Student Government Association makes plans for spring

sga_courtesyokbu.jpg

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

85073535_10102749207259114_6920861522830819328_n.jpg

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

voter reg_courtesy_element5--.jpg

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

bradenwade_emergenphone.jpg

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.

JMAS students win, meet governor at OAB conference

By Jacob Factor, News Editor

For journalism students, college years are spent perfecting portfolios and learning on the job. For many, part of that learning and portfolio building comes from the on-campus broadcast network, The Okay Show.

Students who work for the show won several awards April 4 at the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters 2019 conference.

The winners are:

• Olivianna Calmes, Winner of the Mark Rawlings Scholarship

• Charles Downum, first in Radio Narrative

• Jacob Jolly, Loren Rhoades, Olivianna Calmes, second in TV Narrative

• Zach Bush, second in TV Music Video

• Wyatt Winters and Sheridan Wiles, third in Screenwriting

• Tamlyn Price, third in Radio Narrative

Professor Stephen Draper organized the event for the OBU students and said he was proud of the individuals who won.

“We’re competing against literally the best and brightest in the entire state, OU and OSU and others, and so you might think we’re just a small school, but we have consecutively won every year,” Draper said. “It just continues to show how strong a school program it is.”

The Okay Show used to be called OBU TV-News, and it was solely a news broadcast.

With the new branding of the Okay Show, Draper said there is more opportunity for students to participate in ways that fit their goals.

“Not everybody wants to learn broadcast journalism or print journalism; not everyone wants narrative or marketing or any of these things,” he said.“ Students are getting to do what interests them. That’s where learning really takes place when you can take what is your field and then you can actually make it interesting and joyful.”

Olivianna Calmes, lead anchor for the Okay Show said she shared the same sentiment.

“It allows you to really be yourself and create what you want, with people helping you along the way,” she said. “The Okay Show is a variety show with different segments. The different segments are done by different students and are showcased separately on the Okay show’s playlists. There is probably a segment you will like from it, whether it’s our movie reviews (ER), paranormal norm, the funny banter between the anchors, the witty sports anchor or the great weather guy.”

Calmes said the show is integral to the learning experience of journalism students, and is where the most valuable part of their education comes from.

“It is important for our campus because it gives media students, and really anyone, the opportunity to gain experience working with professional equipment and channel their creativity,” she said.

Draper said he is excited to see the future of the show.

“My greatest joy right now is kind of getting to see that it really presents a solid future for programming for the years to come.”

The Okay Show director, Braden Wade, said he has hopes for the show as well.

“I hope people can find something in the show they enjoy doing,” Wade said. “And people in my class will get the same joy and passions.”

He said he also hopes the show will eventually learn how to function like the real world because he wants his peers to be prepared to thrive. The Okay Show posts on Youtube Fridays at 5 p.m.

Long-lost first edition Tolkien books returned to OBU

By Jacob Factor, News Editor

After 47 years, three first-edition “Lord of The Rings” trilogy books have returned to OBU’s library.

Originally published in 1962 and 1963, the books were apparently stolen and replaced in 1972 by an anonymous thief.

The stolen books were first American unrevised editions, thirteenth printings of “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King” and were replaced with first revised editions of the books.

Last month though, the thief mailed the books back to OBU.

In a letter included with the books, the thief expressed remorse for stealing them and said, “I have no excuse for my action, other than a desire to have one of the unrevised editions in my collection.”

The stolen books were probably worth around ten dollars each in 1972, but now are worth over 300 dollars, he said.

The director of library services, Julie Rankin, said it is unknown how the Library first got “The Lord of the Rings” books, but she is excited to have the books back at OBU after so long.

They are now being added to the Library’s special collections.

The special collections, housed in the basement of the Mabee Center, includes old books unable to be checked out because of their condition, gifts from various donors and more.

One of the goals of the Mabee Center, Rankin said, is to get all of the special collections archived online, but for now, not all of them are cataloged.

As it stands now though, anyone can browse and read the books in the special collections with a librarian’s supervision.

In the collection, several aisles are dedicated to the collection of Alan Day, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Edmond and vice-chair of OBU’s board of trustees.

In 2011, Day was killed when his motorcycle hit a patch of sand on an off-ramp, the Oklahoman reported.

Day’s collection is mostly comprised of theology and Christian books.

Former president Mark Brister also donated some books to OBU’s Special Collections.

In the J.W. Storer collection, works such as 1909 editions of Shakespeare’s plays and Adolf Hitler’s autobiography “Mein Kampf” are included.

Every “Life Magazine” from 1937 to when the magazine ended in 2000 is also available to be viewed.

“Anyone can find something interesting to them down here,” Rankin said