D-Week: Then and now

D-Week has its origins in fist fights.

According to a history written by Matthew Bentley, former Dixie State University President, before Dixie was a college or the university it is today, it opened its doors as the St. George Stake Academy in 1911. The class of 1913 painted  “1913” on Dixie Rock, then more commonly known as The Sugarloaf above St. George. The class of 1914 painted “1914” over their elder class’ numerals just days later, thus igniting a competition that would see the numerals being painted and re-painted, almost on a daily basis.

This competition eventually took a more serious turn.

“Quite often there were some rather serious encounters with bare fists before it was determined which class would be represented …” Bentley wrote in his history of D-Week. The history is included in the book “A Century of Dixie State College” by Douglas D. Alder.

Shortly after this and further confrontations, school administrators and the student body came up with a plan to unite the competing classes. The Sugarloaf would be painted with the word “Dixie,” and a large “D” would be constructed on Black Hill to the west of town. Dixie High School would take charge of painting the “Dixie.” and The St. George Stake Academy would oversee the “D.”

Heber Jones, longtime volunteer historian and Dixie College graduate of 1953, said the conflict made it vital to create the “D.”

“They decided they would separate the college from the high school and let the high school have this Dixie up here because they were fighting over it all the time,” Jones said.

In 1915, the “D” was built and whitewashed, and the tradition of D-Day and D-Week was born.

While some of the oldest traditions, such as a tug-of-war over a mud pit and the parade downtown have faded into history, some, like the painting of the D and the D-Queen Pageant, have remained.

Former DSC president and guest lecturer Douglas Alder said he remembers his first, unique experience with the whitewashing of the “D.”

“in the springtime, I was informed I was to be there (at the D),” Alder said. “So I went up and went through the whole process and had no idea they intended to paint me, but they did.”

Ellen Bonadurer, circulation supervisor for the DSU library, said while the whitewashing of the “D” was one of the original traditions, other traditions were added and removed over the decades.

The Great Race began in 1969, Bonadurer said. At various times during that event, there were portions that even involved horse and motorcycle racing. The course for the Great Race also used to stretch across town, while the newer incarnation of the competition is completely on the campus of DSU.

“The Great Race used to go way out and away from the campus, but at that time, the campus was the edge of town and there was nothing over there,” Bonadurer said. “When they would do the horse race and things like that, they would take that all the way over to the black ridge [Black Hill] over here and race it and come back. The events that were part of that great race have evolved.”

The 2017 version of the Great Race is a ten-part competition that involves running, base running, a scooter race, shooting baskets, biking, question-answering, swimming, a mud pit, slide pull, and finishing with an obstacle course and run.

The events at this year’s D-Week include:
– Monday: Food Fest, where local food trucks will be parked and serving food north of the Encampment Mall.
– Tuesday: The D-Queen Pageant 7:30 p.m. at the Cox Auditorium.
– Wednesday: Dixie Idol finale 7:30 p.m. at the Gardner Center Ballroom.
– Thursday: Twister World Record Event 6 p.m. at East Elementary School field.
– Friday: The Great Race (5 p.m.) and Carnival (6:30 p.m.) at the Encampment Mall.
– Saturday: D-Day, the whitewashing of the “D” 7:00 a.m. at Black Hill.

 For more information on D-Week, visit https://alumni.dixie.edu/traditions-events/d-week/





Book Nook: ‘The Edge of the Abyss’ entertaining, unusual read

Imagine a future where pirates’ attacks are foiled by bio-engineered monsters.

“The Edge of the Abyss” by Emily Skrutskie is the second book in a series, with “The Abyss Surrounds Us” being the first book. Now, I don’t normally review serial books for my column, but this one I’ve made an exception for since the story revolves around a pair of lesbian pirates.

Yes, lesbian pirates who raise sea monsters are what really caught my eye initially when it came to this book. I haven’t read any books where the special monster the protagonist raises is a sea monster, and most, if not all, of the popular young adult books current available have a heterosexual relationship as the main relationship focus. Skrutskie’s ability to weave their relationship into the action-packed plot was masterful.

Protagonist Cassandra Leung — Cas for short — was born and raised to be a Reckoner trainer. Reckoners are specially created sea monsters that were engineered to protect ocean ships. This was brought about as Cas’ world became more reliant on ships after global warming melted the polar ice caps. 

What is threatening the oceans’ ships? Pirates — lots of them which Cas raises a Reckoner for a band of pirates that kidnapped her. At the end of the first book, she joins their crew.

The opening of the second book has Cas training to take over the pirate ship called Minnow, and in competition with four other young pirates. Which one of them is her love interest, a girl named Swift.

However, what held my attention was Skruskie’s development of Cas. I was worried the sea monster aspect would turn out to be a gimmick, just a twist on the common young adult dystopian future genre. But Cas was a flawed and relatable character who couldn’t throw away her past, which is something that resonates with me. One of her moments of reflection in particular:

“Joining the Minnow was like throwing away the first seventeen years of my life, and at the time it felt necessary. It felt right. But if I survive the Hellbeast crisis and carry on with the pirates, I’ll be preying on the weak. I’ll be killing in the name of greed, and the first seventeen years of my life have made sure that I’ll never be able to justify that.”

These moments of introspection added depth to the story and kept me from feeling disconnected from the events in the book.

Another point I found in Skruskie’s writing style is she didn’t dwell on things that were normal in her story. There was no need to explain why two girls loved each other; they simply did. I found that refreshing, as many stories with LGBT characters have seemed to feel the need to justify the character’s orientation, which gets old quickly.

I completely recommend “The Edge of the Abyss,” which will be available for purchase April 18 for $11.99 and while you are waiting for it to come out, whet your appetite with the first book, “The Abyss Surrounds Us.”

Dixie Sun rating: 5 out of 5 suns

Managing money with roommates takes communication

In coming to college, most students find themselves living with others.

Living together can become especially hard when trying to divvy up who pays for what and when. The electric bill can’t have six people’s names on it, and you can’t split a couch in two after everyone goes their separate ways.

“I think the biggest mistake that people make with roommates, in general, is they don’t talk,” said Anthony de Gaston, a sophomore accounting major from Chicago.

Gaston said when his roommates first met each other, they made plans of who would be in charge of certain purchases.

“We basically sat down and said ‘O.K., you’ll buy dish soap for this amount of time and you’ll buy toilet paper,’” Gaston said.

Eria Smith, a junior communication major from Pasadena, said when it comes to products and groceries, it might be best for everyone to buy their own.

“It’s best not to messy everything up with groceries when you already have to worry about utilities and rent,” Smith said.

Costs like furniture, rent and utilities can become a little more complex when trying to split them among six people. Smith said although everyone should buy their own groceries and toiletries, splitting the cost of furniture just leads to conflict.

“The key to managing finances as roommates is sitting down and discussing it with them,” said Helen Saar, assistant professor of finance. “For example, if you buy a couch for $400 and each of your roommates pays $100 for it, you have to talk about what happens if someone moves out or where the money goes. It’s tricky.”

Smith said for her, it’s better for people to buy what they want to take with them when they move away.

Rasband said sharing the cost of an apartment is always nice because you’re saving money, having to rely on others is a big part of sharing apartments that scare people away.

“You have to come up with a set amount you’re each willing to pay,” said Joshua Rasband, a sophomore nursing major from Sandy.

Rasband said it’s nice to have cheaper rent, but you have to be careful who you trust.

“There are people who will swear up and down that they can pay and they will pay,” Rasband said. “But sometimes they will leave half way through the lease with no notice or they will just keep pushing [paying their rent] off.”

Rasband also said there’s no need to be passive-aggressive with roommates when they do something that makes you mad or when they owe you money.

“I’ve seen a lot of people putting memes over sinks for their roommates to do their dishes,” Rasband said. “I think if you go to that person and tell them what’s wrong or ask for the money they owe you, everything will go more smoothly.”

Rasband said the one piece of advice he would give anyone who is thinking about sharing an apartment with others can be used for anyone worrying about money.

“Especially don’t lend money to people you live with unless you know they’re going to pay you back,” Rasband said.

Saar said one of the major problems with budgets it that they need to be written out. She said apps like “Mint” are the best to help with budgeting.

“The problem with budgets is consistency,” Saar said. “I’ve had students who’ve had trouble — they go to a seminar about budgeting when they’re freshmen, but they never follow through with their budgets later.”

If you don’t sit down and discuss the budget with your roommates, the worst-case scenario is losing money and your roommates getting mad at you, she said.

“[Budgeting] is not a game,” Saar said. “This is not Monopoly money. This is real life.”

DSU softball burned by UNLV Rebels

Dixie State University fell to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, after the first ever matchup between the teams Wednesday.

After ending the first inning down two runs, the Trailblazers struggled to catch the Rebels.

Senior third baseman Arista Honey got the Trailblazers on the board with an RBI single in the top of the second inning.

DSU held UNLV at two until the Rebels added a home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Then senior outfielder Shelby Yung answered by hitting an RBI single to close the gap to 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth.

The Trailblazers had a chance to come back but failed to do so after leaving two runners on base in the top of the seventh.

“We want to win, and we feel like we should have won,” head coach Randy Simkins said. “We left some opportunities out there where we didn’t cash in on runs, and we should have.”

Junior outfielder Janessa Bassett, a biology major from Stansbury Park, said this game was good for the team because they got to see some better pitching, but DSU could have won if the team played a bit cleaner.

“The first inning was not our best,” Bassett said. “We had a couple of errors that would have made a difference. We also had situations where we had runners on base, and we didn’t execute.”

Eight of DSU’s last 12 games are against the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the Pacific West conference, so these games will determine who wins the conference title.

“Our plan is to handle the next eight games the way we’ve handled the last couple conference games,” said sophomore catcher Jessica Gonzalez, a general studies major from Kingsburg, California. “[By] winning every inning and pushing runners across by executing plays the way we know how.”

Gonzalez said as long as the team continues to hit well, stick to only giving its opponents three outs an inning by making routine plays on defense, and capitalizing on any mistakes they may make, then the odds should be in the Trailblazers’ favor.

DSU’s record is now 30-9, and its next game will be at home against Notre Dame de Namur University Saturday at noon an 2 p.m.

Failure to repeal Obamacare good for college students

Because of the inability of the GOP to successfully repeal Obamacare, we will be sticking with it for a while longer, and honestly, that is not such a bad thing.

Ever since November, the Republican Party has been desperately trying to replace the Affordable Care Act with a more conservative health care plan. What the GOP came up with was not in the best interest of low-income families and certainly not good news for college students.

Obamacare may not be perfect, but for students, it is an affordable and reasonable option. There must be options and opportunities for low-income families and college students included in any new health care initiative. Anything less would be detrimental to the incoming workforce of the U.S.

Obamacare is the most reasonable right now because of the cost, at least for young college students and the overwhelming proof of this is the inability of either party to put together and build consensus on a better option. The Affordable Care Act was implemented in 2010, in the last seven years nothing better has come to fruition.

Representatives from the Congressional Budget Office stated that the AHCA would have left an additional 24 Million Americans without health care coverage by 2026. That is bad news for the young and the poor.

I was curious about what would cost me and what coverage I could get. I googled “Obamacare” and entered in the necessary information. Within minutes I was talking to an insurance agent on the phone and got a quote on what it would cost me sign up for my own insurance plan. The package I was offered was as low as $50 per month.

The GOP health care plan, titled the “American Health Care Act,” would have sacked Medicaid expansion according to usatoday.com, which is where millions receive Obamacare coverage.

Now, it is true that with Obamacare, premiums did rise and a patient could not keep his or her physician in some cases. As a college student, I am not as focused on keeping the same doctor as I am about being able to get something checked out if I needed to. 

Let’s talk about rising premiums. This is something that, according to NBC News, only 15 percent of people would have to face due to federal subsidies designed to counteract rising costs. This simply means that the federal government is covering most of the costs instead of the citizens who are paying for the insurance. And even those who do see the rising cost can switch plans within the market exchange program to mitigate the cost.

While Obamacare may not be the ideal health care system for everyone, it is the best option out there for college students who can no longer cling to their parents’ insurance plans.

I have friends and roommates who have needed to see a doctor recently but declined the option altogether because of potential costs. That is all the evidence I need to see that although our current system is not great, it is a whole lot better than the newest alternative.

For the good of this country, the GOP needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with a more inclusive health care plan. And in the meantime, let’s keep Obamacare for the good of the college students.

In pageant trenches: D-Queen pageant offers opportunity to confront body image

Shapewear is a girl’s best friend, not diamonds.

I am sort of kidding. Before joining the D-Queen pageant, I didn’t even own shapewear, which is tight-fitting undergarment intended to control and shape the figure. This omission came not out of any sense of overwhelming body positivity mind you, but the lack came more from laziness and no occasion for it. Frankly, one of the high points of my wedding dress is that it comes with an excellent built-in corset, so I didn’t even need to think about shapewear for that special occasion.

However, as I went dress hunting over the weekend, and really had my stress-eating sins driven home as I tried on dresses and modeled for my oldest sister.

Usually I know how to dress my body to look decent. However, even my go-to styles were letting me down. Thankfully, my sister stuck through hours of shopping nonsense and found me a lovely dress. I was still disappointed in my body.

I’ve lost significant weight before. A few summers ago, I dropped 35 pounds and a few months later ran my first marathon. However, when you eat your feelings  and stress-eat, the weight tends to find its way back. So once I knew I wanted to participate in the pageant, I went right back to dieting mode.

It has been hard balancing needing to eating less to lose weight, but not getting addicted to restricting my food intake. I’ve struggled with my eating disorder for almost a decade now, and in high stress-moments, I will fight against not only overeating but severe restriction.

I always found the name EDNOS — eating disorder not otherwise specified — a silly description but accurate; it just isn’t as specific as anorexia nervosa.

However, I don’t want my pageant experience to be another sad story of a young woman vying for the spotlight and practicing dangerous eating habits. So in a way, participating in the D-Queen pageant has been an excellent way for me to learn how to better react to some of my eating triggers, such as catching myself sooner once I start thinking negative thoughts about my body.

It’s a fight, sometimes on an hourly basis, but I plan to stand on the stage with the other contestants while being happy, proud and in control.

Trailblazers burned by Rebels

Dixie State University fell to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas after the first ever matchup between the teams  Wednesday.

After ending the first inning down two runs, the Trailblazers struggled to catch the Rebels.

Senior third baseman Arista Honey, a finance major from Bothell, Washington, got the Trailblazers on the board with an RBI single in the top of the second inning.

DSU held UNLV until they added a home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Then senior outfielder Shelby Yung, a communication major from Upland, California, answered by hitting an RBI single to close the gap to 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth.

The Trailblazers had a chance to come back but failed to do so after leaving two runners on base in the top of the seventh.

“We want to win, and we feel like we should have won,” head coach Randy Simkins said. “We left some opportunities out there where we didn’t cash in on runs and we should have.”

Eight of DSU’s last 12 games are against the No.1 and No.2 teams in the Pacific West conference, so these games will determine who wins the conference title.

DSU’s record is now 30-9, and their next game will be against Notre Dame de Namur on April 8 at home. 

Wind becomes ally not villain in men’s golf win

Though normally the villain, the wind proved to be an ally for the Dixie State University men’s golf team in its first win of the season.

After practicing nearly every day in the wind for the last few weeks, the Trailblazers took their best knock-down shots and wind-breakers, Monday and Tuesday, to the University of San Diego SoCal Intercollegiate held at the Carlton Oaks Golf Club in Santee, California. 

In a 15 team field that had schools anywhere from Mississippi to Hawaii, DSU managed to land every one of its players inside the top 15. With the whole team finishing within four strokes of each other, the Trailblazers put together an impressive final team score of 881 (+17), two strokes better than second place. 

“I love to win!” said Dane Nelson, a junior exercise science major from Farmington. 

Freshman Jayce Frampton led the charge with impressive rounds of 76-73-71 to shoot an overall score of 220 (+4) to finish tied for 8th. Frampton said overall he and the team played really well this week and capitalized on opportunities to score when they presented themselves. 

“Like [our] coach said, our behavior on the course was awesome,” said Frampton, a business major from Centerville.

John Reid, a sophomore general studies major from Westminster, Maryland, said the team entered the tournament with a big advantage and extra confidence. Because the wind picks up every day at practice, Reid said the team has become acclimated to this style of golf. He said you just have to keep trying because every stroke counts. 

Now that DSU appears to be firing on all cylinders, the Trailblazers will try to continue to their top play as they seek to navigate their way into the possibility of playing in nationals.

Currently sitting in the 10th and final available spot for region qualifying, head coach Brad Sutterfield said it’s important the team keeps working hard even after a victory like this because of what lies ahead.

“Yeah, I don’t think we will ever be comfortable with the next two events,” Sutterfield said. “We have got to keep the peddle down and have good showings. We kind of try to put those things in the back of your mind, but obviously you need to think about them.” 

Sutterfield further added that the team will enjoy the victory over the next day or two and will get right back at it as the team aims for further and higher accomplishments. He said he was really impressed by his team and the amount of fight they had in them.

James Avis, a freshman finance major from Brisbane, Australia, said there is nothing the coach needs to do to motivate the players on this team to keep up the great play. The team is self-driven individually and collectively, he said. 

The Trailblazers will try to blaze the field once more in possible back-to-back victories in the upcoming Stanislaus State Invitational in Turlock, California on April 10 and 11.