Name change vigil held to draw awareness

As Dixie State College students and faculty become more aware of the changes occurring on campus, some people have voiced strong opinions as to whether Dixie should remain in the name of the university-to-be.

Community members, students and college faculty gathered across the street from the Cox Auditorium for a silent awareness vigil last week. Participants stood in silence to express understanding for both sides of the name change argument and encouraged people to discuss the matter and it’s importance to DSC’s future.

Christmas break to be enjoyed diversely

As the holiday season comes around, people have already started planning their Christmas vacations.

From going on trips to trimming trees, people have their own different traditions.

Some of the more popular and common things people like to do around this time include looking at Christmas lights, skiing on the slopes or going on a cruise. 

Some people even like to focus on the good of others during the holidays and participate in 12 days of Christmas, where someone picks a different present each day and anonymously gives it to someone or a family of his or her choice.

But some of the things Dixie State College students like to do for Christmas are more uncommon than the rest.

“I plan on pulling all-nighter Halo marathons with my cousins,” said Benjamin Fuller, a general education major from Alpine. “I am also going caroling while dressed up in Halloween costumes.”

Even if students are not staying at home, there are fun things to do everywhere.

“Me and my twin sister are going to fly to Hawaii and meet my dad there and are going to spend Christmas time in Hawaii,” said Tevita Sekeni, a freshman general education major from Salt Lake City. “And then my sister and my dad are going to fly back, and I’m going to stay for another week.”

Sekeni said he thinks the time he will be spending alone in Hawaii is a good chance for him to build faith in himself and be a responsible person.

For some people, Christmas is a time to see their families and partake of the friendly Christmas atmosphere—where you sit by the fire drinking hot chocolate while watching Christmas movies. But for others, it’s a time to reunite and accomplish some crazy things.

Robert Metz, a freshman general education major from Tucson, Ariz., said every year he and his friends connect a sled to the back of his friend’s truck and pull each other around in the Arizona mud.

“We just do some wild things together when we are all back for the holidays,” he said.

Metz said his favorite part about Christmas is getting to see all of his family and eating good food. He said he doesn’t care too much about the presents anymore.

Tyler Harmon, a freshman pre-med major from Pleasant Grove, said, “My family usually drives all the way up to Temple Square to see the lights.”

He also said his mother buys the kids underwear. He said last year his were Angry Birds briefs. 

“My favorite part about Christmas is celebrating the birth of our savior,” Sekeni said.

He said it is a time to spend time with family and feel that holiday spirit.

“Holiday actually comes from two words: Holy [and] Day,” he said. “It is a really holy day in the Tongan culture, and it is very important to us.”

So no matter where students come from, the holidays can be celebrated in many different ways. If it’s Christmas or Hanukkah, the universal thing is to come together and spend time with the people you care about the most.

Confederate statue removed from campus

The Confederate soldier statue located between the Cox Auditorium and the Smith Computer Center was taken down Thursday, Dec. 6.

The statue, which has become a point of discussion in the ongoing debate of whether or not to remove “Dixie” from the college name, was the location of a peaceful protest last Thursday before the town hall meeting.

Steve Johnson, DSC public relations director, said the real reason is to protect the piece.

“Part of the reason we want to take it down is to protect it—it is a piece of art,” Johnson said. “We want to protect it because it has been a focal point over the last few weeks.”

Johnson said the primary issue is that nobody knows who really owns the statue. It either belongs to the school, the city of St. George or the family who donated it.

If someone were to go in and appraise what it’s worth, who knows the tens of thousands of dollars it’s worth,” he said.

Johnson also said while some may see the removal of the statue as indicative of the college’s stance on the name change, he said the statue flew under the radar until the last few months.

Removing the Confederate identity (from the college) has been an ongoing process from the 1990s,” he said. “Ultimately we took the statue down to protect it, and yeah, that correlation can be made.”

Johnson cited the recent protest as causing concern for DSC officials about the safety the statue.

We saw with the protest—it was a peaceful protest—but there was a sheet thrown over the top,” he said.

Johnson said that ultimately, while people will tie the removal to the name change, DSC officials wanted to maintain the statue’s integrity.

People can point to a cause-and-effect and can make the connection,” he said. “At the end of the day, we thought it was necessary to move it from campus.”

DSC athletes deserve gratitude

I personally love this season—not because it’s the holiday season, but because it’s the time of year when that rubber ball is sent through the metal hoop. 

I’m reminded, by what I’m convinced is my true love, that it takes a lot to play a sport. I grew up playing volleyball and basketball, and I’m the only girl in my family.  I grew up with my dad and two brothers working me to the core on the basketball court, so I know how much work it takes to become a true athlete.

But I’m not here to share my love for the game—I’m here to give my support to the athletes of Dixie State College.

These athletes not only play a game, they partake of a lifestyle that defines who they are. They spend hours in the gym working to be the best, so they can represent Dixie State College.

Yeah, sure, anyone can go to the gym, but how many of us students start at 5 a.m., go to school, and then attend the gym again in the evening? I’d be surprised if any of us did.

One thing that made me incredibly impressed was the fact that both of the Dixie State basketball teams were on the road at tournaments on Thanksgiving day instead of being at home with family.  I was talking to men’s basketball player Zach Robbins last week, and he told me they had a turkey sandwich for their Thanksgiving dinner. Not many people would sacrifice time away from family to spend the holidays on a bus with 20 smelly men.

Another thing, among many, is the fact that most of the athletes have a high grade point average, and they serve in the community of St. George. 

During the men’s basketball game Monday night, these athletes were recognized at halftime to show gratitude from Dixie State College. The court was nearly covered with these students. 

I’m giving my own personal thank you to the athletes of Dixie State College. They deserve to be praised, and they deserve the support and attention of Dixie State. Now, let’s fill the stands and show them how grateful we are.