DSU volleyball prepares for 2013 season

Dixie State University women’s volleyball team is disappointed with the performance at the Alumni game. 

The women’s volleyball team had a scrimmage Saturday with DSU volleyball alumni.

“Most of these players have played very recently, so it [was] a very exciting game,” head coach Robyn Felder said. “We have been preparing for about two weeks now for the alumni game and our last two weeks of pre-season.”

The current Dixie team defeated the alumni 4-1. Felder said this was a very seasoned group of alumni, and they played great.

“Today was really hard for us to find our energy and our rhythm against the alumni,” said libero Alex Anderson, a junior integrated studies major from Prescott, Ariz. “They are good players, but we should have won every single game, which was kind of disappointing for us.”

DSU recently played in a tournament Aug. 23-24 at Westminster College where they went  4-0 at Behnken Field House. 

“[That tournament] gave us a lot of momentum and confidence,” Felder said. “I am just hoping to build on that and work to get better.”

Last year DSU went 7-14 overall and 5-11 in conference, and this year the team is striving to not settle for less.

Felder has confidence that her team will succeed with the first official regular season game on Sept. 6 against Northwest Nazarene University.

“My expectations for this team are really high,” Felder said. “I have nine girls who are returning that should give us a lot of experience and leadership.  Plus, I picked up four junior college kids this spring and fall that will add depth and experience as well.”

Felder said all of the girls are standing out at different times and in different ways, although there are a lot of women on the team this year . 

Felder said a lot of players have stood out. Some of those players stood out for effort, others stood for leadership and others for aggressiveness.

“I am just looking for the top six girls that have the best chemistry on the court and can do their job,” Felder said.

Felder said the seniors are leading by example, and the underclassmen are getting better each day. 

“I feel like the women are getting into the system and being more disciplined on the court,” Felder said. “It will be the small things that will make the difference this year. If we can do those things week in and out, we will be successful.” 

Felder said the little things such as being disciplined on blocking, getting back to base, reading the hitter and covering are what win games.

“These are all the little unseen elements that make a huge difference during the rally,” Felder said. “We are working to be more disciplined late in the rally and trying to take big swings when we are out of system.”

Anderson said the Storm’s offense is doing exceptionally well, and as long as the team can continue working well together, DSU can win region. 

“We feel really confident with this team,” Anderson said. “Our coach did good recruiting, and we have a lot of new, strong hitters and players.”

Anderson said the offense is going to make all of the difference. She said last year DSU had a good defense and could dig up anything, but this year the hitters are hitting in the positives, which is new for the team.  

“I am looking forward to a great season,” Felder said. “We play in a tough conference, and I feel like these girls are up to the challenge. They thrive on hard work and hustle, and I think we are going to surprise a lot of people this year. Either way, we’re going to continue to grow and get better.”


Ordain Women: October Priesthood Session Action

On Saturday, October 5th, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. we are going to meet at City Creek Park (110 N State Street Salt Lake City, Utah) and walk over to the Conference Center together. We will stand as a group of women, and male allies in the standby line in order to gain admittance to the Priesthood Session of the 183rd Semiannual General Conference of the Church. If we are admitted, we will celebrate this historical achievement by attending the Priesthood Session together.

After we leave Priesthood session, we will reconvene at City Creek Park to speak to the public, including representatives of the media, about our experiences either attending Priesthood Session or being barred from attending. At this meeting, Ordain Women will make a public statement continuing our unequivocal call for complete equality and the ordination of Mormon women.

Currently, in addition to priesthood holders, “prospective elders” are allowed to attend the Priesthood Session of General Conference, but no women are permitted to attend. That means men who are not even members of the church are allowed in, but even our beloved Prophet’s wife Frances B. Monson was barred from entry. “As a newly called member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the then Elder Monson was assigned to speak in general priesthood meeting. Frances tried to stand in the doorway of the Salt Lake Tabernacle to listen to her husband speak, but the ushers wouldn’t allow it, so she stood as near to the window as possible to hear the talk.” http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/frances-monson-passes-away

We are attending this Priesthood Session because we see ourselves as prospective elders. We hope that when our leaders see us in the audience with priesthood holders and other prospective elders, they will consider the untapped potential of the millions of female members within the church and prayerfully consider the ordination of women.

Join us for this historic demonstration of our commitment to equality within the church!


This event is specifically for people genuinely invested in the Mormon community.

-We are a faith based group of Mormons and as such will not tolerate anti-church diatribes.
-We will not carry any signs or banners.
-We ask that you come dressed in your Sunday best as if you were attending any other session of General Conference.
-We will not use any deceitful tactics to get into the Priesthood Session. As such, we encourage women to directly ask their local leaders for tickets to the session, but not to get them from anyone who does not specifically know why they are being requested.

‘Getaway’: A sorry excuse to crash cars

Jordan gives “Getaway” a thumbs down.   

If you want a film that has multiple car crashes, some explosions and fast driving, “Getaway” is the film for you.

As I watched the trailer for “Getaway,” I thought it would be a good one to review, but as I sat through the movie, I realized I had made the wrong choice. It’s supposed to be an action thriller, but the film lacks the emotion needed for the audience to connect with the intensity of its situation.

Former race-car driver Brent Magna, played by Ethan Hawke, comes home from work to find his wife kidnapped. He is then contacted by The Voice, played by Jon Voight, and told he must do dangerous escape and driving tasks to keep his wife alive.

I’m all for having a mysterious voice as the villain and slowly revealing who the villain actually is, but it should have been casted as someone with a more memorable voice, like Morgan Freeman or Jack Nicholson. Even if they chose the “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” narrator Anthony Hopkins as The Voice, it might have turned out better.

Another problem with The Voice was that Voight’s entire face was only shown once throughout the entire film. Voight is a great actor, so the producers should have shown him more often.

Magna steals a car that is stacked with cameras and microphones so The Voice can see and hear everything in the car. Shortly after Magna steals the car, he meets Selena Gomez, who plays as The Kid. The Kid turns out to be the owner of the stolen car, which I thought was an interesting turn of events.

Shortly after this, I realized this movie was not what I hoped it would be. As Magna drove around dodging a plethora of vehicles, The Kid kept screaming, swearing and whining. This continued for some time—long enough that I was annoyed with her for the remainder of the movie.

Without The Kid, this movie could have been a lot better. Additionally, there was not enough of reason attached to Magna’s kidnapped wife, Leann, played by Rebecca Budig. She disappears at the beginning and is only shown randomly throughout as a memory or being tortured.

The film as a whole wasn’t entirely bad. I liked the action for the most part, and there were plenty of chase scenes, which led to a lot of destroyed vehicles.

However, the chases were very predictable and the filming was confusing. The audience were only shown shots of a crash, a close-up of Magna and The Kid, or a quick shot of the custom Shelby Mustang.

Eventually, Magna and The Kid turn the odds in their favor by solving The Voice’s plan. They then plan to meet up with The Voice for a trade for Leanne. Not everything goes as planned, and Magna ends up back in the Mustang chasing The Voice.

Overall, the film was poorly made and was just a reason to destroy some vehicles and blow up a building. Gomez played a terrible part as a rich, tech-savvy, yet somehow ditzy girl. Hawke and Voight played their parts well, but the producers didn’t use them to their full potential.

I would rate “Getaway” one and a half out of five stars: It’s not worth the time and money to see it.

Matthew agrees.

Poor Ethan Hawke.

Heaven knows his agent probably tries to get him good gigs, but instead he’s been ending up with the crumbs of the proverbial blockbuster pie. I last saw him in the vampire craze-induced flop “Daybreakers,” and he’s since starred in the equally panned “Sinister” and “The Purge,” neither of which I had any desire to see. 

And he’s not breaking his losing streak any time soon, it seems. I don’t know if he’s just grabbing any work he can get, or if he genuinely thought it was a good script, but his choosing to star in “Getaway” isn’t doing him any favors. 

I didn’t believe for a second that his character cared about his wife. And, for that matter, I didn’t believe his wife was a good actor at all. Voigt’s on-screen appearances were reduced to epileptic shots of eyes and mouth, and his dialogue seemed like it was hastily cut and spliced from one long monologue.

Throw in a little ex-Bieber girlfriend action, and you’ve got what feels like a bunch of folks phoning it in just for a paycheck.

And while I’m all for a little choppy camera action to add to the feel of a film, I think the director of photography for “Getaway” was far too invested in making the audience feel jarred.

The only time the camera stood still long enough for me to digest what was going on, it was on a close-up of Selena Gomez’s face.

No thanks. 

The story is not only implausible, but it’s just plain ridiculous. We weren’t given any back story to appreciate anything that was going on, and the story didn’t pay off in the end for all the nauseating camera stunts we were subjected to.

I’d say the one redeeming factor for “Getaway” is the entertaining fact that, in the city these people all live in, there are thousands of police vehicles driven by what can only be described as partially blind drivers education students. I think there ended up being only two or three cop cars that didn’t topple and flip. 

“Yakety Sax” should have been playing the whole time. It really would have made the film awesome.

“Getaway” didn’t get away quick enough. It’s not getting its degree any time soon. I’m grading it with a big fat D. Ethan Hawk’s GPA is not looking good right about now.

Student government needs to find activity balance

Once hesitant, I now love living “The Dixie Life” but hope its ideas can evolve into more than to drown in foam and hunt for hotties at weekly socials.

Events aimed at enlightening Dixie State University students through song, dance and laughter crowd the events calendar each semester. While a select portion of students enjoy these gatherings, a little ingenuity on student government members’ parts could put Dixie on the map while bolstering the DSU Student Association’s impact.

There’s no question the annual Foam Dance is a hit. Having done little more than sneezed in a female’s general direction before attending last year, I quickly realized the grinding isn’t for me, but I appreciate that in at least one regard, student government has taken student input into account: event planning.

Yes, it appears students who give input, however small that number may be, request more dances and other social events. The attendance at said programs is decent, and my Facebook feed contains posts that gush about the fun to be had afterward.

It’s worth taking note of this, though: The same people attend the events and rave again and again.

Keeping loyal supporters happy is admirable and necessary. However, doing so doesn’t really do what Student Body President Carlos Morgan, and probably every student president at any school ever, said is a top goal: to receive large amounts of student input. Garnering more feedback takes reaching to people who won’t be seen at events the DSUSA has typically held as of late.

By brainstorming events that lean toward an academic nature, student government leaders can start some excellent traditions and broaden their base—thus creating a situation where they affect more students in a positive nature.

The best part is, student government leaders can modify numerous events that already take place on campus.

On the same calendar that social events over populate, informative speeches and presentations sometimes linger—in the afternoon hours, though, when students are in class or at work. To move these events into prime time, with the quality marketing that comes with a DSUSA-sponsored event, the student government could add some real diversity to the docket and show all students just how bad they want to represent everyone at DSU.

Do you think academic events that bridge the gap between roaring socials and TED-type talks would flounder? Initially, maybe, because students usually interested in school events may not show. The word of mouth that would soon spread because our student leaders are striving to plan in a nature much atypical of how college student associations do things, though, would acquire so much attention from both DSU students and those attending other universities.

Although dances much like the Foam Dance are fun and students love them, they’ll never be groundbreaking. As with most debates in regards to DSU’s future, university status should be taken into account, and I can’t think of a better way to usher in a new era than our student government leaders changing the way things are done and the way are students represented.

New minors give Dixie students added opportunities

Nine more minors joined Dixie State University’s curriculum over the summer, which continues the university’s growth and grants students more opportunities for success.

Minors including biology, math, creative writing, music, chemistry and sociology joined the list of now 12 minors that students can chose from for transcript enhancement and a better fighting chance in today’s competitive post-graduation world.

Bill Christensen, the executive vice president of Academic Services, said new minors provide more opportunities for students to deepen their expertise and stand out from other graduates in both career searches and graduate school applications. He said the lengthening minors list acts as a building block in strengthening DSU’s foundation as it progresses as a university.

“These new minors deepen us,” Christensen said. “Before, we were more like a desert pool that was really broad, but you couldn’t sink beyond your ankles. But now with these minors we’re dredging that out, and we’re getting deeper. It may look the same on the surface, but in fact, there’s a lot more now underneath.” 

Christensen said most of the minors were built out of pre-existing emphasis areas within Dixie’s curriculum. The shift away from emphases to minors has been in consideration ever since DSU began offering bachelor’s degrees, and its graduation to a university acted as somewhat of a catalyst to start offering minors, since graduate schools and employers recognize minors with more ease than emphases.

For example, employers and other transcript reviewers are more familiar with the term “minor” than “emphasis,” and the label communicates in universal language the applicant’s specialties in a more specific way, Christensen said.  

“(Minors) add to our credibility as a university,” he said. “They’re consistent with the way other schools do things, they enriche our students’ education, and they increase to some degree the depth of our departments and our curriculum.” 

Rico Del Sesto, an assistant chemistry professor, said new minor additions, like the chemistry minor, are bringing in a wide spectrum of benefits for not only DSU as a whole, but also students and faculty. 

For example, as more and more new minors are approved and strengthen the foundation for more degrees, Dixie can rise to level ground with larger schools.

“This shows the growth of the university, and that we will soon hopefully start competing with some of the bigger and more established universities because we can offer the same programs,” Del Sesto said.

For the students, a minor in, for example, chemistry can grant an advantage over other graduates in applications for medical or graduate school, he said.

“Having that extra stamp can carry a lot of weight,” Del Sesto said. “It shows the extra initiative to go beyond what your core requirements are, and that you got into pretty intense, challenging upper-level classes. Plus, I think it gives students a chance to explore something they wouldn’t otherwise get to.”

Del Sesto said minors benefit faculty in the sense that they offer professors more chances to share their expertise in more profound ways as students have more incentive to fill the higher-level classes. Additionally, the interest in upper-division courses attracts a more diverse faculty as the demand for specialty disciplines increase.

“This gives us the opportunity to use our expertise and experience to teach these upper division courses that are just as exciting for us as they hopefully are for the students,” he said.

Eli Yates, a senior biology major from Santa Clara, said he was considering transferring to another university since he knew how much value a chemistry minor could carry when applying for medical or graduate school. But when the minor was added to DSU’s curriculum, he changed his mind. 

“The chemistry minor really helped me stay here,” Yates said. “And it will make me stand out more and give a better foundation in my classes in medical or graduate school. You should always keep your doors open…and minors help that.”

Spencer Alexander, a senior biology major from Santa Clara, said he was also grateful for Dixie’s decision to continue to add minors to its curriculum. 

“It’s just an extra edge,” he said. “We are really lucky to have that opportunity to further experience in our fields.”

Christensen said the list of minors will continue to grow with student demand and those with new minor ideas can submit proposals to DSU’s curriculum committee. He said the process is usually fairly easy, since many minors can be built out of emphasis or major curriculum, and the list of minors is expected to continue to lengthen over the next few years.

“There’s more to come; we’re not done,” Christensen said. “We definitely want to listen to (the demand) and respond where we can.”

Paying athletes not an option

Athletic departments are making millions of dollars off games, and players see none of it.

The topic was brought up after Mack Brown, University of Texas head football coach, said in an interview in July his players should be paid for the hard work they put in for the school and the athletic program. 

The Longhorns football program alone makes, on average, $103 million a year, which is the most in all of college football according to ESPN.com. Brown said it would be no problem for his program to pay its athletes, and he said other top rated colleges could as well.

The only problem with this plan is the smaller schools that don’t pull in that much money would not be able to participate in the new stipend for their players because their programs would not be able to support that much money.

Jason Boothe, Dixie State University athletic director, said the Red Storm would not be able to support an athletic program if the players were paid outside of scholarships.

“We would be decimated,” Boothe said. “To fork out all that money is impossible.”

There are 13 NCAA-sponsored teams at DSU with 309 total athletes. If each of these athletes were paid $2,000, it would cost the university $618,000, which is money DSU doesn’t have, Boothe said

While athletes do not see cold hard cash, they are paid for what they do through scholarships. Most athletes who play for the Red Storm are compensated with a scholarship of some kind.

“The school pays for their education, which will help them more in the long run than any money we could give to them,” Boothe said.

Athletes are pleased with the money they have received from the school, but some players’ scholarships are not full tuition or don’t cover books.

Colin Wilson, a member of the Red Storm football team and a senior communication major from Frisco, Texas, said having the money to pay for books and housing would be helpful.

“If an athlete doesn’t have a full scholarship, the school should grant the student the remaining amount,” Wilson said.

Paying the athletes might not be possible, but there is the argument that players should have the option to be endorsed by companies, or at least sell their autograph to adoring fans.

This debate was brought up after an investigation was started on Texas A&M quarterback, Johnny Manziel, after he allegedly sold his autograph through a dealer.

There is also the option of giving players a cut of the share when their jerseys sell.

While this would give players the option to make a little extra cash, some feel it would cause players to become too self-absorbed.

“They would lose focus,” said Britta Greenhalgh, a freshman biology major from Provo. “They will get really cocky about themselves.”

Greenhalgh said some players are not good enough to play professional sports, and the ones who make it to that level can be paid.

“Making it to a pro team is a rite of passage,” Greenhalgh said. “That is where players can make their money.”

Wilson agreed with Greenhalgh.

“They are college athletes,” Wilson said. “They can get paid when the time comes for them.”

The Bike and Scooter Revolution: Consider riding two wheels instead of four

College can be the most time consuming and expensive time in students’ lives. But I have discovered something that can cure both problems, so sit tight and consider this.

Not too long ago, I lived as a volunteer English teacher in the great city of Ningbo, China. You know, like, white rice and the smell of raw fish, paper puppet shows and elderly people exercising in the park, China.

Among the many phenomena I experienced in that bizarre and wondrous country, there was one that particularly stuck out.

Imagine a busy intersection in a city, and the crowd of pedestrians waiting for the walk signal to flash. Now put all of those people on Vespas and multiply them into the thousands. And what we have is a sea of Vespa drivers speeding down the sidewalks and streets, covering every space in the road lanes and walkways — like a stampede of buffalo on the plains of Oklahoma. It was almost a comical sight to behold.

The point to be made is that China somehow has the right idea.

So I can’t help but wonder if Dixie State University could take on a similar alternative transportation trend.

As an avid biker myself, I have noticed a quality and quantity deficiency in Dixie campus bike racks and motor scooter parking spaces. It’s not a matter of unavailability on those bike racks that’s a problem; it’s the scarce amount of bikers and motor scooter drivers unseen making their way around campus.

Dixie would greatly benefit from promoting and supporting alternative transportation for students on and beyond campus. If bike racks were given an upgrade and motor scooter parking spaces were painted in more convenient locations, it would support a community that favors a simpler lifestyle of travel.

A more centralized place for bikers to lock up their wheels would be an ideal example as opposed to the scattered and rusted metal racks that are found in the most odd places on campus.

When it comes to safety concerns on the sidewalks of campus, it is only a matter of providing the right bike and scooter lane accommodations.

The catch is, how would Dixie students be convinced to give up their super easy and convenient mode of travel to and from school?

Easy: It’s the best way I’ve found to save money in college. Students will almost always choose their cars to get from place to place over a bicycle or Vespa. You can usually count on a car to get you to places quickly and safely. However, you can’t always rely on traffic to be decent or for your engine to never break down. It’s a given that alternative transportation can help a student save money.

Also, bikes and scooters can often avoid stoplight traffic by taking detours through parks and parking lots. A little bit of time efficiency never hurt anybody.

I am a special case because I don’t have much choice in my mode of transportation. I have never owned a car and have been relying on my bike to get from point A to point B since high school.

I’ll be the first to argue, though, I’ve never once complained about the situation—even in 30-degree weather, hardcore rain storms, and pumping up the hill on Foremaster Drive in 110 degrees.

Taking my wheels to work and school is essentially the only time I can listen to music and not think about anything else. It’s also the best workout I could ask for, especially in this hill-infested valley. My chances of getting in shape are never short.

Fill up those bike racks and motor scooter parking spaces and change the Dixie reputation to be a healthy and convenient place to get a college degree and get around the lovely town of St. George.

Two new Hawaiian restaurants bring tropics to St. George

Until recently, it was easier to travel to the Hawaiian Islands than find authentic Hawaiian food in St. George.

That was until this summer when not one, but two Hawaiian-inspired restaurants opened their doors. L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, located at 245 Red Cliffs Drive, has experienced heavy traffic since opening less than two months ago.

Hokulia Shave Ice is also new to the area, which opened at the beginning of the summer. It is located at 20 N. Bluff Street in the Smith’s parking lot. 

Both spots are crawling with locals and are bound to fulfill your taste for the tropics.

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue  

Upon walking into L&L expect to be greeted with an enthusiastic “Aloha!” and emerged in yellow walls with cliche Hawaiian decor. The restaurant has a hole-in-the-wall feel, but as most of us know, those types of places have a way of becoming local favorites.

The vibe is fun and fast, and the food options are plentiful. With more than 50 menu items ranging from Chicken Katsu, a best seller, to Lau Lau & Kalua Pork Combo, expect to leave with a satisfied belly full of Hawaiian comfort food.

Chicken Katsu is breaded chicken strips dripping with Katsu sauce, a tangy, sweet and savory condiment that takes the dish to another level. Katsu sauce is also a staple for many other menu items, so while you’re pumping some ketchup on your plate, pump a little Katsu on too. It will add a sweet twist that ketchup can’t compete with.

With sides like macaroni salad, white or brown rice, tossed green salad or fries, you can surrender to whatever your stomach desires. The fries are over-sized and go great dipped in Katsu sauce.

Chef Tommy Wang, who spent more than six years studying authentic Hawaiian cuisine in Honolulu, said he is committed to providing genuine island dishes and ensuring consistent quality.

“I am always in the kitchen making sure that the food is being made the same way it is made in Hawaii,” Wang said.

Wang said he takes pride in offering large portions at affordable prices ranging from $2.95 to $9.95 and is now offering discounts to Dixie State University students. For $5.25, Dixie students can choose one meat, one side and a drink. All you need is your student ID and a hearty appetite.

Hokulia Shave Ice

 If you’re in need of a refreshing dessert and another unique experience after dining at L&L, make your way to Hokulia Shave Ice.

Hokulia is a small, colorful shack complete with bamboo paneling and grass trimmings. The shack is intriguing, especially once you notice the sea of people typically surrounding it.

One thing you must not mistake is Hokulia serves shave ice, not shaved ice. Although the ice is technically shaved, native Hawaiians call it “shave ice”, and the folks at Hokulia are carrying on the tradition, employee Adriana Morgan said.

“We use an ice shaver that makes the ice more like snow,” Morgan said.

As opposed to crushed ice, shave ice’s fine texture allows it to soak up the flavors instead of letting them settle at the bottom, Morgan said. With flavors like dream-sicle, coconut, strawberry cheesecake and add-ons like vanilla ice cream, sweetened condensed milk and sour spray, you’re destined to arrive at a perfect Hokulia combination.

Allotta Colada, a local favorite, is a mix of banana colada, pina colada, and strawberry colada. I recommend Sno Cap style, which is made with sweetened condensed milk. The combination is sweet and creamy. You may want seconds.

Prices are affordable, too. A Short Board size is $3, Long Board is $4 and the Big Kahuna is $5. 

And prepare yourself to have some time to ponder your concoction because there are typically Hokulia addicts lined up outside the shack. However, luckily the people within the shack work fast, and the wait is usually only a few minutes.

Make sure you stop by Hokulia Shave Ice before Sept. 21 when it closes for the season because once you do, you will understand what all the hype is about. Hokulia will be back next summer and hopefully will stay longer once the owners, who are from Salt Lake City, discover that here in St. George we have summer well into October. The shave ice is delicious and provides the ultimate Hawaiian experience. 

So, if you are in need of a break from the desert and ready to take a trip to the islands, stop by L&L Hawaiian Barbecue and Hokulia Shave Ice. Mahalo!