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.

You can’t swipe me into Hardy?

As school has started and students have come back from their summer, many great things on campus have changed. However, one thing that overshadows the numerous improvements is the recently enforced policy of students not being allowed to swipe their friends into Hardy for a meal. What is the problem with one student swiping in another, when the original student with the card has already paid for the meal plan? It should be their choice if they would like to bring a friend along for a meal. Senior mass communication major, Garrett Smith is also irritated by the rule Hardy has decided to enforce. “I think the new policy is absolutely ridiculous. Now with the new policy, you have siblings who can’t eat with each other and couples that can’t eat with each other,” said. “We saw a big push by our school last year with the student body president election to ‘build community.’ There is absolutely no way you can bridge community by sealing it off.” Smith makes a good point about the students who can no longer dine together. I have a younger sister who is a freshman, and we have been planning all summer to eat together once a week for dinner. It makes sense that, if someone buys something, they should be allowed to share it. Smith even quoted the Bible as an example of encouraging sharing. “Exodus 12:4 says, ‘If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat,” Smith said. “If we have food, why waste it?” Various people say that Hardy is putting this into effect now because they seem to think they are losing money. What is the difference between going to Hardy and paying the $7 if you do not have a meal plan and having a friend swipe you in when they have already paid for their meal plan? The dining hall has already received its money at the beginning of the year from the student with the meal plan. Apparently, not being able to scan other students in at Hardy has been a rule for quite some time. For Hardy to just immediately start turning students away at the door if they don’t have a meal plan is simply wrong. There was no e-mail or letter sent home to announce the change. The least anyone could have done to prevent this kind of response was to let the students know during the summer...

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Simplicity of the Gospel: Finding Jesus in dead cat

The search for something profound often leads to silent disappointment, while the simplicity of life’s adventures can bring us to an unexpected point of reverence; so a 4-year-old boy I babysit showed me. As we went on our usual walk—pretending to be Woody and Jessie from Toy Story—we talked about fighting bad guys and finding Buzz Lightyear, and all the other random things that go through a young boy’s adventurous mind. But as we looked down the road, a giant white monster truck—or maybe it was just a Chevy Silverado— zoomed past leaving behind a squirming baby cat half run-over. After I instructed the young boy to stay on the sidewalk, I ran into the road and picked up the baby kitty before another car could hit it. It was horrific. The kitten’s eye was literally hanging by a thread, and blood was gushing down my arm. The cat was spastically jolting from a few functioning nerves. I laid it behind a rock so the child couldn’t see death overtake the small, helpless animal. I’m not going to lie. Though I’m 21 years old and the cat wasn’t even mine, I had to hold back tears. I couldn’t believe it. A half amputated cat just died, and I watched every moment of it. I don’t even like cats. But it was hard for me to see something happen to such an innocent creature. Of course, the little boy wanted to see the cat, so I led him over there to cease his curiosity. We had a mock funeral, which included some condolences and, of course, a prayer. Then we headed toward the creek to play in the water. “The cat died,” he kept repeating until we reached our final destination. “This is real sad. There’s blood on your hands.” He kept staring at the blood on my hands. After I rinsed my arms in the water, he looked at me and smiled. “Now we can be happy,” he exclaimed. “There’s no more blood on you, and the cat is with God.” Then he asked me a simple question that really made me think. “Did the cat die because he wasn’t supposed to be playing in the road?” “Yes, the cat did die because he was in the road,” I said. “And the road is dangerous. That’s why we can’t walk in the road.” He looked at me, content with the answer. “The cat died, and it was sad. And there was blood. But now there’s no blood so we can be happy because we know we cannot play in the road,” he said. I almost envied this young child’s...

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Facts before flattery: The truth about the public option

If a bill being debated right now in Congress could change America forever, shouldn’t the facts come first? Apparently, the answer is no for the Obama administration. Currently, different versions of health care reform legislation exist in the House and the Senate. Instead of clear discussion regarding the ideas presented in the bills, the president has persisted with his cheerleading-style support of them, often resorting to false promises and flattery. The specific details of the bills should be discussed transparently for all to understand. Transparency —that sounds familiar. Obama’s speeches supporting health care reform are not factual. He has been reduced to saying whatever his audience wants to hear in order to get this legislation passed. He does not mention hard details but rather increases hype for the issue. The president flatters the legislation by saying it’s good but rarely gives facts to back up what he says. Dismissing all opposing views as lies does not make for a very transparent discussion. He has the “Trust me; this will work” attitude when speaking about health care reform. He must believe that if he just says that it will all be OK and government- run health care is going to be good enough times, most Americans will start to believe him. The sad truth is that he may be right. The current health care reform legislation has many details, even if the president will not mention them. One aspect of health care reform legislation is the dreaded public, or government-run, option. The idea is that one more health insurance provider run by the government will increase competition among other health insurers and create more affordable insurance. This is not what will happen at all. The public option is what most of the debate on health care reform is all about. Many say it is a giant leap for a socialistic style of government in America. Is the public “option” really an option at all? The answer is no. When the government, which does not have to make a profi t to stay in business, competes with the other insurance companies that do have to make a profi t to survive, the government will always win, putting the other companies out of business until the government “option” is the only one for people to get health insurance. It will become, not optional, as Obama and proponents of the bill describe, but the government will be the one and only source of health insurance in America. People will be forced into the government system whether they like it or not. Few in America doubt the need for a reform of health insurance;...

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Greetings from the university president
Aug27

Greetings from the university president

Article by Dr. Randy O’Rear Welcome back to campus! (Or if you are new to UMHB, welcome to campus!) I hope that each of you had a great summer. I have had a chance to visit with many of your professors and members of the campus staff as they have been preparing for your return. I know that they are as excited as I am about welcoming you back to our learning community. Compared to the buzz of activity in the fall and spring, it was quiet here this summer (and very hot). But we took advantage of the down time to carry out several projects. In addition to the usual paint and repairs in the dormitories, we added new sand to the volleyball courts, created a new pizza/pasta station and an international foods station in the dining hall and remodeled the Crusader Café on the first floor of the Mabee Student Center. We hope you will enjoy these efforts to make your life on campus just a little bit better. As we start the new semester, I would like to encourage each of you to get involved this fall in the many activities available to you on our campus. Resolve to try something new—go yell with the Couch Cru at a football game, take in a musical production, attend a lecture on a topic outside your usual field of interest. There is no better time than now to expand your horizons and no better place to do it than the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. I feel certain that this is going to be a great year at UMHB, and I’m glad that each of you is here to share it with us. Welcome...

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Leader calls campus to embrace change
Aug27

Leader calls campus to embrace change

Article by Tommy Wilson Welcome to the 2009 fall semester at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. For those of you who are entering your first semester, we are pumped that you chose to be with us this year. For everyone else on your third, sixth or even tenth semester, we are glad to have you back as well. It is going to be a great year of adventure and new opportunities for all of us. As you walk around, you will notice several changes around campus. From a revamped SUB to a new sound system in the chapel, UMHB has upgraded some key features. We also have new administrators—Dr. Randy O’Rear as president, and Dr. Byron Weathersbee as vice president for Student Life. All these little changes are not so vast and radical that you say, “What happened to UMHB?” but they do bring a new feel and look to the life and appearance of our university. They will help bring out the best in our school and allow us to grow into what God is calling us to be. There were two things from my campaign last year that I still hold to. One is building community on campus. The second is striving to impact the world we live in. A motto that does justice to both ideas is “Building community inwardly to affect our community outwardly.” We will make every effort to unify the different cultures represented on campus, while still respecting their individual qualities. The community that I hope to affect is not just UMHB or Belton, but the world. We have a great chance to be a part of and make a difference in our global community, which starts here at home with us and spreads out all over the world. This is not an effort for just one person, but for our campus as a whole—stepping outside of who we are normally in order to meet new people, try new things and make new friends. It takes a willing attitude to sit with different people in Hardy, meet new people around campus and interact with new people in the classroom. This vision is not just something I have come up with, but something I believe God is calling our school to do as a whole. I am excited about our upcoming year and to looking back one year from now to see the changes that will have taken place. I hope you will share this passion with me to see this come about, knowing that together we can change our campus and the...

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Sorry to leave the school once hated, eventually loved

I hated UMHB at first. I chose it on a whim, a sense that it was the place God planned for me to go. Transferring in during the spring of my freshman year, it didn’t take long before I started having second thoughts. The school was too small, the people too cliquish, and the football games nothing like watching the Aggies. More like watching my high school team. Actually, my high school was bigger. In short, UMHB had none of the vanities I always imagined would accompany the college experience, and I made plans to transfer out as soon as possible. Then something happened. I couldn’t leave. The Lord spoke clearly into my life through many ways and told me to stay. I hated Him for it. I felt shackled inside a prison of a Christian bubble I desperately wanted to escape. Then, over time, something stranger happened. I didn’t want to leave. Maybe it was the people, the unimaginable, overwhelming friendships with so many generous souls who invited me into their lives and loved me unconditionally. Maybe it was the school, so small I could walk to any class or friend’s room in ten minutes, meeting a dozen people I knew along the way. Maybe it was the football games, where I shook purple cans filled with who knows what, dressed in a ridiculous suit of armor, and jingled my keys at countless vanquished opponents. Now, three weeks away from graduating, I think on the times I watched movies in the lobby of McLane, or when I made my first attempt at cooking in the on-campus apartments, and I treasure those memories more than anything. I think on how the Lord has grown me as a man and a follower of Christ here, and all the conversations with so many friends who know more about serving God than I could learn in a lifetime. I think of how the Lord has guided me, brought me to this newspaper and filled my heart with a passion to serve Him through journalism. It blows me away. I once hated this school, but now I cannot bear the thought of leaving, knowing how far the Lord has brought me here and how many fond memories I will carry in my heart. I don’t worry that much about leaving a legacy; that is in God’s hands. I know that I am certainly not the most gifted writer, the most loyal friend, the most diligent student, or the most faithful Christian. I only ask that I be forgiven for my faults and remembered for the way God used me in spite of them....

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