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Column: Christianity was foolish. Then I became a Christian.

Tyler Smothers.JPG

Tyler Smothers

Assistant Faith Editor

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” — from Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth: 1 Cor. 1:18 (NIV)

Was I really perishing, though? I mean, perishing sounds a bit over-dramatic in describing my life at 15.

I certainly wouldn’t have said I was perishing before I became a Christian.

I had all my necessities provided for by my parents and grandparents, and I led a mostly worry-free life as a kid. My parents woke my sister and I up at an early time, be- cause the church we were dragged to was just outside of town. We had a nice time with our friends there, playing games with pens and paper, writing notes back and forth, receiving a “hush” from mom or dad. We were hushed a lot.

Church was a regular part of my life until I was ten or so, but that whole time the spiritual realities meant nothing to me.

The Sunday service was just an event at a particular location every week. My little league football games on Saturdays were much more exciting to me and my parents, too.

For lack of better reasons, I went to church because I had to and because it was a rather nice time to see my friends.

I came into my teenage years apathetic about church, just as many others do.

My grandpa died in late 2012 and a month later my parents announced to my sister and I that they were getting a divorce.

It was unfathomable to me then that I would move more than ten times over the next four years.

This felt like perishing, or at least as close as my young mind could have imagined at that time, and I tried to solve this feeling.

The court-ordered therapist visits, the diagnosis of depression and the medications only made me feel worse most days.

I tried the strategies we are all taught to follow, but they all failed me.

This is the part where I share the rest of my life story, which I will not do now, but maybe we can all see where this is going.

And maybe that’s the point.

Life is hard. This is no secret. Just ask an artist. Many great artists and creators have created wonderful works while having incredibly tragic personal lives.

Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway is an absolutely beautiful picture of how hard modern life is for an individual.

She emphasized the ease with which anxiety and distraction and regret slip into daily life, and her life was filled with tragedy.

Virginia Woolf’s mother and father died and she was physically abused by her step brothers. Alongside her experiences, she probably had clinical depression among other psychological illnesses, which were still mostly mysteries to researchers in her time.

From Virginia Woolf to your neighbors to yourself, all humans have known despair and have suffered by it.

All humans know suffering.

Jesus was a human, too, and he knew despair. He even knew it in greater depths than we can. His life was riddled with betrayal and desertion from friends and being despised by family members.

He knew what it was to be mocked publicly and falsely accused and rejected by his people. He was stripped of his clothes and he was brutally beaten by Roman soldiers.

Then, Jesus knew death.

But Jesus rose from the dead three days after this, defeating death and offering eternal life to those who place their faith in him and follow him.

And I’m not arguing here that becoming a Christian ends or solves the difficulties of life.

Instead, I’m arguing that the strong desire for hope and the out- cry of humanity for a reason not to just commit suicide this instant is based on the fact that the savior, Jesus, rose from the dead.

He demonstrated the power of God over death, and ultimately over the troubles of life.

Our suffering undeniably involves an outcry for something bigger than us, for something — or someone — to give us a reason to keep going.

The life, death and resurrection of Jesus displays both the authority of God over despair and depression, dejection and betrayal, and the sacrificial love of God for humankind, even with all of our messiness.

Jesus died and then defeated death when he rose from his grave.

This is the hope we are looking for — A hope that will last beyond death.

This message of hope in Christ is the Gospel, and it is the overarching narrative of the Bible, from the creation account to the ending. It is God’s eternal plan to redeem humankind to himself.

The Apostle Paul states that “Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,” 1 Cor. 1:22-23 (NIV).

In our calamitous school-shoot- ing and sex-trafficking-filled world, the hope we place in ourselves and in our governments does not last long before we are thrown into personal crises.

Our trust in governments fail when its agents hurl tear gas at children at borders and when the vulnerable aren’t cared for.

And our hope in ourselves is broken when we belittle another person, or watch pornography, and then feel immense shame and disgust with our minds and bodies.

So, after those hopes are gone, what’s left?

It didn’t appear to me that I was perishing as a young teenager, but I knew it was hard to live most days. The reason I didn’t share the rest of my life story at the beginning is because you probably knew it was going to get worse.

We expect suffering, and we can sometimes prepare for it, but we cannot overcome it. It always goes deeper than we think it will. The only hope we can have that suffering does not have the final say is the only hope that will satisfy our hearts.

We must hope in the foolishness of Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

OBU welcomes Winkler as Green and Gold Gala speaker

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Courtesy Photo / OBU

Actor Henry Winkler is well known for his role as Fonzie on the TV show

Koal Manis

Assistant News Editor

Tuesday, Mar. 3, OBU hosted its annual Green and Gold Gala, in downtown OKC at the Bricktown Events Center.

The keynote speaker was Henry Winkler, an Emmy award-winning actor and author known for playing Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzareli on the show “Happy Days” and as a guest star on Arrested Development.

Additionally, Winkler has been working on a children’s book and has already published 35 other books.

Winkler was originally scheduled to attend the Green and Gold Gala of 2019 but was unable to attend, so OBU TV and other students were excited to hear from him as he spoke this year.

Senior journalism major and marketing minor Olivianna Calmes attended the Gala this year with OBU TV to cover the event for campus news.

Calmes noted that be- sides Winkler, OBU had others speak throughout the night, including John Holcomb.

OBU senior Misael Gonzalez prayed during the event for all attending, and Dr. Smallwood and OBU President Heath Thomas both spoke.

The Bison Jazz orchestra and the OBU a cappella group True Voice performed for the gala’s guests.

A silent auction was one of the gala’s main events.

The audience was given an opportunity to give donations at the end of the evening as well as through donation slips on the tables.

“The whole event is geared toward getting money for student scholarships,” Calmes said.

The audience was made up of mostly OBU alumni, but also a lot of prominent people in the Shawnee community and others interested in helping OBU’s mission.

The event helped show how impactful OBU students are.

The event showed a spotlight video of McKenzie Reece, a theatre major graduate who has since gone to New York and auditioned for theatre work there.

Reece was in attendance at the Gala. OBU showed through her story just one example of a successful OBU graduate.

“Henry Winkler talked about his struggle with dyslexia and his full journey of an acting career and he gave a really meaningful talk as well,” Calmes said.

Specifically, Winkler discussed the struggle of growing up with unsupportive parents and how he didn’t learn until later in life that dyslexia was part of that struggle.

He talked about getting bad grades and how hard it was for him to take tests as a child. Since then, Winkler has taken a stand for those who struggle with learning.

He also discussed achieving dreams through perseverance and dedication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Cheap travel ideas for spring Break

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Courtesy Photo/The Bison

Bishop Castle is a work of stone and iron that has been continually constructed solely by Jim Bishop for the past 60 years. Featuring a grand ballroom, stained glass windows, towers and bridges.

Peyton King

Features Editor

Spring Break is just around the corner and those without plans to join family or friends on a trip are left searching for affordable, fun activities.

Unless they’re an individual who needs to stay close to campus for work or athletics, the only things that are holding students back from a memorable Spring Break are lack of ideas and lack of expendable financial resources.

Luckily for those who want to get out of the 405 without spending all their grocery cash, there are plenty of budget friendly travel options open to all.

Arguably the cheapest, most memorable way to travel during Spring Break is by go- ing on a road trip with friends. Seeing as most college students are 18 or older, a chaperone-free trip is an easy way to have a Spring Break worth remembering.

Listening to music, eating at cheap off-the- highway restaurants and playing road trip games with friends could easily outclass any experiences bought in a new location.

But even though it’s been said, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey,” there are still many places nearby that would make the journey even more worthwhile.

Some of the most popular road trip destinations surrounding Okla. are Texas, Mo. and Colo. All of them have one thing in common: free sight-seeing experiences.

According to tourtex- as.com, you can catch a show at the Miller Out- door Theatre, visit the Contemporary Arts Museum, watch as many as 250,000 bats emerge from a bridge at dusk, go hiking or even explore Galveston Island – all for free.

And this is only in Houston.

Individuals still have the option to travel to cities such as Austin, Corpus Christi or El Paso to find unique free activities.

In Mo., visitors can get a taste of nature or a feel for the city depending on where they want to travel.

According to only- inyourstate.com, those who travel to Mo. can experience wildlife at its finest through free visits to the St. Louis Zoo, go hiking and swimming at Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park or explore old castle ruins and hike at Ha Ha Tonka State Park.

But more urban types have their options, too. Mo. is home to two main attractions that are free to the public: the St. Louis Art Museum and the Liberty Memorial.

Both places are surrounded by buzzing city lights due to the Liberty Memorial being in Kansas City and the art museum being in St. Louis.

In Colo., the hearts of small-town lovers will soar. But amongst the chilled-out, homey vacation spots, there are plenty of attractions for those who seek them.

According to out- therecolorado.com, there are multitudes of both natural and man- made sites to visit with- out any admission price.

For those who want to lay eyes on the natural wonders of Colo., the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, the Paint Mines Interpretive Park in Calhan and the Conundrum Hot Springs near Aspen are all completely free experiences open to the public.

Some more modern attractions include the St. Elmo abandoned ghost town, the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and Bishop Castle in Rye, Colo.

Bishop Castle is the largest construction project made by one- man in the country. Jim Bishop has been building this structure by hand for years and it is completely open to the public.

Of course, prices on these sorts of trips depend on gas money, how long you’re staying, cost of food and lodging and other forms of entertainment.

But overall, driving to your destination is likely the cheapest way of travel unless you want to walk or bike.

If you’re looking to travel by air, though, there are plenty of cheap plane tickets available to travel nationwide.

According to kayak. com, flights out of Oklahoma City airports start as cheap as $167.00.

For more information on cheap flight options, online price comparing resources such as kayak.com are available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Students reflect on Holocaust & World War II J-term Trip

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Daniel Spillman / OBU

Several OBU students toured sites related to World War II and the Holocaust. They were led by Dr. Daniel Spillman and Dr. Christopher McMillion, both of whom have a passion for the era and hoped to share that with their students.

Loren Rhoades

Contributing Writer

This past J-term 20 OBU students took to Europe with assistant professor of political science Dr. Christopher McMillion and associate professor of history Dr. Daniel Spillman.

While on the study abroad trip, the students visited different sites heavily affected by World War II and the Holocaust.

“These are the kinds of trips that can be transformative,” Spillman said. “You can have classroom experiences like that, but these are transformative experiences where you encounter the physical space where major world events happened. Events that involve the moments where you connect your faith to how you live in a complicated world.”

To get the full experience of the history of World War II, the group toured different concentration camps as well as the homes of different historical figures, such as Anne Frank.

Their first stop was in War- saw, Poland, where they visited the site of an important 1944 uprising. Next, they traveled to Krakow, which was the highlight of the trip for most students due to the city’s vast architecture.

“It’s a magical city in a lot of ways, but it’s a city that has a very painful history,” Spillman said.

Krakow was the home of Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of over 1,000 Jews by employing them in his factory. During their time in Krakow, the group toured this factory, as well as the museum dedicated to Schindler.

Before leaving Poland, the students stopped by the infamous death camp known as Auschwitz. During the Holocaust period, this camp was designed to slaughter Jewish people en masse.

“I think Poland was really significant in this experience,” communication studies major Emily Boyne said. “Not only did it hold most of the concentration camps and the death camps, but it has so much of a significant part of the second world war that I never realized.”

After their journey in Po- land, McMillion, Spillman and the students took an overnight train to Prague, which is in the Czech Republic.

Prague is a city that wasn’t heavily bombed during the war due to Hitler wanting to keep it in an undamaged condition. His goal was to make it a location where he could host retreats.

From Prague, the group traveled to Munich, Germany, which served as Hitler’s home base. The city was also home to the first of the Nazi concentration camps, Dachau.

During their time in Munich, students had the option to take a day trip to either Salzburg, Austria or what is known as the Fairytale Castle, located in the Alps.

Next they headed toward Berlin, Germany, where they spent a couple of days touring a variety of museums and concentration camps.

“Berlin was utterly destroyed in World War II,” Spillman said. “So, it’s not like Prague and it’s not like Krakow. Berlin, Munich and Warsaw were cities that were just decimated.”

From Berlin, the professors and the students took a train to Amsterdam. In Amsterdam, they had the opportunity to tour the homes of Anne Frank and Corrie Ten Boom, both of whom were influential figures during the Holocaust.

Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who believed that God had called her to shelter Jewish people in her home at the risk of her own life. Ten Boom, her father and her sister built a fake wall in their house that created a hiding place for Jewish refugees.

“Because she was a Christian woman acting out of her own convictions, it’s just a powerful story,” Spillman said. “So for the students to be in this space, it was just a fantastic experience.”

Before going on the trip, the students were required to read books related to the places they would visit, such as Anne Frank’s diary and ‘The Hiding Place’ by Ten Boom. The goal was for the students to tie what they had read to physical spaces they would visit.

Spillman and McMillion also held office hours in the hostels they stayed in each night in order to give students time to reflect on and discuss their experiences. Students said these discus- sion times were what really tied the trip together.

“This trip helped me realize how resilient and courageous people can be,” Boyne said. “Whether hiding in a two-foot-deep hidden room in Corrie Ten Boom’s house, a victim of Auschwitz, or a part of the Warsaw uprising, people were so courageous to risk their lives and protect others and their country. They would stand up for the sake of life knowing that they would die. That kind of courage and resilience is incredible and inspiring.”

 

 

 

Featured

Bison baseball, individual team leaders take Northwestern Oklahoma State University this week

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Courtesy Photo/OBU Athletics

Above: OBU Bison baseball competed against Northwestern February 21 and 22, wining both games (10-13 and 7-12).

Payne Moses

Sports Reporter

The Oklahoma Baptist University Bison faced the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Rangers February 21st.

Jake Lipetzky led the Bison as starting pitcher and took on Scott Cree- don, the Ranger’s starting pitcher.

Entering the matchup, Lipetzky had a 2-1 record as a starter and 29 strikeouts on the season.

His outstanding play would continue against Northwestern, only giving up two hits and a single run in the entire nine innings he pitched.

In the game, Lipetzky amounted nine strike- outs, gave up no walked runners and amassed only 110 pitches, averaging about 12 an inning.

OBU, Joey Pledger, a center fielder, was three for three on hits per at bat, hitting the lone homerun for the Bison, a double and a single.

Equally as important in the team’s success, Ramon Gomez, a designated hitter, batted in three runs on two doubles, the first being in the fifth inning to break the 1-1 tie, and the second and third coming in eighth to extend the Bison lead to five runs.

Early on, the contest was a toss up with neither team being able to break through the opposing defenses’ approach. The first two innings only yielded a total of one hit by Cliff Pradd, shortstop at OBU, who doubled on his first at bat in the first inning.

Scott Creedon of Northwestern was initially efficient against the Bison hitters he faced in the first four innings of the game, but eventually OBU found its groove.

As for Jake Lipetzky of the Bison, he began quite the opposite to Creedon, giving up two hits in the second inning, though they would be the only two he would surrender.

Despite this sluggish start, the Bison would make the fifth inning a turning point in the ball game.

Lipetzky began the Bison run by only needing six pitches in the fifth to obtain three outs, one being a strikeout.

On the offensive side of the ball, OBU amassed three hits in the fifth alone, with Pledger beginning the inning with a double, Gomez batting him in with a double of his own and Eric Carlson, first base- men, with a single to allow Gomez to score and give the Bison a 3-1 lead.

In the bottom of the sixth, Northwestern made a pitching change from Creedon to Rafael Lara after Lipetzky once again shut out the Rangers in the sixth.

Though Lara walked three straight batters in the sixth, the Ranger’s defense stepped up and stranded all three Bison runners on base maintaining the two-run deficit.

Lipetzky, in the top of the seventh, easily went through the NWOSU batters, only amounting 10 pitches and staying ahead in the count, keeping strikes always in time with any balls he would throw.

The OBU Bison then extended their lead to three runs in the seventh, with Kamana Bartolome, third basemen, having a double and Carlson batting him in home with a double of his own.

Almost rhythmically, Lipetzky obtained two strikeouts in the top of the eighth inning, for his ending total of nine strikeouts, not allowing any momentum switch.

To solidify the victory, the Bison had three consecutive hits to begin the bottom of the eighth, Pledger with a single, Pradd with a double and Gomez batting the two runners in with his own double.

Ramon Enriquez, catcher, secured the win with a sacrifice fly-out to knock in Gomez.

Fittingly, Jake Lipetzky closed out the game and a 7-1 Bison victory.

Afterward the game, coach Chris Cox spoke of the key to the win.

“Without a question, it was Jake,” Cox said. “Jake went out there and set the tone, commanded all three pitches and just pounded the strike zone. He set the tone, didn’t give them [The Rangers] anything.”

In terms of the turning point of the game, or climax. Cox said he understood capitalization of opportunity was the change.

“We needed to do a better job of hitting with runners in scoring position and less than two outs,” Cox said.

“We put ourselves in good position, had a couple key hits there later in the innings, but I feel like we can do a better job of that early.”

More than just the key at bats or Lipetzky’s performance, Cox honed in on the greatest contributing factors to the night’s success.

“Yes, patience late and getting deep into counts, worked the pitch count up,” Cox said. “Got their starter out of the game in the sixth inning, and went to work a little bit on their bullpen.”

The Bison improved to 9-2 on the season, up- ping their win streak to five and Great American Conference record to an impressive 4-0.

This triple-header against Northwestern concluded February 22nd (OBU winning, 10-14 in game one and 7-12 in game two), and the OBU Bison took on Central Oklahoma February 25th at home on Bobby Cox Field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

How should we react to personal injustice?

Audrey Branham

Assistant Faith Editor

“If you get hit, hit ‘em harder, if you get killed, walk it off,” Captain America says as he rallies his team to fight against an army of destructive robots in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The speech is fitting coming from someone that embodies the ideas of the United States. As you are prob- ably aware, if you grew up watching popular media, one reoccurring characteristic of our nation is the fight against resistance.

This is precisely the reason we re- late so many characters battling intelligent robots and shape-shifting aliens; this world puts us in a constant state of conflict.

Everyone meets resistance when pursuing their goals and must overcome obstacles to achieve them. And while there are not many constant things, the past and current state of our world testify that conflict is one of those few things.

But how do we react to conflict? Like Captain America? How do we react when we stand opposed?

When asking how to act in difficult situations, we should look to Jesus, our savior, and how he reacted to situations far more difficult and unjust than we could ever be in.

As in the past, every generation has suffered terrible conflicts that have even led to claims about the “End of the World.”

While people on YouTube might be saying that the coronavirus, rumors of World War III and the Australia fires are all signs of the end of days, people in the ‘60s protested the Cold War that might have very well ended the world. In the ‘40s, thousands of people succumbed to polio and even more died from the bubonic plague 500 years before that.

Christians, especially, have always been and always will be targets of the enemy. War, epidemic, sickness, and disaster have always been on this Earth, and it will stay that way until Jesus recreates it. But the question is not “when is it coming?” but “how do we react to it [whatever ‘it’ may be]?”

This, however, might be the result of the most misunderstood books of the Bible, Revelation.

Rowena R. Strickland, associate professor of New Testament Dr. Bandy, said, “Revelation is not primarily focused on giving signs of Jesus’ second coming,” but, instead, Revelation focuses more on showing God’s people how to react to conflict and oppression.

The Christians depicted in Rev- elation live in an environment of tremendous religious, social, and political pressure to conform to worshiping idols, specifically their political leader. Refusal to worship, we see, ends in loss of respect, livelihood, freedom and even life.

This directly mimics the life that first-century Christians lived in the Roman world and the lives of Christians in the modern world. The culture that Christianity was born in was rooted in the worship of thousands of gods, especially emphasizing the worship of the Emperor.

Refusal to engage in worship of the gods brought a loss of status, and, even more dangerous, not worshiping the Emperor was seen as a political threat. This was one of the primary reasons Roman Emperors like Nero used Christians as scapegoats for social problems; they were some- one to blame for problems that were nobody’s fault, if not the rulers.

Just as sickness and disaster will always be a problem on Earth, so will persecution and opposition against God’s followers.

Revelation speaks to those people who feared a painful death the next time they refused to pour incense over the altar of Nero, but also identifies with the secretly Christian woman in modern Iran and the American Christian that faces daily spiritual attack. In Revelation, Jesus gives us a model that will apply to any situation of opposition. In Revelation 5, God holds a scroll sealed with seven seals and written on both sides, an image of God’s revelation to mankind. An angel then asks the world, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But chapter 5:3-5 says that there was no one worthy to open it, so John, who is witnessing all this, begins to weep.

However, he is the comforted by angel who tells him that “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and it’s seven seals.” But when John looks up to see this ‘Lion of Judah’, he sees a killed lamb who takes the scroll and opens it.

How does this relate to overcoming opposition?

It is the ultimate picture of surpassing impossibility: Jesus, the ‘Lion of Judah’ is also the slain lamb, and He triumphed by allowing Himself to die for His children.

“[O]vercoming is the way of the lamb, not the lion,” Bandy said.

Jesus was able to be the “Lion of Judah,” the savior of the world, by submitting to murder. This is precisely why Jesus calls his followers to ‘turn the other cheek’ and not ‘return evil for evil’: because we don’t need to.

If Jesus, God Himself, is victorious over death itself and is able to reveal Himself to us, then we don’t need to hit back harder. God himself, perfect and just, allowed himself to be unjustly murdered to reveal himself to us.

This is the type of message that Jesus brings: when we come against natural disasters or are treated unjustly, they become small matters, because Jesus has already given us more than we could ever deserve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Division of Music hosts students for FAME, Keyboard festival

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Morgan Jackson

Arts Editor

The last week on Bison Hill was a busy one for the Division of Music at OBU. Monday, Feb. 17, hosted prospective students for this year’s Fine Arts Main Event (FAME). This event allows for students to experience performances from OBU students, and sit in on classes, as well as complete necessary tasks like auditions and placement tests for music students.

In a letter to prospective attendees Dr. Christopher Mathews, dean of the Warren M. Angell college of fine arts, encouraged prospective students to participate in the event and to see what the Warren M. Angell college has to offer.

“We would be honored for you to join us, hear from some of our amazing students and faculty and have a taste of what our art, theatre, and music students do during their time on Bison Hill,” Mathews said.

During the event, students had the opportunity to audition for scholarships.

“We would love for you and your family to experience our cam- pus, explore Shawnee, and consider joining us in this grand journey,” Mathews said. “And, to help, we would like to provide you the opportunity to demonstrate your skills while you are here, perhaps even earning financial aid that could provide a means for you to reach your academic and artistic goals.”

Students had the opportunity to see the campus and get to know the fine arts faculty. At the beginning of the day, students registered and had a light breakfast. Then, students learned about the colleges and degrees offered as well as learned about financial aid available to students.

Following the informational meeting, prospective students were able to watch performances by current students in theatre and other programs. True Voice, OBU’s acapella group performed “For Good” from “Wicked” as well as other songs.

After the Fine Arts Showcase, prospective fine arts students had the opportunity to attend classes taught by the fine arts faculty while parents attended an informational meeting. After a lunch, students had auditions, portfolio reviews, and other meetings.

In addition to the Fine Arts Main Event, the Division of Music hosted students for the annual state Keyboard Festival Saturday, FEb. 22.

According to the festival website, “The Division of Music at Oklahoma Baptist University is delighted to continue the tradition of an annual Keyboard Festival as established by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. This festival exists to encourage the development of gifted young pianists and organists as they are called to worship God through music.”

The festival allowed for students, with the age capping at the high school level to perform pieces if they have qualified to complete at their regional festival. There are many different categories and levels for students to compete at.

Dr. Abigail Mace, assistant professor of music and director of the music predatory department Dr. Michael Dean, professor of mu- sic and coordinator of keyboard studies, Dr. Patty Nelson, associate professor of music education and Dr. Gloria Tham-Haines, adjunct professor was the OBU faculty tasked with organizing and running the festival. Dr. Abigail Mace was the director of the state festival.

The event concluded with performances from the top players in their categories and an award assembly.

Both of these events allow the Division of Music to share its talents and gifts with the music community throughout the state, while encouraging students to take deeper look into the various musical programs and degrees that OBU has to offer students.

 

Featured

RAWC The World: A Celebration of the World

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PeyTon King/The Bison

Maxi Vergara, Dr. Lucrecia Litherland and Dr. Tony Litherland representing their home country Argentina at their Argentenian booth.

Peyton King

Features Editor

Thursday Feb. 20, OBU’s Recreation and Well- ness Center (RAWC) was buzzing with diversity.

Adorned with flags, food, drinks, music and guests of all cultures, the celebration was a social hot spot for people on and around campus.

Hosted 7:00-9:30 p.m., the event was generated in order to highlight the different cultures that have been brought to OBU through international students, staff and faculty.

The first booth to be seen from the main entrance of the event was representative of the country Argentina.

Donning the Argentina flag, the booth showcased the culture through books, postcards, pictures and the service of a popular Argentinian beverage: mate.

According to Vamos Spanish Academy, mate (pronounced, MAH-teh) is a “caffeine-rich infused drink is made from dried leaves called yerba mate mixed with hot water.”

Argentines normally drink mate in social settings with friends or at family functions.

Junior business administration major Maxi Vergara is an international student from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

As one who has played soccer his whole life, Vergara came to OBU to play center midfielder for the men’s club soccer team.

Vergara described his favorite thing about OBU apart from soccer.

“The people are so nice here,” he said.

One of Vergara’s teammates is junior international business major Peterson “Pet” Costa.

From Salvador, Brazil, Costa is another center midfielder for the Bison men’s soccer team.

Costa shared the trials that have come with moving from Brazil to Shawnee, Okla. have helped strengthen his faith.

He said being in a new country with cultural differences taught him how to really trust God.

Costa’s booth was lined with multitudes of chocolaty handmade brigadeiros.

This sweet traditional Brazilian dessert is the Brazilian equivalent to an American fudge.

According to an article written by Paula Mejia for Atlas Obscura, this dessert became popularized in 1940 when condensed milk became a staple ingredient for desserts due to wartime rations.

Made from sweetened condensed milk, butter, cocoa powder and chocolate sprinkles, this rich treat is one chocolate lovers are sure to enjoy.

Another kid-friendly dessert at the event was located just to the left of the Brazilian booth: fairy bread from New Zealand.

The incredibly simple dessert is comprised of white bread, butter/margarine and (preferably rain- bow) sprinkles, or “hundreds and thousands” as they’re called in New Zealand.

Senior health and human performance major Tahlia Walsh said this sweet snack is often served at the birthday parties of children back in Australia and her home of Te Awamutu, New Zealand.

Another sweet dish to make an appearance at the event was melktert, or “milk tart,” from the South Africa booth.

According to a recipe from African Bites, this tart is made from pastry crust, milk, butter, flour, corn- starch, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon and nutmeg.

As a light, creamy, dessert reminiscent of a custard tart, milk tarts are a South African staple. Junior accounting major and track & field runner Sherine Van Der Westhuizen made this dessert to sit atop her table at RAWC The World.

While Westhuizen does admit she misses the food and Kruger National Park from her home in Kempton Park, South Africa, her experience at OBU has taught her a lot about her faith.

“I am from a really Christian community and all of my friends are Christian, so [coming to OBU] wasn’t really that different,” she said. “But so many people’s moral values lined up with mine here.”

One of Westhuizen’s favorite parts about OBU is the culture of all the international students.

“Seeing all of the different cultures and how these people came to the same place and still have the most amazing personalities that I’ve ever met in my life has just been very eye opening to me,” she said.

“It’s been amazing to get to see how many people can share the gospel and I really felt that I was led here.”

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Loren Rhoades/The Bison

A RAWC The World attendee enjoys a cultural delicacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Student Government Association makes plans for spring

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Courtesy Photo / OBU

Members of OBU’s Student Government Association pose for a class photo. SGA functions as the mediator between the student body and the administration.

Andrew Johnson

Assistant News Editor

The Student Government Association (SGA) is busy with plans for the spring semester at OBU and looking for students to get involved in the purpose of SGA.

Two upcoming SGA events include One Body United which will be Apr. 4, and the opening of applications for SGA elections after spring break.

The SGA is involved in several initiatives that impact campus life. “We are currently working with our new president to extend visitation hours in the residential dorms, find more spaces for commuter parking and put on events for the community and the student body,” SGA president Clayton Myers said.

Myers highlighted one such upcoming event.

“One Body United will be on Apr. 4 this year and we would love for as many students as possible to come and serve the community of Shawnee with us!” Myers said.

According to the OBU website, the first annual One Body United event was held in 2015. This event is centered around serving the community as an expression of Christian outreach from the university.

The stated goals of SGA are focused on service and providing a voice for students.

Myers quoted the SGA’s constitution to outline what the purpose of the organization is.

“‘The Student Government Association is and shall be dedicated to servant leadership and shall operate as the unified voice of student concerns and the distributor of certain funds to worthwhile causes.’ This is the introduction of our constitution and I think that it is a good summary of what we are to do,” Myers said.

Similarly, according to the SGA’s page on the OBU website, the SGA’s purpose is to “strive to enhance the quality of student life at OBU by committing our- selves to the service and involvement of our fellow students. SGA is the student’s voice in University affairs to make known the student body’s concerns or wishes.”

The SGA acts as a liaison between the student body and university administration.

“One thing I think a lot of people don’t know that we do is our president and vice president have meetings every month with the university president,” Myers said.

“We bring the concerns of students to them but would love for students to get in contact with us directly about what they think needs to change at the school.”

Myers spoke to why he believes the SGA is important.

“I thinks it’s important because it helps students realize that their voice can matter,” Myers said. “I say ‘can’ because if students choose to stay silent on something they believe in or not vote on something, they aren’t helping themselves or the student body.”

He emphasized that students speaking up and participating is necessary for students to have their voices heard by the SGA. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we can’t read people’s minds, so we need people to speak up and tell us what they want to see happen,” Myers said.

SGA meetings are weekly and open to the public. “We have meetings every Wednesday night at 9 P.M. in Stavros Hall that anyone can come to! We would love for students to get involved by attending!” Myers said.

Myers outlined how students can get further involved in the SGA.

“They can also run for senate positions or as a president and vice president pair. Applications will be coming out after spring break and we always want as many people running as possible!” Myers said.

The requirements for SGA senate are less than that for SGA president or vice president.

“For the senate, you just have to be a member of your class and for president/VP you have to have 60 credit hours in residence, serve at least one year in SGA or be an executive for a year in a chartered organization on campus,” Myers said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

STUNT team wins against Dallas Baptist University, gears up to compete at Maryville University

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OBU Athletics/the Bison

STUNT team took home some big wins this past weekend.

Anthony Williams

Assistant Sports Editor

The Oklahoma Baptist University stunt team went 20-0 Saturday February 8, 2020 in Oklahoma City against Dallas Baptist University.

The Bison have started the season undefeated and plan for a successful year.

Although cheer and stunt may look the same, they have their differences.

“When we are cheering on the sidelines, our job is to be loud, doing chants, in order to get the crowd involved in the game that is being played,” health and human performance major Hollie Steele said.

“When we are at a stunt game, we’re the ones competing,” she said. “We play against other schools. Essentially both teams are doing the same routine at the same time; the team that does the best routine gets a point. Games are divided into four quarters. Quarter one stunts, quarter two pyramids, quarter three tumbling and quarter four [are all] combined into one routine.

Steele also said competitions important for STUNT in general.

“Stunt games are currently in the process of merging into becoming a way to make cheerleading a recognized NCAA sport,” she said.

One of the reasons for this team’s early success is the motivation.

“I would say our motivation for each other is what pushes the team to do good. We know our potential and we try to perform at a high standard,” senior health and human performance major Alexis Mixon said.

For Mixon, team cohesiveness is important.

“Not just one person can pull off a win; it requires all of us. We are one big team and can’t do it without each other. I love how this stunt group has unity,” Mixon said.

Another reason for the Bison’s success is setting team goals and taking it one game at a time.

“Our team goal is to go undefeated in conference and get ranked top four to go to nationals,” Mixon said.

Help from the new transfers and underclassmen make the goal more attainable, she said.

“Many freshman and transfers have stepped up and fulfilled big roles. They are eager to learn and hungry for a win. The newcomers learn very quick as well which helps us a lot because we learn more routines,” Mixon said.

The nine seniors on the team all work to keep the group moving in the right direction.

“We have several leaders on the team like Aleigh Leduc, Mickayla Corvi and Alexis Mixon,” Steele said.

“Their experience helps so much because they went through everything already. All of our seniors do a good job stepping up and leading by example in their own special areas,” Steele said.

The support from fans is appreciated by the Bison.

“Fun support is really important at stunt games,” health and human performance major Mikayla Corvi said. “A loud crowd and sideline keep the game fun,” she said.

“Especially when a game is very close, crowd involvement really takes the atmosphere to the next level. One of the best feelings is doing a routine really well and then hearing the loud screams and excitement coming from the stands,” Corvi said.

The Bison believe the success started in this past off-season.

“The fall is technically considered our off-season,” Corvi said.

But we practice year- round just like we would in the season. We go by the saying of ‘you practice how you play.’ This team works really hard at trying to reach our full potential and be as good as we can be,” she said.

The Bison’s next STUNT game will be against the de- fending champions at Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri February 21 and 22; then the following weekend they take a trip to compete against Dallas Baptist in Dallas. 

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Featured

OBU Challenges Students During Focus Week

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Courtesy Photos / OBU

Dr. David Gambo and Dean Inserra joined students in Potter Auditorium for a series on Focus.

Naaman Henager

Faith Editor

Every year OBU hosts Focus Week. This week is designed to encourage students to focus on Christ while also emphasizing discipleship.

This semester students joined Dean Inserra, Pastor of City Church in Tallahassee Florida, and assistant professor of Christian ministry Dr. David Gambo to discuss the importance of focusing on Christ.

Monday, Feb. 10, Inserra kicked off the week by speaking from 1 Corinthians 3-4. He separated people into three categories: the unbeliever, the spiritual person and the fleshly believer.

“The spiritual person, so we are told, welcomes the things of God. The unbeliever does not welcome the things of God. This per- son [fleshly believer] at some point has welcomed the things of God but now is functionally rejecting them,” Inserra said.

He continued to speak on the fact that many Christians find them- selves in the fleshy believer’s “spot” – where they are professing Christ, but they look like the world.

He said that Christians are being con- fronted with the world’s message which is: “you just do you, follow your heart, do what makes you happy,” Inserra said.

Inserra concluded his message on Monday by challenging the students to look inside themselves and see if they truly have the faith, as well as to see what needs to change internally.

Wednesday, Feb. 12, Inserra continued Focus Week by discussing the topic of cultural Christianity and the fact that being born into a Christian home does not save someone.

He proclaimed a number of times that being born in the church or growing up in the church does not save you. It is a relationship with Jesus Christ that saves a person.

His message came from Matthew 7:21-23.

He told the students he would be discussing “the mission field of un- saved Christians.”

When discussing the topic of the unsaved Christian Inserra said, “I believe what we are talking about is the largest mission field in America today.”

“Don’t let belief be the barrier, something as precious and beautiful be the barrier to actually knowing the good news of Jesus Christ,” Inserra said.

Inserra challenged the students to look at the people around them and said those that claim to be Christian, might just be the ones they need to be evangelizing to.

“What if more than trying to make people feel like they are assured of their salvation, we actually make sure they had it in the first place,” Inserra said.

Friday, Feb. 14, Gambo spoke on the topic of knowing God.

During his sermon, Gambo discussed the difference between knowing about God and truly knowing God, i.e. tasting Him.

He spoke from John 17:3: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

Gambo began his message by tying the life of William Borden, a famous missionary, to the focus students need to have on eternity.

Borden left his life of wealth and comfort to move to China to minister to Muslims. However, before traveling to China Borden lived in Egypt for four months to learn Arabic. There he died of cerebral meningitis at the age of twenty-five.

Gambo used Borden’s life story to challenge the students to keep their focus on eternity.

“Those whose are focused on eternity, will make a difference for eternity,” Gambo said.

After discussing the first question of what it means to have eternal life, Gambo continues by answering the question of how one obtains eternal life.

He said that it is not through a theological knowledge of God, but a personal one.

“The most important thing about knowing God is not having an intellectual knowledge about God but having a personal intimate relationship. That’s what it means to know God,” Gambo said.

Gambo concluded his message by changeling the students to share their testimony with their neighbors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

CAB’s ‘Lodge of Love’ performance ushers in Valentines Day

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Courtyesy Photo / Zach Johns

True Voice performed an arrangement of “I Need Your Love” featuring soloist Harmony Dewees.

Morgan Jackson

Arts Editor

Tuesday, Feb. 11, Campus Activities Board hosted their annual Lodge of Love show. The event celebrated Valentine’s Day and showcased talented OBU students and faculty.

The Lodge was dec- orated in pink and red and set the tone for an evening focused on all things love and romance. Lights hung from the ceiling and added to the atmosphere.

The first skit of the night was focused on the current season of “The Bachelor.” It was a fun start to the night and gave the audience insight into what they would be seeing at the event. The hosts of the show were Cameron Denno and Tyler Koonce.

The emcees of the night were Peyton Byrd, Anna Caughlin, Clayton Myers, Rayann Williams and Koal Manis.

After the opening skit, True Voice, OBU’s a cappella group, per- formed an arrangement of “I Need Your Love” that thrilled the crowd. The song was one of the standout performances of the night. True Voice is under the direction of dean of the Warren M. Angell college of fine arts Dr. Christopher Mathews.

After their performance, Makalah Jessup performed spoken word about Valentine’s Day that featured countless jokes about roman- tic comedies and was extremely relevant to students on Bison Hill.

This moment was one of camaraderie among the crowd, and it united audience members through discussion of shared experiences and humorous OBU stereotypes.

Next, couples from the crowd were selected to play a game to see who knows the other the best. Couples turned back-to-back and were asked a series of questions about their relationships.

Then, they indicated who better fit a description by raising either their own shoe, or their partner’s shoe. This game was very interesting and personal, and overall fit the fun and quirky atmosphere of the evening very well.

After this, more students were showcased in musical performances.

The first of these was a rendition of “Hey There Delilah” on the ukulele performed by Parker and Raelie. This song is a crowd favorite and perfectly fit the theme of the evening.

Following that song was another crowd favorite, “When You Look Me in the Eyes” by the Jonas Brothers, performed by a group called “Just Friends.”

Nearly every girl in the room was singing along to this song from our childhoods. The performance was a good one; the harmonies added something to the song that made it different from the original while maintaining the heart of the song itself.

The last students to perform for the night were Cason West and Andrew Roberts. They played “10,000 Hours” by Dan + Shay and Jus- tin Bieber. Their guitar playing and singing voices made this a good lead up to the final act of the night.

Dr. Kevin Hall, professor of biblical and theological studies, and Dr. Randy Ridenour, professor of philosophy, took the stage for the last songs of the night. They performed two different songs.

For the first song, Ridenour took the lead and performed a heart- warming song that made the crowd react with laughter and watery eyes. Hall played the last song of the night and the crowd was thrilled by the end of their performances.

The crowd’s response to Hall and Ridenour was by far the most entertaining act of the night.

There were other skits between acts throughout the night, which were all very funny and relevant to the season and OBU.

Overall, Lodge of Love provides a good night of entertainment on campus and welcomes in the spirit of love.

 

 

Featured

OBU debate team advances to 3rd place nationally

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Courtesy Photo/ OBU

Members of OBU’s Debate team pose after a strong finish at Abilene Christian University.

Contributing Writer

OBU’s debate team is currently in 3rd place nationally.

This updated result comes after the team’s strong finish at Abilene Christian University.

The debate team brought home three overall team awards, including 3rd place in overall sweep- stakes, which takes into account all events at the tournament.

The team only missed 2nd place by two points to Colorado Christian University.

The debate team also brought home two 2nd place trophies in individual debate and individual speaking events.

In debate, the team earned several speaking awards, a quarter finalist in the novice and junior varsity divisions, a finalist in JV, and a semi finalist in novice.

The debate team’s sponsor and coach Dr. Scott Lloyd won the professional division.

“It was a great weekend,” Lloyd said.

The team is looking forward to their next tournament at Arkansas Tech Feb 28.

 

 

Featured

Black History Month: What it is & how to celebrate

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Matthew Dennis

Features Assistant

February — a month set aside to celebrate Black achievements.

Black History Month is the annual celebration of the many achievements from African Americans.

Black History Month was originally an event called “Negro History Week” started by Carter G. Woodson and other African Americans.

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Carter G. Woodson: The founder of what is now Black History Month. 

It was launched in Feb. 1926 to also celebrate the birth of Abraham Lincoln whose proclamation of emancipation was the beginning of the end to slavery, and Frederick Douglass, a freedom fighter who escaped slavery who also contributed to the U.S. an- ti-slavery movement.

Woodson’s creation of “Negro His- tory Week” became the model for Black History Month.

The Guardian defines Black His- tory Month’s vision and purpose as: “to battle a sense of historical amnesia and remind all citizens that black people were also a contributing part of the nation [… an envisioning] of a way to counter the invisibility of black people and to challenge the negative imagery and stereotypes that were often the only manner people were depicted in popular culture and in the media.”

The hope was that emphasizing the stories and achievements of Black individuals during the month could change the perspective to focus on positive aspects of African American life that was not commonly visible.

Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution asks the question, if Black History Month actually matters or if it has become a meaning- less gesture that is on routine, in his article for The Guardian.

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Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Lonnie Bunch was the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History.

“Black History Month should still matter,” he said, “It is still the useful tool in the struggle for racial fairness that Woodson envisioned over 90 years ago. After all, no one can deny the power of inspiration as a force for change.”

Bunch does not want the event of Black History Month to simply become a habit for Americans but some- thing that people will pay attention to.

“It is important for the month to avoid romanticizing a history that is already ripe with heroines and achievers… rather than simply celebrate inventors,” he said.

“The month should explore the defeats as well as the disappointments, using history to educate future generations that change does not come without struggle and sacrifice.”

Since 1976, every American President has recognized Feb. as Black History Month and each year have given a theme to the month.

The 2020 theme, “African Americans and the Vote,” is to honor the anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment (1920) which gave women the right to vote and of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) giving African American men the right to vote.

This year at Oklahoma Baptist University, there are opportunities for students to get involved with Black History through the many events happening on campus.

Feb. 24 in the Mabee Suite there will be a Poetry/Jazz Night. Attend to be a part of a semiformal event to honor jazz music and famous African American poets in history.

Feb. 24, 10:00 a.m., OBU’s Black History Month Program will be host- ed in the Bailey Business Center Auditorium.

Take this opportunity to celebrate Black History. The founder, Andre Head will be sharing insight on “Black Wall Street and Black Towns: Economic Development in Black Communities” as the keynote speaker.

There are also opportunities to celebrate happening throughout Oklahoma.

 

Feb. 27, 1:00 p.m., a Black History Month Program will be located at Martin Luther King Elementary, 1201 NE 48th st, Oklahoma City, OK.

The University of Central Oklahoma will be hosting “Black History Month: African American Health: What We Aren’t Taught,” Feb. 19 at 6-8 p.m., Will Rogers Room 421, 4th floor, NUC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

OBU’s University Scholars Weekend and Be A Bison Day

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Courtesy Photo / OBU

Dozens of students visited OBU’s campus for Be a Bison Day, University Scholars’ Weekend or both last Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Josiah Jones

News Editor

Prospective students flooded OBU’s cam- pus this weekend for two admissions-related events: Be A Bison Day and University Scholars Weekend.

Be A Bison Day occurs several times per semester and is an opportunity for prospective students to see what attending OBU would be like. Last weekend’s Be A Bison Day was Friday, Feb 14.

According to OBU’s website, “Bison Day is designed for students to see what the next four years could look like by experiencing a typical day in the life. Join us for this event to learn more about what OBU can offer you!”

According to OBU’s website, there are three more Bison Days this spring. They will be Monday Mar 9, 2020, Wednesday Mar 11, and Friday Mar. 13.

The University Scholars Weekend surrounds OBU’s University Scholarship Program. The program allows high-achieving students a chance to win one of six full-tuition scholarships to OBU.

The weekend ends with the Annual Scholarship Recognition Ceremony, where the six winners of the scholarship are announced, and all prospective student who have accepted scholar- ships are recognized.

“The University Scholarship is a full-tuition scholarship opportunity for students on Bison Hill!” assistant director of admissions Kalyn Fullbright said.

“To qualify, students must have a 32 ACT and a 3.75 GPA. In order to apply, accepted students must submit a letter of recommendation, resume, and an essay focused on one of three given prompts.”

Candidates are evaluated by OBU professors across many fields of study. These professors then choose which candidates move on to the next phase.

“Upon receiving the students’ documents, our team distributes them to select professors on campus for review,” Fullbright said.

“Once reviewed, we determine which students will qualify to move forward in the process.”

Once students make it to the next round, they must come to OBU to be interviewed by faculty.

“The final step in the process is an interview with OBU faculty and staff,” Fullbright said. “Each candidate sits with a panel of three judges for a 20-25 minute interview.”

The interviews are formal and scored.

Though the faculty members interviewing candidates do the scoring, they are not the ones to make the final decision about who will win the six available scholarships.

Admissions leadership compare data from across the candidate selection process.

“At the end of this process, Admissions leadership evaluates the scores from a variety of different areas including interview scores, essay scores, test scores, and more.” Fullbright said.

The University Scholars Weekend consisted of three parts: the University Scholars Banquet, the students’ interviews, and the Annual Scholarship Recognition Ceremony on Saturday, when the six winners of the University Scholarship are announced.

“University Scholars weekend is when students actually come to campus and interview!” Fullbright said.

[…] this is one of several components that determine[d] the winner(s) of the scholarship.”

With both events happening at once, OBU’s admissions team was busy. There was much
crossover between Be A Bison Day and the University Scholars Weekend participants.

“This weekend, we host[ed Be A] Bison Day, University Scholars Banquet, and finally our Annual Scholarship Recognition Ceremony.” Fullbright said. “Some students [were] on campus for all three events!”

The Annual Scholar- ship Recognition Ceremony also recognizes all other prospective students who have accepted scholarships from OBU. According to OBU’s website, 99 percent of undergraduate students at OBU receive some amount of financial aid.

Current students were encouraged to greet the prospective students, with the hope of connecting with them and increasing their chances of coming to OBU.

“The only thing that is exclusive is the University Scholars Banquet (and their interviews)!” Fullbright said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Australia fires: more than just physical damage

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Matthew Abbott/ The New York Times

A kangaroo, one of Australia’s unique species, traveling in front of a flaming building in Australia.

Matthew Dennis

Features Assistant

The Australian fires that started in September of 2019 have now burned more than 15 million acres and show no signs of stopping as Australia is only a few months into the summer season.

The blaze has done more than just destroy property and nature. It has deeply affected the function- ing of human society in over half of Australia’s population.

Since the beginning of the fires, at least 28 people have died across the nation. The flames have burned a land mass equivalent to the size of West Virginia.

The areas that are being hurt the worst are New South Wales and Victoria. These are populated states on the south-east side of Australia, where the city Sydney is located.

Across Australia, over 3,000 homes have been destroyed and many more have been damaged.

With people’s home being damaged, many have been forced to evacuate – therefore effecting their daily life.

A survey from The Guardian revealed that 9 percent of people have been forced to miss work. The Australia Institute estimates over 1.8 million workdays were lost – costing an estimate of more than 1.3 billion dollars in lost economic production.

One-third of the people interviewed by the Guardian said they had to change their daily routines due to the fires while 15 percent said they had to cancel or change their holiday or travel plans.

Even with the serious economic issues, the health of Australian citizens is also an important issue at hand.

Air quality in parts of Australia have been tested and reported to be 11 times the “hazardous” level. The poor air quality, due to large amounts of smoke, has made many people sick.

Extremely tiny smoke particles can be carried in the air that, when inhaled, can worsen asthma or lead to possible heart attacks and strokes.

This has caused many to go to the hospital with minor and serious illnesses and even the loss of life for some.

The sheer number of wildlife lost to the flames makes this already aching country hurt even worse. At the beginning of 2020 many were estimating about half a billion animals were killed by the fires and many more were displaced.

HuffPost interviewed Chris Dickman of the University of Sydney about the wildlife statistics surrounding the fires. “The original figure—the 480 million—was based on mammals, birds and reptiles for which we do have densities, and that figure now is a little bit out of date,”Dickman said.

“It’s over 800 million given the extent of the fires now—in New South Wales alone.”

According to Dickman, this number soars above a billion when you include animals, bats, frogs and other invertebrates.

“Over a billion would be a very conservative figure,” Dickman said.

Sadly, no one will know the full extent of dam- age until all of the fires are extinguished.

Sam Mitchell, a co-owner of Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park said in an interview with The Guardian, that he estimated the total koala population to be around 50,000. He estimates that over half of the koalas have been killed.

Professor Bradshaw at Flinders University gave some hope for the tragic news of the wildlife. “Animals can and do rebound from such devastation… We are constantly surprised how recovery happens quickly after a fire and how many animals survive,” he said.

To put the damage into perspective, the 2018 California wildfires burned almost 2 million acres and were estimated to have cost close to 3.5 billion U.S. Dollars. So far, the flames in Australia have burned more than 15 million acres, which is over seven times the land mass of the California fires.

To donate to fire relief efforts, visit: https:// http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/victorian-bushfire-re- lief/donate.

 

Featured

Bison track and field return from J.D. Martin Invitational with four first-place finishes

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Devin Miller

Sports Editor

The Oklahoma Baptist University men and women’s track and field teams both competed in the JD Martin Invitational Saturday February 8 beginning at 9 a.m. in Norman, Oklahoma. The Bison returned back home to Shawnee, Oklahoma with four first-place finishes and one provisional NCAA Divi- sion Two qualifier.

“NCAA Division One teams, Oklahoma State University, Oral Roberts University, North Texas, Louisiana Tech, California State-Bakersfield and OU provided OBU with motivation to compete well and make a good showing,” said head coach Ford Mastin in a recent OBU athletics article.

“The teams are starting to show the ability to compete with quality competition. We believe the teams in attendance saw our Bison spirit, effort and excellence.”

The men’s team recognized junior Nathaniel Worley, who won the high jump with a provisional NCAA Division Two with a height of 2.08m.

Other noted performance include: senior Brandon Crowley who finished in second place after competing in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.07, junior Shirvante Knauls who competed in the 600 yards with a time of 1:13.25 and senior Hayden Ashley who competed in the high jump with a height of 1.95m.

Freshman Marcus Petersen, freshman Jax Holland, freshman Zachary Coak and junior Shirvante Knauls all competed in the men’s 4 x 400 relay with a time of 3:18.39.

The OBU women’s track and field team returned home with three top-place makers.

Junior Cameka Witter competed in the 400 meters and won with a time of 56.14, overtaking her teammate sophomore Taylor James by 1.76 seconds.

The Bison returned home with the 4 x 400 relay and the distance medley with times of 3:56.90 and 12:37.05.

Freshman Adeline O’Connor, sophomore Taylor James, junior Sherine Van Der Westhuizen and junior Cameka Witter all competed in the 4 x 400 relays on February 8, while junior Allison Derry, sophomore Tizhane Brooks, sophomore Emma Downing and freshman Adeline O’Connor all competed in the Distance Medley Relay.

Sophomore Dawnnae Chatman finished third place in the 200 meter with a time of 25.91.

Additionally, senior Tesa Potter competed in the mile with a time of 10:36.92. Jana LeRoux also returned to OBU with a third-place finish with a time of 10:36.92 in the 3000 meter.

On Friday February 14 and Saturday February 15 both the Oklahoma Baptist University men and women track and field teams will both participate in the Gorilla Classic in Pittsburg, Kansas.

 

 

 

 

Featured

Church planting class continues OBU’s mission

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Courtesy Photo / Curt Goss

Students enrolled in church planting class will have the chance to connect with many other people groups who follow many different religions.

Naaman Henager

Faith Editor

Oklahoma Baptist University is known for its academics, but also its mission to reach the lost.

One way that OBU is furthering the kingdom of God this semester is through a class called Cross-Cultural Church Planting, lead by professor of cross-cultural ministry Dr. Bruce Carlton.

“This is just an amazing opportunity that I would have never thought about” sophomore cross-cultural ministry major Hannah Butler said.

A key component of the students’ grades in the class is their capstone project.

This semester they have the opportunity to experience a church plant in Shawnee or Oklahoma City. There was also another option: students could write a fifteen-page paper about a hypothetical church plant.

Students who made the decision to participate in church plants have a number of opportunities to experience hands-on what planting church is like.

Butler, a student in the class, chose to work with the International Church of OKC.

“We will do prayer walks, sharing the gospel and really just pour into those people[’s] lives and come into their community” Butler said.

The students share the gospel with the communities surrounding their church plants.

While the students will be sharing the gospel and working to impact the lives of the communities they are in, Carlton expects students to be impacted on a personal level as well.

Carlton proposed the unique situation that God has placed his students in will force a number of them to step outside their comfort zone and lean on God more than they have before.

During this semester, students who are enrolled in the class will learn ecclesiology, which includes the basics of planting a church and the Biblical mandate to do so.

Students in the class will read books about starting churches and other areas of ecclesiology, then discuss the texts and how they relate to their on-the- ground experiences in class.

Recently, the students were given the assignment to write a paper on what they believed the ecclesiological minimum of a church was.

Carlton said that this could be one sentence, or it could be three pages. The only requirement was they look to the Bible to support their position.

Another recent assignment in the class was a full-class effort to separate the necessary and unnecessary theological foundations. This sparked debate in the class, but resulted in unity.

The students in Cross-Cultural Church Planting hope to grow spiritually this semester and learn the foundation of what a church plant is and needs to be.

 

 

 

 

Featured

Division of Music to present Concerto-Aria concert Feb. 16

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Courtesy Photo / OBU Music

Nine OBU students will take the stage Sunday, Feb. 16, for the 46th annual Concerto-Aria concert.

Morgan Jackson

Arts Editor

Nine students from the Di- vision of Music will be show- casing their talents this week- end on a grand scale.

This year the 46th annual Concerto-Aria concert will be presented in Potter Auditorium Sunday, Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m.

According to a Feb. 4 OBU press release, “The first Concerto-Aria concert was organized in 1974 as a way for outstanding musical performers to be able to appear with a live orchestra and perform repertoire from the great catalogues of piano concertos and opera arias. Some years later, instrumental concertos and other works were included in the performances, including original compositions by student composers.”

Student vocalists and instrumentalists chosen to perform were selected by a panel made up of members of the music department faculty. The students performing this year are Katie Logan, Alex Benito, Anne Aguayo, Laura Stewart, Makalah Jessup, Christian Celis, Kalyne Henrichsen, Marlee Sedgwick and Rachel Darvin.

For many performers, this event will be a highlight of their collegiate career, a moment that makes a mark on Bison Hill.

“Attending Concerto-Aria was one of the formative experiences that helped further my decision to become a mu- sic major later on in college,” senior musical arts major Kalyne Henrichsen said.

“This performance is the elite performance of the year for the music department. It is an honor to be in and a fantastic experience for both listener and performer as it combines a collaborative experience between ensemble (the orchestra) and solo musicians (both voice and instrument). Plus, there are fancy dresses and suits which is al- ways fun.”

Many performers have been hoping to take the stage at Concerto-Aria since their freshman year.

“One of the first music events I remember was Concerto Aria my freshman year,” senior music education major Anne Aguayo said.

“I was amazed at how talented the performers that year were and thought that participating in Concerto Aria would be a dream I never expected to come true. Last year I had the honor of singing in it for the first time.”

Junior piano performance major Rachel Darvin shares the same sentiment.

“I first attended Concerto-Aria in 2017 as a prospective Piano major,” Darvin said.

“I was in awe that college students could perform at that level with an orchestra, and also excited that I might have the same opportunity one day.

I have had the privilege of at- tending both Concerto-Aria performances since, and it is always a delight to hear my colleagues and friends at their best.”

The performers are accompanied by an orchestra, which elevates the level of performance.

“I have attended Concerto Aria annually since 2017, but this will be my first time per- forming in it,” senior vocal performance major Marlee Sedgwick said.

“From pianists to clarinetists to vocalists, the soloists at Concerto-Aria are of an elite caliber and hearing them perform accompanied by an orchestra makes their work come to life in an atmosphere unlike any other. This con- cert has inspired me to hone my singing craft since I was a freshman and being accepted to perform this year is truly a dream come true.”

Students relish the opportunity to perform with an orchestra.

“As I watched the performers, I knew that it would be a dream to sing on that stage with a full orchestra but never believed it would happen,” junior music education major Katie Logan said.

“Last year, I was given the opportunity to perform for the first time and was left in awe by the music and experience of singing with a full orchestra.”

A lot of work takes place in preparation for this major event.

Students work hard to audition and be accepted to per- form in this concert.

This concert provides students with a large audience to share their gifts with.

“More than anything else, I look forward to connecting with the audience at this event,” Sedgwick said.

“I aim to demonstrate the love of Christ to them in the way I perform, and I hope that we all gain a clearer picture of God’s love for us through the music we experience. I am honored to be performing alongside my beloved friends.”

This performance hopes to display the tell-tale sign of the hard work and dedication to the craft of music.

“I am most looking forward to being able to glorify the Lord with my voice and tell a story that hopefully touches one person in the audience. Being able to perform with other performers who are my dear friends and glorify the Lord together is so insanely special,” Henrichsen said.

“I am looking forward to celebrating the growth of musicianship and hard work over the last few semesters. I have family coming all the way from Minnesota, so I am looking forward to being able to share a bit of my passion and my life here with them.”

The Concerto-Aria Concert will take place Sunday, Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m. in Potter Auditorium.

The event is free and open to the public.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Valentines Day for everyone on a budget

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Courtesy Photo / The Bison

Peyton King

Features Editor

Whether you have a Valentine, a “Gal”-entine or even a “Pal”-entine, 2020’s day of love doesn’t need to be a trigger for financial panic.

This year, if you’re in a romantic relationship, looking for one or not interested in relationships at all, Valentine’s day can be a great way to celebrate your loved ones without breaking the bank. In fact, you can have a fun, memorable and even free Val- entine’s day if you so choose.

For those of you who are single and not ready to mingle, Valentine’s could be a great opportunity to have a free day of shenanigans with your friends.

You could have a night where you dress up in your finest attire, or dress down in your sweats, and go out to get cheap junk food. You could watch a cheesy romantic comedy or even have a Star Wars marathon.

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Another fun platonic way to spend the night could be to go people watching and observe all the different types of people out on Valentine’s day.

Observing first dates, long-term relationships or possibly even platonic Valentine’s day dates could serve as a really interesting social experiment.

Or if you want to take part in the sappiness of Valentine’s day without a significant other, you could show your friends how much you cherish them with a handmade gift.

You could exchange hand-written notes, drawings or crafts that remind them how much you care.

For those who are in a relationship, Valentine’s day doesn’t need to carry all the pressure that looms around it.

For you, it can simply be a day of intentionality. It doesn’t need to be a day of big spending or extravagance (unless you want it to be).

Some great ways to remind your partner that you love them can be incredibly simple and inexpensive.

For example, a day of acts of service can be a fantastic way to show love. Acts as
easy as unloading the dishwasher (if you live in married housing), cleaning
out your significant others’ car or even giving a massage without asking for one in return can be more meaningful than spending 100 dollars on an Edible Arrangement.

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Another great option is to go through old photos, ask each other questions about your relationship or to write “What I Love About You. . . ” letters to each other. You could even add this onto another activity you want to incorporate that day.

Some other ideas could be to make a meal or dessert together, set up a movie night, be a “local tourist” and explore your city or set up a scavenger hunt.

Make your Valentine’s day personal and enjoy- able to you. Don’t let the stereotypes of what women and men want get in the way of you having a good time with your loved one.

Last but not least, if you’re wanting to lavish some of your family members with love this Valentine’s day, there are plenty of cheap or free options out there for you.

If you’re far away from home, a simple way to remind your family members how much you love them is to send them cards. Whether they be store- bought or handmade, a simple written reminder is a great way to remind them of how much you care.

If you don’t have time or supplies for this one, another equally effective way is simply to call. Millennials and Generation Z are often told to call their grandparents or relatives, but they often forget to do so.

Reaching out to your family members before they call you is a great unexpected way to take the first step in showing your appreciation.

If you live close to your family, another great way to show you care is by turning the tables and doing something for your family that they’d normally do for you.

For example, if your parents cook and clean for you when you come home, try vacuuming the house for them or preparing a home-cooked meal.

These easy acts of service can serve a great reminder to your caretakers of how you don’t take the things they do for granted. It also gives them a nice break from their daily duties.

A more sentimental activity could be going through old photo albums with your family members; whether it be your parents, grandparents, siblings, or even cousins.

If you want to go the extra mile, you could also prepare a tear-jerking slideshow for them to watch. The nostalgia and time set apart to sit with your family and look at all the memories is a great way to show your love for them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

SGA promoted student voter registration before OK primaries ended

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Courtesy Photo/ The Bison

Voter registration for OK primaries ended Feb. 7. Registration for the national election will remain open until June 5.

Andrew Johnson

Assistant News Editor

Although more than six months remain before the Nov. 3 general election, the electoral process has already begun, and so have efforts to increase voter engagement.

For Oklahoma residents, the deadline to register to vote in Oklahoma’s presidential primary was Feb. 7. The deadline to register in many of Oklahoma’s other primary elections is June 5.

OBU’s Student Government Association has been helping students to register to vote at a table in the Geiger Center this past week.

“We want people to know that their voices are very important when it comes to voting. It’s the basis of the democracy that we live in and we need to make sure that we are exercising the right that we’ve been given,” Stu- dent Government Association president Clayton Myers said.

Oklahoma will hold its presidential primary election on Mar. 3, a date known as Super Tuesday, with several other states set to vote on the same day.

Laws regarding voter registration vary by state.

According to the Oklahoma State Election Board website, in Oklahoma, “you can register to vote if you are a citizen of the United States, a resident of the State of Oklahoma, and at least 18 years old or meet the age requirement to pre-register.”

Myers expressed optimism regarding the Student Government Association’s efforts.

“I feel like it went very well. People asked good questions when filling out the applications and I think that we had a good number come and register,” Myers said.

Those who are at least 17 1⁄2 years old may pre-register in Oklahoma, if they meet the other requirements.

Persons deemed incapacitated by a court are not permitted to vote in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma law permits persons convicted of felonies to vote after they have served their sentence or period of probation.

Rules regarding voting in party primary elections also vary by state and party. Oklahoma has a system of closed primary elections in most cases.

According to the Oklahoma State Election Board website, “Only voters who are registered members of a recognized political party may vote for the party’s candidates in primary and runoff primary elections.”

“However,” according to the Election Board website, “registered Independent voters may be eligible to vote in party’s primaries and runoff primaries if authorized by the party. The Democratic Party has authorized Independent voters to vote in their primary and runoff elections in 2020 and 2021.”

Myers hopes to engage students in more than national presidential elections.

“We hope that students understand this is more than just voting once every four years, but being active in all the elections that they possibly can, including the state and local elections,” Myers said.

SGA’s efforts succeeded in registering students to vote.

“I’m not sure of the exact number that registered, but we started with 50 envelopes for people to mail their forms in and ended with none,” Myers said.

“That’s not even including the students who had the ability to register online in their state.”

Turnout among young voters increased for the 2018 midterm elections.

According to the United States Census Bureau web- site, “Among 18- to 29-year- olds, voter turnout went from 20 percent in 2014 to 36 percent in 2018, the largest percentage point increase for any age group — a 79 percent jump.”

Myers proposed that political engagement is important for everyone.

“I think it’s important for all people to be politically active. We may not agree on every piece of policy, but civil discourse is what keeps this country moving forward,” Myers said.

According to the Oklahoma State Election Board’s website, to register in Oklahoma, “you must fill out a voter registration application form. Voter registration applications are available at your County Election Board, post offices, tag agencies, libraries and many other public locations.”

Voter registration application forms are also avail- able to download through the election board’s website, https://www.ok.gov/elecions/Voter_Info/Register_ to_Vote/index.html.

 

 

 

Featured

Christian athletes find balance

By Garrett Jones, Contributing Writer

Being an athlete requires a competitive edge.

Emotions can overwhelm an athlete into saying some offensive things in a game.

While being competitive is a big part of succeeding as an athlete, Christian athletes can have a hard time balancing their image as a Christian and using that competitive edge.

“In high school, a guy called me the ‘n word’ and I retaliated,” freshman journalism major Trejan Lands said. “I said some things that looking back on might not have been the best.”

Lands is a football player at OBU. His relationship with Christ plays an important role in his personal and athletic life.

Playing for a Christian school sets a different expectation on athletes. Everyone watching them knows what kind of attitude to expect.

“Un-Christlike behavior got you a spot on the bench,” Will Hodges said.

Hodges was a State Championship winning baseball player for Christian Heritage Academy.

“[Maintaining the Christian Image] is the hardest part, but it’s also the number one goal,” Hodges said.

Showing signs off un-Christlike behavior could earn a player more than a spot on the bench.

Players can receive reputations based on what they do on the field that reflects who they are off of the field.

“Last game of the season against SNU, I pushed a guy, but it looked like I punched him,” Lands said. “I got backlash from the guys on the radio and my coaches. It really takes a toll on how I have to act on and off the field because I might get backlash off the field as well.”

While trying to maintain the image of Christ may take away a level of competitiveness from some, a relationship with Christ could be what it takes to perform at the next level.

“For me personally, a relationship with Christ makes me more competitive,” Hodges said. “I think of 1 Corinthians 10:31 ‘So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things to the Glory of God.’ If I’m not playing hard, I don’t feel as if I’m glorifying God. God gave me the gifts to play sports and if I’m not using them, I’m not bringing honor to His name.”

The athletic culture is not always seen as Christian. The attitude shown by some athletes and the music associated with the culture are not often represented in the Christian community.

“People think just because you’re an athlete, you can’t be a Christian,” Lands said. “I can listen to hip-hop but I still go to church and pray every night.”

Some athletes use the non-Christian culture as an opportunity to witness.

“I think that being a Christian athlete is an excellent opportunity to be a witness for Christ,” former Arkansas All-Conference Team basketball player Noah Hill said. “You have the opportunity to build deep relationships with teammates. There is nothing like going through tough practices, hard workouts and long seasons to bring out a deep bond with teammates.”

Competitiveness is not the only component which makes athletes lash out at referees and opponents. Factor in the one thing every person struggles with, sin, and the same results appear.

“I crossed the line more than I’m proud of, but I don’t think it was from being too competitive, but more from being immature in my relationship with Christ,” Hill said. “I spent more time worrying about my jump shot than building my relationship with Jesus.”

Featured

Standard for Christian movies needs improvement

By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor

Often, after seeing a Christian film, there’s one comment that reoccurs in post-movie discussions: “That was a great movie,” someone says, “… for a Christian movie.”

That last little phrase irks me. Not necessarily because it’s inaccurate – (it’s often very accurate, and sometimes I’m the one saying it) – but because of what it implies.

The phrase implies that Christian movies can be judged by a different standard than most films.

Initially, this might seem like a good thing. Christian films should be held to a different standard than other films, since we are called by God to do everything we do in order to serve and please God, rather than people. And so, in this sense, the remark that a movie is a good Christian movie is a compliment.

Unfortunately, there’s a difference between a movie that is “a good Christian movie” and one that is “good, for a Christian movie.”

These two very similar phrases have two very different implications.

While the first phrase implies the movie is good and also Christian, the second phrase carries a more demeaning implication. “It was good, for a Christian movie” implies the same kind of backhanded compliment that could be found in other sentences that use the same grammatic structure.

Saying that a female athlete is good, “for a female athlete”, carries the unspoken implication that when compared with all athletes – male and female – she is no longer good enough.

Similarly, saying that a Christian film is good compared to Christian films, implies that it’s not worthy of comparison with mainstream films.

It suggests that Christian filmmakers produce a lower quality of work than main-stream filmmakers.

Even more unfortunate, this suggestion is typically accurate.

Christian films frequently fall short of the quality standards of mainstream fi lms.

This is partially due to the budget limitations of smaller Christian indie films compared to Hollywood-backed film budgets. But it is also partially due to failures of plot and storytelling.

It is easy for Christian films to oversimplify their storylines – writing fables, or apologetic arguments in the disguise of stories. And while sermons and fables are generally good things, the movie theatre is not usually the most effective venue for them.

Many of these films try to wrap up their plots into a pretty little bow in the two hour time span of the film, by telling the story of a huge problem that was easily cured by God.

Take the 2015 film “90 Minutes in Heaven,” for example. The film tells the story of Don Piper – played by Hayden Christensen of Star Wars prequels fame, who dies in an accident, goes to heaven, then comes back to life and endures a grueling physical recovery process while battling depression.

Yet near the end of the fi lm, his entire struggle with de-pression is cured by a single inspirational conversation with a Christian friend, and in the closing scene he gives an inspirational speech, urg-ing his fellow Christians to believe that God really does answer prayer.

Although this particular film is based on a true story, this basic plotline is perhaps one of the most common of all Christian movie plotlines. Despite the detailed character work of Hayden Christensen and Kate Bosworth, the film lacks the level of artistry required to acknowledge all of the conflicting aspects of physical and psychological recovery.

And like many Christian movie endings – the physical healing and cure for the character’s depression depicted in the film offers Christian moviegoers a reminder of the Christian hope, but potentially turns away others.

When most people attend a movie theatre, they don’t go in order to learn moral lessons, they go to be entertained and perhaps to experience empathy with the characters on the screen – think of your friends who talk about their favorite films being so good they cried, for example.

Moviegoers know that they live in a messed up sinful world, and trying to tell stories to them that promise conversion to Christianity as the wonder drug for all their problems won’t change their minds.

These filmmakers mean well, but their films are unlikely to be viewed or thought highly of by audiences other than converted Christians.

Instead, Christian films should tell high-quality stories that can only be told through film.

Telling an honest, gripping, detailed and nuanced story is an incredibly powerful thing but in order to achieve this we need to tell not just the success stories, but the failures.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with telling stories such as “90 Minutes in Heaven,” we just need to make sure that we’re also telling the stories of those who’s prayers do seem to go unanswered.

Telling both of these kinds of stories is important for three reasons:

1). It allows Christians to see a Christian world-view applied in a context that they can relate to, no matter if they’re on the mountain top in their lives, or going through a valley of sin and suffering with no end in sight.

2). It shows the rest of the world that Christians are relatable human beings, by acknowledging that the answers to life’s struggles are not easy for Christians.

3). Most importantly, it glorifies God by building respect for Christian film-making in non-Christian and mainstream circles.

If we can tell nuanced stories that truly acknowledge the difficulties of life, we show the world we can do better than, “good, for a Christian movie.”

We can make good Christian films.

Featured

OBU’s spiritual foundation will be missed

By Kedrick Nettleton, Faith Editor

There are a lot of things for a graduating senior to be anxious about.

First of all, of course, you have to be sure that you do graduate, which means taking care of the schoolwork that remains on your plate.

For many, this includes wrapping up capstones or final theses, meaning that those ideas you’ve had in your head for two years finally have to actually coalesce into something real.

You’re actually going to have to finish – and you’re going to have to do so while writing those final papers or completing those final projects that are a part of the end of every semester, including your senior semester.

Not an easy task.

Then you have to figure out what comes next. Now, I’m not saying this is hard for every senior – there are friends of mine who know exactly what they’re doing after May 17.

Some of them are headed to grad school, and others have jobs and apartments lined up.

They’re going to step seamlessly into their new life, no prob. They’re excited, and I’m excited for them.

But I know just as many others who have no idea what’s happening next. I include myself and my wife in this category.

We have leads, sure. Lines in the water. Eventually, something’s going to bite, and we’ll be fine.

But until that point, what we have is stress. Loads of it.

And we’re not alone.

Even with all of these stressors bouncing around inside my skull for the past few months, I’ve become aware of something else that I’m worried about: losing my spiritual foundation.

That sounds more ominous than I mean it to. I’m not talking about losing my faith or rejecting the church; I’m talking about leaving the strong spiritual environment that I’ve come to enjoy here on Bison Hill, and leaving some of the people that have become mentors in my life.

Because I am leaving. It’s happening.

My wife and I are leaving Oklahoma, we’re headed to a new adventure.

The church that we’ve come to be a part of will be left behind.

Our professors and mentors here on Bison Hill can’t come with us.

We’ll have to find a new church family. A new small group. New people that we can open up to about our faith, that we can encourage and be encouraged by.

And like it or not, I’m going to miss the environment of faithfulness that Bison Hill encourages.

Think about it. First of all, we have chapel. I know that these can be annoying at times – I know that you’re certainly not just amped to go every Wednesday.

But these services, I’ve found, have a way of really sneaking up on you.

Often it was the Wednesdays when I least wanted to be there that I found God speaking to me the clearest – and what He was telling me, often, was to slow down. To focus up.

Then there’s the classes themselves.

It’s an unusual thing to have Christian truths sprinkled into your study, into your disciplines.

This isn’t going to happen at work. My boss isn’t going to stop a staff meeting to make connections to the Gospel.

There won’t be a spiritual life office at my company. There won’t be an RA or an RN asking me how my walk with the Lord is going.

I’m trying to say that we’re inundated with the Christian message around here, and while I know that can feel annoying at times during your college career, it’s a blessing. An unusual blessing.

At no other time of my life will I have all these resources to grow spiritually.

I’m leaving that behind, and it’s a worry to me.

Sure, OBU is a bubble. But there’s a part of me that’s going to miss that bubble

 

Featured

Student finds strength through testimony

By Ashton Smith, Assistant Faith Editor

Junior forensic psychology major Brooke Goodale is a hardworking student, a confident friend and steadfast believer in Jesus Christ.

Her life, testimony and friends all reflect this to be true of her.

Although Goodale’s testimony is what some people might call a ‘typical Christian testimony,’ it holds no less power in her life and still has a lot of meaning to her today.

“When I was a toddler, I asked Jesus into my heart several times because I knew it was the right thing to do and I loved learning about God at church every week,” Goodale said. “However, it wasn’t until I was nine years old that I understood the reality of Salvation and ‘officially’ prayed the prayer and became a Believer. I was confident that it was real this time and I would be going to Heaven.”

The person that had the most effect on Goodale when she finally chose to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior was her grandmother.

They were very close while she was growing up and she helped lead her in the right direction.

“My grandmother was the one who guided me through the prayer of Salvation and helped me fully grasp the significance of following Jesus,” Goodale said. “Even though I knew I was ready to take that step; I was still unsure how to go about becoming an official follower of Christ. My grandmother walked me through the prayer, and I repeated each line after her. I felt so much comfort in my heart when the prayer was finished.”

Now that she’s at OBU, her faith is able to flourish even more in the environment she’s been placed. Goodale said she feels that OBU has aided to the growth of her faith and her walk with God and has allowed her to become bolder in her faith than she might have been.

“My relationship with God at OBU is a lot easier to interact with because this campus is such a safe and welcoming space for Christianity and its believers,” Goodale said. “This was not the case when I was attending public school prior to college. It is so freeing to be able to talk about your beliefs and know that others around you want to build you up in Christ as well.”

Her friends can also see this in her day-to-day life around campus, in classes and the clubs in which she participates.

They see her boldness to speak out against wrongdoings and her ability to love others as well.

“I see Christ in Brooke’s life because no matter what someone has done or who they identify as, Brook tries to understand them and love them as Christ loves,” sophomore Psychology major Kaitlyn Patterson said. “She never backs down from the truth and asks the hard question to further her faith and other’s faith.”

Not only that, but she pushes people to be themselves and to live out their lives unapologetically.

It has had quite the impact on people close to her and has pushed people closer to Christ as well.

“Brooke has helped me realize that my job as a Christ follower is not to change people,” Patterson said. “I am called to love them where they are at to show them Christ. She also helped me to learn to love myself.”

Featured

Orchestra celebrates Hansford’s final concert before retiring

By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor

The OBU Division of Music will soon bid farewell to one of its longest-serving individuals.

Dr. Jim Hansford has already been retired from his role as of Burton H. Patterson Professor of Music for quite some time. However, this spring the OBU/Shawnee Community Orchestra’s spring concert marked Hansford’s retirement from his role as the orchestra’s director and conductor – a role he has filled since the group began 20 years ago.

“We have been so lucky to have Dr. Hansford here at OBU,” junior music education major and flutist and piccoloist Lauren Rivers said. “He truly cared for each and every member in the orchestra and the fine arts program would not be the same if it wasn’t for all of the years and wisdom he put into this program.”

Other students agree.

“Dr. Hansford is a dedicated musician and has given so much time to help this orchestra, I say this because he deserves to be recognized as this is his last concert,” freshman worship studies and women’s ministry major and second violinist Alethea,” Jade Coffey said.

Hanford passion for music has fueled his long career as a music educator and conductor.

“Just seeing Dr. Hansford conduct, it is evident that he loved music and loves being a director,” Coffey said. “His passion for music just reminded me that no matter the age always do what you love.”

This same passion for music shows in his enthusiasm during rehearsals.

“He would get so excited when a piece came together, as we have so many instruments that it is very easy for one little thing to go wrong,” Coffey said. “He just gets so excited for the little victories.”

All of the little victories the OBU/Shawnee Community Orchestra makes helps the students in the orchestra develop artistically.

“I have enjoyed seeing the growth of the orchestra,” Rivers said. “Throughout my time in the orchestra, we have made tremendous progress throughout the music we have played.”

Hansford encourages the students to take on difficult musical tasks.

“During the time I’ve been in the orchestra, Dr. Hansford always challenged the orchestra,” Rivers said. “This last year, he had me playing the piccolo part which has been extremely challenging. After a lot of hard work, I have learned to enjoy this instrument and I owe it all to Dr. Hansford.”

The OBU/Shawnee Community Orchestra is a joint musical effort of OBU students, faculty and community members that was founded by Hansford. The ensemble comes together in weekly rehearsals to prepare for its performances.

“One of the biggest challenges is that we only meet once a week which isn’t always enough time to put together an entire concert,” Rivers said.

Like many OBU music ensembles, handling these scheduling difficulties in one of the largest challenges the group faces, especially during busy parts of the spring semester.

“Some challenges for be-ing in the orchestra this year was mainly trying to juggle the degree, homework, study sessions, and practicing all in a week or even on days or rehearsal,” Coffey said. “Yet Dr. Hansford was very understanding of life getting in the way but made sure we kept up the amazing standard that the orchestra has.”

This spring, as it bids its director and founder goodbye, the orchestra prepared for its spring concert 7:30 p.m., April 26, in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. The concert featured many pieces that hold a special place in Hansford’s heart.

“I decided to include several of my favorite musical works for this final concert with the orchestra,” Hansford said in a press release April 16. “Upon reflecting on my 46 years as a band director, I have programmed a couple of my favorite wind band works that have been transcribed for orchestra.”

The works performed included a variety of musical styles, ranging from John Barry’s “Somewhere in Time,” to Edvard Grieg’s “Holberg Suite” to Alfred Reed’s “Russian Christmas Music.”

“This year has gone by so fast, we have performed and are preparing to perform so many amazing pieces,” Coffey said. “They all emphasize different instruments and are completely different.”

After the performance, a reception was held to celebrate Hansford full retirement from the OBU faculty and staff, and students also planned a surprise for their director.

“The orchestra has planned on having all the members sign a framed picture of the orchestra,” Rivers said. “Many members have also put together money for a gift card.”

 

Featured

On the Hill: Emily Chadwick

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

For all students, the road to deciding what to do after high school is different. Junior family science major Emily Chadwick never expected to be where she is today.

“What lead me to OBU?” Chadwick said. “That’s a funny story. I never had any plans of ever going to college.”

Chadwick was working as a nanny for her brother in the area when they decided to move away.

“I needed to figure out what I was going to do in the next season of my life,” Chadwick said. “I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I was friends with a bunch of OBU students, and they were all like ‘Why don’t you come to OBU?’”

Chadwick had all sorts of excuses for not wanting to come to OBU.

These included claims about not being smart enough, or not having a high enough ACT score to be admitted into the school.

Chadwick’s thinking flipped after she found the determination with-in herself to want to be at OBU to learn and grow.

Chadwick was familiar with the OBU community because of her friends and family.

“I’ve always been amazed at and in love with the professors here,” Chadwick said. “Because all of my siblings previously at-tended OBU, I already knew some of them, and I knew that I liked them.”

Chadwick decided on a family science major during her time at OBU.

“I love family science because I love talking about people,” Chadwick said. “I want to know everything about people. I want to know why they do the things that they do, and what they want to do.”

Chadwick has a love for people and making relationships.

“I want to continue to learn and grow myself, while also helping those around me to learn and grow in healthy ways,” Chadwick said. “One of the biggest reasons I love family science is being able to learn about people and how people affect people.”

In the future, Chadwick is thinking about pursuing counseling as a career, though she is currently undecided.

“I really like hearing about people’s problems,” she said. “I like to love on people and listen.”

Chadwick currently works at the Hope House, a Youth and Family Resource Center in Shawnee. Her job involves making sure that kids are doing what they are supposed to be doing, like homework or another activity.

“It’s like babysitting or parenting,” Chadwick said. “It’s a very fluid job. You never know what is going to happen next.”

While the job is often demanding or challenging, Chadwick sees the reward in the eyes of the children she is caring for.

“The most rewarding thing is seeing that the kids are loved and cared for,” Chadwick said. “So, we have two little kids right now, around the ages of eight and nine. They have started asking for hugs. When they first came, they were afraid to ask. But now, they come up to me and look at me and say, ‘I just need a hug.’ It is the sweetest thing, and sometimes it makes me want to cry.”

Chadwick often looks for small ways to share the gospel with the people around her, and often does this by showing love to whoever she is around.

Junior biblical languages major Chloe Stokes has seen firsthand the qualities Chadwick displays. They attend church together at Temple Baptist Church.

“Emily has the unique ability of making everyone feel welcome,” Stokes said. “No one can feel alone when they are around Emily.”

Stokes also appreciates the way that Chadwick affects the people that she is around.

“Emily brings all of the energy to a room!” Stokes said. “Her laugh is contagious, and she is always laughing. Her love for everyone is evident, her friendship is invaluable, and she brings light wherever she goes.”

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Photos: Bison Sports Awards

All Photos by Jacob Factor/News Editor

The Looks

The Awards

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All 2019 Bison Sports Awards winners:
Outstanding Senior Athletes
Cagney Roberson, Football
McKae Mitchell, Women’s Track & Field

Breakout Athletes of the Year
Harrison Stoddart, Men’s Basketball
Leah Molter, Women’s Track & Field

Newcomers of the Year
Antonio Wade, Men’s Basketball
Konner Shields, Cheer/STUNT

Individual Performances of the Year
Jake Gozzo, Baseball
Victoria Fonville, Women’s Swimming

Heart of a Bison Awards
Brantly Thompson, Men’s Basketball
Jennifer Goethe (Women’s Soccer)

Scholar Athlete Awards
Jonathan Stewart, Men’s Swimming
Emily Sechrist, Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country

The #DavCup Award
Volleyball

Made a Difference Award
Women’s Soccer

Team Academic Award
Women’s Golf

Faculty Mentor Award
Dr. Linda McElroy

Advocate for Athletics Award
Joy Carl

Featured

Adjunct professor makes lasting impact

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor

Thursday, April 25th, previous OBU adjunct professor, Brian Blansett, was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.

“It’s a pretty big honor,” Blansett said. “A lot of first-rate journalists have been nominated and it’s an honor to be recognized beside them.”

In order to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, a person must be nominated and then chosen by a selection committee. Blansett was nominated by retired editor of The Oklahoman, Joe Hight.

Blansett said he knew as a third-grader that he wanted to be a newspaperman and since then it’s been a very fun ride.

“I didn’t have any particular idea what that meant at the time,” Blansett said. “I just knew I wanted experiences, and that’s what I got.”

Blansett has worked for the Stratford Star, the Ada Evening News, the Sulphur Times-Democrat, The Daily Ardmoreite, the Waco Tribune-Herald, the Shawnee News-Star and was also elected as the president of the Oklahoma Press Association in 2017.

Blansett currently owns the Tri-County Herald in Meeker and Stroud American and said it’s the most fun he’s had in his entire career.

During his time at the Waco Tribune-Herald Blansett led the coverage over the assault on the Mount Carmel Center by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, as well as, an investigative series over the Branch Davidians, which was eventually a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Assistant professor of journalism Holly Easttom said that Blansett has done everything in his career to be an accurate, invested and professional journalist with an amazing personal style.

“Brian is an exceptional journalist, an exceptional educator and an exceptional human,” Easttom said. “In all of the individuals in my life, he’s in the top 10 of people I know, respect, admire and want to emulate to a certain extent, professionally. He’s the gold standard.”

While being a journalist and an educator, Blansett has also been a mentor to others in his field.

OBU alum, Nicole Smith, said Blansett made her the journalist she is today.

“When I first started working for Brian as an intern my sophomore year of college, I thought I was already where I needed to be as a writer,” Smith said. “But I quickly realized I had a lot more to learn and Brian had a lot more to teach me.”

Smith said Brian continued to work with her as a mentor and friend throughout her college career and assigned her stories most people wouldn’t give to a college student.

“He gives you challenges that he believes you can meet and exceed even if you don’t believe it yourself,” Smith said. “Then when you do succeed; he’s never surprised.”

Both Smith and Easttom said Blansett’s induction into the Hall of Fame is not a surprise and if anything, long overdue. Smith said to her he’s already a legend and always has been.

“His work with the Waco-Tribune more than speaks for his abilities as a journalist and leader,” Smith said. “This is more of a formal recognition of what anyone he’s worked with already knows. He’s the best journalist I know, and I hope he continues to mentor many more young journalists, because the world needs more like him.”

Brian will be back on Bison Hill next semester teaching photojournalism.

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St. Gregory’s campus gets a new name

By Jacob Factor, News Editor

OBU’s newest addition has a new name. The former Saint Gregory’s University campus, which OBU is leasing from Hobby Lobby, is now called the “OBU Green Campus.”

Paula Gower, Associate VP for Marketing and Communications, said the new name draws inspiration from a few sources.

“The name carries a double meaning honoring the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, and the color green, as one of OBU’s official university colors,” she said.

In 1970, David Green started a home business with a 600-dollar loan of making miniature picture frames.

Now, Green and his family are worth 7.6 billion dollars, Forbes reports, and Hobby Lobby stores in 47 states have brought in 4.6 billion dollars.

Hobby Lobby also founded the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. in 2017.

In December 2018, Hobby Lobby purchased the campus after SGU ceased operations. They then decided to lease the campus to OBU.

Gower said OBU is already starting to use the campus and has plans for future use.

“Several of our athletic teams have been using the gyms for practices,” she said. “Plans are still underway to use the theatre as a venue for some of our fine arts events. However, inspections had to be completed prior to being able to host any performances there.”

Gower said evaluations are in progress for spaces in Benedictine Hall.

“Science labs and other academic spaces are being evaluated by faculty to determine their use based on need in the coming semesters,” she said. “Other parts of campus will be used for meeting spaces, to host events, and to supplement and enhance our ability to rent spaces for community use.”

OBU recently put signs up as well so visitors know the campus is part of OBU now.

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Seniors present time capsule as gift

By Chelsea Weeks, Editor-In-Chief

As OBU seniors prepare for graduation and life after Bison Hill, they decided to give a gift that will help them, and future students remember what life was like at OBU in 2019. The 2019 Oklahoma Baptist University Senior Class is donating a time capsule as their senior gift to the university.

OBU Senior Class President Casey House said they wanted to preserve a glimpse of what life on Bison Hill was like during their time spent on campus.

“This capsule is an opportunity to reflect on the life in the world today and at OBU,” House said. “It’s also an opportunity to consider the future, what we want to become in the 40 years and how we want the world to change.”

The OBU Class of 2019 Time Capsule is a stainless-steel container that has the ability to last for 200 years, but House said they will only be waiting 50 to years to open it.

The time capsule will be dug up and opened Saturday, April 26, 2059. Occasional reminders will be sent out to prevent the class from forgetting about the capsule.

The time capsule was buried Friday, April 26, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. in the southeast flowerbed by the fountain in the oval. There will be a plaque at the burial site with information regarding the opening ceremony.

“For preserving a glimpse of what life was like today, we are trying to include a variety of things in the capsule, from the trivial to the sublime,” House said. “[Examples include] A picture of you and your friends with signatures on the back of the picture, a collection of the best tweets of President Whitlock signed by him, a CAB show program, a golf ball with St. Gregory’s University insignia, a metal nail from the new bison sculpture, a record of traditions and memories… the list goes on.”

Senior theatre major McKenzie Reece donated two envelopes; one with pictures of her and eight of her best friends and the other is full of quotes that were said throughout their four years on Bison Hill.

“I thought that pictures and quotes would show perspective of how far we all have come from our time at OBU in 50 years,” Reece said. “I think that it will be sweet to reminisce in 50 years and remember all of the good times and hard times. I believe that the friendships I have made here will last the rest of my life and I could not be more grateful!”

Senior health and human performance major Savannah Payne donated two “day in the life” papers, one was written about 2019 and the other about her predictions for 2059. She also donated a letter to her 62-year-old self from the perspective of her 22-year-old self and photos of spots around campus and her friends.

“I think that opening the time capsule in 40 years and seeing memories from my college years will be so meaningful,” she said.

Payne said she donated to the time capsule because she wanted to leave a piece of her life at OBU in 2019 behind for future students and alumni to see.

“I think the time capsule will serve to unite the Class of 2019 in its creation and again when we open it in 2059,” Payne said. “I think that opening the time capsule in 2059 will be an event that current students will be interested to attend as well and make them reflect on their own experiences at OBU and look forward to leaving their own legacy behind.”

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Student overcomes childhood trauma

By Jacob Factor, News Editor

During her fourth, fifth and sixth grade years, junior nursing major Jillian Murphy was sexually assaulted by someone close to her family.

“I don’t even know how many times over the three years it happened,” she said.

She said she was scared to go forward and tell anyone because he was close to her family, and she didn’t know how people would react.

“I would never scream,” she said. “I was scared, so I would just sit, and I would just lay. I wouldn’t move.”

Murphy said she started feeling like it was her fault because she let it go on so long without telling anyone. In middle school, she said she finally came forward and told her mom, but the pain didn’t stop.

“My mom told me it was like everybody was walking on eggshells around me because they didn’t want me to break,” she said.

Murphy said after she came forward she didn’t want anyone to touch her or talk to her. She said she went through several phases after she came forward. In the first one, she didn’t want to feel anything.

“It hurt too much,” she said.

In the second phase, she didn’t care what she did.

“Hurt people hurt people,” she said. “I was really hurt, so I was hurting everyone around me.”

In the last phase, she tried to be a good person on the outside.

“I tried to get the best grades,” she said. “I wanted to be the best person.”

Then, she said, she broke.

“Nothing I was trying was working,” Murphy said.

At a Disciple Now conference with her church during her freshman year of high school, Murphy heard a sermon about the parable of the lost sheep, how the shepherd left the 99 sheep just to find the lost one.

“So, You’re going after me,” Murphy said she thought about God. “I’m not alone.”

This is when Murphy said she became a Christian, and this experience became the subject of her book “This is Why” published June 2017. Murphy said she knew she was supposed to write about her being sexually assaulted, but she didn’t want to.

“I was thinking, ‘You can’t use this for good,’” she said.“I get it now. I would’ve never wanted this to happen, but if this is what You’re going to put in my hand to bring You glory, I’ll use it.”

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CPN hosts Walk to raise awareness of child abuse

By Jacob Factor, News Editor

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation FireLodge Children and Family Services is hosting a Fun Walk to raise awareness of Child Abuse. The Bison spoke with Darian Towner, family preservation coordinator, to learn more about the event.

What is the Fun Walk?

The Fun Walk is a free public event on Friday, April 26th at noon that CPN FireLodge Children and Family Services is hosting as a result of April being National Child Abuse Prevention Month. We will be walking around the FireLake Lake, just West of the FireLake Ball Fields off Hardest Road in Shawnee. The first 50 attendees will receive a free t-shirt and blue pinwheel and all attendees will have a chance to win a free 43’’ smart TV. We encourage attendees to wear blue to show your support!!

Why is CPN doing the event?

Our program is hosting the event as a way to involve our community directly in raising awareness of child abuse and neglect and inform the public of the services we provide. Our goal is that raising awareness will lead to community members taking action in both preventing and speaking out against child abuse. Additionally, our desire is that families whose children are experiencing child abuse or neglect will reach out for services. The blue pinwheels we will have placed around the lake are representative of the bright and safe future that all children deserve. We hope that our community will decide to attend and stand up to be a voice for children.

Who can go? What’s the cost to go?

The Fun Walk is completely open to the public and is kid-friendly! It is an absolutely free event. Grab a friend and join us for just one hour!

Is this the first year to do this?

This is the first Fun Walk in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, but our program is eager to begin holding the event annually.

What does the CPN FireLodge Children and Family Services do?

CPN FireLodge Children and Family Services serves as a local resource to the community for confidential services geared toward youth and families. An emphasis is placed on Native Americans to enhance, enrich, and develop cultural awareness in the areas of health and wellness. There are four programs that exist within our department: Indian Child Welfare, Foster Care/Adoption, Family Preservation and Adult Protective Services.

Why is it important to raise awareness of child abuse?

It is important to raise awareness of child abuse so that there is an accurate understanding of what child abuse is, the forms it can take, how often it occurs and what practical steps can be done to prevent it from occurring.

For more information on the FunWalk, Towner said she can be reached at 405-878-4831. Towner said there is also a plan in place in case of rain to have the event inside The Place, located at 2346 S Gordon Cooper Dr, Tecumseh, OK. The Place is down the street from the ball fields, Towner said.

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Bison and Lady Bison track excel at Wichita State and Fayetteville

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor

The Oklahoma Baptist men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in a pair of meets that took place Friday, March 12.

Part of the OBU team traveled to Wichita State University to participate in the KT Woodman Classic, while another group traveled to the University of Arkansas to compete in the John McDonnell Invitational.

“We were really looking forward to competing this weekend,” junior JoziRose Mayfield said. “Our team has been working very hard to prepare for big meets like these.”

In Fayetteville, the playing field was very competitive.

Many athletes from both Division II and Division I programs made for challenging competition.

“We were only worried about ourselves,” Mayfi eld said. “We were ready for the challenge and knew we had what it takes to make some noise.”

In the women’s track events, Mayfield and senior Leah Molter finished second and third in the women’s 400 hurdles with times of 1:01.57 and 1:01.95.

Molter finished fourth in women’s 100 hurdles.

In the women’s 400, sophomore Cameka Witter placed sixth with a time of 54.13.

Witter placed just ahead of senior teammate McKae Mitchell who finished seventh at 54.37.

Junior Tessa Potter finished seventh in the women’s 800 with a time of 2:14.05.

In the women’s field events, sophomore Julianna Horner finished fourth in the women’s shot put with a throw of 12.94m.

Sophomore Evelyn Carswell finished third in the women’s high jump with a mark of 1.63m.

“We gave everything we had in the competition,” junior Raigan Servati said. “I am proud of the effort that we gave.”

In the men’s track events, OBU’s freshman Noah Eskew finished third in the men’s 3000 with a time of 8:43.20.

Junior Brandon Crowley finished fourth in men’s 110 hurdles with a time of 14.40.

Freshman Eric Vander Walt, senior Andrew Worley and junior Cayden Spain finished in the sixth through eighth spots.

Lastly, freshman Logan Huslig came in fifth in the men’s 400 hurdles with a time of 54.90.

“The guys and girls both brought their best efforts,” junior Hayden Ashley said. “Nobody is better prepared than our team, and I am really thankful for all of our tough preparation.”

In the men’s field events, sophomore Nathaniel Worley won the men’s high jump com-petition with a best of 1.96m.

Ashley won the men’s javelin with a throw of 51.35m, finished second in the men’s long jump at 6.88m and finished tied for fourth in the pole vault with a distance of 4.50m.

“I felt really good heading into the weekend,” Ashley said. “Just wanted to come out and give my best effort and help my team as I could.”

Another group of OBU Bison athletes competed simultaneously in Wichita, KS. In the women’s track events, freshman Berkley Price was second in the women’s steeple-chase with a time of 11:42.07.

Sophomore Allison Derry finished third in the women’s 1500 at 4:43.54. Lastly, graduate student Kaylee Crowson came in third in the women’s 5000 with a time of 17:20.05.

“Our team has continued to get better every week and with every practice,” Servati said. “I really am excited to see how far we are able to go and see what all that we can accomplish together.”

One of the biggest parts of the OBU track and field team is the family mentality.

“This is one big family that loves to support one another,” Mayfield said. “We are all truly wishing the best for one another and encouraging everyone to do their best.”

Next up, OBU will host the 2019 Great American Conference Outdoor Championships beginning April 18 at the Eddie Hurt Jr. Memorial Track Complex in Shawnee, OK

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Apathy is hard to conquer, but necessary

By Garrett Jones, Contributing Writer

The biggest enemy of success is apathy.

How do you complete any task you don’t care about? It only gets more difficult when you feel like you can’t care about it.

The more apathy takes over one thing, the more it creeps into other parts of your life. It can start with something you don’t want to do, school or work. Then it slowly creeps into your relationships with friends and family.

Maybe you stop seeing your friends as much. With apathy taking over your life, before you know it, it’s been months since you’ve seen your friends. If you let it get that far, it can suddenly take over your relationship with God. This one hurts the most. It might be the hardest to get back.

The best way to restore or even maintain a relationship with Christ is by spending time with Him in the Word or through prayer. How do you do those things when apathy has taken over your life?

It feels like you just forget to read Scripture at first. Eventually, it has completely become a chore. You don’t want to do it. Even if you can force yourself, you don’t care enough to comprehend what it means and certainly not enough to apply it to your life.

So, what do you do?

Obviously, you’re stuck in this spiderweb of detachment. It probably seems like there is no way out. It’s amazing how the lack of emotion toward something can cause more emotion than the thing itself. From my experience, there is one way out.

I will warn you, it’s not very easy. You have to be completely fed up with your apathy. The desire to destroy it has to overcome all of your natural instincts.

Pray without ceasing. I know, it sounds too simple. Quite frankly, it is too simple, but it’s the only thing that is guaranteed to work. I’ve already said prayer is something hard to care about when struggling with apathy; that’s what makes it difficult. You have to force yourself.

Set reminders on your phone. Wear a rubber band around your wrist or something. As long as you can remember, you can make yourself pray. Not only does this praying open up communication between you and God, but it changes your perspective on life. Everything you say or do is done with the mentality that God is present in your life always. Even your thoughts change.

I know it’s a difficult challenge, but if you can’t stand feeling apathetic anymore, it’s what you have to do.

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Social clubs encourage community in Christ

By Ashton Smith, Assistant Faith Editor

Although the female social clubs may have different events and philanthropies that make them unique in each of their own ways, there is something that unites them all: faith. Each of the social clubs aim to bring their members closer together as sisters in Christ, and to raise one another up, to encourage each other and to have a place to turn when times get tough.

Through these clubs, many friends have been brought together that otherwise may not have met. This is one of the most special aspects of social clubs and something that many of the girls cherish.

“Kappa’s, to me, is a huge support system,” junior Kappa Phi Beta member Isabel Palos said. “I’ve met girls from all different types of classifications, majors, and every person possesses a unique set of interests. It’s a really beautiful thing to see how the Lord has brought this sisterhood together.”

The girls also are a major support system for one another, as they are each other’s ‘sisters’ in the context of being in a social club. From praying for one another to coffee runs, to even just helping out with some homework, there is no shortage of love that is given to each girl in each social club.

“Honestly, fellowship and doing life together is a huge part of the Christian walk that isn’t focused on,” junior Pi Sigma Phi member Jillian Walker said. “The girls in Pi Sigma Phi played a part in helping me find a church when I was church hopping. They helped me get connected and feel a part of church instead of just attending.”

Another thing that social clubs do in their faith aspect? They have different ways that they encourage the group, such as prayer groups, prayer retreats, and devotions that they do in their club meetings. They help each other in their good times and bad, and they share their prayer requests and praises as well.

“I’ve had a lot of stuff going on in my personal life lately,” junior Theta Sigma Chi member Taylor Boyd said. “And every time I would come to them with something, they never fail to let me know they love me and are praying for me.”

Not only that, but these social clubs are open to every girl on campus, and they do their best to make sure that every girl feels like she has a place and is free to share what’s on her heart with her fellow sisters in Christ. Social clubs are a growing opportunity to grow stronger in both their friendships and their faith.

“I personally find it hard to get into those conversations on my own,” junior Theta Sigma Chi member Sierra Davis said. “But Theta’s is a safe place where Christ-centered conversations just flourish – and you feel safe in sharing your insecurities or questions concerning your spiritual life and journey.”

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Connect Chapels include artistic emphasis

By Kedrick Nettleton, Faith Editor

The church’s relationship with art has been turbulent at times over the past decades, but OBU’s Connect Chapels are helping, in their own small way, to change that.

The students and faculty involved in organizing this year’s Connect Chapels have made a concerted effort to include more artistic expressions of worship in their programs.

This has included poetry readings, by both students and faculty, the showing of visual arts pieces, and even rap and spoken word.

The inclusion of such expressions in the worship services has allowed students who might otherwise not be able to contribute to an event like chapel to be included.

The desire to begin including creative expressions of worship came out of a desire to shake things up. Heath McClure, who is one of the Co-Chairs of Chapel Crew along with Ivy Penwell, said that he and his team wanted to move away from some of the old models.

“Having been a part of Chapel Crew for three-years I have seen a wide variety of approaches to the idea of a student-led chapel,” he said. “At times it has leaned towards a somewhat bland model of student testimony only, with little else,” he said.

“While this has merit, it fails to capture the student body’s attention often and confines the idea of student representation to a small box in which a select few capable of speaking in front of others and with an appropriate story have the chance to share. Testimony is great but it loses its depth and value when it’s the only thing.”

Penwell, the other Co-Chair, agrees that it was important to include students who might not be as geared toward a traditional “church service.”

“One of our goals in chapel crew is to involve different types of majors and students in chapel, not just those who are gifted in worship or speaking,” she said. “We know that the Gospel can be so beautifully presented in a thousand different mediums.”

This idea fights against a kind of chapel “clique,” as well, against the same select students being on stage each week.

“We realized a large part of the student body was underrepresented and we desired to find ways to incorporate them,” McClure said.

Director of Student Ministry Clay Phillips, who preaches during Connect Chapels and who works with Chapel Crew to plan the services, is quick to point out that the credit for the artistic emphasis goes to the students.

“All of the credit goes to your peers on Chapel Crew for the ideas and creativity,” he said.

And while it was the students’ ideas, Phillips saw the potential immediately.

“I really felt like it was a great way to utilize the talents God has given to our brothers and sisters who are gifted in artistic ways,” he said. “Those talents aren’t always seen in our worship gatherings, so I thought it’d be a great avenue to allow them to be.”

All those involved with the services are enthusiastic about the results of the new artistic emphasis.

“[It’s] really been such an unexpected blessing this semester,” Penwell said. “We all know what it looks like to encounter the Holy Spirit in worship or in listening to a speaker, but to hear from Him by looking at a painting or by listening to a rap? It’s a little different, but it’s been really cool to see.”

Phillips notes that including art in the service is meaningful to all people, not just those students who are artistically inclined.

“They add to our worship of God in a way that people like me, who are not gifted with those abilities, can see Him in new and fresh ways,” he said.

Dr. Ben Myers, the Crouch-Mathis Professor of Literature, has become involved in the Connect Chapels, and has read poetry for the services a few times over the past year. He’s glad to see students using art as a worshipful expression, and especially poetry.

“Art is a gift from God — a reflection of His Truth, Goodness, and Beauty — and, like all His gifts, we should return it to Him as an act of worship,” he said.

Everyone involved in the chapel services is excited to see how this avenue of worship can be explored and expanded in the future.

“I hope that in future Connect Chapels we will continue to find new ways of highlighting the gifts God has given to our campus community, so that we can offer worship to Him in a way that gives fuller expression to who He is and what He does in and through us,” Phillips said.

Penwell agrees.

“It has become a really beautiful way to see the Holy Spirit moving in a new and fresh context, through fresh people and fresh mediums,” she said. “I hope we keep doing stuff like this.”

McClure perhaps sums it up best.

“We have the privilege to steward elements of creation in such a way to utilize the members of the body to exalt the name of Christ,” he said. “We believe that any way we can get more students involved in this desire, the better, so we will continue to explore ways in which that can happen.”

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The tradition of Good Friday services

By Kedrick Nettleton, Faith Editor

Good Friday service is traditional to me.

Now, tradition is an interesting thing, and the Easter season has set me to thinking about it a great deal.

Protestant Christianity is not as reliant on tradition and ceremony as Catholicism is – and certainly not as reliant on tradition and ceremony as some of the other main monotheistic religious traditions like Judaism and Islam.

In certain ways, that’s a good thing.

The trappings of religion can often become a crutch, a hollow shell that leaves out the possibility of the presence of God.

The case can be made that there are negative aspects to this lack of tradition, too, but that’s a tangent I won’t get into right now.

The point is that I’ve been thinking about tradition, especially about how Easter makes traditionalists out of even us Protestants.

We’re never more aware of the physical aspect of our faith than we are during Holy Week, because it is in Holy Week that the incarnation of Christ takes on immediacy – brutal immediacy, in this case, as we are forced to confront the fact of our Savior’s physical body scourged, tortured, killed.

The week leading up to the crucifixion screams out to us that Jesus was a man.

He had a body. He had nerves. He hurt.

He had a mother, who stood at the foot of the cross weeping.

This is an unofficial Protestant ritual, I think.

Catholics too, I’m sure – Shawnee’s St. Benedict Church recently hosted the stations of the cross.

Looking back at my own upbringing in the church, I can remember many a Good Friday service attended, and I can remember that many of them seemed to want to pound home the brutalities of Jesus’ death.

If you grew up in the church, I can almost guarantee that you’ve heard a pastor read through a very explicit description of what exactly happened to someone’s body during a Roman whipping, during a crucifixion.

A few times my church even hosted a showing of Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” film – a film I’ve only ever been able to sit through once.

In many ways, I understand this fixation on the aspect of pain.

Christ’s suffering, theologically, was meant for us.

We’re the ones who are supposed to be afflicted by that whip.

We’re the ones who are supposed to be strung up on that cross, with nails in our hands and in our feet.

Christ is doing all of that for us.

It’s supposed to affect us powerfully.

But I sometimes wonder if this fixation on pain comes at the expense of our appreciation for what happens on Sunday.

If Good Friday shows us like nothing else the humanity of Jesus, then Easter Sunday shows us like nothing else Jesus’ complete divinity, his power over death and his victory.

Christ has won. Christ doesn’t stay in that tomb.

We don’t need to stay fixated on Friday, because Sunday overshadows it.

What happened in the garden overshadows what happened on the cross.

I went to Moody Bible Institute my freshman year of college, which is a fairly well-known place of training for those going into the ministry.

We got to talking about this topic once, this idea that people remain so fixated on the brutality of the cross.

He made an interesting comment, noting that God chose to send Jesus into the world at a time when everything could only be recorded via the page, could only be read about.

He went on to say, specifically mentioning the Passion movie, that perhaps part of the reason that God did this was so that we wouldn’t have to see what Jesus went through.

Perhaps we weren’t meant to see it.

This doesn’t mean we aren’t to reflect on Good Friday.

Please, please, please don’t misunderstand me.

Good Friday is powerful, and it should absolutely be a time of contemplation for Christians.

Good Friday services are necessary and… well, good. But don’t stay stuck on Friday.

Sunday’s what we’re celebrating.

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D’Emilio to complete debut year as full-time faculty

By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor

Newly hired as a full-time assistant professor of music at Oklahoma Baptist University, Kelsey D’Emilio has set up her office to be nearly as soothingly cheerful as she is. Visitors and students stepping into the office are greeted by the sight of soft pastel paintings, a large pastel floral painting on the wall, Victorian-esque chairs and a table lamp surrounded by a shade of little teardrop-shaped prisms.

“She has the greatest office in Raley, I think,” professor of music and dean of the Warren M Angell college of fine arts, Dr. Christopher Mathews said. “It’s like out of a magazine or something, you know, it’s beautiful.”

The close of the spring 2019 semester marks the conclusion of D’Emilio’s first year as a full-time faculty member at OBU, although she has served as an adjunct professor at OBU, prior to joining full-time for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Yet originally teaching was not originally something she expected for her career.

“I never really thought of teaching as something that I’d want, or thought I knew how to do, I guess,” she said. “Even though my masters is in pedagogy and performance, I was really performance driven the whole time. So, it was a new adventure for me – to do that professionally.”

After starting as an adjunct, at OBU, she found that she enjoyed teaching at the college level. “The first day, I was sitting there, and I came home, and I absolutely fell in love with this,” D’Emilio said. “This is the greatest job in the world.”

The journey that led her to the role of collegiate assistant professorship was a winding one, although she knew she loved music from a very young age.

“I always was like a kid, [who] sang and hummed before I spoke, like as a kid. So I [always] was attracted to music,” she said.

However, at first, she was self-conscious about her voice.

“I didn’t sound like any of the kids in choir at church,” she said. “And so, I didn’t ever sing out in church choir – because I sounded different.”

It was only a little while later, that she began to confidently embrace her singing ability.

“I was in the car with my parents. And they put on an album that was, had an opera singer on it, but singing something, not from an opera, but like she was singing operatically,” D’Emilio said. “And I [thought], ‘Well, I can do that.’ I was about 10, and my parents said ‘Okay, sure.’ Then I started singing like myself, as opposed to making my voice sound differently like the other kids sing in choir.”

D’Emilio then started taking voice lessons.

“Finally, when I decided to not compare myself or change myself, I was able to pursue the gift that God gave me,” she said.

Now, as a voice instructor and music professor, she helps students embrace their own natural voices.

“As humans, it’s really easy to compare ourselves,” D’Emilio said. “And then that’s how we feel about ourselves – it’s just the comparison, which is not ideal for something.”

These kinds of comparisons can give music students inaccurate ideas as to what their singing should sound like.

“It can be demotivating,” she said.“It can give us false expectations, what our voice should be able to do,” D’Emilio said. “God made each one of us uniquely. And what we need to do is bring out who He made.”

She encourages students to consider their voice as part of being fearfully and wonderfully made.

“Our voice is a gift from God, and to try to alter it, or change it or compare his gift to another gift that he’s given,” D’Emilio said. “It’s just not something that I encourage them to do.”

For D’Emilio, that incident singing along with an operatic singer in the car as a child helped her begin to realize her vocal potential. It also helped spark a love of opera.

“It’s just a really exciting and powerful medium of art that I feel I really just connected with,” she said. “It’s the whole experience.”

Like other art forms, opera centers around the human experience.

“[Opera is] human stories. written and performed by humans,” she said. “It just happens sometimes to be in another language; it happens to sometimes be in a style that’s from another musical era and they’re just told so beautifully.”

As an Oberlin College and Conservatory student, D’Emilio trained as a classical vocal performer.

“I knew from a young age that that that was my calling was something in music,” D’Emilio said.“And I thought at the time it was performance, I just didn’t realize that my stage would eventually be the classroom and not the operatic stage alone.”

After getting her master’s degree, she moved back to Oklahoma with her husband.

“We both were pursuing professional opera careers and then he wanted to go to law school,” D’Emilio said. “And so, he moved us here to Oklahoma, so I could be near to my parents.”

It was in Oklahoma that D’Emilio started teaching voice.

“I went out to lunch with one of my old musical influences,” she said. “Now, friend, previously teacher, and the Holy Spirit was kind of sitting in on our conversation.”

A week later, she received an email from OBU offering her a job as an adjunct faculty member.

One of most difficult challenges for D’Emilio was developing how to grade vocal work.

“Quantifying vocal growth in a letter grade, I think that was something hard to kind of make something subjective, objective,” she said. “And so I’ve gone through making a bunch of rubrics, and that’s been really helpful.”

One aspect of the work she feels strongly about is encouraging students to enjoy their work.

“Oftentimes, the work that needs to be done can overcome the original thing that brought us to music which is to sing for the joy of God,” she said. “I always ensure that my students [think of] 10 reasons why [they] love singing for [their] next lesson.”

This view of music as for the glory of God can be seen in D’Emilio’s own life and work.

“Her love for Christ is evident when she sings, and when she teaches and when she walks down the halls,” Mathews said.

While students may have difficult times in their studies – especially at the end of a long spring semester, it’s about continuing to try.

“You know, you can climb the mountain, you can just do it one step at a time,” D’Emilio said. “But you have to take the first step.” “

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2019 Spring Affair “Super” in many ways

By Olivianna Calmes, Assistant Arts Editor

There is so much to say about OBU’s “Su-per Spring Affair”, it is hard to fi nd where to start. Everyone could fi nd something they liked between the nu-merous music acts, stage band, and emcee skits and videos. The superhero theme was shown throughout the skits and stage band set list, most prominently.

The much-beloved stage band is comprised mostly of seniors (ex-cept for Misael) this year, and this was their last show. It was heart-warming to see them pour their hearts into the music and both play beautifully and rock out.

The winners of the show, Mad Respect, changed the scene of the night. These three fabulous singers sang Respect, made famous by Aretha Franklin. They included dance steps and their harmony was spot on. From their electrifying entrance to their sassy last note, this group really stole the show.

The Co-Pilots were a great start to the show. The five-person group consisting of all seniors performed “Tear in my Heart”, by Twenty One Pilots.

Jonny vocals were in peak form and the band’s performance matched. Brady Cox, the only solo act, did a mashup of “Lean on Me” and a song by NEEDTOBREATHE.

He got the whole audience clapping along. His slightly raspy tone did the song justice. He was one to watch.

Brad and the Babes (B.A.T.B) showcased beautiful harmonies in a rendition of Queen’s “Somebody to Love”. Everyone seemed to love it.

The 3 J’s and a W gave everyone some indie/alternative feels and the performers were talented musicians.

Mostly Seniors was another amazing addition to the show as a whole. They performed “How to Love”, by PJ Morton.

Us the Dectet performed Us the Duo’s “(Stop) Just Love”. Their group looked great in their matching colors. Kawehi started the performance with a single voice and then others followed.

Brittney Poe’s wind-blown hair and Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy impression add-ed lots of pizazz to the skits.

Jordan brought lots of energy to the stage, shining in the sky-high remake skit as the teacher.

Chapman’s acting was impressive, especially when channeling his inner Harry Potter and Dr. Doofenshmirtz. His vocal solo about a hard childhood, singing as the antagonist from Phineas and Ferb was quite funny.

Jimi Parker stole the show with his Nacho Libre impression in both a physical skit and a video skit.

He has just recently won the Blitz Week show, Mr. Bison Pag-eant, and was named Mr. Bison for the year.

He also acted like Jack Jack from the Incredibles, which was an impressive feat.

Brand new members of CAB were included in this show. Many freshmen greeted and handed out programs.

The lobby of Raley was covered in comic strip décor and photo-booth setups.

During halftime, half-time crew served skittles and drinks.

Many people are commenting on the bird that was flying in Potter Auditorium during the show. The bird swooped down near isles and allegedly pooped as well. I guess it really was a bird, not a plane OR superman.

Overall, this was a good show and the musical talent surprised people in the audience as it always does in one way or another.

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OBU hosts spring University Chorale concert, bids Ballweg farewell

By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor

OBU Burton H. Patterson professor of music and director of choral activities Dr. D. Brent Ballweg directed his final University Chorale concert Apr. 16.

Ballweg will retire from higher education this summer, to take up a position as associate director and conference liaison for the American Choral Directors Association in their national office located in Oklahoma City.

“I’ve been involved with ACDA for my entire career, those 37 years on the side of volunteering,” Ballweg said.“And I’ve had a bunch of leadership positions in the state, and our regions and national organization and so now, I’m going to be on the flip side, and helping all the folks do the things that I used to be doing in those volunteer situations.”

Known to many of his students as “Dr. B,” Ballweg has served at OBU for nine years.

“He’s played a big role in my life,” senior theatre major McKenzie Reece said.

Reece studied under Ball-weg both in University Chorale and OBU’s acapella ensemble, True Voice – another vocal ensemble directed by Ballweg.

“I have loved getting to work with him and grow with him, underneath him as a student,” she said. “He’s helped me be a more collaborative singer, but also have the confidence, and him and his wife, Mrs. B, they’re like the parents of the Chorale.”

For Dr. Ballweg, the best part of his time at OBU has been getting to know and work with the students.

“It’s always going to get back to the students, to the singers and just the personal relationships that I’ve had,” he said.

At the close of the Chorale concert, the choir sang “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come” by Paul Manz. Performing the piece at every show is a tradition that Ballweg has shared with his students both at OBU and at other schools.

“We’ve sung the same benediction song for all these years. The last song we sing is a motet by Paul Manz […the] text comes from Revelation 22 and so that’s always very special,” Ballweg said.

The piece has a special place in the hearts of both the students, alumni and Ballweg.

“I’m so proud of all the work that we’ve done,” Reece said.“And what this group has done over [my] four years [at OBU]. The hardest piece that I think will be singing is ‘E’en So, Lord Jesus.’ That is our anthem as the Chorale. It’s our motto. And it will be very emotional to sing that for the last time.”

Every year when the choir closes the final spring concert, alumni are invited to attend and to join in singing with the choir.

“I’ve [also] let it be known through social media and such that any some Southern Nazarene University Chorale members in the area come to the concert, we want them up there as well,” Ballweg said. “So that would be pretty special just to see a lot of former members of both places.”

Ballweg taught at Southern Nazarene University for 10 years before coming to OBU.

The performance provided a chance for students from multiple schools were Ballweg had taught to come together and celebrate his career achievements.

During his time at OBU, Ballweg taught numerous music class, directed University Chorale and True voice, and taken both groups on tour around the country.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, he led a group of University Chorale students to perform in New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

“There’s always been some wonderful performances. […] I think of last year when we sang […] in Carnegie Hall,” Ballweg said. ‘Okay, New York City, that was pretty special for a lot of students.”

Other memories include performing in OBU’s annual Christmas performance.

“I think of several performances of ‘Messiah’ during the Hanging of the Green; they’re very special because I love that work, I love that style,” he said.

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JMAS students win, meet governor at OAB conference

By Jacob Factor, News Editor

For journalism students, college years are spent perfecting portfolios and learning on the job. For many, part of that learning and portfolio building comes from the on-campus broadcast network, The Okay Show.

Students who work for the show won several awards April 4 at the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters 2019 conference.

The winners are:

• Olivianna Calmes, Winner of the Mark Rawlings Scholarship

• Charles Downum, first in Radio Narrative

• Jacob Jolly, Loren Rhoades, Olivianna Calmes, second in TV Narrative

• Zach Bush, second in TV Music Video

• Wyatt Winters and Sheridan Wiles, third in Screenwriting

• Tamlyn Price, third in Radio Narrative

Professor Stephen Draper organized the event for the OBU students and said he was proud of the individuals who won.

“We’re competing against literally the best and brightest in the entire state, OU and OSU and others, and so you might think we’re just a small school, but we have consecutively won every year,” Draper said. “It just continues to show how strong a school program it is.”

The Okay Show used to be called OBU TV-News, and it was solely a news broadcast.

With the new branding of the Okay Show, Draper said there is more opportunity for students to participate in ways that fit their goals.

“Not everybody wants to learn broadcast journalism or print journalism; not everyone wants narrative or marketing or any of these things,” he said.“ Students are getting to do what interests them. That’s where learning really takes place when you can take what is your field and then you can actually make it interesting and joyful.”

Olivianna Calmes, lead anchor for the Okay Show said she shared the same sentiment.

“It allows you to really be yourself and create what you want, with people helping you along the way,” she said. “The Okay Show is a variety show with different segments. The different segments are done by different students and are showcased separately on the Okay show’s playlists. There is probably a segment you will like from it, whether it’s our movie reviews (ER), paranormal norm, the funny banter between the anchors, the witty sports anchor or the great weather guy.”

Calmes said the show is integral to the learning experience of journalism students, and is where the most valuable part of their education comes from.

“It is important for our campus because it gives media students, and really anyone, the opportunity to gain experience working with professional equipment and channel their creativity,” she said.

Draper said he is excited to see the future of the show.

“My greatest joy right now is kind of getting to see that it really presents a solid future for programming for the years to come.”

The Okay Show director, Braden Wade, said he has hopes for the show as well.

“I hope people can find something in the show they enjoy doing,” Wade said. “And people in my class will get the same joy and passions.”

He said he also hopes the show will eventually learn how to function like the real world because he wants his peers to be prepared to thrive. The Okay Show posts on Youtube Fridays at 5 p.m.

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Bison Baseball in slump after 20th victory

By Jared A’Lattore, Sports Editor

After earning a key 20th victory, the Bison baseball squad has suffered six straight losses including a high scoring affair against Oklahoma Christian.

Both teams went at it right from the get-go in Shawnee. Oklahoma Chris-tian took a 2-0 lead in the top half of the first inning.

Jake Gozzo was the first to get his team on the board on an RBI single.

In the second inning, the Bison would continue hitting well with a Joey Pledger three-run homer. They took a 4-2 lead with this homer.

In the next inning, it was Kaimana Bartolome to add to the lead with a solo shot. The Eagles would fight back later on.

In the fourth inning, the Eagles would take a lead off a single and a three-run homer. The Bison would earn runs in the bottom half of the fourth.

After the Bison would load the bases and eventually tie the game, Pledger hit a grand slam to take an 11-7 lead. This was the second home run for Pledger in the contest.

In the fifth inning, the Eagles would score off a two-run homer. The score would be cut to 11-9 but not for long.

In the bottom half of the fifth, P.J. Harris scored off a solo homer. Kaden Betsch would contribute with an RBI single. Betsch also took advantage off a wild pitch and scored. The score was 16-9 and the Bison were rolling.

The Eagles would come storming back with three runs scored in the inning. The Eagles would score more runs off triples and errors from the Bison.

With efforts to stop the mad come-back, the Bison scored off another home run by Joey Pledger.

In the eighth inning, the Eagle come-back would continue with an RBI double and more errors from the Bison. The game was tied at 17 in the eighth inning.

In the ninth, the Eagles would close it out with RBI singles and triples to eventually win the contest. The Bison came up short in the bottom half. The Eagles won the game, 21-17.

Despite the loss, Jake Gozzo finished with two of four in that game. Joey Pledger went for three home runs and went three of five on his at-bats. Eric Carlson had his thoughts on the slump for the Bison so far.

“We just haven’t been taking care of the little things the last four games,” Carlson said. “And we haven’t put all aspects of the game together in them, pitching, defense, and hitting.”

The scoring was there, but the defense was not the same by allowing the Eagles with opportunities.

“We hit well, we just didn’t hold them down we scored, Carlson said. “We gave them too many free bases and gave them too many opportunities to come back into the game.”

If the offense can execute as well as before but do their job on the other side of the ball, the Bison can see more going their way to come.

“We need to take care of the baseball and eliminate free bases this upcoming series, if we can do that and have our bats stay hot, then we will be in good position to win,” Carlson said.

The Bison went to SWOSU over the weekend for doubleheader action.

SWOSU came out the gates with scoring six unanswered runs to open up the game.

The score was 6-0 by the sixth inning and the Bison were looking for an answer.

In the seventh, Carlson answered with a two-run homer. Pledger connected on a double to score in a run. SWOSU scored two runs in the bottom seventh after an error. The Bison fell short of that game, 8-5.

In the second game, Carlson hit a three-run homer in the first inning of the contest.

In the third inning, SWOSU took the lead 5-4 off a single.

In the fourth, Pledger connected on a two-run homer to take a 6-5 lead. In the bottom half of the fourth, SWOSU scored off hits and an error. They won the second game, 9-6.

The Bison have fallen six straight contests and will play three games against ECU at Bison Field in Ford Park this weekend.

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Tennis earns wins against UAFS and A&M Texarkana

By Courtlin Haygarth, Assistant Sports Editor

National and conference recognitions pile up for the Oklahoma Baptist Lady Bison in a strong week of tennis.

GAC competition has been friendly towards OBU.

After losing seven in a row, OBU has rattled off four consecutive wins as of Sunday, April 14.

This included three conference match victories in a row.

With the potential to make it four in a row, they face GAC-foe Henderson St. Monday, April 15 right here on Bison Hill.

Through the course of their winning streak, the Lady Bison have posted two shutouts while squeaking out their other two matches 4-3.

Alex Bowers went 4-0 in singles over the week, earning her GAC Player of the Week honors.

Bowers is now 11-7 on the season.

Lady Bison Kim Moosbacher is gaining national recognition.

With her 15-2 singles record at No. 1, Moosbacher was ranked No. 9 in the ITA Division II Women’s National Singles Rankings.

Only four of her 15 wins have gone three sets.

Moosbacher has been dominating on the court and she will hope to continue her efforts for the big dance in a week.

The Oklahoma Baptist Women are now 7-11 on the season.

Three of those seven wins are against GAC opponents as OBU holds a 3-1 conference record.

With the Arkansas Tech match initially meant for Saturday, April 13 being postponed, that match will spell the conference finale for OBU.

OBU’s final non-conference match is Tuesday, April 16 against Midwestern State-Texas.

With the GAC match against Henderson St. Monday, April 15 and then one more conference match to follow, the Lady Bison are looking to go 5-1 over GAC competition.

Play appears very similar to last year’s team that swept through conference play and won the GAC Championship.

With the GAC Championship just over a week away, the Lady Bison have their eyes set on hardware in Bentonville.

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Long-lost first edition Tolkien books returned to OBU

By Jacob Factor, News Editor

After 47 years, three first-edition “Lord of The Rings” trilogy books have returned to OBU’s library.

Originally published in 1962 and 1963, the books were apparently stolen and replaced in 1972 by an anonymous thief.

The stolen books were first American unrevised editions, thirteenth printings of “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King” and were replaced with first revised editions of the books.

Last month though, the thief mailed the books back to OBU.

In a letter included with the books, the thief expressed remorse for stealing them and said, “I have no excuse for my action, other than a desire to have one of the unrevised editions in my collection.”

The stolen books were probably worth around ten dollars each in 1972, but now are worth over 300 dollars, he said.

The director of library services, Julie Rankin, said it is unknown how the Library first got “The Lord of the Rings” books, but she is excited to have the books back at OBU after so long.

They are now being added to the Library’s special collections.

The special collections, housed in the basement of the Mabee Center, includes old books unable to be checked out because of their condition, gifts from various donors and more.

One of the goals of the Mabee Center, Rankin said, is to get all of the special collections archived online, but for now, not all of them are cataloged.

As it stands now though, anyone can browse and read the books in the special collections with a librarian’s supervision.

In the collection, several aisles are dedicated to the collection of Alan Day, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Edmond and vice-chair of OBU’s board of trustees.

In 2011, Day was killed when his motorcycle hit a patch of sand on an off-ramp, the Oklahoman reported.

Day’s collection is mostly comprised of theology and Christian books.

Former president Mark Brister also donated some books to OBU’s Special Collections.

In the J.W. Storer collection, works such as 1909 editions of Shakespeare’s plays and Adolf Hitler’s autobiography “Mein Kampf” are included.

Every “Life Magazine” from 1937 to when the magazine ended in 2000 is also available to be viewed.

“Anyone can find something interesting to them down here,” Rankin said

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Terry James brings care, experience to OBU

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

If you were to sit in on one of associate professor of education and director of teacher education Dr. Terry James’s education classes, you would probably hear him say, “I think the teacher is the most important person in society today.”

James values education, learning and most of all, students.

James originally came to Oklahoma Baptist University in 2008 and served as an assistant professor of education.

During his time as an undergraduate student, James studied at Indiana State University and obtained a bachelor’s degree.

He completed a master’s program at Indiana University, and ultimately, a doctorate program at the University of Oklahoma.

James has always respected the profession of teaching and the function that it serves for society.

“I really decided in the eighth or ninth grade that I wanted to be a teacher,” James said. “I liked my teachers. I respected them. I thought that what they were doing was important. I guess I was fortunate, in a way, that I decided early.”

James is originally from Indiana, where he went to school.

“I majored in English, and taught English, Physical Education and coached some football and track in Indiana, then moved out to Oklahoma,” James said.

James has had many roles in the education system that vary in responsibility.

He taught in the public school system for many years, worked as both assistant superintendent and superintendent in different school districts.

When he was teaching in the public school, James taught English because of his love for literature.

“I thought, if I’m going to have to read all of this material, why not let it be something interesting and fun to read,” James said. “Would I rather read a chapter of a history textbook or would I rather read Dickens or Wordsworth? I’m actually reading the Canterbury Tales right now. I thought it would be more interesting and fun to read things that are considered great literature.”

James came to OBU after he retired from the public school system. He said he is very happy to be here working with future teachers.

“I can think of no greater privilege than to get to work with my future colleagues,” James said. “I am absolutely convinced that the teacher is the most important person in education.”

James is passionate about education as a system and as a deep need in our society. He said he believes that teachers are becoming even more influential and needed in society because of the functions that the schools serve today.

“I believe that the teacher is the most important person in our society right now, with everything that they are expected to do,” James said. “Teachers now have to analyze the deepest needs of a student and figure out how to respond to them. I have seen the role of the school increase over time, and the importance of the teacher, which was always important. So, what greater privilege is there than to get to work with my future colleagues?”

James currently teaches many education classes at OBU. He also serves as the director of the Teacher Education department.

Dr. James loves OBU and its students. He strongly believes that OBU prepares students to become great teachers.

“I think you all are wonderful,” James said. “I was involved in hiring maybe a thousand teachers over my career. I would hire you all in a second. I think the average OBU student is mature, a person of integrity, responsible and dependable. I just respect the students here, just who they are as people.”

Teacher Education students seem to appreciate Dr. James for all he does for the program.

“Dr. James really cares about you as a person and wants you to succeed,” freshman elementary education major Sadi Hostettler said. “I have learned so much more about our education system a how to become a great teacher.”

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Remembering tragedy: OKC bombing memories still strong 24 years later

By Chelsea Weeks and Loren Rhoades, Editor-In-Chief and Assistant Features Editor

“I was actually walking out to come to work that morning and heard it. You could hear it from that far away.”

– Bobby Cox, baseball coach and assistant professor of KAL

April 19, a day of sorrow and remembrance for many Oklahomans. On that date 24 years ago, ex-army soldier Timothy McVeigh parked a Ryder rental truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The truck contained a fertilizer bomb that after being detonated led to the death of 168 people and the injury of over 650 others.

Until September 11, 2001, McVeigh’s act of violence and terrorism was the deadliest attack to ever occur in the United States.

For most students on OBU’s campus, the April 19th bombing is an event that occurred before their birth, but for some OBU faculty and staff members, it is a day they will always remember.

“I was actually walking out to come to work that morning and heard it,” baseball coach and assistant professor of KALS, Bobby Cox said. “You could hear it from that far away.”

Cox said the baseball team was supposed to compete against Oklahoma City the next day but canceled the game due to the tragedy. The team rescheduled the game for a few days later and witnessed the wreckage on their way there.

“So, you’re driving across town and you could see it was still smoking at the time,” Cox said. “The interstate was raised at that point so you could see down in there and it was just like total silence.”

Different professors on campus said it was a time filled with questions for Oklahomans as well as for students on Bison Hill.

“If I had to describe it, it was just a lot of confusion,” HHP professor Dr. Norris Russell said. “There was a lot of ‘why?’ and ‘what’s the deal?’ It took a while for the whole situation to finally unravel.”

Although the event caused a large amount of heartache, it also brought people closer together. People from all over the U.S. were heading toward OKC to see how they could help in some way.

Professor of history Dr. Carol Humphrey said there were also OBU students with the desire to aid those who were affected by the bombing.

“There were a lot of students at the time who weren’t from Oklahoma, so they were shocked by it, but they also wanted to see if there was a way to help out,” Humphrey said. “So, I think in some ways it did bring people together in ways that had not been true before.”

The Murrah Building bombing changed the lives of so many forever. In response to the domestic terrorist act, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the Oklahoma City National Memorial Act of 1997, which established the site as a National Memorial. A task force of over 350 people was assigned by Oklahoma City mayor Ron Norick to memorialize those who were lost in the attack.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial was formally dedicated April 19, 2000, five years after the bombing. The Museum was dedicated a year later February 19, 2001. The mission statement of the Memorial was to “remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever.”

The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial consists of a multitude of elements to honors those who were lost.

Twin bronze gates frame the entrances to the memorial. 9:01 is found in the eastern gate and represents the last moments of peace. 9:03 is found on the western gate and represents the first moments of recovery.

In between these two gates lie the Reflecting Pool, a thin layer of water running over black granite. Those who peer into the Reflecting pool are supposed to see “a face of a person changed by domestic terrorism.”

168 empty chairs made from bronze, glass and stone can be found south of the Reflecting Pool. Etched in each chair is the name of a lost father, mother, brother, sister – a family member, a victim of hatred. The chairs were designed to represent an empty chair at the dinner table of a victim’s family.

In the southwest corner, the only remnants of the Murray Building have been transformed into the Survival Wall. Granite salvaged from the Murray Building has been inscribed with the names of over 800 survivors.

The 112-year-old American Elm that used to offer shade to vehicles, was damaged from the blast. Evidence of the attack was found in the branches and bark of the old tree. Many thought it would be lost, but a year later it began to bud and continue to grow. Its determination to survive mirrors the determination of those impacted by the attack.

On the anniversary of the attack, seeds from the Survivor Tree are sent across the country to be planted. For the 22nd anniversary in 2017, a Survivor Tree seed was planted right here on Bison Hill and can be found south of Raley Chapel.

The 33,000 square foot Memorial Museum strives to tell the story of the horrific domestic attack and the hope that followed after.

The cost is $15 for adults, $12 for students and free for children under fi ve. People from all over the country come to visit the site and get involved.

The 16th Annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon will take place Sunday, April 28, 2019. There will be a variety of races available for all individuals including a full and half marathon, a 5k, a kids marathon and a relay marathon. For more information about the race or to sign

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Blitz Week brings campus together for a cause

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

Last week on Bison Hill was Blitz Week, a week focused on raising funds for a specific charity or cause.

This year, money was raised to help mitigate the cost of OBU’s Global Outreach trips, so that students can go out to many different parts of the world and serve people who are in need of the Gospel.

Currently, the co-chairs of Blitz Week are Braeden Mastin and Olivia Dudley.

“Blitz Week is a week in April every year dedicated to helping a charity/cause of our choice,” co-chair of Blitz Week Braeden Mastin said. “This year we focused on helping students afford GO trips. We strive to be light of the world by helping others, bring the campus together and to leave a positive impact on others.”

Last week’s events included a multitude of activities that raised money for the cause.

The first Blitz Week event was the Paintathon. Students gathered in the Gieger Center Sunday Night to paint canvases. The paintings were put up for auction all week in the Gieger Center. The starting bid for each painting was five dollars.

Another event that spanned the entire week was a campus-wide game of Humans versus Zombies. For two dollars, students could sign up to play the game.

Humans vs. Zombies trans-formed campus last week. Students and faculty had Nerf guns in hand, ready to defend themselves from the zombies.

To distinguish those who were playing the game, and which side they were on, players wore pink bandanas on their arm or on their head.

Humans could use their Nerf guns to stop a zombie from tagging them, which would cause them to switch sides and more their bandana.

Players often had to alter their plans so that they were not exposed outdoors in high traffic areas. Players could not be tagged on or off campus.

“The wildest experience I’ve had so far is when me and my friends, Sam and Noah, got surrounded by seven zombies in the library parking lot,” freshman Christian ministry major Silas Bell said. “We had to sprint from the library to Agee, and I thought I was going to die from exhaustion.”

Bell’s sprint must have been worthwhile, because at the time of the interview, he was still on the human side. On Friday night, the remaining humans and zombies gathered in the Oval for a final showdown to end the game.

Blitz Week also hosted a faculty versus varsity basketball game, an escape room in the library, a percentage night at Qdoba, trivia night with UCS and the Mr. Bison pageant.

The Mr. Bison pageant was held last Thursday in Yarborough Auditorium.

The contestants were Cole Kliewer, Caleb Newton, Caleb Dyer, Caleb Corff, Grady Liston, Jimi Parker, Joel Tetmeyer and Noah Graves.

The competition was hosted by Kirt Henderson, director of Student Success.

The judges of the competition were Resident Directors Kyle Opskar, Dayla Rowland, Lanie Allred, Tanner Roberts and Erin Gulserian.

The event began with a dance number featuring all of the contestants choreographed by Sarah Cordle, a sophomore cross-cultural ministry and sociology major.

“My experience with the Mr. Bison pageant was one for the books for sure,” Cordle said. “I have never choreographed before and most of the guys never learned a dance before, so that was interesting, to say the least, but they all worked hard to learn the dance. What made it so great is that they were having a great time doing it. It was so much fun watching them finally perform it and they all did a really great job!”

Then came the introduction of the contestants and their escorts. This also served as the formal wear category. Henderson’s introductions of the contestants included hilarious fun facts about each of them.

Next up came the talent portion of the pageant. Talents included, but were not limited to neck wrestling, cooking demonstrations, lightsaber reenactments, interpretive dancing with a puppy and more.

After the talent portion, the contestants went into the audience to collect money from their fans as votes for the audience favorite award.

Then, the final five were announced: Caleb Newton, Caleb Dyer, Caleb Corff, Grady Liston and Jimi Parker.

They moved on into an interview portion. Each contestant was asked a couple of questions.

After that, the judges deliberated, and the new Mr. Bison was crowned.

Caleb Dyer won third place. Caleb Corff won second place and the Audience Favorite award. Caleb Newton won Best Talent with his impressive neck wrestling. Taking home the big prize was Jimi Parker, who spent the entire competition dressed in a Nacho Libre costume.

For his talent, he gave the audience a cooking lesson involving raw hot dogs. “It has been extremely rewarding and fun leading and facilitating fun events, and bringing the campus all together,” Mastin said

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Mentors Club gets back on its feet with Mission Shawnee’s help

By Cal Brown, Assistant News Editor

The OBU Mentors Club is now working with Mission Shawnee after months of set back.

All of the potential students for the Adopt-a-School Initiative are now going through the Mentors Club. The club will be run by students. A small team of Enactus members, spearheaded by sophomore accounting major Anthony Gorum, spent months working on the merger.

“We (Enactus) thought of the idea of helping Mission Shawnee out by getting more OBU students involved in mentorship in their after-school program, said Gorum. “However we found that it was harder to get OBU students involved as we couldn’t directly advertise because of some legal issues. So we talked to Melissa Stroud and she connected us with the existing but not yet functional OBU’s Mentors Club.”

The Mentors Club was established this year as a way of connecting students to the Afterschool Program of Mission Shawnee.

The club had created a constitution and delegated roles, and their first meeting was set for September.

However, the club had no faculty advisor and every single member quit before the first meeting.

“OBU’s Mentors Club never came to fruition,” Gorum said. “The leadership backed out two months ago. We spent a long time trying to contact leadership for nothing.”’

The first meeting for potential club members was on April 8 at 10 a.m., and more meetings have been scheduled for subsequent Mondays. The club’s focus is on tutoring kids after school in low-income families.

“We will meet elementary and middle school kids,” head of Mission Shawnee Ryan Brooks said. “You can choose which grade you want. Mentors meet once a week for two hours to focus on tutoring and building relationships with a mentee. A mentor will spend 30 minutes tutoring a kid directly. We also have a Bible story we have all the kids participate in. That is the structure of everything at the moment. Boys would get paired with boys and girls would get paired with girls. At the end of the day, we need role models to be a positive influence on their lives.”

As of now, mentors would work Tuesdays and Thursday with elementary schools, and Wednesday with the middle schools.

The club is headed in a positive direction, but it will need new members if it hopes to survive. Those who’ve experienced this new direction find it worthwhile.

“I was the intern at Mission Shawnee last year,” sophomore pastoral ministry major Collyn Dixon said. “I got to hang out with lots of kids. I promise, kids will want to talk to you. Dude, they will talk about anything.”

The club will not be matching any new members with kids this year. Instead, their meetings will be focused on fixing the political side of the club.

“I don’t want to make matches right now because of the school year ending soon,” Brooks said. “We don’t know your schedule next year, so we won’t know if you would be able to work with the same kid next year. We don’t want you to get attached to each other and then not see each other after this. So far, our goal is to learn more about your interests. We try to match kids and mentors based on personality.”

Any potential club members will need to figure out their schedule so the leaders can work with them on good times to meet with kids.

“We are hoping to bring kids over to campus,” Gorum said. “Or if we get enough club members, we could carpool. We are trying to make it easier on you guys because we know not everyone has a car.”

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Lady Bison Lacrosse routs Adams State

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor

The Oklahoma Baptist women’s lacrosse team kicked off a six-game home stand with a 19-6 victory over RMAC foes Adams State University Saturday, March 23.

The Lady Bison entered the matchup on a five-game losing streak, all of which were on the road.

However, OBU showed up ready to defend Bison Hill.

“We knew we had to show up and work for every ground ball, every pass, and every goal,” sophomore Taylor Skomp said. “We are confident every time we walk on the field, but we knew everyone would have to show up ready to perform.”

The Lady Bison came storming out of the gates.

Junior Brooke Harden opened the scoring for OBU at the 27:41 mark in the first half, which sparked four more goals for the Lady Bison.

Skomp, freshman Shay Morgan, and junior Lauren McCormack all found the back of the net before Adams State.

Once ASU finally found a goal, OBU freshman Devin Miller followed up with a goal of her own, while Skomp completed a hat trick before 10 minutes were gone in the game.

ASU scored again to make it 7-1 but the Lady responded right back with a pair of goals from Morgan and freshman Emery Kennedy.

OBU would give up one more goal before halftime, but would respond again with scores from Miller, freshman Nina Handley and Kennedy.

Handley’s goal was her first career goal for OBU.

“Offense set the tone this game and it showed,” junior Brooke Harden said. “We really have started collaborating as a team.”

Every time ASU found a goal, OBU would come back with more of their own. This helped the maintain a lead into halftime.

The Lady Bison would keep the same intensity in the second half; Miller would add another goal within the first 50 seconds of the second half.

The Lady Bison scored four more goals after Miller’s opening goal to push the lead to 17-3.

McCormack and freshman Madison Gordon each scored one more time to put the finishing touches on the emphatic win.

“I’m really proud of the way our team came out and competed,” Harden said. “We are a newer team, so we have a learning curve, but as the season has gone on, we have really developed and gotten better with each game.”

The Lady Bison had eight different players find the back of the net as the offense continued to find its rhythm from earlier in the week.

This was OBU’s first conference win since April 1, 2017.

McCormack finished with a game-high five points on three goals and two assists, while Gordon, Harden, and Skomp each had four points apiece.

Also, Miller finished with a hat trick. Defensively, junior Courtney Barnickle picked up her third win of the season in goal, collecting 11 saves against just six goals allowed.

Though the team has a difficult start to the season, the OBU lacrosse team has been able to grow and get closer as a group because of it.

“Our biggest strength is we all love each other, and we walk on the field ready to play,” Skomp said. “We spend a lot of time together outside of lacrosse growing as friends and growing in our faith.”

The team leads the NCAA in draw controls and ground balls.

“We all view lacrosse as a job,” Skomp said. “We are there to work hard, give it everything we have and walk off the field knowing we played to the best of our abilities.”

The Lady Bison now sit at 3-5 overall and 1-4 in conference play.

Next up, the team takes on Midland in a nonconference match-up, Saturday, Apr 6.

“We have been putting a lot of work in on and off the field,” Harden said. “I think it’s going to show in our upcoming games.”

So far this season, the Lady Bison have traveled to Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah. They will head out-of-state for their April 27 meet in St. Charles, MO against Lindenwood University.