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.

At what point should euthanasia be the end?
Oct12

At what point should euthanasia be the end?

Published in the October 12, 2016 issue of The Bells Assisted suicide remains a heavily-debated topic throughout the world. Recently, a minor in Belgium chose this method to end his life. Belgium remains the most liberal country in the world when it comes to assisted suicide.  Patients can request physician-assisted suicide due to a terminal illness or a psychiatric condition. Now, almost five people a day die from physician-assisted suicide.  But assisted suicide is not a black and white issue. In the United States, five states allow doctor-assisted suicides including Oregon, Washington, Vermont, New Mexico, and Montana. Patients must be terminally ill (expected to live no more than six months), be of sound mind, and able to administer the pills on their own. What constitutes the word terminal? Many people live months, years, and sometimes decades after they are given only months to live. A person who is diagnosed with a terminal disease may decide to die even though they could live months or even years more. Life is a gift from God and once we open the door to assisted suicide we are opening the door to devaluing life—a life that was paid for by the pain and suffering of Christ. The question now becomes: at what point does life become not worth living? And I think the answer is never. God knew us before we were even born. Surely, with modern technology, there is a way to relieve a patient’s suffering without going to the point of suicide. I understand why patients who are terminally ill and in great affliction want to end their lives. And my heart cries out for them because of the pain they are experiencing.  However, according to Time Magazine, more people seek out assisted suicide because they worry about being a burden to their loved ones and friends. There should never be a point where a person feels like such a burden that they want to end their life. Movies such as the highly-popular summer chick flick, Me Before You, romanticize assisted suicide. In the movie, wealthy Will Traynor is planning on going through a physician-assisted suicide in the next six months because he is paralyzed. Louisa Clarke, his caregiver, decides to convince him to change his mind during this time and falls in love with him. But even though Will loves her too, he selfishly decides to go through with his physician-assisted death. This movie portrays the message that dying is better than living with a disability, which is troubling. A person can still have a fulfilling life while being disabled. Assisted suicide is a tough subject. Should patients be given...

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Body positivity for men is just as serious as women’s

Published in the October 12, 2016 issue of The Bells The argument can be made that millennials are the generation of change.  In this day and age, millennials are standing up for equality, race, gender, sexuality, sexual consent, representation and body positivity.  I feel as if all these categories are being discussed and changes are happening.The changes are slow, but change is happening nonetheless. There is one issue that I feel is not being discussed. That situation is the inclusiveness of males in the body positivity movement. Body positivity for women has been a top discussion for about five years. Actresses such as Lena Dunham, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Mindy Kaling, and Amy Schumer have spoken out and promoted plus sized women in the media.  But where are the men included in this? Shouldn’t men also have a say in their media depictions? Studies show that males have higher pay, are treated better, and are viewed as individuals. As the famous words of the late James Brown says, “This is a man’s world,” and honestly, it is a man’s world. But in this case, males need to be included. In the media, a handsome man is tall, fit, and has a smile of a god. Now think of what is considered the unattractive males in the media. This guy is normally the comic relief— a chubby and short man who isn’t given a second look. Why is that guy not promoted as beautiful as well? For example, earlier this year, Amy Schumer posed nude and supporters cheered her on. But, when a picture of Rob Kardashian surfaced earlier this year, he was ridiculed and labeled as an ugly fatso. Another example of this is the actor Chris Pratt and his weight loss in 2014. Before his weight loss, he was the chubby comic relief and after the weight loss he landed the lead in three films. Nothing about him changed besides his weight. What kind of message does that send? Obviously, the message that it sends is a negative one and does not show inclusiveness of males in this movement. While the media is responsible for perpetuating this image, the exclusivity of males in this movement can also be seen in everyday life.  I have personally been in situations where I have pointed out an attractive male that is vertically challenged and I will be viewed as strange for even giving this short guy a second glance. He is not seen as handsome because he doesn’t “fit” the attractive narrative that is projected in society. I have also experienced a situation where a guy called a girl fat and...

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Feminism: more to the word than we think

Published in the October 12, 2016 issue of The Bells Feminism—a word that sends men running and women rolling their eyes. The word was created in the 60s and 70s, during a time when women wanted equality. But since its birth, feminism has elicited a rather negative conotation, even though it means great things. Feminism, you see, is more than not wanting a man to open a door for me or “the death of chivalry.” Feminism, by definition, is the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Women in America seem to forget that we make up the majority of the population. As one of the 63% of women aged 16 and up, I know we can make a change if we stand together to make it happen. A unified front could bring about so much change like closing the wage gap. Women get paid less for the same job a man does for the simple fact that their genitalia is different. Being a descendant of various ethnicities increases said gap even further. But even in best case scenarios every woman makes 78 cents to the Euro-centric man’s dollar. Now, I’m all for sugar and spice and everything nice. But when faced with this information, I’m left wondering, where oh where, did my 22 cents go? But feminism is for more than just American women. Feminism is for women across the globe, young and old, who have been treated unjustly. There are young girls in other countries without the proper education they desire because educating women is deemed unnecessary. With the growing number of female college graduates here in the States, it’s a wonder why more educated women haven’t taken up arms for social change when it comes to our foriegn sisters. Lastly, feminism is important due to the rape-culture we have grown up in. When it is not okay for a woman to go topless in public, but it’s okay for a man to buy a magazine of a topless woman on any corner, there is a problem. Women are seen as a commodity, we are mocked for the anger attributed to our menstrual cycles, we are asked not to wear anything that might provoke an attacker, and young girls are married off at unspeakably young ages.  This is what feminism is for. Feminism is for equality. It’s for the equal treatment of women, not only here, but everywhere. But the stigma associated with being a feminist holds a negative connotation. When I tell a date that I believe in the equal treatment of women, suddenly men see that as...

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Social Media: The most annoying things online

Published in the September 28, 2016 issue of The Bells Walk into a college classroom and ask how many people use a form of social media. Chances are, nearly everyone in the class will raise their hand. Social media has completely boomed in the last ten years. In 2005, 10 percent of all internet users used a form of social media. In 2015, the percentage was at 76. Most of them were college and high school age. There are certain things that should and should not be posted on social media. Now, we are not just talking about the classic things that everyone should already know, such as an underage student posting a picture of them drinking at a party. Rather, we are going to discuss what is socially appropriate and what is just plain annoying when it comes to social media posts. The good: There are many good things to post on social media, things that people other than your grandma will enjoy seeing. Something respectable to post would be positive quotes or sayings that will have an impact on your followers’ lives. Another acceptable thing to post are recipes that sound like something people would enjoy making. Also, one of the most impactful posts are from local or national news stories regarding issues or events that could be affecting the lives of your friends and family. The bad: One of the worst habits would be over-posting about politics. Most people don’t care about your personal political views. Another irritating habit is posting too many pictures of you and your significant other. A few of these pictures are okay, but your friends don’t need to see every selfie you take with him or her. Lastly, one more habit that, over time, will get on the nerves of those you have connected with is when you post your opinions over every single little matter. The ugly: These are the worst habits of posters. These are the habits that will make you lose followers, the things no one wants to see. One of the absolute worst things to post about is drama. As a young adult, you should have more sense and maturity to take care of an issue privately. Cursing is also a nasty habit in general. If someone sees a post filled with language, they will most likely skim over it. Lastly, girls, you don’t have to post photos with excess cleavage. Boys, you don’t have to post shirtless pictures. These pictures may be offensive to some people. And honestly, it is unnecessary to overly expose your body to the world. To make the most out of your...

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Misrepresentation on campus
Sep28

Misrepresentation on campus

Published in the Sept. 28, 2016 issue of The Bells In the last year, there have been numerous events surroundng people of color. From the deaths of Terrence Crutcher and Philando Castle to the brutal murder of teachers and students in Ochoa, Mexico who were asking for a better education reform, to Donald Trump‘s degradation of Muslims and Hispanics. Although these event’s are hot topics for American citizens, they seem to pass under the radar here at our university. It feels as if the community of minorities go unrepresented. As a Hispanic woman attending this university, representation means a lot to me. Learning about events such as what happened in Ochoa, or the Black Lives Matter Protest in Charlotte, North Carolina, I expect fellow classmates to feel the same pangs of confusion or hurt that I do, or to at least care to discuss them. Unfortunately, it seems as though these conversations I seek only happen in passing; a name thrown out here, disapproval there. The conversation only goes as deep as conservative values allow, and that doesn’t seem very far. What many of my classmates do not understand is that these names represent so much more than just the unjust system we are under. These names and places represent me. And as a student at this university, I should have the privilege to feel represented like everyone else. The university is a predominantly euro-centric and conservative community, which explains a portion of the reason minorities feel unrepresented. But the school has so many various groups of people (such as the international students) that make up a large part of our community, yet they seem to be disconnected from the larger university population. The Association of Black Students is gaining a lot of speed here on campus, and their main focus is to bring more culture here. The Association has been invited to attend events at Baylor, due to the lack of interest of hosting these events on our campus. Just last week, a peaceful protest was held in front of Bawcom for students in support of the Black Lives matter movement. So how do we fix things? How can we, as a campus, include everyone into the conversation and make sure everyone feels properly represented? Start a conversation. Around campus, it shouldn’t feel wrong to have an open conversation about social issues. Being open about the ideas that others possess can impact us as a community. Host events and seminars. Learn how to be an actual inclusive group. This is how things will change. By sitting and doing nothing, we leave a whole community of people without a...

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iPhone 7 sparks praise and outrage
Sep28

iPhone 7 sparks praise and outrage

Smartphones have become increasingly popular over the past few years. Just take a look around at your surroundings and you are sure to find people with their phones out, staring intently at their screens. Technology companies such as Apple and Samsung release new phones periodically that seem to open doors to unexplored content, such as 3D touch in the iPhone 6 and wireless charging in the Galaxy S7. Apple announced its newest iPhone models, the iPhone 7 (4.7 inch) and iPhone 7 Plus (5.5 inch), on Sept. 7, sparking controversy over the absence of the headphone jack. There are two solutions to this problem – first, according to Forbes, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will come with new ear buds that connect through the Lightning connector port. Unfortunately, that means the user cannot charge their phone and wear their headphones at the same time. The other solution is something vastly different from any headset Apple has ever made, and that is the AirPods. The AirPods are wireless ear buds that play music when they are in the user’s ear and pauses once taken out. The user can also interact with Siri without even taking out his or her iPhone, just by pressing an ear bud twice. They come with a charging case that when placed inside, gives the headphones up to 24 hours of battery life and 5 hours of music with a single charge. The AirPods are set to be released sometime in late October and will cost $159.00. The AirPods are only one step towards the future of the advancement of mobile technology. Despite comments concerning losing the AirPods due to their small size, they will become such an integral part of listening to music that they will not be easily forgotten. Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have new features that are sure to please a wide variety of phone users. Camera experts should take advantage of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus’s impressive camera. They both have optical image stabilization, which allows users to take pictures that appear more stable. Also, recording video in the dark will appear better than in previous iPhone models. In addition, the iPhone 7 Plus has two cameras which means that when you zoom in, the photo will not be so blurry. The depth-of-field effect, which is yet to have a release date, allows users to take photos that focus on the central object. Music Buffs can jam out even more with Apple’s brand new stereo speakers in both of the phones, which produces double the amount of volume than the iPhone 6S. Innovators will...

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