DSU women remain winless over break

Dixie State University women’s basketball remained winless over Thanksgiving break, but the Storm are thankful for their ever-improving play.

“We’re getting better,” head coach Jenny Thigpin said. “We scheduled tough teams at the beginning of the year for that reason. We are more concerned with getting better as a team right now than we are with wins and losses.”  

DSU made its season home debut Tuesday Nov. 4 against in-state foe Westminster College. 

The winless Storm entered Burns Arena with a 0-2 record and were seeking their first win of the young season. The Griffins, however, had other plans. 

Sparked by the hot shooting of senior guard Natalie Parsons, Westminster downed the Storm 61-55. Parsons scored a career-high 24 points on 8-13, shooting in the win. 

DSU held a one-point lead at the half after playing an extremely even first two quarters, but the Griffins adjusted at the break to go on an 11-2 run coming out of the locker room and escaped St. George with the victory. 

WC, who led the country (NAIA) in points allowed last season, kept the Storm in check with its stifling defense by holding DSU to 30 percent shooting. 

Despite the loss, junior guard Aliya Davis had a breakout game for the Storm. Davis led the team with 16 points and knocked down three shots from deep. Senior forward Taylor Mann notched her 24th career double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds in the defeat. 

DSU had a quick turnaround as it traveled to Grand Junction, Colorado, for the Holiday Inn – Airport Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Colorado Mesa University Friday. 

Matching up with the Western State Colorado University on the first day of the tournament, the Storm would try their luck at getting in the win column once again. 

Senior guard Chermayne Moore knocked down two consecutive 3-pointers in the first two possessions of the fourth quarter to give the Storm a 51-41 lead. 

“It’s frustrating because there are moments when we are really, really good,” Mann said. “Then there are moments where we have lapses on crucial possessions. We are getting better, but we need to put together a whole game.”

The Mountaineers responded with a 14-1 run of their own and took the lead away from DSU. WSCU didn’t look back as it finished the game on a 27-8 run to down the Storm 68-59. 

Mann continued her impressive play Saturday as the upset-minded Storm faced nationally-ranked No. 25 Colorado Mesa University. DSU gave CMU all it could handle, but the Mavericks were ultimately too much as they extended the Storm’s losing-streak to five games. 

DSU played even with CMU early on, tying the game after the opening quarter. CMU answered and opened up a double-digit lead in the third. After trailing 44-30, the Storm put together the best 15 minutes of basketball they’ve played all season. 

Mann, an English major from Castle Dale, had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead DSU as it stormed back to take its first lead of the game at 58-57 with just three minutes to go. The first lead would be the only lead the Storm held. 

They would not look back, scoring the final four points of the game to give CMU the 64-61 win.    

DSU will begin Pacific West Conference play on the road this week when they face California Baptist University Dec. 3 and Point Loma University Dec. 5.

Try Something New: Student serves the community on Thanksgiving

For many Americans, the importance of Thanksgiving Day resides in family gatherings, football games, feasting, forgetting about life’s obligations, or gathering to give thanks for the many blessings they have in life. 

Everyone has a unique tradition he or she holds dear.

My annual holiday ritual usually consists of celebrating personal indulgence and selfishly focusing on my personal needs. I seek out friends or family with the most traditional turkey dinner, consume two tall cans of Australian beer, and hit the theater for the latest high-action release. I wanted to try something new this year and give back to the community I’ve grown to love.

Finding an opportunity to serve others is relatively easy in St. George during the holiday season. The Switchpoint Community Resource Center operates the local food pantry and homeless shelter, and its helpful volunteer coordinator can lead anyone to the greatest area of need. I was scheduled a time on Thanksgiving to volunteer, and I immediately wondered what had taken me so long.

The owner of the Red Rock Canyon School in St. George has hosted a free community dinner on Thanksgiving Day for over 40 years. As I approached the building and saw the line of people waiting outside that included students, seniors, families, and those in need, I understood why it takes a small army of people and donations to make the event possible.

The operation ran like a well-oiled machine with citizens crowding through the front door and volunteers being funneled through the kitchen to help out on the food line. After twenty minutes of anxiously waiting, I finally made it to my station at the pie table. Initially, keeping the table filled with slices of cake and pie and loading up the whipped cream seemed like only a small part, but everyone had a role to play.

It turns out there is no shortage of volunteers on Thanksgiving, and each person is only allotted an hour to serve. I was beginning to feel like I wasn’t having much of an impact as the dozens of smiling faces passed by, until, suddenly, the face before me was an old friend who had fallen on hard times. As I watched him sit down across the room to eat what could possibly be his best meal of the month, it occurred to me how easily I could be in his place. I was grateful to be able to help him, even if only for a moment.

By the day’s end, over 1,000 meals had been served and hundreds of hearts left the event warmed, but after leaving, I realized being charitable needs to be important every day. Even though many show up on Thanksgiving or Christmas to help, volunteers are in short supply the other 363 days of the year.

There are organizations all across the region that can utilize talents on a regular basis. If you have legal skills, why not offer services at a local shelter to help people get back on their feet. Musicians and artists can donate their time at community centers or teachers can give lessons to at-risk children. Try something new and find a place that is interesting to volunteer today. You might find it is a habit you can enjoy the blessings of all year long.

Tuesday Tunes, Week #1 (Example)

What’s goings on people? You may or may not have seen some of my articles previously here on the Dixie Sun where I gave my opinion on some worldly things going on. Today (and hopefully for more weeks to come), however, I am here to present to you some of the things I’ve been listening to for the past week and hope that you will enjoy some of these songs as much as I have.

Without further ado, here’s the first installment of Tuesday Tunes:

1. Tom Misch – Twinkle Twinkle

Off the release of his 4th album, Beat Tape 2, 20 year old Tom Misch from London drops a tune that is utterly funky and had me feeling an involuntary groove without any hesitation whatsoever. The first thing that caught my attention was the backing of the strings throughout the track, a delicacy to the ears almost. Then in comes a bassline that causes you make that, “oh, no he didn’t“, face (but yes he did). The song reminds me of the summer after my senior year in high school. Pure jubilation and the feeling that nothing could possibly go wrong in the coming months…until college. Misch is an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist and his talents definitely shine through in his music. I’m continuously looking forward to more music from Tom.

2. Chris McClenney – For Paris

In the midst of the unfortunate Paris attacks, Chris McClenney dropped this absolutely chilling gem as a tribute. In times where evil reigns, it’s always important to have a way to cope with the situation in order to maintain the peace within oneself. With this track, McClenney definitely contributes to that process of finding peace. This piece is an improvisation of the talented McClenney. Visions of sitting by a warm fire, on a cold night, and being told “everything is going to be alright” comes to mind whenever I hear this composition. Absolutely brilliant.

3. GrandeMarshall – Big Homie (featuring Wara from the NBHD)

Just one laid-back and almost gloomy track off GrandeMarshall’s recent release of My Brother’s Keeper, in which he pens an open letter to a comrade of his that showed him the ropes when it came to handling his business in the streets of North Philadelphia. Sometimes as we grow as people we forget to thank those who helped us to get where we are along the way. This track serves as a reminder to make sure you do so, because you never know when those people may not be around anymore.

4. Sango – Dias Melhores (Interludio)

Off his newest tape entitled, Da Rocinha 3 (available for streaming now), Sango dropped a simplistic, but high energy brasilian-trap track that I can see myself playing on a daily basis whenever I need a good vibe to get myself going. With a kick that you feel in your chest, a bassline that sends chills up your spine, and a sample featuring a language you probably don’t even understand, but it doesn’t even matter because it’s that awesome, all the elements present resonant with one another to provide a complete, fantastic product. Whether I need to be studying for a test or just feeling like being goofy and being hyped about whatever’s going on in my life, this song does it for me.

5. Logic – Run It

Logic’s second studio album, The Incredible True Story, is what he describes as his “victory lap” and rightfully so. He sold 135K copies of his album on their first week on the shelves, making it the number one selling rap album of the Nov. 13th-20th week. This particular track, sampling another great artist, Mayer Hawthrone, is a favorite of mine off the LP in which Logic boasts about how he runs the rap game. There’s a bounce in the beat that you can’t help but just follow along with and in addition this song kind of serves as a source of motivation, no matter what profession you’re in, you can “run it” as long as you believe you do. I know I run the photo editor profession, WITHOUT QUESTION. 😉

That’s the wrap-up for this week, folks! As I continue to doing this column, I’ll be sure to be more diverse in the tunes I select so, if this isn’t your cup of tea this time around no worries! Eventually, I hope to satisfy the ears of everyone who takes the time out to come read what I have to say. Just wait on it!

Students, professors will showcase dancing skills at Winter Ball

Dixie State University students will get the chance to school their professors in ballroom dance at this year’s Winter Ball. 

Members of DSU’s Ballroom Team is working with faculty members to create Dancing With the Faculty Stars, which will be featured as the final event of the Ballroom Club’s annual Winter Ball.

John Wuehler, dance adjunct instructor and adviser of the Ballroom Club, said having two separate events would have been an elaborate undertaking, so the Winter Ball, and Dancing With the Faculty Stars, became one. It will be a competition and a place for ballroom students to show off what they’ve learned in class, he said. The event will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Gardner Center Ballroom. 

“It’s all about ballroom dance and trying to bring that old, ballroom style feel back,” Wuehler said.

Faculty were invited to participate on a volunteer basis. Wuehler said eight or nine people originally expressed interest, and there is going to be at least six couples competing. Each faculty member is paired with a member of the Ballroom Team, and the judges will base their critiques on the faculty member, rather than the Ballroom Team member.

Scott Denison, the president of the Ballroom Club and a junior computer science major from West Valley, said organizing the event has been a challenge because working with everyone’s practicing schedules has been difficult. Each team has been practicing on their own. 

“My partner and I have been meeting every week, and things have been going well,” Denison said.

Wuehler said the participants are dancing the same routine, and there will be two rounds in the competition and this year’s participants range from moderately experienced to no experience at all. This will help provide variety to the show.

One faculty member has never danced, but she decided to participate in the competition because she wanted to try something she’s never done before, and she’s picking it up very quickly, Wuehler said.

Denison said being involved in the ball was exciting and rewarding.

“Ballroom has given me a great sense of accomplishment and challenge, as well as introduced me to a lot of great people and helped me establish great friendships,” Denison said. 

In addition to the Dancing With the Faculty Stars competition, Wuehler said The Ballroom Club reached out to the community and invited high school and elementary school students to compete and will also be performing a couple numbers for the show. 

Wuehler said a ballroom dance is really special to him because it’s not an individual endeavor. 

“When you’re dancing with a ballroom partner, when it works, it’s really fun because you’re working together as a team,” he said. “It’s about the enjoyment of dancing.”

Trending Now: Glitter beards mean glitter everywhere

Being able to grow a good beard is a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, I look fantastic, girls (with good taste) dig it, and it keeps my face warm in the winter. On the other hand, people never stop sending me suggestions on social media about what I should do to my facial hair. I’m referring to things like sticking flowers in my beard, hanging Christmas ornaments or lights from my beard, or more recently, covering my beard in glitter — all of which I’ve never done.

A handful of people have sent me similar pictures recently of men with full beards covered in a thick layer of colorful glitter and pretended they thought it was a good idea. It doesn’t take a genius to understand why this would be a messy disaster. Glitter can never be fully cleaned up. If I so much as look at a container of glitter, I’m finding it on my clothes, face, bed and food for months. Voluntarily putting large amounts of glitter directly on my own face seemed like a sure way to invite it permanently into my existence.

I had to write an article about something, so I figured, why not give it a shot?

I picked up a couple small containers of gold glitter and some snowflake-looking glitter at the store. I rubbed some essential oils in my beard to help the glitter stick better and stepped into my backyard to apply the golden, sparkly flakes.

It took a minute or two, but my face sparkled like a treasure chest. I talked my brother into covering his much larger beard in glitter as well shortly afterward.

I accomplished exactly what I was going for, and it was awful. It’s like having explosive, disco dandruff. Any slight movement of my face showered my clothes and floor in 24-karat confetti. I left a trail of it everywhere I went. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t breathe too hard. It got on any person or animal who strayed too close. Trying to shower it out just spread it all over my body. I looked like a Kesha music video.

There is really only one conceivable event where this would be a good idea. If I was going to some sort of unicorn rave or hip music festival where all the attendees were under the influence of various illicit substances, I bet I could make a lot of friends. There would be enough glitter to go around. Unfortunately, I won’t be doing that anytime soon, so there’s no practical way or place to have a beard full of stardust.

If you want to give the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season, put some glitter in your beard for your next family party. What better way to spread the spirit of the holidays than leaving glitter everywhere you go?

Family donates scholarship money to speech competition winners

A local couple, appreciative of the education their kids received at Dixie State University, is paying it forward by donating scholarships to current students.

Rhonda and Michael Tommer donated $3,000 to DSU that was split into two scholarships this semester. Their son, Ryan Tommer, graduated in music education, so $1,500 went to a student in that discipline. Their daughter, Samantha Tommer, graduated in criminal justice and communication, so the other $1,500 was donated to the communication department and split amongst students in a speech competition.

“We always felt if we got the chance to give back, we would start, and (there is) no better place than (DSU),” Michael Tommer said.

Both their kids competed on debate team in high school, which was their main inspiration to fund scholarships through a speech competition. The Tommers learned the speech competition was an option after Samantha Tommer had won a scholarship in the Antone and Cola Bowler Persuasive Speech Competition in 2014.

The Tommers said they plan to fund the scholarships each year as long as they are financially able to.

“We have been really blessed, and we like to share that,” Rhonda Tommer said.

Twenty-five students competed in the first Tommer Family Impromptu Speech Competition that took place Nov. 5. Students were given a different set of three quotes and two minutes for preparation before delivering their five-minute speeches on the quote of their choice. Two judges critiqued students’ speeches in three rounds on delivery (eye-contact, gestures, voice), quality of argument, and creativity. The First place winner was awarded $800, second place received $450, and the third place winner went home with $250.

Third-place winner Mary Bundy, a junior communication major from Harper, Oregon, said she entered the competition for extra credit offered by one of her professors but was happy to come away with a scholarship and a little extra self-confidence as a returning student.

“I’m basically twice as old as everybody here, so it helped me get out of my shell,” Bundy said.

Second-place winner Nijat Aliyev, a senior biology major from Baku, Azerbaijan, said he wanted to compete because he loves a chance to experience something new.

“Anytime there is opportunity to learn, there is opportunity for victory,” Aliyev said.

First-place winner Ashlie Scott, a junior education major from Aurora, said she didn’t expect to win the competition but was glad she decided to compete. She said the experience broadened her horizon to what her major could be applied to and encourages other students not to restrict themselves to their major.

“The key to student involvement is not having students limit themselves to only their department,” Scott said.

The Tommers said it is just one of the ways they chose to give back to the community. They said they hope their speech competition, along with the other two speech competitions offered by the communication department, will grow into a debate team for DSU someday.

“It is a good experience that will carry you beyond graduation,” Michael Tommer said.

The next speech competition will be the Pansy Hardy Speech to Entertain Competition held in March. The Tommer Family Impromptu Speech Competition is predicted to return next fall semester. 

Students should practice caution with anonymity

College students have become far too comfortable online when it comes to content some post “anonymously.”

An anonymous social media app called Yik Yak recently came under fire by different college campuses due to threatening remarks made on the Mizzou campus amid racial tension and protests. One of the comments read, “I am going to stand my ground tomorrow and shoot every black person I see.” 

But besides the obvious racist and illegal implications of this story, there is a far deeper issue going on. Some students believe they can post anything online as long as it is an anonymous user board and they don’t have to face the repercussions. Here at Dixie State University, this has become a problem as well with some apps, such as Yik Yak and Snapchat.

Yik Yak is a ridiculous app thats purpose is for students on college campuses to anonymously post anything they want, and people within a certain mile radius can read it. All sorts of things are posted on this site, and for the most part, they are just posts about sleeping in class and looking for drugs. While I scrolled through the app, I quickly realized all these students don’t realize what they put online can have serious consequences. 

Many campuses are dealing with illegal activity being discussed on this app. In an article by USA today, a reporter asked college security officers if they use the social media app to monitor students, and school administrator Rick Tupper from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, said, “Social media does help us when we’re trying to follow that road map of a crime to figure out what happened and when and who was involved.”

There are many stories about students being arrested for what they have posted on Yik Yak, but by looking at the posts in our area, it would appear students do not care their accounts may be monitored. I believe students are ignorant to the fact that anyone can track down who posted the yak or snap, and they should do research on the many examples of students getting in trouble for such posts.

Students on DSU’s campus curated a Snapchat account called the RedStormsnap. Students could send photos to the account, which would be published onto the account’s public story. Everything was posted on this Snapchat, including pictures of school events, parties, drug use, nude photos, and an abundance of drunk people.

While RedStormsnap was aimed for DSU students, anyone could follow the account and view the pictures people posted. Because of how the account worked, whoever is in charge of this account now has hundreds of photos in his or her possession. While many people did not show their faces in photos they sent, the page owner had to receive the pictures and knows who these people are. This concerns me for the future of those students if the owner of the account decided to release their identities. 

The RedStormsnap has been either deleted or removed from Snapchat at this time. 

Students at DSU and across the country need to realize that just because a website or app is advertised as anonymous, there is a large chance that it is not. The app developers have your data, such as IP addresses and phone numbers. Posting on these apps can have larger repercussions then may be realized, and we should be cautious about what we post there.


Dancers leap, spin at Fall Dance Concert

Lively drumming and music filled a sold-out theater on the opening night of the Dixie State University Dance Company’s Fall Dance Concert.

Young and old filtered into the main auditorium at the Eccles Fine Arts Center Nov. 20 and 21 to witness the company’s 27th and 28th performance. In celebration of the new Bachelor of Arts or Science dance degrees, the opening number was an energizing, traditional Guinean dance called “the Kuku,” with performers dressed in vibrant costumes.

The concert represented a variety of genres, with a mixture of classical, tap, modern, hip-hop and ballroom. Sarah Ramaker, a senior dance major from Midland, Michigan, and Alivia Snow, a junior dance major from St. George, performed solos. Applause from the audience was exceptionally loud for two routines: a hip-hop routine narrating a cop and gangster conflict and a western all-men number that inspired smiles and laughs from the audience. 

Live piano and violin accompanied dance instructor Kyudon Kwak and Sahalie Cindrich, a sophomore dance major from American Fork, as they performed a classical duet with leaps and overhead lifts.

The performance received standing ovations both nights.

Li Lei, dance professor and director, said the students are her greatest joy. She said she appreciates their dedication and hard work. Lei said the greatest challenge was the high turnover of dancers every semester, because until this fall, DSU had not offered bachelor’s degrees in dance. New dance degrees were approved in August.

Lei said she is confident in the future of the dance program and grateful for DSU administration’s support.

“I am ready to take [the dance program] to a higher level,” she said. “We are ambitious to build a degree program with a high professional reputation.”

Matthew Setoki, a junior dance major from Oakley, Idaho, is a scholarship student in the dance program. Setoki said two years ago, he didn’t dance. Setoki said he learned how to dance with Lei’s encouragement.

“It’s changed my life,” he said.

Auditions for dance majors and scholarships will begin Feb. 27.

Members of the Dixie State University Dance Company perform a traditional Guinean celebration dance at the Fall Dance Concert Friday. The Dance Concert featured several performances from DSU’s dance students Friday and Saturday. Photo by Emily Fisher.

DSU women battle UVU in exhibition play

Dixie State University women’s basketball traveled to northern Utah for the second week in a row to take on yet another Division I opponent in an exhibition matchup. 

The Storm continued their early season struggles as they lost to Utah Valley University 77-63 and dropped to 0-4 in the young season. Despite the loss, DSU played as well as it has so far. The Storm got out to an early lead and stayed in front for the majority of the game, including a two-point lead that they took into the fourth quarter. 

DSU struggled from the field in the second half, shooting only 36.7 percent as the Wolverines outscored the Storm by 17 points. With four players in double figures, UVU used a balance offensive attack to down the Storm and improve to 4-1. 

Despite the loss, senior center Taylor Mann registered a double-double for DSU. Mann, an english major from Castle Dale, tallied 12 points on 5-8 shooting, 11 rebounds and two blocks in the game. 

“We came out and played hard and aggressive,” Mann said. “We just got tired and couldn’t maintain it for the whole game.” 

Senior guard Chermayne Moore also reached double-figures for the Storm with 10 points and three assists in just 18 minutes as she battled foul trouble. 

DSU will have a quick turnaround as it faces Westminster College in the Burns Arena Tuesday at 7p.m.