Glen Fontenelle. Photos by Madeline Oden/ The Bells “The thing God has put on my heart and the way I want to lead Easter Pageant is that it is a place where people can know that, when they come here, they will be noticed and will become a part of the family.” Chesser said. There are new people added to the course every day and there are a lot of people who jump in on the day of production. As of Tuesday Feb. 27 there are around 200 students in...

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New SGA President Baker pushes diversity education
Mar07

New SGA President Baker pushes diversity education

An election three years in the making, the student body of UMHB elected junior political science pre-law and speech communication major Tyler Baker as its president for the upcoming 2018-2019 year. Since his election as freshman class president during the fall semester of 2015, Baker has planned his run for student body president extensively. “I got to Student Government and I just said, ‘I want to be student body president. I see myself doing that,”’ Baker said. Running on many platforms, one of which being the issue of diversity on campus, Baker hopes to impact the community and leave a positive legacy for the class he has been chosen to lead. Running against junior business management major Daniel Martinez, Baker ran a tough campaign. “Campaigning against Tyler is a task. He is very active in any campaign of his,” Martinez, said. “I noticed that my freshman year when he was running for class president. This race was no different. He was very active and prepared. So it was difficult, but it did cause me to channel my creativity and expand on it. This led to me make videos and push harder on social media. I do support Tyler in his presidency. He will do great in this role, as he has done great in every role he has served thus far.” Baker began his climb to the top when first deciding that he wanted to be president of the student body one day, and join the Student Government Association on campus. After a successful run as freshman class president, he then continued on to working as sophomore class president and junior class vice president. Balancing school with the multiple clubs and associations he is a part of, Baker makes sure to prioritize his time. While SGA is a close second, he always makes sure that his school work remains his top priority. “SGA has really been my life; it’s been something I’ve been so passionate about. It’s definitely a rewarding program to be a part of. What you put into it you definitely get out,” Baker said. “For example, my roommate and best friend is Sam Kinnin and I met him through SGA. He served on the sophomore class while I was sophomore class president, and we both got invited to a conference called Castle that UMHB attends. We just got really close on that trip, so yeah SGA has impacted my life in so many ways.” One of the big changes the new president hopes to implement at the university is increasing education about the diversity of our campus community. Having been greatly influenced and personally moved by...

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Presidential debate at SGA: Voting opens soon
Feb21

Presidential debate at SGA: Voting opens soon

There is a vote coming up this week for SGA president. If there is one organization on campus that truly encompasses the entire student body, it would be the Student Government Association, (SGA). SGA is the mediator between the student body and administrators. They are the ones who listen to student concerns and voice those concerns to the administration. SGA is also in charge of chartering new organizations. SGA consists of 35 members, including class representatives, student body representatives, and delegates for commuters, military, international and student athletes. SGA has had a big impact on campus. If you have ever received an ‘A’ with a 90.02 percent SGA is to thank for that. A few years ago, the grading scale was skewed so that an ‘A’ was 91-100 percent. SGA became an advocate for students and their GPAs by passing a resolution that changed the grading scale so that a 90-100 percent was considered an ‘A’. SGA was also in charge of raising the amount of printer points from 10 dollars to 15 dollars last year. As well as advocating for more lighting in the Quad and around residential areas to improve student safety. Junior double major in Political Science with an emphasis in Pre-Law and Speech Communication, Tyler Baker, is the current Student Body Vice-President “My favorite part of SGA is being able to serve the student body and be a voice for my peers. I have always wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself and SGA provides a way for me to do that,” Baker said. Student Government Association meetings are held every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. in the Fowler Board Room. Meetings are open to the public, so if you want to see what SGA is advocating for you, feel free to visit one of the meetings. On Monday Feb. 19, SGA held a debate between the two candidates who are running for the student body president. In the meeting, the two candidates, Tyler Baker and Daniel Martinez, answered questions about policies and values they would strive for if they were voted as president. Students will be able to vote for the next student body president starting on Wednesday Feb. 21 through Friday Feb. 23. Students can watch the live stream of the debate from the SGA’s facebook...

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