Organization spotlight: Cru Film
Mar08

Organization spotlight: Cru Film

Published in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Bells Lights, Camera, Action. Cru Film is a student-led organization for students who love being in the limelight or behind-the-scenes of a production. Cru Film president, senior film studies major Oliver Ortiz, helped charter Cru Films about a year ago. “We had something similar to it back in the day, but we totally revamped it, and believe it’s going to really help film studies majors in a big way.” Cru Film is open to all students, no matter their major. “You don’t have to be a film studies major,” said sophomore journalism and film studies major Peter Zuniga said. “It’s for whoever wants to be a part of making films.” The organization’s goal is to produce a short-film every semester. This semester, they’re in the process of filming Boys, a short film written and directed by Ortiz. “Boys is a script I was writing for fun for about a year, and my professor wanted to use it so I said, ‘alright, let’s do it.’ Then I polished it up and got it film ready.” Boys will star Caleb Latson, Aaron Midkiff, Thomas Robinson, and Ben Roark as title characters Russell, Philip, James, and Tucker. “[The film is] set in the 80’s, and is about four boys who are high school friends whose curiosity often gets them into some risky situations,” Ortiz said. “When they decide to seek adventure outside the comforts of their small hometown, the uncertainty of the real world causes the boys to split, leaving one of the four to continue alone.” Once the film has been edited, Zuniga said the organization would like to have a viewing party at Grand Avenue Theater. “We’re still going to figure out how people are going to view it first, and what the event’s going to look like,” Zuniga said. “It’ll definitely be online everywhere,” he said. Ortiz says he enjoys Cru Film because students have the opportunity to learn how to work as a team and gain experience in the film industry. “I enjoy Cru Film because it gives us the opportunity to work with a crew, gain experience, and to create interesting stories that are created by the students.” Zuniga said that the organization needs students to carry on roles that will be left empty after the end of the spring semester with Ortiz graduating. “We’re making do with what we have right now, and it’s working, but we would love to have a bigger crew,” he said. “Oliver’s graduating this semester, so we’re going to need people who want to do video editing and be more involved in...

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Towel theft epidemic continues at Mayborn Campus Center
Mar08

Towel theft epidemic continues at Mayborn Campus Center

Published in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Bells For Crusaders that frequent Mayborn Campus Center, the little white towels with a blue stripe are a common sight. The question of “would you like a towel?” posed by the attendants at the front desk begs a deeper inquiry of workout-hopefuls: Can you handle the responsibility of using one of our towels? And the answer, more often than you’d think, is no. Not only are Mayborn towels strewn carelessly over equipment and the gym floor, but they are also forgotten over shoulders and accidentally taken home. Caleb Damron, Operations Manager at Mayborn, has been brainstorming ways with his coworkers to reduce the amount of towels that disappear monthly. “We lose about 70 towels a month between the fall and spring semesters between damaged and missing towels.” That adds up to 280 towels a semester. Right now, Mayborn’s biggest defense against accidental towel theft is the watchful eyes of the front desk attendants. The campus center employees offer helpful reminders when they notice a little blue stripe over the shoulder of an exiting gym patron. “We’d like to get towel disappearances down to 20 a month,” Damron said. But Mayborn can’t do it without the help of the student body. Sophomore nursing major, Lauren Cater said she has accidentally left the gym with a towel after a workout. “I have twice,” she admits. “But I can’t take them back…it would be weird if I just brought back their towels after having them for months.” How many students feel the same way Cater does, stifled by the shame of their grievances and too afraid of condemnation to come clean? Luckily, there’s hope. Damron offers an open, nonjudgmental invitation to return the towels, free of ridicule. “If you notice you made it home with a towel, bring it back the next time you come in. And if you realize you have some at home, just bring them back.” Cater has a suggestion for Mayborn that could lessen their monthly disappearances and cultivate positive feelings about returning a towel. “I think they should have a [forgotten towel] bucket, so they can count the number of towels that are returned. That way, returning towels would feel more acceptable.” “I think that would be a great idea,” said Cater. “It would be funny to advertise for a day to give towels back.” The Mayborn staff has a lot of tricks up their sleeves when it comes to towel returns, but their biggest request is for the students to simply bring them...

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University and city  government  work together  for change
Mar08

University and city government work together for change

Published in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Bells As the UMHB campus has evolved over the years, the university has maintained a healthy relationship with city officials and local government. The university recently worked with the city of Belton to make decisions concerning building and road projects like the newly-completed MLK bridge that leads to Loop 121. “That project in itself took years of planning. A decade ago it was just undeveloped land that the city knew that one day we would need to connect this road to get traffic off of Main Street. But it took a lot of planning, coordination and securing of a grant to make it happen,” said Belton Public Information Officer Paul Romer. “The university contributed $200,000 to that project.” Romer believes that Crusader Stadium had a direct impact on the success of the MLK bridge. “I don’t think it [MLK bridge] would have been built if the new stadium hadn’t been constructed,” he said. “The new stadium is going to be used by people coming in and out, and it’s a catalyst for other projects.” The officer said the city had to prepare Belton’s infrastructure for the building of Cru Stadium. One way they did that was by putting a new sewer pipe in by the stadium to prepare for the thousands of people who would be using the restroom at the new stadium during halftime. “There had to be a change in infrastructure before that was ever built. People don’t ever think that we come in, dig up the ground, and put in bigger pipes, but that has an impact later on down the road,” he said. “A lot of times the city will do it if there’s any opportunity to connect that pipe to future businesses we’ll go ahead and run that and it saves time and money.” The university also recently contributed $100,000 to the upcoming extension of the hiking and biking trail that runs alongside the edge of the College View apartments. The path will now be extended to University Drive and then to Sparta Drive once completed. “You’ll be able to get from Lake Belton all the way to 35 on sidewalk or hiking trail,” Romer said. “I think there’s things that students aren’t aware of that are occurring because of the cooperation of the city and the school.” Romer said City Hall has had a positive experience with students thus far. Several work study students help out in different departments such as the parks department. Another work study student works at City Hall digitizing old city records. Belton’s Chamber of Commerce has also created Apprentice...

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Alex Miller dubbed  Mr. Crusader Knights 2017
Mar08

Alex Miller dubbed Mr. Crusader Knights 2017

Published in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Bells Students, family and friends gathered together on Saturday, Feb. 25 to see the Crusader Knights candidates perform in the 2017 showdown. The competition, that drew its inspiration from the Oscars, celebrated its 25th year with odes to films like: Rudy, Pirates of the Caribbean, Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre, Like Mike, The Karate Kid, and The Breakfast Club. Crusader Knights has become one of the most beloved campus traditions over the years, and has come a long way from its beginnings in 1993. The contestants are now responsible for creating a one-of-a-kind introduction video to showcase their unique perspective and humor. The men are also judged on their performance in the group dance, their individual walks and their ability to answer interview questions. The contestants receive scores for each category in the competition, and then six finalists are chosen—including one contestant who is chosen by campus vote. When the scores have been tallied, the new Mr. Crusader Night is dubbed by the university president. Senior public relations major and assistant director of this year’s competition Kelsey McDaniel said you could really see the personality of each contestant come out in their introduction videos. McDaniel feels privileged that she had the chance to get to know each participant. “It was a great experience working with Cru Knights,” she said. “I’ve always been behind the scenes with it and never thought that I would receive a leadership position like this one. I loved every second of it.” McDaniel said her favorite aspect of the competition was learning about the causes the contestants are passionate about like mentoring younger students and reaching out to other communities. “Working on their minute videos with them was also fun because you really get to see behind the scenes of the production and the goofy sides and the more serious sides of them,” she said. After each introduction video, the contestant was given a spotlight question and had a few minutes to improvise a scene. Many of the contestants made the audience laugh. Crusader Knight candidates also performed three dances that not only showed off their dance skills, but also showcased their individual personalities. “I really enjoyed watching the guys perform the dances,” said sophomore nursing major, Carrena Taylor. “I thought there were really funny.” After a 10-minute intermission, the contestants were lined up and the top six finalists were announced. The top six included: First year council candidate Jacob Chesser, Senior Class candidate Alex Miller, Campus Associations Board candidate Isaac Felan, the UMHB Administrators candidate Dylan Medlin, and Freshman Class candidate Nathan Vandolzer. After the runners...

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New residence hall in the plans, PAC update
Mar08

New residence hall in the plans, PAC update

Published in the March 8, 2017 issue of The Bells According to a press release published on Feb. 16, UMHB officially announced the approval by the Board of Trustees to build a new residence hall by the fall 2018 semester. The new building will reside on the north side of campus, between Hardy Hall and Crusader Way. The plans also includes a new green space between Hardy, the new building, and Burt Hall, effectively extending the Quad. The building will be three stories tall and be approximately 46,000 square feet. The building itself will contain rooms for up to 214 students. In a similar fashion to Beall, the building will be constructed so that floors and wings can be closed to one gender, allowing for men and women to reside there at the same time. It also allows for more versatility, so that they can change the ratio of male and female rooms as demanded by the numbers of each in the incoming freshmen classes. “I feel it will be good for the university to provide more of a variety of housing for freshman,” said freshman English major and SGA freshman class chaplain, Lindsey Conklin. “Overall, this new residence building will impact the UMHB community in very positive ways by giving the freshmen classes more housing options and a great new place to live as they start the next chapter of their adult lives.” In an email from university president, Dr. Randy O’ Rear on Feb. 13, he said that the new building will allow “major renovation” of Stribling Hall after the Spring 2018 semester. Neither the email nor the release mention the nature of the renovations. In other news discussing construction on campus, construction on the performing arts center is in the final stages of construction.The final project from the 2011 Campus Master Plan is expected to be completed and usable before the fall semester. O’ Rear’s email also mentions that fundraising is being done to put the the new projects in motion.The school has managed to collect three fifths of its side of a 5 million grant. The deadline for the grant is Aug. 31, 2017, and will allow the Performing Arts Center to be fully funded upon its opening. “I think the addition of the performing arts center is very exciting because it will accommodate for the growing music program here at UMHB,” said freshman psychology major, and saxophone player for the University’s Wind Ensemble Rachel Clemons. “It will be great for recruiting music majors and for encouraging non-music majors to be a part of the music program as well.” Another project approved in the February...

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Local businessman and UMHB grad supports the Cru
Feb22

Local businessman and UMHB grad supports the Cru

Published in the February 22, 2017 issue of The Bells When students get tired of the coffee prices that come with the green logo in Belton, the next stop is Arusha Coffee Co. Stemming from a weak and weary creature who upon eating a coffee bean was revived and full of energy, Arusha’s came to Belton in 2012. The owner, Hatem Couchane, brought his 15 years of experience in the field of coffee to Belton, Texas. He grew up in Tunis, Tunisia, and strives to bring the best of his culture into the laidback atmosphere of Arusha’s coffeehouse. As a UMHB alumnus, Couchane makes Arusha’s as Cru-friendly of an atmosphere as possible. “UMHB students are never an issue,” shop manager Ernst Jacques said laughingly. One look around on a busy Sunday evening will tell you that there is no doubt that college students are welcome at Arusha’s. Additionally, Arusha’s takes CruCash, which is ever so valuable in the times when you’re desperate for some tea and are out of cash. For more money-saving, Arusha’s has an app called Perka, where avid coffee drinkers can record their points and earn free drinks. Arusha’s also employs four current UMHB college students and employs a social media intern, Emily Maulding, who assists in all their online campaigns. Arusha’s helps the school in any way they can, and recently gave a small donation to the UMHB Girls’ basketball team. They also assist in various events for UMHB by hosting them with no charge and selling their coffee at discount rates. “Finals are busy,” Jacques mentioned, symapthaizing with the struggle students face. “The only thing students don’t do here is sleep. They spend all day here. We’re glad to be part of their future, and happy to be a part of their...

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