Military trains on campus for WMD crisis

Multimedia reporter Calvin Smith spoke with military representatives who came to Dixie State University’s campus to train soldiers in the event that a weapon of mass destruction is used. 

Students get rides to class, win prizes

A ride to class plus a chance to win free stuff can be yours if the timing is right.

A driver of a golf cart will offer to give you a ride to class if you are willing to answer questions about DSU and national news for a prize. The more answers you get correct the bigger the prize is, but if you are unable to answer one of the questions, then you are unable to ride the rest of the way.

“We are doing it so students have more of an incentive to pick up the papers every day and be more engaged in events outside of St. George,” said Brandon Price, a communication major from Brigham City and student body vice president of academics.

The New York Times sponsors the Quiz Cab by sending New York Times beanies, hats, mugs, water bottles and smaller prizes like pens and pencils.

“It makes you think about staying more in contact with everything and knowing what’s going on,” said Daniel Fischer, a senior undecided major from Washington. “After that happened I noticed I started…checking it out more to gain more knowledge about it just in case they stopped me.”

There are 150 papers delivered in every building around campus except for the University Plaza, Taylor Building and the Snow Science Building.

The students running the Quiz Cab ask questions about The New York Times newspaper delivered the Friday prior.

“We try to keep [the questions] pretty easy because we want people to win,” Price said.

Price said no one leaves the Quiz Cab empty-handed, even if students aren’t able to answer any question correctly.

Taylor Squires, a freshman general education major from St. George, said the Quiz Cab is a good thing to have around campus because it motivates him to know his facts.

“They’re asking you to test your skills and to test your knowledge, and they give you a prize after,” Squires said. “If I get it right, then I get a prize after. I’m just nervous because I don’t want to look like a fool.” 

The Quiz Cab is going to continue for the rest of the semester. 

“It gets people thinking about the campus,” Fischer said. “I think it’s a cool idea.”

The Quiz Cab will be on campus March 4, March 25, and April 23.

Theater program brings Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘Gondoliers’ to DSU

Set in the fictional republic of Barataria in 1950s Italy, two brothers are told the surprising news that one of them is king.

Until they are told, Marco and Giuseppe had merrily lived the life of gondoliers, believing in equality and marrying happily. Now not only is one of them the symbol of what they detest, but one is also already married to the duke and duchess’ daughter, Casilda. They decide to set out to find out who it is and agree that both are King until they know the truth.

So starts the topsy-turvy rollicking shenanigans that “The Gondoliers” creators Gilbert & Sullivan were known for.

“Gilbert & Sullivan were this dynamic duo that dominated the world of operetta in the late 19th century England,” said Ken Peterson, an associate professor of music and choir director for “The Gondoliers.” “The very last operetta they wrote together was ‘Gondoliers,’ which is the most advanced of all of their works, to my knowledge. It is a massive work, and musically, it’s my favorite.”

Two of their other operettas, “The Mikado” and “Pirates of Penzance,” were also produced at DSU.

“‘Gondoliers’ is an operetta, which is not quite an opera but more than a musical,” said Matt Russell, a senior theater major from Las Vegas, who plays the duke in “The Gondoliers.” “Operas are just singing straight through, while operettas actually have a little dialogue here and there.”

The chorus is featured 19 times throughout the operetta, which is more than the 15 named characters who have solo lines. In comparison, “Guys and Dolls,” produced in the fall at DSU, had three times the entire chorus, like most musicals, sung together and only two to half a dozen named characters who have solo lines. 

“This is probably the most professional sounding cast we’ve ever had,” Peterson said. “It’s like a fireworks show. They are like musical fireworks with one right after the other.”

There is more of everything in “The Gondoliers.” Not only are there twice the number of named characters than in a usual musical, but there are also 40 musical numbers in total, while most musicals have between 12-16 musical numbers.

“The Gondoliers” was originally set in the late 1850s, but it was decided for this production to be set in 1950s post-war Italy. This transition has created the possibility to improv.

“There’s a lot of room to just kind of play and experiment, which is fun,” said Marie Hellewell, a senior music major from Las Vegas, who plays Casilda. “It’s a lot more fun to act.”

Improv is but one element in “The Gondoliers.” There are innuendos and nuances alongside irony and wit, satire and farce, Shakespearean language and dry humor.

“It’s really unique and really different from what other people have done,” Hellewell said. “And I think it’s just a really good way to feel cultured.”

With its many elements, it is a culture event for the whole family.

“(It is) culture that is absolutely entertaining,” said Ami Porter, an adjunct instructor of music, who plays the duchess. “It’s not opera, which you can’t understand, you know, very much of, but you can’t understand some of this either.That’s why I think it’s the kind of performance people will want to see again.”

“The Gondoliers” is a play packed full of verbal slapstick.

“The first time they’ll be like: ‘Oh that was funny. Now I understand the story, I think I’m going to come back and bring some other people,’” Porter said.

As DSU transitions to having graduate students, one goal of the fine arts department is to do more opera.

“Opera requires more of matures voices and mature players because of its demands, and we’re viewing Gondoliers as a step in that direction,” Peterson said.

“The Gondoliers” opens on Feb 28 on the Eccles Mainstage Theater at 7:30 p.m. It runs March 1-2 and March 5-9.

DSU plans home turf revenge

The love of the game is driving Dixie Sate University rugby players after a loss to Brigham Young University.

The Red Storm played BYU on Feb. 16 at Snow Canyon High School in their second meeting of the season. The score was tied at the half, but BYU came out strong in the second half and beat Dixie 50-22.

Head coach Jeremy Lister said the team put up a good fight, but the team should have come home with a victory.

“BYU is the reigning national champion in rugby,” Lister said. “We knew it would be hard, but we thought we could have won because of our previous games.”

The team was slowed down by serious injuries to two players on the team. Both players had to get stitches to the head but returned later after the bleeding had stopped.

Lister said the lack of numbers on the Red Storm hurt the team as well. Dixie State had 22 players while their opponent had 70. 

“We only had four subs for the whole game.” Lister said. “Our guys got tired because there was no one to take their place. We had many guys who played a full 80 minutes.”

Since some players are having to stay on the field for so long, the coaching staff has been stepping up on endurance at practice. Running drills have been increased, and each player runs approximately 30 miles a week.

Lister is hoping the extra conditioning will allow the team to have a strong showing in the next five games. It will prepare the Storm for the conference championship on April 5-6. The championship game will be held at either Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy or at Murray Park in Salt Lake City. The destination has yet to be determined.

“The team is really looking forward towards championships,” said Brentt Phillips, a sophomore general education major from Salt Lake City. “We will beat BYU then.”

Dixie State will have home field advantage throughout the upcoming games because of bad weather in northern Utah. Games will be played at Hansen Stadium and at other fields around St. George.

“It always helps to have games down here,” Lister said. “We don’t have to spend the extra money, and the players don’t have to get off work for the whole weekend.”

Many players are not able to play all the games because of their work schedules or other personal matters. Every team member is a volunteer and plays because of the  love of the sport.

“We don’t offer scholarships like other schools do,” Lister said. “They play the game because it is fun.”

The players work hard and the coaching staff is taking notice and will continue to push them until the end of the season.

“They work their butts off for the school and put their physical well-beings on the line,” Lister said. “It means a lot to me to see them succeed.”

Wrestlers continue defeating

Placing first in their tri-dual at home, the Dixie State University wrestling club defeated the University of Utah and the College of Southern Nevada on Feb. 16.

The Red Storm came ready to fight in the dual, where they only lost a total of two matches.

“All [the wrestlers] dominated and did a nice job overall,” head coach Brian Pace said.

Pace said their 125-pounder, Ty Mangum, a sophomore business major from St. George, is looking much better and stood out to him that in the tournament.  

“Neither University of Utah and College of Southern Nevada had a 125-pound[wrestler], so I went up a weight class,” Mangum said. “I wrestled College of Southern Nevada first and was winning until the second period.”

Mangum said he was slammed down by his opponent and knocked out. He went back in and ended up losing by two points. He then wrestled a member of the University of Utah in a shorter match, where he took his opponent down and ended up winning 8-5.

DSU goes on to a bigger dual, the West Coast Dual, on Feb. 23 where it will match up against the University of Southern California, College of Southern Nevada, University of Utah, and California State University, Los Angeles.

“I am looking forward to that dual to get a better look at what the competition will be like at regionals the following week and to just wrestle and have a good time,” Mangum said.

Regionals will be held at California Baptist University in Riverside, Calif., and it will consist of all eight teams in the conference.

Pace said in order to make it that far, the team needs to work on better riding time, controlling opponents on the mat for the majority of the time, and improve on getting out from underneath the opponent. He said they also need to work on controlling their time and keeping their feet moving as well as being active and physical.

“They are a good group of kids and they enjoy practice,” Pace said. “They come out pretty dedicated, and we will be pushing out a little more because we have one more week to go.”

Pace said they have a few strong teams in Dixie’s conference, but he is excited about one in particular.

Dixie has California Baptist University, which is ranked No. 1 nationally, in it’s conference.

“They are about as tough as they come,” Pace said. “We have seen them and we have done OK with them.”

Pace said he is looking forward to what is coming for the Red Storm and is confident they will do well next week.

‘Harlem Shake’ just another Internet fad

Awkwardly dance, and awkwardly dance some more, and awkwardly dance even more, and now freak out and have everyone around you do something random—this is the “Harlem Shake.”

Social media are full of videos that often tend to sharply spike in popularity. The “Harlem Shake” is doing just that. It has blown up Facebook, YouTube, comedy websites and even late-night talk show skits. It may be popular now, but it will soon be just another past trend in our memory bank.

The “Harlem Shake” videos are usually 30 seconds long with one person dancing in place for 15 seconds to the “Harlem Shake” song by Baauer. After a musical drop, the video cuts to the same frame but with many people dancing, jumping, wiggling on the floor, punching stuffed animals, humping or doing who knows what. Each video is edited the same, but the content is usually different.

I didn’t laugh at the first “Harlem Shake” video I saw, or even at the second or the third. Each video had more than 2 million views in less than a few weeks. Some of the funniest videos on YouTube don’t even have that amount of views in more than two years.

This realization made me wonder why the videos were so popular. It has to be that people just love how random they are. I prefer to describe the videos as ridiculous or even extremely ridiculously.

I decided to focus on the randomness. The small details of each video make them unique and charismatic. The next “Harlem Shake” video made me laugh and I probably watched five more right after that.

Josh Constine, who wrote his master’s degree thesis on cybersociology while attending Stanford, published an article on techcrunch.com, which explained why he thinks the video is so popular.

“A five-minute video?” Constine wrote. “Ain’t nobody got time for that. That’s why we’re so willing to watch just one more incarnation. The result is one of the most pervasive gags in history. A ‘Symbiotic Meme,’ the ‘Harlem Shake’ has a lesson to teach all content creators.”

He continued on to explain some sort of mathematical equation of the compositional editing, but ain’t nobody got time to read about that.

The craze could also be because of the catchy tune by Baauer, a 23-year-old DJ from Brooklyn.

According to billboard.com, Baauers’ song, also titled “Harlem Shake,” is the No. 3 song on iTunes as of Feb. 14. It is rivaling Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” and Rihanna’s “Stay.”

If this is hard for you to fathom, which it was for me, then just listen to the song a couple of times. I warn you, though, it will be stuck in your head for hours.

Or the sheer, hilariously creative composition of the whole thing is what grabs you. Each video is different but the same. Some have people dressed up in military uniforms, while others are just in a random office. The props used in these videos are funny, stupid, crazy and just random.

Some major music producers like Matt and Kim made one, and even swim teams have made videos filmed underwater.

There is no limit to the variations. A new version will come out and you will want to watch it just to see what the components of it are. This is what gets me.

According to YouTube’s official blog, there were 1,000 “Harlem Shake” videos that had been posted by Feb. 5, and that number spiked to more than 50,000 by Feb. 15 with more than 175 million views. Also, according to Google’s Search Trends Scale, the phrase “the harlem shake” has a search index score of 100. This is the highest ranking on the scale.

These numbers are outstanding, and the spike of popularity hit faster than anything I have ever experienced. But with massive trend spikes, there comes extreme drops. The “Harlem Shake” cannot, and will not, sustain such a high level of popularity.

Once people get their fix of the trend, they will be good. It will be time to find the next big thing. This is how trends work. Enjoy these videos for a bit, but I promise they will get old soon, and you won’t even give them a second of thought in a few months down the road.

Classroom disruptions not limited to behavior

From whispering jokes to mak ing fashion statements, students may disrupt class in numerous ways, and blurred perceptions make dealing with distractions more difficult.

Hurricane Middle School made national headlines when administrators removed a student from classes because her hair color was too distracting. Administrators informed the 15-year-old student her hair looked unnatural shades of color in certain lights—spawning numerous questions in regards to what situations cause in-class disruptions and how they should be handled.

Marci Jones, a junior general education major from Oakley, said she respects other people’s fashion and doesn’t feel it’s her place to judge what’s acceptable. However, professors dictate when students’ choices create awkward or inappropriate situations.

“I think that teachers could ask someone to leave if they were too exposed and if a lot of skin was showing because that can be distracting to everyone,” she said. “I’m sure the teacher doesn’t want [other students’] eyes to keep awkwardly wandering that way.”

A student’s actions can easily draw attention, but addressing the problem poses large ramifications. Julio Rodriguez, a sophomore business major from Las Vegas, said classmates’ bright, at times ambitious, clothing choices catch his attention, but professors should think before intervening.

“…That would be putting someone on the spot for who they are, and that’s unethical,” Rodriguez said, referencing a professor or school administrator’s choice to confront a student for fashion.

Students said classmates’ clothes or physical appearances haven’t been a problem, and it’s behavioral elements that constitute major disruptions.

English professor Brad Barry said fashion choices aren’t an issue, and he expects diversity on a college campus.

“If somebody comes in [to class] in a suit and tie or a mohawk and 18 rings on their face, I don’t care; it’s how people behave that matters,” he said.

There is much experimenting and opportunity for students to find what they like in college, Barry said. Students’ attitudes are the main force behind issues. He said often it’s surprising when students come into class late and attract as much attention as possible.

Jones said a majority of students garner negative attention with their words, rather than style.

“The biggest disruptions in class are when people don’t know how to whisper, and they are having a loud conversation with someone two seats in front of them,” Jones said.

Rodriguez said phones ringing during class are the worst, and many students speak so often that Jones suggested a limit.

What are the most effective ways students and professors can combat distractions?

Barry said professors must notice poor classroom etiquette early; if not, the issues build into much more. Early on, Barry didn’t address every in-class problem immediately. Now he does.

Andrew Jensen, a sophomore biology major from Logan, said distractions occur, but classes consist of so much work and lecture that he zones them out by prioritizing. Rodriguez said the same; he focuses harder on notes.

When discussing distractions students cause, whether it be appearance-wise or attitude-based, Barry quoted Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden”: “I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.”

Morgan, Layton, Lewis elected as next DSUSA executive council

The student body presidential elections divided students’ votes and opinions almost in half, but Carlos Morgan ended up tipping the scales with a slim 34 votes.

The final numbers boiled down to 680 votes for Morgan and 646 votes for Mazie Ludlow. Gregory Layton and Brandon Lewis were elected unanimously into the positions for vice president of academics and vice president of clubs and organizations, respectively, with 1,326 votes each.

Morgan, a junior communication major from Santa Clara, said he was proud of the way his campaign was run, and he emphasized that he couldn’t take all the credit for his success. 

“There were so many people on board,” he said. “It really was an effort of everybody that I know and everybody that they know and everybody that they know.”

Morgan said his goal between now and the time he’s sworn in is to start finding the best students available to fill his executive council. He said it’s not the type of government that will have just one type of demographic; he wants to find the best  and most diverse people available. 

That could even include Morgan’s opponent. 

“If she is the best one for whatever position she applies for, then yes,” Morgan said about potentially including Ludlow in his 2013-14 team.

Ludlow, a junior communication major from Turlock, Calif., said the loss was bittersweet. 

“It was great to see the support that I had,” she said. “That was a really nice feeling. At the same time, it was really hard to see how close I was without actually making it there. I sometimes wonder if it just would have been easier to have had a landslide loss.”

She said she’s gauging the loss on a more positive scale because of the numbers of students who voted this year. She said it shows students are being more proactive about their student government.

“And (it’s) not only the students,” she said. “[The turnout] is yet again another example of the increase of student involvement due to our current executive council.” 

She said she’s considering many options in lieu of being president, but she hasn’t given serious thought to where she’d like to be next year. She did say she wants to serve the school in some capacity, though. 

Votes Increase

This year’s voter turnout was larger than years’ past, despite two of the candidates running unopposed. The DSU Student Association is equating this with the option to vote online.

DSUSA Chief Justice Rhett Sullivan, a senior communication major from Hurricane, said this is the second year students have been allowed to vote online, and he thinks the ease of access is making for a better election process.

“It went really well,” he said. “I believe it’s the highest (number of votes) it ever has been.” 

Sullivan said the DSUSA didn’t set any specific goals as far as voter numbers were concerned, but the jump in numbers was indeed significant. Only 889 students voted in the spring 2012 elections. 

The increased turnout could be due to some leniency given to the candidates this year when asking for student support. 

Sullivan said candidates were allowed to approach students this year with mobile devices and ask them to vote on-the-spot, something that wasn’t allowed last year.

“We didn’t let them go off campus and do that, but on campus we let them bring their [mobile devies to the voters],” he said. “I think we’re still just making adaptions. We’re trying to find the right regulation for [online voting].”  

Dollar caps dropped

Although the VP positions were uncontested, both candidates said they didn’t skimp on the campaigning, although it could have seemed that way.

Layton, a junior English major from Cottonwood Heights, was asked during the debates by an audience member about his lack of signage around the school. Layton said that, since he was running unopposed, he didn’t want to “waste the school’s money” on campaign posters. 

“I don’t think it would have been wise for me [to do that] if I were running against someone,” Layton said. “I would obviously need some sort of campaign material, but that was a decision I thought was necessary.”

Lewis, a junior communication major from Coalville, was asked the same question at last week’s debates about his decision to hang large posters despite his having an uncontested campaign.

Lewis said he chose to put the money into the campaign because he wanted students to get to know him and “get his face out there,” so students would know who to go to with questions or concerns about clubs and organizations.

The DSUSA provided the option to pay for an equal amount of posters for each candidate, but the limit on a candidate’s personal spending was lifted this year.

“We wanted to give each candidate the opportunity to do their campaign how they wanted to,” Sullivan said. “We took away caps on money that they could use, and we just wanted to give them the freedom. Last year, [the DSCSA] set up [videos] for them and hung their signs up for them. This year, we just put it into their hands and let them do it.” 

Jordon Sharp, director of student involvement and leadership, said some of the election bylaws were altered since last year to accomodate these changes and better reflect an actual political process.

“If someone’s going to bust their butt and go out and get donations and have people rallying around them, we don’t want to punish them for that,” Sharp said.

Sharp said last year’s DSCSA’s attempt to equalize the playing field meant candidates’ strengths weren’t necessarily showing.

“We did their designs, their videos, their posters, so for a student walking around campus, everything looked great,” he said. “They didn’t know who really spent more time on their campaign and who put a lot of thought into it.”

From now until then

The president and vice presidents elect are beginning to focus on the upcoming fall semester.

Layton said he’s planning on getting a head start on next year’s duties by hunting for exemplary students.

“I’m going to start talking to [the department heads] to see if they have any recommendations for students who would be great at being a senator,” Layton said. “I’m not just looking for students who are academically talented; I’m looking for students who can go out and build relationships with students in their similar field of study so [the students] can feel comfortable coming to [the senators].” 

Lewis’ plans for preparation are similar to Layton’s, and, in fact, include him. 

“I’m going to be following Greg for the next little while,” Lewis said. “I’m going to see how bills will be working, and of course, I’ll continue working and fulfilling my duties as a club representative. And we’re all going to be learning what’s expected of us and what we need to be doing during our summer internships.”

And Morgan is keeping his eye out for the student leaders who will take the reigns in the fall.

“Between now and when I’m [sworn in], my goal is to find the people in the different positions who are best qualified as we transition into this new year and this new experience as a university,” he said. “I, and everyone who hops on board next year, [am] going to make it the best year that Dixie has ever had.”

Speech Competition deadlines drawing near

Persuasive speaking will award students up to $1,000.

The Antone and Cola Bowler Persuasive Speech Competition is set for March 21. Students are to write an eight- to 10-minute speech revolving around a community issue.

Dixie State University’s first persuasive speech competition will be awarding three scholarships for the top three finalists. First place wins $1,000, second place wins $500, and third place wins $250.

Don Hinton, the dean of school of arts and letters, said speeches need to be on a local matter that affects the college and its students.

“It needs to be a persuasive speech about things like the smoking ban on campus, or the name change,” Hinton said. “Basically anything that causes controversy.”

Communication Department Chair Brent Yergensen said the competition is judged by the members of the communication department and funded in multiple ways.

“It is funded out of VP Don Hinton’s office, based on an endowment given decades ago by Antone and Cola Bowler, who helped the Dixie forensics team,” Yergensen said.

Hinton said he met Antone Bowler 25 years ago when he was the adviser for the forensics team.

“Antone Bowler came to me and discussed (what it was like) being on the forensics team back in 1930,” Hinton said. “I then showed him the plaque the 1930 forensics team had and he began to discuss setting up an endowment plan that awarded the forensics team with scholarship money every year. After the forensics team died out, we needed to come up with another way to honor Bowler’s money.”

Hinton and Yergensen then put together the competition to award the money in a way that was close to awarding it to the forensics team.

“The idea of the forensics team was to refine students’ ability to think critically, and that is the basis of this competition,” Hinton said.

To fill out an application, go to http://www.dixie.edu/cnm/speech_contest_form.php