International recruitment trips prove fruitful

What goes on behind the scenes of international recruiting at Dixie State University is made possible by dedicated, passionate people right on campus.

DSU approves several international recruitment trips each year. The most recent international recruitment trip was to American Samoa Feb. 21-28. Two faculty members and a student traveled to the country and took a powerful message about the importance of higher education.

David Roos, enrollment services executive director, helped pave the way to an academic relationship with American Samoa.

“The biggest eye-opener for me when we go to places like that is thinking of the way we can make the most headway by making a personal contact and then letting it grow — making it stronger,” Roos said. “It’s not this blanket approach. It’s finding specific schools and specific people who can help us achieve our goals.”

Roos said DSU is one of the few schools that has gone to American Samoa to recruit for the general student population. In fact, many people were surprised that Roos and his group weren’t recruiting football players.

“A lot of big schools go there, but not for general recruiting,” he said. “We thought that was a niche we could take advantage of.”

Another driving force toward the success of the trip was because of a passionate DSU student. Tevita Sekeni II, an integrated studies major from Salt Lake City, is originally from the Kingdom of Tonga. He was walking by Roos’ office last December when Roos stopped him and asked if he knew anything about Palau.

“Out of nowhere [Roos] asked me a random question: ‘Do you know anything about Palau?’ And I said, ‘Yes, it’s one of the groups of islands of the South Pacific, and it’s American territory,’” Sekeni II said. 

Roos explained to Sekeni II that he was thinking of ways they could get students from Palau to DSU. Sekeni II told Roos he would contact the embassy of Palau, but because of timing, they could not agree on an appropriate time to make the trip possible. 

“We had agreements and disagreements,” Sekeni II said. “I thought, ‘How about this: Let’s start slow and work on U.S. territories. Let’s go to Samoa.’”

The proposal for the trip was sent through and approved by Frank Lojko, the vice president of student services. Sekeni immediately got to work in connecting with the board of education in American Samoa.

“That’s when Arlene Sewell joined us,” Sekeni II said. “She’s a native American Samoa. She was the former director of financial aid at a college in Samoa. She understands the way to connect with Polynesian students — to emphasize the power of education and bringing something valuable back to their homeland.”

The group came back to DSU with 110 applications. Of the applicants, Sekeni II said he has 20 completed ones on file. His job is to keep the communication between DSU and those students so they feel confident in coming to the area where they will have a support system.

Executive Vice President Bill Christensen has also been on a few recruiting trips himself and emphasizes the importance of making the international students feel welcome at DSU.

“We really take care of our international students,” Christensen said. “If a student from Germany or Nigeria comes to America and they’re going to a big school, they’re lost in the shuffle.”

Christensen said the installment of the international student services began only a few years ago when the university decided to hire a director of international student services and recruiting: Michael Thompson.

“We wanted international students, but we had very little resources to get students here,” Christensen said. “So we formed this cooperative group to meet and found out about global activity called the [Global Engagement Team]. We don’t have an organization that takes care of all the global engagement, which is OK.  We’re not big enough to justify that yet. In the meantime, the GET fills that gap.”

He said the international student services department has seen amazing results because of the trips they’ve taken to places like American Samoa. Christensen said just a few years ago, DSU had only a handful of international students, and now there are nearly 200 international students attending DSU. 

Christensen is planning a trip to Japan in May to open up connections with universities there, and he sees the future of international student services looking bright.

Finding future students, getting to know them, and building relationships and networks is a fun aspect of the recruitment trips, Christensen said. 

“You fly in on your helicopter, you land, get out of the helicopter, pass out your stuff, get back in helicopter and fly away, and you hope something sticks,” he said.

Racy content decenstizes viewers

As Hollywood continues to go downhill, people need to keep their guard up.

It’s sad to see how TV and movie standards have gone down. Sexual content, harsh language and violence in the film industry is becoming more and more acceptable every year.

I recall being a child and watching TV shows such as “The Red Green Show” and “MASH” and movies like “Dumb and Dumber” and “Mr. Deeds” and thinking they were inappropriate. Looking at those shows now, they seem very appropriate compared to TV shows and movies made nowadays.

Hollywood is making it normal for many blockbusters, no matter the rating, to contain a significant amount of racy content, profanity and other inappropriate scenes. I have seen two different shows in the past month that completely show a male’s genitalia: “We’re the Millers” and “Step Brothers.” Unnecessary nudity shows how immature our society is becoming.

Parents are becoming less strict when it comes to what their children view on the TV screen. A lot of people I know consider people who don’t have cable in their homes weird and overprotective. But if the media continues on this path, I know I won’t let my children watch most of the shows that will be on TV.

I was watching TV with my dad and his friend when a Post Shredded Wheat cereal commercial came on. This commercial is a great example of what is now accepted in the media world. The commercial showed an old couple eating Shredded Wheat cereal and watching TV. A commercial comes on their TV that was talking about how a woman’s sex drive increases at the age of 80. The wife looks at her husband with a seductive look and tells him to keep eating the cereal.

I had a hard time trying to figure out how the content in this comercial related to cereal, but, putting that aside, I was shocked at the fact that this was airing during the break of a family-friendly TV show. The content was not only extremely awkward to watch with my dad, but it was also unnecessary. The company could have chosen a much more effective way to represent its product.

I have seen a lot of movies from the ‘90s and earlier, and it is easy to see a difference in the content of a movie from the ‘90s and movies that are made nowadays. In the ‘90s, showing a man’s genitalia on film would have been completely mind-blowing. It shouldn’t be acceptable now either.

Softball slashes past Chaminade Silverswords

To say Dixie State University softball beat Chaminade University in its doubleheader Monday night would be downplaying the blowout wins.

Dixie State won both games by a convincing margin (14-1, 11-0) with the Red Storm never trailing an inning, scoring a run in all eight frames over the two-game span.

The Red Storm punctuated their two victories Monday with a combined no-hitter for the two DSU pitchers in the second game. Junior Michelle Duncan and senior Mattie Snow both held Chaminade hitless in the five-inning game that only took one hour and six minutes for the Red Storm to pull off the double-digit victory.

As of Monday’s doubleheader, nearly half of Dixie’s starting lineup is hitting over .400.

The two wins on Monday put the Red Storm on a six-game winning streak, with another doubleheader against Chaminade Tuesday. The Silverswords currently find themselves in a 13-game losing skid going into Tuesday’s games.

With two wins on Tuesday, the Red Storm, with eight conference games remaining, would be tied for the lead in the Pacific West Conference with California Baptist University. The season series is tied between both of the teams in head-to-head competition.

Tuesday’s double-header versus the Silverswords is at Karl Brooks field and will begin at 3 p.m.

Choose quotes to live by; make life the best it can be

Life happens; each day you have a choice — to either go through the motions and get through the day, or make the day great.

I found three quotes that I can live by to make sure I am not going through the motions. These are not sure-fire ways to be happy, but they have been working for me, and I wanted to share my experiences in the hopes that it will make someone else’s life a little easier.


   “First we make the habits then the habits make us,” Yogi Bhajan said.

My first quote comes from a yoga book. Now, I know that yoga is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think everyone could learn something from this quote.  

I decided to make it a habit to read something inspirational each night before I went to bed. Usually these inspirational quotes come from Instagram or Twitter. I started this habit at the beginning of the semester, and I have noticed that it has made me happier each day. If I read a quote that is particularly interesting or pertinent to my life, I take a screen shot and set it as the background on my phone. That way, when I check my phone, I am able to re-read the quote and keep it at the forefront of my mind.

Developed habits don’t have to be life-changing or complicated; they can be as simple as taking pictures of inspirational quotes and putting them somewhere they will be seen every day. I chose this small habit because I love to read, so it was a perfect fit. Choose something, anything, you want to do better and keep with it. Before you know it, you will have a habit that will stick and make your life better.


“Life is good if we live in such a way as to make it so,” Benjamin De Hoyos said.

This quote stems from the habits we make. As our good habits become a part of our lives, we can more easily see the differences they make.

A week ago, as I was thinking about my life, I came to a realization. I realized that my life was excellent. This might sound like an exaggeration, but I was so happy as I thought more and more about it that I could not stop smiling. My life is amazing, but it is not necessarily the kind of life that society would say is amazing. I don’t have excess amounts of money or endless friends; in fact, some might say my life is hard. I am a college student surviving off the money I made during the summer, and instead of endless friends, I have endless homework. The only reason my life is good is because I say it is. I don’t have all of the material things, but I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone else. 

Make your life good. Don’t sit around and dwell on things you haven’t been able to do. Each one of us has the ability to turn our lives into something from a dream. A positive attitude can change everything.      


“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life,” an unknown author said.

The lesson I learned from this quote is to do what you want and have no regrets. 

I took this quote to heart because up until the start of this semester I always did things to make other people happy. I was doing what I had to do to survive and wasn’t living life for myself. By giving myself the go-ahead to do something for me, I changed my life for the better. I don’t worry about how my actions will look to other people; if I want to do something, I do it.

Be happy. Learn to be happy with who you are and you won’t ever be down. You will be able to make the most of your life in every situation you encounter if you know who you are and you do what makes you happy.

Basketball players become ‘heroes’ at ROTC tournament

Shots are fired — at the basketball hoop.

The “Heroes Basketball Tournament” will be held at the Student Activities Center Saturday with a 3-on-3 basketball tournament put on by the Reserve Officer Training Corps of Dixie State University.

The tournament is a community-wide fundraiser for the ROTC program and is only $30 per team to register.

“We have been out in the community promoting this thing, and we would like as many as possible to come out,” said Russell Peacock, the senior officer in command of the event and an integrated studies major from Enterprise. “We try to do multiple fundraising activities throughout the year and have a big one like this one every April.”

There will be four different divisions for competition in the tournament. A men’s adult, men’s youth and coed division will be bracketed within a double-elimination tournament that begins at 10 a.m.

Various awards have been collected by the ROTC for various prizes from local community businesses, including clothing apparel, gym memberships and restaurant gift certificates.

The ROTC has done other fundraiser activities for the community, including rock climbing and other military obstacle courses in past years. The ROTC felt inspired to put on the “Heroes Basketball Tournament” this year, though.

“Logistically, we just wanted to keep it simple with low overhead but still be able to generate the funds that we need to raise because we do not receive any direct funds from the army, so these fundraisers are vital for our program in order to do the kind of training we need to do,” Peacock said.

Sign ups for the “Heroes Basketball Tournament” can be found online at dixie.edu/rotc or can be completed at the ROTC building on campus, located just south of the Burns Arena.

Some just naturally good at school

Natural talent is a necessary trait for success that many aren’t blessed with.

Some students seem to effortlessly earn perfect grades and perfect tests scores. Learning comes naturally to them and everything seems easy. Other students really work their butts off to get decent grades, and they struggle to overcome procrastination and understand difficult subjects. 

There are many things that determine a person’s success. But in college, being gifted with natural book-smart talent is one of the most helpful attributes to a successful college career.

Those with natural talent will always have an edge over those without it. Some believe that they can overcome not having natural talent by extreme amounts of hard work. But in some cases, this is not possible. We need to use what talents we are given, and if we’re not blessed with natural talent, we need to find something that can help us overcome that weakness.

In elementary school, I could never figure out why it was so hard for me to do well on my spelling quizzes. In junior high school, I wondered why I couldn’t pass my health test. And in high school, I was frustrated that it took me five times longer than my classmates to memorize the Declaration of Independence. With substantial work, I got through high school with a 3.6 GPA. If I’d been blessed with natural school talent, I would have been able to achieve a 4.0 GPA like my peers. A lot of my friends had a natural talent and effortlessly finished off high school with a 4.0 GPA.

It has always taken me longer than other students to grasp ideas in school, and I would definitely say that it has been a burden on me.

Everyone has their good traits and bad traits. But I’m not naturally book-smart. I have felt the effects of that in my school work and other things in life.

Grades are not what are most important. Students can cheat their way through school and get a 4.0 GPA, and others can try extremely hard and only get a 2.0 GPA. 

I know people who were not considered smart and did not get good grades in high school and college, but they are still very successful.

Being blessed with natural talent plays a big part in a person’s success. Some can pass tests and earn perfect grades effortlessly, but others are not blessed with the ability to do that. People who aren’t must find a way to overcome this challenge.

We’re live in 3 … 2 … 1 …

Nervous giggles and last-minute preparations fill the studio. 

The anchors sit in their chairs while scripts and camera angles are discussed. Three cameras are pointed directly at them while they wait to share their story.

A voice from behind the curtain counts down as the anchors wrap up small talk and fix their hair at the last minute. 

“Five … Four … Three … Two …” 

There is silence, and then the show begins. 

“From the campus of Dixie State University — this is Dixie Sun News.”

The DSN show is a live news broadcast made by students for the DSU community. After being pre-taped, the DSN show has finally gone live. 

The DSN show is broadcast live every Thursday at 12:15 p.m. Students and community members can watch the newscast on the flat-screen TVs around campus, on the basic cable channel 22, online at Southernutahlive.com, and live on the radio at 91.3 The Storm.

The broadcast is written and produced by DSU students. With the help of Dave Harris, a communication instructor and DSN adviser, students are able to get real-world experience behind and in front of the camera. 

“As the adviser, I try to have the students do everything,” Harris said. “I kind of just stand in the back of the room and watch and direct.”

Harris said the DSN show puts students in a situation much like what they will experience after they graduate and get a job. Benjamin Wright, a freshman communication major from Howell and DSN anchor, said the process is very professional. 

“It really gives me an opportunity to feel what it’s like to be in front of a camera in a professional view,” he said. “It’s set up extremely well.”

The most important thing about the show is that it informs students about things happening on campus, said Ashley Freer, a senior communication major from Santa Clara and technical director for the DSN show.  

“It’s easy access for [students],” Freer said. “It’s right there, (and) it’s on demand.”

With any show that’s broadcast live, some degree of fear comes along with it. Harris said going live scared the death out of him.

“I was obviously concerned there would be errors made because there are errors made in the professional arena,” he said. “I was concerned about how the students would handle that. So far, it’s been absolutely fantastic (and) beyond my wildest expectations.” 

Harris said one mistake was made during a newscast when he had to step in and perform two tasks by running the video switcher and also running the teleprompter. When the anchors read the story, the prompter wouldn’t scroll because he was neglecting it. Harris said it happens all the time in the profession.

“[The anchors] went right down onto the paper script, found their place, and started reading off the paper script,” he said. “I was very, very pleased with how they handled it.”

Although some errors are made, Keshara Bjorkman, a senior communication major from Ventura, Calif., and videographer, said the experience is worth it.

“I hear about people at other universities in the state … who don’t have experience in what they’re learning about until their last year in school, which is insane to me because this is my second semester [in the communication department], and I’m already doing exactly what I want to do for a career,” Bjorkman said.

Some students involved in the DSN show agree that the most important part about the show is informing students about events and issues on campus. 

“It really unifies the campus,” Wright said.

Harris said there are about 45 students who are involved behind the scenes who work to provide helpful information to the campus and community.

“It’s well-produced, they do a fantastic job, and it’s providing useful information that helps students know what’s going on,” he said. 

Bjorkman said students should watch the DSN show because a lot of work gets put into it for the students’ benefit.

“I feel like … you should watch it just because it’s there,” she said. “ It’s something free to the public that’s an asset to what’s going on at a school that you pay to go to.”

Harris said even students who aren’t communication majors should think about taking the class, COMM 3370R, as an elective if they are interested in participating behind television cameras. Students who want to get involved should contact Harris at [email protected]. For students who want to get involved the print version of DSN with writing news stories, taking photographs, and putting together video packages, they can contact Rhiannon Bent at [email protected]

DSU baseball claims No. 1 spot, will battle APU conference foe

From zero to hero, the No. 1 Dixie State University baseball team is on a 13-game winning streak after sweeping University of Hawaii-Hilo last weekend.

The Storm have pulled off a record-breaking amount of wins for Dixie since the 2010 season. Coming off a 0-7 start, the Storm have become the Pacific West Conference shocker, working their way up to No. 1 in the conference.

Dixie swept Hawaii-Hilo 4-0 over the course of two days in a four-game series, and junior pitcher Evan Parker received his record-breaking 11th save of the season for DSU.

The final game cut closer than the rest in the series. Hilo and the Storm remained tied until the fourth inning, but the Storm pulled off a 6-3 win against Hilo Sunday.  

“Everyone relaxed a little bit [the last game],” said shortstop Dalton Gust, a junior integrated studies major from Riverton. “We were hitting the baseballs hard, but [they were] just right to people.”

The Storm had a strong third game as they won 6-1. Dixie State completely shut down Hilo in the first two innings. It wasn’t until the third inning that Hilo earned a run, but it was because Hilo’s batter was hit by a pitch, which resulted in a run.

Dixie didn’t let that opportunity happen again as it allowed no runs the rest of the game.

“We usually struggle the third game [of the series],” said freshman utility Trey Kamachi, a junior integrated studies major from St. George. “So we have to have our tempo up more than the other games.”

Dixie kept up the tempo as Gust hit his first home run of the season, helping the starting pitcher, senior Kort Christoffersen, pick up the win, pitching the whole nine innings.

“I feel good [about the home run] — it’s about time,” Gust said. “I finally put a good swing on one, and it connected well, so it is very exciting.”

The Storm remained ahead the first game of the series. The Storm almost pulled off a shutout, but an error on Dixie allowed Hilo to score a run. The Storm won the game with a huge lead, defeating the Vulcans 11-1.

In the second game, the Storm and Hilo were tied with two runs in the third inning. But two errors for Hilo during Kamachi’s hit allowed him to advance all the way home on what should have been just a single for the freshman.

This set the wheels in motion for the Storm as they scored another run in that inning. Dixie then went on to score four more runs in the game, only allowing Hilo to run in two more. The Storm defeated the Vulcans 8-4.

Kamachi said it’s not just their talents that help them succeed — it’s the camaraderie the Storm has accumulated over the season.

He said all of the hitters like to get together before the games and put their bats in the center and touch tips of all the bats and break off. Kamachi said it is not only a pregame bonding ritual, but it is starting to turn out to be a good luck charm for the Storm.

The Storm are hoping to continue their winning streak as they bat up against Azusa Pacific University Thursday to Saturday at Bruce Hurst Field. The first pitch will be thrown at 4 p.m.

Enrollment numbers ‘significantly higher’ this spring

Desert flowers and Dixie State University’s enrollment efforts share a common characteristic: They’re both blossoming this spring.

The number of applicants and admissions for fall semester are what David Roos, enrollment services executive director, called “significantly higher” than exactly a year ago. Spurred by DSU’s year-old university status and an expanding recruiting process, the increased interest represents early fruition for the university.

Compounded with both domestic and international recruiting trips, Roos said DSU’s recruiting measures have evolved. And recruiters now draw students to DSU by contacting them earlier in their senior years of high school than before. In addition, recruiters’ campaigns now appeal to potential students from different regions.  

A one-message-fits-all campaign won’t help DSU recruit numerous demographics of students, Roos said. As recruiters pitch the university’s strongest qualities, they must think of an array of positives to appeal to students in various regions.   

Roos said along with effective planning in regards to recruiting and DSU’s university status, rising numbers for applicants and admissions could be the result of two other factors. An increase in full-time recruiters and word of mouth from current students has also helped, he said. 

Whether the promising early numbers mean increased enrollment or not will be unknown until fall semester, Roos said. But more students at DSU means full-circle accommodation.

Andrea Brown, institutional research and assessment director, said DSU administrators’ ability to make sure all enrolled students are accounted for depends on the courses available. A high number of capped courses can create a strain. 

“The biggest concern is whether or not we have the classes,” she said. “Class offerings, class enrollment and class sizes are really kind of your soft cap to what happens at your institution — whether or not you cap enrollment, being able to offer the right classes at the right time [is] what really drives and keeps enrollment continuing to come.”

Brown said by keeping note of course enrollment, administrators can gauge necessary changes for future growth. Roos said the addition of more degree offerings at DSU helps contribute to the growth and address accommodation measures at the same time.

“We’ve been both accommodating and creating the growth by the increased number of new degree programs we’ve been offering,” Roos said. “We’ve had a wonderful increase in the last few years.”

Roos said the unofficial admission projections at least indicate that DSU can meet expectations as a university.

“We’ve kind of been one of the best kept secrets in the region,” he said. “As we’re being discovered, students are recognizing what an amazing education they can get in such an awesome location.”