Hundreds weeded-out in DSU’s semester ‘purge’

Approximately 460 students had their classes dropped for non-payment after failing to meet the tuition deadline on Aug. 24.

This occurrence is colloquially referred to as the “semester purge,” and it included any resident student with an account balance over $250 and any non-resident student with an account balance over $500, as well as any student who didn’t show up the first week.

Student Body President Cajun Syrett, a junior communication major from Bryce Canyon, warned students of this upcoming purge by way of the Dixie Insider posters in every bathroom stall on campus.

Darlene Dilley, the vice president of enrollment management, said students had received several notifications that their accounts needed to be paid by the first week of classes and that administrative withdrawal for non-payment is a common practice among colleges and universities across the country.

Tatum Scoville, a junior psychology major from Layton, was dropped from her classes this semester due to overdue summer tuition and said she personally didn’t feel like she’d been given very good notice.

“There was the typical email sent out that included my Dixie State tuition bill, but nothing that said ‘if you don’t pay your balance from summer semester, your loan will not carry over,’” Scoville said.

Being purged isn’t necessarily permanent, though. In fact, Dilley said 144 students have re-enrolled as of Aug. 29.

“We want to work with each student individually to ensure that there is a plan in place to cover tuition, both now and in the future, Dilley said. [And] the university does offer a payment plan option for students who do not have the funding to cover their entire account balance at the beginning of the semester.”

Scoville was one of the 144 students re-enrolled. She said her re-enrollment experience was fairly easy and only took about 20 minutes.

“The woman I talked to was super supportive and understanding, Scoville said. “The arrangement I made was a perfect solution for me, [and] I don’t think I’m going to have any future problems this year with the financial aid office.”

Approximately 316 students didn’t re-enroll, but this may provide opportunities for other students.

Dilley said: “Students who have paid their accounts gain access to classes that may have been full with seats taken by students who haven’t paid or do not plan to attend. The university benefits by better utilizing and allocating resources to support students.”

Students who wish to enroll in the payment plan can access the program online or contact Assistant Bursar Lisa Howard.

DSU student leadership, organizations get new uniforms

The start of a new school year is upon us, and some of Dixie State University’s organizations are  refreshing their wardrobes with a sporty, new style so they are more identifiable to the student body.

When walking around campus, one may notice a few students who wear uniforms, or shirts indicating they are on a sports team, or even part of a club. This is how we identify them as being in volleyball, football, soccer, or softball.

There is another group of students who wear uniforms as well, our student leaders and representatives of DSU. Their appearance is an integral part of the organization they belong to and its identity. In years past, the look of student leadership’s uniforms have changed and this year is no different.

The DSU Student Association has new navy blue polo shirts with a white stripe and a new navy blue “Dixie Life” T-shirt— a departure from the solid red or gray polos from recent years. DSUSA executive council members are also receiving a new athletic jacket.

“It was just a decision of what style we wanted and just a decision to have something that was for our year and that we liked,” said Brett Coleman, vice president of public relations.

DSUSA executive council members were able to have their choice of color, opting for something in the realm of DSU’s colors, Coleman said.

The Inclusive Student Leadership, or Multicultural Student Council, are also getting new polos, which are black with red in the armpit and back of the collar.

“The first year, we had a cotton polo, and with a lot of the work that we do with the outreach, the students wanted something that was a little bit more [breathable],” said Mike Nelson, Assistant Director of the Multicultural and Inclusion Center.

For the Ambassadors Association, visibility, identifiability and professionalism are the main function of their organizations dress said CJ Ferguson, Assistant Director of Student Recruitment and Ambassadors. Their uniform, a solid red Polo shirt and black slacks, is the only one that won’t change.

“The DSU logo on the shirt, as well as the name tag, makes [Ambassadors] approachable for prospective students to at least ask questions,” said Ferguson.

The Ambassadors uniforms may not change, but DSUSA’s uniforms change often. You may even spot some of the staff wearing swag like hats, and T-shirts from previous years. Coleman said there’s a reason why students will see that.

“We want our stuff to be something that students want to wear,” Coleman said. “We don’t want it to be stuff they have once and it’s only able to be used for the association. We want it to be something they can use for the rest of their lives, really.”

DSU athletic coaches discuss transitions

On Aug. 16, Keric Seegmiller, Dixie State University Media Relations Assistant, hosted the 2018 DSU Fall Sports Media Day, along with Devon Dixon from ESPN 97.7 FM, and Darren Cole, reporter for Southern Utah Today. Footage was streamed live on Dixie State Athletics YouTube page and Radio Dixie.

Seegmiller invited head coaches and select players from; football, volleyball, men and women’s soccer, and men and women’s cross country to discuss their views on the transition from the Pacific West Conference to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, also known as the RMAC.

When asked about the transition, Football Head Coach Shay McClure said, “Progress is made every day and in turn fewer mistakes are made.” DSU football was named fourth in the preseason poll.

For volleyball, the RMAC is a more defensive conference.

“This style focuses more on a safe offense and relies on mistakes made defensively,” Head Coach Robyn Felder said. Her well built team will “need to adjust to this style, but the change alone cannot defeat us.”

Cross Country and Soccer are excited for the opportunity to compete in such a competitive conference with National Champions and more local rivals like Westminster. Players like Alexa Ashton, from DSU women’s soccer are “from areas that surround Westminster and have played against these women our whole lives. Competing with them in the RMAC is going to be great.”

You can watch the full Media Day and stream the first football game against Colorado State-Pueblo, Sept. 1 at 6 PM at http://dixiestateathletics.com 

DSU student interns in Washington D.C.

Dixie State University Students are getting the opportunity to get an up close and personal look at the political process through an internship offered through the school.

In Spring 2016, DSU sent its first ever student to Washington D.C. as part of this offer. DSU Alumnus Jenz Bunnell was sent to shadow and represent Congressman Chris Stewart for a semester-long experience.

This internship is available to all major Utah colleges and universities. The application  requires students to submit a cover letter, a resume, a transcript, two letters of recommendation and a writing sample.

Politics and Public Affairs coordinator Henrie Walton said the interns have an “all-access pass to what’s happening on Capitol Hill.”

The internship requires participants to study the views of the congressperson or senator they’re representing, draft speeches, give tours of Capitol buildings, and sit in on briefings.

“The briefings were always interesting,” Bunnell said. “They would be on anything from bankers and businesses to Hillary Clinton’s emails.”

Bunnell said a majority of work given to the interns deals with constituent relations. The interns are trained in the views of the member they’re representing, and then draft responses to emails and phone calls from their perspective.

“It surprised me how complicated the government actually is,” Bunnell said. “There’s so many steps to getting everything done.”

Since Bunnell, two more DSU students have been awarded this opportunity. Braxton Kunde, a junior history major from St. George, is currently involved in the internship for the 2018 fall semester, representing  Stewart.

“[Stewart’s] office is great about involving interns,” Kunde said. “There was always something to do. I was always learning new stuff.”

Once completed, the internship helped push Bunnell toward his desired career path of working for Goldman Sachs.

“The internship led me to where I wanted to be,” Bunnell said. “I believe that’s what truly set me aside. It made me stand out in this super competitive recruitment process.”

Walton said he believes this internship leads to countless opportunities.

“This is something you can put at the top of your resume,” Walton said. “You can get good grades, you can get that diploma, but if you don’t have that real-world experience, you won’t be able to market yourself as effectively.”

Bunnell said he wants any students considering the scholarship to go for it.

“It doesn’t matter what major you are; if you’re interested in politics, being in this environment is extremely eye-opening. It’s a great experience,” Bunnell said.

Kunde said he believes this internship is the best way to further your political career at DSU.

“A lot of students think there’s no way to get into politics because there’s no political science program at [DSU],” Kunde said. “Just because there’s no direct pipeline to the top, doesn’t mean there’s no way to get involved. Talk to people.”

The internship is accepting applications for the 2019 school year from now until Nov. 20.

For more information, students can contact Henrie Walton at [email protected] or by phone at 435-879-4307.


G.E. classes treated differently than others

Students and professors can have a skewed view of one another, especially when it comes to general education courses.

The topics can be similar that of high school and are mostly core subjects, a foundation. The difference is in the way a teacher acts toward the class in comparison to how a professor might interact with students. In college, students are said to be treated like adults, like real-life functioning humans who happen to be taking classes.

However, having sat through a few G.E. classes, there have been times when a professor has looked at a class and said, “This isn’t high school anymore,” and continued with a lecture about tardiness, turning in papers, and not showing up to class. The tone tends to be either bored or scolding, depending on the professor.

Now in contrast, classes specific to a major or in an upper division, the professors seem to be more accepting and less harsh on the class. For example, I have had a professor continuously remind the class of a due date on an assignment for possibly weeks. Whereas, the same professor teaching an upper division course says the due date once, maybe twice and then continues on with the class.

It’s an unspoken rule that the student is taking the upper level or major specific class because they want to. G.E. classes are taken because they are a requirement and not necessarily a desire past wanting to graduate.

G.E. classes have always been introductory, but the professors can take them further. Just last week I sat down in my 9 a.m. general education class and listened to a lecture about the college life as if I haven’t been living it for the past year. I have been turning in assignments, studying, attempting to make it to class on time, and suffered the consequences of not acting like an adult in college.

Though G.E courses are required, there’s a way to get around the stigma of professors treating all of their students like freshmen when they teach the class. It can be off-putting and raise a negative attitude in the minds of students and the professor.

Going into a class with an open mind about the class as a student and as a professor would be beneficial to both parties. It will decrease making students feel lectured at and increase productivity on both ends. Simply put, all students need to be treated equally. As most of the students on campus are adults, being treated like an adult even when taking a G.E. course, should be mandatory.

This is not to say that all professors do this, and some may not even know what tone they are using or the effect it may have. However, being treated like a real-life-paying-my-own-bills-adult regardless of the class I’m taking should go without saying.

You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll: Splashing into “Brian Wilson”

By Stephen B. Armstrong

As primary songwriter for the Beach Boys in the ’60s, Brian Wilson composed some of the best-remembered pop songs ever recorded, including “California Girls,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” and “Good Vibrations.” But as the ’70s progressed, addictions to drugs, cigarettes and junk food, along with schizophrenia, impaired his ability to write new music.

In the mid-’80s, however, after years of psychiatric treatment, Wilson reemerged in public. He looked better. He was clean and sober. Medication helped him manage the distracting voices in his head. And his own voice, despite years of neglect and damage, could still hit notes in gorgeous fashion.

Sensing audiences would respond favorably to a solo album from the reclusive rock star, executives at Sire Records approached Wilson with a recording deal. Despite having written and produced hundreds of songs, Wilson had never released a full-length LP under his name alone, so he accepted the offer.

Sire sent in one of its staff producers, Andy Paley, to supervise the project. A veteran of the New York City punk scene, Paley had played guitar and sung on records with the Ramones and the Patti Smith Group. He was a longtime fan of the Beach Boys, too.

Along with co-producers Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman, Paley recruited a multitude of session musicians to work with Wilson. Wilson, in turn, went on to craft tracks with the likes of ELO’s Jeff Lynne and the Dream Academy’s Nick Laird-Clowes, who both shared his affection for polyphonic vocal arrangements.

The collection of songs that resulted from this effort, “Brian Wilson” (1988), stands out today as one of the most extravagant — and beautiful — rock records released during the Reagan era.

Packed with songs that address many of the same themes that permeated the Beach Boys catalogue — love, loneliness, even astronomy — “Brian Wilson” also features extensive use of what was cutting edge recording technology back in the ’80s.

Synthesizers, samplers and drum machines seep through nearly every song, imbuing them with a quasi-futuristic tone that betrays at once the influence of the experimental electronic composer Wendy Carlos and New Wave acts OMD and New Order.

The album’s standout track is “Love and Mercy,” a secular hymn about the need everybody has for being treated and treating others with kindness: “I was lying in my room / And the news came on TV / A lotta people out there hurtin’ / And it really scares me / Love and mercy, that’s what you need tonight.”

Longings for comfort and companionship surface on “Let it Shine,” as well, the song he wrote with Jeff Lynne. On this track, the middle-aged Wilson sings about a romantic infatuation: “There comes a burning fire / It fills me with desire / And all my troubles disappear.” As the song proceeds, a wall of electronic sound shot through with surf-style guitar riffs and descending piano runs  pulses around his peerless voice.

Now in his 70s, Wilson still records and tours — he played Tuachan Center for the Arts this past summer. Yet the dozen or so solo albums he’s released since “Brian Wilson” too often, sadly, pander to listeners who enjoy adult-contemporary soft rock. They are very safe, that is, and very commercial.

Not that all the later releases are duds. “Smile,” which came out in 2004, is a true thing of beauty. Yet in terms of emotion and invention, nothing Wilson has recorded as a solo act has ever managed to reach the same aesthetic heights as his quixotic and lovely debut.

Stephen B. Armstrong co-hosts “Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll with Katie ‘n’ Steve” Thursdays at noon on Radio Dixie 91.3.

Chick-fil-A moves to DSU

A new on-campus franchise will hit Dixie State University’s Trailblazers Cafe next semester: Chick-fil-A.

Paul Morris, vice president of administrative affairs, said the plan is to have Chick-fil-A on campus and available to students by mid-January.

The recent relocation of the salad and drink bars in the Trailblazers Cafe is just a part of the reconstruction plan in the works for Chick-fil-A, Morris said. Chick-fil-A will be located next to Blaze Grill and La Estampida on the cafe line. He said Chick-fil-A company architects have already begun the planning process to bring the Chick-fil-A kitchen into the space, and Deven Macdonald, local Chick-fil-A franchise owner and DSU donor, has been and will continue to work with DSU to offer guidance.

Macdonald said because DSU is a franchisee, his role will be more indirect, serving as a coach for DSU in making sure the operation is up to par.

Morris said there were three major criteria considered when deciding on new dining options on campus.

“Primarily we started with a student survey to gauge interest,” Morris said. “Another important factor was ownership: whether we can buy the franchise and Dixie State can own it as opposed to leasing space to another franchisee.”

Morris said ownership was a major factor so DSU could reserve more direct control over the operation while offering student employment positions.

The third criteria was cost, including up-front fees and royalties, not having anything to do with student tuition and the recent tuition increase. The only revenue used within the dining services is food sale revenue.

Martin Peterson, director of dining services, said company architects from Georgia created plans after doing a site inspection at DSU. The goal is to get the reconstruction started by Thanksgiving week. Peterson said the Chick-fil-A will offer between eight and 10 new on-campus employment positions. Because Chick-fil-A is closed Sundays, Trailblazers Cafe will begin closing its doors every Sunday as well but will begin operating Saturdays.

Peterson said although food chain franchise options, like Subway sandwiches, are more expensive than homegrown options, students choose chains.

“Students really want a name and food that they recognize,” Peterson said. “We used to have a sandwich option in our food court, but when we purchased the Subway franchise, our sales had a 400 percent increase.”

Likewise, Morris said students will appreciate having more dining options that are consistent, so students will know what to expect when they buy on campus.

Macdonald said, because the space is more limited, the on-campus Chick-fil-A will be an “express location” meaning there will be limited services while offering customers the same experience.

“It’s not going to be a full venue,” Macdonald said. “It won’t be the exact same thing, but, for the most part, it’ll be the same experience and same taste.”

Morris said DSU is also working toward sealing a deal with Pizza Hut. He said, optimistically, an on-campus Pizza Hut will be operational in January as well, although DSU has yet to confirm a contract as a franchisee with Pizza Hut.

“They gave us tentative approval this week, but we’re still waiting for documents and things,” Peterson said.

The Pizza Hut would provide about four on-campus work positions for students and would be located next to Chick-fil-A in the Gardner Center.

“Chick-fil-A is a great company to be working with, and they’ve got great principles and great food,” Peterson said.

Mad Pita Express offers unique food, atmosphere

Mad Pita Express, a local and family-owned Greek and Lebanese restaurant thrives off its fresh and unique food and family-centric atmosphere.

When you first step inside, you can’t miss the strong scent of mixed spices, and immediately long for the Mediterranean food. Noel Graham, restaurant manager and daughter in-law of the owner, credits the food that is cooked from scratch each day as one of the many successes of the restaurant.

When asked what has helped to have a successful business, Noel Graham said, “The recipes, the food is good, we have great quality products, and we keep a consistency.”

He said customers continue to revisit because it’s not a burger joint.

“They can’t get this food anywhere else in town,” Noel Graham said.

A quick glance at the menu and you would have no choice but to agree. Mad Pita Express offers a variety of Mediterranean dishes from Gyros, which is a mixture of beef and lamb meat topped with a cucumber tzatziki sauce along with tomato, parsley and onion, to a Greek salad and side dishes such as Pita bread.

A favorite dish recommended by customers and employees is the Spicy Chicken Pita. Employee Maddisen White said the spicy taste gives the chicken a kick of flavor without the spice being too overwhelming.

Justin Shettel, a frequent customer, deems the food as one of his favorite cuisines in St. George.

“I came here with my family a couple years ago, and it has become one of my favorite spots to eat. The food always tastes good and they’re quick to get it out to you, which is nice,” said Shettel.

One of the distinct qualities about Mad Pita Express is the close-knit family dynamic it exudes. Ever since husband and wife duo Basila and John Graham opened the doors of the restaurant, it has been run by members of their extended family. The Grahams opening of their restaurant was influenced by the cuisine of their respective nationalities. Basila Graham was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq, while John Graham is Greek and grew up in the Mediterranean.

“John [Graham] himself decorated the walls with pictures of the family and mementos,” Noel Graham said. “We want customers to feel welcome and feel like family.”

Feeling a part of the Graham family goes for both customers and employees.

“I love everything about working with this family,” White said. “They have so much love for each other, and together they put a lot of effort into making this restaurant do everything it can to continue to be successful.”

The family has thought about expanding the business to northern Utah, Lehi specifically, where they have more family members to take part in running the restaurant.

You can find Mad Pita Express next to the Pineview Megaplex theater at 2376 Red Cliffs Drive #316.


Innovation Plaza granted $1.75 million

A grant of $875,048 from the U.S. Economic Development Association was presented for the development of Innovation Plaza and matched by Dixie State University Trustees Lindsay and Laura Atwood.

The combined grant and donation amount to $1.75 million and will aide Innovation Plaza with installing a 10,000 square-foot laboratory for doing research in the medical, environmental and biotechnology fields.

“[The grant] does not cover construction [or] renovation,” said Kyle Wells, Dean of business and communication. “That’s what we’re working on now and are receiving numerous inquiries and raising funds for the renovation.”

According to a press release from June 21, the project’s ability to install both the laboratory and a 60,000 square-foot entrepreneurial maker space was made possible through regional planning efforts of the Five County Association of Governments funded by the EDA.

“Innovation Plaza would not be possible without this grant,” Executive Director Don Willie said. “The effort that went into securing the grant really was the catalyst to move the facility forward.”

Director of sponsored programs, Sylvia Bradshaw, said the Five County Association of Governments, several key community members, city officials, DSU faculty members, and business leaders attended a meeting held by Wells to brainstorm about the project and gauge the amount of support.

According to its website, the EDA’s mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda through the promotion of innovation and competitiveness in order to prepare the nation’s regions for success and growth in the worldwide economy.

The EDA has an open subscription grant called the Economic Adjustment Assistance, which assists state and local interests in the design and implementation of strategies to adjust or bring change to a region’s economy.

“We started working with the EDA in August of last year,” Wells said. “They were really interested in Innovation Plaza because despite the growth, and despite all the great things that are happening in Southern Utah, we are on their database as an economically distressed region.”

An economically distressed region is defined as a region in which 40 percent or more of the residents living in that region have an annual income at or below the poverty level. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s website, the poverty level in St. George as of 2016 was 15.5 percent.

“[Innovation Plaza] is a one stop shop when it comes to launching a business,” Willie said. “An individual really can take something from an idea to a successful business and get all of the resources in one building.”

The goal of Innovation Plaza is to provide a place where individuals of varying walks of life can take an idea they have, design it, build it and turn it into a business. This grant enables Innovation Plaza to be one step closer to realizing that goal.

DSU soccer ranks No. 5 in RMAC preseason polls

The Dixie State University soccer teams stood out in the Preseason Poll in the RMAC.

The DSU men’s soccer team  and woman’s  soccer team was ranked No. 5 out of 12 in the RMAC soccer Preseason Poll.

Jonny Broadhead, men’s soccer head coach, said the preseason polls are based on the previous year’s game stats and performance. Broadhead said  coaches send in their nomination of players to RMAC. Next the RMAC sends the poll to all the teams in the conference to vote and then the votes are tallied, and the awards are given out, Broadhead said.

“It’s an educated guess, and that’s the fun part about any sport,” Broadhead said. “It doesn’t mean much. You have to show up and play every day.”

The coaches saw how the men played and already in their mind know where the team fits in the RMAC,  Broadhead said.

Gerry Lucey, head coach of the women’s team,  said the team was not  in shape but they are praticing to be at their best potential for their games this season.  Lucey said they are improving over the weeks before their games. They do not  have any team goals but they will come as time moves forward, Lucey said.

Forward Moses Medina, a  junior communication major from Mesquite, Nevada, made the RMAC preseason all-conference team this year.  Medina said it’s motivating to have received this spot. Because of his team rank, he said it gives other teams this fear of  how well the other teams will be beaten.

“It’s a different season,” Medina said. “We are going to go in there exited. We have a stronger team this year. I think it will be a very successful season.”

Both coaches from the teams said their teams are ready and to bring on the competition.

Broadhead said his players are confident about winning their games and he is also confident in their ability to win.

The first game of the season for the men’s team is at Texas-Permian Basin on Thursday. The woman’s team first game of the season is a three-game Southern California trip, which starts at California State San Bernardino on Thursday.

For more information, visit the Dixie Athletics page.