Women’s volleyball thinks bigger than ranks

Despite the fourth rank in the Pacific West Conference, the women’s volleyball team believes that consistency will prove the team to be even higher.

The Dixie State University women’s volleyball team is accepting nothing short of a top-two ranking, said libero Alex Anderson, a senior integrated studies major from Prescott, Arizona.

“Last year we were picked eighth,” Anderson said. “So I think getting picked fourth is good, but personally we think we should be one or two. This year we want to prove our point that we are this good.”

   Head coach Robyn Felder agreed and said the rank is good for the team because it shows that it is in the top five out of 14 teams, but she said the team’s goals are higher. 

“We have to be able to back [our goals] up,” Felder said. “So unless we can consistently perform, we can’t do that. This is a good start for us because we are looking to build up from here.”

Felder said winning is going to be a byproduct of what the team is going to be doing in the gym every day this year.

The team finished third in the conference with a 17-10 overall record last year and will see every starter back on the court except for one.

Anderson said Felder brought in some talented new freshmen from places as far as Hawaii and Oregon, as well as one junior college transfer from Bakersfield, California. 

The team will be heading to Seattle to face California State University, Los Angeles and California State University, Chico in a four-game series. Felder said though this will not count for the PacWest record, this will be a good time to keep the team on its toes and determine what it needs to work on to succeed for the rest of the season.

“When we go to Seattle, we are looking to compete and we are looking to play well, but we are looking at where we need to get better,” Felder said. “So it just gives us an opportunity to get in the gym and see some competition.”

Felder said the main thing the Storm want to improve is their statistics. She said they have a certain set of numbers for passing and hitting they want to maintain, and as soon as they hit those goals, they will win games.  

Along with focusing on its numbers, the team is paying close attention to its serving and passing.

“I think the part we need to get better on is recognizing who the hitters are and making adjustments,” Felder said. “And then our offense, when we were in system we were great … but offensively we just need to get better at putting the ball away.”

Felder said she saw those mistakes during the alumni game on Aug. 30, but she also said she saw a lot of strengths in the team, such as defense.

Anderson agreed and said one of the team’s strongest points is defense. She said what helps on that part is the women coming in extra time for extra reps.

Dixie defeated the alumni 5-1 during the alumni game. Not only was it competitive, but it was a learning experience for the women.

“The great thing is that the alumni wasn’t a game full of old ladies — I mean the alumni was great team,” Felder said. “It was great for us to play against a good defense and it just kind of gets us into the feel of the season.”

Felder said she didn’t feel like the game was just for fun — she felt like it was a chance for the team to get some good reps.

The volleyball team will face Cal State, Los Angeles in a two-game series on Friday and will face Cal State, Chico in another two-game series on Saturday.

WOW dished out sudsy, diverse fun

From the Kick Off Carnival to the much-talked-about Foam Dance, our student government takes great care to open each fall semester with a week-long event that sets the expectation for the rest of the social year.

If the first week is any indication, we have quite a year ahead of us.

Starting strong with the Kick Off Carnival, Dixie showed students new and old a great time. With attractions like the high jump trampoline, inflatable slides and the basketball challenge — to name only a few — there was something fun to welcome everyone to our campus. 

I saw girls and guys alike swing the strong man’s hammer, go human bowling or simply laugh together as they blew off the steam of the first day back at school.

Tuesday brought us the service project of which I had only one complaint: attendance. 

The chances to get out in the community and do something nice for our fellow man can be hard to come by as college students with our busy lives and heavy workloads. So, when the opportunity presents itself, I urge all to get up, go out and get it done. Bring a friend and make it even better. There is a wealth of great and singular experiences to be had at such events.

Club Rush, with all of its charm, hit the Diagonal hard on the mornings of Wednesday and Thursday. Whether you’re one who’s open to new experiences or an enthusiast looking for people who share your passion, the Diagonal had something for you.

Filled with students who manned booths representing Dixie’s clubs and organizations, there was “swag” to be had, lists to sign and plenty of people to talk to.

Were I a new student at Dixie State, I’d have been grateful for how nice the booth operators were and how approachable they made themselves. 

For those who missed the Diagonal during those two days, I recommend looking into the local clubs and organizations here at Dixie. College life shouldn’t end in the classroom. There’s always room for some fun in your schedule.

Last but at the forefront of most of campus’ collective mind was Friday’s Foam Dance. Dressed down to swimwear and gym shorts, students made their way to the anticipated event and partied hard. The music was blasting, the disk jockey was great, and the foam was wet.

As I made my way toward the fabled foam, I was surprised at how many people were able to fit into what I thought was a relatively small place. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not much a partier, but I can’t help but believe that a slightly larger venue would be welcome in the future — particularly as our population grows.

The dance was a hit with the students and the Week of Welcome ended on a high note.

Overall, I was impressed with the wide range of activities available during the Week of Welcome. While I’m not much for loud, beat-driven music, risqué dancing and half-dressed partiers, I quite enjoyed the Kick Off Carnival, service project and Club Rush.

Whether you’re a foam-dancer or a club-rusher, there was something for you to enjoy during Dixie’s Week of Welcome.

For that reason I say bravo, student government! We are all looking forward to what else you have up your sleeves for us.

Energy-savvy students save time, money

For most of us it is hard to even imagine a life without a source of energy, let alone live a life without it. Without energy, society as we know it would not function the same.

You’re two pages in on writing your five-page paper, your hand is cramping, you have ink smeared across the page, and you’ve already got paper cuts on your fingers from flipping through the dictionary, finding the correct spelling of words. Writing a paper without energy powering your beloved computer doesn’t sound enjoyable; in fact, is it even possible? 

You had a great day out on the lake. You spent some time boating, had lunch and got a killer tan. Then, you loaded up, jumped in the truck to leave and nothing happened. Frustrated, you jump out of the truck and find that the cap on your fuel tank is broken and your last bit of fuel that would have gotten you back into town has completely evaporated. Your source of energy to get back to town is gone and you’re clear out at the lake. Imagine if everyday you got in your vehicle the fuel tank was empty. 

As children are continually born into this world, and technology develops, more energy is used. We live in a modernized, energy-fueled world today, and it is of big concern to many, including myself, as to where we will get the necessary energy to sustain that type of world.

Students need to realize that the energy they use daily doesn’t just come from thin air. We are daily users of energy (lots of it), and that energy must be created.

First, students need to realize the amount of energy they use daily and the importance of energy efficiency. Second, they need to understand that not all forms of energy are renewable. Most importantly, students need to be open-minded to using various different types of energy because energy from one single source won’t sustain our society for long.

With the amount of energy we as a society use, we need to be tapping into every source that we possibly can.

One energy source, known as fracking, is being fought against strongly by many who do not support the field of oil and gas.

Fracking is the process of forcing liquid into the shale rock layer deep within the earth so to force open the already existing fissures and extract oil. Fracking allows for more oil to be extracted than what traditional drilling allows for. 

According to The Bismarck Tribune, oil production has reached 1,001,149 barrels per day. Fracking has played an important role in the success of oil production in North Dakota.

Unfortunately, the high levels of oil production aren’t happening in Utah. According to the State of Utah Oil and Gas Program, the production levels of oil have dropped in Utah this year.

Opposite of oil production, Utah population is increasing. Correct me if I am wrong, but a population increase and oil production decrease does not sound like a promising match.

Be smart with the energy that is produced. There are many actions that can be taken to best use the energy that we do have. Some easy ideas to conserve energy are:  

1. Don’t take multiple trips in from home to town — organize your day so that you can make one trip and accomplish all that you need to do. Not only will this save gas, which is saving energy, it will save you money.

2. When you’re traveling out of town, let your friends know and arrange car-pooling so that the fewest amount of cars have to be driven.

3. When you aren’t charging your phone, computer, tablet, etc. unplug the charger from the wall. 

Our society is continually growing. We need to create as much energy as we can so; we need to be open to the production of energy from a large variety of different sources.

New transfers add depth to men’s basketball team

Men’s basketball gained experience with the addition of five transfer athletes and now has many tools to work with for the coming season. 

If you take a look at the 2014-2015 Red Storm roster, you will see a lot of players with years of experience under their belts. Recruiting athletes from other schools, especially at the junior college level, has given Dixie State University’s basketball team success this summer,  said head coach Jon Judkins.

“The reason we go after transfers is to get help right away,” Judkins said. “We lost five seniors last year and we had to get some guys that could come in a play right away.”

Anthony Morris, a red-shirt sophomore from Mesquite, Nevada, played last season at Snow College. During his time there, he averaged eight points and more than six rebounds a game. He also shot 57 percent from the floor.

The 6-foot-7 inch Morris is joined in the front court by junior forward Mark Ogden. Ogden comes from Grossmont College in California where he averaged nearly 15 points and 10 rebounds a game.

“We are really excited about these guys,” said sophomore guard Robbie Nielson, a business major from Portland, Oregon. “Mark and Anthony, they both add a lot of height to the team, and it will definitely have a positive impact near the basket.”

The Red Storm also gained guards with the signing of junior Collin Woods and senior Connor Van Brocklin.  

Van Brocklin played at Salt Lake Community College for two seasons, averaging 15.9 points per game his sophomore season. At the University of Utah, he played in just six games but made both his 3-point attempts last season.

“Van Brocklin is a shooter,” Nielson said. “He works really well on the perimeter, and I think all the transfers will fit in nicely to our system.”

Collin Woods, a 6-foot-2-inch guard, averaged eight points a game at Salt Lake Community College and started 13 of 18 games.

Junior Josh Fuller came from Weber State University where he saw action in 11 games and recorded one double-double (10 points and 10 rebounds). This 2008-2009 Idaho Gatorade player of the year will have to sit out a season since this is not his first transfer. He red-shirted one year at the University of Utah for the 2010-2011 season.

“We try to build the freshmen we get out of high school in to our system,” Judkins said. “The juniors and seniors are the kind of guys that we can get right now and use right away.”

Week of Welcome leans on student community

In traditional fashion, Week of Welcome at Dixie State University began and ended with a bang.

Although studies are generally the main activity in college, the events during Week of Welcome are planned to excite students for the new school year. A carnival, a comedian and a dance were all wrapped up in the semester’s first week.

“We are really looking forward to this year,” said Sky Crystal, a junior history major from Kimberly, Idaho, and member of the DSU Student Association department of public relations. “We had a wonderful turnout at the carnival [and a] great turnout at the comedian.”

The DSUSA has been busy preparing to welcome students like Autumn Holiday, a freshman nursing major from Monument Valley, to a new year at DSU.

“I liked how they did the orientation for the freshmen,” Holiday said. “They made it more exciting [and] they let everybody get involved … It was really entertaining.”

The celebrations started off with the incoming students on Freshman Friday, and then Club Rush throughout a couple of days of the next week on the Diagonal gave students the opportunity to branch out and take in all that Dixie has to offer.

“It’s pretty awesome, getting myself out there,” Holiday said. “Meeting new people from different cultures and stuff [is] pretty cool.”

Jill Wulfenstein, vice president of student life and a senior integrated studies major from Pahrump, Nevada, said everybody in DSUSA had a part in putting all of the events together, but the student community is what made the week so successful.

“The best thing about this job is that we get to create [events] that you get to come and have the best time with and make memories that people talk about in college,” Wulfenstein said. “It’s been amazing. Dixie has the best students.”

The events of the week exceeded expectations, especially at the Foam Dance, Wulfenstein said

“Our PR department is phenomenal,” she said. “We outsold tickets [compared to] last year — just presold tickets — by over 500 people, and that was because our PR department is out of this world.”

Crystal said his favorite part of being involved with public relations during Week of Welcome was meeting new people and provide students with the “university feel.”

“We are giving them a positive first-year experience,” Crystal said. “They are excited and they’re having a good time.”      

Wulfenstein said there are plenty more events to go to throughout the fall, and next semester’s Dixie Fest is one to look forward to.

“Buckle up, [Dixie Fest is] going to be freaking sweet,” she said. “We just want to get everyone involved, and make sure that we are trying to get everyone from all walks of life. I do this for them. We do it for the students at Dixie. It would be pointless without the students.”

The calendar of DSUSA events for the remainder of the year can be found at http://dixiestudentlife.com/calendar/.

DSU boasts nationally-acclaimed digital crime lab

If you’ve ever dreamed about working in a crime lab like the ones seen on “CSI,” you’re in luck.

Dixie State University houses one of the best digital crime labs in the Western U.S., said Gary Cantrell, assistant digital forensics professor.  

Cantrell said students learn to retrieve data from computers, hard drives and cellphones at the Computer Crime Institute. They also learn what’s appropriate to examine, what’s relevant in a case, and how to report their findings in a way that is admissible in court. 

As you first enter the CCI lab in Building D of the University Plaza, you see strewn across work benches the pieces of cellphones from iPhones to Blackberrys, chargers, tablets, computers and hard drives at various stages of dis-assembly.

Other equipment is in the CCI lab too: tools made to read data right off cellphones, machines made to take memory chips off the motherboards of cellphones, more tools to read those memory chips, and computers used to hack into or even bypass the operating system of a phone.

Cantrell explained how they retrieve data from phones, tablets, laptops and hard drives. Whether it requires destroying the device to get to it, or more conservative methods that leave a phone completely reusable, they can do it.

Bryan Pitts, a senior CIT major from St. George, said the preferred methods often leave virtually no trace of the forensic investigators ever having looked at the device. 

Teaching data recovery, however, is only part of the goal of the program.

“We learn what is appropriate to actually examine,” Pitts said. “We also learn detail skills. When we’re looking at the raw data, we know what we’re looking at, and we can see the detail quickly and move on.”

Detail skills help students know what’s relevant to the information they’re looking for and to streamline the process of interpreting the information from the phone or other device, Pitts said.

Pitts also said oftentimes in an investigation, finding data from a device isn’t as important as finding out who created the data.

“The biggest problem with digital forensics is proving who was at the keyboard, not finding the evidence,” Cantrell said.

He compared it to finding a weapon in an investigation. The weapon by itself won’t tell the investigator who the criminal was.

For students in the CCI program, writing about what they find so their findings are admissible in court is an important part of what professors teach in CCI courses, Cantrell said.

“In the end we learn to write everything we’ve learned in simple terms so it can be read and reproduced by anybody,” Pitts said.

The CCI lab at DSU also has technology that you won’t find in any other crime lab in the Western U.S. called “chip-off,” which allows digital forensic investigators to remove a phone’s memory chip and read information stored on the phone, even if the phone is destroyed or unusable, said Joan Runs Through, assistant director of the Computer Crime Institute.

“Here’s one cool [case] recently: Someone was running from the police and took their cellphone and chucked it into a lawn mower,” Runs Through said. “They sent us just the motherboard; it was split in half, but the chip was still good, and we got everything off of it.”

Police forensics isn’t the only job available to people in this field, though, Runs Through said. Colleges and high schools are looking for people with digital forensic training.

“Schools are understanding ‘OK, we have the right to confiscate the phone, but do we have the right to actually go through the phone?’” Runs Through said.

Having employees with this training helps schools stay within legal boundaries. Companies such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Las Vegas casinos, and others also have their own forensics departments, looking for people with these skills, Runs Through said. 

For more information about the DSU Computer Crime Institute, visit www.dsu-cci.com

Create soundtrack to your day

There is a soundtrack to the way I spend my day.

Led Zeppelin and a cup of coffee start my morning. Minus The Bear accompanies me as I navigate traffic and get to class on time. While in the library, I put on my headphones and study to the sounds of City and Colour. It is gym time, which means I need to get my energy from Bring Me The Horizon. At the end of the day, I wind down with the soothing notes composed by Erik Satie. 

For many, music accompanies the ins and outs of our lives.

As the new school year starts, it is time to meet new folks with whom you are sharing the college experience. Making connections about who your current favorite singer is, the best concert you have ever been to, or your favorite song from your junior year in high school are great ways to break the ice. 

Music complements one’s mood, such as playing Britney Spears when getting ready for a girl’s night out. Or, music can emulate one’s mood, such as listening to Bright Eyes on a rainy day. 

Music has the power to influence one’s mood as well. This is the significance of your tunes. I can get pretty anxious sometimes. For me, listening to classic rock instantly calms me down. On the other hand, electronic dance music or post-core rock perks me up when I am feeling run-down

Your favorite song can also help with stress management. By taking a few minutes to listen to your song, you can experience the nostalgia of a favorite memory or think of a special person. According to University of Nevada, Reno ’s counseling service site, this is actually a form of meditation that improves focus and relieves some of that massive study-session stress. 

There are two semesters that stand out in my mind when I realized the power of music and its ability to calm me down and help me focus. The first time was when I was going through a divorce. I could scream out along with Spencer Chamberlain of Underoath. The second time was when my dad passed away. Dad loved The Eagles, so I would listen to them to keep the memory of my dad with me.

When it came time to work, I would use music and my obligation to school as an escape from these earth-shattering events.         

Consider your favorite songs and music and how they can be integrated into your daily routine. As a proud super-senior, this would be a piece of advice I offer to new and all students. 

Stressful life situations tend to happen, despite all of the homework that needs to be finished. If you feel too overwhelmed, check out DSU’s Health and Wellness Centerdixie.edu/wellness/.  


Students, President Williams weigh in on DSU with “Biff” at helm

Multimedia Editor Jiselle Tejera spoke with both Dixie State University students and President Richard “Biff” Williams to outline students’ expectations for the new president and what Williams hopes to accomplish at DSU.

Lacrosse, sustainability clubs debut at Club Rush

From scuba diving, ballroom dancing, bass fishing and even astronomy — whatever interests you — chances are you’re not alone. 

All of these pastimes are clubs available at Dixie State University, along with many more. About 30 clubs crowded the Diagonal Wednesday and Thursday during the traditional Club Rush, their members brandishing sign-up sheets to passers-by, eager to share their passions with new members for the semester.

McKell Price, vice president of clubs and a junior communication major from Brigham City, said Club Rush is a crucial event for the start of each semester, not only so new clubs can debut to the student body, but also so new students can find a domain on campus to enjoy and meet people with the same hobbies. With roughly 70 clubs, DSU probably has a club for everyone, she said.

“Club Rush is incredible because it lets freshmen know what’s out there,” Price said. “Clubs give [students] their specialized niches. They set people up with lifelong friends.”

Students can find clubs with cultural, academic, entertainment and active applications. Just a few include the Japanese Culture Club, the Accounting Club, the “Minecraft” Club and the Parkour and Freerun Club. See a full list of DSU’s current clubs at dixiestudentlife.com

Two new clubs joined DSU’s ranks this semester: the Lacrosse Club and the Sustainability Club. Their respective presidents, Spencer Steele, a junior art major from South Jordan, and Trevor Anderson, a junior biology major from La Verkin, introduced their clubs with zeal for new members. 

Steele, however, said he was surprised when more than 150 people signed up for the Lacrosse Club.

“I didn’t think it was going to explode that much, especially our first year,” Steele said. “I thought we’d just have people who wanted to play and have fun, but now we’re going to have to have tryouts, and I think we’ll have a really good team.”

Steele said he’s now faces the challenge of narrowing down his members to a properly-sized team of 30, which he hopes will result in one of the most competitive teams on campus. If all goes well, the team will join the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association and play in the national championships in May, he said.

Steele said his hope is the Lacrosse Club, if it wins in a national league, might one day join the NCAA. He said he would be ecstatic if his club could set a precedent for an official DSU lacrosse team. 

“If we’re recognized on a national level when it comes to lacrosse, so will Dixie State,” Steele said.

Tryouts for the Lacrosse Club will take place Sept. 5 and 6 on the campus field. Steele said the club’s players will then be decided Sept. 7. From there, the club will practice three to four days a week.

Dixie’s other newest addition, the Sustainability Club, began as an idea last semester to push for a more sustainable, energy-efficient university, from increased recycling to more vigilant water conservation. Now as an official club, its regular activities will include collecting recycling across campus and meeting once a week to discuss its initiative.

Currently the Sustainability Club has about 10 members. Anderson said he welcomes every student to join, but he values those with dedication.

The first priority of the club is to push the student body to think greener, he said.

“We’re filling a gap for environmental awareness; there’s not another environmental group on campus,” Anderson said. “(Students should join) because we’re doing something that matters and will have a lasting impact.” 

For more information on the Sustainability Club, read the article on DixieSunNews.com

To join a club (or maybe even start your own), visit dixiestudentlife.com.