Cru Culture
Oct14

Cru Culture

If you’re not “yaking,” your social game is lacking — at least that’s what creators of the latest social networking app, Yik Yak, are hoping.   Though it’s not a game in the traditional sense of the word, it’s a social experiment for the honest, the bored and the nosy. Essentially, Yik Yak has become a back and forth game of secrets and blackmail, taking over college campuses one by one.   Upon downloading, users assume anonymous identities, literally invisible to participants. With such secrecy, writers can post anything they want. And I mean anything.   Restricted by location, your feed of posts differs depending on where you are at the moment. For example, students using Yik Yak on campus will only be reading UMHB gossip.   The app also allows “peeks,” where users can look at feeds from other universities, literally reading the dirty laundry of places like Stanford and Baylor.   Crusaders have taken to this free speech forum to express all sorts of sentiments, whether it be their frustrations with the university or their personal problems. While it can be as innocent as posting jokes or Monday encouragement, there’s a darker side to this conversation free-for-all.   Unfortunately, the yaks have turned into negativity and hatred, earning users Yakarama points, giving them no reason to stop.   Freshmen, overweight students and even the kid in the library playing his music too loud — these are just a few of the people being attacked by users of the app. Flaws are being exposed, and controversial opinions are being uploaded by the second. It’s like a public condemnation of sins, and stones are being thrown from countless users.   Many Crusaders have expressed their unhappiness with Yik Yak and the aftermath of its contents, so the university responded by blocking yaks on CruNet.   But nothing can be done about using cellular data for spilling secrets. The face of the app, the little mischievous Yak, will continue to spin as posts load on campus.   For those that are tired of reading and hearing these terrible things, delete the application — it will save you a lot of time and hurt.   Yakers, you may not be able to control what people say about you, but you do have the power to say, or not say, cruel things about...

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Crusader soccer teams start seasons strong
Oct14

Crusader soccer teams start seasons strong

The men’s and women’s soccer teams have kicked off the 2014-15 season.   Currently, the Cru is 4-4-1 and began conference games this past weekend against Louisiana College and East Texas Baptist University.   The Cru went 1-0-1 on the road, starting with a tie and finishing with a victory. The Lady Cru are 6-3 and also played against LC and ETBU.   The women took care of business and won both games over the weekend, outscoring their opponents 11-0.   Head men’s soccer coach Brad Bankhead is ready to execute the team’s goals this year.   “The number one thing is to get to the post-season. We understand that, so it’s obviously a goal. We would like to host the (conference) tournament, but our ultimate goal right now is getting to the post-season and see what happens from there,” he said.   Over the weekend, the Cru defeated ETBU 2-1. Senior cellular biology and psychology major Nate Fagnant helped secure the victory for the Cru by scoring early in the first half.   Fagnant believes in his squad. He said, “The team that Coach Bankhead has assembled this season believes in his vision of a superior and dominant squad. (We) have been training our tails off preparing for conference play.”   What’s the key to success?   “To walk through fire this season and come out together, victorious, while making life long lasting relationships on the way,” Fagnant said.   Head women’s soccer Barry Elkins believes in his team and the goals they have set this year.   “Our main goal is to make the national tournament. That is either going to come two ways: through winning our conference tournament or getting our ranking up high enough and getting an at-large bid,” he said.   The Lady Cru are off to a great start as they have begun conference play undefeated at 3-0.   Junior nursing major Ashley Stenack enjoys being a part of the team.   “I absolutely love going to practice every day and being a part of this soccer family. I love that when I step on the field, everything and anything that is bothering me fades away, and nothing matters except the girls standing next to me. I have their backs, and I know they will have mine,” she said.   The Cru and Lady Cru will return home for two matches this Friday and Saturday at the Crusader Soccer Field.   They will take on rival Hardin-Simmons and Howard Payne University. Women begin at 5 p.m. followed by the men at 7...

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Web master explains new Canvas system
Sep17

Web master explains new Canvas system

This semester, not only did the Bawcom Student Union change the look of campus, the roll out of the new online system for myCampus changed the look of students’ daily interactions with their classes.   Alumnus and Web Services Manager Matthew Irvine and his department were instrumental in laying out the new interface.   “Web Services was involved in creating a consistent look and feel between myCampus and myCourses. Most schools use the out-of-the-box styling provided by different software titles,” he said. “We believe that it provides a better user experience to have more consistency.”   Irvine’s office was responsible for facilitating a smooth transitional mechanism between two parts of the online system that had once been separate.   He said, “We were also involved in building a bridge between our student information system and myCourses. Since these two pieces of software are provided by two different vendors, we created a mechanism for the two systems to securely pass data back and forth.”   Irvine believes the new look and reorganization have been received well by most people on campus.   “I have heard mostly good things from faculty and students. People generally find myCourses easier to use than the old LMS. Faculty are able to more easily create rich content in their courses, and students are already benefitting from more interactive and feature-rich course content,” he said.   Irvine likes the new conveniences the interface has to offer.   “One of the best features, in my opinion, is the way that videos work now,” he said. “Instead of being forced to download an entire video file and hope that it is compatible with your system, myCourses is built with video support that provides students the ability to stream videos from any Web browser on any operating system.”   Students and faculty have brought forward concerns about one setback, though.   “There has been some difficulty in using the Canvas app. We are working with our vendor to correct this issue, but there is a simple workaround to that problem. Instead of typing the university name, students can complete the login process by entering the full URL of mycourses.umhb.edu, then pressing ‘Go,’” Irvine said.”   Overall, Irvine is pleased with the work of his department and the results it’s produced.   “I love myCourses. It provides a great framework for faculty to provide excellent learning resources to students, and it provides students with a much more intuitive and user-friendly learning management system,” he...

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Staying healthy in college culture
Sep17

Staying healthy in college culture

Worried about putting on a few more pounds with the opening of the on campus Chick-fil-A? Anticipating late night study sessions that wouldn’t be complete without cookies and Doritos? You’re not alone. It’s not easy to stay in shape when the college culture encourages you to sleep in rather than wake up early for a gym session or hit up Whataburger at 2 a.m. just because you can.   Studies show that 70 percent of students gain weight during college. They also suggest that the “freshman 15” is real.   Freshman biology major Austin Roden knows the challenges he’ll be facing as he transitions to campus life but intends to be proactive.   “My biggest worry about fitness in college is not finding time to work out. I haven’t had that problem yet, but as the semester goes on I might,” Roden said. “My plan to avoid that is to make sure I get my homework and studies done in time to leave extra hours for myself to work out.”   Roden has already used amenities UMHB offers to help students maintain a healthy lifestyle while on campus.   “I’ve definitely taken advantage of the Mayborn Campus Center’s facilities. It’s awesome that we have such an extensive amount of equipment available to us. I try to make sure to run two miles on the treadmill daily and also add fitness by playing soccer and basketball whenever I see people playing,” he said.   Campus Rec, the hub of fitness located between McLane Hall and Beall Hall, has something for everyone to enjoy. They sponsor fitness classes, intramural leagues, competitions and tournaments that are all available to students for no charge. Yoga, spinning, Zumba and aqua calorie burner are just a few of the classes offered at Mayborn Campus Center.   Junior pre-physical therapy major Madison Butler works in the Campus Rec office. She encourages students to participate in intramurals because “you make a lot of friends, and it’s a fun way to get involved in campus activities and stay in shape.”   Butler says that students looking to join an intramural team can register as a free agent or with a team through IM Leagues on the Campus Rec website.   Junior business administration major Tucker Saxton talked about the importance of incorporating fitness and healthy eating into his daily routine. He enjoys lifting weights at Mayborn Campus Center, playing intramural flag football and running around campus. Saxton knows the long-term benefits of a healthy lifestyle in college.   “I think it’s important because if we can devise a system of exercise and stick with it even while being...

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Art exhibit shows suffering of Christ
Sep17

Art exhibit shows suffering of Christ

Since the Baugh Center for Visual Arts opened last year, the school has been very consistent with using the gallery to display art shows and exhibits for various other things.   Usually, the works are created by different artists from all over the world while others keep it close to home and host a student or faculty art show  in the gallery.   Currently in the gallery, there is an exhibit of different works from French modernist artist Georges Rouault called Seeing Christ in the Darkness.   Most of the works that are currently displayed are different portrayals of suffering and are often seen as gloomy and depressing.   The black and white paintings are dramatic, though there are a few paintings that were done in color.   The paintings are all very similar, with thick lines and the same style throughout each individual work.   The gallery is set up to only shed a small amount of light to be able to see the paintings, but it isn’t as brightly lit as it has been in the past.   The exhibit of art was done by Rouault in the 1900s and has been a traveling show since then.   “The Rouault exhibit, while focusing attention on the suffering of Christ and the shared suffering of the working class and downtrodden citizens of Paris of the early 1900s, shows a glimmer of hope and compassion which hopefully viewers can sense,” art department chairperson Hershall Seals said.   This is an exhibit that many art students can appreciate, but any student on campus is welcome to come to the gallery and check out the different pieces of work done by Rouault.   “It is important for students to see these impressive Modernist works and to take note on how Rouault developed his signature style, giving voice to powerful emotions and how he had as his mission a sense of social justice in his art,” Seals said.   Sophomore art education major Francesca Infurnari visited the exhibit and thinks it’s very important for students in the major to go to these shows  held here throughout the semester.   “I think that it’s really crucial to see successful artists’ work in galleries. It’s important to see why and how they got to that point,” she said. “I like when an artist does a series of something, because the variations between each piece are so interesting.”   When this show is finished here on campus, the art department will host another show for the students to come and see.   “Different artists give me new ideas and make me think I should try...

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Cru Culture: Tinder
Sep17

Cru Culture: Tinder

Can you really swipe left or right to find true love?   Tinder, a “meet new people” app, seeks to do just that. The program has had an impact on college students everywhere, and UMHB is no different.   The application counts on the fact that people really do judge a book by its cover. When you sign on, you create a profile of pictures and a short biography of yourself. Then, Tinder technology takes over and provides you with profiles of the opposite sex that live within a certain distance of you.   If you like what you see, you swipe right and hope the other person does the same for your profile. If it’s a match, a conversation can be started from either end.   But if you swipe left, neither person ever knows and communication can’t be made in any way. Seems pretty simple, right?   Wrong.   There are always do’s and don’ts in the dating world, but how can you navigate the uncertain waters of this unconventional social site?   To all the men out there looking to find Mrs. Right, start with removing pictures of you with your exes and other random women. No matter how pretty the leading lady standing next to you in your photo is, it doesn’t make viewers of your profile jealous. It just makes them think you’re a player, and probably won’t get you many “right swipes.”   Then there’s the issue of starting a conversation. The guy should definitely make the first move and keep traditional chivalry as alive as possible in such a modern situation.   “Hey” just doesn’t cut it. In fact, a corny knock knock joke would be a better way to get a woman’s attention. She will probably have an inbox full of hellos. If you want to stand out, be original.   To the women, keep your biography simple. Telling the whole world you want to be a cat lady or that you frequent Starbucks just makes you look like everyone else, too.   Whether you’re new to an area, looking for love, or just searching for new friends, make your intentions clear in your profile, and you can save yourself some trouble.   All that to say, happy...

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