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.

Stuck at a fork in the road

I can say from personal experience, senior year of college is not easy. Especially in this economy, many college seniors are at a fork in the road, trying to decide on a career or to perhaps continue education into grad school. Let me rephrase that first option, seniors are waiting for a career of their choice to sweetly and appreciatively take them into its arms. Annoyingly, that is just not the case and if people you know get their dream job right out of college, they are the exception. A senior then might decide to pursue higher education only because that fantasy job hasn’t taken flight. President John F. Kennedy once said, “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.” Respectfully, what if a person’s dream isn’t education and in my opinion right now, grad school, it’s a hard decision. A few days ago, I was sitting in the office of a good friend. She and I had also been classmates last semester. She has since graduated and moved on to what I call, “A big girl job.” On her wall, I noticed a colorful poster with the lyrics of “Wasted” by Carrie Underwood written on it. The song “Wasted” is about a girl who doesn’t want to look back at her life one day and think she let all those years go by wasted. It got me thinking, I wasn’t put on this earth to go to school or to work. Our society has made that a norm. I was put on this earth for my life. If I could stop and just enjoy today and not worry about tomorrow, then I will be letting the future figure out itself. So, for right now, I still have not decided on a career or grad school, but I’m sure God already has that one picked out for me. The answer is written in black and white, in a book that I read every day: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” Matthew 6:34. I am going to enjoy the rest of my senior year and continue to ponder what to do after graduation, just not as severely. I don’t have to know right now what I’m going to be doing in a year, and there is no book written on how to play the game of life. I personally agree with Marilyn Monroe, “If...

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Legislators get lazy
Sep29

Legislators get lazy

The job description must have mentioned it, but somewhere along the way, the task has been neglected by our legislators. Apparently, the people we elect to represent us in the making of the laws that affect us are no longer required to read the legislation on which they vote. This may sound like a terrible joke at first, but it is sadly the reality of the situation. Our lawmakers really do not read the bills before they cast their votes in favor of or against them. How do they know what they are voting for? The truth is that they cannot know the specifics of the legislation without reading it. Our Congressional representatives have interns who read the entire bill and summarize it for them, but should our representatives really vote based on the summary of a bill in question? A summary can miss some important key points. When students use spark notes to study for a British  literature exam, they usually do not do well on the test because they do not know the little details that make a world of difference in the book. Our lawmakers’ tests are far too important for a summary. The laws are written to be read and understood. Individual legislators are not always entirely to blame for not reading the bills, though. Sometimes, in the House and the Senate, votes are taken before a bill is even finished being written. Impossible, you say? Not for our super-representatives. They use their powers to see the future to guess what the specifics of the bill will be and use that to make their decision. The irony that this situation takes place in our legislative branch of government is even more comical. Critics say that if Congress reads every bill, nothing would ever get done, and the process of passing laws would take way too long. Many of Senate and the House are well over one thousand pages long. Our representatives should read the legislation though, even if it takes more time to pass laws. In this way, the members of Congress could make a well-educated vote, instead of a rushed and possibly If the people who are supposed to represent us in the making of our laws do not read the bills they vote on, what influences their decisions? Some legislators seem to have adopted the “if you vote for mine, I’ll vote for yours” mentality. A Senator may want to pass a certain bill, and in order to get others to go along with him, he will vote for bills they want to pass. If this really is how some legislation passes in...

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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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