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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The Maze Runner
Oct14

The Maze Runner

Based on the first novel of James Dashner’s bestselling trilogy, Maze Runner presents a suspenseful and dark version of dystopian ideals found in films like The Hunger Games and Divergent.   The movie begins with 16 year-old Thomas waking up inside of an underground elevator. When he surfaces, he finds himself surrounded by dozens of other teenage boys in the middle of a meadow.   He doesn’t know where he is, why he’s there, or even who he is. Apparently, none of the boys can remember anything about their past lives, recalling only their names.   The group lives in a primitive camp built in the meadow, dubbed “The Glade” by residents of the dystopia. The men call themselves “gladers,” and have made a life in the primitive, green setting by building their own homes and growing their food.   Anything else they need is sent to them once a month through the mysterious elevator. Along with the necessities comes a new boy, who is introduced to the lifestyle and encouraged to adapt to the strange circumstances.   Some gladers have lived there for years, and many have died there as well.   But why are they stuck in The Glade, and why can’t they just leave?   Surrounding the camp on all sides and towering in all of its ivy-covered glory are the solid stone walls of The Maze. The only way out is through the maze, but very few enter it.   The brave men that volunteer for the treacherous task are called “runners,” and it is their sole mission to run the maze, mapping and charting all of the alleys and passages in hopes of finding the escape route.   However, there are few problems with running the maze. The “runners” must return to the Glade before nightfall, because the opening to the maze closes. No one has ever survived a night within the walls, thanks to the Grievers—large, grotesque creatures that haunt gladers’ nightmares.   To make things worse, the maze changes each night as walls shift and new pathways open, making the possibility of finding a way out even more challenging.   Shortly after the arrival of Thomas, everything changes.   Do they stay and die in the Glade? Or should they face the maze and all its dangers once and for all?   Sacrifices will be made, alliances will be formed, and many will die before the maze trial is complete.   Maze Runner proves to be both entertaining and thrilling. It’s a little slow in the beginning, but once the events start rolling, one after another, the audience is greeted with non-stop...

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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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Oh my gosh, look at her video
Sep17

Oh my gosh, look at her video

Any music video featuring a parental advisory disclaimer begs for attention on all forms of media. But Nicki Minaj’s new music video “Anaconda” makes viewers question where our generation is headed in terms of entertainment.   The almost-five minute, grueling production needs a parental advisory warning to limit the ages of viewers — that’s how raunchy Nicki gets for an otherwise catchy song.  So what is all the buzz about that’s making celebrities and YouTube stars jump to make a parody?   The content of the video is nothing short of horrendous and disrespectful to women. The introduction shows scantily-clad dancers in their underwear, while Nicki is in chain links, leaving nothing to the imagination.   To make matters worse, the short shorts are followed by a meaningless workout portion where again, Minaj wears close to nothing.  As a whole, there is no central theme, adding to the pointless and provocative chaos.   If videos like this become so popular, with over a hundred million views, what have our values as a society come to?   Famous funny woman Ellen Degeneres capitalized on the video’s success, making her own hilarious version of the song while mocking its raciness. Ellen appears in short jean shorts and tights, trying her best to twerk without laughing. This is probably the only version worth watching, though.   Minaj herself viewed the spoof while the audience on the live talk show laughed and enjoyed the lighthearted video, which provides a stark contrast with the actual VEVO version.   This questionable behavior turned viral video isn’t a first for Minaj. She has released numerous videos that advertise sex, drug usage and superficial values. Whether she admits it or not, her videos are degrading to women as well as men.   “Anaconda” implies that it is okay for men to value women based on the size of their butts, something that our culture has begun accepting and promoting. Women with insecurities and interest for attention create these “music” videos, showcasing their assets. The sad thing is, Minaj has grown in popularity over the years.   Maybe it’s time for our culture to re-evaluate our standards of beauty, and the dynamic between male and female interactions. Why are we accepting such crude, explicit behavior as normal and desired?   Save yourself the time and “oh my gosh, look at” something other than her butt and music...

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