The College Investor: What is compound interest?

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… he who doesn’t… pays it,” said Albert Einstein, one of the smartest men in human history. Despite his words, few people know what compound interest is and even fewer understand its power.

So what is compound interest?

Quantitatively, compound interest is represented by exponential growth. In other words, each increase builds upon previous increases, creating a snowball effect.

Peter Kaufman, respected investor and author, has qualitatively defined compounding as, “Dogged, incremental, constant progress over a very long time frame.” This is where the saying “get one percent better every day” comes from. In fact, improving by one percent each day would leave you nearly 38 times better after only one year.

But how does compound interest affect your life, and in what areas?

Compounding influences many aspects of life, including wealth, wisdom, fitness, longevity, and happiness.

In wealth, for example, $1,000 invested at seven percent compounded annually will turn into more than $57,000 after 60 years. The same amount earning 15 percent annually will turn into more than $4.3 million.

To illustrate the long-term power of compounding, we will look at an example in US real estate. In 1626, the Dutch purchased the island of Manhattan from the Native Americans for $24. If the Native Americans had invested their $24 at a compounded rate of seven percent annually, they would have over $7.9 trillion today. This is the power of compound interest.

It’s difficult to measure the impact of compounding in areas of life such as wisdom, fitness, longevity, and happiness, but the majority of those who achieve success in these areas harness the power of compound interest.

Wisdom comes from learning, through your own experiences and those of others, and the wisest people often read and think deliberately and often.

Fitness and longevity reward those who are constant with their workouts and nutrition.

The happiest individuals invest high-quality time in their relationships and compound the joy that comes from them.

A compounding approach to self-improvement has led to incredible results for many people. Compounded outcomes are unimpressive in the beginning and jaw-dropping in the end.

Bill Gates sums it up nicely by saying, “Most people overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a lifetime.”

You will be rewarded for taking the time to learn about compound growth and applying a constant, disciplined approach to self-improvement.

Campus police combat drug abuse on, off campus

There were a total of 62 drug-related arrests on campus property and in on-campus housing in 2017, according to Dixie State University’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

Blair Barfuss, DSU’s chief of campus police, and Seth Gubler, director of housing and resident life, said the most commonly abused substances on campus are alcohol and marijuana due to the easy accessibility.

Popularity of drugs depends largely on availability,” Barfuss said. “The St. George area has a higher-than-average amount of heroin and methamphetamine usage in addition to prescription opioid abuse, which can bleed over into the university’s geographical reporting area.”

In 2018, Barfuss said there have been roughly 30 marijuana or drug-paraphernalia-related arrests and 40 alcohol-related arrests. He said most of the arrests happen at events like the Foam Dance or Chaos.

“This is because many students show up intoxicated or bring marijuana to the events, where we have many officers ready to handle these types of concerns,” Barfuss said.

Despite the increase in arrests from 2017 to 2018, Barfuss said this doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in drug and alcohol use on campus.

“… Since I began as the new chief of police we have changed how dispatch services work, how police reporting occurs, and implemented many policy and procedures, to get the DSUPD closer to where a police department should be,” Barfuss said. “This means our numbers are increasing because of how our reporting occurs. What we are doing well in is creating documentation and statistics of police action which has never been done adequately in the past.”

Barfuss said although campus police are pulling university resources to help prevent drug and alcohol use on campus, the current staffing does not allow for extensive preventative measures.

“Outside of working with the Health and Wellness Center, criminal justice programs, and simple patrols, our staffing does not currently allow us to take preventative measures,” Barfuss said. “Remember, we only have four officers working patrol duties which means their time is very limited for proactive preventative teaching or trainings.”

A student at DSU using the pseudonym Mike said he has purchased and smoked cannabis recreationally.

“Everybody, everybody has weed on campus,” Mike said. “It’s not hard to get at all. You just have to ask.”

Mike said he buys from quite a few sources with no regular merchant.

“It’s almost like you hang out with the people who do that stuff,” Mike said. “I’ve never met someone who is super against weed. It’s legalized in most places and now in Utah, medically.”

Barfuss said opioid addiction is becoming increasingly common around the nation, but heroin usage and overdoses are more highly concentrated in Utah. Opioid addiction, however, can stem from very legal sources, he said.

“The opioid epidemic is not just a ‘Utah’ issue,” Barfuss said. “The opioid epidemic is nationwide and affects DSU’s students and staff like all other schools throughout the United States. We have people who were injured in car wrecks, mountain bike accidents, etc., and they become addicted to legally prescribed medication. Once the medication is not refilled by doctors, they seek relief through heroin. It is a very scary cycle.”

Overall, Barfuss said there are local entities working non-stop to ensure the safety of the community.

“DSUPD is an active member of the Washington County Drug Strike Force, which does a phenomenal job monitoring the drug flow in and out of the St. George area, and arresting those responsible for supplying illegal drugs to our community,” Barfuss said.

Gubler said he is starting the conversation about the dangers of drug abuse on campus by inviting experts from Intermountain Healthcare to speak with students and posting information and resources in and around campus housing.

“I think the more people talk about it, the less it’s something hidden in corners and hopefully, if anything, at least one person is better off for that,” Gubler said. “Sometimes raising a voice isn’t hurting someone, [but] it’s helping them. I hope that [students] would feel comfortable talking to an adviser, a professor [or] someone that might be able to help take those steps to try to make a situation better than what it is.”

If you or someone you know is battling substance abuse, reach out to the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Helpline or anonymously report through DSU’s “Report a Concern” webpage.

Ohio abortion bill a political travesty, deadly warning for women all over America

Mandatory motherhood isn’t beneficial to anyone, especially children.

Despite this overwhelmingly true statement, the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 258, which would make it punishable by law to abort a pregnancy with a detectable fetal heartbeat. This bill would demand women carry the child to term.

The bill challenges earlier precedent set forth by the Supreme Court in 1973 known as Roe v. Wade, in which “the highest court in the land” made a 7-2 decision that women have a legal right to abortion under the Constitution.

In this case, forced childbirth and mandatory motherhood have nothing to do with religion or genuine sympathy for the unborn child. Instead, Representative Christina Hagan wants to force her belief that all women should be mothers and childless women are lazy and selfish down the gullet of every person in the United States.

Hagan argues that motherhood is a difficult but “necessary” part of a woman’s life and stated mandatory motherhood will help to ensure a stable population for the human race. However, there are some glaring holes in this argument.

First and foremost, 60 percent of women looking to abort a pregnancy already have one or more children in the home. Of the other forty percent, most of the women are looking forward to having children in the future, but want to obtain financial and interpersonal stability before bringing a child into the world.

Secondly, the human population is just fine; the Earth is overpopulated. As a species, we can hold off on children for a little while and be okay.

The reason this “pro-life” bill is so controversial, besides the obvious attempt to control the bodies and minds of women, is because it would make performing or undergoing the abortion procedure a capital offense punishable by death.

The bill is so pro-life it will kill you.

Also, making the cut-off the moment a fetal heartbeat is detected sets the deadline at 6 weeks. Most women don’t even know they are pregnant until 7-11 weeks, giving the potential mother little to no time to decide and pigeon-holing her into carrying a child she might not be able to economically afford or emotionally support.

Mandatory motherhood would undoubtedly cause a rise in childhood abuse and assault, and the women and children of the women forced into childbirth would presumably suffer from mental illness.

Parents experiencing financial stress lead to children with higher rates of depression and anxiety because stress affects the way parents raise their children. Whether it is subconscious or not, stress causes parents to lash out at their children, and this bill would force a lot of single mothers and new couples into taking on a lifetime financial burden they didn’t necessarily plan for.

Call your representatives and let them know that not only is this bill not okay for Ohio now, but it will never be okay in any other state. Even though the November elections are over, we still have a voice; we still have a say. Exercise your rights everyday, not just on election day, and help advocate for women whose voices are not heard, or at the very least, not respected.

“Merry Christmas” proper greeting, shouldn’t be censored

People all over the world should be able to wish each other a “Merry Christmas” without fear of offending one another.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe any certain religion or its holidays are more prevalent or important than any others. There has just been an enormous amount of backlash in recent years regarding Americans’ apparent overuse of “Merry Christmas” as their primary season’s greeting.

The majority of people who face the dilemma of whether to say “Merry Christmas” or some other form of “Season’s Greetings” are not people you run into on the street or your cashier while getting coffee. Corporate America — the big companies such as Walmart, Target, etc. are the ones worried about what they put on their holiday ads and what they allow their employees to say.

For many parts of the world, Christmas is not necessarily a reference to the religion of Christianity, but rather, a season. According to an article written by The Guardian,  “the saying in Britain seems to have lost its religious meaning. People say it regardless of whether or not they celebrate Christmas, and businesses feel no remorse whatsoever at openly calling things ‘Christmas sales’ or ‘Christmas parties’.”

While I personally do not condone the over-commercialization of the holiday, often times when we speak of Christmas, it’s not a nod to the birth of Jesus Christ but rather the time of year when we bundle up in coats and beanies and drink hot chocolate. There is nothing wrong with wishing someone a happy winter time, right?

Unfortunately, some people still do think this is wrong. In fact, according to the Chicago Tribune, in polls taken this month, the country near-exactly split. The results were 47 percent for “Happy holidays” and 46 percent for “Merry Christmas.”

The world we live in today is extremely careful to be politically correct, which is not a bad thing by any means. Appreciation and respect for all cultures and ways of life is more prevalent today than it ever has been in years past. However, in an effort to not offend anyone, we are losing so much of what makes our country unique. We have so much diversity and variety throughout the United States that should be celebrated.

The bottom line is you can’t quite sum up the meaning of Christmas in a short article in a newspaper. However, you can definitely sum up what it is not. It’s not intentional exclusion of other religions or trying to offend those who do not celebrate. Those who wish others a Merry Christmas and truly mean it would have the same respect and appreciation when they are wished a happy Hanukkah, merry Kwanzaa or any other form of happy holidays. The best response is always a genuine “thank you.”

College choice doesn’t matter

College has always been known as the time where students can choose what they do, how they do it, where they want to go and why, but where students go might not make as much of a difference as they’d think.

Though school pride and family traditions may affect the choice an individual makes, with undergraduate schools the name alone doesn’t matter.

Other activities, like making life-long friends, getting involved in extracurricular activities, finding a mentor and working with professors who make the students’ education their priority is more beneficial and can make the person happier in the long run, according to an article by QUARTZ.

Abby Nielsen, a sophomore art major from Ogden, said: “It’s all about the people you surround yourself with. Each person has a completely different experience even if they all go to the same school because they interact with different people.”

Being happy during and after college is determined by more than the school itself. Every college has clubs and activities it offers for its students, encouraging them to not only make friends but perhaps find a passion that continues on after college as well. At Dixie State University, the fashion club, the pagan club, the M.I.C. and DSUSA are just a few of the clubs and organizations that offer unique activities around campus.

With the variety of professors students work with throughout their college career, finding a few or even just one who shows a professional interest in their academic success can be encouraging. Professors can also double as mentors, which can build a unique bond and maybe even a life-long friendship, creating an overall better college experience.

Ryan Bauer, an alumnus who graduated in 2017, said he found his mentor while studying history. Bauer said they still talk to this day.

Another way to get the most out of your college experience is to make friends, possibly life-long ones.

Students can also meet people from different walks of life, making connections that might come in-handy in the professional world.

Hannah Goodfellow, a freshman athletic training major from Salt Lake City, said, “The connections you make in college are more important than the college you go to because of how it can build you up personally.”

When trying to really experience college and all it has to offer, joining clubs, putting oneself out there and finding the right people, whether they be mentors or something else entirely, is what matters. It’s not about where students go to college, it’s about what they do once they get there.

DSU women’s swim makes a splash during invitational

The Dixie State University swimming team is making its mark here while competing alongside teams in the RMAC.

Kelsea Wright, a freshman nursing major from American Canyon, California, said the team has done well so far.

The team came in third out of the five teams at the PCSC relays. The next meet, PCSC Pentathlon, they came in fifth out of six teams. Then at the Pepperdine Malibu invitational the team was No. 2 out of the seven teams. At the Colorado Mesa A3 Performance Invitational, the team was No. 4 out the seven teams there.

Miriam Gonzalez, a sophomore secondary arts major from Murrieta, California, said at the beginning of the season she felt like it was going to be hard because of all the freshman who joined the team, but now she loves the season and  loves everyone.

Wright said this season so far is different than her previous seasons.

“This has been personally one of my best swim seasons,” Wright said.

Wright said she does not usually do this well in the beginning meets. She said she is excited to go to the conferences meet because she wants to see what else the team is capable of and she thinks the team can break more records.

The swim team has, as of now, set eight new records. The first four new records occurred before their meet on Nov. 16-18.

DSU set a new school record in the 3×100 back, setting the new record time to 3:01.86. They then broke the school 3×500 free standard record with 16:39.43. Audrey Hyde, a junior from Wenatchee, Washington, broke the DSU school record in the 25 free swim with a fourth-place win of 11 minutes and 75 seconds. At the same meet the team also went on to create a new 3×100 fly record with 3:03.71 in the first race of the opening meet. DSU set one more school standard and recorded a total of 16 top-10 program marks to take fifth in the team competition with 84 points in the opening meet.

Five more new records were created at the Colorado Mesa A3 Performance Invitational at the CMU El Pomar Natatorium on Nov. 16-18.  There is a new 400 yard freestyle relay team time of 3:30.18. Wright also broke the DSU 100 free record with a 52.19 opening leg. Junior Katie Pack  also collected two school records in the 1,650 free as she broke her own event record by nearly 18 seconds with a time of 17:33.61 to place second overall. In addition, she recorded a 1,000 yard split time of 10:37.18. And Rebecka Anderson, a freshman from Green River, Wyoming, made her mark in DSU’s 200 backstroke all-time list with a time of 2:06.00.

Coach Tamber McAllister said the season is going great so far.

“It’s only the beginning,” McAllister said. “I am excited for the rest [of the season].”

She said she is happy to see what happens with the team because there are many freshman who joined this year.

Gonzalez said the team trains harder one week and tones down their practice before a meet to be ready for the meet.

The team is focusing on the skill details, which most of them have not done in the past, to become faster at swimming, McAllister said.

Wright said she prepares for a meet by visualizing the goal and believing in herself. She said she is trying not to stress and freak out before her meets.

“I used to freak out most of the time… this meet I’m trying to stay as calm as I can,” Gonzalez said. “Freaking out makes me stress. I’ve been trying not to think about [the meet] at all. I still come to practice and train hard and focus on the meet without the stress.”

This is only the third season for swim at DSU.

“It’s such a young program, a lot of people don’t know about our program,” McAllister said. “The more people we recruit and sign from other states, the more our [team] name is out there.”

McAllister said she hands out flyers to other coaches with the team information to let them know about the team.

Wright said many people around her here have no idea that DSU has a swim team until they find out she’s on the team. She said the team recruits swimmers at meets and more clubs are getting to know about them because of this.

McAllister said she does not have experience with the other teams that will be competing with them in the RMAC.  She said the conferences will help her know about the other teams and give her a feel as to how competitive it will be in upcoming meets.

The next meet, the San Diego Shootout,  is Jan. 5 at the USD Sports Center Pool in San Diego, California.

Head football coach’s contract not renewed, reasons for dismissal unclear

Athletic Director Jason Boothe announced Nov. 12 that the football coaching staff will not be coming back next year despite the team’s success this season.

Their reason for being let go was classified under “non-renewal for no cause”. Head coach Shay McClure said he and his staff were not given any actual reason for being let go. All the coaches had meetings with the athletic department, but none of them were told exactly what had gone wrong, McClure said.

“There are no contracts,” McClure said. “We are at-will employees. So they are allowed to let us go at any time for any reason, or in my case for no reason.”

For all members of the football team, the news came as a shock, McClure said.

“It was all very sudden,” McClure said. “My players were asked to go to an assembly, and they thought they were going to be congratulated on a great season. But instead they were told their entire coaching staff was fired, it just doesn’t make sense. All of us, coaches and players alike, were totally blindsided.”

McClure led the DSU team to a 7-3 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record this season, the best season in the teams NCAA history. Triumphs on the field aside, Boothe said he wants to make sure all aspects of the team, including academic performance and the welfare of the students, are all up to expectations.

McClure said he feels between himself and his coaching staff, all aspect were being taken care of.

“To say that a focus on academics was lacking in our program, I would say that is absolutely not true,” McClure said. “We met with our guys every week to make sure they were taking care of business just as much off the field as they were on it.”

Several rumors surfaced regarding why he was being let go, however McClure addressed these.

McClure said:”I know many people have been saying that there were some issues with me allowing players to compete without being cleared, due to injury. All I have to say about that is that it is absolutely not true. I never, nor could I, allow a player to compete when they were not able.”

Coach McClure said he felt the people who would be affected by this the most are the players, and he worries for them. They will not have anyone working with them until they find a replacement, which could take a while, so they will be missing out on a lot of training, McClure said.

“It’s just sucks to talk about because I wish there was a way to get all our coaches back,” said Shiloh Pritchard, a senior criminal justice major from American Samoa. “And now I feel like everything we changed here at [DSU] in these last three years was for nothing.”

Pritchard said he feels the coaching staff did a lot for DSU and could have continued to build an amazing program given the chance.

“It’s hard to build a championship team, and that’s what really affects [the team] because we were finally on the right path,” Pritchard said. “This team was a family that was only going to get better. And that was all because of Coach McClure and the staff that he brought in”

Boothe said he is grateful for McClure’s service to DSU and the search for a new coach will begin immediately.

Plagiarism consequential at DSU

Academic crime, which includes plagiarism and cheating, can affect much more than students’ academic records at Dixie State University. It can affect people’s ability to get a job or even go back to school later in life.

Ryan Hobbs, director of distance and digital learning, said DSU outlines the importance of plagiarism in each class’ syllabus and has a part in student orientation geared toward letting students know about plagiarism and what it is.

Citing correctly and avoiding plagiarism is part of being a professional, English professor Ami Comeford said.

“Learning how to do that in a more low stake environment, opposed to having someone notice that when [the students] are in a professional climate then it cost them their job, career [and] reputation,” Comeford said.  “It’s better in this environment, where it’s about learning [and] about figuring about the mistakes [they] make and then having the opportunity to be better without those consequence in a professional environment.”

Types of plagiarism

Comeford said students take two tracks when they chose to plagiarize: unintentional or intentional.

The first track, unintentional, is mostly seen in beginning English classes, Comeford said. It occurs when students take some else’s research and words without understanding the need to cite it, she said.

“What I see more often, is students don’t understand that they can’t take sentences and change a few words,” Comeford said. “[And] somehow it’s theirs. And [the students] don’t understand that is also plagiarism.”

Comeford said the second track is intentional, or “wholesale.” She said this happens when a student takes a large amount from others’ work and copy-pastes it on their paper. She said this usually happens when the student does not have time before the paper is due. Sometimes students just take other students’ work and turn it in for theirs because they don’t want to write it, Comeford said. 

Catching the crime

Professors have their different methods on how they teach plagiarism and citing to their classes, Comeford said.

Software platforms and past papers of the students can be used to find out if plagiarism has happened in the student’s paper, Comeford said. The software platforms highlight phrases or sentences that are from other works which the students have copied and pasted into their paper. DSU has bought a platform called Turnitin. 

Hobbs said, “The faculty are strongly encouraged to use [Turnitin], but it’s implied in the assignment settings and lets the faculty member check against thousands and millions of recorders [to evaluate] to see if plagiarism has taken place or not.”

The professors can then tell if the turned-in work is like other works the student has turned in before and if not, then they know that the student did not write the paper in full and can do as they see fit, Comeford said.

“Everyone has a distinctive writing style,” Comeford said. “They also have distinctive strengths and distinctive weakness. And when you see those things [changed] midway through a paper or in a couple of paragraphs, you realize that maybe there is a problem there.”

Testing Center Director Tamron Lee said the testing center also has measures in place to catch suspicious activity. Lee said that there are measures students do not notice or take into account when they come to the testing center such as cameras, lock-down browsers and surveyors.

If professors feel like a student cheated, they can request to check the cameras to see if they are right and if they are right they can give the student a different grade, Lee said. 

The testing center has not seen students plagiarizing because the student has to bring the work they want to copy in a USB and the testing center would catch it.

“Once [the students] get accustomed to [proper citing], they understand that it’s not that hard [to avoid plagiarizing others’ works],” Comeford said.


Comeford said there are resources available to students to help learn about how to cite correctly avoid plagiarism when needed. The resources are:

AI poses real, terrifying threat to human species

It’s easy to underestimate the dangers of artificial intelligence. Sci-fi films featuring naked Austrian terminators and murderous robots crushing human civilization have made the whole idea seem fanciful, fun and a tad bit sexy.

But in reality, AI is a tangible, unregulated invention that could quickly spiral out of control, threatening the continued survival of the human species. Without proper regulation and oversight, and fail-safes and design philosophies put in place that ensure AIs have similar goals and values to humans, they could eventually destroy us.

And yet, one of the biggest problems surrounding the potential danger super-intelligent AI poses is that it is not taken seriously.

Author and neuroscientist Sam Harris, in his TED talk about the potential dangers of AI, said, “Rather than being scared, most of you will find what I’m talking about is actually kind of cool.”

I was initially guilty of this. Who doesn’t get a kick out of imagining bipedal, human-like robots carrying out a robotic apocalypse? It seems unbelievable. But the threat is much more grounded, and already visible today, even without AI having surpassed human creativity and inventive aptitudes. AI algorithms choose what articles we see on social media websites, what videos are recommended to us on platforms like YouTube and Netflix, and what ads we see when surfing the web.

These seemingly mundane tasks could be tailored and controlled by people wanting to do anything from influence elections and public opinion to pushing their own products and services at the cost of others without access to equivalent AI resources. And if a simple algorithm can prove that powerful, imagine a super-intelligent AI in control of national defense, government spending or party planning.

The statistic given by many AI experts and researchers for when AI will surpass human intelligence is around 50 years. It may seem like this problem should be a concern for future generations, but that milestone is not as far off as it seems — it may only take 50 more years before I finally graduate college.

Our biggest fears surrounding AIs and machines is not that our food processors will suddenly want to make people puree, or that toaster ovens will actively commit arson to snuff out their human overlords — those fears are likely only to manifest themselves in my nightmares. Rather, it’s that humans and super-intelligent AI will simply have different objectives, and the “slightest difference between their goals and our own could destroy us,” Harris said.

Civilization would have to be destroyed to prevent us from improving on our technologies, including AI, further, Harris said.

“And at a certain point we will build machines that are smarter than we are,” he said. “And once we have machines that are smarter than we are they will begin to improve themselves.”

According to entrepreneur and inventor Elon Musk, “I’m really quite close to the cutting edge of AI, and it scares the hell out of me. It’s capable of vastly more than anyone knows, and the rate of improvement is exponential.”

The “rate of improvement” is in reference to an AI’s ability to potentially learn and research at a rate that dwarfs that of any human scientists or thinkers. Eventually, we may be unable to keep up with, or curb the advancement of AI.

Harris compared the differences between super-intelligent AI and humans to the differences between humans and ants.

“Whenever [ants’] presence seriously conflicts with one of our goals… we annihilate them without a qualm,” he said.

Philosopher and technologist Nick Bostrom, in his TED talk on the potential dangers of AI, said, “Once there is superintelligence, the fate of humanity may depend on what the superintelligence does.” Because of super-intelligent AI, or machine intelligence being able to improve itself and invent things on its own, “machine intelligence is the last invention humanity will ever have to make,” Bostrom said.

The danger, then, is if the AI does not share our values, and so invents and does things contrary to the well-being of the human species. The example, told slightly differently by AI researchers and experts the world over, goes something like this:

We create an AI whose sole objective is to help students graduate college. At first, it may provide tutoring to students in need, help tailor their class schedule to their biological clock, and motivate them with messages of encouragement and inspiration. But, as the AI becomes more powerful and intelligent, it may feel the need to take over all colleges, putting in place extremely strict admission demands on prospective students, firing tenured professors to replace them with ultra-efficient, robotic lecturers that sign any last chance agreements presented to them and work on pennies of electricity a day.

“Mark my words: AI is far more dangerous than nukes,” Musk said. “So why do we have no regulatory oversight? It’s insane.”

As DSU students, and future (and current) members of a technocratic society, be wary of the grave possibilities an unregulated AI-driven future can bring, and do your best to battle past the mental imagery of rogue home appliances and bipedal battle bots. You are in a unique position to choose your field and tailor your future. Consider a future that helps alleviate the problems that will burden our future society, or speak out against our reckless abandon regarding the development of AI.


DSU strives to be better about sexual assault

In past years, Dixie State University has reported in its Clery Report very few sexual assault numbers. In fact, in 2015 there were allegedly zero reports to campus representatives of rape, statutory rape, incest or fondling.

However, Chief of Police Blair Barfuss said there are two things most universities across the country are concerned with: mass shootings and sexual assaults.

“I would say every campus has a sexual assault problem,” said Elizabeth Bluhm, sexual assault advocacy coordinator. “Exacerbated, I would say, in Utah schools in particular.”

Bluhm said a few of the reasons the reports are so low are negative, inaccurate stigmas and myths. Some of these include:

  • Men can’t be raped.
  • The victim liked it if a physical arousal was present.
  • Religious consequences, such as losing purity.
  • It is a consequence of misbehavior (what victim was wearing, doing, drinking, etc.).

Title IX coordinator Cindy Cole said another reason the numbers are so low is that DSU is a relatively safe school, especially since the hiring of Barfuss just 6 months ago.

Barfuss, replacement of Don Reid who served DSU for 42 years, said he is very familiar with handling sexual assault cases.

“My background and history is in special victim investigations,” Barfuss said. “I have worked in the sexual assault realm of policing for many, many years.”

He said police officers are now doing about two to three trainings a month and are hoping to involve students with preventative and educational measures starting next fall.

Bluhm said this is one area DSU could do better at.

“I think [DSU] really needs to a do a little as far as prevention,” Bluhm said. “People should be talking about [consent] all the time, every form, at every level.”

Besides training, Barfuss said the campus police are also trying to partner with the start by believing campaign, which strives to end the cycle of silence in sexual assault.

DSU offers a myriad of resources to survivors of sexual assault that include:

  • Free, short-term counseling through the health and counseling center
  • Remedial measures, such as providing deadline extensions and escorts
  • Anonymous reporting, which can be accessed at the bottom of DSU’s homepage
  • A Title IX coordinator with an open-door policy located at S.J. Atkin Administration room 107
  • A Dove Center Advocate available on campus every Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. in the Jeffery R. Holland Centennial Commons in room 489

“[DSU] just wants to make sure that the student is doing okay in school and that their scholastic experience is going okay and that if they are having trouble in school we want to help them with that,” Cole said.

The Dove Center also offers resources such as:

  • Long-term counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Victim advocacy
  • Shelter
  • And more

“My big thing is report it; even if you aren’t comfortable, or if you are concerned or if you have questions, report it and let’s have the discussion,” Barfuss said. “Come in knowing that you are not going to be judged, [or] viewed differently and that confidentiality is most important.”

If you or a loved one has been affected by sexual assault, contact campus police at (435) 236-4000, Cindy Cole at (435) 652-7731 or Elizabeth Bluhm at (435) 668-5081. Scheduling a free therapy session through the health and counseling center is also available at (435) 652-7755.

If it is an emergency, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.

Other useful numbers include:

  • The national suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Crisis text line: text ‘HOME’ to 741741