Adjunct professor makes lasting impact

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor

Thursday, April 25th, previous OBU adjunct professor, Brian Blansett, was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.

“It’s a pretty big honor,” Blansett said. “A lot of first-rate journalists have been nominated and it’s an honor to be recognized beside them.”

In order to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, a person must be nominated and then chosen by a selection committee. Blansett was nominated by retired editor of The Oklahoman, Joe Hight.

Blansett said he knew as a third-grader that he wanted to be a newspaperman and since then it’s been a very fun ride.

“I didn’t have any particular idea what that meant at the time,” Blansett said. “I just knew I wanted experiences, and that’s what I got.”

Blansett has worked for the Stratford Star, the Ada Evening News, the Sulphur Times-Democrat, The Daily Ardmoreite, the Waco Tribune-Herald, the Shawnee News-Star and was also elected as the president of the Oklahoma Press Association in 2017.

Blansett currently owns the Tri-County Herald in Meeker and Stroud American and said it’s the most fun he’s had in his entire career.

During his time at the Waco Tribune-Herald Blansett led the coverage over the assault on the Mount Carmel Center by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, as well as, an investigative series over the Branch Davidians, which was eventually a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Assistant professor of journalism Holly Easttom said that Blansett has done everything in his career to be an accurate, invested and professional journalist with an amazing personal style.

“Brian is an exceptional journalist, an exceptional educator and an exceptional human,” Easttom said. “In all of the individuals in my life, he’s in the top 10 of people I know, respect, admire and want to emulate to a certain extent, professionally. He’s the gold standard.”

While being a journalist and an educator, Blansett has also been a mentor to others in his field.

OBU alum, Nicole Smith, said Blansett made her the journalist she is today.

“When I first started working for Brian as an intern my sophomore year of college, I thought I was already where I needed to be as a writer,” Smith said. “But I quickly realized I had a lot more to learn and Brian had a lot more to teach me.”

Smith said Brian continued to work with her as a mentor and friend throughout her college career and assigned her stories most people wouldn’t give to a college student.

“He gives you challenges that he believes you can meet and exceed even if you don’t believe it yourself,” Smith said. “Then when you do succeed; he’s never surprised.”

Both Smith and Easttom said Blansett’s induction into the Hall of Fame is not a surprise and if anything, long overdue. Smith said to her he’s already a legend and always has been.

“His work with the Waco-Tribune more than speaks for his abilities as a journalist and leader,” Smith said. “This is more of a formal recognition of what anyone he’s worked with already knows. He’s the best journalist I know, and I hope he continues to mentor many more young journalists, because the world needs more like him.”

Brian will be back on Bison Hill next semester teaching photojournalism.

Remembering tragedy: OKC bombing memories still strong 24 years later

By Chelsea Weeks and Loren Rhoades, Editor-In-Chief and Assistant Features Editor

“I was actually walking out to come to work that morning and heard it. You could hear it from that far away.”

– Bobby Cox, baseball coach and assistant professor of KAL

April 19, a day of sorrow and remembrance for many Oklahomans. On that date 24 years ago, ex-army soldier Timothy McVeigh parked a Ryder rental truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The truck contained a fertilizer bomb that after being detonated led to the death of 168 people and the injury of over 650 others.

Until September 11, 2001, McVeigh’s act of violence and terrorism was the deadliest attack to ever occur in the United States.

For most students on OBU’s campus, the April 19th bombing is an event that occurred before their birth, but for some OBU faculty and staff members, it is a day they will always remember.

“I was actually walking out to come to work that morning and heard it,” baseball coach and assistant professor of KALS, Bobby Cox said. “You could hear it from that far away.”

Cox said the baseball team was supposed to compete against Oklahoma City the next day but canceled the game due to the tragedy. The team rescheduled the game for a few days later and witnessed the wreckage on their way there.

“So, you’re driving across town and you could see it was still smoking at the time,” Cox said. “The interstate was raised at that point so you could see down in there and it was just like total silence.”

Different professors on campus said it was a time filled with questions for Oklahomans as well as for students on Bison Hill.

“If I had to describe it, it was just a lot of confusion,” HHP professor Dr. Norris Russell said. “There was a lot of ‘why?’ and ‘what’s the deal?’ It took a while for the whole situation to finally unravel.”

Although the event caused a large amount of heartache, it also brought people closer together. People from all over the U.S. were heading toward OKC to see how they could help in some way.

Professor of history Dr. Carol Humphrey said there were also OBU students with the desire to aid those who were affected by the bombing.

“There were a lot of students at the time who weren’t from Oklahoma, so they were shocked by it, but they also wanted to see if there was a way to help out,” Humphrey said. “So, I think in some ways it did bring people together in ways that had not been true before.”

The Murrah Building bombing changed the lives of so many forever. In response to the domestic terrorist act, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the Oklahoma City National Memorial Act of 1997, which established the site as a National Memorial. A task force of over 350 people was assigned by Oklahoma City mayor Ron Norick to memorialize those who were lost in the attack.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial was formally dedicated April 19, 2000, five years after the bombing. The Museum was dedicated a year later February 19, 2001. The mission statement of the Memorial was to “remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever.”

The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial consists of a multitude of elements to honors those who were lost.

Twin bronze gates frame the entrances to the memorial. 9:01 is found in the eastern gate and represents the last moments of peace. 9:03 is found on the western gate and represents the first moments of recovery.

In between these two gates lie the Reflecting Pool, a thin layer of water running over black granite. Those who peer into the Reflecting pool are supposed to see “a face of a person changed by domestic terrorism.”

168 empty chairs made from bronze, glass and stone can be found south of the Reflecting Pool. Etched in each chair is the name of a lost father, mother, brother, sister – a family member, a victim of hatred. The chairs were designed to represent an empty chair at the dinner table of a victim’s family.

In the southwest corner, the only remnants of the Murray Building have been transformed into the Survival Wall. Granite salvaged from the Murray Building has been inscribed with the names of over 800 survivors.

The 112-year-old American Elm that used to offer shade to vehicles, was damaged from the blast. Evidence of the attack was found in the branches and bark of the old tree. Many thought it would be lost, but a year later it began to bud and continue to grow. Its determination to survive mirrors the determination of those impacted by the attack.

On the anniversary of the attack, seeds from the Survivor Tree are sent across the country to be planted. For the 22nd anniversary in 2017, a Survivor Tree seed was planted right here on Bison Hill and can be found south of Raley Chapel.

The 33,000 square foot Memorial Museum strives to tell the story of the horrific domestic attack and the hope that followed after.

The cost is $15 for adults, $12 for students and free for children under fi ve. People from all over the country come to visit the site and get involved.

The 16th Annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon will take place Sunday, April 28, 2019. There will be a variety of races available for all individuals including a full and half marathon, a 5k, a kids marathon and a relay marathon. For more information about the race or to sign

Students juggle parenthood and classes

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor

College is a stressful time, but imagine throwing parenthood into the mix.

Three students on campus, sophomore nursing major April Miller, senior apologetics major Avery Wood and senior family science major Becca Ward are each in a different stage of parenthood.

Miller is a mother of six, Wood is the father to a nine-month-old daughter and Ward is pregnant and expecting her first child around the end of April.

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 26 percent of all undergraduate students are currently raising children.

All three students said the hardest tasks while being both a student and parent are scheduling and time management.

“I have six kids that all play sports, and are all on academic team,” Miller said. “So, I have to figure out how to get them to their stuff but also find time to study.”

Each of them said that discipline is key, and that they must decide what of their studies are the most important to focus on and how to get everything accomplished in a timely manner.

For example, because Ward’s due date is in the end of April, she’s had to get work done in advance since she will be gone for a few weeks before finals.

“There has been a lot of planning ahead and figuring out what all I have due at the end of the semester so I can do it early,” Ward said. “Spring break was spent doing a lot of extra homework so that I can have it done and turn it in when I’m gone.”

On top of finding time to study there is also the issue of sacrifice, the sacrifice of personal time and even hobbies.

Being a parent is a full-time job, and people in the position of parenthood not only make these sacrifices for their children, but also for their partners.

“Having a child has definitely opened my eyes that children are, as scripture says blessings; they never count them as a curse, but they are a handful,” Wood said. “So, I do have a heart for single parents, because I couldn’t do this by myself.”

In Miller’s case, a lot of the load of taking care of the children and getting them from place to place lies on her.

Her husband works in the oil field and is gone for two weeks at a time, so when he is away it is her responsibility alone.

Miller said that she realizes now that she took school for granted before having children, but now she appreciates her schooling more than she did before.

“I wish I would’ve done it then, because it would’ve been a lot easier,” Miller said. “But with age brought focus, maturity and an appreciation for school.”

Although difficult at times, all three said they wouldn’t change their situation. They each said they feel called to be a parent and consider the opportunity to be a blessing.

For Ward, her pregnancy has been a blessing in itself. Both her and her husband knew they wanted to start a family at a young age, so this experience is something they have both been praying for.

“Pregnancy is such a cool experience,” Ward said. “There is so much anticipation and excitement, and it’s fun because everyone around you gets excited too.”

As a new parent, Wood said this experience has taught him that although life is sometimes tough, everything is doable with Jesus. Also, he’s experienced an unconditional love for someone that he never knew existed before.

“Don’t be afraid to step out of the water in faithfulness and say let’s have kids, even if I’m in school and have a job, because the reward and blessing are so much greater,” Wood said. “The consequences so to speak, pale in comparison to the rewards and the joy you get from having children.”


On The Hill: Jude Balthazar

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor

“I want them to not take the land of America for granted,” Jude Balthazar said.
Balthazar is a senior vocal music major from Haiti who spent six years working towards studying music in America.
It all started when he was introduced to associate professor of music, Dr. Louima Lilite in the summer of 2009 at a music camp in Haiti.
“Since being introduced to him it’s been completely different,” Balthazar said. “I don’t think it’s someone I could let go of, for what I am learning and how I am growing.”
Balthazar was studying computer science at the time but wanted to come to the United States, so he asked Lilite if he could help him find a scholarship to come study at OBU or Biola University in California.
Lilite could help, but only with scholarships in the field of music. Thus, starting Balthazar’s career in vocal music.
“I never had a music dream, but one thing I always felt was that I always wanted to be on stage,” Balthazar said.
Before coming to the U.S. Balthazar had to first better his English.
While working on his English proficiency, he was invited to study music at a university in Trinidad and Tobago in 2013.
There he received an artist diploma in music performances.
Once he finished the program in Trinidad and Tobago in 2016, he began the process of applying to OBU.
Dr. Lilite said it was a miracle from God that finally brought Balthazar to the university.
“Loads of prayers were lifted up to God on his behalf,” Lilite said. “Donations were giv-en from all over the place until there was enough funding for the US consulate to grant him a student visa.”
Balthazar said once he arrived everything was completely different than he anticipated, specifically the academic system.
With English being his second language, not everything was easy for him to grasp.
Especially because the English he studied in Trinidad is not the same as it is here.
“Being here I have been in a situation where I have had to learn differently and grow differently,” he said.
Although difficult at first, Balthazar has used the opportunity of being at OBU to his advantage. Lilite said he constantly listens and seeks to take to heart what is taught to him here.
“His singing has blossomed and continues to bless many,” Lilite said. “He spots needs and seeks to meet them. He is much more mature and flexible now than when we first met. In this case, I am grateful to see OBU’s mission at work — true life transformation has occurred in him.”
Balthazar said being at OBU and in the U.S. has taught him that there is a better way to do things, and not only in the aspect of academics and respecting others, but also with his voice.
“I have learned to control myself, I have learned to manage myself and I have learned to let God use me to be a better me,” he said.
Lilite said that Balthazar has impacted his life in many ways and that teaching him has taught him things as well.
“To be able to mold a voice like Jude’s is a tremendous gift from God,” Lilite said. “I am humbled by the numerous ways God shows me His grace and faithfulness as I teach Jude. I grow more knowledgeable of the craft of voice teaching because of my work with him.”
Balthazar is grateful for what he has learned from Lilite and OBU. He wants people to understand that it was not a short journey that got him her, and that they should be thankful for the opportunities that are available to them.
“The reason why I’m here studying music is because I cannot do it how I wanted in my own country,” Balthazar said. “If I could do it how I wanted in my country, I would stay home and be with my family, but in order to get this you need to lose that.”

Embracing singlehood in college

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor

There I was drinking my coffee, when I was asked the dreaded question. “Oh, you’re still single?”

When I’m asked this I never know how to respond. Obviously, my initial response is “yes” but it almost seems as if people don’t like that answer nowadays.

Many people equate saying ‘yes’ to being single as admitting there is something wrong with who you are.

Being single is so looked down upon today, that it makes those who are feel like they will never be enough.

Our society has put such a stigma on not being in a relationship that anyone in that situation is bound to feel bad about his or her situation.

This stigma is portrayed in books, movies and even music. For example, almost every
rom-com celebrates finding “the one” while pitying the single supporting characters.

Every indie song ever bemoans the heartbreak which accompanies singlehood,
and Five Seconds of Summer mourns lost love in “Youngblood.”

While there are tunes which celebrate embowered singles (think Beyonce and Ariana
Grande), most songs on the radio deal with the loneliness or insecurity of some sort. We are constantly being fed the idea that we must be in love in order to achieve happiness.

But we don’t have to listen to that particular message any longer. It is time to embrace the idea that singles can and will live joyful and fulfilling lives. If you have already embraced this mindset than that’s fantastic, but if not, this is for you.

I’m 20 years old now and this school year is the first time I’ve been single since I was 16.  Initially being solo was a strange feeling but as time goes on, I’m realizing it’s the best thing for me.

I have time to devote to things and people that I didn’t before; I also have the opportunity to learn more about who I am outside of a relationship. Although realizing this time alone is good for me, it hasn’t made life any easier.

It’s hard enough being single in college, let alone on a small campus where over half of the student population is either dating, engaged or married.

Being constantly surrounded by couples who are head over heels in love can at times be disheartening. It can also make you feel extremely lonely and unfulfilled.

But I’ve decided I won’t allow myself to feel that way. I don’t need a significant other, in order to be happy or fulfilled. All I need is the love of family and friends, and most importantly, Jesus Christ.

I’ve been given this time to learn more about myself and the people around me. So instead of sulking around about what I don’t have, I should be grateful for what I do.

In fact, the Bible touches on this notion specifically. In 1 Corinthians 7:7 the Apostle Paul describes singleness as a gift that is worth just as much as marriage. Singleness is the gift of time that you can share with others. It is the gift of love you spread amongst everyone you know. It is the gift of intentionality that you put into your relationships.

Singleness does not have to be looked at as a burden, but as a blessing. Even if you are single but long to be married, this is a time that should be cherished, because you may never again get such an opportunity to discover your own voice.

Stop focusing on the idea that being single now means you will be that way forever.

If you are called to marriage, then it will happen when the time is right—and in the meantime, enjoy the growth and be in the moment.

While it may be God’s plan for some to live in holy matrimony, I would say there is
also a treasure in being called to singleness.

Jesus never married, and neither did Jeremiah. God specifically commanded Jeremiah not to marry in order to fulfill his calling as a prophet.

Whether it be for a season or a lifetime, living in singleness allows you to focus on finding fulfillment in God alone.

It gives you the opportunity to look at love as something that is universal throughout all types of relationships, not only romantic.

So the next time someone asks you if you are dating, try not to feel as if your answer is lacking somehow—it isn’t, and it reflects where you are now.

And you are right where God envisioned you.

On the Hill: Kaleigh Reynolds

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor

School, workand an autoimmune disease, that is the everyday life of Kaleigh Reynolds.  

Reynolds is a sophomore communication studies major who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease two weeks before starting her freshman year.   

From the day I was diagnosed to moving in it was a struggle,” she said. “I didn’t have time to process what was going on with my body or to figure out what I could and couldn’t eat before moving to OBU.”  

Crohn’s disease is condition in which the gastrointestinal tract becomes chronically inflamed. Symptoms of the disease include abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, fever, exhaustion, loss of appetite, etc.  

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, there is currently no cure for Crohn’s disease nor an exact cause of the condition. Treatments for the disease only exist in order to alleviate symptoms and to prevent further complications.  

For Reynolds and her family, it is a continual learning process to discover what she can eat, what medications work best and how to use her disease as a tool to help others.  

After living with this disease for a year and a half, I’ve realized that life is short and you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you respond to it,” she said. “I just try to live every day positively.”   

 The positive outlook that Kaleigh has now isn’t one that has come easily. Crohn’s not only takes a toll on her physically, but also emotionally and spiritually.  

In order to keep up with the physical aspect, she has had two colonoscopies, attends doctors’ appointments every three months, has bloodwork done regularly, meets with a nutritionist and does biweekly self-injections 

“Physically, I’ve overcome a lot from knowing what my body likes, to losing almost 30 pounds due to the loss of nutrients and gaining it all back,” Reynolds said. “I’ve also had to overcome the toll that Crohn’s has on my body like getting fevers out of nowhere and constantly getting up to go to the restroom.”  

Emotionally, both Reynolds and her family were on a rollercoaster ride at the beginning of her journey with Crohn’s.  

“When she was first diagnosed, we had no idea how difficult this disease was,” Reynold’s mother Laurie Reynolds said. “For the first nine months to a year, we felt very helpless and just wanted to take this from her.”   

What made the situation even harder, was that Reynolds and her parents were now living three and a half hours apart. So not only were they having to quickly learn all they could about the disease, but they were having to do it from different states.  

“It’s been very challenging and heartbreaking,” Reynolds father Sean Reynolds said, “but having some distance is teaching her how to manage this on her own.”  

For Reynold’s the most emotionally draining part of her journey with Crohn’s is the lack of confidence she felt in the beginning. She thought no one would want to have a relationship with her or even be near her because of this disease.  

On top of that, she continually has to work on loving herself physically. Since having this disease causes her weight to fluctuate frequently it is sometimes hard for her to love the body she’s been given 

“With my weight jumping up and down the way it does, my mom has had to remind me that, ‘you need to show your body some grace, because your body has been through so much in the past year that this is something you have to be okay with,’” she said.  

Due to the constant pain and suffering she felt in the beginning, Reynolds also questioned why this is a burden that she must bear.  

“When I was first diagnosed, I questioned a lot about what I did to deserve this,” she said. “I was very upset with God because I didn’t feel like I did anything wrong in my life.”  

But as time has passed Reynolds said it continues to make her faith stronger, because she is able to help others through her Crohn’s. Being able to reach out to those in similar situations helps her to trust that the Lord gave her this for a reason.  

“While having it and learning more about it, I’ve just learned that God gave this to me for a reason, because something that could be miserable for me could be a blessing to somebody else,” she said. 

Reynold’s parents said despite the emotional and physical struggle she continues to endure, she never tries to throw in the towel. They said although it’s been difficult, she rarely complains and continues to fight hard every single day.  

“Her faith has stayed strongand for me as her father it is one of the strongest points I have seen in her,” Sean said.  

Both of Reynolds parent said that she inspires them to be better than they werebecause of all she has overcome. They are happy that she’s embracing that this is her story, because it is a message of hope.   

 “Every colonoscopy and every needle punch is a part of her story,” Sean said.  

On the Hill: Mackenzie Camp

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor

“There’s not a single person in the world who doesn’t have a relationship”

When it comes to having a particular skill or talent, people usually correlate it with having musical ability or athleticism. There is one student on OBU’s campus who has proven that the ability to build meaningful relationships is also a reputable skill. 

Sophomore family and community service major, Mackenzie Camp, said having relationships that are solid and grounded is one of the main things she has always valued.  

“I love talking about relationships, because there’s not a person in the world who doesn’t have a relationship,” she said.  

She said her main interest in relationships themselves stems from the enjoyment of seeing people get along. She loves helping people to resolve conflict whether it be in friendships or romantic relationships.  

“I think the Lord has gifted me in listening and helping people interact with other people,” Camp said.  

Sophomore English major, Jonathan Soder, said you can see Camp’s interest in people through her want and ability to have meaningful conversation with those around her.  

“She wants to talk about stuff that actually matters,” he said. “It’s refreshing to have someone to talk about what life really is and the difficulties of college with.” 

Camp believes in order to build connections with others that one must be accessible to everyone they are around. She tries to be available to her friends whenever they need her, as well as honest about how she thinks different issues can be solved.  

“I’ve always been good at being relatively real with people, and I think people value that more than they think they do when developing friendships,” Camp said.   

Camp said OBU caters well to how she develops friendships and connections with other people. She said she can’t picture going anywhere else because of the community she gained from going to this university.   

“I’ve always seen community as really important,” she said. “So being at a place that nurtures community well has been great for me.”  

Camp’s heart for community and relationship is rooted in her heart for ministry. Her hope for the future is to work on staff at a church in a counselor position or to go overseas and counsel missionaries stationed there. In doing so, she wants to teach people how to emulate their relationship with Christ in their earthly relationships.  

“For me relationship is an important part of the kingdom because that’s how you build discipleship, community and fellowship,” Camp said, “It’s also what you have with Christ, so why wouldn’t it be important to have relationship with other people who are made in the image of God?”  

She said that if she can help couples and friends to date, marry and better their relationships while also glorifying God, that will be her way of fulfilling what the Lord wants for her life. She wants to not only teach how important relationships are in a person’s life, but also all they have to offer. Specifically, because the forming of a relationship with another person is one way to share the gospel.  

“Since calls to discipleship and things like that are based on relationships, I think there’s so much riding on them that to not pay them any attention is to put the Kingdom of God on a back burner,” Camp said.  

Camp’s goal is to invest in others in such a way that her love for them is evident and that they are able to invest the same type of love into their friends and family.  

“I think the big thing that shows through as Christlikeness in Mackenzie’s approach to friendship, is just her propensity for investment,” Soder said. “She invests in people easily and she demonstrates selflessness that is refreshing to people.”

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.”

OBU has added seven potential clubs to the list

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant News Editor

Thanks to a large interest in club sports during engage week, OBU now has seven prospective clubs to add to their list.

These clubs include bass fishing, tennis, disc golf, ultimate frisbee, men’s lacrosse and men’s volleyball.

Intramural and club sports coordinator David Gardner said with the club sports program still being in infancy, he was surprised by the number of clubs proposed during the past week.

“Before the year started, my main goal was to really try to make sure that I had all the people that were a part of active clubs completely solid and in the recruiting process,” Gardner said. “I wasn’t going to focus too much on new clubs, maybe one or two but the interest has been so big that I will help out more.”

Of the seven clubs proposed, four will soon to chosen to become active this school year. Each club will go through a specific process of getting started.

The beginning stages are to first identify leadership and to form each club based on a co-chair system.

After co-chairs have been chosen, they will then write a constitution.

“Once they write the constitution, they will form it however they want to see the vision of the club move,” Gardner said, “All club sports are student-run and I am just there to help that process.”

Once the constitution is written, each club will have a senator from SGA sponsor a bill to promote them as a club and it will go up for a vote amongst the SGA members.

After the new clubs are passed as legitimate clubs, they will be able to start scheduling events for the spring semester to compete against other universities or sports leagues.

Each club also will find a faculty sponsor for their specific sport. Sponsors are required to attend one practice or game each semester.

They also help with any scheduling or financial questions that the club’s leadership might have.

Director of International Student Services Joy Carl is the faculty sponsor for the men’s club soccer.

She said that each sponsor is just who the athletes are accountable to as a club and that the largest responsibility lies on each club’s co-chairs when it comes to making sure everyone attends practices and that games are scheduled.

Senior criminal justice major Sydney Howard has been in a leadership role in women’s volleyball since her freshman year, and she said the responsibility given to her made an impact on who she is.

“Because of club sports, I have really grown into my leadership qualities,” Howard said. “I never really considered myself a leader and not really a follower either. I just didn’t think I could be someone that could be in charge of people and negate different things. I think I have found a part of myself that I didn’t know I was capable of before.”

Gardner’s goal for club sports is to make them strong and established, in order for student like Howard to gain something from each club. “My goal would not be to keep adding clubs every year,” Gardner said. “I’m more worried about quality as opposed to quantity. I want to make these clubs the best they can be and to show these students that have a support system.”

Club sports allows students to be a part of something outside of academics and gives them an opportunity to compete in a sport without being an extreme commitment.

“The major benefit of club sports is that it gives an opportunity to the students not playing at the varsity level to have a chance to play a sport that they are passionate about, and to be able to do it at a level that is still going to be competitive for them,” Carl said.

Faculty Remembers 9/11

By Loren Rhoades, Assistant News Editor

September 11, 2001.
The day that continues to lay heavy on the hearts of Americans everywhere.
The four terrorist attacks (by Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda) targeting the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the country’s capital, have forever left a mark on this nation’s history.
Due to the attacks, the country’s security is now at an all-time high, the war with the Middle East is ongoing and citizens continue to share their memories of the tragic day.
Professor of history and political science Dr. Sherri Raney said she remembers the great amount of confusion expressed on the radio, news stations and even on campus.
“As I was driving and hearing the reports, I was, of course, shocked, and as a historian I’m thinking about the Murrah Building bombing and the older disasters in my life like Robert Kennedy’s death or Martin Luther King’s death,” Raney said.
While thinking about the older disasters, specifically the bombing in Oklahoma, she said she was questioning who the mastermind behind the attacks might be and if, like the Murrah bombing, it was a fellow American, but that she didn’t want to jump to any conclusions.
When she got to her first class one of her usually punctual students came to class late and started questioning the events and the possible cause.
“I took the position during that class that we wouldn’t try to speculate about what had happened or who did it that fast,” she said. “We would go on with the class material and when we knew more we could talk more about it.”
Professor of history Dr. Carol Humphrey said all the students and faculty on OBU’s campus were upset as they were watching the story unfold, and that they all came together to help each other through the process.
They had students from the east coast who were worried that they might know someone hurt in the attacks, so other students were helping them to reach out to friends and family.
“What I saw not just at OBU but overall, was that it brought people together and inspired patriotism,” Raney said. “Our country had been attacked and initially it unified Americans in opposition to extremism.”
Even today, the memory of 9/11 impacts the campus in memory of those who were lost.