OBU welcomes Winkler as Green and Gold Gala speaker

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Courtesy Photo / OBU

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

Koal Manis

Assistant News Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The event helped show how impactful OBU students are.

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

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

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

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

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

He also discussed achieving dreams through perseverance and dedication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Daniel Spillman / OBU

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

Loren Rhoades

Contributing Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Student Government Association makes plans for spring

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Courtesy Photo / OBU

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

Andrew Johnson

Assistant News Editor

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

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

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

Myers highlighted one such upcoming event.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Myers spoke to why he believes the SGA is important.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OBU debate team advances to 3rd place nationally

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Courtesy Photo/ OBU

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

Contributing Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It was a great weekend,” Lloyd said.

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

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Blue-light emergency phones installed on campus

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Braden Wade/ The Bison 

The emergency blue phone have three locations on campus. 

PEYTON KING

Contributing Writer

Oklahoma Baptist University’s signature green and gold has been speckled with brilliant blue since the start of the fall 2019 semester.

The sources of this new shade of security are the three new emergency blue-light phones: devices that allow campus police to be contacted with the click of a button.

The phones – located on the sidewalks near the WMU/Kerr park- ing lot, by the stairs of Shawnee Hall and by the Art Building – were added to create more security tools for students.

But the implementation of these phones has some students questioning how the placement of these emergency de- vices has made OBU safer for all residents.

Sophomore nursing major Olivia Parent discussed how her feelings of safety on campus have changed since the installment of the emergency blue-light phones.

“It doesn’t make much of a difference for me – because most of the time when I am out late, I’m nowhere near the phones,” Parent said.

Although the res- idents of WMU and Kerr are only 200 feet away from the nearest emergency phone, those living in Agee are over 1,200 feet away, students of Taylor are 900 feet away, and the residents of the Village Apartments are over 1,700 feet away from the emergency phone nearest to them.

David Shannon, Chief of the OBU Police Department, was part of the committee that decided to add the emergency blue-light phones to campus. Shannon said that the placement of the first three phones was: “Just [a decision] to start.”

“I’m sure there’s going to be more phones that are go- ing to be installed over time,” said Shannon.

The committee is “work- ing on” a fourth emergency blue-light phone that will be placed by the gravel parking lot near the Village Apart-

ments.
The installment of this

phone would make the farthest distance 750 feet from any residence hall to an emergency phone.

But location isn’t the sole question at hand; why is OBU purchasing the emergency towers if other universities are starting to remove them from their campuses?

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, schools like The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and The University of Georgia have already removed all of their emergency blue-light phones from campus.

In the case of UNL, the phones were being used for prank calls rather than emergencies.

The size of OBU is also vastly different from larger state schools, so population size was also a factor in determining the phones’ installation and placement.

Some students have ex- pressed appreciation for the emergency phones.

“I support a university taking any steps toward greater safety,” sophomore Katie Simmons said. “Even if these phones only help one person while they are in use, then it is worth it. It comforts me to know safety concerns are taken seriously and solutions put into practice.”

Shannon suggested all students prepare in at least one way.

“You know, we always suggest putting our cell phone number in their cell phone, but always, if nothing else, call 911,” said Shannon.

“Our police department monitors Shawnee’s frequency. So if their officers are dispatched, we’re not only going to hear it, Shawnee PD is going to contact us and notify us that they had units responding to campus.”

If you ever find your- self in an emergency situation and far from an emergency blue-light phone, dial the OBU Po- lice Department at 405- 878-6000 or 911 for help.

Emergency phones because they cost the university $1.7 mil- lion in installation and repairs for the 15 years that they were on campus.

This begs the question of why OBU is installing these phones after they’ve been determined more problematic than helpful in providing security on larger campuses.

Shannon discussed the differences in the safety of cam- pus since the implementation of the emergency blue-light phones.

“I believe anything that’s security oriented, anything that we can do to make students safer…” said Shannon, “the university is pushing towards that”

 

St. Gregory’s campus gets a new name

By Jacob Factor, News Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seniors present time capsule as gift

By Chelsea Weeks, Editor-In-Chief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Student overcomes childhood trauma

By Jacob Factor, News Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It hurt too much,” she said.

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

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

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

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

Then, she said, she broke.

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

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

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

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

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

CPN hosts Walk to raise awareness of child abuse

By Jacob Factor, News Editor

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

What is the Fun Walk?

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

Why is CPN doing the event?

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

Who can go? What’s the cost to go?

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

Is this the first year to do this?

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

What does the CPN FireLodge Children and Family Services do?

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

Why is it important to raise awareness of child abuse?

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

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