Cru Culture: New year, old stereotypes
Aug27

Cru Culture: New year, old stereotypes

It’s that joyful time of year again — the time that TV shows do specials on, commercials advertise for, and families look forward to. It’s a time when parents spend far too much money at Target, and what kids have dreams about.   No, I’m not talking about Christmas. I’m talking about the first week of school.   Though college is a bit different, one thing remains the same: I guarantee you’ve had a nightmare or two about getting lost on the way to class, then reverting to crying in the quad because you can’t find it. Or even showing up on time, but without one important thing — pants.  We’ve all had these horrible dreams about the transition from summer to another semester. But really, it’s never as bad as we make it.   Freshmen, you’re probably early to class, dressed in your best outfit with a spare bag of  pencils. In fact, I bet you didn’t sleep last night because of all the anticipation, huh? Extra kudos to you if you sought out your classroom prior to your first class. There should be extra credit for that. But there’s not, because you’re in college now.   Sorry.   Sophomores, you’re probably sitting in your first class, the syllabus printed out beforehand, with your phone hidden conspicuously under your desk. You know the rules and what’s required of you, and you’re just glad to be out of basic classes. Hello, degree plan.   Then there are the juniors coming in late because they know it’s just syllabus day. But they aren’t worried; they know you don’t need to bring anything — the professor will print it out if it’s that important.   Right?   Seniors won’t be in class at all. It’s syllabus week, and they know they can miss six classes and still pass. Let’s be real. They probably won’t show up most of the semester, and you  may not even know they exist until test time. Senioritis is a real thing, and there’s still no cure.   No matter where you are in your pursuit of your degree,  put your best foot forward  because you only have a few first days of school left. Here’s to a great semester.   Welcome home,...

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Students experience la pura vida
Aug27

Students experience la pura vida

Summer is best known for a break between school years for students to rest and catch up with friends. For some, it’s to catch up on sleep. Others worked during the last few months, while some students decided to knock a few classes out during summer school. Vacations were booked and some did missionary work.   Needless to say, it was a busy summer for the Cru.   Some students were able to kill two birds with one stone when going to Costa Rica for a study abroad trip for a month. The Spanish language students were able to apply the skills they learned into the new culture they stepped into. They learned even more about what it was like to live there, and they also got to have some fun while doing so.   Sophomore social work major Morgan Matous has been involved in the Spanish language since high school. She decided to take her skills to the next level by going to Costa Rica to study abroad while also getting Spanish three and four credits for her degree.   “The experience exceeded my expectations. I had no idea I would learn as much Spanish as I did,” Matous said. “I went on this trip thinking why would I spend two more semesters in a classroom, when I can spend a month in Costa Rica? It was about getting the credits for me. When I got there, my entire motivation for being there changed. Being immersed in a culture is a learning experience that cannot be learned in a classroom. I didn’t want to leave.”   She also was able to experience what it was like to live with a host family.   “I could not have asked for a better family. My parents spoke no English at all, and my sister, 23, spoke little English. They took care of me like I was their own,” she said.   Junior education major Savannah Davis also went on the trip to Costa Rica.   “I learned a lot, not only about the Spanish Language, but also about coping with various cultural differences and about the culture of Costa Rica and Latin America in general,” Davis said.   She has been outside of the country before, but the experience this time was indescribable. Although the students learned a lot on the trip, they were also able to have some fun. They went to Manuel Antonio National Park and two different volcanoes in the area. The different weekend excursions also included zip-lining and going to hot springs.   Preparing for the trip and actually going on it and applying their skills...

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Crusaders take the field
Aug27

Crusaders take the field

Cru athletics take the field and court to prepare for their upcoming seasons as autumn‘s chill slowly starts to creep into the summer days.   Football, volleyball and soccer athletes beat the rush to campus in order to begin their fall camp practices. All of the programs were highly successful last year and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to see a drop in the 2014 campaigns.   Senior Cru football player and wide receiver Kamray Runnels said, “I can’t wait for the season to start. We have a lot of work to do, but everyone is excited about the talent we have on the field and the things that this team can accomplish this year.”   The Cru finished last year with a 14-1 record, losing in the semifinals to a talented Wisconsin Whitewater team. For many teams, a loss like that would tear a group apart, but it created an even deeper hunger within the Cru to advance and win a national championship.   “We understand that it’s a long season and its imperative that we take it one game at a time, but I’d be lying if I said we don’t have our eyes on a national championship.  We lost quite a few seniors off of last years team, so that just means other guys will have to work even harder to fill those positions,” senior slot receiver Stanton Holland said.   The Crusader volleyball team is also coming back to the fall season with a successful 2013 run under their belt. They finished with a season record of 29-8, which is the best in program history.   Coach Rob Frost is returning to coach the Cru and looking to take the team even further this year.   “I am excited about what we have accomplished during my time here and I look forward to building on that and growing the program. I feel like we are in the middle of some great things, and there is more that we can do,” Frost said.   The ladies are returning nine talented players from last year’s team. Junior outside hitter Lauren Powell and senior middle hitter Bianca Patterson will lead the attack for the Crusaders. Last year the two tallied up over 650 kills combined, and wrecked havoc on ASC defenses all season.   The men’s and women’s soccer teams have high hopes for their upcoming seasons as well. Both teams were successful last year, but hard work individually and as a team throughout the summer should propel the squads to even bigger things this year.   Coach Bankhead’s men’s team finished the season 5-9-2. Bankhead’s...

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World Cup Spurs summer sports excitment
Aug27

World Cup Spurs summer sports excitment

Who says summer is a bad time for sports? With an NBA Finals rematch, an unpredictable World Cup and a brewing rivalry between two Texas MLB teams, the summer of 2014 provided non-stop entertainment.   Last year’s NBA finals saw a heavy-weight bout between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat. After Miami won the seven game series to claim their second straight title, many thought the Spurs’ historic dynasty had come to an end. They were wrong.   While it’s true the likes of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are reaching the twilight of their careers, what most people don’t realize is that the Spurs aren’t built like other NBA teams. They don’t go after the big-name free agents who are only concerned with making money and posterizing the opposition. Instead, the Spurs search for players who can fill a particular role and who place winning above being the center of attention.   So when LeBron and his boys rolled into the Alamo City expecting to win another championship, the Spurs came at them with a clean, fundamental style of basketball that the Heat had no answer to. Kawhi Leonard emerged as a star, and San Antonio took the series four games to one en route to their fifth NBA championship.   As the eyes of America were on the hardwood, the eyes of the world were on Brazil for the FIFA World Cup. The U.S. Men’s National team seemed doomed from the start as they were placed in the “group of death,” consisting of world powerhouses Germany  and Portugal as well as Ghana, who knocked the Americans out of the tournament in 2010.   However, the team wasn’t going to go down without a fight. After losing star striker Jozy Altidore to a hamstring injury in the opening minutes of the USMNT’s first game against Ghana, the resilient Americans fought back and managed to advance to the round-of-16, where they fell just short against Belgium, despite a heroic performance from goalkeeper Tim Howard.   Even though their run ended prematurely, the U.S. team made themselves known in a culture where they’ve long been considered outsiders. And, in a sport where flopping and faking injuries has become a strategic part of the game, the Americans got kicked in the mouth (literally) and had the fortitude to keep pushing forward. Soccer will never be as popular in the states as it is abroad, but this summer, the USMNT gained new fans throughout the country and a new respect throughout the world.   Back on the home front, things look bleak for the two Texas teams of Major...

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Gay: Not the new black

It’s a sad day when people are so uneducated about their country’s history that they indiscriminately compare historical events and attitudes, when in reality, there is no comparison.   There’s a misguided movement within the LGBT community and among those who advocate for it to compare its fight for equality with the troubles of racial minorities who endured centuries of discrimination, violence the threat of physical harm, and in some     cases, even death.   Gay is not the new black.   Those who subscribe to the idea that the two are inherently linked need to ask themselves, “When, because one was gay, did he or she have to leave certain towns by sunset? When, because someone was gay, did he or she have to drink out of a separate water fountain from someone who was straight?”   When did a group of homosexuals have to be escorted into a public high school by the National Guard to keep heterosexuals from killing them before they made it to the door? Do straight people generally buy or sell gays like property because they don’t agree with their sexual orientations?   Have lesbians ever been counted as three fifths of a person? Has a single transvestite been denied suffrage? Is it illegal for a gay man to own land or learn to read?   History would answer with a resounding “No.”   Even groups like Westboro Baptist Church, which spew the rhetoric, which is perceived as the most hateful, don’t take to dressing in sheets, burning crosses and lynching those with whom they disagree.   It’s a slap in the face to African Americans in particular who, as a people, worked with the help of those who sympathized with them to achieve the near reality of a society where blatant racism is mostly a distant memory.   To compare the fight for marriage equality with the Civil Rights Movement is ludicrous and abhorrent to many people who’ve experienced true discrimination.   It shows a lack of ingenuity. There are thousands of people in all minority groups who disagree with the lifestyle choices of gays, lesbians and trans-genders.   Why lump them together and pretend they all stand for the same causes when in countless individual cases, they don’t? Further, who’s to say those of alternate sexual orientations can’t be racist?   Many who identify with the homosexual and transgender effort champion individuality and self-expression but refuse to acknowledge that many of the people in the group with which they try to identify passionately disagree with them. How’s that for profiling?   If the LGBT community expects its cause to stand, it needs...

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Israel blamed for Hamas’ blood lust
Aug27

Israel blamed for Hamas’ blood lust

Not even a full day into the cease-fire on Aug. 1 between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist terrorist organization plaguing the Gaza Strip and two Israeli soldiers laid wrapped in tallits — preparing for the afterlife.   Peace and cease remain irrelevant to both factions, but the United States would rather play politics than address the situation for what it is: Israel and the Palestinian citizens of Gaza remain under attack by radical Islam.   Hamas is a guerrilla group claiming concern for the lives of the 1.7 million people living in Gaza. They say they fight for a better economy and a better way of life for Palestinians.   And whom do they blame for their suffering? Israel. They claim Israel’s occupation and blockade of the Gaza strip nearly a decade ago as the reason for the violence. But the humanitarian issues plaguing the Gaza strip stem from a terrorist organization controlling the Palestinian state. It wasn’t 10 years ago that Israel withdrew its military and yielded control of the strip to the Palestinians. Israel gave Gaza 3,000 greenhouses in an effort to boost their economy, but looters ransacked those facilities and proved the states’ lawlessness.   Hamas lives only to eradicate Israel while Israel does all it can within its power to protect Palestinian citizens. Hamas fires rockets at will into Israeli cities, while the Israel Defense Force warns Palestinians of imminent missile attacks.   One way they do this is by contacting Gaza residents before launching a deadly strike. Sometimes it’s by phone or a process known as “knocking on the roof,” where a smaller missile explodes above the building before the larger, lethal attack.   Humanitarian groups complain that Israel’s “knocking on the roof” tactics are ineffective and the targeting of terrorist militia members violates international humanitarian law.   Have these same groups forgotten that Israel is suffering its own losses? It’s true that more than 1,800 Palestinians have died in the conflict. Many blame Israel for attacking civilian infrastructure, but Hamas runs its military operations using Palestinian citizens as shields.   The UN found a stockpile of Hamas munitions in one of UNRWA’s Gaza schools. “We condemn the group or groups who endangered civilians by placing these munitions in our school,” UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness told The Times of Israel. This is the third time the UN  found rockets in its schools.   Hamas uses mosques, homes and marketplaces for its quest to vanquish Israel. Any notion vowing Israel is the evil fueling this conflict is absurd. The common denominator of all deaths, Palestinian and Israeli, is...

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