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.

I hate the day of ‘love’
Feb10

I hate the day of ‘love’

By Garrett Smith Valentine’s Day is a meaningless holiday. It alienates people while robbing others of their bank accounts. It is not a holiday of love at all, but a 24-hour period of wrapping loneliness and sorrow in pretty pink and red. The holiday came from the Legend of Saint Valentine. As interpreted by several translations, a blind girl was sent by the emperor to be mauled by a pack of wolves in the Coliseum because of her beliefs. However, Saint Valentine stepped in and took her place in the arena as a gesture of love. To this day, Valentine’s Day has been a day set aside to express love to a special someone. Today, the legend lives. Good men’s hearts are being ripped out because girls are blind and have an odd set of beliefs. In the end, the man becomes the martyr. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best man for a woman if she’s blind to your love, or some better looking stud that sits next to her in class is blocking her view. Perhaps women are waiting on a Disney prince or Edward Cullen to arrive in time for Feb. 14. They’ll never see a prince ride up on a horse, and Edward Cullen doesn’t exist, nor would he love them if he did. He would bite them and give them a blood disease. They, too, will be disappointed on Valentine’s Day. UMHB women also have yet to learn that there’s nothing wrong with going on a date. It’s a free meal, which is not a wise thing to turn down during a recession. According to junior speech major Emily Williams, you shouldn’t turn down a guy for a date unless you absolutely despise him. “Basically, if you reject a guy for a date, it means you’d rather pay for your food than eat within any vicinity of him.” Williams said. Last spring, a student decided to ask one of his friends on a date. When he did, the girl acted surprised, but agreed to go to dinner Feb. 14. The next day the girl contacted this young man and asked to talk at her dorm, where she backed out of the date. She proceeded to tell the young man that she would instead be attending a single women’s Valentine’s Day party. This is a prime example of how the lack in social maturity by many students has affected the dating system. College is a place meant to prepare students’ minds for the real world, but most men will enter the business realm upon graduation, frightened of the response they may get from asking out...

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Back from war in Iraq

By Sarah Sattelberg Deployment is a word Army families know all too well. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars separate spouses and families every other year. Learning to be a couple again after 365 days apart brings new meaning to the promise of “for better or for worse” made at the altar. Waiting to welcome a soldier home leaves a stomach filled with beautiful nervous anticipation that can only be felt with matters of the heart. The last weeks of waiting are always the hardest. The time ticks away making each hour feel like an eternity. The house is cleaner than if an O.C.D. individual was doing it. Most women welcoming their husbands home get a tan, buy a new outfit or take a trip to the beauty salon, so when their trooper sees them for the first time, they look better than ever. Finally, the phone rings and a homecoming date is revealed. The division headquarters is bursting with the excitement of a hundred families who can’t wait to have their soldier in their arms once again. Music blasts from loud speakers, and people dance the electric slide on the field. Soldier’s buses leave the airfield. A convoy of white buses pulls up to division headquarters and cheering erupts. It’s an Extreme Home Makeover moment, as the soldiers form up behind the vehicles they rode in on. All one can think is “Move that bus!” The buses pull away and a formation of weary yet excited soldiers proudly march toward their biggest fans. The general says “Dismissed,” and everyone wades through a sea of Army combat uniforms to find their loved one. Today is butterflies and rainbows. It seems that life couldn’t be any better. It would be nice to think the feeling of pure joy remains, but the reality is, it does not. A soldier’s return is as wonderful as it is hard. In the span of 12 months new experiences have caused personal growth. When this growth happens apart, a gap begins to form. Suddenly, the realization is that each person in the marriage has changed in very different ways. The weak relationships fall apart for lack of knowing how to bridge the space together. The strong couples work slowly but surely, finding new ways to fill the relationship gaps caused by deployment. A spouse’s return from war can be an uphill battle full of unexpected obstacles. Every step of the journey is worth it. The end result is a marriage that can weather any storm life throws its...

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Airport scanners reduce threats

The latest thing in airport security is the full body scanner. It will be a formidable force to fight against terrorism. This new technology takes a robotic image of fliers and shows security personnel exactly what a passenger may or may not be hiding. It detects metallic and nonmetallic items, but at the same time, it doesn’t leave much to the imagination. As one of the privacy precautions, the face on the scan is blurred out to protect the identity of the person. The system is operated by two individuals: one is operating the scanner, while the other is in a separate room viewing the image. Once the passenger is cleared and waved through, the picture is immediately deleted, and the worker viewing the photo never sees the flier. Cameras, cell phones or any other device used to store information are not permitted in the room where the photos are being viewed. In fact, the only way an image could be saved is if the machine was in “test mode.” Airport personnel do not have the ability to initiate test mode though, according to the Transportation Security Administration. In light of the nation’s history with air attacks, one would think the public would be receptive to the new technology. But some people believe the scanners are an invasion of privacy. Fliers don’t like the idea of an image being taken that basically reveals everything about their physical shape. To be honest, it is a bit of a privacy issue, and the TSA is taking the necessary steps to ease the minds of passengers. However, the war on terror is constantly evolving and so should we. The scanners are for the greater good. Just this Christmas, there was an attempt to detonate a bomb on Northwest Airlines Flight 253. It had the potential to rip a hole in the side of the plane, killing everyone on-board. Luckily, the bomb was defective, and it didn’t ignite. But if he had gone through one of these scanners, the explosive that was sewn into his underwear would have been detected. Face it. This is the next step in airport security. The Netherlands and Nigeria are just a couple of other countries that are putting the scanners into use. Many more are soon to follow. Right now about 19 airports in the U.S. have full body scanners, and TSA is expecting to set up 150 more this year. Most people just have the wrong idea and attitude toward the scanners. They’re meant to make fliers feel safe and not violated, to catch potential terrorists, not take risqué photos. In order to keep passengers out...

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Voters push US in right direction

After firmly tucking the issues of health care and the economy under its arms, the U.S. Congress jumps out of a plane. The people who are watching begin to lose hope crying, “My government’s not listening to me!” But just as Congress plummets from thousands of feet up, about to smash into the ground, a parachute opens to slow the fall into what could very well be a safe landing. That parachute is Scott Brown, the newest Republican senator from Massachusetts. On Jan. 19, Brown won the Massachusetts special election in a stunning upset over his Democratic opponent, Martha Coakley. The special election was held to fill the seat left vacant after the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Kennedy had occupied the Senate seat since 1962. During the election, Brown said repeatedly that he was not running for Mr. Kennedy’s seat but for “the people’s seat.” His claim seems truly genuine and will be a welcomed relief from elected officials who don’t listen to their constituents. For Brown to get elected in Massachusetts is no small feat. This seat has been in the hands of a Democrat for almost 50 years. Brown is in no way a Democrat in Republican clothing either. He is conservative on many issues, including public health care. The majority of Americans may not be as liberal as the mainstream media entice people to believe. Brown’s key issue during the election was health care. He stands firmly against the current bill in the Senate. Evidently, so do most Massachusetts voters. Brown gained the edge over his opponent in the election because he won the independent vote. The independents have decided: the current universal health care bill is not right for America. The Senate consisted of 60 Democrats and 40 Republicans while the late Sen. Kennedy was in office. This meant that the Democrats had a filibuster- proof Senate. It takes 60 votes to stop debate and take an immediate vote on a bill. Now, with only 59 Democrats and 41 Republicans, the critical 60th vote to stop the filibuster is gone. More importantly, the critical vote in order to pass the public health care bill is gone. The Massachusetts election could reflect a change in the mind-set of the whole country. People are not on board with Obama’s brand of nationalized medicine. Come November, the Democrats in Congress who are up for re-election are in danger of getting the boot. Sen. Brown’s victory proves this point. Just when all hope seemed lost, conservative Americans received a glimmer of hope. The fight against the health care bill is not over...

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Students’ guide to dining: don’t forget to leave a tip

As students grow tired of the cafeteria food and McDonalds, the idea of hitting up the local Mexican food joint or Italian bistro becomes more appealing. Almost everyone loves indulging in their favorite dishes at restaurants. Whether it is chicken crispers at Chili’s, pizza at BJ’s, or the soup and salad at Olive Garden, we all have a menu and food selection that fits our taste perfectly. The tips below are some unspoken rules for getting the most out of your favorite restaurant. 1. Please and thank you Politeness is key when dealing with restaurant staff. Servers, bartenders and hostesses have feelings just like anyone else, and appreciate when they are treated respectfully. It seems simple, but these little words go a long way in the service industry. 2. Call ahead When planning on visiting a restaurant with more than six people, call 30 or more minutes ahead to give them adequate time to make arrangements for your party. This helps the restaurant run smoothly and ensures that you will be seated quickly. 3. Speak up Mumbling is one of the hardest things to deal with when trying to figure out what someone wants. Make sure to speak clearly when your order is being taken. Confusion and miscommunication can ruin an outing with friends or even worse, a date. 4. Communicate your needs Drinks are bottomless at most restaurants, and many patrons take advantage of that. If you find that you go through more than three drinks during your visit on most occasions, let the server know that you tend to drink quite a bit so that they can be prepared to refill your glass often. This works in the patron’s favor by keeping the glass full, and gives food servers a heads up on the task ahead. If your food comes out wrong or doesn’t taste very appetizing, ask to speak to a manager. Most restaurants will be happy to pay for your dish and replace it with something better, even free dessert. 5. Tipping The green-eyed monster strikes again! The standard tip is usually 15-20 percent for good service. For bad service, a minimum of 10 percent is the going rate. Remember, servers in the area are paid $2.13 an hour and rely on tips to pay rent, bills and in many cases, their child’s food. Servers are also quite good at remembering faces, so leaving an appropriate tip can ensure that you receive good service the next time you...

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Go-Print system points to homework ease

By Marisol Escobar Students no longer have to scramble for change when making copies at the library. A new printing system was implemented this semester in order to save the university money on ink and paper. Each semester, students receive 200 printing points. Any not used will be deleted, and the balance goes back to 200 again. The credit does not have cash value nor does it roll over to the next school semester. Points deducted from students’ accounts depend on which lab they use. At those labs where paper is provided, one page costs two points. If students are required to bring their own paper, then one page costs one point. “I know that can seem a bit confusing. I would prefer that we were consistent in all labs,” Associate Vice President for Technology Marshall Eidson said. “But since InfoTech does not manage all of the labs, we felt that we needed the input of the lab supervisors, who are generally faculty members, and this is what we came up with.” When students run out of points, they have the option to reload points at the bursar’s office in increments of $5, which will get them an additional 100 points. “So far this semester, we are seeing about 10 students per week add points to their accounts. We will continue to monitor this throughout the semester,” Eidson said. The new system has its perks. “We like the new Go- Print system, and it saves some time for the library staff,” Director of Learning Services Denise Karimkhani said. “It also saves money.” He said in the past, students would print, but not pick up the copies. “The library would have to absorb the cost of the printouts,” he said. “This new method charges to the students’ accounts, so the student is paying for it even if they never pick up the copies.” Many students are also pleased with the new printing procedures. “I didn’t know about this until a friend told me. I find it much easier than having to dig in my pocket for change to pay. You just print and go,” graphic design major Jamie Salgado said. Business systems major Tyler Jones noticed careless printing habits before the new point system became effective. “Our paper usage last year was super high, and they were trying to create a system to make sure people just don’t abuse the school’s resources,” Jones said. “I’ve seen people print up to 50 pages at one time on meaningless stuff because they can. I think it’s a fair system.” Printing has been reduced significantly by about 80 percent. “Students are finding other...

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