Play Day offers a chance to unwind before finals
May06

Play Day offers a chance to unwind before finals

THE BELLS — By Josh Bradshaw   Being a full time student at any university is hard work and oftentimes, demanding. With finals just around the corner, the university did its best to help relieve some stress and tension with its annual Play Day event. The event, hosted by Student Life, had lots of goings-on throughout the day. Here were some of the highlights of the event: •    Yoga •    Basketball and volleyball tournaments •    Paintball •    Laser tag •    Zip line •    Petting zoo •    Cricket Play Day had some new attractions this year. Mike McCarthy, director of Campus Activities, expressed his desire for more international students to be involved at the event. “When we plan events like Play Day, we try to get as many students as possible to attend. This means we have to think through various activities students from different walks of life would participate in.” Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, and though it lacks much of a following in America, McCarthy was prepared to take the risk of putting it on the Play Day schedule. “If providing a game of cricket, led by one of our international student workers, draws in other international students, then for me, Play Day has been a success.” The rec field was largely taken up with short cricket games for much of the afternoon. Play commenced at 1 p.m. and did not stop until after 6 p.m. Karl Baker, a senior Christian studies major, spoke  highly of the event. He said, “I love UMHB because the school is always providing opportunities to learn about new things. The game of cricket has always fascinated me.” After playing against some more experienced international players, Baker realized just how much there was to the game. “I did better than I expected, but I still have a lot to learn. It’s a far cry from baseball.” People came and went throughout the day, and the field was always in play. The games were competitive but provided the grounds to build relationship and community among different groups on campus, something that UMHB prides itself on. Collin Davies, a senior Spanish/chemistry major, and also the school’s student body president, joined in the fun for an hour. “I enjoyed learning a new sport which teaches a lot about a culture and people who are quickly becoming a part of daily life here at UMHB.” Davies, who also plays for The Cru tennis team, took to the sport well and hopes to play again. “On the cricket field, cultural and linguistic boundaries are minimized to nothing more than sport, competition and pride...

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Rare lunar eclipse leads to late night on campus
May06

Rare lunar eclipse leads to late night on campus

THE BELLS — At 2 a.m., Crusaders gathered their blankets and pulled on an extra pair of socks before venturing outside for the blood moon April 14.   On the chilly night, the earth moved in front of the sun while a shadow passed over the moon that blocked out a good portion of its light. The eerie sight provoked many religious figures to link the spectacle to the beginning of the end times. But for Crusaders, it was merely the beginning of the end of their sleep for the night.   Senior business systems major Chris Truitt photographed the eclipse. His videography experience allowed him to achieve a clear photo of the memorable occurrence. “I decided to watch the eclipse after hearing my girlfriend talk about it, and I also saw a few internet memes that were talking about it, so I decided to check it out,” he said. This first blood moon of the year marks a memorable tetrad of lunar eclipses that will occur over the next year and a half, which hasn’t happened in 10 years.   Truitt encountered some problems photographing it, but he wanted to document the occasion. He said, “Normally I shoot video, so this was a little different having to mess with the settings constantly to get a decent photo. To get the photo it wasn’t too difficult, though I had to use a technique I’ve never used before. In order to get enough light into the photo, I had to stop the shutter speed down extremely low. Any slight movement of the camera would have made a blurry photo.”   Sophomore business management major Troy Robinson realized how rare the night ahead of him would be, and decided to stay up. Though he had an 8 a.m. class the next morning, he doesn’t regret his decision. “It was actually really cool. It took a while for the moon to turn red, but when it did, it was an amazing sight,” he said.   While some people falsely thought the red moon was mars, the light of the sun penetrated the atmosphere and only red light escaped the atmosphere. The science behind the blood moon explains its name and gave watchers something to talk about while waiting for the lunar event to happen.   Senior computer science and chemistry major Zach Winfield explained the event further. “What makes this blood moon so interesting is that it is part one of four. This is the first lunar eclipse that will occur in 2014 and 2015. The four together are known as a tetrad,” he said.   If you missed this blood moon,...

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Chemistry Club goes green for Earth Day
May06

Chemistry Club goes green for Earth Day

THE BELLS — Earth Day is a worldwide event celebrated every year on April 22. Many events are held to demonstrate support for the protection of the environment, and more than 192 countries commemorate the day.   So, what is a better way to participate with the rest of the world than recycling electronics that are of no use anymore?   Thanks to the chemistry club, Sigma Pi, the university was able to do just that by bringing items to a booth in the SUB. They were later taken to Best Buy to be salvaged.   Senior chemistry/computer science major Zach Winfield is a member of Sigma Pi. The club decided to host the event to make the campus greener. “We hosted this Earth Day to meet our quota for Three Green chemistry set by the American Chemicals Society. We met the quota when we cleaned two miles of highway off of 2nd Street on April 12,” he said.   That didn’t stop the club from continuing. They decided to plant a tree in honor of the day. They received recyclable items that included TVs, computers, a VCR and landline and cellular phones. They were even able to recycle the waste from the liquid nitrogen slushies and ice cream that were provided to the students.   “Our goal for the club is to promote green chemistry and a green way of living for students. We also set up a fundraiser for a tree and plaque to be planted on campus,” Winfield said.  “We have hosted this event in the past but never had the intention of planting a tree. Before, we taught green living and had students write a pledge on a paper leaf to attach to our tree in the Student Union Building.”   The outreach coordinator of the local American Chemical Society and professor Dr. Linda Gao said the events put on by the club are enjoyable and informational. “In the fall semester of 2013, our events reached more than 200 people with positive messages about UMHB and chemistry,” she said.   The organization has adopted a highway in Belton where they pick up trash twice a year. In addition to that, they offer a snack bar on the top floor of York where students and professors can grab snacks or drinks for a “fuel boost” during their day.   “As a club, we wanted to celebrate Earth Day by doing something good for nature and sharing ways that other people can help, too,” sophomore chemistry major Kendall McGahey said. McGahey has been in the club for two semesters and starting next semester, she will be the...

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FAA keeps economy grounded due to slow regulation of drones
May06

FAA keeps economy grounded due to slow regulation of drones

THE BELLS — The MQ-9 Reaper is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can employ four air-to-ground Hellfire missiles and a guided bomb. It’s the kind of drone that Call of Duty fanatics foam at the mouth for, hopingto use its power during gameplay. But drones are no game. Enemies of the United States can attest to that fact. Drones have been around as agents of war, mostly for reconnaissance purposes, since the Spanish-American War (that is if you count a kite with a camera attached to it as a UAV), but no one doubts their capabilities today. Drones offer us so much more than an upper hand on our enemies.  Commercial America has much to gain if it accepts the use of these vehicles. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shocked the nation when he revealed his big R&D project to 60 Minutes in December. His “Octocopter” is set to deliver packages to customers doorsteps in 30 minutes or less. UAV’s are predicted to be most useful flying over miles of farmland. According to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, it’s expected that the commercial market for drones will find about 80 percent of its work in an agricultural setting. Kevin Price is an employee of RoboFlight, a Denver based company that sells drones and analyzes field crop data. “It is endless right now, the applications in agriculture,” he told USAToday. Farmers “are going to be able to see things and monitor their crops in ways they never have before. In the next 10 years, almost every farm will be using it.”   The drone industry is in limbo right now due to the Federal Aviation Administration’s slow response to establish guidelines for commercial use. Certainly, much thought must be put into regulating drones. Problems can occur if they inhibit the flight paths of airliners and civilian aircraft. According to its website, the FAA’s top priority is safety.   The FAA has set up two camps of UAV operations: Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems and (UAS) Public UAS. Civil UAS is where farmers would fall. Their website says that “Obtaining an experimental airworthiness certificate for a particular UAS is currently the only way civil operators of unmanned aircraft are accessing the National Airspace System.”   This is causing a holdup, and although the FAA is attempting to improve its current Civil UAS (i.e. farmers) regulations, nearly 100,000 potential jobs sit unfilled. Public UAS is a more complicated issue because much of it surrounds urban areas where commercial airliners dominate the airspace. The FAA must step up and realize the positive economic impact both UAS sectors could have on our...

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Discrimination in higher education
May06

Discrimination in higher education

Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was published previously in print on the opinions page. Opinions do not necessarily reflect the adviser’s, staff and/or the university’s viewpoint. THE BELLS — Controversy is brewing as the Supreme Court last week upheld the University of Michigan’s decision to ban the use of racial considerations in admissions, further strengthening the state’s constitutional amendment, which nullifies affirmative action. This brings up questions of institutions and individuals in the United States engaging in what some like Dr. Benjamin Carson call “reverse discrimination.” If equality of opportunity was what universities cared about, why should race matter?   In a piece he wrote for townhall.com titled “Beyond Affirmative Action,” he says, “…Let’s take a child who is a member of a racial minority with parents who are successful professionals who have given their child every imaginable advantage. The child applies to a prestigious university with a 3.95 grade-point average, excellent SAT scores…. This child would obviously be an excellent candidate for admission.” He contrasts the first student with another. Carson writes, “Let’s take another child who is white, but whose father is incarcerated and whose mother is an alcoholic. Despite these disadvantages, the child still has a 3.7 grade-point average, very good SAT scores and a resume that includes several low-paying jobs. Without taking any other factors into consideration, the choice is clear: The first student would be admitted over the second.” This does nothing when trying to overcome racial discrimination. In an attempt to right the wrongs of the past, minorities have been given preferential treatment when it comes to higher education, scholarships and job applications. To an extent, this may have been warranted, but now as progress is made on the racial front, do we need to keep the same programs in place? Trying to reach the goal of unity by focusing on differences is like riding a bike and staring at a wall you’re trying not to hit. The result is almost always a collision that could be avoided. Is it right for an African-American student to get into an institution while a Caucasian student who has a higher GPA doesn’t get admitted because of a noble intention? No. Where is the equality in that? Why does any state still allow these rules that only artificially level the playing field? Is it racist for a Caucasian to get a job because he or she happens to be more qualified than an African-American candidate who applied for the same position? The fairness that comes from true equality would tell the employer that race is truly a non-factor...

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Adviser closes out 13 years with The Bells
May06

Adviser closes out 13 years with The Bells

THE BELLS — by Vicky Kendig   The past 13 years of my being adviser of this newspaper have been some of the happiest of my life, though they didn’t necessarily start out that way. I came to the university in August of 2001, and the first edition of The Bells under my advising was nothing short of a baptism by fire. It was the paper we published online Sept. 11, 2001. Before that frightening day, the newspaper staff wasn’t really set up yet or even expecting to publish anything so soon in the new school year. We were all taking our time, getting our feet on the ground, getting to know each other. However, as so often happens in journalism, the students found themselves thrown into a story of such proportion that few of them could understand all the consequences. Nor could I.   By some accounts, The Bells was the first newspaper in the local area to publish Web content about the attacks on the Twin Towers and Pentagon. Pretty heady stuff for a small newspaper from a small school. That coverage won the paper several awards and set the tone for the following years. Since that time in 2001, staff members have collected approximately 475 journalism awards in writing, photography, online and design from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association, Baptist Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. Those honors, awarded by professionals in the journalism field, have confirmed the fact that UMHB students had—and still have—the right stuff. I’ve watched with pride and humility as students have grappled with tough topics like homelessness, abortion and the drug wars on the Texas-Mexico border. I’ve seen their humanity through the tears in their eyes as they tell of the wildfires they covered or, recently, the toll of human lives in the two Fort Hood shootings and West fertilizer plant explosion.   They’ve written about presidents, past presidents, foreign presidents and protests against those presidents. When George W. Bush was president, central Texas was rife with story possibilities, and UMHB students made regular treks to Crawford, the location of Bush’s ranch. We all hoped Barack Obama would buy that ranch when he was elected president. Sadly, that was not to be. The students have written about Texas culture, Texas secessionists, and gun control—all the while covering the more tranquil campus goings-on, and doing both types of stories with enthusiasm and vigor.   As I prepare to retire, I say to this year’s staff, so ably guided by Editor-in-Chief Katelyn Holm and Assistant Editor Antonio Hebert, I was honored to be your adviser and that of the staffs before you....

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