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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Exploring Belton: Small town sights
Sep17

Exploring Belton: Small town sights

Welcome Week has become a distant memory for most since classes have started, and the days are only going to get harder as the semester goes on.   But college students are notorious for squeezing whatever free time they can find in their week and using it to help  unwind from the constant struggle we call school.   Contrary to popular belief, Belton has plenty to offer students. The best part is—if it isn’t free, it’s pretty darn cheap. Score.   A lot of Crusaders find themselves driving to Waco to enjoy a little bit of country dancing at Wild West. But why drive 45 minutes when you can enjoy the student event known as Own the Night. It happens every other Thursday night in one of the back parking lots off of University Drive.   “Own the Night is a place where we can go that’s close by on campus…. We are able to meet up with our friends on a week night to take a break from studying. Not only can we meet up with our friends, but meet new students while two-stepping to country music,” sophomore nursing major Natalie Acevedo said.   The students who put on the event play other types of music to get everyone out on the floor. The event is free, but if you’re feeling generous, you can donate a dollar or two for the people who provide water for everyone. This is a fun way to spend your Thursday and a chance to meet more of your fellow classmates.   If you’re looking to get your grub on, look no further than downtown Belton. Here, you will find varieties of different foods to satisfy any cravings a hungry visitor may have.   Miller’s Smokehouse, a barbecue place, was named Texas Monthly’s “Top 50 Best BBQ Joints,” and that’s not because of the location.   The owner, Dusty Miller, was studying accounting at UMHB when he decided to open the little restaurant. Since then, the food has left customer’s feeling satisfied and dreaming of the next time they can come back for more.   Crusaders have been enjoying Miller’s since its opening in 2008, all while seeing it grow into the popular place it is now.   Another popular place is The Gin. Located downtown in an old cotton gin building, the restaurant sits right off  Nolan Creek and has much to offer. One popular entree they serve is called the Akaushi burger, a high quality meat that can only be found in Yoakum, Texas, and Japan. Enjoy the burger with their homemade chips, and you have an authentic meal from The...

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Saddle up with Cru Riding Association
Sep17

Saddle up with Cru Riding Association

Owning your own horse is not required. On Sept. 3, the Cru Riding Association held their first meeting of the fall semester. Many UMHB students were in attendance. When asked why she was interested in becoming a member, freshman biology major Grace Gibson said, “I rode horses almost eight years ago at a camp and fell in love. It is just too expensive to own and maintain a horse by myself.”   The riding club has been an unofficial association for four years at UMHB, but this year is its first year as an active organization. The riding club president and senior nursing major Kelsey Kunk said, “We are now able to receive funding, which enabled us to become an active association.” Vice President and sophomore nursing major Erica Lowe said, “Members are limited to UMHB. Family members are welcome to accompany students, but are not able to ride the horses.”   Members are required to do three hours of community service and participate in riding days. Riding days are pre-arranged days designed for the group to ride for three hours. There are between 10 and 12 riding days for this school year, ranging from free to $15 per student. Price is determined by how many members RSVP for that particular scheduled riding day. Saturday, Oct. 4 is the first riding day. Water and snacks will be provided. Plus, the association participates in horse-related attractions, seminars, movies, performances and shows to as a club.   The group has partnered with Anne’s Barn in Holland to provide six to seven horses for the members to ride. Members may also utilize their own horse with prior permission. All levels of riders are invited, from beginners to the most experienced. Transportation to and from riding days and required equipment are provided by UMHB.   In October the association will be searching for members who are interested in holding an office in the club. Positions available include president, historian and public relations. Current advisers for the club are Heath Cox from the physical plant department and Megan Owen of the records...

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