Get some sun and earn class credit with paddle boarding
Feb25

Get some sun and earn class credit with paddle boarding

THE BELLS — As spring break approaches, so does the thought that the semester is halfway over, steering minds to  summer. Some students think about the relaxing three-month break they will have, while others stress over the credits they still need to register for to take during the summer. Of course, students can take classes on campus, but why stay in Belton to take courses when one can take the same course in a more vacation-like place? The university will be taking 10 students to South Padre Island to enjoy a little bit of fishing and paddle boarding in the sea while receiving two hours of P.E. credit that all students need. The trip is conveniently placed the Sunday after graduation and will be back the Wednesday after, just in time for students to get back who are planning to take the first May mini-mester. The van will leave at 5 a.m. to embark on the journey, and they expect to arrive on the island around noon. Then the students will start their first paddle boarding adventure on the coast of South Padre. Not just any student can go, though. Students will have to show they are good swimmers and prove they can carry a paddle board. They also  have to have a physical before going on this four-day trip. Dr. Jamey Plunk, a professor in the exercise and sport science department, will host the trip and instruct both fishing and paddle boarding. “This is the first year that we have actually had this class. It works out really, really well for most students because it starts the day after graduation and ends the day before the mini-mester starts,” Plunk said. “It’s a pretty intense four days because you’re having to knock out two hours.” He also made it known that the classes will be listed as a spring class so that students can use financial aid from this year to go toward the trip. Junior nursing major Chaley Shiffler saw the advertisement on MyCampus, which sparked her interest in the trip. “I’m most excited to learn how to fish and paddle board for the first time,” Shiffler said. “I’ve also never been to the Padre Islands, so that’ll be a first as well.” The 10 students will wake up at around 5 a.m. every day to fish off the coast. After a few hours, the students will go back to the condos to eat lunch and get ready to paddle board for the rest of the afternoon in calm and rougher waters. Once done with that at around 8:30 at night, students will prepare to spend the rest...

Read More
No dogs allowed: students try to conceal their furry friends
Feb25

No dogs allowed: students try to conceal their furry friends

THE BELLS — By Sarah Hogue Pets make an enjoyable addition to seemingly dull dorm life. They add color and fun to any room. However, students must be careful about what animals they choose to bring. “Fish are the only type of pet allowed on campus and must be maintained in an aquarium,” Donna Plank, associate dean and director of Residence Life, said. “No other type of animal is allowed, including all mammals, birds, rodents, reptiles or insects.” However, that has not prevented students from trying. “I was walking down my hall in Garner, and I heard a little dog bark,” Jaclynn Koinm, Garner RA and senior Christian studies major, said. “And I was like hold up!” Koinm is not the only one to experience an issue with pets that are not allowed in dorms. “We actually had two different hamsters within a week while I was an RA in Burt,” Tiffany Williamson, Garner RA and senior psychology/premed major said. “We had a fire drill and had to run through the rooms to make sure everyone was out. One of the RAs found one hidden in the closet. A couple of days later, we found another.” While these furry mammals are denounced due to allergies, daily upkeep and smells, other seemingly not so harmful animals, such as aquatic frogs, are also forbidden in campus housing. “As to why people cannot have aquatic frogs, it is a matter of just keeping things simple,” Plank said. “Someone may say that the frog is aquatic, but I wouldn’t know from looking at a frog if it could live outside its habitat or not. Fish are pretty uncomplicated and easy to identify as being exactly what they are — fish.” If a student were to bring a pet on campus, however, that animal would soon have to go. “I have found an iguana as well as dealt with a cat while making casual visits to the apartment checking on maintenance stuff,” Nathan Forester, Ferguson RA and junior nursing major said. “In both cases, I had to inform the resident that they would have to find a friend who lived off campus that could take the pets off their hands. They were successful in doing so.” Many wonder why a student would even bring a forbidden pet on campus, especially when said animal barks. “I think people keep pets because they think it’s a fun thing to do even though it’s against the rules,” Koimn said. “It would be cool if people weren’t allergic, and it wasn’t against health codes.” However, students should not be afraid to bring fish to add a little life...

Read More
Holly Tucker shares talent, Voice
Feb25

Holly Tucker shares talent, Voice

THE BELLS — Two years ago, 21-year-old Baylor student Holly Tucker auditioned for the TV show, The Voice, in Dallas, persuading each of the four coaches to turn around (indicating they wanted her on their team) while she sang. Tucker chose Blake Shelton as her coach, headed to California and eventually placed in the show’s final six. Tucker took the stage Feb. 12 for chapel before a crowd of Crusaders. She flaunted black, glittery cowboy boots, which she explained were mailed to her by a supportive fan to wear on the show. She said was “excited to do a gig for people her own age.” Sophomore marketing major Jessica Pitcaithly said the word passion best describes Tucker. “Not only does she work hard towards her music, she is a Christian, and it is very inspiring,” Pitcaithly said. Pitcaithly shares Tucker’s love for music and hopes to achieve songwriting success of her own one day. “I definitely feel like I can relate to Holly Tucker. She’s in school like me, and I’m also an aspiring musician in the song writing department,” Pitcaithly said. Tucker, a junior double speech communication and Spanish major, sang many well-known country songs, some of which she competed with on The Voice. Accompanied by her guitarist, she belted out Sugarland’s hit, “Settling.” The captivated audience’s response encouraged her to speak about herself and her story in between songs. Just days before one round of competition on The Voice, a vicious tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., devastating the town and calling for help and support from the rest of the country. Even though the potential for sizeable backlash was likely, Shelton and Tucker decided to use Tucker’s opening performance as an opportunity for prayer. She performed Carrie Underwood’s rendition of “How Great Thou Art” to remind a distressed country about God’s unceasing presence. Tucker said her faith is “a big part of who I am.” She wanted to be her most authentic self throughout the TV competition. Tucker performed the same song before dismissing students at chapel. Sophomore nursing major Lauren Garcia followed Tucker’s journey from start to finish that season on The Voice. She was excited when she met Tucker after chapel. “She is so sweet and is an amazing role model for young women,” Garcia said. “Her audition blew me away. I even have some of her covers on my phone.” Although Tucker is just a little older than she, Garcia said, “It’s not weird, but amazing. To manage school and a music career … that’s a lot of work.” In a post-elimination interview after her last appearance on the show, Tucker was gracious and...

Read More
Reaching Out team to go on special mission to Independence
Feb25

Reaching Out team to go on special mission to Independence

THE BELLS — It’s important to have a connection to the past. Because of this, a group of students will travel to UMHB’s original home, Independence, March 1 as part of Reaching Out. The program gives students a chance to actively serve the community, and taking a trip to Independence shows that the university is still in touch with its origins. “Reaching Out is a university-driven service project,” said Michael Murphy, who is the student director for the event. “Students will partner with the Baptist church in Independence and help with various projects.” Director of Alumni Relations Rebecca O’Banion said Reaching Out gives students a chance to spread the gospel away from campus. “We have the opportunity to work together as faculty, staff and students to show Christ’s love in a tangible way to those outside the university family,” she said. A group of 20 students will participate in the service project, which will primarily take place at the Independence Baptist Church, the oldest continually operating Baptist church in Texas. The church opened in 1839 and was a center for mission work in the Republic of Texas. Aside from its age, the church has historical significance because it is also the congregation of which Sam Houston was a member when he was baptized. O’Banion said the trip will be a unique experience because students will not only have a chance to serve the community of Independence, but will also get a history lesson as well. “Those traveling to Independence will work on restoring the old church,” she said. “This has been an ongoing process, and our students will get to be a part of history by lending a hand to this church.” Even though UMHB moved from Independence to Belton in 1886, O’Banion said there’s still a strong connection between the university  and the town. “We have built a good relationship with the pastor and the community and wanted to do something to help them,” she said. “They are always such gracious hosts to us when we visit, and we wanted to serve them.” Because of this connection, the decision to plan a Reaching Out trip to Independence was easy to make. “It seemed like such a great opportunity to serve the church that was the church family of our students in Independence in the 1800s,” she said. “It feels like we are touching part of our history by serving this church.” Registration for the trip is currently closed, but students can sign up for a waiting list at umhb.edu/reaching-out-independence. Director of Student Organizations, Tiffany Wurdemann, said students who sign up for Reaching Out should be prepared to serve...

Read More
Trans-Pacific Partnership hidden from the public
Feb25

Trans-Pacific Partnership hidden from the public

The attacks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a free trade agreement between the United States and 11 other countries. It is one of the largest free trade agreements the U.S. has ever been involved in. Pundits describe it as NAFTA on steroids. Unlike NAFTA, the majority of the American public is unaware of its existence or any of the concessions in the agreement. There has been some media coverage of the negotiations but it is incredibly limited because the negotiations have been done in secret. The website for the U.S. Trade Representative had a few press releases and fact sheets with scant information, but the working draft of the TPP remains classified to the public. Segments of the document have been censored from Congress. The most comprehensive source of information about the TPP has been from Wikileaks. Rep. Alan Grayson and Rep. Elizabeth Warren have both openly criticized the lack of transparency. Warren even voted against the nomination of Michael Froman as the U.S. trade representative ambassador. She said, “I am voting against Mr. Froman’s nomination later today because I believe we need a new direction from the Trade Representative–A direction that prioritizes transparency and public debate.” This document is a free trade agreement, and its transparency should not jeopardize national security. There is no justifiable reason for Congress and the American public to be kept out of the loop. In addition to being classified, the TPP has been fast-tracked, which means that Congress can only vote to approve or disapprove the bill. Representatives cannot amend any of the bill or even attempt a filibuster. The absolute duplicity of the executive branch of government is astonishing. They are attempting to fast-track a bill about free trade that they claim will open up borders while keeping the American public and Congress in the dark. Instead of elected officials exercising their constitutional rights, the USTR and advisory committees, consisting of representatives from different corporations, are determining the future of American foreign trade. Political commentator and activist Noam Chomsky described the TPP as an executive agreement jointly with multinational corporations. Information from the leaked chapters of the TPP shows that several provisions will be made to enhance the power of multinational corporations. One provision being discussed is extending medical patents beyond 20 years. Another provision is to increase restrictions on the fair use of intellectual property. There is no way the American public or even Congress would accept the TPP if they knew all of the included terms. This is why the agreement has been censored. Chomsky said, “This is being rammed down the throats of the populations of the world by...

Read More
Sign language speaks loudly
Feb11

Sign language speaks loudly

As students walked into Walton Chapel on the morning of Feb. 5, some noticed the music at the beginning  of chapel wasn’t playing as usual. Other observations led them to see that students weren’t the only ones in attendance. People from around Central Texas came to see Rev. Thomas Coughlin, the first Deaf chapel presenter who communicated with the audience through an interpreter. UMHB Chaplain Dr. George Loutherback went straight into introducing how the chapel would be different because the presenter wouldn’t be speaking – he would be signing. Little did anyone know, but this was also Coughlin’s first time to deliver a service to any university. “No, I was not nervous at all.… In fact, I find it very challenging and exciting to talk to a very large student body,” Coughlin said in an email. While most people didn’t know what to expect, Coughlin gave a lot for students to think about when his topic was “Mutism: The Dark Side of Deafness.” “The inability to talk is of a greater evil than the inability to hear,” Coughlin said. American Sign Language Professor Dr. Parker Kennedy contacted Coughlin through a videophone once it was certain that a Deaf person was going to present at chapel. “Rev. Tom Coughlin is well known in the Deaf community, which is fairly small,” Kennedy said in an email. “Oftentimes, Deaf people know each other through acquaintances or places they have been to.” Kennedy started teaching at the university in the fall of 2012 and has encouraged and inspired many students to go to Deaf chats and events that happen in and around Belton. On Coughlin coming to campus, Kennedy said, “I believe that this will give the students an intense understanding applicable to the accumulation they have learned in their class thus far.” Junior psychology major Maggie Bates has been learning ASL for two and a half years and is a Teaching Assistant for Kennedy. She thinks Rev. Coughlin coming to Chapel was a great way for students to experience the Deaf community. “I think it shows that Deaf people and hearing people really are the same. Deaf people just use a different language. Having a Deaf presenter was so different than what the students are used to,” Bates said. “It’s important that UMHB students see other cultures and can appreciate them.” Bates met with Rev. Coughlin before the services and introduced him at both using American Sign Language. She said his message was something that everyone can learn from. “Deaf people love being Deaf. They embrace their Deaf culture,” Bates said. “I thought it was interesting that Father Coughlin said that everyone...

Read More
Page 60 of 209« First...102030...5859606162...708090...Last »