The House

By Francis George-A Baylor Parent

Last week my daughter, Mary Scott, called. She had been sick all week. The semester was drawing to a close. There were many things still on her plate before the semester ended. Sometimes 20 hours from home seems like a long way. But as I sat on the steps of our house and listened as my daughter spoke briefly of how badly she had felt that week physically, the call quickly turned to a more serious topic. She needed advice regarding a dear sorority sister whose mother is very ill and how to minister to her. In those moments of sorrow, I realized, what a wonderfully unique bond these girls have and how they are there for one another. I shared my advice of how to love and support in tangible and quiet ways, things I knew Mary Scott and her sisters would do with tender care and devotion. 20 hours seemed more like just down the street because just down the street was family…the sisters in her house.

At Baylor, sororities and fraternities do not live in traditional houses. The students instead, rent houses along several streets next to campus and then pass these houses down to younger members of the sorority and fraternity through the years. One little cottage of Kappas might be next door to a house of KOT men who live down the street from Chi O’s and across the street from Kappa Sigs. It’s more like a neighborhood of brothers and sisters than just random people in a college town. It’s family.

A week or two earlier, Mary Scott called and relayed a wonderful event her sorority and their dates attended, a tremendously fun outing to a Mavericks game in Dallas. Mary Scott and her co-chair were responsible for around 200 sisters and their dates, the logistics for transporting the group to and from Waco to Dallas and back as well as every other detail that is involved in a large out of town event (That is the life of the social chairs!). Mary Scott’s date, a fella from a fraternity on campus was the star of the night! “Mom, he was the best date! He encouraged me as I did my job and was patient when I had to attend to details, was helpful when I needed him and was still attentive to me, which made the evening special for me even though I was ‘on duty’”. Similarly, this has happened with another young man when Mary Scott was overseeing details for pledge formal for her house. The young man was a gentleman throughout the evening, encouraged Mary Scott, came early, and stayed late to cheer Mary Scott on. And I think they even managed to squeeze in a few dances together in the midst of the busy-ness, from the pictures I saw! He was “just the best!”

Why do I tell you these things, some of the events supremely happy ones and others borne out of deep sadness and sorrow? Because in the past months I have read with increasing upset, accusations against Greek houses on some campuses across the nation and though most, if not all, have been proven to untrue, they still leave the public with a bad taste in their mouths for collegiate Panhellenic (Greek) fraternities and perhaps, by extension, sororities.

But once again, the Baylor difference IS the difference. In all of these cases, whether in sorrow or supreme joy, the Greek system at Baylor has developed and trained young men and women who are able to rise to a challenge, whether it is planning a Dallas outing for 200 or being a shoulder on which a sister may cry who is in a very hard place. The girls in these houses greet each day with grace, dignity, and as examples to their community of what brothers and sisters are and what they do for one another.

I have spent much time on campus over the last three years getting to know Mary Scott’s friends in both sororities and fraternities. Many who know me here in North Carolina have heard me say more than once, that I have yet to meet a young man at Baylor that I would not be pleased to have Mary Scott introduce to us as a young man in whom she is interested in dating and all of these young men, without exception, are in fraternities. They have proven to be gentlemen, kind hearted, considerate of our daughter and “there” for each other. Mary Scott said it was at least second semester of her freshman year that she ever opened a door herself! A young man would rush ahead of her to open a classroom door, a car door, or a door to a campus building. Some may take offence at this gesture. But at Baylor, a gentleman is always welcome.

I have shared coffee with Mary Scott’s friends, both guys and girls, with and without Mary Scott in attendance, and I have been pleasantly welcomed by some of the most thoughtful young men and women, as they engage me in conversation as if they see me every day. But they haven’t! Remember, we live in North Carolina…20 hours away! That’s just how Baylor students behave. They are comfortable with peers and possess grace to spend time (even) with Mary Scott’s mom!

These young men and women in the Greek system at Baylor are unique. They serve. They lead. They have fun…a lot of it! They are polite. They are well spoken. They are gentlemen. They are ladies. They laugh together. They cry together. They pray together. The encourage one another. They lift each other up. They are experiencing life to the fullest together. They are a reflection of the institution they represent. And we will all be better because of their influence on our culture as they mature and go into the world. They are Baylor. And I am grateful.

As the time draws near for your student to decide where they want to invest the next four years of their life, it is my deep hope that they will choose Baylor. And even when 20 hours seems far, the quiet moment on the steps with a phone makes it seem like it is just down the street. The strength of character from outstanding young adults who support one another through joy and sorrow makes the distance seem small. Family is close by, the Baylor Family and their names just happen to be Greek… Kappa Kappa Gamma, Chi Omega, Kappa Omega Tau, Kappa Sig, Phi Chi…

So, won’t you join us for coffee at Common Grounds after class, breakfast at Café Cappuccino after Sunday church, or dinner at Ninfa’s when you arrive in town, with some of the most winsome and wonderful young adults you will ever know. Thank you Greek Life. Thank you, Baylor; the place where The House represents The Family. And suddenly it doesn’t seem so very far away.

Spring Premiere at Baylor

By Susannah Mohrmann

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to work Baylor’s Spring Premiere. One of my jobs as a Campus Visit Representative is to work events like Fall/ Spring Premiere, Invitation to Excellence and Know Where You’re Going Day. Though these events are long and exhausting at times to work, they are also some of the most rewarding days of my job. However, Fall and Spring Premiere are by far my favorite events to be a Campus Visit Representative and if you are considering Baylor be sure to reserve your spot next year and come visit us!

Fall and Spring Premiere are a couple of unique opportunities to come to Baylor’s campus on a Saturday from 9am-4pm. Any age student who is interested in Baylor can come and bring their families too. The day consists of attending a choice of three different academic sessions led by a program director or professor (almost all majors have sessions). Lunch is provided in our four dining halls on campus for families and students. Admissions and financial aid officers are available all day to talk and answer any questions you and your family may have. Dr. Pepper Hour is a necessary stop (FREE Dr. Pepper Floats – Dr. Pepper + Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream). Throughout the day, there is also an option to go on a tour of campus given by a Campus Visit Representative, like myself!

Attending a Premiere is an incredible way to experience Baylor’s campus and see if it might be a good fit for you … or better yet to decide that Baylor is your future home!

Going Abroad with Baylor

By Maggie Malone

Are you wanting to push your boundaries, discover new cultures, and maybe even land an internship? Check into the Center for International Education at Baylor! There you will find a treasure trove of opportunities to travel and study abroad.

When I first came to Baylor, I was determined to try one of these programs out. But where would I go? After exploring a bit online and visiting a study abroad fair in the fall, I settled on the Baylor in London FIE program, which includes both studying and an internship. After working hard on form after form, I am ecstatic to be leaving with a group from Baylor this fall!

abroad flag But my program isn’t the only option out there! Baylor boasts seven types of ways to go abroad!

  1. Exchange/Affiliate Programs With these programs, students travel on their own to affiliated universities around the world and study as a visiting or international student.
  2. Group Semester Programs Students travel with others from Baylor and study together. (Baylor in London FIE is one of these.)
  3. International Conference/Competitions These programs vary by academic department, however who knows what kind of opportunities you may find within your major!
  4. Mission Trips While these trips aren’t studying abroad per se, Baylor has a variety of mission trips locally and internationally that students have the opportunity of serving with.
  5. Faculty-Led Programs These programs vary by department as well, but, like many of the study abroad programs, you can get quite a bit of academic credit.
  6. International Internships Chances are, your major requires an internship. And even if it doesn’t, and internship is strongly advised. While you do the research yourself online, Baylor gives you the opportunity to head abroad yourself and chase your dream.
  7. International Research These trips are more for grad students, and are department based, but the chance to research in a different culture is an excellent way to gain knowledge and perspective about the world around you.  

baylor in paris

Honestly, I’m a little nervous about studying abroad in London. I’ve never been there before, and I have no idea what completing an internship in the UK is going to be like. But on the other hand, I’m excited. Who knows what kind of adventures I’m going to have abroad? What I do know is that I’ll have plenty of exciting stories to bring home with me.

Going abroad with Baylor is an exciting chance for you to explore a new locale, make some new friends, serve a mission, and pick up some academic credit along the way! Not only that, but you’ll get to have plenty of stories of your very own to share when you get back to the states.

Building A Bigger Baylor

By Jaziah Masters

As many of you may know, Baylor has a pretty large campus. Fear not! Campus seems to shrink, just a little, with each passing day that you spend here. However, as I walk around, I can’t help but notice things are beginning to look a little different. What’s going on reminds me of a well-known quote, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

So, you may be thinking to yourself, what really is going on around campus? Great question! I should mention now that I am a person who loves concept art. There will be a lot in this post…

Getting back to the question, what is going on around campus can be summarized in one word: Construction. There are several construction projects going on throughout campus that, upon their completion, will make our beautiful campus that much better. It’s pretty nice to think that as I seek to grow and become the person that I am supposed to be, Baylor is doing the same, but a little more on that later.

So, you may ask, then what is Baylor up to? Great follow up question! You may have already heard of some of the new projects that have already been completed, such as the redesigned, Penland Dinning Hall and, of course, McLane Stadium. These are just two recently finished examples of changes around campus. Some new projects that will be finished soon are:

Elliston chapel

Elliston chapel

business school

The Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation

fountain mall

And, my personal favorite, the Fountain for Fountain Mall

All of these renovations and additives are pretty incredible. Even more so is the fact that it won’t be too long before all of these improvements are operational. Campus is already pretty different from when I was a freshman, and I’m just a Sophomore now, so I can only imagine what it will be like in a few years.

You may be wondering how all of this connects with the quote I opened this post with. Allow me to explain. Baylor is entering into a defining period in its history. This University has strong momentum in terms of academics, athletics, and alumni. The way I see it, the construction on campus is simply a physical display of that momentum. Baylor University is becoming more and more of what is supposed to be. In other words, Baylor is realizing its potential. The growth I see on campus, in a way, reflects the growth of the student body, as we strive to become the people we know our Baylor education will allow us to become. Overall, there is some pretty exciting stuff going on!

Library Lowdown

By Maria Dillman

In my childhood whenever I thought of a college library, I had a distinct image in my brain that was formulated from scenes I had seen or heard about. My parents would say “I used to spend every night in the library…that’s all I did was study.” Or the movies would describe a steamy encounter between couples among the bookshelves. When I got to college I was able to formulate my own opinion from spending time in the different libraries on the Baylor campus. Times have changed since the imagined scenes from my parents, movies, or friends. But I will impart a little information about the Baylor libraries to give you a better glimpse into life at this university.

We have five libraries on the campus: 2 central ones Moody and Jones, then special collection ones named Poage, Carroll, and Armstrong-Browning.

Moody:

Moody is the main library: with four floors ranging anywhere from a hustle and bustle of the Starbucks café to quiet study rooms where you can hear a pin drop.

The entryway of Moody hosts the nation’s largest Starbucks located on a collegiate campus. The foyer has brown comfy chairs and café style tables for group projects to meet at and talk. It is more of a social entryway, and not much studying would be accomplished here without the help of ear phones.

moody

The Study Commons of Moody is located on the Garden Level and is lovingly known as “Club Moody” among students due to the 24 hour available study space and wide variety of individual and group study spaces. It also is host to the largest computer lab on campus hosting a variety of PCs and Macs along with laptops available for checkout.

Jones:

This is where the research magic happens. The library hosts more than 2.5 million printed volumes, but 80% of the budget is spent on electronic resources with over 70,000 e-journals, and 500 databases for use. This can all be accessed via your login credentials from the comfort of your own home. This is also where the information desk of libraries is held. Librarians provide research assistance via the walk-up assistance desk and additionally, can be reached by an online chat session similar to a Facebook message.

jones

Poage:

R. Poage Legislative Library holds a variety of materials used for research and educational use on the history of Congress, the legislative process, and current issues facing state and national governments.  It is also home to the offices for our multiple study abroad programs.

Carroll Library Housing the Texas Collection:

This library hosts the special collections and archives of Baylor University and Texas history. The librarians here are so helpful in finding anything you could ever want to know about Texas or Baylor history. Most research materials cannot be checked out from here but must be handled within the building…sometimes even with gloves on for fragile documents.

Armstrong Browning Library:

This is a true gem on the Baylor campus. This library looks more like a museum than a library and hardly anyone actually studies here. It has the largest collection of secular stained glass windows in the world. And it hosts the largest collection of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s work (you may recognize that name from English class…”How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”) Several weddings have taken place in this library and its serenity gardens on the outside are a great place to relax or enjoy a picnic.

armstrong

The libraries at Baylor are a range of sociable, studious and stunning opportunities for enrichment. Maybe now, you have a better picture of them for yourself.

 

WACOTOWN

By Susannah Mohrmann

When you choose Baylor you are not just choosing Baylor but you are also choosing Waco. Coming from the fourth largest city in America (Houston), I had incredibly low expectations of Waco. I had been told, “Waco is boring” or “What do you even do in Waco?” Well, after three years at Baylor and living in Waco, I can defend those questions. Waco is now home for me. In some ways I enjoy it more than Houston and I for sure miss Waco when I am in Houston. Waco is an entrepreneurial, laid back, family-oriented community. I can honestly say in my three years as a “Wacoan,” I have never been bored. Sure, sometimes I will go to Austin or Dallas for a night or even back home occasionally, but by no means is that because I am bored or dislike Waco. I am going to give you a Top 10 list of why I think Waco is a fun place to live.
 
1. Food – my top three Waco restaurants include Vitek’s (Voted #1 College Town Restaurant in America, Barbecue), Cafe Cappuccino (Breakfast), Cupps Drive In (Burgers) THERE IS SO MUCH GOOD FOOD
2. Outdoors — Cameron Park, Bear Trail (running trail around Baylor’s campus), Lake Waco, Baylor Marina
3. HGTV’s number one show is Fixer Upper which takes place IN Waco + Joanna & Chip Gaines went to Baylor
4. Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings Downtown- yummy crepes, breakfast tacos & grilled cheese
5. Coffee - I started liking coffee my freshman year with the help of places like Common Grounds and Dichotomy 
6. Movies - $5 Movies at Starplex movie theater for students OR Waco Hippodrome – eat dinner while watching a movie
7. Snacks - Czech Stop is only 30 minutes away for the best Kolaches of your life OR Katie’s Frozen Custard … so delicious. 
8. Roller Blading - Get your blade on at Skate World or on around campus
9. Sunsets - Waco has some of the prettiest sunsets I have ever seen
10. Suspension Bridge - take part in the Waco tradition and go tortilla tossing to find out if you’ll graduate from Baylor 

 

College Stress

By Aaron Harder

We all get stressed out sometimes. In college the cause of this stress is generally having a lot of schoolwork due at the same time. It might seem like your professors coordinate and plan this. After four years in college, I’m convinced …

Complaining about these conspiracies is not that productive when there are tests and paper deadlines approaching. So here are a few steps to help you deal with stress:

  1. Sleep: Stress and lack of sleep makes people grumpy so not sleeping while feeling stressed out means you’ll become super grumpy, making a stressful week even worse. Be sure to get plenty of sleep. It will be worth it.
  2. Eat on a regular basis: Stress and hunger can be a bad combination, but when stressed, it is easy to cut things out your life. Some things will need to be cut out when busy; however, food is not one of them. Try to keep a schedule and eat as healthy as you can during a stressful week.
  3. Reward yourself for accomplishing certain tasks or steps: Give yourself goals to reach. For example, if you study for a test for an hour you can take a break and talk with friends for a little while. Or when writing a paper, bribe yourself with your favorite cup of coffee. Give yourself something to look forward to!

Stress is an inevitable part of life and being able to handle stressful times may take work and practice. I hope these tips help you relax and develop the skills necessary when feeling stressed out.

Six Reasons Why You Should Join the Baylor Golden Wave Marching Band

By Maggie Malone

Just because you’re not a marcher doesn’t mean you should skip this article. On the contrary, the Golden Wave isn’t an uncommon sight to see on campus, this post will give you a piece of insight as to who we are. Who knows, you may be pleasantly surprised!

Ahhhh, spring. The sun is out, the flowers are blooming, and oh, what’s that? It’s audition season! That’s right ladies and gents! With that first footstep onto our campus, you’ve entered the home of one of the most tradition-steeped organizations on campus, the Golden Wave Marching Band! (Usually referred to as BUGWB, pronounced BUG-wuhb)

I came from a small, rural Missouri high school marching band, so making the leap to a large (to me, at least) collegiate Texas marching band was quite a jump for me. I had so much to adjust to when I arrived at pre-season week at the end of summer. In fact, I hadn’t even met anyone in my section because I sent in my color guard audition by video.

But joining BUGWB was one of the best decisions I have ever made here at Baylor. I’ve absolutely loved the experiences and all the fun I’ve had with this organization. Over the past couple of seasons, it’s become very near and dear to my heart.

Without further ado, here’s why you should join our 300+ member family:

1. Tradition

As I hinted above, BUGWB is pretty old. We’ve been around for over 100 years! But besides that, the band itself has its own traditions we pass down from class to class over the years. We’ve let some traditions go, as we moved from Floyd Casey Stadium, but at the beginning of a new era of marching in McLane Stadium, we’ve embraced some new traditions as well! And not all of these traditions are serious. In fact, some of them are downright crazy. For example, there’s Spirit Fridays, where we wear different costumes to practice, depending on the theme.

band 1

2. Free Stuff

I shouldn’t have to list anything else, because at the mention of “free food” you should all come running. I know that after a few hours of hard practice, we certainly do. On game days, we cater food from nearby restaurants, like Jason’s Deli or Chick-Fil-A. On bowl trips, we also eat at some pretty swanky places as well. But wait, there’s more! Not only do you get free food, you get some pretty cool gear! Because BUGWB is sponsored by Nike, you get a ton of Nike apparel. While you do have to pay a fee, everything you acquire over the marching season more than covers that.

band 3

3. Awesome Behind-the-Scenes Access

By this, I mean that, as part of the halftime entertainment, you get to experience things that no one else really gets to. You get to know about all the inner workings of things, and visit places that no one else sees. You get to be on the front lines of all the action. It’s exhausting, but pretty cool too.

 

band 4

4. Football Games

Speaking of exhausting, game day is one of the most bone-numbing days of the semester. But don’t let that scare you. Those were some of my favorite days. Hours and hours of practice, short nights, and lots of standing all fall away when we take the field to perform our pre-game and halftime shows. And afterwards, the crowd doesn’t just cheer. The sound that the thousands watching make is closer to a roar. It’s enough to cheer your heart and lift your spirits. The feeling is truly indescribable. Another thing. You don’t have to fight with the rest of the student body for tickets because there’s already a seat at the stadium with your name on it! And by name, I mean a sticker. Everyone loves stickers, right?

band 5

5. Bowl Trips

Now, even though Baylor lost both of the bowl games that I attended, I still had a blast. Bowl trips are even more tiring than regular game days, because we have to be there a few days before, but these trips are fantastic. Besides practicing, we always are given the opportunity to enjoy delicious meals and fun activities. When I went on the Fiesta Bowl trip, we got to eat at a restaurant that you entered via slide!

band 6

6. Shenanigans

Yes. These do happen. Many of my best college stories come from BUGWB. From buses breaking down on the side of the road, to nighttime hotel explorations, to twenty color guard members cramming under a blanket in the cold, BUGWB can often seem like one unplanned adventure after another. But that’s one of the reasons that makes it fun!

band shen

 

Now I would be lying if I said BUGWB was smooth sailing. But the memories you make and the people you meet become some of your favorite things at Baylor. It’s an absolutely thrilling experience, and I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to experience it. Sadly, I won’t be marching this fall, as I’m studying abroad, but next fall I’ll be back on the field. That’s the thing about BUGWB (and Baylor too, for that matter). You miss it when you’re away, or on the off-season, but when you return for another year, it feels like home.

band last

Heading Home

By Avery Jackson

It’s starting to hit me that this is my very last semester of college, of school, and of Baylor. These are also my last few weeks of “freedom” before the realities of the real world hit.

For the first time in my life I am faced with the reality that in the future, I won’t be able to go home and celebrate every holiday with my family. I’m from Indiana, and I am planning to move to Florida after I graduate and take a job at a scuba dive shop. I will also not be able to see the family of friends that have worked so hard to maintain at Baylor as often as I do now. This means I cannot just skip class to go home or get a few extra days off. I cannot just text one of my friends to come over to study and eat ice cream and just talk about life.

If college has taught me one thing, it’s that home is a luxury I need to visit as often, and for as long, as I can. It has also made clear that friends mean everything. Baylor is an amazing school in the ways it promotes family. Everything about it is family oriented and centered around your “adopted” family made up of students and faculty alike.

When you come to Baylor, come with the mindset that you will meet people that you will never want to let go of. Spend as much time with these people! Skip a class or two if it means flying or driving home early to spend time with your parents and siblings. Use this free time to make lasting memories with the people who mean the most to you.

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go with APO”

By Marisela Martin

This semester has been really busy for me and, as the year gets closer to the end, I have found it to be very hard to stay motivated. However, through the busy times this semester, I have had the amazing opportunity to rush and join Alpha Phi Omega.

Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is one of the largest collegiate fraternities in the nation and even has chapters in Australia and the Philippines. Established in 1925 in Lafayette College by Frank Reed Horton and 13 other students, APO has dedicated its mission to service.

Now, you may be asking yourself why this girl is pledging a fraternity, but APO is co-ed, so anyone can join! Although, freshman cannot join until their spring semester, APO is the perfect organization to join if you are called to service.

With APO, not only do you get to serve the local community, but you also get the opportunity to do so with amazing people from all different walks of life. In the last month of pledging, I have served with some great men and women and will soon be proud to call myself an Alpha Phi Omega member.

So if you feel inclined to serve others and want to join a group of spontaneous and interesting people, you should definitely look into APO the next time you think about Baylor organizations!