Get pumped for summer flicks
Apr15

Get pumped for summer flicks

Summer is right around the corner and for most college students, that means relaxing, binge-watching Netflix and checking out the new movies expected to be released during the few months of a much-needed break.   A highly anticipated film premiering on June 12 is Jurassic World, the fourth movie in the well-known prehistoric series released in the late ’90s and early 2000s. It has been 22 years since the first Jurassic Park was released in 1993. After the chaos in the third movie in 2001, audience members were left to think the dinosaur world had fallen apart.   The storyline for Jurassic World is telling us otherwise; it goes into depth about the success of the park in the last 10 years and how they are trying to regain their visitors by creating a new attraction. It has taken almost a decade and a half for a new movie, but longtime fans have been ranting about it since the trailer came out last year. The wait might be worth it considering CGI effects and movie quality has only improved.   Last summer, John Green’s book The Fault in Our Stars was adapted into a film and was a huge success. This year, another one of his books is taking to the big screen. Paper Towns is about a teen who is searching for his missing friend. It’s apparently as much of a tear-jerker as his last book and movie, so there are only high expectations from his fans. The movie is set to be released on July 24 with a lot of fresh, young faces portraying the main characters.   A popular theme in Hollywood right now is remaking well-known kids’ movies with a twist. Pan is an adaptation of Disney’s Peter Pan. Warner Brothers has set the release date for July 24. The movie explores Peter Pan’s life before he lived in Neverland, how he got to Neverland and his relationship with Captain Hook before he was his arch nemesis. Popular actors such as Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried play supporting roles alongside Levi Miller, who is Peter Pan.   After more than two years, the Barden Bellas are back in Pitch Perfect 2. The girls have entered a competition that no American Team has ever won, and though the stakes are high and the competition is fierce, they definitely didn’t leave out the humor from the first movie that made us fall in love. This one is coming to theaters May 15, just in time to kick off the summer after finals.   From scary movies, to sequels, dramas and anywhere in between, there’s most likely a...

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Cru Knights: Annual night of fun, laughter
Mar04

Cru Knights: Annual night of fun, laughter

The Crusader Knights contest was held earlier this month on Saturday, Feb. 21. Sophomore Austin Soto walked away with the crown and title of Mr. Crusader Knights after representing the sophomore class.   Crusader Knights is one of the many long-standing traditions that UMHB is known for. Not only is it fun for the student body, friends and family to watch, but it shows a great deal of character by the guys who participate along with the strong friendships they build through the weeks of practice.   This year was the event’s 22nd happening and it held up the 90s theme.   This brought back the 90s kids’ nostalgia with boy band music, the well-known in-sync dancing (not to be confused with popular boy band from the 90s known as N’Sync) and bubbly and colorful words. Everywhere.   While there was a lot going on stage, most of the important things took place behind the scenes. Soto, the winner of the contest, explained how being involved in Cru Knights had more of an impact on his life rather than just receiving a crown.   “…this was honestly so filling for me. I can’t express to you how awesome these guys were! They … poured out so much love. They acted as a true brotherhood and the coolest part is that we get to continue this brotherhood outside of Cru Knights,” Soto said.   Practices lasted for four weeks. During their practice time they would work on their dance numbers and learn how to have confidence in themselves. They also met in groups and did devotionals. This allowed the guys to connect on a deeper level.   While Soto made it look easy on stage, he had a rough time before practices started, but soon overcame his fears.   “Honestly once I heard I was selected to do Cru Knights I immediately questioned it. Being on stage and performing just isn’t my thing and I did not want to do this. Brandon Edwards, my roommate and also the Contestants Committee Head, really encouraged me to just give it a shot so I did,” he said. “After the first couple of practices, I was hooked. The guys were absolutely hilarious and loved Jesus so, so much and it was very evident. I had been longing for this type of community and there it was.”   Seth Michaelson also participated in Cru Knights this year. He represented the Campus Activities Board after adviser Jeff Sutton recommended it to him.   While Michaelson had a lot of fun during the weeks prior to the event, his main purpose was wanting to build more...

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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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Jon Stewart, signing off from The Daily Show
Mar04

Jon Stewart, signing off from The Daily Show

Jon stinkin’ Stewart signs off; he leaves The Daily Show at the end of the year. ‘Bout time. The only thing he contributed to the world was a sub-par satirical act and the occasional laugh when he attempted to combine the show with hard news.   The New York Times deemed him the nation’s satirist in chief. That seems to put him on the same level as our commander in sleep, Barack Obama: the hip, young, pointless president we all know and love.   I’ve got a Buzz Feed article for you. It’s entitled “The top three knuckleheads who make a joke out of our nation:”   1)   Barack, the selfie-stick groper, Obama 2)   Joe, the wife-groper, Biden and 3)   Jon stinkin’ Stewart   At least Stewart’s job description allows him to be an idiot.   He’s no Jimmy Fallon, however. Fallon’s no friend to a conservative base. Shoot, I wish he could be NBC’s only pundit, though. He’s hilarious. He and Bruce Springsteen spoofed The Boss’ Born to Run making fun of Gov. Chris Christie’s ‘Bridgegate’.   It’s real comedy, whether I agree politically or not. It’s like when Frank Caliendo impersonates George W. Bush. I get a little upset. Bush is a hero of mine. (Heck, he gave an amazing speech at the McLane Lecture). I still chuckle. Know why? It’s well-executed comedy.   Can’t say the same for Stewart’s 15 painful years on The Daily Show. So, what’s next for him?   There is talk of him taking Brian William’s spot. Let’s just hope Williams’ is responsible for that rumor. The only good thing the world ever received from The Daily Show is Steve Carell.   Stewart isn’t going anywhere. You think he’d disappear? Heck no. He couldn’t stand not getting to duke it out with Bill O’ Reilly and other conservative talking heads. And as cynical as this Op-Ed is to his comedic career, Jon Stewart might bring something viable to the media world’s table.   We saw a glimpse of it when he took a hiatus from The Daily Show to direct ‘Rosewater,’ a well-done film adaptation of Iranian-born journalist Maziar Bahari’s memoir. He was imprisoned for 118 days after reporting on the nation’s disputed 2009 election.   In our field, Stewart is a necessary evil. For his entire progressive, pompous thought, not having him is like the Roadrunner not having Wile E. Coyote. It’s a relationship.   And as joyous an occasion it is to not have to hear his antics on The Daily Show, it’s also nice knowing the bird-brain’s coming back to the media world in some...

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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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