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.

The real meaning behind charity
Apr11

The real meaning behind charity

It’s 2018. Why is poverty still a major challenge? Why are third world countries still struggling? Every year, kind-hearted people box up old clothes and donate money to send to these countries, but we’re not seeing results. Poverty, Inc., a documentary by Michael Miller and Mark Weber that has received 30 film festival honors and won 11 awards, attempts to address this problem. According to the documentary, the reason we are not seeing results is, because emergency disaster relief has become a permanent model. The documentary suggests that it might be time to stop sending clothes, money and shoes to third world countries. According to Huffington Post, the East African Community made up of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burandi, and Rwanda, have proposed to ban all imported used clothing by 2019. According to the same article, (Goldberg, 2016), the clothes that are being donated are being resold for extremely low prices such as in the Gikomba Market, located in East Africa. The article said that jeans can retail for as low as $1.50 at the market, which is between five to 10 percent of a new clothing item made in Kenya. Movie stars, presidents, pastors, non-profit institutions, and just regular people push to send more items to developing countries. But it may not encourage new economies if goods are handed over for free. It was pointed out in the Poverty, Inc. film that these countries don’t need fish handed to them; they need to be taught how to grow a fish economy. I agree. We can’t keep treating these countries like they are in a permanent state of disaster. They shouldn’t be treated as the beggars under the global table, when they deserve a seat at the table. These countries are rich in natural resources that can make a profit. Africa holds approximately 30 percent of the world’s natural resources. It is rich with diamonds, gold, nickel, titanium, oil and gas (Aljazeera.com). Haiti’s natural resources include bauxite, copper, calcium, carbonite, gold and marble (Haitigeo). As a society, we need to rediscover the true meaning of charity. Charity isn’t only about writing checks or sending over a box of used clothing to Africa or Haiti. According to Weber, co-filmmaker of Poverty, Inc., the Latin root word of charity is “caritas,” meaning love. 1 Corinthians states: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.” We must stop letting those we help become faceless and nameless. Real love is more than writing a check. Real love is about getting more involved than just a one-time visit. We really should look at how to love others...

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Why domestic abuse must be acknowledged
Feb21

Why domestic abuse must be acknowledged

During the month of February, we often put a heavy emphasis on love and relationships. With an alarming amount of people affected by domestic abuse, it is important to know the signs of abuse and where to seek help.During the month of February, we often put a heavy emphasis on love and relationships. With an alarming amount of people affected by domestic abuse, it is important to know the signs of abuse and where to seek help.It isn’t always obvious that you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse. It’s common for those experiencing domestic abuse to believe it’s their fault that they are being abused. However, it is very important to realize that nothing a victim has said or done makes them deserving of abuse. It can be difficult to spot abusive behavior. Some key signs to identify abuse, according to newhopeforwomen.org, webmd.org, and helpguide.org include:   Possessiveness-Checking in to see where you are, who you’re with, when you left and when you’ll be home, and/or why you are going out “constantly.”-Trying to control where you go or who you’re with and getting angry if you don’t do as they say.  Jealousy-Accusing you of being unfaithful or flirting unnecessarily.-Isolating you from friends and family.  Mental abuse-Attacking your intelligence, looks, mental health, or capabilities.-Blaming you for their outbursts.-Saying:  “No one else will want you.”  Threats-Yelling and breaking things you value deliberately.-Threatening violence toward you, your family, your friends, or your pets.  Physical Violence -Any form of physical violence (pushing, shoving, hitting, grabbing).-Forcing sex or anything you do not want to do and do not consent to.-Actual harm to you, your family, your friends, or your pets. These are just a few of the more common signs that you or a loved one could be victim to domestic abuse. If even ONE of the listed signs feels familiar, it is important to seek help.It is important to not only seek help, but to stay safe. Let the people you love know what is going on, and let them know what your plans are for the future. It is also important to tell them how you plan to leave the relationship as well. Getting authorities involved is beneficial to you and your safety. If you are experiencing an emergency, please try to get to a phone and call 911. The university recommends a domestic abuse hotline as well, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-SAFE (7266).In Bell County, you can reach the sheriff at his office number (254) 933-5412. On campus, campus police are located on the ground floor of Mabee, and can be reached at (254) 295-5555. Many people tend to pose the question, “Why didn’t...

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The importance of vaccines and good hygiene
Feb21

The importance of vaccines and good hygiene

Mandated vaccinations are one of the most debated topics in today’s society. There are many pros and cons for vaccines. Some would argue that there are harmful ingredients in vaccines, causing genetic issues such as autism. Others would also reason that the government should stay out of health affairs. However, according to The American Academy of Pediatrics, “most childhood vaccines are 90-99 percent effective in preventing disease.” This begs the question – should vaccinations be required for all American citizens and should there be a greater emphasis on the importance of hygiene? My answer is yes, for a few key reasons. For one, vaccines have eliminated smallpox, a disease that killed around 300 million people in the 20th century (BBC). Now, we rely on vaccines to get rid of diseases such as tetanus and measles. This allows for an individual to stay healthy and it also ensures for the protection of the community. With Influenza Type A rampaging throughout the entirety of the United States, many people are worried that they too will get hit by the flu. Around 40,000 Americans have died from the flu during the third week of 2018, and the numbers are only expected to rise (Fortune.com). According to Time Magazine, flu vaccines are reanalyzed and updated every year to target the specific epidemic disease. The CDC, (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), states that the new vaccine will eliminate 30 percent of Influenza Type A (H3) for 2018. Getting vaccinated and maintaining proper hygiene is crucial in protecting yourself against the flu and other diseases. Being around large groups of people increases your likelihood of getting ill, so it is imperative that you take the necessary procedures in order to keep yourself healthy. First, make sure you wash your hands for around 20 seconds. Also, don’t touch your nose, mouth, and eyes often. These are places that are prone to letting bacteria in. If by chance you do become sick, stay home and rest. In addition, try to minimalize physical contact with peers, so you don’t get them sick as well. It is also important to note that the nurse’s office at the university is giving free flu shots while supplies last, due to the influx of influenza cases on campus. If you feel like you’re coming down with the flu, it is important that you get checked out. This is critical in keeping yourself, and others, safe from diseases and illnesses. The university’s website states that “UMHB student nurses who have satisfied certain academic and clinical requirements may assist with flu shots periodically. You may avail yourself of this service, or if you...

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Streaming vs buying music
Feb21

Streaming vs buying music

Vinyl’s, transistor radios, 8-track tapes, Walkman’s, CD’s, MP3 players and iPods all had their day, but a new giant has consumed the music industry: streaming. Anyone with internet access can now stream their favorite music from their phones, computers, TV’s and many other electronic devices. If someone wants to listen offline, they pay a relatively cheap subscription fee and can then do so. While there are a wide variety of streaming services to choose from, Spotify and Apple music lead the pack. Nielsen research firm reported that in 2016, streaming was up by 76.4 percent compared to the previous year. On the other hand, traditional CD album sales went down 16.3 percent, and digital track sales went down 25 percent. This divide has been growing wider and wider over the past few years. Now, CD’s and vinyl’s are for collectors and music enthusiasts. MP3 players are growing extinct, and it is no wonder why. Cellphones come with more storage than ever before, but even that does not matter as much now. With streaming online, access to millions of songs is really just limited to your Wi-fi or data plan. However, there remains a fixed point of controversy amidst the battle of streaming versus buying. Streaming music pays the musical artists far less than purchasing does. Each stream is a fraction of a penny, and this has the music industry grieving. For example, if a new album has 10 songs, and a fan listened to all the songs on the album 10 times each, that means 100 streams. On most streaming services including Spotify, that would not even equal out to a dollar. On the other hand, if the album were purchased for a standard amount, that would instantly equal out to 10 dollars. Purchasing instantly gives more back to the artist, while streaming gives less back over a longer period of time. Despite this, streaming offers something to music fans that traditional means of purchasing music does not bring. The opportunity for discovery opens up. When millions of songs are on instant access at the tap of a finger, finding new artists to listen to is not a grievous chore. Streaming services heavily promote discovery playlists and new artists. Playlists are now doing what the radio has served to do for so long. NF’s song “Let You Down” was released in September of 2017 when he had under two million monthly listeners on Spotify. In a statement from Daniel Breitholtz, Spotify’s Nordic head of shows and editorial, he said that NF’s single was catapulted to success through it being initially added to playlists in the Nordic Territory. It jumped...

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Things to consider before investing in a business
Feb09

Things to consider before investing in a business

Students in today’s world are always looking for money. A college education can be costly and finding a job that pays a decent amount is hard to do without a degree. Therefore, many students have turned to becoming distributors for companies that sell products such as cosmetics, jewelry or clothes. Many times students will invest in these companies because they think it is an easy way to make fast money. However, students tend to not do their research. When that happens, these “fast money” businesses can turn into money traps. This leads us to the question, “should students start a business while in college?” There is no easy answer to this question due to the incredibly complicated nature of these businesses. So here’s some advice that students should consider before they invest in a business. Make sure you understand what the business entails. Some of these businesses require a hefty fee to join. Others require you to order and sell a certain amount either monthly or quarterly and if you do not meet that amount you could lose your distributor status. Make sure you have the available funds it takes to start the business. Many of these companies advertise the best of the best success stories. They show the distributors that made $100,000 or more in their first year. What they don’t show is the amount that these distributors invested initially before they became successful. Make sure you have time to invest in your business. These businesses rely on a large social media presence. First you have to take the time to set up a social media page that is welcoming and informing. Daily posts, games, and giveaways are what will bring in the buyers. In addition, you will have to take time to host parties and demonstrations online and in person. Investing your time and money to be a distributor can be a good thing for college students. However, to be successful, one must consider the pros and cons of a business venture. If one of these businesses appeals to you, remember to do your research and talk to other distributors before taking the plunge into the business...

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Should the campus become closed?
Feb09

Should the campus become closed?

There are only two major events that happened on campus in the past few years that would cause concern. On Jan. 25, an email was sent out to students and faculty about a suspicious man whom they were hoping to identify. According to campus police, he did not do anything illegal, but had approached students earlier in the week and said things that made students concerned. No threats were made, and the police were able to identify the man on Jan. 26 with the help of the Belton police Bell County Sheriff’s department. The last major incident was a sexual assault that happened at Independence Village during the spring semester of 2017. With the most recent incident on campus, some students have said they felt that the UMHB campus should become closed. These students think that this will make the campus safer. I personally think that the campus is already safe and that a closed or “gated” campus would be more restrictive to students and Belton civilians. Thankfully, up to this point there haven’t been any other major crimes on campus. UMHB’s Chief of Police, Gary Sergeant, said that in the past year there has been less than 100 crimes committed on campus and a majority of them were minor offenses. “The university has always had a strong commitment to campus safety, and we do our best to find a happy medium between security and accessibility,” Sergeant said. Technically, UMHB is considered to be an open campus. A closed campus is identified as a campus that restricts access with fencing, gating, guard stations and special access cards for students/faculty. UMHB has shown consistency with certified police officers patrolling 24/7 and security guards who patrol the buildings and parking lots. All resident halls can only be entered by students living there and all other buildings on campus require a cru card for entry after the buildings close. UMHB also has trained professionals on call (254-295-5555) and a total estimate of around 400 security cameras spread around campus. There are universities such as Rice University and Dallas Baptist University that are gated and have very strict rules for students. There are other colleges like University of Texas or Baylor University who are considered open campuses because of how spread apart and open to the public they are. Compared to these schools, I believe UMHB is well balanced with security and accessibility. UMHB would not be able to completely close off the campus because of where the campus is located and how integrated we are in the surrounding community. There are many neighborhoods surrounding our campus, and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd...

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