- Prospective traditional undergraduate students were on campus on Thursday, Jan. 17 for Bethel's Winter Preview Day. Students had the opportunity to meet with various departments and to tour campus and get a feel for the school. Students can also contact the Office of Enrollment Services about the Hendrix Scholarship Competition on Feb. 22 & 23, and an Open House on Saturday, March 16. Prospective students who cannot attend these events are encouraged to contact Enrollment Services at 731-352-4030 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to determine a campus visit that will be convenient to them.
- The American Red Cross is proud to partner with Bethel University to raise awareness about a condition that is prominent within the community but rarely spoken about. Sickle Cell Anemia affects more than 80,000 people in the U.S., 98 percent of whom are African American. This blood disorder is an inherited disease that causes red blood cells to form in an abnormal crescent shape, which doesn’t move easily through the blood vessels. When sickle-shaped cells block small blood vessels, blood flow decreases to that part of the body. Tissue that does not receive normal blood flow eventually gets damaged, causing pain and organ damage. Lamar Bowen of Bethel University lives with Sickle Cell and says this is an issue the community must address. “I think it is very important to talk about Sickle Cell. We have to educate ourselves about this condition to raise awareness about the importance of donating blood and to help educate future generations,” said Bowen. “There area people out there living with Sickle Cell who are struggling to find the right blood type match. I want the community to know that giving blood could help save a life and prevent someone from having to go through serious pain.” Bowen is a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. His fraternity brothers are fully supportive of the drive, “We hope this blood drive is a huge success and that we get the most donors are possible to help those in need,” said Bowen. Patients living with this special condition need frequent transfusions to survive. A single Sickle Cell patient could receive up to 100 pints of blood each year to continue to live with the disease. Because certain blood types are unique to certain racial or ethnic groups, it is essential that the diversity of the blood donors match the diversity of these patients in need. Transfusions from blood donors of the same ethnic background are most beneficial because they have less chance of causing complications for the recipient. * If you have sickle cell disease, you are not eligible to donate blood. * If you have sickle cell trait, you are eligible to donate blood. The American Red Cross is holding the first Sickle Cell blood drive in the Bethel Community on January 23, 2013 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. at Bethel University. To make your appointment for this blood drive, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: 1158 All presenting donors will be entered to win a $1,000 home improvement gift card and a tablet computer valued at $500! This special blood drive is part of our Blue Tag initiative. To ensure that your blood donation goes to help a Sickle Cell patient, please identify yourself as African American or Black and allow our blood collection staff to place a blue tag on your blood donation. The blue tag will notify our processing lab that this blood donation is designated for the Sickle Cell Donor Program. If your blood is not a match for the Sickle Cell Donor Program, it is stored until it is needed. If the blood approaches its expiration date and has not been needed by a Sickle Cell patient, it will be used by another patient in need. The American Red Cross strives to ensure every blood donation helps a patient in need. How to Donate Blood: Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information or to make an appointment. All blood types are needed to ensure the Red Cross maintains an adequate blood supply. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors 18 and younger. About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.
- Tavares, Fl. –Bethel's Zach Parker and Matthew Roberts brought in 25-1 on day two to dominate competition by a 9-9 margin of victory in the Carhartt College Series South Regional's on the Harris Chain in Tavares, Florida Saturday. The two Bethel Bass Cats had the heaviest bags of the event. Bethel set the all-time one-day and two-day heavyweight records at 29-2 and 54-3 respectively for the Carhartt College Series. The Parker-Roberts day-one effort was the heaviest of the event earning them the award of the Bass Pro Nitro Big Bag of the tournament. Parker commented, "A sharp cold front which came through on day one actually helped us as the front pushed a lot of the fish out of the shallow water to the drop we had picked as fish were all over that area. Bethel also had strong performances from Myles Palmer, Dalton Wilson, and others. The Bass Cats had three teams to qualify for nationals. Bethel Coach Garry Mason was pleased and proud of his entire team. "Bethel is the only college to ever repeat in back to back championships in two different trails. I am so proud of all these young people. Zach and Matthew were just amazing and to break the all-time records is just phenomenal." Contributing to this article: Shaye Baker
- Students returned to classes on Bethel University’s McKenzie campus on Monday, Jan. 7 – the beginning of the school’s spring 2013 traditional semester. Here, traditional undergraduate students got introductions from Dr. Audrey Sistler, Professor of Human Services and Psychology, during the first day of Psychology 330: Research Methods. Students can still enroll in and register for spring 2013 traditional classes until Friday, Jan. 11 by calling 731-352-4030 or by emailing email@example.com.
- Chick-fil-A at Bethel University will be open from 11 to 7 during the Christmas break. It will still be closed on Sundays as it always is.
- Four hundred forty individuals earned degrees on Saturday, Dec, 8, during Bethel University’s Fall 2012 Commencement. The ceremony was held in the Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena in the Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment on the school’s McKenzie campus. Dan Cathy, President and Chief Operating Officer of Chick-fil-A, was the commencement speaker. Cathy has served as President and COO of the 1608-plus Atlanta-based restaurant chain since 2001. During his speech, Cathy pointed out that his company places much focus on teaching the skills of showing honor, dignity and respect toward others. “Restaurant – one of its meanings is a place for restoration,” Cathy said. “We consider this not just restoration of our stomachs, but it’s about restoration of our hearts and souls.” Cathy went on to say that there is much demand for the graduates to take us into the future, and he offered three points to the graduates. “I command you to have a smart phone,” he said. “Looking at these reminds us of how much things are changing. Just as you upgrade your phones and embrace new technology, upgrade your minds too. “Also, have joy and meaning in your work,” he said. “The most important truths in life have never changed. Stay true to those things and be zealous about what you do. “Finally,” he said. “Today, I am going to be handing you a baton. Success is all about succession. My hope is that you will carry on such truths and ideals and carry them with pride and care to preserve them for future generations. “The handoff makes all the difference in an actual relay. You have to be in sync with those who are passing the baton to you, and you have to actually take the baton from the other’s hand.” Cathy demonstrated what happened when the baton is dropped. “If you worked, sweated and trained for years, and during the critical moments you hear the sound of the baton dropping a part of you would die inside,” he said. “Please,” he said. “For the sake of the next generation, don’t drop the baton. Carry it with grace, dignity and care.” As a reminder of his words, Cathy handed each graduate a relay baton during the ceremony. During his visit, Cathy also visited with Chick-fil-A employees at the Bethel University Chick-fil-A.
- Fourth graders from Maury City Elementary School in Crockett County, Tenn., visited Bethel's McKenzie campus on Friday, Nov. 30. They toured campus, ate lunch at the school's Chick-fil-A restaurant, and they had a mini workshop with Bethel University's Renaissance Theatre group. Here, students watched Renaissance Theatre perform a dance just before the students had the chance to learn the dance themselves.
- Twelve Bethel students and community members helped state representative Andy Holt glean pumpkins from his family farm. Gleaning is a biblical concept where farmers would only harvest a portion of their crops. The poor were then allowed to gather the crops that were left over. Local volunteers partnered with the Society of Saint Andrews, a premier gleaning organization in America, to pick pumpkins and deliver them to five local feeding agencies. The Society of Saint Andrews works with farmers, volunteers and feeding agencies to help feed hungry Americans. Pumpkins were delivered to the Real Hope Youth Center, New Harmony Baptist Church, Long Heights Baptist Church, McKenzie United Neighbors, and the Milan Mustard Seed. The group picked and delivered a total of 750 pumpkins which is equal to about 3,000 pounds. These pumpkins will be given away by the agencies this week along with other food items for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Society of Saint Andrews and the five food agencies who received the pumpkins were very grateful for all of the volunteers' time and hard work to help feed the hungry. Volunteers included: Mareike Birmele, Austin Garrigus, Stephen Gillette, Jessica Gray, Isaac Lofton, Russell Pryor, Jai-Quilah Rasul, Candace Salcido, Matt Smith, Josh Sumner, Pollyanna Vitel, and Cathy Yants.
- Bethel University claimed first place among 28 other schools at the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL) Appellate Moot Court Collegiate Challenge (AMC3) Competition this past weekend in Nashville. It was the first ever Bethel team to compete in the competition, who bested Bryan College, Rhodes College and Vanderbilt University in the final rounds. Coached by Bethel University Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Todd Rose, the team consisted of Sasha Arnold, who served as head lawyer, David Ivy and Nikki Barnhill, who argued opposing sides of the case and Katie Pope and Kelsie Wynn who aided the moot court in writing their award winning brief and preparing the team for arguments. According to Rose, the team was required to submit a written brief and prepare arguments for both sides in a very complicated case. “In preparation for the event, this team would often spend up to 20 hours a week practicing and preparing,” Rose said. In all, 11 Bethel University students participated in the TISL events at the State Capitol. Brooke Childers acted as head delegate this year and worked with Dorinda Myles and Joshi Hilary to write and sponsor bills for the house and senate. Together, they presented the ideas of Bethel students and were able to gain enough support on many of these bills to pass them as mock law. Dorinda Myles was recognized for her advocacy of a particularly heated bill that would require wives wanting abortions to first obtain the written consent of their husbands. The delegation did not only participate in the legislative side of government. Emily Durham was honored with an appointment to the governor’s cabinet. Emily worked with the secretary of education to advise the governor and the cabinet on essential pieces of legislation that would influence education in Tennessee. Caleb Butler served as deputy clerk in this year’s general assembly. In this role, he oversaw all paperwork, including scoring, for the appellate moot court. Kelsey Wynn, Katie Pope, and Joshua Waugh served as clerks for the supreme court of TISL, keeping time for the court and ensuring that all paperwork was filed appropriately. Bethel’s clerks were commended for their leadership and competence in solving issues and ensuring that the AMC3 competition ran smoothly. This is the fourth year Bethel University has sent a delegation to TISL. Since its implementation, Bethel’s delegation to TISL has continuously grown. The organization holds a mock state government every year, wherein students from colleges across Tennessee gain first-hand experiences in the fundamentals of state government. For more information on TISL, go to www.tislonline.org or search You Tube for the tislonline channel.
- 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.