DeShazo deepens leadership conversation with OBU athletics

 Courtesy Photo/ The Bison Kevin DeSazo 

 Payne Moses

Assistant Sports Editor 

Monday Oct. 19 keynote speaker, author and consultant Kevin DeShazo spoke in front of all Oklahoma Baptist University athletes.

DeShazo is a current resident of Oklahoma City and is married to his wife Megan with three boys Gabe, Noah and Asher, according to his personal webpage deshazo.me. 

For the past nine years, DeShazo has spoken to universities and professional sports organizations about how “to create championship culture,” per DeShazo.

Partnering with Culture Wins, a division of GiANT Worldwide, DeShazo directs his messages to athletic programs specifically on how to curate social media to amplify their institution in addition to instructing athletes and coaches on how to develop into leaders.

In his keynote speech to the OBU athletes Monday, DeShazo based all of his topical points on his most recent book entitled “Keep Chopping Wood,” which was published May 19, 2020.

A short synopsis of the book states: “Keep Chopping Wood is a short story and field guide about what it takes for ordinary people to live extraordinary lives” (per amazon.com). 

While DeShazo only touched directly on his newly published book in the initial stages of his message, his beginning analogy of chopping wood is worth noting.

“If you don’t put wood in your fireplace that was chopped that day, it’s not useful, it’s not ready, it’s not prepared,” DeShazo said. 

“That wood is wet, so you throw it in your fireplace and it’s just going to flare your house with smoke. The fire could potentially just burn your house down because it wasn’t ready. It wasn’t prepared to do what it was made to do.”

By utilizing this analogical comparison, DeShazo related it to how athletes respond to pressure situations, prepared or lacking so.

“In a pressure-packed situation, you don’t head into those moments to not be useful,” DeShazo said.

“You don’t play into those moments like ‘Man, I wish I would have done the work.’ So, do you have the kind of mindset to show up today and do the work, when nobody’s watching, when its inconvenient?”

Through the speech holistically, DeShazo hammered the fact of living life not to stay in the comfortable, the convenient, but instead to strive in uncomfortable and purpose-driven living.

In this way, DeShazo pinpointed having a vision and belief as the most important aspect of an athletes’ reason for competing.

“That’s where a lot of people are, right,” he said.

“They’re really frustrated with where they are in life, but they have no vision for where they want to be. So, all they know is they’re frustrated, but they don’t know why because they have nothing that they are striving for, nothing that they’re running toward. It’s in the ratio to drive you toward that vision, ‘I want to run a marathon’ but I can’t right now. That’s okay because I have a vision to be a marathon runner.”

However, DeShazo rightly provided the understanding that many people are overwhelmed by such large visions and hoped to dispel such concerns by consoling words.

“I’m not being overwhelmed by the bigness of the vision, by the bigness of the goal,” he said.

 “I’m just doing the natural next step. And the key factor, you need to have allies walk alongside you. It’s really hard to get better alone. You have to have people who are committed to the same standard that you are committed to.”

More than merely breaking visions into daily goals, DeShazo spoke to how dealing with our internal mindsets is the simplest, yet hardest barrier to overcome.

“There’s one thing we can control: you,” he said. “There a billion things you can’t control, but focus on the one thing, the one thing you can control is you and your perspective. Your perspective determines your reality. Nothing is good about a bad experience, except for how you find it. You lose a game, you get down, you get overwhelmed, you get negative, you take yourself out of it. You can say ‘Hey, we didn’t do our best, but here’s what I can do to grow’.” 

Whereas DeShazo stressed this concept of owning your inner mindset, he then revisited the idea of reaching a vision with teammates, however with habits as the focus.

“If you want better habits, create a group of people around you that embrace and embody those habits and hold each other accountable for those habits,” he said.

“That’s why I talk about if you show me your friends, I’ll show you your future. If the people you’re closest to aren’t committed to the same standards as you are, you are always going to fall back to them. It’s really hard to pull the people behind you. But if you want better habits, you have to have a better culture period.”

Having just introduced culture, DeShazo explained how leaders, either team captains or otherwise, have the greatest influence on their team atmosphere.

“Leaders define culture,” he said. “If you want a better organization, if you want better teams, you got to have better leaders. Leaders define culture. If you are leader and you are in this room, you are a leader. Not your coach, not a professor, it’s not the A.D. You are the leader. If you don’t like the culture on your team, look at your leadership.”

In his closing minutes, DeShazo investigated how the model of belief is like the glue that holds leadership, culture and habits together. He especially made his message clear by using an unmistakably familiar biblical story.

“Peter commanded,” DeShazo said. “Peter is us. He [Jesus] says ‘Walk out’ and he [Peter] starts walking on water. Man walking on water, man walking on water because of belief. They looked around and saw the waves, and as soon as he saw that, the belief sank, and he sank. You either rise to your level of belief or fall to level of your unbelief. Belief drives behavior.”

Maintaining a spiritually driven final statement, DeShazo left OBU athletes encouraged in knowing why belief truly matters based on Jesus’ ministry.

“You weren’t made average, you weren’t made mediocre,” he said. “You were made on purpose and for a purpose. When you wake up into that, and believe that, things change. The crazy thing in the Bible it says you have to believe it’s going to be better for you spiritually, and that means you’re going to do greater things than I [Jesus] did. I have no clue what that means, but I can’t fathom that we’re going to do greater things than He did. That means we have power and authority if you believe you were made for that.”


OBU first football scrimmage

Courtesy Photo/obubison.com

Devin Miller

Sports Editor 

The Oklahoma Baptist University Football team will be playing in an intersquad scrimmage on Thursday, November 5, 2020.

The intersquad scrimmage will take place at the OBU Crain Family Stadium at the Hurt Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

The game will have free admission, but will have a maximum capacity of 1,000 spectators.

The wearing of face masks will be required for entry and must be worn throughout the game as well.

Social distancing and the use of hand sanatizer stations is heavily encouraged, while in attendance.

If you are unable to attend on Thursday night, there will be a livestream of this scrimmage, courtesy of obubison.com.

The famous trio representing the livestream broadcast will include; John Brooks, Todd Miller, and Scott Wanish. The livestream will also be run with the help of James Hill and Andrew Cox.

Prior to the intersquad scrimmage, the seniors will be recognized while they will now play in their final matchup for OBU’s football program.

According to the OBU Bison Athletics page, “The game will feature two 15-minute halves with the clock running like a typical game. It will be an offense versus defense game with a special points system for certain outcomes per possession.”

Game details found on obubison.com include; “All fans will enter through Gate 2 on the E side of the Hurt Complex.

Capacity limited to first 1,000 fans.

Masks required.

Fans will be screened (screening questions and temperature check) prior to entry.

Social distancing protocols within the facility are strongly encouraged.

Parking will be available in the Gold Lot S of the Hurt Complex on University, as well as E of the Noble Complex.”

Looking back on last season, the OBU Football team went 7-4. 

“OBU is led by head coach Chris Jensen, who enters his eighth season as the leader of the football program. The Bison are coming off their most successful season since joining NCAA Division II and the Great American Conference, going undefeated against their GAC rivals from the state of Oklahoma for the second straight year and finishing with a 7-4 overall record in 2019.”

Head Coach Chris Jensen was hired in 2012 and has led the OBU Bison football team to a 5-0 second straight record over schools in Oklahoma.

Throughout the past seven years, Jensen has completed a 30-47 record (.390), with an additional conference record of 18-37 (.327).


Festival of Fools hosts annual Halloween show

 Courtesy Photo / The Bison 


The improv troupe, Festival of Fools, includes: (clockwise from left) Jacob Brown, Ethan Wood, Kaeley Mastin, Bayleigh Platter, Larashleigh Wallace, Justin Glover, Garrett Wheeler, Anna Smolen, Anna Caughlin, Zack Coake, Gabe Barnes. 

They have hosted several shows this semester. 

Mastin introduces acts and games during the show. She and Wood are co-captains of the troupe.
Check out the improv group next semester!

 Morgan Jackson

Arts Editor

Thursday, Oct. 22, Festival of Fools, Oklahoma Baptist University’s resident improv troupe hosted their annual Halloween themed show in the Potter Auditorium located in Raley Chapel, cleverly titled, “Night of the Living Fools.”

Festival of Fools is made up of students with various areas of study and interests who all share a common love for all things comedy and improv. 

This year, the group is led by co-captains Kaeley Mastin and Ethan Wood. 

The other members of the group are: Bayleigh Platter, Garrett Wheeler, Anna Smolen, Larashleigh Wallace, Gabriel Barnes, Justin Glover, Anna Caughlin, Zack Coak and Jacob Brown.

The energy present in the room prior to the show was nearly tangible. 

It is evident that many friend groups carved time out of their night to ensure that they had the chance to see the last improv show of the semester. 

Halloween costumes were encouraged, and it was fun to see some audience members arise to that occasion in a big way.

The show was hosted by troupe members Garrett Wheeler and Zack Coak.

After a fittingly spooky introduction, the show began with short-form comedy games that had the crowd laughing and fully engaged. 

The audience very eagerly supplied the hosts with scene suggestions, showing their committed interest to the show.

One particularly fun game that was played is known as Half-life. 

The actors would act the same scene out, cutting the time in half each time- starting at one minute and ending with a seven second scene.

Anna Caughlin and Bayleigh Platter both committed to hilarious, energized characters who were miners having a squabble over territory. 

The end result was truly ridiculous, and had the audience booming.

Another memorable game was The People’s Court. 

The troupe divided into two teams to debate a very serious issue: cake v. pie. 

Host Garrett Wheeler served as a judge for the decision, deciding which arguments and objections were worthy of further explanation.

There was a brief intermission, during which, co-captains Ethan Wood and Kaeley Mastin hosted a costume competition for the audience members. 

There were some truly inspired costumes in the audience, including some old ladies, Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus, a scientist and other highly creative concepts. 

The troupe awarded the top three costumes with prizes.

After intermission, the troupe moved into more long-form improv. 

A Halloween-themed game led to hilarity involving a graveyard (sometimes you just have to be there). 

Overall, the show was a great success and a wonderful way for the troupe to wrap up their fall semester.

“With the success of the past two shows, I’m looking forward to next semester, especially to see how much we can push to improve and deliver even more quality shows,” Wood said.

Festival of Fools had been hard at work prior to this performance, practicing on Thursdays and Sundays from 10 to 12 p.m. 

Their rehearsals later in the semester were open to students, allowing those interested to get a look inside the process, and allowing them to participate in games if they wanted to. 

These rehearsals created a fun environment for everyone involved and provided a good outlet for those who desperately need a laugh. Festival of Fools is expected to hold auditions for the troupe next semester.


Bison off the Hill: Henry Contich

Courtesy Photo / The Bison
OBU business management alumni and former member of OBU’s swim and dive team Henry Contich

 Features Assistant

OBU has fostered some of the most accomplished people in today’s workforce.

However, one of the largest hurdles that these individuals face is finding a job in their field right after graduating college. 

Business management graduate Henry Contich currently works for Bass Underwriters, an insurance firm based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

“I am the assistant manager of the catastrophic program,” said Contich.

“[This] basically means I help my boss analyze what might be considered a high or low risk that the company might take on. For instance, if someone repeatedly has damaged property then they might be considered more ‘high risk’ than someone who doesn’t if that makes sense.” Contich previously interned for this company before he graduated, and they offered him a job right when he graduated because of this.

“Initially I didn’t expect to go into insurance after I graduated,” said Contich.

“I didn’t think it had much to do with business management…but when I got here I kind of realized that I used things like excel and I analyze various things daily that kind of coincides with what I learned at OBU, so I’m definitely thankful for that.”

Contich commented on how he responded to receiving the job he currently holds so early in the game.

“I didn’t really expect to get a management position off the bat, which is what my degree really focused on, but the position I’m in now still uses a lot of elements that go along with management,” Contich said.

Contich described what his job looks like on a daily basis.

“It’s on a smaller scale…a large portion of my job day-to-day is filled with responding to emails and answering phone calls…but I still use a lot of things I learned.”

Last week, Contich passed his first insurance exam out of three he needs to take to get his license. 

Once he has his license, Contich plans on working at Bass Underwriters.

“I passed the first course and there are three courses total,” said Contich.

“I plan on staying in insurance for a while…as of right now I see myself at least staying here another five years or so then after that who knows where I’ll be with my career. I think that by then I’ll probably know substantially more about insurance and will probably have a better idea of what my next step is going to be.”

Contich originally got in contact with the manager there through his neighbor, who works at the same firm.

 “I think the key to getting a job close to your chosen field is to be open minded,” said Contich.

“I don’t think you can really expect to get an amazing job immediately…it takes work and requires you to build connections which you kind of begin doing when you accept an entry level position.”

Contich then went on to explain the importance of interning somewhere in your chosen field before you graduate.

“You learn way more out in the real world then if you were in a classroom,” said Contich.

“I mean OBU gave me some valuable tools, but I think that the experience I gained from interning and working [at Bass Underwriters] is something that I couldn’t imagine I would’ve learned in a classroom.”

Contich reiterated the importance of internships.

“Hands on experience is in my opinion, something that can’t be substituted,” Contich said.

“Once you graduate school, I’ve kind of come to realize that you never stop learning, you just learn in a different way…and at a much quicker pace.”


Here at home: the Round Table

Courtesy Photo/The Bison

Nathan Goforth

Contributing Writer

“It’s an informal time for interested students to workshop their writings, get criticism, hear feedback, appreciate the joy of writing, ect.” – Andrew Hill

Originally created in fall of 2016, the “Inklings’ group was the early iteration that would eventually be remade into the Round Table today, the “Inklings” were a group dedicated to fantasy literature such as Tolkien, Lewis, Sanderson, Orson Scott Card and many others. 

However, due to scheduling strain, and the natural business of school life, the group was discontinued in fall of 2019.

However, this year, there was an effort made to draft the spiritual successor “Inklings.” Assistant professor of English Dr. Lindsey Panxhi rewrote the “Inklings” into the “Round Table” creative writing group on campus today. 

Created by Panxhi and supported heavily by assistant professor of English and TESL Dr. Jessica Rohr, the Round Table is a group dedicated to the art of creative writing, storytelling, poem crafting, playwriting and the glories of revision and review in an academic yet friendly environment. 

“I decided to name the group The Round Table this time, because I wanted to emphasize the idea of gathering in fellowship and in the pursuit of embodying virtues and truths in fiction,” Panxhi said.

While the Round Table may have a history of previous discontinuances, this iteration is quickly growing in popularity.

While the club is composed of many creative writing majors, it is not required for any student to have a writing major/minor – only an appreciation of the art and a willingness to help those who attend each meeting. Currently, the club has twenty-two members (Dr.s Panxhi and Rohr included). However, word of the club’s presence has led to most of those members recently having joined and petitioned for it to become a weekly event. The ‘Slightly-Less Round Table’ now meets unofficially, as a gathering of friends with an interest in creative writing, and together form the ‘Entirely Round Table’ when Rohr and Panxhi are able to attend.

Currently, the club is maintained by Andrew Hill and David Goforth, who together manage the shared Google Drive folder that allows the members to share their writings for the week without issue. 

Though, officially, neither claim status as ‘President,’ as the group is not an official OBU sponsored club, and merely just a gathering of friends and writers.

The group usually meets and spends a brief moment talking about their day before beginning with lobbying a story – that is, reading aloud and having a peer review of that story – until every story each member submits has been read. Due to the popularity, though, there is a 500-word limit for each story every week. While it is unfortunate that whole stories can not be read, it does keep suspense and members coming back just to hear more of each other’s works. Elia Tyson, freshman with a major in Creative Writing, spoke about the Round Table’s fellowship saying, “I enjoy hearing stories that the others have written, and getting the fellowship and inspiration from them as well as getting feedback on my own stories. It’s the concept of writing friends helping writing friends.”

COVID has, unsurprisingly, affected the group. Previously, the Round Table would be held at either at Panxhi or Rohr’s home for party games, reading and overall fellowship. However, group dynamics is relatively unchanged, and now the Round Table meets in the GC Gathering room. Panxhi has expressed an interest in returning to those functions, saying “I hope COVID conditions end soon, so we can fellowship more off campus.”

It is encouraged for new members to feel free to write and share their stories during the meeting sessions. Mary Brannon, a freshman with a double-major in graphic design and creative writing, said “It’s helpful to hear different perspectives on my own writing. When I read it yourself, I don’t notice everything, everyone notices and thinks differently about what I wrote. It’s a helpful insight.”

The group is open for new students to join at any time, meeting on Thursdays from 7-9 p.m.. In the GC’s Gathering Place.


OBU Debate now ranked number one in the nation

 Public Release

The Oklahoma Baptist University Debate team now boasts a national number one title.

OKBU competed in its third consecutive virtual debate tournament last weekend (Oct 23-24) hosted by South East Arkansas College. 

The team competed in the International Public Debate Association, and is now ranked number one in the nation. 

The team also posted its third consecutive second-place finish and celebrated the first individual division champion of the year in Violet Webber the Junior Varsity champion. 

Morgan Martin also finished as a quarterfinalist in JV. 

In the novice division, Emily Vann, Ayssa Rodgers, Imani Jackson, Ryanne Nelson, and Caitlin Hurlbut finished as Octofinalist with Samuel Peek and Sydney Collier finishing as quarterfinalist. 

Samuel Peek, Caitlin Hurlbut and Ryanne Nelson also earned first through third best speaker awards. 

The team will compete next at a virtual tournament hosted by Louisiana State University Shreveport Nov 7-8. 

Right Top: 

From left to right back row: Jade Stauffer, Caitlin Hurlbut, Sydney Collier, Samuel Peek, Jacob Bryan. 

Middle row: Morgan Martin, Mitch Sadler, Alyssa Rodgers, Emma Busby, Josh Morgan. 

Front row: Violet Webber, Ryanne Nelson, Imani Jackson, Emilie Vann, Scot Loyd.


Modified visitation opens upon campus

 Courtesy Photos/The Bison

 Zoe Charles

News Editor 

 On Oct. 9 visitation reopened at OBU. Visitation among dorms had previously been suspended due to COVID concerns.

While visitation is modified, in an email sent out to students Residential Life reported, “[. . .] so excited to welcome your friends from around campus into our home! Please be respectful and follow our community guidelines to ensure the safest visitation experience.”

According to an email sent out to students on Oct.9 the following rules have been put in place to help guide visitation protocols and expectations:

1. Your visitors must be OBU students.

2. Your guests can visit between 12 pm and 11pm on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

3. You must check in to the lobby at the RA desk.

4. Your visitors must remain in the lobby that you checked in to! The RAs at the front desk will ask for your ID as a placeholder in the lobby you check into! They will also take note of the time you checked into the lobby.

5. You will have two hours to hang out in the lobby, if there is a wait for the lobby you are using. If there is not a wait, you can hang out for longer!

6. You will need to come to the front desk to let your visitors inside the building. You will need to stay with your guests while they are in the building. There is a restroom that your male guests can use located beside the RA desk.

7. Physical distancing and masks will be enforced during this time. Please be respectful if an RA asks you to comply with these measures.

8. Your guests are not allowed in your room.

9. The lights must remain on in the lobby and all feet must stay on the ground.

10. If you are hosting a small event, you may reserve the Lobby for a total time of 2 hours. Come to the RA desk to do so.

11. Failure to comply with these rules (masks, physical distancing, room capacity, visitation guidelines) will result in an RV and potential loss of visitation privileges.

According to an email sent to students by Erin Guleserian, Director of the Residential Experience, the following lobbies are opening for visitation: WMU – four lobbies, The Lodge – one main lobby, two side lobbies, and two study rooms, Agee – two main lobbies, Kerr – main Lobby, WUA – center building and Taylor – two lobbies and three study rooms.

If students do not respect these rules disciplinary action will follow. Such includes “for minor visitation violations [students] will receive a $10 RV. For a repeat violation, [students] will receive a $50 RV. After [a] third violation, the fine will continue to double, and [the student] will have to meet with the Dean of Students and will be put on academic probation.”

When asked why Residential Life decided to open up the modified visitation Kaleb Miears, Resident Director of The Lodge and The Village Apartments said, “Res Life has attempted to be thoughtful and mindful of student’s well-being both physically and socially. While we want students’ physical health to be maintained, we wanted to allow the student body more space to have safe social interactions. Allow visitation in the lobbies of the dorms because we can help to maintain safe physical distance, while allowing students some normality to their living situation.”

Miears also said in response to the question of how COVID had changed practices within Residential Life that, “COVID has really impacted a lot of what we do in Res Life. Our RAs/CLs are working more than they ever have been doing health screenings, sanitizing the lobbies, and ensuring that our dorms are safe for students’ health. We have also had to be creative in how we plan events, engage our students, and how the entire residential life role looks. However, our staff have been incredible and our priority in all of this is to make sure our students have the best living situation possible.”

When asked about the modified re-opening of visitation senior nursing major Natalie Gorzovalitis said, “I am glad we finally have some form of visitation, especially with the temperatures dropping, we are not able to meet outside as comfortably. Having a communal space besides the GC actually allows for better opportunity for interaction. It does seem strict but that should be accounted for before someone attempts to go, they have been fully informed and should not complain if they https://www.okbu.edu/student-life/student-housing/images/housing-options.jpg break the rules and get an RV.”

Junior chemistry major Caileigh Lavigne said, “I’m glad that visitation has reopened. When visitation was not allowed, I was kind of frustrated that we could not go hang out with our friends or do anything in dorms. We were allowed to hang out with them without our masks while we were eating, so why could we not hang out with them with masks on in a dorm? With visitation open again, I feel a lot less awkward; I don’t have to be surrounded by hundreds of others in the GC or be awkwardly separated in the library trying to work together without being too loud.”

When asked about whether or not she felt safe with the reopening of visitation sophomore family and community service major Grace Fairlie said, “ I feel somewhat safe. People haven’t really been perfectly following the rules and regulations so that is what makes me feel unsafe. However, when the RA’s actually enforce everything it is better and safer.”

Lavinge said, “I do feel safe in the dorms with the new policies. They are still requiring masks and social distancing, so I don’t feel unsafe. I think that RDs and RAs are doing a great job at making sure that everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing.”

“I do feel safe with the new COVID policies and procedures but sometimes I think the screening process needs more accountability, along with the quarantine and isolation and contact tracing,” Gorzovalitas said. “I can spot ways there can be loopholes to the contact tracing because not all students are trained in contact tracing like some others. I have also heard students saying people are not staying in when they are supposed to be quarantined, such as going to the grocery store.”

Sophomore nursing major Audrey Branham said, “I do feel safe under the new COVID procedures because I can personally practice more social distancing and precautions when I feel like I need to based on my particular situation.”

When asked about hopes for visitation in the future Branham said, “I obviously hope that we could have visitors in our rooms, especially for people such as siblings or for people that always hang around each other. But I understand that with the danger of COVID, it is probably safest and most likely that lobby visitation will be the limit until COVID is no longer an issue.”

For questions pertaining to visitation rules and regulations students should contact their Resident Directors.


A day in the life of a student athlete

 File Photo/ The Bison

OBU Women’s Lacrosse Team 

 Shay Morgan

Assistant Sports Editor

COVID-19 has been around since the beginning of 2020, and many have started to adjust to the new way of living that has become the norm. 

Changes have been made since the beginning of the semester in terms of COVID protocol, which has been beneficial to the sports teams on campus. 

Contact sports are now able to practice in full contact, and masks are only limited to those moments of contact, not for entire practices. 

Women’s lacrosse has seen some relief with the loosening of restrictions around COVID. 

The women are now able to get back to their normal, full-contact practices and they can breathe a little easier without the constant requirement to wear a mask. 

Although lacrosse is an outdoor sport, the amount of contact that the women utilize each day in practice, and eventually in games makes COVID a daunting threat to these women. 

“COVID effects lacrosse specifically because we are a high risk for transmission sport. We are going to have to get tested 72 hours prior to every competition, which is good to give us all a peace of mind, but isn’t going to be very fun,” said senior nursing major and lacrosse goalie Olivia Ward. 

The reality of wearing masks for lacrosse players is that it has had implications on the players periphery, and breathing ability, with lacrosse being a high cardio sport. 

Lacrosse players wear eye protection gear such as goggles or helmets, as well as a mouthguard. 

“As an athlete we now have had to wear masks while lifting and running and during practice outside. It messes you up mentally but also makes it difficult to enjoy the sport I’ve always loved,” said Ward. 

The addition of a mask to all of the business on their faces initially is a hard adjustment. The mask also blocks the athlete’s downward periphery, similar to what many other athletes have experienced. 

Practices are now the best form of team bonding that athletes can get due to COVID, and even then, social distancing is enforced whenever possible.

“It stops those team events. No dinners. No movies. I feel like it has been a lot harder to bond with my team than in years past,” said Ward. 

Sports teams rely on forming a bond between teammates, and COVID has prevented that from happening. 

The pressure of school, sports and COVID do not have much to relieve them, like socializing or going out to do fun things. 

Even though COVID has become more normal to society every day, it still takes a mental toll on people, especially those under a large amount of stress, like student athletes. 

“I’ve had to learn to be more independent and how to deal with feeling alone,” said Ward. 

Through all of the madness and uncertainty of COVID, it is important to stay in touch with loved ones, and make sure that those you care about are doing well throughout this pandemic. 

“I just want everyone to continue to stay safe and healthy and remind them to reach out to someone if they are struggling. I know how rough it is, for athletes and non-athletes, but reaching out can really help,” said Ward. 

There are many resources on campus, such as the MFT Kemp Clinic, as well as trusted individuals, whether they be friends or superiors. 

“Don’t be afraid to talk to professors or coaches about how you really are because they can make a huge impact,” said Ward.

To keep up with the lacrosse team’s season and calendar, go to obubison.com to find their schedule, roster and statistics.


Ministering during a time of illness

Courtesy Photo / The Bison

 Collyn Dixon

Assistant Faith Editor

Covid-19 is the greatest obstacle for the church today. 

The CDC recommends distancing from one another to slow the spread of the virus. 

The obstacle occurs, because the church is called to gather and minister together to support those in need. 

The National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCRID), Division of Viral Diseases of the CDC sets recommended guidelines for communities of faith about gathering together and coming in contact with other persons. 

According to the NCIRD, “millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life… [but] gatherings present a risk for increasing spread of Covid-19 during this Public Health Emergency.” 

“[The] CDC offers these suggestions for faith communities to consider and accept, reject, or modify, consistent with their own faith traditions, in the course of preparing to reconvene for in-person gatherings while still working to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” 

The recommendations stem from keeping facilities clean, physical distancing and training church staff to keeping an eye on personal health, planning for when someone is sick, creating back-up plans for absentee staff members and posting signs to ensure proper practice. 

Some of these recommendations are: “clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces… allow time for cleaning and disinfecting… limit size of gatherings… promote [physical] distancing at [gatherings]… limit touching [of shared community objects]… staying home if sick… establish procedures when [a person has Covid-19]… implement flexible sick leave… and post signs… that promote… protective measures.” 

“This guidance is not intended to infringe on rights protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or any other federal law, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA),” according to the NCRID. 

As the CDC has set out its recommended guidelines, ministries such as ReachGlobal and the Director of ReachGlobal Crisis Response Mark Lewis, give a guideline for all ministries that are continuing during the pandemic. 

Lewis responds to many questions that are causing anxiety and worry within the church community and is making sure that ministry can still be properly done. 

“Everything has changed [and] everyone is affected,” Lewis said. “Online services – keep same rhythm [as if attending service], e.g., times, content.

Utilize technology to support ministries… Use online forums, group discussions, chat boards. 

Buddy system for church members to check on each other. Neighborhood prayer walks –ask how you can help.

Shopping ministry for more vulnerable / infected. 

Door knockers telling people to call if they need help. 

Emphasize online giving, request additional resources for benevolence and to meet church financial needs now.” 

Lewis’ model recommends an online format, but a format that can be easily molded to shape a church that is now doing in-person services. 

“We do not fear, we are children of the King,” Lewis said. 

“Ignore [comments such as]: event is overblown, Media is creating panic, waiting and seeing, this won’t last long comments, no impact on ministry [and] no impact on finances.” 

Lewis commented on how church should respond.

“[The church should] embrace [a somewhat new standard]: Nothing is certain, this is the new normal, adapt ministries, embrace [physical] distancing, new ministries to focus on trauma and counseling, prepare for the next wave [and] raise funds now,” Lewis said. 

The church, both local and universal, ought to respond to this crisis in a manner appropriate to the gospel of Christ.

Lewis recommends some ways the church can be God’s hands and feet while abiding in social distancing. 

Lewis recommends “prayer, reading the Bible, and devotionals for personal spiritual growth… praying for leaders, [being involved with] online community groups, purposefully meditating and prayer walking through neighborhoods.” 

Keeping in touch with communities, both inside and outside the church is essential. 

Making sure that everyone’s needs are met. 

“Love others – From your own home, check-in by phone with others who you know do not have a strong support system. If you aren’t aware of someone’s support system, reach out to them to find out how to best encourage them,” Lewis said. 

The ultimate goal of the church at this time is to adapt to the environment of the times and respond to whatever crisis is at hand, which includes Covid-19 and making sure that the gospel is still being used to reach out to those in need.


Regal Cinema closing; others may follow

Courtesy Photo/The Bison

 Matthew Gower

Assistant News Editor

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, movie theatres have struggled to stay afloat. 

Despite some states reopening their theatres weeks ago, attendance to movie theaters is still down compared to what it once was.

According to The Verge, “Regal Cinemas, the second largest theatre chain in the US with 536 theaters and 7,076 screens, will officially close all its doors in the United States for the second time during the global pandemic.”

The Verge continued, “In response to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Regal will be temporarily suspending operations at all of its Regal theaters in the U.S. as of Friday, Oct. 9.

 Regal Cinemas’ official statement on their website states, “Regal will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations at the appropriate time, when key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen.”

The chain has also announced 127 theaters will also be shut down in the United Kingdom leaving over 45,000 people without jobs or furloughed without a plan in place for reopening.

This news comes shortly after many studios such as Disney announced the delay of many films into 2021 like “Black Widow,” “Eternals” and “West Side Story.” The upcoming James Bond film “No Time to Die” has also been delayed until April 2021.

These film delays are not the direct cause of the closures throughout the US and the UK, but with attendance to theaters already down and many showing films that have been out for years (with the exception of films like “Tenet” and “The New Mutants” each film earning over $300 million and $31 million globally, respectively) many would-be audience members are not showing up to Regal theaters for one reason or another.

“We are like a grocery shop that doesn’t have vegetables, fruit, meat…We cannot operate for a long time without a product,” CEO of Cineworld [Regal Cinema’s parent company] Mooky Greidinger said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

However, the closures of Regal Cinemas theaters do not mark the end of movie theaters as AMC and Cinemark have announced that 80 percent of their theaters will remain open. Both AMC and Cinemark have stated that they can only hold out part of 2021 if a change is not made soon enough.

Each theatre chain’s financial records show that “AMC lost “$2.7 billion in the first six months of 2020, and Cinemark lost $230 million.”

Some of the revenue lost was a result of having to throw away millions of dollars of perishable food items and the cost of rent for their theaters.

When asked on CNBC for comment about when reopening may occur, Greidinger stated, “Might be a month, might be two months, until the…COVID-19 situation will be clearer. 

Maybe there will already be a vaccination, but at the end of the day we must have a clear lineup of movies before we reopen.”

The timeline for reopening Regal’s theaters remains unclear. 

For now, the biggest obstacles for the chain are the lack of an effective COVID-19 vaccine and movie studios continuing to delay the release of new films in theaters according to Cineworld’s CEO Mooky Greidinger.


October recognized as Breast Cancer awareness month

 Courtesy Photos/The Bison

 Zoe Charles

News Editor 

October is National Breast Cancer awareness month. As per its name, Breast Cancer is cancer affecting one or more areas within the breast.

According to Cancer.org, “most breast cancers begin in the ducts that carry milk to the nipple (ductal cancers), [however] [s]ome start in the glands that make breast milk (lobular cancers). [In addition to these], [t]here are also other types of breast cancer that are less common like phyllodes tumor and angiosarcoma. A small number of cancers start in other tissues in the breast. These cancers are called sarcomas and lymphomas and are not really thought of as breast cancers.”

Breast cancer is very common throughout the female population with NationalBreastCancer.org reporting that, “1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime [. . .] [making] Breast cancer the most common cancer in American women, aside from skin cancers. It is estimated that in 2020, approximately 30% of all new women cancer diagnoses will be breast cancer.”

According to NationalBreastCancer.org, “in 2020, an estimated 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. as well as 48,530 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.”

While these numbers are high, it is also important to note that according to NationalBreastCancer.org, “64% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at a localized stage (there is no sign that the cancer has spread outside of the breast), for which the five-year survival rate is 99%” and that “[t]here are over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.”

In addition to the statistics regarding the commonalities of breast cancer in women, it is also important to note that it affects many women on a psychological level seeing as that breasts are often associated with femininity and desirability.

According to Simmons.edu, “though people respond differently, patients who receive a cancer diagnosis often experience a number of common emotions, including various levels of stress, anxiety, and fear related to uncertainty about what the future holds and self-image.”

Simmons.edu also reported that, “The link between physical and psychological health, particularly as it pertains to breast cancer, is well documented.”

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “mortality rates were found to be nearly ‘26 times higher in patients with depressive symptoms and 39 times higher in patients who had been diagnosed with major depression.’ Additionally, a ‘decrease in depression symptoms’ was associated with longer survival in patients with metastatic breast cancer.’”

While Breast Cancer is often stigmatized as being a “woman’s issue” the truth remains that, while rare, men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer.

According to NationalBreastCancer.org, “in 2020, an estimated 2,620 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the U.S. and approximately 520 will die.”

This number is much lower than the estimated “42,170 women [that] will die from breast cancer in the U.S.” this year according to the same source.

According to NationalBreastCancer.org, “Male breast cancer can exhibit the same symptoms as breast cancer in women, including a lump. Anyone who notices anything unusual about their breasts, whether male or female, should contact their physician immediately.”

However, NationalBreastCancer.org also states that, “If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don’t panic — 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous.”

 When it comes to detecting breast cancer, especially among young adults, self-conducted breast exams are of the utmost importance.

According to NationalBreastCancer.org, “John Hopkins Medical Center states, ‘Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month [. . .] [f]orty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.’”

In addition to self-exams, mammograms are often used to detect signs of Breast Cancer. Mammograms can detect the cancer even without the presence of a lump.

According to Cancer.org, “Women who are at high risk for breast cancer based on certain factors should get a breast MRI and a mammogram every year, typically starting at age 30. Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year. Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.”

According to 13 WHAM, a local branch of ABC News, in light of Covid-19, “Breast cancer screenings are down 25 percent from a year ago.” The article continued that “[a]t first, women had no choice. Mammography facilities shut down at the start of the pandemic. But they’re open now, and doctors warn the risk of not going is far too great.”

Mammograms are often covered by health insurance, however many facilities offer free and/or discounted mammograms if needed.

For more information on how to conduct a self-exam visit https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam 


OU vs. Texas Red River Rivalry

 Courtesy Photo/ Tulsaworld

 Devin Miller

Sports Editor 

The Oklahoma Sooners (OU) took on the Texas Longhorns on Saturday, October 10, 2020.

Kickoff started at 11 a.m when OU won the coin toss and brought out their offense.

Redshirt Freshman Spencer Rattler Quarterback #7 started the first drive with a pass to Redshirt sophomore Drake Stoops Wide Receiver (WR)#12.

After a punt return, Texas starts their first drive with a first down, leading to a 2nd and 6 fumble by Junior Keaontay Ingram running back (RB) #26, picked up by Redshirt junior Isaiah Thomas Defensive Lineman (DL) #95, for the first turnover of the game.

With 12:27 left in the first quarter, Spencer receives the snap from Redshirt junior Creed Humphrey Offensive Lineman (OL) #56, junior T.J. Pledger Runningback (RB) #5 grabs the ball and runs up the left sideline on 1st and 10 gaining 20 yards.

This drive led to Redshirt sophomore Gabe Brkic Kicker (K) #47 putting OU on the scoreboard with a field goal making the score 3-0 OU with 9:34 left in the first quarter.

Texas calls for a touchback after a deep kick from Brkic. 

Senior Sam Ehlinger Quarterback (QB) #11 receives the snap looking for a pass to sophomore Joshua Moore Wide Receiver (WR) #6.

Senior Tre Brown Centerback (CB) #6 sweeps in front of Moore picking off the pass from Ehlingher for back to back turnovers.

3rd and 6 Ehlinger looks deep for Moore but the pass is broken up by both junior Delarrin Turner-Yell Safety (S) #32 and sophomore Jaden Davis Cornerback (CB) #4.

On 4th and 6 Freshman Marvin Mims Wide Receiver (WR) #17 is deep to receive the punt from Junior Ryan Bujcevski Punter (P) #8.

The ball bounces back up to the 40-yard line after a short punt for great field positioning for the Sooners.

With 8:20 left in the first quarter, Rattler and his offense sets up for a 1st and 10 handing the ball off to Redshirt Freshman Marcus Major Running Back (RB) #24, running the ball up to the left, giving Major a gain of 21 yards.

2nd and 11 Rattler receives the snap from Humphrey, scrambles and sees Mims down field, throwing across his body.

Mims wide open trotting in for the first touchdown of the Red River Rivalry.

During this scoring drive Mims managed to pick up 60 yards in 4 plays in only 1:33 with a 30 yard receiving touchdown.

After several attempts on getting there way down the field the pass from Ehlinger to Moore was broken up by Redshirt freshmen Woodi Washington Safety (S) #0, leading to 3rd and 10 for Texas. 

4th and 15 Bujcevski receives the snap and punts the ball down the field, Mims ready to receive the ball bouncing back inside the 5-yard line. 

3:38 left in the first quarter Sooners offense comes back out onto the field leading 10-0.

With 3:40 left in the second quarter, 3rd and 5 Redshirt sophomore Tanner Mordecai Quarterback (QB) #15, receives the snap and passes to Redshirt junior Charleston Rambo Wide Receiver (WR) #14 with an “unbelievable catch with the ball that never touches the ground.”

The Sooner and Longhorns are tied 17-17 with 1:14 left in the first half.

Texas has possession at 2nd and 2, Ehlinger receives the snap and goes nowhere under pressure getting sacked from Redshirt Senior Jon-Michael Terry Offense Linebacker (OLB) #40.

Starting the 2nd half, Brkic kicks off into the back of the end zone.

Ehlinger receives the snap for 2nd down and gets sacked for the fourth time during the game, by sophomore David Ugwoegbu Linebacker (LB) #2.

After getting blocked in the first half by Brown on the Sooners, Longhorns punter Bujcevski gets ready for the snap for 4th and 1.

With 9:15 left in the third quarter, the Sooners lead 24-17. 

5:06 left in the third quarter the Sooners convert from 3rd and 7 with a snap from Humphrey to Rattler, passing to Sophomore Theo Wease Wide Receiver (WR) #10 for the 1st and 10.

Rattler takes the direct snap from Humphrey, finding the open hole through his Offensive line running inside the 15-yard line for the first down.

1st and goal, Rattler takes the direct snap, handing the ball off to Pledger for another Sooners touchdown, making the score 31-17 after the extra point made by Brkic.

Early in the fourth quarter, Ehlinger rolls left out of the pocket looking for a receiver and has no luck, getting sacked once again by Sooners defense.

With 10:59 left in the fourth quarter, Rattler gets the snap handing the ball off to Pledger, finding the open hold up the middle breaking free through the Longhorns defense, gaining the 1st down.

Shortly after Rattler fakes out the Longhorns defense and takes the left side of the field gaining another first down for the Sooners offense.

 At the end of the course quarter, the Sooners and Longhorns are tied 31-31.

After going back and forth for four overtime periods.

The Oklahoma Sooners take the win back to Norman, Oklahoma with them 53-45.

This was a “A Red River Showdown for the ages.”


OBU’s theatre program to perform ‘Silent Sky’

 Courtesy Photo / the Bison

The production of Silent Sky begins Oct. 30th at the Dorland Theatre. Tickets must be bought in advance at okbu.edu/theatre.

 Caitlin Corley

Assistant Arts Editor 

At the end of this month, students from OBU’s theatre program will be performing a show known as ‘Silent Sky.’ 

These actors and actresses have put much time and effort into making this play happen. A few of them shared their thoughts and experiences about their time preparing for the show.

Emma Greathouse, a junior accounting major and theatre minor, gave a summary about the play and of her character. 

 “‘Silent Sky’ is about an astronomer named Henrietta Leavitt who left her home in Wisconsin to study the stars at Harvard Astronomy during the turn of the 20th century,” she said. 

“She made a discovery there that influenced other astronomers such as Hertzsprung and Hubble. Their work would not have been possible if not for her, and yet, she was not given any credit for it because she was a woman. She even had to publish her work under her supervisor’s name to ensure its publication.”

Greathouse, who plays Leavitt, said her character is both smart and curious. She said Leavitt is dominated by her wonder of what is in the sky and the distance she is from the heavens. But she is not allowed near the telescope or any other instruments. 

“She still strives to explore more and more. And the more she realizes and discovers, the more she realizes how much there is to discover,” Greathouse said. 

“Eventually, she has to resign herself to understanding that there is way too much in space for one person to discover during their lifetime. It is a struggle for her to define her worth and her work’s worth when she is so demoted and discouraged by supervisors who won’t even let her touch the telescope.”

Kennedy Largent, a sophomore double major in English and secondary education, also gave a summary of her own character. 

“I have the privilege of playing Williamina Fleming, one of Henrietta’s coworkers,” Largent said. 

“She’s a spunky Scottish woman in her fifties and, quite honestly, my favorite character I have ever played. She was also the first female curator at Harvard University. I’m really inspired by her legacy.”

Largent also spoke of the people working on the set. 

Courtesy Photo / The Bison

 “I love the cast. I had the joy of meeting and working with them last year. They are all so talented, encouraging and fun to work with,” she said.

Greathouse said the cast and crew for this show have been amazing. It is only a five person cast so it is more intimate than other shows. 

“We are becoming more and more of a close-knit family, and I believe that will only make our performance stronger,” Greathouse said. 

Largent talked about how much they rehearsed and what would happen during these rehearsals. 

“We rehearse 6-9 Sunday through Thursday. Our wonderful director, Dr. Dutt, has divided the rehearsals for different scene sections,” she said. 

“We began with memorization and general blocking for the whole play and are now going back through to smooth out transitions and character choices. Personally, my favorite parts are the slap-happy moments where we just start laughing uncontrollably over a silly mistake.”

Greathouse also talked about some things she wanted people to know about the play. 

“This show does have some serious themes-the role of women in the professional world, the struggle of love and disappointment,” she said. 

“But this show is so fun and witty. Our director, Hephzibah Dutt, described it as ‘harmony in the midst of agony,’ which has been a wonderful concept to play with as we decide how to tell the story.”

Greathouse showed a lot of enthusiasm for people to come see the play. 

“I am so excited to hear people’s reaction to the show and to hear how it hopefully inspires them to look at God’s wonderful creation around them and letting His creation display His character,” she said. 

“My concerns are for health primarily. We have been taking COVID precautions through the entire rehearsal process, but as we get closer to the show we would appreciate the prayers for the health and safety for our entire cast and crew.”


Caffeine addiction recovery month for OBU students and faculty

 Peyton King

Features Editor

Junior journalism and mass communications major Lily Huff once said, “If you’re in college and don’t have a caffeine dependency, are you even in college?”

This brought up a genuine curiosity, especially in light of the month of October. 

How many people at OBU would say they have a caffeine dependency?

Caffeine can not only cause negative effects within itself, but lack thereof can also negatively affect the consumer.

 According to the Mayo Clinic, reasons to cut back on caffeine intake may be insomnia, restlessness, irritability, rapid heartbeat, stomach issues and anxiety.

On top of these symptoms of caffeine addiction, symptoms of withdrawal are also a sign of addictions.

So for individuals who have ever experienced a headache that can only be remedied by a cup of joe, a lack of concentration that can only be focused by an energy drink or a chronic drowsiness that can only be energized with a couple full cups of mountain dew, October may be a month of realization – and maybe even rehabilitation.

 October is Caffeine Addiction Recovery Month.

So if there are any OBU students who’ve been concerned about their daily caffeine intake, now is the time to make a change. 

According to a study conducted by pubmed.com, caffeine of any form was consumed by 92 percent of college students in the year 2019.

 While coffee was the main source of caffeine intake in male and female consumers, energy drinks, sodas and tea were also reported amongst the forms of daily consumption.

The study also recorded the multiple reasons students provided for caffeine use. 

These reasons include, “to feel awake (79%); enjoy the taste (68%); the social aspects of consumption (39%); improve concentration (31%); increase physical energy (27%); improve mood (18%); and alleviate stress (9%).”

These numbers reflect those of the responses gathered from OBU students and faculty by a report conducted by The Bison student newspaper.

[Insert year and Major] Megan Presley shared her daily caffeine habits after answering, yes, she has a caffeine dependency.

“I drink pop or soda. So like Diet Coke or Coke, normally,” Presley said.

On average, Presley said she consumes three or four cans of soda on a daily basis.

But soda isn’t the only form of caffeine OBU students are consuming. 

Seeing as there is a Starbucks on Bison Hill, coffee is a common choice amongst caffeine enjoying college students.

 [Insert year and Major] Caleb Finch is one of such students.

Finch claimed his order depends on how much money he wants to spend, but his go-to Starbucks drink is four shots of espresso with half and half and vanilla. 

Finch described his caffeine intake in terms of shots of espresso.

“Probably two, three shots a day,” Finch said.

According to Finch, he picked up his caffeine habit first semester of 2019 due to a “bad sleep schedule.”

A member of OBU faculty that claims a caffeine dependency is Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Debate Scot Loyd.

With Coke Zero being his caffeine of choice, Loyd claims to intake at least two cans of this soda a day. 

Loyd said this presents many problems for him because of recent news surrounding Coke Zero production.

“Coke Zero, as I understand, is not being manufactured anymore,” Loyd said. 

“Now this contributes to my stress greatly as an American. I think as Americans we have a right to Coke Zero. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Loyd explained how a lack of Coke Zero consumption affects his physical and mental state.

“I experience an existential crisis followed by kicking and screaming and me ending up in a fetal position on the floor,” Loyd said.

But all jokes aside, caffeine dependence can cause serious signs of withdrawal within caffeine consumers.

According to an article written by psychologist, professor and Director of the Centre for Health Leadership and Research at Royal Roads University, Canada, Elizabeth Hartney for 

verywellmind.com, caffeine withdrawal can affect not only the physical  physical state of the individual, but the mental state as well.

“As with all addictions, the pattern of intoxication and withdrawal can mask emotional difficulties that are avoided by seeking out the pleasurable effects of caffeine. Lack of energy, lack of motivation, and depression may underlie caffeine addiction,” Hartney writes.

“It can also overlap with work addiction, as some people use the stimulating effects of caffeine both to increase energy for and interest in the mental and physical activities associated with their jobs. Similarly, caffeine addiction can mask the avoidance of more fulfilling activities and relationships.”

So if any OBU students or faculty feel that they might have a caffeine dependency, it might be a good idea to try and wean off of caffeine intake throughout the month of October.

Instead of drinking a soda or cup of coffee, try adding morning and afternoon walks to your day, replacing your caffeinated beverage with sparkling water, herbal teas or lemon water or even try to add five-minute desk stretches to your daily routine.

Though it might be difficult at first and could cause a few headaches, individuals may find that dropping a caffeine dependency betters their day-to-day functionality by cutting out the time it takes to prepare a caffeinated drink, decreasing the amount of money spent on caffeine and even just making them feel healthier.

Who knows? Maybe October could be the start of a new, caffeine-free lifestyle.


Ring, Amazon takes flight with new drone

Courtesy Photo/the Bison

 Amazon releases a new home security drone.

 Ashlee Ginn

Assistant News Editor

On Thursday, Sept. 24, the online shopping giant Amazon made an announcement for a new indoor- only security camera drone set to be released next year.

In cooperation with Ring, originally a doorbell security camera company that is now a subsidiary of Amazon, both of these companies are working together to create a self- travelling drone called the “Always Home Cam” that has a camera built into the base of the drone.

The blades that allow it to fly are encased in a plastic cage to help avoid injuries, as well as aid the sleek design.

 Users do not control the drone, as it is made to follow premade paths set by the user to fly to specific spots around the inside of the home, as well as to only record when dispatched from its dock, which doubles as a charger.

According to Ring president Leila Rouhi in an interview with Megan Wollerton from CNET, “the path is entirely determined by the customer … you actually walk the device around your home and … train it on that path and can set different waypoints for the camera to fly to.”

Rouhi explained why Ring created the drone in an interview with CNN Business, “We know when something happens our customers want to be able to see exactly what’s going on, but it’s not always feasible to have whole-home coverage,” she said.

Some are concerned with how secure their information is with the drone due to a scandal that included Ring sharing users doorbell footage with law enforcement earlier this year.

Since this product will not only be in the homes of users, but also flying without any controller, privacy is an extremely important issue.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation did some research about the information leak, and reported that it was, “packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable information (PII). Four main analytics and marketing companies were discovered to be receiving information such as the names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent identifiers, and sensor data on the devices of paying customers.”

Ring announced that this will not be the case with the new product, as the company is adding new features to the Ring app that allow more security for users and blocking most data from being shared with third- party groups. 

They will also be adding a new privacy settings Control Center, and requiring a two- factor authentication when you sign into the app Amazon devices SVP Dave Limp told Dieter Bohn from The Verge in an interview after the product was announced, “I’d be more worried about the camera on your phone than I would be about a drone.”

The product was also made to be noisy so users will know when it is in use, as well as recording.

An Amazon spokesperson referred to this in an interview with CNET as, “Privacy you can hear.”

Some are curious about where the video footage goes, and if they can access it other than the live feed when the drone is activated.

Users can access the recordings by paying for a subscription for one device, priced at $3 per month or a subscription for all their devices priced at $10 per month.

The amount of battery life the drone has is also something of concern.

The drone can fly for up to five minutes, then must return to its charger where it will take at least an hour to be fully recharged.

Rouhi said that the short runtime was intended so that way it is more of a “purpose- driven security camera,” according to CNET.


Pandemic inspires broadcaster to create “Todd Talks”

 Payne Moses

Assistant Sports Editor 

Todd Miller, a play-by-play radio broadcaster for Oklahoma Baptist University since 2015, has lived amidst his passion: sports.

A native of Blackwell, Oklahoma, Miller attended Blackwell High School and currently resides in Oklahoma City. 

Beginning radio broadcasting at the end of his high school tenure, Miller has 30 years of experience in play-by-play announcing and freelance work.

Miller highlighted the fact that he began his career in his junior year at Blackwell High School.

“I’ve been really lucky,” Miller said. 

“I started at my hometown radio station in Blackwell, Oklahoma in high school, and they gave me a lot of opportunities not a lot of young, inexperienced people get. I started doing color work for their high school football broadcast. I did some play-by-play, and to be honest with you, it was woeful. But that’s kind of how I got my start.”

After high school, Miller went to Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa and then transferred to Northwestern Oklahoma State for his remaining two years. 

He graduated in 1992 from Northwestern Oklahoma State with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications.

While at NWOSU, Miller described the job position he earned and how it turned into a long career in Alva, Oklahoma.

“I was a sports director at KALV which is a radio station in Alva,” Miller said. 

“I did out of high school; I did Northwestern play-by-play. I did the high school and college 20 years combined, and then I did another year with the Rangers, and that’s when my wife and I moved to Oklahoma City.”

When the year 2015 rolled around, Miller found his place at OBU as a radio broadcaster for basketball, baseball, softball and then the following year was asked to cover football.

“I was brought to OBU in part because of the former sports information director Ray Fink,” Miller said. 

“He and I had a long working relationship when I was, at the time, at a fellow conference school when both were in the NAIA, Northwestern Oklahoma State University. So, through Ray I made some connections.”

Miller then discussed how important OBU’s addition of football was for the greater community.

“I thoroughly enjoy doing OBU football,” Miller said. 

“I think it’s something of a gathering point for the campus and the community. I think it was a great decision by Oklahoma Baptist to reinstate football. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the football program and I’m hoping, sooner rather than later, we’ll get to get back together and enjoy some Bison gridiron.”

In the past, Miller was in charge of conducting one-on-one interviews with coaches and some players at OBU, but with the COVID-19 pandemic another strategy had to be used. 

Staying in contact with assistant athletic director James Hill, Miller was asked to keep the OBU community in the know by an alternative medium: “Todd Talks.”

“During this pandemic, you have to keep things fresh, you have to keep your out there,” Miller said. 

“I think this [“Todd Talks”] was one way they felt they [OBU athletics] could do that. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it because I’ve interviewed all of the coaches, many of which I have never interviewed before. I found it delightful to get to know people I don’t work with on a seasonal basis. They all have great stories.”

“Todd Talks” only began back in May 2020, but Miller speaks to how the Zoom-driven program has grown significantly in a short period of time.

“It started out as this little thing, I think, to promote programs, to keep programs in the limelight,” Miller said. 

“I think it’s something that has grown now to where you can reconnect with a lot of people. I hope that [“Todd Talks”] has enabled the fanbase at OBU to engage with other sports that maybe they don’t necessarily think a lot about.”

Other than being involved in “Todd Talks” the past few months, Miller also gave an update on how he has tried to stay working at a time where many in the United States have lost their jobs.

“I’m doing some freelance work for an online streaming app called Skordle,” Miller said. 

“I’ve done a couple of games for them. I did the All-State game for Skordle that was hosted at OBU. They’ve been very, very kind to throw some work my way because man, it’s tough for people in our industry. If sports is what you do for a living, there’s no sports for you to go out and call,” he said.

“So, I’ve been fortunate with some friends of mine through Skordle. It’s not like working full-time for OBU and going from one sport to the next, but I’ve enjoyed getting back into the high school game, which I haven’t covered in quite some time.”

Though Miller has never had to remotely broadcast a sports game, he recognizes the switch to remote sports broadcasting as an inevitable trend.

“The way I call a game, I feed off the emotion of what’s going on right in front of me,” Miller said. 

“To me [sports broadcasting] is a little bit de-sanitized when you’re sitting there looking one-on-one at a picture and trying to call a game. So, it’s going to be difficult. I hope it’s not going to be a trend that continues, but I’m afraid that maybe someday it will be at higher levels of broadcasting.”

Miller, having spoken to a great level of appreciation for the opportunities provided to him in radio broadcasting at such a young age, contributes the best advice he can give someone who is pursuing a career in broadcast.

“If you’re getting into business, learn as many different things as you possibly can to make yourself as attractive to an employer as possible,” Miller said. 

“You may not like a certain sport, but you need to learn how to cover it. You need to be as diversified as you can. The other is you just not going to make everybody happy, you can’t please everybody.”

Racking up some 34 years of radio broadcasting and freelance, Miller shared some of his greatest memories. He recounted calling play-by-play in Northwestern Oklahoma State’s men’s basketball first round win against Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the 1992 national championship. 

 It had been their first championship berth since 1947. In his OBU career, the stand-out broadcasts came from just this previous spring semester.

“I think the run last year, to be honest with you, with our men’s basketball team was really, really special,” Miller said. 

“I thought all along that team had a chance to be really good, but you never know because the league is so good. And then to put the run together that we had put together in Bartlesville, where we probably shot our best two field goal percentage games back-to-back to get to the finals,” he said.

 “That was special to be there [GAC conference final] for the first time.”

Besides the fact that “Todd Talks” have grown in popularity and have covered coaches and topics such as recruiting, Miller suggests a near future possibility.

“Now that student-athletes are back on campus, maybe at some point we need to start talking to student-athletes,” Miller said. 

 Besides the fact that “Todd Talks” have grown in popularity and have covered coaches and topics such as recruiting, Miller suggests a near future possibility.

“Now that student-athletes are back on campus, maybe at some point we need to start talking to student-athletes,” Miller said. 

“You could probably try to get ahold of some past OBU greats and start some type of series like that. There’s just a lot of different things from what the initial intent was of this series.”


Students serve at Mission Shawnee

 Collyn Dixon

Assistant Faith Editor

Ministering to children who have never had a chance to hear the gospel through the act of being a role model is the mission behind Mission Shawnee.

Mission Shawnee Director Ryan Brooks and Student President of Mentors Club Sarah Dean describe what the Mentors Club is and its place in the purpose of Mission Shawnee.

 “Mentors Club is a way to get people on campus aware of what Mission Shawnee does through their mentor program. 

Mentors Club is a way to create community on campus and to people aware of being a mentor,” Dean said.

“Mission Shawnee is a nonprofit,” Brooks said. 

‘Our primary focus is to provide mentor relationships to kids in the community,” and, “Our After-School program, Summit, involves elementary and middle school kids on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon where volunteers can be a mentor to a kid.”

“That kid will be paired with that mentor on a weekly basis to help them grow developmentally,” he said.

Brooks said there are three different areas they want to see the children develop in. 

“First is their education, to be able to help them reach goals that they need to. To either reach their grade level or go above,” he said.

“Second, we focus on social/emotional growth. To know how to handle certain situations properly and knowing how to have the appropriate reactions in situations. 

Gaining those life skills that are really important.” 

“Finally, be able to have spiritual growth. So, we to help them see the gospel and see who Jesus is and introduce them to the Bible, if they are not familiar with the gospel or don’t attend church. A lot of the kids going through our programs are hearing a lot about stories within the Bible for the first time.” 

Brooks said it’s a great experience to be given the opportunity to share the gospel and have conversations with a mentee about Jesus. 

Mentor and mentee pairings are even provided different videos to watch so they can choose what they want to learn together. 

Dean describes her experience with her mentee through the Mentors Club, describing it as a gateway to attend Mission Shawnee.

Dean said being a part of Mentors Club is a gateway to attend Mission Shawnee and that they prefer to have events together as a club. 

“Our future plan is to build more community on campus. To… have meetings and little gatherings,” she said.

“Bowling, carpooling and prayer… little things like that to let us get to know each other as mentors because when we are at Mission Shawnee… the group of mentors get to see each other but not hangout. We are supposed to [focus on being] with our mentees.”

“It’s important to have those times to get to know each other outside of that context of Mission Shawnee. 

But also, to have meetings to let people know what is happening and to get more people involved,” she said.

Dean said they are always looking for more people to join, because they more mentors the group has the more children that can join Mission Shawnee. 

“This club is meant for anyone who is interested,” Brooks said. 

“It’s not just for OBU, but it is also for the community at large.”

Brooks wants Mission Shawnee to be a place where meaningful mentor relationships with kids in Shawnee can blossom.

“Our mission statement is to educate and equip individuals through mentoring relationships rooted in the love of Christ,” he said. 

Dean shares some obstacles and blessings that come with being a mentor at Mission Shawnee.

“Time commitment can be difficult. It is just two hours a week… but that can sometimes be hard… Sometimes I feel two hours out of my day would get in the way of doing my homework or prevent me from studying for a test,” she said. 

“But every time I get there… it’s just a blessing to get there and spend time with my mentee… Just being there for your kid… that can be huge for them.” 


OBU Improv performs first show of the semester

Courtesy Photo / Festival of Fools
Pictured here: Festival of Fools, OBU’s Improv troupe. The group performed their first show of the semester last Thursday in Raley Chapel.

 Morgan Jackson

Arts Editor

 Thursday, Sept. 24, Festival of Fools, Oklahoma Baptist University’s improv group, performed their first show in Potter Auditorium at Raley Chapel. The show was a “retro revamp,” with all of the troupe members dressed in 80’s clothing for the show. 

Festival of Fools is made up of Kaeley Mastin, Bayleigh Platter, Garrett Wheeler, Ethan Wood, Anna Smolen, Larashleigh Wallace, Gabriel Barnes, Justin Glover, Anna Caughlin, Zack Coak and Jacob Brown. Thursday’s show was hosted by the troupe’s co-captains. 

“Festival of Fools is the name of the improv troupe on campus. We were founded in 2016 and have been performing ever since,” Brown said. “Many members have come and gone over the years, and the troup keeps evolving with the times! This year we have some special surprises lined up that our Co-Captains, Ethan Wood and Kaeley Mastin, are really excited to show off.” 

The group performs both short form and long form improv, eagerly entertaining the crowd in attendance for the troupe’s first performance for an audience this year. 

“The Festival of Fools is a teaching improv troupe,” Mastin said. “We are always working at improving our improv skills so that we can better spread laughter and joy! In weekly practices, we strive to be the best improvers we can be.” 

There was a large crowd in attendance in Potter Auditorium on Thursday night. Mastin was excited to share the stage with the group and bring some laughs to the OBU community. 

“We want the show to be a place where students can come with their friends and have a good time,” she said. “Everything is so crazy right now in the world, and we want to spread some joy on campus.” 

It was evident that those at the show enjoyed their time at the show, with the crowd laughing loudly at the scenes and characters. The troupe initially planned on hosting the show outside a week prior but was able to schedule this performance with help from administration, making it an SGA sanctioned event. 

“As far as planning, we have faced some challenges so far with finding spaces and days that will work with everything going on,” Mastin said. “However, we have been blessed with help from awesome OBU employees like Melissa Stroud and were so jazzed to perform this week!” 

Thursday’s show featured some group games that had the crowd laughing. Mastin and Wood took scene suggestions from the audience, who seemed very excited to be a part of it all, constantly shouting out hilarious suggestions when prompted. 

Every group on campus has faced some additional struggles in the wake of the coronavirus, but Festival of Fools is taking precautions to keep each other safe. 

“This semester has had some extra challenges, as we have had to look to other venues for performances and take security precautions in order to make sure everyone is as safe as they can be,” Brown said. “We all wear our masks during our rehearsals, which has made us focus a lot more on our projection and enunciation, since the masks get in the way. This has forced some of us, myself included, to focus more distinctly on certain aspects of performing than we may have done before, which has made us grow as actors.” 

Festival of Fools have rehearsals that are open to OBU students who are interested in learning more about improv, or even those who just want to watch. 

“I love that we have people of all majors and interests. As a troupe, we always want to make people feel welcome, whatever that may look like,” Mastin said. 

The group is a close-knit group of performers who are creating a welcoming environment for those who want to try something new. 

My favorite thing about the troupe is the way that we are able to work together to create really fun worlds and scenarios, some of which we remember for a long time,” Brown said. “The way we bounce off of each other makes us stretch ourselves and our creative muscles than we would if we took all the responsibility as individuals. We’re able to make much better stuff together!” 

The first show of the year was an overwhelming success. 

“The show Thursday was one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve had,” Wood said. “This year is my first as Co-Captain of the troupe, and that’s a pretty nerve-inducing title for me. I was so worried if I was teaching well and properly preparing the troupe, especially since we’d lost half a semester of meetings due to the pandemic.” 

The group fed off the positive energy of the crowd, enjoying their time on the Potter stage. 

“During and after the show, however, I was so genuinely delighted with how everyone performed,” Wood said. “The energy of the crowd, combined with performing on Potter’s stage and first-show jitters, I think really boosted everyone up. I’m very proud of the troupe, and I’m super stoked for the next show.”


How to vote as a college student

 Evan Kennemer

Features Assistant

As the November elections draw near, many college students are thinking about where and how to vote. 

Many people, especially college students neglect voting or even registering to vote, because they just don’t know how to go about it.

According to census.gov, 18 to 29 year olds have the lowest percentage of voters turning up to the polls with only approximately 45 percent of registered voters voting in the 2016 presidential election.

Each older age group (30-44, 45-64 and 65+) had around 60 to 70 percent of their registered voters vote in the 2016 presidential elections. 

While 18 to 29 year olds had the lowest percentage of active voters in the last presidential election, they are the only age group that has shown an increase in percentage of voters since 2012, while the others have steadily decreased.

According to nationalgeographic.org, the 2000 Bush v. Gore election was decided by a tight popular vote. 

After having the votes in Florida recounted, Bush won by .009 percent (537 votes) of the votes cast. 

The outcome of the Bush v. Gore election shows how every vote is important to an election’s final decision.

In today’s age, registering to vote and gathering more information about elections has never been easier. 

Voter registration paperwork is sent to each American citizen upon turning 18. 

Many people don’t fill out this paperwork upon receiving it, neglecting to register until a major election is right around the corner, such as the presidential election on Nov. 3.

To those who have yet to register in their state of permanent residence, don’t worry because there is still time to register. 

To register online, go to the state’s voter registration page.

For example, ok.gov is the website for Oklahoma residents and votetexas.gov is the website for Texas residents. 

Some states offer the option of completing the entire registration process online. Oklahoma is not one of those states.

For the states that do not provide the entire process online, citizens must follow the prompts on the website in order to fill out the form, print it off and mail it to the listed address.

While the state may not provide online registration, third-party sites such as turbovote.org provide guidance to voting in this way. 

The deadline to have registration paperwork mailed off or submitted in person is rapidly approaching with the deadline being October 5 in Texas and October 9 in Oklahoma.

After registering to vote, it’s helpful to know when and how to vote. Many college students don’t vote because they go to school outside of their home state or they are several hours from their hometown and assume they can’t make it to their polling precinct and back to school in time for class. 

But, that just isn’t the case.

College students are able to request absentee ballots through their state of permanent residence in a process similar to registering online. 

They can go online and find the state’s election board site for information how to qualify to be able to apply for an absentee ballot online or via mail-in.

Some states do not offer online registration and won’t have the absentee ballot available to fulfill completely online either, therefore one must fill it out, print it off and mail it back to the election board in order for them to process it and grant the voter an absentee ballot.

For those that live close enough to their polling location, which can be found on your voting registration card, show up to vote on Nov. 3


Food pantry provides food security to university students

 Kenny Day

Public Relations

Food security is a major issue on college campuses around the country. 

While it may come as a surprise to some, this is no different on Bison Hill. 

Many students hit times during the week and during the semester where they may need a little help with extra food to get through a weekend or bridge gaps between meals on their meal plan. 

That’s where the “Good Things Food Pantry” comes in. 

The Good Things Food Pantry provides OBU students with needed food items in order to promote success inside and outside the classroom. 

The food pantry is located on the second floor of the Geiger Center behind the information desk and is open to all OBU students. 

The Good Things Food Pantry opened in February 2020. 

It was launched by Cynthia Gates, director of events, conferences and camps at OBU. 

The idea for the food pantry began when she learned of a student who was working as summer staff on campus and who had not eaten for three days, prompting her and others to provide some aid. 

However, the help they could provide was limited due to NCAA regulations. So, she began researching food pantries for colleges and found a national organization of pantries at college campuses. 

During her research, Gates contacted Mary Hardin Baylor University, which had recently opened a food pantry, to ask questions and inquire about best practices in running a campus food pantry. 

Student usage and response to OBU’s Good Things Food Pantry has been extremely positive from the very beginning. 

In the few weeks leading up to spring break 2020, the food pantry served 146 students. 

These students came from all backgrounds and majors, including international students, MKs (missionary kids), first generation college students and athletes. 

The food pantry is open to all OBU students and is run on a simple points system. Every food item in the pantry is assigned one point. 

Students are allowed ten points per week and can get food from the pantry once a week. 

“Nationwide, food insecurities on college campuses touch about 40 percent of students,” Gates said. 

“OBU conducted a survey last fall and found out that 32 percent of our students had experienced some type of food insecurities. That’s a significant number, and if we can help students not worry about food, they can be more successful in the classroom and other areas of their lives.” 

This year, the food pantry’s mission is being aided by volunteers, spearheaded by Enactus, a team of OBU students who aspire to serve local and global ministries by promoting entrepreneurial action and sustainability. Prospective volunteers may help with tasks like taking inventory and packing student boxes. 

When asked about modifications made to the pantry due to COVID, Gates said, “The biggest difference now is how we distribute the food. Before the pandemic, students were able to choose items like a grocery store. Now, we have an online order form and volunteers fill the orders, much like if you ordered groceries online at Walmart.” 

Another difficulty posed by the pandemic is food supply. 

“Before quarantine, The Community Market used OBU as a satellite and provided food for the pantry,” Gates said. “Since the pandemic began, however, they have been hit hard.” 

As a result, Gates launched a fundraising effort through the the OBU development office, sending out several thousand letters to alumni asking for donations to support the food pantry. 

A restricted fund is set up for donations for food purchases, creating a source of revenue that can support the pantry in the future. 

Good Things also accepts food donations. 

Items that are most needed include shelf-stable products, such as canned meat, pasta and canned vegetables. 

Gates added that some of the most in-demand items from students include Ramen noodles, soups, canned tuna or chicken, Hamburger helper-type meals, pasta, spaghetti sauce, ravioli, cereal, juice, peanut butter and jelly. 

A food drive is being held Sept. 28-Oct. 2, featuring a campuswide competition among academic colleges. Students and employees are encouraged to bring the following items during the drive, divided per college: 

Business: Breakfast items, such as granola bars, breakfast bars, Pop-Tarts, cereal and instant oatmeal 

Fine Arts and Undecided Majors: Pasta and sauces 

Humanities and Social Sciences: Peanut butter, jelly, crackers and canned fruits 

Nursing: Canned veggies, dried rice and dried beans 

Science and Mathematics: Boxed dinners and canned meats 

Theology and Ministry: Grab and go style snacks (nuts, fruit snacks, crackers, cookies) 

Food donations may be brought to GC 209 or dropped off at collection bins in the lobby of Bailey Business Center. Financial donations may be made at okbu.edu/give. 


A day in the life of a student athlete during a pandemic

Courtesy Photo/ Bison Athletics 
Trajan Lands Journalism Mass Communications Media Major/ OBU Football (Safety) 

 Shay Morgan 

Assistant Sports Editor 

The life of a collegiate student athlete can be long, busy, strenuous and tiring. 

Many go from practice, to classes, to practice again each and every day. 

This is all while managing sleep, a healthy diet and a social life. 

COVID-19 has had a major impact on the world, and the daily lives of most have been drastically changed. 

Student athletes have taken a unique and challenging hit due to COVID, altering their normal to a new routine that accommodates masks and social distancing. 

Each sport has experienced a different impact due to the pandemic. 

Junior Journalism Mass Communications Media major and OBU Football Safety, Trajan Lands, gives an in depth look at the changes made in a football players life due to COVID. 

On a normal day before COVID, football player’s days consisted of morning workouts, classes, team meetings or film, and practice in the afternoon. 

While this is still the routine for the men, COVID has impacted how these events are carried out. 

“During COVID, we are more careful and with masks and social distancing, practices are more mental. Focusing can be much harder,” said Lands. 

Football, being a contact sport, has had to limit their physical contact in practice. 

“It takes away the physicality that comes with the game, such as tackling and hitting. Being in a huddle trying to learn or hear the play is made much harder being spaced out, and with something covering our mouths,” Lands said. 

The technicalities of the sport of football have to be changed to accommodate the virus. 

While many sports simply wear masks during practice, football is allowed to wear face shields that go on their helmets instead of a mask. 

This is unique in comparison to other sports without headgear, allowing for a slightly easier time breathing during cardio. 

Once the helmets are off however, the players must put on a face mask. 

Lands pointed out that COVID has had impacts on the lives of student athletes away from the field as well. 

Many sports teams bond through spending time together outside of practices, and with COVID, team bonding has been very difficult. 

“COVID took away our fall camp where we have time to bond as a team, and there is less hanging with my friends watching film together. 

“We just have to be more careful instead of being together,” stated Lands. 

Although there are many downsides to the effects of COVID, Lands was able to find an upside in all of the confusion that the virus has brought. 

“I think one upside to COVID for me is that I have gotten to really dig deep in my faith, learning the word and really get an understanding for it throughout the pandemic,” said Lands. 

COVID has affected each sport differently, not only because of the way that the sport is played but also because of the types of gear that different sports require. 

While COVID has had an impact on every person on campus, the athletes are affected in a unique way. Along with the daily stress of classes and athletics, COVID has added an additional hassle for those in athletics. 

Check out The Bison next week for an inside look at how COVID affects both men’s and women’s soccer. 


Column: Students responding to disasters

 Audrey Branham

Assistant Faith Editor

2020 and peace don’t quite go together, and in this way, this is not a unique time. 

It is very seldom that the world has truly had peace at any one time. 

This life and world will always have people in crises, but what greater opportunity is there than to extend the loving hand of Christ to people in need? 

Several painful and hard situations are occurring right now, and within them all are real people crying out for support and help. 

Hurricane Laura has devastated the South-West and Northern parts of Louisiana. 

Wildfires rage all over the West, throughout California as well as in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. 

Throughout the country and across the globe, the Coronavirus pandemic continues to overwhelm hospitals and affect livelihoods. 

There are two natural responses when seeing others in crisis: either run away from the crisis or run toward the people that are being affected.

Let me encourage you as a student, a citizen and a Christian to run toward people in crises.

“How can I help?” 

The first step is to familiarize yourself with what is going on. 

Stay updated from news sources such as the BBC, The Washington Post, or USA Today and if possible local newspapers and newscasts. 

Education on any kind of crisis is crucial to making a positive difference, be it a natural disaster, a cultural event or a need in your community.

Uneducated voices without ears do not solve problems or make differences, but people who care for others and take time to educate themselves do. 

Secondly, make yourself available to relief efforts and support systems. Monetary support is always appreciated and can make a big difference to people who have lost their homes or have been injured. 

Supporting a legitimate and effective relief effort can be challenging, because it’s sometimes hard to know which ones are real. 

Search engines such as “Charity Navigator” and “GuideStar” are sources which show effectiveness and efficiency ratings for charities of any kind of outreach. 

While monetary support is valuable, physical charity work, which is any form of outreach that helps people physically, emotionally and/or spiritually, has the most impact on communities and individuals. 

When a community is in need, physically talk with fellow citizens and help them with their goals. 

Simply offering a friendly ear to hurt people can start them on their way to healing. 

Lastly, praying for change and for salvation for your community is not speaking words into air, and it is not a waste of time. 

If one is loved by the Lord of the Universe and has him on speed-dial, then asking his involvement in healing communities is the most efficient way to make a positive impact. 

It is important as America citizens, and especially as Christians, to foster a mindset and habit of outreach and charity. 

While the pandemic and distance might restrict you from serving people of hurting communities in Louisiana or California, those are not the only places in need of outreach. 

Every community needs outreach, because communities are made up of people, and people need help, support and love. 

Look into the needs of your community and make it a point to leave a lasting impact. 

Look into supporting relief efforts for Hurricane Laura, the California Wildfires, and the pandemic. 

I would encourage you to educate yourself on dire situations going on throughout your community, country, and world and to allow yourself the honor of changing others’ lives through offering support and outreach.


CAB presents: Freshman Follies

Courtesy Photo / OBU
In order to maintain social distancing, Freshman Follies, presented by the Campus Activities Board, was held outside Raley Chapel. 

 Morgan Jackson 

Arts Editor 

The stage was set on the steps of Raley Chapel for one of Bison Hill’s favorite events. Campus Activities Board showcased the talents of the newest members of the OBU family on Sat. September 19. 

Students and members of the OBU community were gathered around the Raley Chapel lawn on blankets and in lawn chairs to enjoy the show. Freshman Follies was the first CAB show of the semester. The weather was cool and just right for a night of on-campus entertainment. 

The theme of the show this year was “Follieing Through the Decades” and highlighted music and entertainment from different eras. The stage band opening the show with a song. 

 The stage band included Tyler Smothers, Katie Logan, Lauren Jones, Chester Brown, Brock Currie, Caleb Dyer, Isaac Briggs and Tyler Koonce. The show opened in the 2000s. 

The show opened with a compelling performance by freshman Tim Michaux. He graced the crowd with a rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”. 

It’s obvious that the crowd enjoyed the familiar song, and they definitely enjoyed Michaux’s curly blonde wig. Next, the audience met their emcees for the night: Laina Poe and Katie Palmer. 

The next performance took the production back to the 90s. Bethany Goepfrich and Jenna Brumley performed “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts, also known as the Friends theme song. The two had fun harmonies and those in attendance thoroughly enjoyed hearing this beloved song, clapping at the right moments. 

The emcees of the night transitioned into the next sketch, a game show entitled “Lickity Split.” 

The game show was in the style of an 80s game show. The emcees did an excellent job hosting and entertaining the crowd with their very impressive voices and comedic timing. 

Katie Logan and the stage band performed “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton. After that, the emcees invited the crowd to do a sing-along. 

The selection of songs spanned the decades, with the crowd favorite being ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.” 

The next act performed Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” Freshmen Channing Hopkins, Jaylin Anders and Emily Day had a beautiful three-part harmony together. This song was one of the sweetest moments of the night. 

The next sketch was reminiscent of a Julia Child-esque cooking show. The final act of the night was Jachin McDonald, who performed the jazz standard “Sweet Lorraine.” It was a great way to wrap up the show. The night was wrapped up by the CAB co-chairs. CAB members, the acts, and the stage band stood together for a final bow. 

In the age of restrictions on gatherings and a severe lack of live entertainment, Freshman Follies was a very welcome event by the OBU community. 

The responsibility of social distancing and mask wearing by those in attendance was highlighted before the event began. Campus Activities Board hosts shows throughout the year that are major campus events. 

The next CAB event is tentatively scheduled for October. 


Here at Home: The Bison Glee Club

Courtesy Photo / OBU
The Bison Glee Club is made up of Bison men who use their voices to praise the Lord and entertain the OBU community.

“Fraternity, history, musicality, commitment to OBU, commitment to the kingdom of God. The foundations of our singing are the friendships and work for the kingdom.” – Dr. Christopher Mathews

 Nathan Goforth

Contributing Writer

Historically created by just three men with a passion for singing, the Bison Glee Club has been praising the Lord since 1938. The club was founded as a singing group for those who enjoy it as a hobby and has turned into one of the most well-known clubs on campus.

Initially, the club grew from those three members to boasting a whole team. The club surged in popularity especially in the 1950s, as soldiers returned home and took up new past times. The Bison Glee Club on campus today may not have the same members, but they have the same traditions.

The tradition and values of the club are best summarized in the personal mission statement of the Bison Glee Club: “The purpose of the Bison Glee Club shall be to promote brotherhood, to develop musicianship, to be of service to OBU, and to further the ministry of Jesus Christ through the study, rehearsal and performance of outstanding sacred and secular choral music.”

 Today, Andrew Hill leads the club as president with Kyle Daughabaugh assisting as vice-president. Together, they assist in leading the group with anything from rehearsals to special events.

Beginning rehearsal, the group first warms up through a variety of vocal exercises. Some of these exercises are traditional warm-ups that originate from the very beginning of the club, passed down to the present day. Then, they enter into the first song on their line up to rehearse.

Courtesy Photo /OBU
Dr. Christopher Mathews is the direction of the Bison Glee Club, pictured here

 Dean of Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts Dr Christopher Mathews leads, orchestrates, accompanies and conducts the singing group to sharpen their singing skills for the group. The rehearsal songs are planned in advance with emphasis on variety in order to intertwine learning historic melodies as well as strengthening and challenging the singing skills of the group.

While normally the group would be singing with all voices present, due to COVID they have temporarily split according to vocal range in order to make rehearsal pandemic friendly.

The virus has also spoilt several retreats that the group would normally do, leaving many saddened about how little they are able to do this year.

Similarly, during this time of year, the Bison Glee Club would be touring the states, singing in a variety of churches in order to accomplish the spreading of the gospel and their musical talents. Unfortunately, that will not be the case this year.

Despite this, members of the group still look back to the past adventures of the Bison Glee Club and tell the stories with pride.

Caleb Gray, senior physics and mathematics major said, “Despite COVID, I still think of the good times I’ve spent with the Glee Club. A Brotherhood.”

In a similar fashion, Casey Cox, senior natural science major summarized it as “Brotherhood.” He said, “Our visits to Falls Creek was nice to be in a big group singing music, and it was nice being in this great big friend group.”

The experienced singers assure the newer members that there are lots of laughs to be had, even without those fancy trips, as well as promising them they will likely have a turn for adventures with the group next year.

Mathews said despite all the uncertainty with most organizational planning, the Bison Glee Club will still perform publicly on campus.

“All are welcome to attend. Our Fall Chorale concert is open and welcome to all. The Bison Glee Club will be performing on November 3rd, at 7:30 p.m.,” Mathews said.

Despite COVID, this is one age-old club here at home that will continue doing the Lord’s work.


National Hispanic Heritage Month

 Courtesy Photo / The Bison

 Jacob Usry 

Features Assistant

This month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) The United States is observing Latin heritage month. 

There are many influential, Latin individuals who are being celebrated this month for what they have achieved both for their culture and for United States of America. 

Oklahoma Baptist is fortunate enough to have a large population of international students from Latin cultures all around the world.

“The culture here is really different from Mexico,” said junior graphic design major and Mexico resident Rosa Escalante. 

“The food in Mexico for example, tastes a lot more natural than American food. Like the coke is even safer because it’s made with real sugar and not fake stuff.”

Escalante said before her aunt came to the U.S., no one in her family had been here.

“There were nearly 60 million Latinos in the United States in 2017,” according to an article published on Pew Research Center’s website, “Accounting for approximately 18% of the total U.S. population. In 1980, with a population of 14.8 million, Hispanics made up just 6.5% of the total U.S. population.”

According to the same article, between 2000 and 2016 almost 30 million Hispanics have moved to the United States.

Courtesy Photo / The Bison
Rosa Escalante is part of OBU’s Swimming and Diving team.

“When I first got here it was difficult to understand everyone,” said Escalante. 

“Especially if someone has an accent… when I first came here, I didn’t understand anything. Even when my coach talked I just kind of nodded my head and acted like I understood, then copied what everyone else did…in Mexico we begin learning English in middle school…but it was still super hard to understand when I got here and people had different accents.”

According to The United states Census Bureau, as of 2019, Hispanics are the nation’s largest minority.

“If you come here to study or play a sport you will definitely feel homesick at first,” said Escalante. “What really helped me is having other people that spoke Spanish around, which allowed me to express myself better than if I was talking in English…if you are coming to study in the U.S. I would suggest looking for places with a large international student population, because it may help you transition better.” 

OBU plans on doing their part, when it comes to celebrating this month for their international or domestic Latino population.

On Sept. 29, Dr. Swadley and Dr. Wilbur will be meeting with any student that either is from a Spanish speaking country, from a family of primarily Spanish speakers or that has strong Latin descent. 

There are also multiple ways to celebrate and contribute to this month if individuals are not from Hispanic descent. 

The first way to support this month would be to donate to a local non-profit such as United We Dream.

According to ET Mas (a popular entertainment publication for Latin Americans) (a popular entertainment publication for Latin Americans) “Self-described as the largest immigrant youth-led community in the country, United We Dream’s mission is to empower undocumented immigrants. 

Through campaigns at the local, state, and federal level, the group fights for justice and dignity for immigrants and all people.”

There are also ways to support the month without having to donate. 

One of these ways could be watching the famous documentary, Latino Americans, which is streaming on PBS.

“PBS’s landmark six-hour 2013 documentary, Latino Americans, is an exhaustive look at the history and experiences of Latinos. Giving both a historical overview of Latinos in the U.S. from the 16th century to present day, the documentary series includes interviews with the likes of Rita Moreno, Gloria Estefan, and Dolores Huerta.”


OBU triumphs at debate tournament

Courtesy Photo/The Bison
(Top): From left to right: Junior Varsity top eight finalist Violet Webber, Varsity top sixteen finalist Emma Busby and Novice top eight finalist and number one speaker Caitlin Hurlbut. Courtesy of Scot Loyd. (Bottom): An example of the virtual debate, Scot Loyd vs J.J. Thompson of LSUS with the three-judge panel listening to the debate “Woodward was wrong to place his thumb on the scale.” Professor Loyd representing the negation lost this final round in a 2-1 decision. 

 Public Relations


The Oklahoma Baptist University debate team finished in second place in its first ever virtual debate tournament hosted by Lee College in Houston, Texas. 

Twenty-one programs participated from across the country including programs from Alaska and California. 

The annual Medoza Debates hosted by Lee College opened the International Public Debate Association season, this year the competition was virtual due to concerns over the spread of Covid-19. 

The Debate team is grateful to the OBU Business School for use of the Bailey Business Center on Saturday and Sunday. 

The competition consisted of six preliminary rounds of individual debate which started at 10:30 am Saturday and concluded at 8:30 pm. 

And then elimination rounds on Sunday morning and afternoon concluding at 4 pm. 

The Debate Team fielded 13 competitors across four divisions of competitive debate. In the novice category freshman Caitlin Hurlbut was first speaker and finished in the top eight out of twenty-nine individual competitors. 

Syndney Collier also received a fourth-place speaker award in the novice category. 

In the Junior Varsity division, Junior Violet Webber finished in the top eight out of twenty-seven individual competitors. 

In the Varsity division, Junior Emma Busby was fifth speaker finishing in the top sixteen out of forty-eight competitors. She also posted a perfect 6-0 record in preliminary rounds. 

Scot Loyd finished as a finalist and fourth speaker out of field of twelve in the professional division. 

Collectively the team narrowly missed first place to Mississippi State University but beat out a perennial favorite Louisiana State University Shreveport to take second place in tournament sweepstakes. This is a great start to our season as we pursue a National Championship. Thank you all for your support. 


Succeeding with the Milburn Student Success Center

Courtesy Photo/the Bison

 Matthew Gower

Assistant News Editor

For students seeking additional assistance with their classes, one of the best options on campus is the Milburn Student Success Center located on the third floor of the library.

The Milburn Student Success Center, which was dedicated to Paul and Ann Milburn in November 2012, conducted 3,306 sessions in the first few months and employed over one hundred students, aims  to provide students with academic tutoring and peer resources.

 “We’re still doing one on one personal support, but more spread out…you’ll notice that there is signage in various parts of the building that says the maximum number of people that can be in a space…the library is allowing students to reserve the AG Auditorium for a study group that can hold [up to] 25 people,” said Kirt Henderson, director of student success.

 Students can be  paired up with a mentor for one on one assistance or group study sessions. 

 Some of the services mentors can help students with include studying for exams, proof-reading papers and reassurance for their everyday classes.

If there is a wait to be paired with a mentor or group, the Student Success Center has now implemented an automated text message system that will tell them when a mentor is available to help. 

 The text service is both free and available to all students.

The mentors are student workers who have already taken the course they mentor for and are experienced and willing to help students currently taking the course. The student workers/mentors can work up to 20 hours a week.

 “…We’re doing our best to bring those  [study sessions] to Zoom as well…If a student is in quarantine, they can access it. Also, if a student says I don’t feel comfortable going…they can stay in their dorm room or apartment and still access a study session,” Henderson said.

He said also that after a student attends at least one of the sessions, they tend to return either regularly, or when they need extra help or a second opinion with a project or with studying for an exam.

With possible mid-terms coming up for students and finals a couple months away, students can expect to see extra studying events coming up in the near future. The Student Success Center will let students know via email about extra study sessions including when and where they will take place a few days beforehand and again the day of an event.

One of the most popular events, Civ Cram Jam, will be announced closer to the dates of the sessions. The schedule of study sessions for each class can be found at okbu.edu/academics/student-success.

 Since the library reopened in August students have been required to take screenings at the front desk (if they have not already done so for the day) before browsing for books, using computers or entering the Student Success Center. The staff as well as students maintain physical distancing while working.

The Milburn Success Center, located on the third-floor room 308 of the library, is open Sunday 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Monday through Thursday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Their staff encourages any and all students to take advantage of their services. 


Opinion: Creative writing helps process emotion

Jackson finds new places to reflect on the area of creative writing.

 Courtesy Photo/The Bison

 Morgan Jackson

Arts Editor

This season of life has proved to be one of change for everyone in nearly every aspect of life. When classes moved online and my world became much, much smaller, I found myself looking for an outlet. I’ve always messed around with writing, but never seriously sat down to create something meaningful. 

This semester, I am in a creative writing class. I wrestled with the decision of even enrolling in the class. There were less vulnerable ways to fulfill my degree’s writing requirement. From the first day of class, I knew that this experience was going to be one that changed my perspectives on writing.

When I sat down to write for the first assignment, I was surprised when the words came quickly and freely. I didn’t go into the class expecting to have my life changed by the lessons I learn each week.

During this time, it’s important to process emotions. It’s vital for mental and emotional well-being. Spending copious amounts of time alone lead me to contemplate my life so far. Every choice and its outcomes, placed under a microscope created in my mind. 

 I explored lots of these memories in writing. I had hard conversations with myself and with others.

Creative writing ensures that I am consistently in check with the thoughts and emotions that are going on in my head throughout the week. By getting them on the page and giving them structure, I have created things that I am very proud of, and that reflect truth in my life. 

None of this reflection and thought would be possible without the loving, safe environment of my creative writing class. The classroom environment that Dr. Newsom creates is one of the best that I have experienced on this campus. 

It is evident that he is passionate about the craft of writing and about his students. He completely changed my mind about creative writing. I was prepared to fear the experience. I was prepared to reject vulnerability.

Vulnerability is difficult. But, writing has given me a way to look at issues and experiences with a lens of grace and forgiveness for myself and others. 

I have found a gentle community of people who share an interest and desire to create something that has value and purpose. 

One of the most  helpful experiences so far has been receiving feedback on my writing. This part of the creative process is one that I have never truly participated in. 

 It is helpful to receive comments and direct criticism coming from people who genuinely have the good of your art in consideration. 

I see improvement not only in my skill, but in my attitudes toward writing. I’ve never been afraid of writing something factual or persuasive. 

Creative writing is pushing my outside of my comfort zone and demanding creation, which is a beautiful thing. 

 Writing might not be your thing. It may be music, art, politics, education math, science. 

But whatever you do, explore it. Every field of study lends itself to creativity, some more easily than others. Art reflects nearly every aspect of life. Make something beautiful with your life, whether that be a relationship, a project, or an idea. 

Find your passion within your field of study., and act on that passion. 

Don’t fear failure or vulnerability. Find ways to learn and grow in the season that you are in. Find your place.


Coin shortage: Lincoln to be killed again?

Courtesy of Jayden Milton/The Bison

 Zoe Charles

News Editor

The United States has used the same billing and coinage system for many centuries; however, due to the COVID pandemic and national coin shortage occurring simultaneously, economists and average consumers are wondering just how necessary some of these coins are. 

Is it time for the penny to no longer be produced?

The U.S. mint, which is responsible for the production of coins, found themselves adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic just as many other businesses were.

According to USA Today, staffing at the mint has decreased, which many believe to have contributed to the coin shortage.

 While this perspective does have some truth to it, according to the Federal Reserve’s website, “[b]usiness and bank closures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly disrupted the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for U.S. coins. 

“While there is an adequate overall amount of coins in the economy, the slowed pace of circulation has reduced available inventories in some areas of the country.”

In other words, the coin shortage is not a result of the decreased employment within the mint, but rather caused by decreased employment from many entities that makes for less efficient business.

The Federal Reserve also stated on its website that, “[t]he Federal Reserve is working with the U.S. Mint and others in the industry on solutions. As a first step, a temporary cap was imposed on the orders depository institutions place for coins with the Federal Reserve to ensure that the current supply is fairly distributed. 

“In addition, a U.S. Coin Task Force was formed to identify, implement, and promote actions to address disruptions to coin circulation.”

The website continues saying, “[s]ince mid-June, the U.S. Mint has been operating at full production capacity, minting almost 1.6 billion coins in June and is on track to mint 1.65 billion coins per month for the remainder of the year. 

 “As the economy recovers and businesses reopen, more coins will flow back into retail and banking channels and eventually into the Federal Reserve, which should allow for the rebuilding of coin inventories.”

While the US mint is on the path to financial recovery, the coin shortage did bring more attention than ever to the movement to discontinue the penny. 

According to usmint.gov, it costs $0.0168 to produce a singular penny, or almost double its monetary value.

In addition to the production costs, according to retirethepenny.org, “[. . .] Walgreens and the National Association of Convenience Stores [found that] using pennies wastes 120 million hours of time per year in cash transactions with customers and retailers. While ousting a part of American economic tradition seems ill-advised, the United States would not be the first country to get rid of their smallest coin unit.”

According to retirethepenny.org, “The US would join a growing list of post-industrial countries that have eliminated the penny including Canada, Denmark, Australia, and Ireland. 

 The United States Department of Defense discontinued use of the penny at all overseas military bases more than 30 years ago.”

Military bases overseas now round up to the nearest nickel at base-exchange stores.

One country that ceased production of their version of the penny was Canada back in 2012.

According to the Canadian Mint’s website, mint.ca, “[t]he decision to phase out the penny was due to its excessive and rising cost of production relative to face value, the increased accumulation of pennies by Canadians in their households, environmental considerations, and the significant handling costs the penny imposes on retailers, financial institutions and the economy in general. The estimated savings for taxpayers from phasing out the penny is $11 million a year.”

It is important to note that the phasing out of the penny does not affect electronic transactions, only cash and  coin based purchases.

 Mint.ca also stated, “pennies can still be used in cash transactions indefinitely with businesses that choose to accept them,” meaning that while the pennies ceased to be produced, their value will still remain.

While Canada has proved successful without the use of the penny, many are still questioning the possible ramifications for the United States and its monetary circulation.

 When asked about the possible effects on U.S. consumers, Dr. Craig Walker, Wheeler Professor of Economics at Oklahoma Baptist University said “[e]liminating production and use of the penny would have almost no effect on the U.S. financial system. 

“The handling of currency is a cost to the financial system. In dollar-value terms, most transactions in financial markets are electronic so elimination of the penny would have no effect on those transactions.”

 Walker continued, “[t]here are a large number of transactions that involve the use of coins or currency but the total value of those transactions is relatively small compared to the total value of all the transactions in the financial system. 

 “With no pennies, the coin and currency transactions would cost less for the financial system to process with little to no negative effect on consumers.”

 In terms of other benefits,  Walker also said that, “If [the United States’] eliminate[s] the usage of the penny [. . . consumers] would be able to round down half the time.” And while there are “transaction fees and infrastructure costs associated with cashless transactions,” it would ultimately lead to a decrease in theft and an increase in convenience for most people.

 While this seems to be in the best interest of most consumers, Walker does acknowledge the fact that groups with a lower purchasing power could be more negatively affected by the discontinuance of the penny.

“As with many changes like this, the distribution of the costs and benefits of the reduced use of coin and currency would be unequal. High and middle-income households already use relatively little cash. 

 Low-income households often do not have banking relationships so they rely on cash transactions and might face higher costs as the acceptance of cash decreases,” Walker said.

To learn more about the penny visit http://www.usmint.gov.


Dealing with diabetes on a daily basis

Courtesy Photo/ The Bison

 Jacob Usry

Features Assistant

According to the CDC, over 100 Million Americans have diabetes in the United States. 

Even with the disease being so prevalent, there are still some who don’t fully understand how demanding treatment is on the people who have it.

“It’s a 24-hour job,” OBU alumni Micah Hawkins said. 

“You always have to make sure your blood sugar is where it needs to be. I have to calculate everything that has carbs in it and then take a certain amount of insulin. I take a shot every time I eat.”

There are different ways to inject insulin into one’s bloodstream, but the most popular method, according to US National Library of Medicine, is to use a pen needle.

 Hawkins described the process she undergoes when using a pen needle.

“Say I eat an apple,” Hawkins said. 

“An apple has 15 carbs in it and I usually go by 5 units of insulin when I inject it, so I just grab my pen needle and…it has about 300 units of insulin in it. So, I just twist the setting to however many units of insulin I need and put on a disposable needle and its ready to go…it’s basically like an automatic syringe.”

Hawkins said one of the most challenging tasks about having diabetes is the effort it takes to calculate the carbs in everything she ingests. 

This can be especially difficult if she eats at a restaurant.

“When I was little, we didn’t have the technology we had today,” Hawkins said. 

“So, I had this thing called a ‘carb count book,’ which basically had everything that has carbs in it…so I would just flip through it and it would give me the serving size so I could add everything up.”

 “Now…since I’ve been doing it so long I kind of guesstimate how much everything is. A lot of restaurants have the option to ask for nutrition facts, which they usually have on little cards that you can look at and see,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins has type one diabetes – which she developed at an early age.

Unlike type two diabetes – which is often a consequence of poor health that leads to a weakened response to insulin – type one diabetes occurs when an individual does not produce insulin at all.

 Hawkins’ diabetes is not a result of lifestyle choices like inactivity – it is simply a matter of genetics. 

However, whenever patients with type one diabetes try to be physically active, it also comes with its own set of challenges.

Hawkins spoke on her personal experience with this struggle.

“Every Thursday me and my friends go play sand volleyball,” Hawkins said. 

“We usually go around seven p.m. so I eat dinner before.”

 But as per usual, eating comes with a specific amount of insulin. 

 Courtesy Photo/The Bison

 Hawkins explained how exercising creates cause for altering her insulin  injections.

“For example, if I were to have Chick-fil-a for dinner I would normally give myself close to 6 units, but if I’m working out after I give myself about three units and take a Gatorade with me…because running or any exercise makes it drop so I need something to bring with me in order to raise [my insulin levels] back up after,” Hawkins said.

 Given that every individual with diabetes must inject themselves with insulin on a daily basis, and for most individuals – multiple times a day, it can be quite taxing on the body.

“It doesn’t really matter where I inject myself with the needle,” Hawkins said. 

“I usually do the back of my arm, my stomach or the back of my leg. I rotate each time I inject myself, so it doesn’t develop any hard tissue…if I do the same spot it doesn’t take the insulin as well anymore.”

 Hawkins believes not only is diabetes something individuals shouldn’t be afraid of, but those who have it shouldn’t let it define their lives.

“It doesn’t matter, it’s who you are and it’s who I have become,” Hawkins said. 

“[Diabetes is] nothing to be embarrassed about. No one would judge you if everyone had to take these shots to survive. Be proud of who you are.”


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.



















OBU welcomes Winkler as Green and Gold Gala speaker

green gold gala_courtesy.jpg

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.










Cheap travel ideas for spring Break


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.









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

holo trip2_ courtesy dr spillman.jpg

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.”





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.










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.












Division of Music hosts students for FAME, Keyboard festival


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.



RAWC The World: A Celebration of the World


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.













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


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. 






















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.








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.




OBU debate team advances to 3rd place nationally


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.




Black History Month: What it is & how to celebrate


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.

woodson.jpg Courtesy Photo/ The Bison

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.

lonnie.jpg Courtesy Photo/ The Bison

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.








OBU’s University Scholars Weekend and Be A Bison Day

bison day_courtesy okbu.png

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.












Australia fires: more than just physical damage


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.



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


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.






Church planting class continues OBU’s mission

church planting.jpg

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.






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.











Valentines Day for everyone on a budget


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.


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.


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.








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.