SGA hopes to have big impact on campus policy
Oct06

SGA hopes to have big impact on campus policy

Student Government Association representatives recently met for the first time this semester to indoctrinate new members and brainstorm about ways to improve the student experience on campus. The organization had many new ideas at this first session because of an influx of fresh faces. “The only people that are returning senate members are those on the executive cabinet and then one or two of the other senate members. So we have a fresh senate; they’re still learning how everything works,” External Vice President Kirstie Wallace said. Despite many being new to SGA, the senate members are ready and excited to bring their ideas of change to the table. “SGA is not just about pushing agendas, but rather representing the 3000 students that attend UMHB,” Freshman Class President Tyler Baker said. “It is the only club at school that can have a direct effect on policy. I joined because I wanted to be involved in helping make our school even better.” Getting involved and listening to classmates is exactly what the members are doing. At the SGA meeting on Sept. 22, the senate members threw out many ideas that had been brought to them by fellow students. One of these ideas was inspired by a concern about the sun glare from the windows on the first floor of the Student Union Building, as well as in Mayborn Campus Center. “I propose getting blinds where the computers are in the SUB. It’s really bright and you can’t see the screen if you’re using the computers,” senior Senator Collin Cavendish said. “[I propose] possibly getting blinds and fans in Mayborn as well.” Another issue SGA hopes to address has to do with parking restrictions. Students have mentioned that commuters are being allowed to park in residential parking spots at all times, but residents are only allowed to park in commuter parking spaces after 2:30 p.m. Freshman cell biology with clinical lab science major, Bryanna Edwards, agrees with this issue and has expressed her frustration with the lack of parking spots closer to residential and academic buildings, and the competition this has led to. “As a Remschel resident there is very little parking. We are always competing with Stribling residents and other students for parking spots by the dorm. I know commuters take lots of residential spots as well because there isn’t enough commuter parking either. It’s just a constant competition for spots,” she said. Other ideas mentioned during the meeting were a return of the Homecoming 5K, a Day of Culture, and benches to provide seating at the bus stops. The association also voted to nominate sophomore Treasurer Jake Fereday as the...

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Easter Pageant continues to draw crowds after 76 years
Apr15

Easter Pageant continues to draw crowds after 76 years

Hundreds of students, staff and locals gathered Wed. April 1 to witness the last days of Christ’s life. Everything from his first miracle to his suffering on the cross and his resurrection from the tomb plagued the crowd with a multitude of emotion.   For this year’s 76th annual Easter Pageant, university president Dr. Randy O’Rear personally selected senior nursing major Nathan Forester and senior public relations major Jasmine Simmons to represent the life of Jesus and Mary, respectively.   “When I was asked to portray Mary in Easter Pageant, I was very honored and a little confused.” Simmons said. “When it comes to being chosen for something like that you never think that it will be you.”   Forester selected his 12 disciples, and Simmons chose seven ladies to represent her mourners for this year’s production. Throughout the year Forester and Simmons each led his and her group through practices, weekly devotion and random fellowship activities.   However, it was more than just logistical training that led to a successful show. Many of the committee, crew and cast challenged themselves to prepare outside of practice.   “Getting ready to portray Mary was a preparation of the heart,” Simmons said. “Being casted as one of the leadership roles of Easter Pageant, people might assume that you have everything worked out.”   The same circumstances applied to senior public relations major Payton Pierce, who was chosen by President O’Rear to lead this year’s production.   “A lot of that was preparing myself for the role of leadership.” Pierce said. “The Lord sort of dropped this in my lap and said, ‘Here you go! Run with it.”   While practices never proved themselves flawless and the cast and crew bore the weight of responsibility on their shoulders, each person knew that the experience continually proved itself rewarding.   As Pierce focused on relationship building and encouragement towards the cast and crew, she was able to understand the best way she could lead by example.   “I did this by giving myself grace and knowing the Lord has given me this opportunity,” Pierce said, “And in anything and everything I do, I’m going to glorify him through it.”   This year sophomore nursing major Morgan Greentree, who considers Easter Pageant one of her favorite university traditions, participated as a crowd’s member for her second time.   While she never partook in a production quite like this one, she loves being a part of this UMHB tradition because it serves as her little reminder of what Christ did for her and everyone else that day on the cross.   “We want to show...

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Week shines light on sex trafficking
Mar04

Week shines light on sex trafficking

Freedom Movement made great strides last week as the group celebrated End It Week Feb. 22 – 27, an effort created to inform college students on the cruelties of human trafficking.   “End It Week is our big event,” senior Public Relations major and co-vice president Andi Hale said. “It’s our main push for awareness and fundraising.”   The campus organization planned for a five-day crusade as a way to spread the message behind its actions, complete with guest speakers, a special documentary and a glow-in-the-dark dodge ball tournament while Freedom Movement wrapped up the work week with the worldwide event, “Shine A Light On Slavery Day.”   Each student sported a large red X across his or her hand to show support for the cause last Friday.   Freshman art education major Sam Shamard has seen first-hand the effects of human trafficking during a semester in Athens, Greece, last year. During her time abroad, she was exposed to the heartbreaking issue while working in the immigrant ministry, which sparked her desire to make a difference.   “It changes your perspective on so many things, knowing there are people all over the world not living in freedom,” Shamard said. “We are given freedom in Christ, and not only do these people not know this, but they are in physical bondage.”   Others, like Hale, heard about the growing problem of human trafficking through word-of-mouth. This eye-opening experience led to their involvement in order to equip others with the means to act on the information.   “I have an advocate’s heart and a passion for people,” Hale said. “Anytime I hear about injustices, it gets me worked up.”   Freedom Movement, inspired by a 2011 Passion conference in Atlanta, was brought to campus the following year by a group of students, which included the organization’s current president Nathan Gilmore and co-vice president Alec Loyd who were moved by realties and brokenness of human trafficking. The organization remains prominent at other college campuses around the United States.   While the efforts of Freedom Movement continue to grow, its endeavor is simply to provide support for similar nonprofits by raising funds and providing awareness.   “We didn’t want to compete with nonprofits already in place that have resources to effectively fight human trafficking,” Hale said.     As a result, the organization selects a local nonprofit to work directly alongside with for a period of time. This year, Freedom Movement tailored its efforts to assist Jesus Said Love, a Waco-based group passionate about building relationships with dancers and strip club employees.   Members of Freedom Movement invited a representative of the organization...

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Heartbreaker ends Cru’s season
Mar04

Heartbreaker ends Cru’s season

Led by senior Jerard Graham, the UMHB men’s basketball team made a late-season push to lock up the No. 5 seed in the American Southwest Conference tournament. The Cru’s run came to an end, however, as the team suffered a 72-64 defeat at the hands of Howard Payne University in Thursday’s first-round matchup.   The Cru gained control early and built a 10-point lead early in the second half, but an 11-0 run by the Yellow Jackets put HPU up 44-43 five minutes into the second half.   The Yellow Jackets would build a 54-47 lead, but the Cru fought back to tie the game at 59.   With 4:23 left in the contest, sophomore guard Avery Polchinski drained a bucket that gave UMHB a 63-62 advantage.   It would be the final field goal the Cru would make on the evening as HPU was able to ice the game from the free throw line.   Sophomore Daniel Mills led the Cru with 24 points on the game. The Belton High product averaged 18.8 points over the Cru’s final five games. Mills said his success down the stretch can be accredited to the bonds he built with his teammates throughout the season.   “I think I just got used to having new teammates and my confidence went up a lot,” he said. “I think it has to do with my teammates and coach having trust in me and I’ve just been more consistent with my effort and it has helped me.”   Graham was the team’s leading scorer on the season, averaging 18.9 points per game as he started every game for the Cru. The senior not only led his team in scoring, but became a more vocal leader as well.   “I have felt myself get more vocal in practice and in games. At the beginning of the season I was a tad quiet but now I’m constantly communicating with my teammates,” Graham said.   The team loses Graham and fellow senior Kevin Waller, but will bring back a core next season that includes Mills and point guard Layton Zinsmeister among others.   Zinsmeister said the players became more comfortable with each other as the season wore on, which they hopefully will be able to carry into next season.   “Throughout the season I have noticed our team improving in almost every way. We are starting to make the big shots and play together better,” he said. “We had a few new guys this year and it took some time to get the chemistry going but as of late we really have been playing well together.”   The...

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Annual writer’s festival a success
Mar04

Annual writer’s festival a success

In February, the university’s English department hosted its annual writer’s festival. This is a three-day event devoted to creativity and learning where students, staff, faculty and guest authors can learn about and share writing.   “I think that it’s important for the campus community and the broader community to be exposed to the literature that’s being created in the here and now. The festival is a place where both writing and faith are taken seriously,” Professor of English Dr. Nathaniel Hansen said of the event, which he has now directed for three years.   Although the event takes place over a span of three days, many months of prior preparation are necessary.   “The planning process begins about a year ahead of the festival when I start contacting potential featured writers,” Hansen said.   Once I line up the featured writers, I create a general call for papers for local, regional, state, and national writers to read as part of a panel. It’s a process that I very much enjoy.”   Hansen likes the interaction between writers of diverse places and walks of life.   “It’s a pleasure to watch writers of varying levels and differing backgrounds interact with one another. It’s also a great opportunity for our students, not just English majors, to hear from talented writers.”   Hansen was pleased with this year’s turnout and looks forward to the coming year.   “Events were well attended this year, and we had more festival participants than in prior years. Some participants traveled from Ohio, Nebraska, Michigan and Oklahoma,” he said.   Kelsey Belcher, a senior English major and president of Sigma Tau Delta said, “I was a student volunteer. I worked the book and check-in tables, and helped Dr. Hansen, who runs the Writers’ Festival, with other miscellaneous tasks in order to keep the festival running smoothly.”   Belcher believes it’s necessary to expose the campus to various writing forms with events like the writer’s festival.   “Writing is important, because it provides an outlet for self-expression and fosters creative and academic interaction with others,” she said.   Grace Lindig, a senior English major who also worked a table at the festival said, “It was truly an awesome experience and I’m sad I won’t be here next...

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Professor turns class into campus film fest
Feb04

Professor turns class into campus film fest

The theater lights dim and Charlie Chaplin’s iconic character appears on the screen, complete with his cane, bowler hat and unmistakable moustache. His slapstick antics have the audience’s attention as they watch to see how he’s going to get out of a sticky situation. No, this isn’t a flashback to a 1920s movie theater, but rather a scene from Brindley Auditorium as part of a semester-long film series put on by the communication and media studies department.   The series was born from a class, Film History and Criticism, in which students view and discuss iconic films. The professor who teaches the course, Dr. Joseph Tabarlet, has opened his class to the public so that others can view the historic films that are seldom shown in theater-like settings.   Tabarlet belonged to the Central Texas Film Society, which hosted a similar series.   “We did that for a little over two years at the CAC in Temple. It was a lot of fun. I got to see films that I had never seen before and I was able to introduce people to films that I loved that they had never seen before,” he said.   He wanted to bring something similar to UMHB and saw that his Film History and Criticism class would be the perfect opportunity to do so. Films are shown every Monday at 2 p.m. in York 102. Each film in the series either has an important historical significance or has had a lasting impact on the film industry itself.   The first few weeks focus on the early stages of the motion picture industry.   “In this series, we’re seeing a lot of silent films, and the reason for that is that’s such an important part of film history,” Tabarlet said. “You can’t understand how the film industry developed unless you see those films made before 1930 that in many cases are ignored.”   Modern moviegoers may not think silent era films are appealing, but senior general studies major Robert Edwards said they’re more entertaining than one might think.   “I don’t think I ever watched too many silent films, but now that I have, me and my wife watch them together for entertainment,” Edwards said.   Tabarlet said those who avoid silent films are avoiding a major part of cinematic history.   “If they don’t see the silent films because they’re silent, then they’re missing out on a lot. Silent film is an art form ….,” he said.   Even though most people think comedy when thinking of silent films, Tabarlet said they can have a powerful impact as well.   “I remember the...

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