Column: Students responding to disasters

 Audrey Branham

Assistant Faith Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How can I help?” 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CAB presents: Freshman Follies

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

 Morgan Jackson 

Arts Editor 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The next CAB event is tentatively scheduled for October. 

Here at Home: The Bison Glee Club

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

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

 Nathan Goforth

Contributing Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Hispanic Heritage Month

 Courtesy Photo / The Bison

 Jacob Usry 

Features Assistant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OBU triumphs at debate tournament

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

 Public Relations


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Succeeding with the Milburn Student Success Center

Courtesy Photo/the Bison

 Matthew Gower

Assistant News Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the most popular events, Civ Cram Jam, will be announced closer to the dates of the sessions. The schedule of study sessions for each class can be found at

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

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

Opinion: Creative writing helps process emotion

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

 Courtesy Photo/The Bison

 Morgan Jackson

Arts Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coin shortage: Lincoln to be killed again?

Courtesy of Jayden Milton/The Bison

 Zoe Charles

News Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is important to note that the phasing out of the penny does not affect electronic transactions, only cash and  coin based purchases. also stated, “pennies can still be used in cash transactions indefinitely with businesses that choose to accept them,” meaning that while the pennies ceased to be produced, their value will still remain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To learn more about the penny visit

Dealing with diabetes on a daily basis

Courtesy Photo/ The Bison

 Jacob Usry

Features Assistant

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Say I eat an apple,” Hawkins said. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hawkins spoke on her personal experience with this struggle.

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

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

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

 Courtesy Photo/The Bison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bringing the (virtual) doctors to OBU

 Matthew Gower

Assistant News Editor 

 TEAM Clinics has arrived in Shawnee and at OBU in order to help make remote doctors’ visits easier for those on campus.

Formed in 2017, TEAM Clinics set out with the goal of making it easier for children, students and coworkers to remotely speak with a doctor when needed.

According to an email sent out to students from Brandon Peterson, vice president of campus life and dean of students, when a student is not feeling well they can visit or email  OBU’s new campus nurse Kayla Gibson, RN, in Geiger Center room 206 during her office hours Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

When and if a student needs to visit with a doctor, TEAM Clinics will connect them to licensed healthcare providers for high-quality healthcare that is both quick and efficient.

 The service should be covered by most insurance companies, but those without insurance can also sign up.

According to, they will work with individuals on a case by case basis when it comes to the cost of treatment and remote doctor visits if necessary.

Students may be seen for various issues, such as allergy symptoms, cold, cough or sore throat, prescription refills (which can be sent to local pharmacies for pickup) and many others.

There also are a variety of on campus options offered when a student needs health care such as in-office testing for Flu A and B, Rapid  Strep, Respiratory syncytial virus, (RSV), Urine Analysis (UA) and, coming in late September, COVID-19.

Students can also schedule virtual appointments online on the website if they are unable to visit the nurse’s office. 

 Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

After registering for an appointment and providing some basic patient details and reason for the visit, the patient can schedule an appointment on the website and select to receive scheduled text reminders before the virtual visit. 

 Meetings with licensed health-care providers will be conducted through Zoom.

The program has already been implemented in Shawnee Public Schools. Many other districts in Oklahoma have joined the partnership, with most having their own on-site clinics.

According to a testimonial on their website when speaking about the program’s effectiveness, director of academic services at Shawnee Public Schools, Allyson Cleveland said “Bringing TEAM Clinics to Shawnee is one of the best moves our district has made. Having a clinic available at school definitely has decreased absences and promoted healthy well-being in our students. TEAM Clinics provides an invaluable wrap around service to our students and families.”

Other health options offered on campus include the Kemp MFT Clinic which is offering an upcoming free three-week virtual group program called Dealing with Uncertainty and Loss. The purpose of the program is to provide students with support through difficulties resulting from the pandemic.

“With the recent changes in our everyday lives due to COVID, many people are grieving the loss of their normal routines, struggling with adapting their plans, and experiencing an increase in stress and anxiety as a result…Come join your peer to share about the loss and uncertainty we are experiencing surrounding COVID and receive support/resources to help you cope,” OBU Kemp MFT graduate assistant and graduate therapist Jordyn Patterson said.

The group will meet via Zoom 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 23, 30 and Oct. 7. Students interested in the group can email OBU Kemp MFT graduate therapist Michaela Hagler at to register or ask questions by Sept. 16.

If students are unable to attend the meetings, they can also schedule an appointment by calling the MFT Clinic at 405-585-4530.

Students are also encouraged to continue participating in their daily screenings at various screening stations throughout OBU’s campus and report any symptoms related to COVID through the online form at