Break the stigma surrounding anxiety

I have anxiety, and I am not ashamed.

First off, it is difficult for me to write this, mostly because not a lot of people outside of my friends and family know about it.

Having anxiety is frustrating when you are faced with the negative connotation, that I’ll have a mental breakdown over the slightest things. I mainly don’t tell people I have anxiety because people will often give me stares and treat me like I’m about to fall apart when something bad happens. They may even suggest that I want special treatment.

But that is simply not the case.

I’ve heard countless times by friends, family and even professors that I shouldn’t do something because it might stress me out too much. And, sadly, I used to take this to heart. But because of my anxiety, I have been able to accomplish even more.

An article in the Odyssey titled “Anxiety and the Empowered Mind,” Ariel Haynes writes, “Anxiety is empowering.” To clarify, I am talking about all types of anxiety: social anxiety, stress-related anxiety and psychological, what people call, “disorders.” Anxiety is always stressing about things that don’t necessarily need to be stressed over. Social anxiety has to do with the fear of being in social situations. Stress-related anxiety is dealing with chronic stress. 

Haynes goes on to talk about different ways anxiety can be empowering; anxiety teaches us to live in the moment, embrace the unknown, learn decision-making skills and grasp self-care.

I have experienced all of these learning opportunities and can say having anxiety isn’t as bad as society makes it out to be. I’ve been able to take on being a full-time student in college, working part time, and of course, working for this newspaper, which takes up most of my time. I have succeeded, and of course, I’ve failed.

People with anxiety often compare it to the feeling of drowning, and while that might resonate truth, it depends on the situation. Some can handle more than others, and that is OK.

If you deal with anxiety on a daily basis, don’t be afraid to do what you want, even if people tell you that you can’t handle it.

It may sound crazy, but having anxiety is a benefit of sorts. Anxiety has taught me how to not procrastinate, and it has also taught me how to multitask.  

I’ve grasped that I can handle a lot more, despite what people have said I can and can’t handle.

Anxiety is not a stigma. It’s an opportunity to better yourself. 

Community donations shape DSU campus

From Bruce Hurst Field to the Whitehead Education Building, Dixie State University has a campus built on donations.

DSU received a $10 million donation toward renovating the football stadium from Legend Solar in April 2016. Although this is the largest donation DSU has ever received, it isn’t the only donation making a difference here on campus.

The majority of DSU buildings, both academic and athletic, were built because of generous donations from alumni and the community, said DSU Development Officer Lance Brown. Without these donations, DSU’s campus would look exceptionally different.

“All of the buildings with names, like the Burns, Gardner, or any of the others, wouldn’t have happened without donors,” Brown said. “If [the donors] wouldn’t have donated, we may not have received state funding for the buildings around campus.”

Iver Hurtado, a junior nursing major from Chicago, Illinois, said he thinks it’s great that the community around DSU rallies and embraces DSU’s growth toward becoming an elite school in Utah.

“I feel that [the stadium] was a great addition. You can tell that the university is trying to upgrade its buildings,” Hurtado said.

Brown said that for a donor to get their name on a building, they must donate around 25 percent of the total building cost.

“We still haven’t sold naming rights to the new Health and Wellness Center,” Brown said. “This is a $50 million building, and it would really be a slam dunk at this upcoming legislature if we could stick a name on [the building]. We are only looking for about $3 million for that, which is a great opportunity for someone looking to leave a legacy gift.”

The new Health and Wellness Center would include not only a recreation center but also an academic space housing health science classes, athletic training, and other similar programs, Brown said.

“It’s incredible that this community believes in making DSU better and more qualified, and in adding more class options for people with different majors,” said Hailey Brodale, a sophomore general studies major from Santa Clara. “I’m excited for the new changes on campus. I think the new building and stadium will increase DSU’s enrollment.”

Brodale said that the amount of donations around campus says a lot about DSU.

People tend to give to their passions, which is why academic and athletic donations are so common, Brown said. They don’t part with their hard-earned dollars unless it’s something that they’re passionate about or something that makes sense to them. Each person that donated to a specific department felt some sort of affinity for them.

“It’s great that our school has been shaped so much by donations,” said KaitLynn Carnahan, a sophomore nursing major from Hurricane. “I love that education is so important to the people that support DSU.”

Dixie Forum tackles state land rights

A St. George resident commenced the yearly Dixie Forum return by speaking about why over half of Utah’s land is owned by the federal government. 

Ray Kuehne, a St. George resident and constitutionalist, volunteered to open the DSU forum series for the 2016-17 academic year to talk about the history of the issue between federal and state owned land. He said he thought if he could show people the origin of the federal owned land and how it came to be, it would provide context and understanding to the issue. 

As America was expanding west the federal government gave the land away to pay debts instead of money, to war veterans and to anyone who met certain requirements, Kuehne said. Soon after the federal government became concerned with resources depleting, so the it took ownership of the remaining land in efforts to conserve resources.

Kuehne said that about 60 percent of Utah is owned by the federal government. The land in Utah was too hot to grow anything anyways, so nobody wanted the land besides the Mormons, he said.  

He said he believes if the state of Utah were to get more control of the land, it would be easier for the land to fall into ownership of private hands and become unavailable or no longer free to the public.

“The land is freer when it is in the federal (government’s) hands,” Kuehne said. 

Chris Gorzalski, St. George resident and co-leader of Great Old Broads for Wilderness, an environment conservation group, said she agrees with Kuehne on the federal government keeping ownership. She said she fears if the state took ownership of the federal-owned land that a lot of Utah would be privatized. She was also concerned if Utah could even afford places like the national parks, she said.

“I think the [parks] could be sold out or you would have sponsorships,” Gorzalski said. “(Welcome to) Zion National Park, brought to you by Coca-Cola.”

John Burns, chairman for the Dixie Forum, said forums are traditional and most colleges have a main series of lectures. He said he wants the forums to be something different for students to enjoy outside of their regular course work.

“That is what is great about college: You get to pick what you finally want to do,” Burns said. “But there is that neat aspect of education of broadening your horizon and seeing what is out there.”

Kristine Crandall, a freshman general education major from Ogden, said this was her first forum and attended to receive extra credit for her geology course.

“Extra credit is a good thing because it introduces them to (the forum) and brings more of an audience to (the forum),” Crandall said.

The speakers are either sought out by Burns or seeks out Burns to volunteer. He said most of the speakers are volunteers.

“A lot of people volunteer to be a part of the forum because they want to support what we are trying to do,” Burns said.

The location of DSU also helps to get speakers on campus, Burns said. One of DSU’s neighbors are the national parks and the other is Las Vegas, so it is easy to sell a trip to DSU, he said.

Burns is allotted a yearly budget of $10,000 to work with. Burns said his goal is to build a reputation of good hospitality with his speakers.

Speakers receive an honorarium of $100 to $150, a lunch and travel arrangements when necessary.   

“They may never have heard of us, but I want them to remember us,” Burns said.

Burns said he tries to find topics that will interest students or are things you don’t hear about all the time. Topics have varied from the Mars rover to armor and clothes made out of spider silk, with everything else in between.

Burns said:“Whatever brings more students in. That is what I care about. Because it is for them.”

Students can enroll in the course HUM 100R: The Dixie Forum, visit the website, http://humanities.dixie.edu/the-dixie-forum, to find more information on the upcoming forums or follow them on Facebook and Twitter at Dixie Forum.

 “It’s a hidden gem on campus that more students should know about and take advantage of,” Burns said.

Editor’s note: Administration does not censor Dixie Sun News

The Dixie Sun News is, has always been, and will continue to be the “Voice of Dixie,” representing students and employees.

In our continued coverage of the Varlo Davenport case, Copy Editor Diana Fossett spoke with Davenport, as well as Dixie State University administrators, to represent the response to Davenport’s assault trial in July. It was a well-rounded article that avoided bias by reporting the facts and using sources from both sides of the story. 

However, in a recent article published online in The Independent, Dallas Hyland raised the question of whether or not Fossett’s story was “in fact a press release orchestrated by the administration?” 

Hyland continues to write: “Given a conversation I had with an editor at [the Dixie Sun News] over the summer, I would assert here that perhaps the administration is a little heavy-handed in the dissemination of information by that paper.”

This is an unsubstantiated myth.

The Dixie Sun News is not “orchestrated by administration,” nor are we censored by the university in any way. Funded by student fees and advertising revenue, the Dixie Sun News is an open forum. By being separate from DSU administration, we believe we can more effectively present the truth without any conflict of interest. 

We strive to provide our readers with the truth, which means we won’t publish anything without talking to sources from all sides of every story. A page from the Dixie Sun News staff handbook advises our writers, “Don’t stop interviewing people until you have all sides. Always be thinking about additional sources and ask for more as you conduct interviews.”

Therefore, in every article dealing with DSU administration, we talk with administrators to get their side of the story. However, administrators cannot edit our articles or stop an article from being published in the Dixie Sun News.

Hyland goes on in his article to accuse me by name of confirming that DSU administration has in fact “recently directed the paper not to interview certain people without its consent.”

Again, this is simply not true. Hyland quoted me out of context and overgeneralized a statement I made. 

The “recent” incident Hyland was referring to was in March 2015. I was covering the Davenport case for the first time and tried to contact members of the theater department to get their response on the incident or on Davenport being fired. The members of the theater department either did not respond to me or declined to make a comment.

Steve Johnson, who was DSU’s director of public relations at the time, emailed me and told me why the faculty from the theater department wouldn’t talk with me — they were prevented from doing so under “federal law, Utah state statute and DSU campus policy which pertains to the confidentiality of this matter.” Because the alleged assault victim of Davenport’s trial was a student, the federal law in question was the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which protects the privacy of students.

Johnson never told me I couldn’t talk to members of the theater department; members of the theater department just declined to talk with me — a decision I respected. Johnson directed any further inquires to DSU’s legal counsel, who could better comment on the case because of the legalities involved. 

It was not by force but by choice that faculty members declined to talk with me. The “First Amendment violation” that Hyland accused the university of in his article is nonexistent in this case. While previous First Amendment violations by DSU have been and will continue to be covered by the Dixie Sun News, we will not stand for the false accusation that the university is engaged in a “systematic” attempt to restrict free speech by preventing the Dixie Sun News from reporting the facts. 

Above all else, the truth will always be our No. 1 priority. 

Women’s soccer beats Badgers of Snow College

The Dixie State University women’s soccer team kicked off the 2016 season with a bang Saturday against Snow College.

The DSU women got up 2-0 in the first half of the scrimmage and held on for a 2-1 win — a successful beginning to the season.

“Our intensity was good,” Head Coach Kasey Bingham said. “I mean this was just a scrimmage, but they were able to treat it like a big time game and bring energy and intensity into it.”

Last season saw the DSU women’s team record 11 wins and have its most successful season since 2010. This year’s team expects to build off that and get even further.

“Something we are focusing on more this year is shut outs,” said senior midfielder Megan Spencer, an exercise science major from Springville. “[We want to] make sure our defense is strong and not let easy goals go in. On the flip side, [our goal] is to have really intense offense. We want to play for 90 minutes and not let down.”

Consistency was not a staple last year. It was a season which saw streaks of multiple wins and losses in succession.

“There is a lot to learn from last season,” said junior forward Darian McCloy, a nursing major from Herriman. “We were successful, but we’re looking to go forward. I think what can make us unique and special is that we’re coming from the middle of the pack, and we’re coming for that PacWest championship.”

This year’s team has its eyes on something it has never won — the PacWest championship.

“To win the conference, you almost have to be perfect,” Bingham said. “Every game has to be a big time playoff game. So the mentality, execution and performance have to be in every game.”

Improving upon last year could prove to be a tough task, so the women decided to put more effort into the off-season in hopes of achieving even greater heights in 2016.

“This year, we came out earlier than we ever have as a team,” said Spencer. “We came out to work hard and I think it is really showing right now.”

Going into training as early as July is something that Bingham said “shows that they are all personally motivated.”

McCloy said that since last season ended, “our whole mentality has been to be [2016] PacWest champs.”

With some momentum from last season’s campaign, and an even more motivated summer than usual following it, a championship may just be within grasp.

The DSU women’s soccer team opens regular season play Thursday at Concordia University.

Newbies of DSU: The LaVoie love story

A couple who gets hired together stays together, or at least, that’s the philosophy for a new faculty couple at Dixie State University.

After Nicole LaVoie, instructor of health communication, and Mark LaVoie, instructor of media studies, said they were lucky to get jobs together at DSU. 

Nicole LaVoie said they first learned about DSU through a job call for her current position. 

“At first I thought, is that in Mississippi?” she said.

Nicole LaVoie was offered a tenured position and, coincidentally enough, a position opened up at the last minute in the media studies department, allowing Mark LaVoie to sign a yearly spousal contract. A spousal contract allows an instructor’s husband or wife to be hired in order to fill a needed position for the year.

“Many professors choose different schools because they can’t get hired together,” Mark LaVoie said. “That was never going to be an option for us.”

Nicole LaVoie said they had debated a few universities that were bigger and more researched based, but they both prefer to teach more. 

“Both of our hearts are more into the teaching, that’s what we enjoy,” she said. 

So they raised their glasses and cheered as they left the gray winter slush, the humid summers and the tornadoes of Champaign, Illinois. 

The LaVoies have been together 16 years, 10 years married. They actually first met as coworkers, at the Mexican restaurant, Chevys Fresh Mex, in Kansas City.

“I asked her if she liked to play pool; she said yes, so then I asked her out,” Mark LaVoie said.

After two cancellations from her, he finally got the opportunity to pull up in his punk-rock stickered car, with dice hanging in the mirror to pick her up.

He walked her to the car, opened the passenger door and when he turned on the car, the stereo was blasting “Strangers in the Night” by Frank Sinatra, she said.

He turned down the music, apologized and said he was trying to get in the romantic mood.

Nicole LaVoie said she thought that was sweet until she learned it was a set-up.

“I never leave my [speakers] up,” Mark LaVoie said.

“He wouldn’t admit the truth until after our wedding,” she said.  

Nicole LaVoie said she didn’t quite know what she got herself into when he then took her to a “cruddy” strip mall with a cheap Chinese restaurant.

“So then I thought he was sweet and cheap, but it turned out to have the best sesame chicken in all of Kansas City,” she said.

Mark LaVoie said his first impression of her was how much she interested him with her honesty.

For dessert, they played pool.   

Mark and Nicole LaVoie had many odd jobs together before they decided they had put school off long enough.

 “When you’re young, you [say], ‘We love each let’s get jobs together,’ and when you’re older, you [say], ‘We love each other; I want to be able to pay a mortgage,’ ” Mark LaVoie said.

Nicole LaVoie said they are very much coworkers at work and when they are home they are family.

“Certain things you don’t take to the office and other things you don’t take home,” she said.

“The hardest part about being coworkers is not calling each other babe,” he said.

Mark LaVoie is currently applying for a more permanent position, but his job is not guaranteed.

They said they don’t know what they will do if he doesn’t get the position, but in the meantime, they spoil their beagle-terrier, await an adoption call and enjoy living in the red rock country.

Social issues, variety to be highlighted at 2016 DOCUTAH film festival

Allie Macier picks up a catalog one week before DOCUTAH, and circles all the documentaries she hopes to see.

Macier, a senior communication major from St. George, said she found herself in the digital film emphasis after a supportive adviser encouraged her to find a career path. She has been an avid supporter of the annual documentary-based film festival ever since, and she hopes to help produce documentaries and music videos after graduation.

“I was always highly affected by books, movies and music,” Macier said.

This will be Macier’s fourth year attending DOCUTAH. She is one of many students and community members looking forward to the education and entertainment provided at the festival, which will open on Sept. 6 and run through Sept. 10. A wide selection of 68 documentary films will be shown at multiple venues across campus and in the community and will be free to students all week.

“It’s honestly my favorite part of the school year,” Macier said. “I’m sad that it’s only one week long.”

Created with students in mind

Phil Tuckett, executive director of DOCUTAH, said the festival’s primary purpose is to serve the students of DSU.

In the U.S., there are only two documentary film festivals fully sponsored by universities: DOCUTAH and Full Frame at Duke University in North Carolina, Tuckett said.

“From the people I’ve spoken to [at Duke], we have hit the mark on bringing documentaries to the campus to offer students a look at the world they wouldn’t get otherwise,” he said.

Karman Wilson, assistant director of professional art and production director for DOCUTAH, said preparation begins nearly a year before the festival begins.

DOCUTAH has 30 screening teams in the community that watch the films when they first come in. The final decision-making panel looks at the teams’ critiques, and decide which films meet the production excellence that is required to be included at the festival.

Of over 12,000 people who attended DOCUTAH in 2015, only about 600 students participated. DOCUTAH would like to attract more this year, Wilson said. With free admission and advertising through the Dixie State University Student Association, the university tries to make it as accessible to students as possible.

The festival will feature 68 films this year, 30 of which are from international characters and filmmakers, Tuckett said. Many film festivals add documentaries as an afterthought to their lineup, but focusing solely on documentaries allows DOCUTAH to provide a wide variety of subjects.

The best place to have a documentary film festival is on a university campus, Tuckett said. Students can benefit from attending the festival from being exposed to different cultures, ideas, and concepts, some of them controversial.

“Every one of those 68 films relate directly to the courses of study students are taking this semester,” he said.

There is a stereotype that documentaries are meant for an older demographic, and Tuckett said he hopes to change that by bringing films to the festival that appeal to a younger audience.

A wide selection

Many of the documentaries are lighthearted and entertaining, but others put emphasis on current social issues, Wilson said. Three films featured this year represent the LGBT community, and a luncheon held on Saturday will raise money for the
new resource center on campus. Two of those documentaries’ filmmakers will be in attendance.

Two other films Wilson said she is looking forward to are both from international filmmakers.

“Gone Viral” is a film about two Irish men who have ordinary jobs as mental health nurses but rose to internet stardom after posting videos to Vine.

“Monsterman” tells the story of a 42-year-old Finnish heavy rocker named Tomi, whose band, Lordi, dresses up as monsters for its performances. The film follows Tomi as he obsesses over continuing his dream of a monster rock band.

“The best part is that [‘Monsterman’] is a true story, and the filmmakers are coming from Finland,” Wilson said.

Tuckett said students can expect to enjoy an outdoor screening of “The Laughter Life,” featuring the cast of Brigham Young University’s comedy group, Studio C, and the unique challenge of being funny while staying inside the bounds of BYU’s censorship board.

“It’s a delightful film about some people who are determined to spread laughter despite the challenges they have,” Tuckett said.

“The Laughter Life” will be shown on the encampment mall Sept. 6 at 8 pm, and is free of charge to students and community members. Members of the Studio C cast will also be in attendance.

Future growth

2016 will be the seventh year of DOCUTAH’s existence. As the years progress, Wilson said she is expecting word to spread, film submissions to increase, and the number of visiting foreign filmmakers to grow. Wilson said the community and local government have been supportive in helping sponsor the film festival.

“We’re perfectly happy with the support we get from the community and locally,” Tuckett said. “We will continue to depend on that.”

Tuckett said a challenge the festival has faced is that although they have received generous, sustaining support from local government and businesses, they are still hoping to find a sponsor that can invest a significant amount to substantially promote DOCUTAH’s future growth.


“Look on the website and you will find at least one film that you can apply to a class you love at the school,” Tuckett said. “Give it a chance if you haven’t, and you may find you have been a fan of documentaries all along and didn’t know it.”

Macier said she plans to burn the candle on both ends by squeezing in some DOCUTAH films between work and school.

“It only happens one week a year,” she said. “I make the time for it.”

The schedule, synopses and trailers of the films can be found on DOCUTAH’s website.

Men’s soccer sinks SLCC, Snow College in scrimmages

The Dixie State University men’s soccer team began its 2016 season with two preseason wins against Salt Lake Community College Thursday and Snow College Saturday.

It took extra time, but DSU came from being down 1-0 at the half to beat SLCC 3-2. DSU buried a penalty kick late to seal the deal in the season’s first scrimmages.

The game against Snow College wasn’t so close; DSU won 4-1, never trailed in the game, and had four different players score a goal.

New DSU Head Coach Tim Busen said he was “most impressed” with the competitive attitude and strong character following the first two scrimmages. He said he expects these things to fuel the team deep into the season.

With 10 wins, the DSU men’s soccer team finished with the most wins in team history. It might be easy to expect things to pick up where they left off last season, but Busen does not believe in that. “We don’t care about last year,” Busen said. “Right now, we’re just solely focused in the moment.”

As is the case with any team looking to improve, the off-season is a key component to making the difference in the following year. 

“There was a lot of training [this summer],” said freshman midfielder Moises Medina, a general studies major from Mesquite, Nevada. “The practices we’ve had have really helped out. We all got to know each other, and we just want to give it our all on the field.” 

With new coaches and players coming in, the off-season and preseason may be just what the team needs to gel in time for the season to officially begin.

“I wasn’t here last season, but from the time that I’ve been here I can tell that this team is very close,” said redshirt freshman Blake Damato, an exercise science major from Las Vegas. “We all love each other, and we’re going to do some big things this year. As long as we go out there and keep playing for each other with no regrets, and we leave it all out on the field, that’s going to make us a special team.”

Both Medina and Damato have observed and felt a real closeness within this team, something that Damato feels will get them “over the top.” 

Following the best season in program history, this year’s team will also be returning nearly 20 players from last year’s roster. The potential for the 2016 team is felt even by those outside the DSU mens soccer program.

“I think this is one of the better DSU teams I’ve seen,” SLCC Head Coach Mark David said. “I’ve been coaching against Dixie since 2010, and that’s a very good team. They’re talented on the ball, they’re technically sound, and [Busen] will have them ready to take on the PacWest.”

Busen said the character the team showed, especially in coming from behind against SLCC, is the same character they’ve shown in the off-season and the same character that could carry them into a successful season.

“Our goals are just to do everything the right way every day,” Busen said. “Hopefully, that is going to supply us the best opportunity to meet our potential.”

The DSU men’s soccer team officially opens its season on the road Friday  at the Colorado School of Mines.

DSU volleyball launches season with alumni game

The Dixie State University volleyball alumni team gave the current DSU volleyball team a run for its money in the annual alumni game Saturday.

Coming off a Pacific West Conference title last season, the DSU volleyball team began its season by taking on former volleyball players. Despite the game being just a scrimmage, both sides put forth a tremendous effort to win and entertain the fans. 

“We’ve been playing ourselves in practice for the last three weeks,” Head Coach Robyn Felder said. “When you play different styles of players, it really exposes where our weaknesses are.”

It appeared the DSU alumni hadn’t lost a step as they took a 15-18 lead in the first set. The current team, however, quickly countered and ended up winning the set 25-21.

The current squad kept the momentum going into the second set as it led the entire way.  The DSU alumni made a late run to bring the score to 22-21, but it was not enough as the current team went on to win 25-23.

Senior outside hitter Delayne Daniel said it is crucial to build team chemistry early in the season.

“If you have one player that is checked out, everything just falls apart,” said Daniel, a computer science major from American Fork. “I thought we did a pretty good job, but it’s definitely something we can work on.” 

The third set was a tale of two stories. DSU’s current team jumped out to an early lead and looked poised to run away with its third straight set, but the alumni rallied back to tie the set at 21 apiece.

It was a back-and-forth battle until the alumni team finished off the set, winning 27-25. 

“It’s so important that all the positions are helping each other out,” said setter Kailey Frei, a senior elementary education major from American Fork. “Our team goal is to win. No matter who is playing, we just want to win.”

The Trailblazers’ current team tightened up its defense in the fourth set. It ran away with the win by a score of 25-17.

In what would prove to be the fifth and final set of the match, the alumni team jumped out to the early 9-2 lead. The current DSU volleyball team showed everyone why it is the defending PacWest Champion by winning 13 of the next 17 points to win the set and the match.

“I thought we did some good things,” Felder said. “There were moments of greatness, but then there were times that we had to be more disciplined.” 

Felder also talked about what is known as “hell week” and said that it is a very intense week of practice for the players.

During hell week, players are expected to practice upwards of five hours a day. Felder confirmed that several members of the volleyball team were injured during this week but that it they would be ready for the start of the season.

“We are resting a few players due to injuries, but most of our hell week girls are getting back in the gym,” Felder said. “You have to come into hell week in shape, and if you don’t, you’re going to hurt yourself.”

Despite being the reining PacWest Champions, the Trailblazers were picked to finish second this season in the conference’s coaches poll which was released Thursday.  Cal Baptist University edge out DSU for the top spot by receiving 189 total votes while the Trailblazers received 180.

“[Getting picked second] definitely motivates us and gets a little bit of fire going,” Daniel said. “I thought we had a really good season last year, but no matter how good we did, that season is over. It just makes me really excited.”

Felder said five starters from last season’s team are returning which helps them understand what is expected.

“These kids know what we do,” Felder said. “It is different from last season.  We’ve got some learning to do and some things that need to be fixed.” 

The volleyball team kicks off its regular season schedule with the Dixie State Crystal Inn invitation beginning Sept. 2. The Trailblazers’ first game will be against Black Hills State University at noon inside the Student Activities Center.

Your vote matters

Our generation today is way too busy taking good selfies or tweeting their latest accomplishments to care about politics.

Our country is entering a time where the future is unclear. The Amendments that have been pillars in this country’s foundation are now being questioned as to whether they are still applicable to people like you and I. Some want to take away or limit our right to bear arms. Others want to quiet my belief in God by removing “One nation under God” from our Pledge of Allegiance.

Presidential candidates are trying to adapt to the ever changing environment by using various platforms to portray their messages. Candidates recognize this need to use new platforms since different generations have their personal preferences. One example of this is how Hillary Clinton told millennials to “Pokémon Go to the polls.” The problem is candidates still haven’t used social media platforms to their full potential because many millennials still don’t care to vote. 

Though I have every intention on voting, I can understand why students don’t care to vote. I scroll through my various social media feeds and see nothing but negativity about the different presidential candidates. They are too worried fighting about back and forth instead of making their arguments applicable to the younger generations.   

Some students at DSU said they don’t feel the connection they want with their preferred candidate. McKayDee McDonald, a freshman theater major from Salt Lake City, said they need to a do a better job at reaching the demographic.

McDonald said: “With everyone on social media right now, you reach so many people everyday by throwing a tweet out there [or] throwing a Facebook message out there.”

Millennials today are obsessed with their technology and what it can do for them. We snapchat an image, tweet a few lines, or even write a novel for a post on Facebook. With this addiction for understanding new things, I say millennials are all over the map when it comes to politics. I prefer to get my political news by watching shows on CNN or Fox News, while others rely on Facebook posts from their friends.

Associate Professor Joe Green said millennials are only interested in things they can control: family life, work, church, school and their social lives. He also said they don’t seem to care about politics because their time is consumed by other matters.

Bryce Parker, a pre-engineering sophomore from St. George, said politics are a topic that bring confrontation into most conversations, due to the vast diversity of ideas people have.

 Parker said he understands the differences between ideologies but acknowledges the need for change. 

“[Change] comes when we compromise and you have to realize that you’ll take hits some places and they’ll take hits some places no matter what political side you go with,” Parker said.

Whether you want to take a political side or not, there is always time for your voice to be heard. There are numerous clubs on campus that allow students to engage in political conversations like the DSU College Democrats or the DSU College Republicans. You can even join non-profit organizations, like Turning Point U.S.A., where they allow students to share thoughts and feelings about the current state of our country. 

McDonald said it is important for millennials to educate themselves and learn what is going on. She also said one of the biggest hurdles millennials have to overcome is the notion that your vote doesn’t count.

“We are the next generation to be in [Washington D.C.],” McDonald said. “We are the next generation to make new laws [and] pass new laws.” 

If Green is right by saying politics are just one more thing for a millennial to worry about, then I believe the future of our country may be in trouble. 

“It’s a symbolic exercise,” Green said. “One person’s vote doesn’t turn an election one way or the other.” 

I think if millennials are taught more about politics and how their vote will make a difference, more will be involved and more will go out and vote. If the candidates really understood the power of social media, they would see swarms of millennials getting involved.

With all this being said, I hope to not be the lone Trailblazer at the polls come November.