Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.

Preparation is key to fantasy success
Sep01

Preparation is key to fantasy success

Fantasy Football Champion. That title that has eluded you for so long. You’ve watched your friends achieve fantasy football glory and endured their smack talk for too many seasons. Now it’s your turn to climb the proverbial mountain and plant your flag. With these simple tips and a focus on draft day, you can get one step closer to fantasy immortality. KEEP IT SIMPLE Fantasy football leagues are not won on draft day, but they can be lost. The best strategy is to keep it simple. It’s tempting to take that sleeper you’ve had your eye on three rounds before you should, but patience is key on draft day. Don’t ever overpay for guys who you are hoping will have a breakout year. When it comes to the first round, it’s all about running backs. Getting a stud such as Jamaal Charles or Eddy Lacy who you can depend on every week will give you some flexibility in later rounds. It may be tempting to take a top-tier quarterback such as Aaron Rodgers, but this will leave you searching for ballcarriers in later rounds. The only exception to this rule is in leagues with 12 or more teams where top runningbacks may not be available at the end of the first round. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT You may have a vast knowledge of every player in the NFL, but this knowledge is all rendered useless if you don’t know how a draft works. Knowing when certain players or positions go off the board can help you know when the players you’ve targeted will be available. One of the best ways to learn this is through mock drafts. Mock drafts are offered by most major fantasy websites and allow users to simulate a draft with other users and will give you a better understanding of how the draft process works. It’s also important to draft from different positions. A player who drafts with the first pick will have different players on the board than one who drafts with the tenth pick. Therefore, completing several mock drafts will allow you to formulate a strategy no matter where you end up on draft day. FIND THE HIDDEN GEM The first few rounds are easy. Once the draft progresses into the territory where all that’s left is players nobody’s ever heard of is where your preparation will determine your success. The NFL preseason is one of the most effective ways to spot fantasy sleepers. Pay attention to the games, and if you notice a guy tearing up the competition, take a flier on him in the later rounds. Who knows, he may be the...

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Editor bids campus farewell
Apr29

Editor bids campus farewell

Crusaders, it has been an honor to serve as the editor of your newspaper, The Bells. I am so very thankful to the students, faculty and staff who read our work and whose accomplishments and involvement on campus and in the Central Texas community provide stories worth telling.   I can hardly believe that my four-year academic journey at UMHB is drawing to a close. It seems like only last semester I was a freshman sitting in Introduction to the Mass Media filling out an interest form to work on this award-winning publication, which has become a cornerstone of my involvement here.   I am grateful to have been afforded the opportunity to partake in so many of the rich traditions and events that make UMHB so special, even if I witnessed a great number of them through the viewfinder of a camera while furiously scribbling down the names of people of whom I needed to ask questions.   As Mrs. Vicky Kendig, UMHB’s former mass communication professor and newspaper adviser often said, “Journalism is the first draft of history.”   The class of 2015 is fortunate to have seen what I believe is one of the most vibrant eras of UMHB’s history since Old Baylor’s founding in Independence.   During the construction and completion of Crusader Stadium, the Bawcom Student Union, the Baugh Center for the Visual Arts, the Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center along with the ongoing renovations of the Mabee Student Center and Hardy Hall, we’ve watched a beautiful campus transform into a spectacular one.   I can only hope that the incoming freshman class of 2019 will brim with as much purple pride and Crusader spirit as has coursed through my veins since my ‘Sader Day in the spring of 2011 when I was a soon-to-be high school graduate excited for all the opportunities this phase of life would offer.   I came to UMHB with high expectations academically, socially and spiritually, and each has been exceeded beyond measure.   I wish my fellow graduates the best in their endeavors and urge those who stay after us to make the most of their time with the friends they make while carrying on our time-honored traditions of service and excellence with faithfulness and devotion to our Purple, White and...

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2016: Clinton lacks appeal to working class America

It’s been a rollercoaster last few months for White House hopeful Hillary Clinton. As the former first lady prepares for a presidential race of her own, she’s had to deal with a barrage of allegations that claim she used her position as Secretary of State to bring in funds for her family’s private foundation. Such allegations have left Clinton to seem selfish and disconnected form the American people. In an attempt to reconnect with targeted voters, Clinton announced her 2016 campaign in a way that was intended to put her on the same level as the average American.   The announcement came in the form of a video posted on Clinton’s website. The video begins with several people discussing their aspirations for the coming year: a woman prepares her garden for spring, a single mother makes plans to move so that her daughter can go to a better school, a stay-at-home mom prepares to return to work and a college student seeks her first real job. After several individuals are featured, Clinton enters the screen and announces her big next step: running for president.   The message Clinton sends is somewhat ironic considering recent events.   “Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top,” she said.   The Democratic Party has long been viewed as the voice for the working class while the GOP is made out to be all about big business. What the video doesn’t tell you, however, is that the Clinton Foundation has raised nearly $2 billion since its inception in 2001, with much of that coming from large corporations and even foreign governments hostile to women and other demographic groups.   If Clinton wants to relate to the working class, being indebted to the “top of the deck” that she referred to in the video probably won’t be in the best interest of the middle class.   It’s not uncommon for politicians to try to relate to voters when on the campaign trail. For instance, someone who hails from the South might seem to have a thicker drawl when speaking on his home turf, or in her case, a fake one. But for Clinton to try to place herself in the same socioeconomic status as her targeted voters is an insult to the intelligence of the American middle class.   It’s time for politicians to stop playing the “I’m just like you” card. Clinton has nothing in common with the subjects of her video. She doesn’t have to worry about putting food on the table, keeping a small business afloat...

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Bill gives college students a fighting chance
Apr15

Bill gives college students a fighting chance

An increase in campus shootings in recent years has caused lawmakers to debate Second Amendment rights. While some want to place stricter restrictions on who can and can’t carry firearms, the Texas Senate passed two laws which protect the basic human right of self-defense.   Last month, the senate passed a bill allowing concealed weapon permit holders to openly carry holstered firearms.   However, this bill hasn’t garnered the polarizing reaction that another bill has. The senate passed a second bill allowing for the concealed carry of handguns on public college campuses.   On the surface, allowing the carry of firearms on a campus with thousands of unarmed students probably seems like a bad idea. The concern is if firearms are allowed on campus, it seems obvious that there will mean more gun-related incidents on campus. However, it’s important to consider who is carrying the firearms.   The law only allows individuals who possess a concealed carry permit to carry guns on campus. These are individuals who have gone through a course on how to safely carry and operate a handgun. Licensed individuals who legally carry firearms are almost never the suspects in gun-related homicides. These individuals carry weapons for self-defense purposes, which would be the case if someone were to open fire on a campus.   Another thing to consider is that prohibiting firearms on campus is not going to discourage an individual who has the intent to use one illegally. If someone has the intent to kill, a sign that says “no firearms” isn’t going to make them turn away. The threat of a hefty fine or significant prison time won’t matter either for someone who will likely end up taking his own life after taking the lives of others.   With that being considered, it would make sense to give individuals who legally own and know how to responsibly operate a weapon the ability to defend themselves and others in the event that someone opens fire on unsuspecting students.   The idea of guns on campuses is unsettling for everyone. But outside of putting up fences and having metal detectors at every entrance, there’s no way to completely prevent unstable people from doing terrible things with a weapon.   So, instead of leaving students like sitting ducks to be picked off one by one, it makes sense to give them the option to save their lives and the lives of other innocent...

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Network neutrality: Good in theory, unrealistic goal
Apr15

Network neutrality: Good in theory, unrealistic goal

A select few know how the Internet really works, but the rest of us are like the little toy aliens from Toy Story. You know, the ones who speak with reverence of their diety, “The Claaaaaawww!”   Most have no clue what’s really going on behind the scenes of the Internet; we just respect its inner-workings with undeterred reverence.   The Federal Communications Commission and its policy makers are attempting to set guidelines for telecommunications corporations and all Internet service providers (ISPs) in what is known as “net neutrality.”   To sum it up, network neutrality, as it is known formally, is the battle to set, or not to set, parameters for what ISP corporations can do with the internet they provide.   Can they set limits on how much you can use, how you can use it, and to whom they choose to provide certain provisions of the networks?   Still confused as to what net neutrality is? New York Times writer Neil Irwin analogized the battle by comparing the difference between regulated electrical utilities and cable TV providers.   Electric companies charge you for how much you use, but how you use it is up to you. Cable providers tell you what you’re going to get, how you can use it, and the cost is indicative of their moneymaking mind sets. The FCC ruled in favor of the former.   In February, the FCC approved rules found in Title II of the Communications Act that classified ISPs like Verizon and Comcast as telecomm service providers rather than information providers.   This Monday the FCC’s rules became official and published in the Federal Register. They formally go into effect June 12.   Now the FCC wields more authority and leverage over large broadband providers like AT&T.   Pushbacks from ISPs are on their way already. Expect more. The lawsuits will continue to pile up.   Is it a win for the freedom of the Internet? Sort of.   The problem is that someone’s got to have control of the internet. It’s really not free since the FCC has its hands on it. It’s technically protected from government overreach, except for when its commissioners are appointed by president.   Net neutrality is a good idea, but not when the FCC is the lesser of two...

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Gov. Scott Walker: A higher degree of success?
Mar04

Gov. Scott Walker: A higher degree of success?

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker who has been outspoken on U.S. economic matters and is known for breaking up labor unions in his home state has been turning heads in both parties as he’s gained momentum as a possible GOP contender for the presidential nomination in 2016.   Walker’s critics, Democratic and Republican alike, have already begun their smear campaigns against him. Their point of focus: his lack of a college degree.   Howard Dean, a former Democratic National Committee chairman, appeared on cable news channel MSNBC’s talk show Morning Joe late last month and said Walker was unfit for office because he didn’t continue his college education past his junior year.   “I worry about people being president of the United States not knowing much about the world and not knowing much about science,” Dean said.   What Dean and many of Walker’s critics who share similar viewpoints fail to acknowledge is that the man became the governor of a state and enjoyed a fairly high approval rating without the help of a diploma. This fact, combined with his age shows he clearly has more insight into life and government than many college juniors.   Traditionally, while most recent presidents have had degrees, their successes and failures in smaller political arenas are what make or break their presidential campaigns and administrations.   Walker’s beginnings further illustrate that not everyone needs a college diploma to be successful. Upon leaving Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, accepted a job with American car manufacturer IBM. After success there, he took a marketing position at the American Red Cross. He worked his way into politics at the age of 23, winning a seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly, and became governor 17 years later in 2010.   In some ways, his lack of a college degree makes him more successful. He’s competed in the job market and the world of politics at a disadvantage, and he has still managed to rise to prominence. Further, it shows a resolve and a confidence on his part that his record speaks for itself.   The American people should not fear a potential leader who lacks a degree. In fact, those who would criticize Walker have an out-of-touch, elitist mentality. Less than 30 percent of American adults have a bachelor’s degree. It’s insulting to the other 70 percent to say that someone with a background similar to theirs is unfit for service to his or her country based simply on their educational level.   Is life experience completely valueless? Even within the halls of academia, real-world learning is essential. Internships, student teaching and observation hours play vital roles...

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