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Page 15 of 42 (419 items)

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  •     Bethel University was host to a Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Panel Discussion on Thursday, Nov. 15 that focused on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case and on the opportunities and challenges the decision has presented.     Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. The nonprofit group Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts in apparent violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act or "BCRA"). In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that portions of BCRA §203 violated the First Amendment.      The decision reached the Supreme Court on appeal from a July 2008 decision by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Section 203 of BCRA defined an "electioneering communication" as a broadcast, cable, or satellite communication that mentioned a candidate within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary, and prohibited such expenditures by corporations and unions. The lower court held that §203 of BCRA applied and prohibited Citizens United from advertising the film Hillary: The Movie in broadcasts or paying to have it shown on television within 30 days of the 2008 Democratic primaries. The Supreme Court reversed, striking down those provisions of BCRA that prohibited corporations (including nonprofit corporations) and unions from spending on "electioneering communications."      The decision overruled Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce (1990) and partially overruled McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003). The Court, however, upheld requirements for public disclosure by sponsors of advertisements (BCRA §201 and §311).      Panelists for the discussion included the Honorable Judge Holly Kirby, a judge on the Tennessee Court of Appeals; Jim Brown, the Tennessee State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB); Brad Hurley, Carroll County Chamber Director; Allan Ramsaur, Executive Director of the Tennessee Bar Association; and Ed Lancaster, General Counsel for the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. Moderator was Rick Vaughn, Associate Athletic Director at Bethel.      Each panelist was given a five-minute time period to point out opportunities and challenges of the Citizens United decision and to pose possible solutions.      Judge Kirby began the discussion by pointing out that the Tennessee legislature is a citizen legislature where legislators are part time and must support themselves in other vocational endeavors. Judge Kirby also brought up the point that when she was a child, the legislature met for shorter periods of time and legislators had more time to run the businesses that provided their financial support.      “When you combine the rigors of how long legislators now meet with fundraising and the time spent to keep their own personal financial endeavors operating, the demands for being a legislator are exponential,” Judge Kirby said.      Judge Kirby also went on to say that legislators need a certain background and life experiences to be able to make wise legislative decisions.      “It seems that the legislature benefits from having lawyers because they can anticipate how legislation will play out in the real world,” she said.      Judge Kirby said the same was true for business owners who brought important real life experience to the job.      Judge Kirby pointed out that under Citizens United, for a relatively small amount of money, a single interest group can make a huge impact on a race.      “It shrinks the pool of candidates,” she said. “Tennessee will suffer if business leaders and lawyers do not run.”      Judge Kirby offered three steps toward capitalizing on the opportunities presented by Citizens United.      “First, there should be talks among business groups and with bar associations (both urban and rural) to see if a consensus can be reached for specific candidates,” she said.      “Second, there need to be talks to change the culture of how we decide on a candidate,” she said. “This culture needs to be to support the people chosen while they are serving. The Tennessee Bar Association does a good job of this when lawyers take on pro bono cases. There should be recognition that serving in the legislature is a high calling, and if someone takes this calling on, he or she must be supported.”      “Finally,” she said, “when an open seat comes up, these groups should not wait for political parties to look for candidates, but instead these groups should identify candidates with a rich knowledge of business and law.”       The next panelist, Jim Brown with the NFIB said he agreed with a lot of what Judge Kirby said.      “I actually think we are seeing really good folks come into the legislature,” Brown said.      “Citizens United didn’t fundamentally change things, but it did give us freedom to educate voters on where candidates are. Before, we were very restricted.”       Brown said, “I will take the contrarian view to Judge Kirby. I think business owners already want to run for office. Right now, one-third of Tennessee’s legislators are small business owners.”      Carroll County Chamber Director Brad Hurley used his time to pose questions.      “How do we recalibrate our thinking so that compromise is not a bad word?” he asked.       “How do we elect an official and not have it be about one issue?”      “And how do we get voters to invest in the legislative process? Said Hurley.      Allan Ramsaur with the Tennessee Bar Association said there are more insurance salesmen in the Tennessee State Legislature than there are lawyers.      “We lawyers think lawyers can do a good job. We are trained to see both sides of an issue and anticipate the consequences,” he said.      “On this topic, I do think there are encouraging signs out there, and I think we also have to recognize that voters are not tricked by deep pockets who run negative ad campaigns. Just having  the money advantage does not mean you have the advantage,” Ramsaur said.       Ramsaur said he did not think permanent coalitions could be formed.       “There are plenty of times we do agree, so I think issues are a common ground. You don’t really even have to have a majority. Seventy-thirty is still a compromise. Each group is having to give up something,” he said.      “My group’s role is to advocate legislation for our concerns,” said Ed Lancaster with the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. “We don’t endorse anyone, and we don’t have PAC money.      “A lobbyist’s job is to inform legislators on how a bill will affect constituents,” Lancaster said.      Lancaster went on to remind those at the panel discussion that their role was very important.      “Don’t forget. The legislators work for you so take advantage of that,” he said.
  •   The Bethel University Renaissance Program is excited to announce that tickets are now on sale for the Annual “Christmas with Renaissance.”      Shows will take place at the Bethel Performing Arts Center Friday Nov. 30 at 7 p.m., Saturday Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday Dec. 2  at 2 p.m. The following weekend shows will be in Bouldin Auditorium in the  Dickey Fine Arts Building Friday Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. and Saturday Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.       “The Annual “Christmas with Renaissance” is a concert that draws audience members from across the country” commented Rev. Peter Jeffrey, Executive Director of Renaissance.  “We will showcase every aspect of our exceptional program, and do it in the Christmas Spirit.”      Rev. Jeffrey also states that “this year’s Christmas with Renaissance” production is by far the best, most ambitious project we have ever attempted. It features all of the classic Christmas performances audiences have come to expect from Renaissance over the years, but also features the debut of “Renaissance Revolution!” a brand new ensemble that features a variety of percussion and orchestral instruments. This is one you absolutely do not want to miss.”      “Bethel Night” will be on Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. All Bethel Students, Faculty and Staff will receive a free voucher when they show their Campus ID.  For voucher reservation, please call the Bethel Bookstore.  This will be the only show that Bethel employees and students will be admitted at no charge.      Tickets are $10 for Adults and $5 for Students and are available at the Bethel University Bookstore located in the Vera Low Student Enrichment Center. Group rates for 15 or more are available. It is suggested that you get your tickets in advance. Sold out crowds are anticipated. For more information call 731-352-6445 or visit our website www.bethelu.edu. Tickets will be sold at the mail room window before 3 p.m., during the week and 3 p.m. to closing in the store.
  •   Alumni and friends are encouraged to register online for Bethel's 2012 Homecoming, which is Oct. 14-20 on the school's McKenzie campus. Events take place all week and end with the Homecoming Football Game on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 20 and a performance of "Smokey Joe's Cafe" by Renaissance Theatre at 8 p.m. that night. For a list of all Homecoming activities, go to http://www.bethelu.edu/alumni/homecoming/sm_files/Homecoming%20brochure%202.pdf. To register online for Homecoming events go to http://www.bethelu.edu/alumni/homecoming/registration_homecoming. For other questions about Homecoming 2012, contact Myra Carlock at 731-352-4090 or at carlockm@bethelu.edu. 
  •   In recognition of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Bethel University will hold a “Paint the Campus Pink” week Oct. 1-4. The event is sponsored by the school’s Student Government Association.       A number of activities will take place during the week. On Monday, Oct. 1, pink bracelets will be sold in the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment from 10:30 until 1 p.m. On Tuesday, Oct. 2, there will be a t-shirt contest in the Vera Low Center from 10:30 until 1 p.m. On Wednesday, Oct. 3, there will be a sorority-sponsored bake sale in the Vera Low Center from 10:30 until 1.      “One of the activities we will have is a luminary decorating event,” said Leanne Kerner, spokesman for the event. “Anytime during the day on Thursday, Oct. 4, luminary bags will be handed out to be decorated. This is free of charge. We really want anyone who has been touched by breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter, to come and decorate a bag.      “Then we will have a pink rally in the quad with chalking, lighting the luminaries, and a dance and snacks that night,” Kerner said. "The campus will also be lit with pink lights. We invite everyone to come check it out."      For more information about Bethel University’s “Paint the Campus Pink” week, contact Leanne Kerner at kerner.leanne@gmail.com.
  • Alex DeBonis, Assistant Professor of English at Bethel University, and Bethel Theatre major Patrick Crawford are featured in the September 2012 issue of the literary journal website decomP magazinE. DeBonis’ story “Nursery,” is a flash fiction (a story of less than 1,000 words) piece, and it is read in character by Crawford.
  • The Bethel University Renaissance Theatre Program is excited to present the Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue “Smokey Joe’s Café.” Performing at 10 venues across Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina this tour will bring back songs that we all know and love.
  • Greenfield, Tenn. - The Bethel University Archery Team did well at the Tennessee State Archery Association Championship tournaments over the weekend.
  • The Bethel University Wildcats were ranked No. 8 in the 2012 NAIA Men's Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll released Tuesday.
  •   Bethel held its Fall 2012 Opening Convocation on Tuesday, Aug. 28 in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena. Opening Convocation is the official beginning of the new school year for traditional students at Bethel University. Fall semester classes for traditional students actually began Monday, Aug. 20.      Dan Ridley was the convocation speaker. Ridley is a 46-year lifelong learner and educator. He is an alumnus of Bethel College with a Master of Arts degree in Teaching. He also has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Memphis State University. Ridley completed his undergraduate work in Communications at the University of Tennessee at Martin.  
  • Cadence Whaley debuted as the first ever featured twirler for the Bethel University Band during halftime of the first home game of the season. She twirled three batons at once and twirled fire (shown above).

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