Kerr Resident Assistants build community

By Morgan Jackson, Features Editor

Resident Assistants are students who live and work in residence halls to assist with issues or questions that may arise with the residents that live on their halls. They work the desk in their building and have their door open for a certain amount of time during the week. 

According to Oklahoma Baptist University’s Residential Life Handbook, “RAs and CLs [Community Leaders] are meant to assist residents in ways such as: answering questions, listening, assisting with roommate conflict, referrals, encouraging community on the hallway, and organizing hall/apt activities.” 

Kerr Residence Center is home to eight RAs, two on each floor. Many chose to become an RA because of their love for the Kerr community. 

“I wanted to become an RA because I love the dorm community, and I wanted to continue living in the dorm while instigating intentional relationships with incoming freshman girls,” sophomore and Kerr RA Emily Boyne said.  

Other RAs express the same sentiment.  

“I wanted to become an RA because I really wanted to be a leader on campus and build relationships with new freshman coming into OBU, and to walk alongside them through their first year on campus,” junior and Kerr RA Meghan Bowers said.  

Resident Assistants create a community among their halls. 

I wanted to become an RA once I realized what a great platform it was to build loving and lasting relationships with people at OBU,” sophomore Julianne Ford said. I wanted to make a direct positive impact on girls’ lives and show them the love and compassion that God has shown me.” 

In Kerr, it is typical to see RAs and their residents hanging out at the desk, watching a movie in the lobby, or taking part in a hall event. The majority of the time, RAs are responsible for making those events happen.  

I love to do movie nights, game nights, and dinners together,” Boyne said. I usually get a general consensus of what sounds interesting to them, and then I text the group chat, put it on my whiteboard, write it on the bathroom mirrors- anything to get the word out.” 

Other RAs hold similar events, as well as many others. 

The events I tend to organize are simply movie nights where me and my girls will get some ice cream and turn on a movie,” Bowers said. “I also schedule a day out of the week where me and my hall have a hall dinner. The semester can get really crazy so many of my events are simple ones.” 

Bowers held an event for her residents in the fall semester that is particularly interesting. 

“Last semester, along with the help of my friend Bryson over in Agee, we played a game called ultimate cow tongue, which is ultimate frisbee, but with an actual cow tongue,” Bowers said. “It sounds gross, but it was very exciting! If I have an idea for an event, I usually plan it about two weeks ahead so that my girls can take off work if they want to.” 

At the beginning of each semester, the Kerr RAs determine what kind of events their residents would like to participate in. Julianne Ford hosts many fun hall events for her residents. 

“The largest events we have had were Taco Tuesday, Friendsgiving, Café Disco, and Galentine’s Day,” Ford said. “We are having an 80s-themed Skate Night, taking a trip to Pop’s in Arcadia, and going out to a fancy dinner in OKC this semester. I plan the events based on what my girls indicate they are interested in on the Information Sheets we give them at our first meeting. I plan all of my events before the semester starts and give them schedules so they can plan ahead.” 

As so many know, maintaining a job while taking a full class load can be difficult at times.  

“The most challenging aspect of being an RA is managing my time,” Ford said. “Being an RA is much more than a full-time job because you never leave your place of work. It is difficult to close my door and admit that I need time to work on my school and myself.” 

When RAs work the desk, they are able to do homework if there is not something else to be done. 

When we are at the desk, any resident that comes up to the desk is our priority,” Bowers said. Yes, we can work on homework then, but the residents of Kerr come first. Luckily, we are able to do work at the desk because the long weekend shifts would be very boring if we couldn’t do anything while being there. I try and manage my time wisely before work for the day and try and get the bigger assignments done first and save the smaller assignments that require less attention for when I am at the desk.” 

Working with the same people throughout the year builds relationships and friendships between the RAs and residents and can teach lessons.  

“The biggest lesson I’ve learned by being an RA is that if God calls you to do something, He will equip you,” Boyne said. “God called me to apply even though I felt completely inadequate. But obeying is so much more important than listening to self-doubts. God has given me the words to say in every situation when I have felt speechless. If you trust God to do what He has called you to do, then He will be glorified.” 

The Kerr RAs find it rewarding to see their residents succeeding. 

“The most rewarding aspect of getting to be an RA is the fact that I get a front row seat in all that God is doing in the lives of my residents as well as the other RAs,” Head Kerr RA Abigail Wendt said. “It is so neat to simply have conversation and hear how God has moved in hard situations, or simply is so prevalent in peoples’ lives, and while this can and should happen everywhere, being an RA has presented unique opportunities to connect with and hear from people that I would not have had if not in this position.”  

 

Rush Week begins for social clubs on campus

By Caleb Brown, Assistant News Editor

Rush Week for the sisterhood social clubs for the 2019 Spring semester officially began February 18-21.

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The purpose Social Clubs of Oklahoma Baptist University serve are to break away from traditional fraternities and sororities without losing the Greek lifestyle they embody.

“Our Greek-culture is very Christ-focused,” sophomore psychology major and Theta member Rachael Von Dollen said. “We have a higher moral standard,” she said. “Bonds and friendships, however, are as strong as ones made at other colleges’ Greek social clubs.”

The social clubs connect students who live on or off campus and struggle making friends.

“I’m an introvert,” Von Dollen said. “When I looked at the social clubs, I thought I could make new friends through it. They made a big impression on me during Rush Week, and I really enjoy hanging out with my Theta sisters.”

The social clubs are also known for hosting events all around campus.

“I appreciate how much the clubs do collaboratively with one another,” assistant dean of students Mellissa Stroud said. “They are not completely insular or self-serving,” she said. “They are often providing great events for the student body as an act of service and this speaks to the heart of how these clubs are designed.”

The club’s distinction has allowed some of them to last for historic periods, with many new clubs hoping to continue in their footsteps.

“Throughout the past 30+ years, social clubs have played an important role in many of the traditions at OBU,” Stroud said. “They continue to be instrumental in the success of Student Life at OBU. Social Clubs exist to fulfill in part the mission statement of Oklahoma Baptist University.”

The Rushing Social Clubs are Pi Sigma Phi, Kappa Phi Beta and Theta Sigma Chi. Many of the events they host can be seen on the OBU website.

“I hope to continue working with our current student leadership to discover ways to enhance and grow clubs, both in numbers and in depth,” Stroud said. “Our faculty and sponsors play a huge role in the direction and strength of the clubs, and so if change is going to happen in a positive way, then it will be the collaboration of all parties involved.”

“Freshman Follidays” to welcome holiday season

By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor

The OBU Campus Activities Board will host the annual Freshman Follies freshman class talent show during homecoming weekend, Saturday Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.

This year’s follies will be directed by CAB members and OBU seniors Kelton Mims and Matthew Sanders. The theme is centered around all the holidays that take place during the calendar year and is titled: “Freshman Follidays.”

The event will display the musical and emceeing talents of OBU’s new freshman students.

“It will include most of the holidays of the year, so we’ll start at one end of the year and we’ll go through the end,” health and human performance major and co-director of “Freshman Follidays” Sanders said. “We’re really looking forward to showing campus what we’ve been working on.”

While the event will cover all kinds of holidays it also ties especially closely to the themes of the winter holidays and Christmas break.

“This is a kind of fun time of year in terms of the holidays,” Sanders said. “Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner, so follies will just kind of get everyone ready for the change of seasons.”

The theme for the event was chosen by the directors.

“[We] brainstorm and then we come up with two to three themes,” senior sports management major and “Freshman Follidays” co-director Kelton Mims said. “And then we make power points with details under each one to present it to the CAB members and then the CAB members vote. Ultimately, it’s the directors’ choice.”

Mims said Sanders approached him this summer about co-directing, and the two welcomed the challenge.

Before directing, the two had also been members of CAB in the past.

Mims first joined CAB during his junior year.

“I got in last year because of stage band,” Mims said. “And I got out of stage band and just became just a regular CAB member.”

Sanders took an indirect route to his current role directing a CAB show.

“I was a freshman and I had some upperclassmen friends who really wanted me to get involved in this particular organization because they thought it would be a really good way to meet other people,” Sanders said.

Both Sanders and Mims have been friends for several years.

“Being able to do it next to Kelton, I think is really cool, just because we literally met our first day here at OBU,” Sanders said. “It’s really cool for our last year to have our last go-round be something like follies.”

Having seniors direct Freshman Follies allows for a somewhat mentoring relationship between the directors and the performers.

“Whenever freshmen have somebody they can look up to or connect with that’s older than them, especially a senior, that can help them a lot,” Mims said. “Plus, we have a great group of emcees. They’re cooperative, and they’re funny. They all bounce off each other.”

CAB members and performance emcees do not need to have a formal training background to perform in freshman follies.

“That’s really the best part of CAB shows,” Sanders said. “Even if you don’t have a musical background or theatre background, then it’s fine. I’m in CAB and I didn’t have any background like that.”

CAB is open to all. Performance acts simply have to audition.

“Typically, follies is the least hyped, and so we really, really put quality time and effort to make this the best follies we’ve seen,” Mims said. “The whole point is to showcase freshmen talent, and this year we have a lot to show off.”

Students who are interested in joining CAB will have the opportunity to sign up for a screening interview soon.

“Hopefully, follies will make students excited about being part of CAB,” Sanders said. “At the very least, we want people to come and enjoy an evening of good music and entertaining skits.”

Family Day Weekend this weekend, Oct. 12-13

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant News Editor

After more than a month of starting new classes, gaining friends and enjoying OBU’s many on-campus activities, it is understandable to want to share the new experiences with family.

Luckily this coming weekend will allow students to do just that.

Oct. 12 thru Oct. 13, OBU will be hosting their annual family weekend. This weekend allows students and their families to reconnect while also giving families the opportunity to see how their student is enjoying life on campus.

During those two days, there will be scheduled activities as well as time set aside for families to spend personal time together.

Some of the scheduled activities include a chili dinner, worship with Dr. Gambo, the Bison football game vs. Ouachita Baptist, a ResHall Open House and Freshman Follies.

Students whose families came in the past say this is an event in which they are happy to have partaken.

They were able to spend time with their family members while also showing them all OBU has to offer.

“It was nice to have the family back on campus after living here for a while,” sophomore English major Jonathan Wood said. “I could explain what things were and what was going on, unlike during move-in week where everything was still new.”

Although this weekend might seem primarily freshman focused, the goal is to give all students ranging from freshman to seniors the opportunity to have some quality family time they might not get regularly.

So don’t waste this opportunity; it’s not too late to call the family and have them come down to enjoy a football game or Follies.

“Do it; have your family come for the weekend,” sophomore communications major Kayleigh Reynolds said. “Even if you live five minutes away or six hours away you should cherish these moments with your parents because you won’t have them forever.”

Students come to college, parents tag along

Jonathan Soder, Features Editor

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For every student, college includes certain challenges. Move-in day brings feelings of homesickness. Civ introduces students to the real adult world with hours upon hours of work. And finally, graduation often comes with uncertainty about the future. On top of these mutually experienced complications, some students have to navigate the double role of student and child.

Several of these students include sophomore pre-counseling major Mackenzie Camp, sophomore math major Becca Mathews and senior Biblical studies major Graham Griffin.

The Challenges

During high school, many students perceive teachers’ children as naturally intelligent, having an unfair advantage, privy to all the goings-on of administration and sundry other stereotypical characteristics. For Camp, Griffin and Mathews these stereotypes haven’t made a strong appearance during their college lives. However, there are a few that linger.

“Whenever [students] ask questions about stuff that [my dad] talks about in his classes, they don’t completely expect me to know answers,” Camp said, “but they kind of want me to have answers.”

For Griffin, stereotypes manifest mainly in occasional joshing from his friends on account of his status as “the dean’s son.”

Mathews experiences mild cases of stereotyping in the same vein as Griffin, which she says is actually the opposite of how things really are with her father.

“[It’s assumed] I can get away with things because my dad works here, but that is not the case at all,” Mathews said. “Actually, the exact opposite because I’m under tighter standards. Like, I have to have people sign off on things if I want to get a job in his college and things like that. So, I’m actually under stricter standards than if I didn’t have a parent who worked here.”

The Relationship

On the relationship front, all three students said that little has changed for the worse with their parents since coming onto campus.

“I feel like, potentially, we could allow it to be a really big deal,” Mathews said, “but my dad is really strict on professionalism. He wants to handle everything in the most professional, polite and logical way. That’s probably more his personality than mine, but, for the most part, it’s like we have to handle this as mostly separate entities just because if [I] were any other student [I] wouldn’t have any more say over [something] than anyone else.”

Likewise, for Camp, her and her father’s on-campus relationship is largely confined to moments when they meet in passing between classes.

Both young women also live at home where they have a more relaxed relationship with their fathers. Both Camp and Mathews also started out living on campus, then transitioned to living at home later. Even after tasting freedom and moving back in with her parents, Camp said it hasn’t strained her and her father’s relationship.

“It’s weirder having the first time living at home after having lived away be also overlapped with taking his class for the first time,” Camp said. “But, it doesn’t make anything bad. I’ll be like, ‘Hey dad, when is that genogram due again?” and he’ll be like, ‘Look at the syllabus.’ So… we try to keep it separate.”

For Griffin, if any change has occurred in his relationship with his dad, it has been for the better.

“When I was at home for school, we would come up to OBU for events all the time and see [my dad] work,” Griffin said, “so I’ve always known the academic side of my dad and then also the at-home side of my dad.”

These two parts of his dad he said are the same man, just in different roles, and this consistency is inspiring to him.

“It’s cool to get to see the relaxed [Dad] where he’s still living with such high standards and such intentionality even when he’s at home and not even on the clock at OBU,” Griffin said. “That’s been a testament to seeing what a kind of man he is and seeing that I want to be that kind of person.”

The Perks

Directly resulting from Griffin’s respect for his father is one of his favorite aspect of having his dad on campus with him.

“I can’t even express how big of a blessing it is still to be under the watch and care of my dad,” Griffin said. “It puts a certain level of accountability on me to have to know that I don’t just carry my name here. I carry the Griffin name here at OBU, which is more than just me. If I do something disrespectful, that reflects not only me, that reflects my dad.”

For Mathews the perks are less idealistic and more practical. She can go flop down on her dad’s couch whenever she needs a nap. And for Camp, well no questions were off-limits as a kid, and none are now either.

Student travels 2400 miles back to Bison Hill

By Jake Patton, Contributing Writer

At the beginning of the semester, my feet hit the ground on campus at another university, and I immediately knew I wasn’t home.

I transferred to another Christian university for a degree path that better suited me.

The path I chose was cinema, and I was extremely excited for this segment in life.

For starters, my trip across the country was not a fun journey, but it was a worth-while adventure because realizing that OBU is my home was the best thing that could have happened.

Being surrounded by 10,000 students in a foreign place was just not for me. I made it through one week before realizing that I was not meant to be anywhere but OBU.

On the last day, I packed everything into my car except for a blanket.

Waking up the next morning, I withdrew from this college and then jumped in my car and started the drive home.

As I was driving back to OBU, I called the admissions department, was re-instated and re-enrolled into my classes before I even made it to Tennesse.

I came back to OBU for two specific reasons: the community and the professors.

The community on Bison Hill is like no other.

People are what make a place so special, and a prime example is walking to class every day and being greeted by friends and fellow classmates as I stroll past the fountain or stop by the GC.

The professors at OBU are no exception to this type of camaraderie.

It’s an odd feeling when you have a friend who may be forty-five and in charge of your class, but this is also an example of how the professors on campus at OBU make learning fun and enjoyable.

Not being afraid to ask questions in class because your professor has your back is not something you can find easily.

I missed having this personal connection with my professors, and that led me back to Bison Hill.

I traveled 2400 miles in distance, spent 36 hours driving and moved into multiple dorms in a span of less than two weeks, and I would do it all again just to be home on Bison Hill.

Engage Week brings students together

By Ashton Smith, Assistant Features Editor

Part of OBU’s mission as a university is to engage in a diverse world. In turn, students are encouraged to go out and “engage,” and it all starts right here on Bison Hill.

This past week was Engage Week on campus, which is a week where students are able to connect with different clubs and student-led organizations.

The ultimate goal is for students to become more connected to campus as well as the Shawnee community.

Melissa Stroud, the assistant dean of students in the community and leadership engagement, is one of the driving forces behind this week.

“The idea is that incoming students are introduced to multiple opportunities to be involved on campus and in the community during Welcome Week and in particular at Un Cuerpo,” Stroud said. “However, we encourage them to keep their mind open and seek more information about those things that they are interested in.”

Un Cuerpo is meant to let incoming students see what’s available on campus, so that as they become immersed in OBU, they have a better idea what they might be interested in.

Engage Week is the follow up to that.

“During the following three weeks the hope is for the students to meet more people, talk about these opportunities and begin to feel drawn towards committing to just one or two,” Stroud said. “By having intentional conversations with the clubs at their tables, students are able to have conversations with the leaders about why they are interested in the club and what they can do to become involved in it,” she said.

“The true purpose of joining a club or organization is to help students determine where they can connect with others better.

“A large percentage of our student body is very active and involved and others have a more challenging time finding their place,” Stroud said. “It is my desire for students to look for ways in their lives to serve others, whether that is in the church, a local ministry, through their field of study, Res Life or on an athletic team — there are so many ways to impact our sphere of influence for good.”

But, if students don’t see an area where they can fit in or want to see an area of improvement or change in the clubs and organizations, they should continue to strike up conversations with students and faculty around campus.

“Clubs on campus are a built-in avenue for serving,” Stroud said. “If a student is unable to see how their passions, interests and gifting fits, then I’d love to sit and talk it through one-on-one with them.”

By continuing to grow and extend OBU’s reach in the diversity of their organizations, students will be better equipped to reach students who have similar passions.

For more information, visit OBU’s website, okbu.edu. Under the Student Organizations, Club Sports or Intramural Sports tab, students can view all of the possible options for potential clubs.

Sister in Christ bond through Pi Sigma Phi

By Jacob Factor, Features Editor  (Courtesy Photo/Jaden Jennings)

Students come to OBU for an experience they won’t get at a state school.

For most, that means a more “Christian” experience. That is also the reason people join OBU social clubs: a brotherhood or sisterhood designed to help each other grow as Christians.

Pi Sigma Phi member Kadrian Shelton, a senior marketing major, said she didn’t rush her freshman year because she thought the social clubs were like the stereotypical state school sororities.

“You think of sorority girls as high-maintenance girls who judge each other based on looks and social media. Once I gave it a shot and realized clubs like this thrive off beauty within, it allowed me to realize this wasn’t the typical group,” Shelton said. “They really are here to help each other and lift each other up.”

Jaden Jennings, a sophomore news and information major, said she wanted to find people she could connect with outside of her pom team. The girls on her pom team have dance as a connection, but she wanted to find people she could connect with differently. She found that in Pi Sigma Phi.

Jillian Murphy, a sophomore nursing major, said as a nursing major she was around other nursing majors all the time, she wanted to branch out to people of other majors.’

“[In Pi Phi] You’ve got anywhere from nursing majors, to history majors, to news and information majors, to everywhere in between.”

Shelton said social clubs are a way for people to gain new experiences.

“In the same way we attend a liberal arts school, to cultivate in different areas, that applies for girls who want to go in a social club,” she said. “They want to learn a new dance, or they want to meet new people or they want to go to an event and learn.”

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(Courtesy photo/Jaden Jennings) Senior Kadrian Shelton (middle), with her “littles”, sophomores Melanie Mikles (left) and Jaden Jennings (right).

Bonding Together

The first Jaden said she noticed about being a part of a social club was how involved on OBU’s campus they were.

“It’s a pathway that opens up a lot of more doors,” she said.

Shelton said the many events they do let other OBU students join the Pi Phis.

Murphy said Barn Dance is one of Pi Phi’s events where the whole OBU community can be involved.

One of the biggest things the social clubs do together is prayer retreats, and Jennings said this helped her get more connected to the rest of the Pi Phi girls.

“Taking that weekend to spend the night with the girls, get away from campus and bond with them in a different setting, it was an instant connection because we all traveled to Tulsa and bonded; we talked about our feelings and played games,” she said.

Shelton acknowledged the “camp high” that could come from the prayer retreats, and said they work on keeping the closeness throughout the rest of the school year.

“When we get back we have weekly meetings where we can keep each other accountable outside of [prayer retreats],” she said.

Another thing the social clubs do is have “bigs” and “littles”: older students who pair with younger students to provide even closer bonds than other sisters.

“I did not want to take a ‘little,’” Shelton said.“But going through that process and pushing myself to do it was one of the biggest rewards because I got Jaden and Mel. Both have offered so many routes to encouragement.”

Jennings said having Kadrian as a “big” was a life-changing experience.

“It was amazing. It still is,” she said. “She gave me someone I could always rely on in my life.”

A friend, or sister, for life is important to OBU’s social clubs, a fact Murphy said was instrumental in her decision to come back to OBU in January after leaving fall semester of her sophomore year to go to TCU.

“They didn’t even know if I wanted to be in Pi Phi again, they just said, ‘Hey, you were a sister at one point, so you’re always a sister. We want to help you,’” Murphy said.

She said she didn’t know how she would’ve been able to come back without Pi Phi.

“It would’ve been like starting over.”

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(Courtesy photo/Jaden Jennings) Sophomores Jillian Murphy and Jaden Jennings.

Pay-Per-Friend

Some people on OBU’s campus have said social clubs are just full of people who “buy friends.”

Shelton, Murphy and Jennings say this isn’t the case.

Jennings said the dues are for accessories and shirts.

“It’s not like your paying to live together or for the company,” Jennings said. “When you go to a store, you have to pay for a shirt. We just buy multiple shirts, so we prepay [with the dues].”

Shelton said it’s a choice to be friends with the Pi Phi girls.

“I’m choosing to be in the group just as much as I am paying dues,” Shelton said. “I would definitely be friends with these girls outside of the club. They’re people I would’ve invested in outside of the club.”

Lifting up Sisters

“You truly have people that are there for you,” Murphy said.

That statement is what makes the experiences of Murphy, Jennings and Shelton all the more meaningful.

When Murphy was a child, she said she was sexually assaulted.

“I didn’t want to feel pretty for the longest time,” she said.

However, she said she had people, including her Pi Phi sisters, pour into her life.

“It’s okay to feel like your worthy. It’s okay to know that you’re beautiful. It’s okay to know you’re the daughter of the most high king. You’re a princess.”

Murphy said her Pi Phi sisters taught her, teaches everyone, the importance of beauty and self-worth from a biblical perspective.

Jaden said she also has had problems feeling beautiful, but her Pi Phi sisters help her through it.

“A lot of girls have said they think the world of me. People saying that is a constant encouragement,” she said. “It’s different than passing your friends and going, ‘how are you?’ It’s a club of encouragement.”

Shelton said last semester her brother was diagnosed with cancer. It was really hard on her and her family, but Pi Phi stepped in to be with her.

“I got a lot of letters just encouraging me,” Shelton said.“That was really sweet.”

Outside of the social club, Pi Phi members also work to lift up other girls.

They volunteer at First Baptist Church of Tecumseh’s prom dress closet.

“The girls in the area can’t afford to go to prom or have prom dresses, shoes or jewelry, so we collect those things. We have sizes from 0 to 22, so it’s literally for any girl. It’s cool to see them have their princess moment,” Murphy said. “This year we’re doing a conference style one where we’ll have speakers, and the girls will bring their dresses and shoes and we’ll do hair and makeup.”

Working with the outside community is something Murphy said is important to Pi Phi.

“We all like getting dressed up. We all like caring about hair. But we all like serving our community and our nation.”

Jennings said the sense of community is important to her, as is the connection she has with her Pi Phi sisters.

“We are called sisters,” Jennings said. “The whole purpose of a sorority is to gain sisters, not just friends, but people you can rely on. Family is who you rely on, and that’s what we do.

Siblings on campus share experiences

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor 

Sibling relationships are of a different breed than most. Nine times out of 10, most siblings love and dislike each other all at the same time.

Having this type of relationship typically stems from the constant togetherness brought about during childhood. Constant togetherness that usually leads to brothers or sisters choosing their own path, but there are siblings who end up in the same place or university.

Students like senior digital media arts major Nick Dingus have experienced this for themselves. Dingus’s brother is a junior who followed in his footsteps and now attends OBU.

“It’s nice to family on campus, just in case you need them,” Dingus said.

Along with Dingus, there are many other students who have family with them at OBU as well.

Olivianna Calmes is a sophomore news and information major who has not one, but two siblings with her here on campus, who are both in the same class.

“It’s been the best thing for me to have them here,” Calmes said. “I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Calmes said that having her siblings here hasn’t been at all like she had expected. She said she anticipated having different friends and not seeing them often, but it wound up being completely different.

“I didn’t know how the dynamic would go knowing that we all had different majors, but I actually spend time with them every week and it is great,” Calmes said.

Calmes isn’t the only person on campus who is happy to have a sibling or two alongside her.

Junior biochemistry major Anna Harmon is attending OBU with her twin sister and said she wouldn’t want it any other way.

“My sister and I are best friends and pretty much joined at the hip, and honestly I never really pictured going to college without her,” Harmon said.

Harmon said getting to experience college with her twin just adds to the special bond they already have together. Especially since they are similar majors and suitemates, so they see each other quite often.

Freshman communications major Julia Jolly also said it is nice to have a sibling here on campus with her. Jolly’s family is in Texas, so she said having someone here make her feel less homesick.

“Having a sibling on campus makes you feel a little more at home. When I miss my parents I will go give my brother a hug, or he will go take me out for coffee,” Jolly said.

Among the many things that can come from having family nearby, there is also the support system that comes from it.

“I am increasingly thankful for the support my brother gives me, and the support I can give to my sister,” Calmes said.

Having that sense of support is positive for all parties involved. Knowing there is always someone there to encourage can make life seem like it is going a little smoother.

“It’s a little more secure, you just have security in the fact that you always have someone there,” Jolly said.

Although there are many good things to having a sibling on campus, there are also downfalls, which include the ability to be an individual.

“We are constantly referenced together,” Jolly said, “and yes we are similar, but I kind of have to make my own name for myself.”

Along with the brother Jolly currently has on campus, she also has another brother who went to OBU. Because they are a well-known family, she said it is sometimes difficult to be as involved as they have been.

“My brothers have just been so awesome that sometimes I feel like I need to live up to that image,” Jolly said.

 

Ben Rector to perform on campus in March

By Abigail Chadwick, Assistant News Editor   (Courtesy Photo)

 

March 3 at 7 p.m. University Concert Series (UCS) will present a concert in Potter Auditorium. The main performer of the concert will be Ben Rector.

“Ben Rector was chosen because he’s pretty well known and loved on OBU’s campus,” Sarah Claibourn, a UCS co-chair said.

“I had a lot of people asking if UCS could bring him to campus while we were still establishing the concert for the 2017-2018 school year.”

The Gray Havens will be opening for Ben Rector.

“[The Gray Havens] traditionally play at churches and universities,” Melissa Stroud, assistant dean of students: community and leadership engagement said.

“They are a husband and wife team that have amazing storytelling lyrics in their music, so I just thought they would be a good fit as well.”

The 300 free concert tickets sold out quickly.

“It only took three hours for the free 300 student tickets to be gone,” Claibourn said. “We opened the ticket table at 9 a.m. and had students lining up before then. It was very exciting.”

The remaining tickets are available for students and the public to purchase.

“Now we’re selling individual tickets for 10 dollars each for students and then the public tickets are for sale online and they’re $25,” Stroud said.

With a venue capacity of 1800, UCS is hoping for a sold-out concert.

“From a practical standpoint, UCS is expecting a big turn out from the public and the student body,” Claibourn said.

“Ultimately, we want Potter Auditorium to be packed and the concert to be sold out. Success in this concert means that UCS can continue to bring talented artists to Bison Hill.”

UCS hopes this concert will be enjoyed by students across campus.

“We hope to see students across campus come together for a really encouraging, but also energy filled night,” Stroud said.

“It’s going to be a great show and I think they will come together with friend groups. I hope to see RAs bringing their halls and different group clubs on campus coming as groups and making it an experience to have together.”

UCS views the concert as a way to bring the OBU community together.

“Overall, the concert is a great way for students to come together and enjoy a set of amazing music by an incredible artist and this, I believe, will bring OBU’s community closer together,” Claibourn said.

“Sharing concerts with my friends, or soon-to-be-friends, is one of the most bonding experiences. There is just something about standing in a room full of people singing the same song that brings people closer.”

Events like this concert are a way for OBU to connect with students and the surrounding community.

“I’m thankful that OBU as a university provides the opportunity for these types of experiences on campus,” Stroud said.

“It helps build community. It keeps us relevant to our students’ interests because it’s student led. Hopefully it brings in surrounding community to see a little bit about OBU because they’re going to come on campus and have a good experience.”

UCS events are paid for with money from student fees.

“Concerts and UCS events are covered by student fees, so I see it as a service to our students as part of what they’re expecting when they come to OBU, it’s part of the experience,” Stroud said.

UCS is also responsible for other campus events.

“UCS is a student lead organization that puts on multiple events each semester,” Claibourn said.

“Ultimately, our main purpose is to bring great artists to perform on OBU’s campus. However, we also host open mic nights and a trivia night each semester.”