Volume 132, Issue 9: April 4, 2024

Page 1

The heart of Ouachita news

VOLUME 132, ISSUE 9 APRIL 4, 2024 the

Ouachita Baptist University

Office: Evans Student Center

Email: signal@obu.edu

Phone: (870) 245-5210

Kaelin Clay

Kate Ellis


Camryn Stroupe


Sarah Dean

The Signal is the student newspaper of Ouachita Baptist University, and is published twice a month on Thursdays during the fall and spring semesters when school is in session. The newspaper is distributed free of charge; 1,200 copies are placed in more than 20 locations across campus.

Opinions expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the newspaper staff or university. The Signal is a member of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the Associated Collegiate Press and is printed by the Nashville Leader.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Letters to the editor are encouraged and accepted, unless libelous, irresponsible or obscene. Letters should be typed and include a signature and contact phone number, and must be less than 500 words. The Signal reserves the right to edit letters for space and style. Letters should be sent via campus mail to Box 3761 or via email to signal@obu.edu.

CONTENTS COVER STORY.............................3 NEWS......................................4-5 ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT...............6 OPINIONS...................................7 SPORTS......................................8 PAGE 2 | WWW.OBUSIGNAL.COM
Emilee Webb
Ellen Dial
EDITOR Dr. Jeff Root Adviser Dr. Deborah Root Adviser
Meghann Bledsoe
EDITOR Dr. Jackson Carter Online Adviser
Isaac Bourne
COPY EDITOR @obusignal SIGNAL the
Madison Basco

The Duvalls make Ouachita their home

Two of Ouachita’s very own, Dr. Scott and Judy Duvall, have spent a large portion of their lives giving back to the OBU and Arkadelphia communities. Ouachita alumni themselves, the pair have seen firsthand the impact this university has on its students.

Dr. Scott and Judy Duvall’s relationship began on this campus; the two met during the 1979-1980 school year, when Judy had just begun her time at OBU. Dr. Duvall was a senior, and according to him, he knew that he wanted to get to know Judy from the first time that he saw her.

“I remember seeing Judy in the caf and thinking ‘that’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen,’” Dr. Scott Duvall said. “I can remember I had some family members come up for the football game, and I was up in the stands when Judy walked by. I nudged my brother, and I said, ‘I’m going to marry that girl.’”

It took some time for the two to get to know each other. Their relationship began as a friendship and then evolved into something more.

“I can remember Susan Atkinson, who introduced us, saying that she just wanted me to meet this really great guy,” Judy Duvall said. “I went to Noonday, and he was speaking, and I thought, ‘wow, I’d like to get to know him.’ Then, that spring during Christian Focus Week, we started getting to know each other more. That summer, we got to go on a trip to Colorado with the Methodist Student Union at Henderson. We pretty much knew at that point that our relationship was a forever one.”

The two were married shortly after Judy completed her time at Ouachita in the spring of 1982. The couple moved to Fort Worth, Tex., where Dr. Duvall was pursuing his Masters of Divinity and Ph.D.

from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Though the two never imagined having the chance to return to Ouachita later in life, the opportunity became available to them at the perfect time.

“We got a call from Bud Fray, who was the chair of the department back then. It was 1989, and they needed someone. We had the opportunity to come back to OBU. With these positions, it has to come up at the right time, so we’ve seen the Lord at work there. We returned with a three month old and a two year old, and a third daughter arrived four years later,” Dr. Scott Duvall said.

The couple received a warm Ouachita “Welcome home!” They planted roots in Arkadelphia and have remained faithful, active members of the community ever since that original meeting in 1989. Now, Judy Duvall serves as the director of the Elrod Center for Family and Community, and Dr. Scott Duvall teaches college students as the Fuller Professor of Biblical Studies in the Pruet School of Christian Studies.

As director of the Elrod Center, Judy Duvall oversees the work of the center’s programs and its staff, with a focus on ElderServe and Tiger Serve Day, which is a campus-wide event that meets practical and relational needs in the local community once a semester.

“It’s a great joy to work with the Tiger Serve Day Leadership Team of students each semester planning a day that meets many needs in our community,” Judy Duvall said.

She began her work with the Elrod Center as the ElderServe director, shaping the program around needs she saw in the community.

“When I first started, I thought we’d be helping like we do on Tiger Serve Day,” Judy Duvall said. “But, my mom, who worked with senior adults, told me not to just assume you know what people need.

She told me that you have to really ask them. So, I sent out a survey to all of the senior adults in Clark County, and the results showed that they overwhelmingly said that the greatest need was companionship to combat loneliness. From those results, I structured the whole program around developing friendships between students and senior adults in the community.

“I love helping students discover their unique gifts and talents and thinking about how they can use those to serve others and God. Helping students make connections through service is a wonderful part of my job,” Judy Duvall said.

As a professor, Dr. Scott Duvall spends his days in the classroom, lecturing, writing and engaging with students as they learn how to read and understand God’s Word. Dr. Duvall feels as though his life’s work is to do just that: serve as a mentor and a guide to college students as they begin their adult lives and make their faith their own.

“I’ve always felt drawn to college students. Helping students understand and apply God’s Word is my favorite thing. Teaching, writing and mentoring are my favorite parts of my job. We’ll have a day in Spiritual Form when I can just see everything clicking in the students’ minds. There’s just nothing like that. It makes me think ‘this is why I’m here,’” Dr. Scott Duvall said.

Spending time with Ouachita students has been one of the main things that Scott and Judy are able to do together on campus. By meeting with students, either on campus, at church events or through small group events in their home, the Duvalls have made a difference in students’ lives for years.

“Sometimes [the students] keep up with us and sometimes they don’t, but they never leave our hearts. We have them for four years, and they become a part of us and stay a part of us. We count

it a real privilege to do the work that we’ve done at a place like this and to be able to share it together. The thing that we’ve always done together is being involved with the students,” Judy Duvall said.

“I’ve got a box in my study at home where I keep notes from students,” Dr. Scott Duvall said. “I’m going to wait until I retire to look through them all. It’s amazing to work with people who are this grateful and loving.”

Ouachita has always felt like home to the Duvalls, serving as their “home away from home” during their college years and then becoming their professional home, as well as a community full of colleagues that became close friends and students that turned into family. Though the campus itself has physically changed since the Duvalls spent their time studying, eating meals in the cafeteria, attending TWIRP dances and hanging out with their college friends as

students, Ouachita is still the same at its core.

“This is a very rich place and fosters great relationships. It’s tough when you graduate, but it doesn’t stop. That’s the beauty of it. The main values we have seen and continue to see are commitment to the Lord, commitment to learning, flourishing relationships and an outward mission of service,” Dr. Scott Duvall said.

“It’s like an immersive experience, and you can’t really understand it until you leave,” Judy Duvall said. “It’s coming at you from the intellectual, the emotional and the spiritual. Really and truly, it hasn’t changed a lot since Scott and I were here. The buildings are different, but it’s the same place. It’s the same heart. It amazes me that every year we graduate people, but we always have the same kind of students who are searching and growing. Ouachita continues to stay the same in all the best ways.”

Dr. Scott and Judy Duvall pose for a photo together during their time in college as students. The pair returned to Ouachita in 1989. (photo provided by Judy Duvall)

Campus Safety adds to staff, continues to implement new safety measures on campus

Tucked away in the back corridors, buried in the depths of the Lile Hall basement, is a string of offices rarely visited by students whose lights are always on and phones are always ready to answer a call. These offices belong to faces and names who, although unbeknownst to most students, possess a loyalty that runs far deeper than a badge and gun.

While Ouachita students go about their daily college lives, OBU’s star-studded Campus Safety staff diligently watches over campus, keeping an eye out for every early-morning jogger and late-night study session walker, creating the safe environment that is enjoyed by so many. Sergeant Grant Williams, a safety officer who has worked in law enforcement for eight years and is coming up on his fifth year at OBU, shares the duties and responsibilities of a university, as well as his opinion on the overall safety of campus.

“As far as law enforcement action goes, thankfully, there is not a ton of that needed at Ouachita,” Williams said. “Most of our problems come from off campus, and even that is pretty rare. We have taken people to jail, maybe three every school year, and almost none are actual students. I mostly stay busy with administrative work, like paperwork and personnel files, ordering equipment, room reservations, scheduling and staffing operations such as football games and special events like the Eclipse coming up. I try to maintain a balance of getting everything done in the office, as well as patrolling campus and being seen, which is

the most important part of the job as far as providing a safe and secure environment for our students, faculty and staff.”

Ouachita students should be comforted with the knowledge that the Campus Safety team is a curated roster of highly trained professionals with many years of experience in law enforcement. Williams, along with the help of Seth Hunter, senior criminal justice major and Campus Safety staff member through the new practicum program, provided a rundown of the staff and their extensive list of qualifications.

“We are steadily building our staff and working with students through our practicum and integrating our department with the student body,” Williams said. “[Ouachita] is a small enough community that, especially by this time of year, we

know most of the students, which has helped our department understand the culture and the things that go on. Overall, I would say campus is safer than other schools, and a lot of that is because of the type of people we have working for us. Our Chief is a former SWAT commander, one of our staff members is a former undercover narcotics guy and another was an investigator for the state police for 15 years. We have a pretty diverse background, as well as close to one hundred years of total experience. I would put us against any university out there comparative in size, and when you look at us individually and capabilities-wise, I would put us up against anybody. ”

Most of Campus Safety’s work is hidden from the eyes of students, and although ignorance is oftentimes bliss, Williams reminds stu-

dents to remain aware of their surroundings and to be mindful of the real world that awaits just outside of the borders of campus, which could easily trickle into the streets of OBU.

“We do have several public roadways that go through campus, and in the past, there have been concerns of things of predatory nature,” Williams explained. “The general public is allowed to drive on our streets for the most part, and we are close to the interstate. Students should be conscious that the public is out there and that they do come on our campus frequently for legitimate purposes, but just as easily as they do for legitimate purposes, they can come for illegitimate purposes as well. As much as we would like to think Ouachita is a bubble, it is not. Students have to remember that.”

Like professors and other staff members, Campus Safety officers have a deep love for those they work for, and they are aware of the problems that vex students. Campus Safety is aware and seeking solutions to many problems on campus, including the Gosser overflow parking lot and the fire alarms at the Terrace Apartments.

Although National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day and National Thank a Police Officer Day do not fall on one of the months remaining this semester, it is never too late to get to know the incredible people who watch over our beloved campus. And, who knowsmaybe officers will think fondly of those who have befriended them and opt for mercy if they stumble upon a student they know’s illegally parked vehicle.

“We like talking to students; I love when a student stops and has a conversation with me,” Williams said. “It’s really a good way to just build trust between each other. We are not here to write hundreds tickets and take people to jail. Our primary purpose is preparing for things that nobody wants to happen, and we take that very seriously. We all have a cellphone, and one of us will answer that phone every minute of the day. We are happy to give somebody a ride if it’s late or jumpstart a car. We are happy to do anything we can to help a student, especially if it involves helping them feel more safe and comfortable. Our number one objective, though, is to stop any type of attack that might come to us, and we use analytical statistics to prepare for and be able to predict any of those types of situations. We are prepared for a day in which evil shows up, and we have to do something about it.”

Officers Grant Williams, David Howerton and Charlie Parkinson stand outside of Jones Performing Arts Center. Officers stood outside as students entered and exited chapel service, ensuring safety for all crossing the street. (photo by Meghann Bledsoe)

Ouachita hosts Arkansas Women in STEM Conference, Dr. Donna Nelson on campus

Ouachita hosted the first in person Arkansas Women in STEM Conference on Tuesday, March 26. Ouachita students and faculty, as well as attendees from eight different universities met to recognize the significant contributions of women in STEM and to educate students about the endless opportunities available for those entering the workforce.

This was the fourth annual Arkansas Women in STEM Conference; in past years, the conference was held virtually because of COVID-19 restrictions. The conference had 65 registrants in total.

“Alexis and Hannah, this year’s student co-organizers, took this event to the next level by utilizing a hybrid format for the conference,” Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Sharon Hamilton stated.

During their dinner, conference attendees had the opportunity to network with STEM students from all over Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama. Attendees also had the opportunity to hear valuable advice from professionals in the fields of biology, chemistry, math, technology and healthcare during breakout sessions. Attendees also heard from an impressive keynote speaker, Dr. Donna Nelson, and toward the end of the conference, students in attendance gained practical experience through the opportunity to present their undergraduate research during a poster session.

Dr. Nelson conducts research and is a professor at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.

“Her research is notable and covers topics such as mechanistic patterns of alkene addition reactions and single walled carbon nanotube functionalization and analysis,” Hamilton said.

Nelson specializes in organic chemistry and was the president of the American Chemical Society in 2016. She also acted as the science advisor for the television show Breaking Bad, where her role was to make sure that the television show was as scientifically accurate as possible. Nelson spoke about how this representation in popular media can encourage more young women to enter the STEM field. She encouraged conference attendees to seize opportunities when they arise.

“After listening to Dr. Nelson’s presentation, I was impressed with her commitment to sharing information about science with the public,” student organizer Hannah Matthews said. “My favorite part of the conference was getting to hear the stories of such accomplished women and see the love that they have for their careers. It is great to see people in my field

working diligently toward an important common goal.”

Sponsors Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Hubbard added that they would like to thank the 2024 student co-organizers and organizing committee, as well as Autumn Mortenson for all of her help with the website, Kevin Yearby for technical sup-

port, Sodexo for catering and the American Chemical Society for financial support.

Ouachita staff, faculty and students are already discussing plans for next year’s event. To stay upto-date on next year’s event, check out their website at https://scholarlycommons.obu.edu/wstem/

Student Life plans solar eclipse watch party

A rare total solar eclipse will pass over the state of Arkansas on April 8, impacting Ouachita’s campus. Students can celebrate the eclipse by attending several special campus events. On April 6, a guest lecturer from NASA will speak at 7 p.m. in Walker Conference Center. On April 8, an eclipse watch party will be held at 11:30 a.m. at Cliff Harris Stadium.

Although partial eclipses happen regularly, the upcoming eclipse is special because of its totality. According to Dr. Angela Douglass, associate professor of physics, the

moon will completely cover the sun for about two minutes. This will be the first total eclipse in Arkansas since 1918.

“This eclipse is an experience of recognizing our place in the universe,” Douglass said. “There will be a sudden darkness. You will be able to see the craters on the moon, and it will be awe-inspiring.”

Arkansas tourism is expected to increase, as the state will have one of the best views of the eclipse in the nation. According to the Great American Eclipse association, anywhere between 70,000 and 280,000 people are expected to visit the state, causing an increase in traffic for residents.

On April 6, Dr. James Spann of NASA will give a lecture about eclipses that students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend.

“Dr. Spann is a Ouachita alumnus who graduated in 1979 and went from a Ouachita student to a principal scientist at NASA in Huntsville, Ala.,” Douglass said.

Spann now works with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Students with a curiosity about the eclipse can expect an interesting and informative lecture.

During the eclipse, students are invited to Cliff Harris Stadium for an all-campus watch party. This will be an exciting way for stu-

dents to engage with nature while spending time with the Ouachita community as a whole.

“We will have a big party at Cliff Harris,” Douglass said. “There will be lunch, bouncy houses, crafts, UV beads and cool giveaways.”

The watch party has come together with help from committees, Student Life and students from the event planning class. Senior Brynn Clark has enjoyed helping the event come together.

“My group for the class, which consists of Caley Williams, Kinder Hinrichs, Sara West, Rebecca Paden and I, was tasked with planning the solar eclipse event,” Clark said. “Our job has been focused on

two major things: activity booths to go along with those already planned and helping with the strategy, planning and execution of the event itself as we get nearer to it.”

The watch party will provide a fun and safe way to experience the once in a lifetime eclipse.

“Students will want to be at this event,” Clark said. “Not only will it be a time where the campus community is all together experiencing a historic event, but the activities available will be so much fun.”

Students should stay safe andplan to wear eclipse glasses, but they can also expect to enjoy this unique natural phenomenon with their Ouachita campus community.

Senior Alexis Perry presents her research to attendees at the 2024 Women in STEM Conference in the Walker Conference Center. (photo by Meghann Bledsoe)

Theater department presents “Anastasia”

Many kids may not have grown up watching famous musicals. The beloved 1997 animated film “Anastasia,” however, was most likely played in all childhood homes.

“Ouachita’s theater department chose ‘Anastasia’ because so many of our students hold this story near and dear to their hearts,” John Forkner, the director of “Anastasia” said. “‘Anastasia’ recently concluded its run on Broadway, followed by a national tour. OBU is proud to be one of the first theaters in the area to stage a production of this new musical.”

The musical is based on the true story of the lost Russian princess, Anastasia Romanov. The story centers around Anya, a young woman with no memories of her past and who appears a lot like the lost princess. The role of Anya is

played by theater student Anslee Clay. The story begins in 1927, set around the Bolshevik Revolution, which has resulted in the execution of the royal tsar and his family. It is believed by many, however, that one of the tsar’s daughters, Anastasia, may have survived. She travels from Russia to Paris, hoping to find the one person who can tell her who she really is. She is followed by a Soviet officer, Gleb, played by Eli Butler, whose goal is to make sure the Romanov family line ends.

“‘Anastasia’ is a story of rebirth, which makes it a perfect show for this time of year when we remember Christ’s death and resurrection,” Forkner said.

This classic show is one students, faculty and staff, family and friends and residents of Arkadelphia will not want to miss. “Anastasia” tells the story of normal people searching for a place where they are seen and loved.

“One of the great desires of the human heart is to be known by others,” Forkner explained. “The characters in ‘Anastasia’ are all haunted by ghosts of the past, and it is through the unlikely yet loving community that forms during their search for closure that they are able to lay ghosts to rest and move on, healed and whole, into the future.”

“Anastasia” will be on the stage April 18-21. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and on April 21, it will start at 2:30 p.m. in the Jones Performing Arts Center. Tickets will cost $12 and can be purchased at www.obu.edu/boxoffice. Students can use their student ID to recieve one free ticket. Faculty and staff who use their Ouachita ID will receive two tickets at a discounted rate of $10. For more information, contact the box office at (870) 245-5555 or email Nic Hazlett at hazlettn@obu.edu.

“Dune 2” fills movie theaters, wows audiences

Denis Villeneuve brings the “Dune” universe back to the big screen in what is nothing shy of a modern science fiction masterpiece. “Dune 2’s” shocking runtime of 2 hours and 46 minutes might seem daunting, but due to masterful pacing and a truly generational story, this movie flies by.

Visually, this movie stuns with effects like nothing we have seen in a very long time. Its inspired use of colors and atmosphere are matched by an equally impressive soundtrack. It could be the stark employment of orange washing over the sand on Arrakis or the bleak contrast of white and black on the Harkonnen’s homeworld of Geidi Prime, but either way we are shown entire worlds beyond imag-

ination somehow brought to life in easily some of the most impressive visuals the science fiction genre has ever produced.

Hans Zimmer will have you shaking in your seat with a score that inspires awe and makes you feel like you are in the movie. While he has amassed one of the most legendary resumes of any composer in recent memory, with iconic scores from movies like “Man of Steel,” “Interstellar” and, of course, “Inception,” somehow he distinctly gives “Dune 2” its own identity, crafting something familiar to his style but also completely new and unique. Long after the closing credits have rolled across the screen, you will have the blaring trumpets ringing in your ears. However, the music is not the only memorable aspect of the movie; audiences can expect the film to stick in their minds for a while.

The film spectacularly creates a rich world of alien planets, characters and cultures. All of these things are enhanced by some of the best acting performances of the year. Timothée Chalamet gives a career defining performance alongside a somehow just as impressive and praiseworthy Austin Butler. While they are clearly the standouts, the movie is littered with an all-star cast, each giving memorable performances no matter how little screen time they are allotted. The cast also boasts Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken and, a personal favorite of mine, Javier Bardem as Stilgar.

However, the true crowning achievement of “Dune 2” is the subtle conversation lurking just below the surface of the sand. Commentary on colonization, the

white savior trope, the danger of charismatic leaders, power and the historical political manipulation of the middle east can be seen throughout the film. While it was not George Herbt’s intention when he first started the “Dune” series to comment on such matters, it is clear what Villeneuve is trying to say with the clear inspirations taken from Arabic culture throughout the film. The parallels to the real world shown through the commodity spice could not be more well laid out.

It is always fun to experience a movie as brilliantly put together as “Dune 2,” especially one that is endlessly fun. However, this movie almost transcends as it warns and educates moviegoers in a way that both respects the audience’s intelligence but also begs of them to walk away with more than they sat down with. There is so much fun to be had

with what will obviously become a modern “Star Wars,” but it is also important to note that this science fiction magnum opus is also attempting to use the genre to have a powerful dialogue with its audience.

Villeneuve has a filmography where you could randomly choose a movie and it would be what any filmmaker would consider their best work. “Prisoners,” “Arrival,” “Sicario” and “Blade Runner 2049” are some of the best movies of the last twenty years. Villeneuve has somehow surpassed his own incredibly high personal standards with something that will have you addicted to this universe as you finish the second movie.

What else is there to say about Villeneuve and “Dune 2” other than “Lisan Al Gaib.”

Students bow at the end of a performance. The theater department has prepared to entertain audiences again with the musical “Anastasia.” (photo by Sarah Dean)

The hottest spring trends of 2024 so far

The world is in full bloom. Spring has made its much anticipated grand entrance, and the trends have people on fire. They’re both dramatic and subtle, and they’re both classy and edgy. It’s not only flowers and eggs this season, but it’s so much more. From fashion to beauty to decor, it’s all in one column.

Let’s start out with the talk of every town: barrel jeans. Whether it’s your style or not, you can’t deny that they’re eye-catching. If you haven’t seen these jeans, they start to flare out at the knee and taper back in closer to the ankle to quite literally create a barrel shape. It embodies nostalgia and baggy jeans from the 90s.

Denim in general is a hot commodity this season. Denim dresses are up and down every street. Babydoll dresses in denim are especially popular, and a small ruffle at the sleeves adds a feminine touch. It carries on that nostalgic theme that many are gravitating toward this spring.

Ice blue is one of the hottest colors this season. It gives a spring touch without having to include flowers to remind you that it’s spring. It’s a complimenting solid, and it’s soft and classy. It pairs well with pearls for a sophisticated look or fun acrylic flower earrings. In silk, this color is radiant, and in cotton, this color is approachable.

Coming off of blazers and trench coats from the winter, collars are still making their way into the designs. Business casual white or cream linen pants paired with an ice blue collared shirt adapt the grand millennial style that boomed last spring. For any work day, casual meeting or dinner with friends, a color is a touch of structure that ties an outfit together.

Silk scarves are also popular in the work world, especially paired with a collared shirt. However, anyone can wear these with anything. They’re a subtle enough touch of elaborate design that pair well with neutrals or solids and can turn a serious outfit into something a little brighter.

Realistically, will the blowout ever go out of style? Probably not.

A 90s blowout is turning into an owned 2020s blowout. It’s been so popular for a few years now, and I don’t think this effortless frame of class and volume will leave anytime soon. It’s perfect for any occasion: for work, for school, for a date, and you can do so much with it. You can pull it up into a loose ponytail at the end of the day, or you can brush it out for a smoother look. If you’re a fan of headbands, you can also throw on a headband with your big hair.

Let’s talk eyeliner. I have a combo for you: black top line, white water line and blue under-eye. That’s the magic formula for eyes to pop. Blue is a little exotic, but it’s the year of blue and the year of bold. It may not be an everyday look, but it’s the quintessential touch for an evening event, banquet or formal.

Overall, dew and shine is a consistent look in hair, skin, nails and makeup. Any dewy foundation is a hit, and even body shimmer is making a comeback.

Green is the color for home decor! Green pillows, green chairs and green lampshades are in. Sage

green specifically is a color that can last year round.

Greige is another hot color. It’s so simple, but the classic crossover of gray and beige is easy to match and blends well with other neutrals. If you’re searching for a neutral bedspread or curtain, greige is your go-to, and your spring flowers will pop off of those backgrounds.

The more light, the better. Large floor lamps are the character to add to any living area that brighten up

the space at night, too. Bamboo stands or a textured lamp shade can add the perfect dosage of dimension to any corner.

If you’re scared to be bold this season, just know you’re not the only one trying new styles, but if you’re a lover of class and tradition, putting a spin on those trends has never had a more perfect time than now. 2024 is timeless but not basic. It’s an exotic timeless, and the spring season is no exception.

Next school year’s residence hall changes

The oldest dorm on campus, O.C. Bailey, which typically houses freshman male students, will be renovated during the 2024-2025 school year, despite the fallout Anthony Hall had earlier this semester that left many of its residents in a flood of worries.

Updates are set to be made to O.C. to make it more “energy-efficient and comfortable for residents.” Due to the demands of renovation, O.C. Bailey will not be

housing any students for the 20242025 academic year.

With this change comes other adjustments across campus to accomodate. Susie Everett Hall will now be housing male upperclassmen instead of female students, Tatman Corner Apartments will only house males with double the previous number of residents in each apartment and Anthony Hall will have one floor dedicated to freshman male students.

Female students who were planning on living in Tatman or Susie have had to make adjustments as a result of these changes. Tatman

female residents were able to get the first pick on obtainable apartment housing, but other students had to search for a different option. Dormitory housing offered for females for this next school year will be Maddox Hall, Georgia Hickingbotham Hall and Gosser Hall. Apartments are also available, but applications are competitive. These include the options to apply to on-campus apartments with a scarce availability for off-campus apartments.

In comparison to Francis Crawford Hall, the freshman girl dorm with mellow brick walls and a his-

tory of humidity problems, O.C. is still known to be the worst dorm on campus with grimy living conditions and communal bathrooms. As the residents of the dormitory are the majority of male students, it is due time for an upgrade.

Despite the major need for O.C.’s changes, the decision to make these renovations couldn’t have come at a more challenging time for the housing department, as Ouachita has hit an all-time high of enrolled students. Because of all of the quick aesthetic changes made daily on campus to Cone-Bottoms and football facilities, I believe the

same swift refashion could have been made to O.C. Bailey Hall through the numerous breaks at the end of each semester.

Applications are now open for housing with limited selections for both male and female students. As renovations begin and students are assigned to their new dormitories for the 2024-2025 school year, both staff and students will have to adapt to the changes. Though dorm living has its ups and downs, the Ouachita community continues to adapt, improve and grow as the number of residential students grows each year.


Cheer squad finishes season strong, looks ahead


Ouachita is known for having some of the most school-spirited students around. It is no question that the OBU cheer team is responsible for a lot of that spirit, as they radiate positivity and passion at every game they cheer at. As the cheer season comes to a close, cheer coach Kristi Seals, current captain Kennedy Johnson and future captain Olivia Whitlatch reminisce on the 2023-2024 season, which they now leave behind.

“This season was truly my favorite cheer season yet,” Whitlatch stated. “There aren’t quite enough words to describe being part of the cheer team. Having fun is our top priority while cheering on our Tigers to victory. Practices incorporate reading God’s word to remind us why we cheer and trying new stunts and cheers for us to keep getting better and better. Games are simply the best time. It requires high energy and great attitudes in

order to lead the Tigers to a win, which is what we do best as cheerleaders. I am blessed to be a part of this cheer team.”

Senior biology major Kennedy Johnson was the co-captain for the 2022-2023 season and became the captain for the 2023-2024 season. As a senior, Johnson has seen firsthand how the cheer team fosters a sense of community of friendship.

“The relationships that I have formed with the other girls will stick with me forever. I have made some of my best freinds on the team, and I don’t know if I would have been able to get to know them on that level without being on the cheer team,” Johnson said.

As captain, Johnson had many responsibilities both on the sidelines and behind the scenes. Though the job of captain can be stressful, it provides a creative outlet, as well as a chance to serve the other members of the team and the university as a whole.

“The best part about being captain is getting to use my creativi-

ty,” Johnson said. “I get to organize practices and teach new stunts to our team that we can perform at games. It brings me joy to be able to create a fun environment for the team to do what they love. I hope our team comes out of this season knowing that OBU cheer is much more than just what we do on the sidelines. Getting to work, laugh, cry and pray together will always mean so much more to be than a scholarship or a performance at halftime at a game.”

Whitlatch will be the captain next school year and is excited for what opportunities that will bring.

“As I go into next year’s season as captain, I only hope for those friendships to flourish and to nourish new ones with the upcoming cheerleaders,” Whitlatch explained. “I look forward to next year with hopes to lead the team with grace and love in order for the girls’ college cheer experience to be the best it can be.”

As this season comes to an end, Whitlatch hopes that her fellow

teammates relish in the great opportunity they have in cheering for this university.

“I hope and pray the team has taken one thing from this season; and that is a thankful heart to have the opportunity to cheer,” Whitlatch stated. “Through hardships life brings, the girls on this team are here for one another and remind each other often we’re all in this together. I hope none of us forget that.”

This is Seals’ second year coaching the OBU cheer team. Cheerleading was a huge part of Seals’ life growing up, and being able to coach the OBU cheer team allows her to be a part of her cherished sport once again. She is most thankful to have the opportunity to build lasting relationships with the girls on the team.

“I hope [the team] takes away the value of teamwork and being there for one another,” Seals said. “We do devotions before each practice and pray together at the end. Knowing that you have some-

Sarah Dean) one on your team who really loves and cares about you makes a difference in our lives, and I hope they felt that this year and will carry that on into the years to come.”

Tryouts occurred on March 9. There will be eight new girls joining the team for next season.

“We are excited to have [the new team members] on board,” Seals said. “We are sad to see our seniors and others move on to the next chapter, but we are thrilled to see what we can accomplish next season. We will start sending out the material for the new girls to learn over the summer, so it will start soon. We are ready for the fall and for Tiger football to begin again.”

Students can expect to be dazzled once again by the cheer team next season.

“Buckle up,” Whitlatch said. “Next year’s season is going to be full of new stunts and showcases that we’re grateful enough to get the opportunity to do, along with some new and improved gear. I can hardly wait.”

The cheer team finishes a performance during halftime of a football game. The team cheered on the Tigers at every home football and basketball game, contributing to the lively, enthusiastic atmosphere of the (photo by The OBU cheer squad cheers on the women’s basketball team during a game against Southwestern Oklahoma State University. (photo by Meghann Bledsoe)

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.