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.