‘Red Rock Haunt’ spooks visitors in unique way

The season of ghosts, goblins, pumpkins and apple cider is upon us, and a new haunt has made its spooky entrance to the St. George area.

Red Rock Haunt, conveniently located off freeway exit two, gives visitors and residents a chance to really be scared this Halloween season.

When you first walk into the haunt, you are instantly immersed in a much spookier world. The haunt has an eerie cemetery, skin-walkers creeping up from behind, an insane asylum with disturbing residents, haunting movie characters such as Freddie Kruger and Pennywise, and the classic man with a chainsaw chasing you.

“I think what customers will find when they come into Red Rock Haunt is that we are doing something a little more than they are used to in this part of the state,” Owner Bart Cox said. “We have some large custom animatronic characters, pepper’s ghost effect, a black light section … it’s just going to be a lot of fun.”

Cox said his journey with haunted houses began back when he lived in Salt Lake City, but when he moved to St. George, he felt like a haunt is what was missing.

“I think what customers will find when they come into Red Rock Haunt is that we are doing something a little more than they are used to in this part of the state,”

Bart Cox, Red rock haunt owner

“I have had friends and family telling me that I should get something started down here in the St. George area, but I didn’t think we had enough of a customer base to really support it,” Cox said. “So last year I did some work with another haunt in the area and found that the numbers were really good and it pushed me to a point where I said, ‘hey let’s give this a try.’”

Manager Cynthia Gleason said that she was really excited about helping open a haunted house in St. George because she knew it was going to be something St. George residents were going to be excited about.

“Red Rock Haunt is unique and different,” Gleason said. “We feel like it is the first of its kind in St. George and we want to spread the word about it.”

Gleason said there are currently about 20 cast members, but the hope is that as the years go on and the haunt becomes bigger they will have even more cast members.

Kila Atkin, a cast member for Red Rock Haunt, said what makes her experience working at Red Rock Haunt so great is all of the friends she has made and the exciting atmosphere the haunt creates for both the employees and the customers.

“My favorite thing to do is run around or follow customers and just be that extra scare,” Atkin said.

While the haunt is open to customers of all ages, Gleason said parental discretion is advised.

“Our vision is bigger than being open just this year,” Cox said. “We would like to create an experience down here in St. George that’s the Southern Utah big thing for Halloween every year.”

Red Rock Haunt is open every day from 7 p.m. to midnight starting Oct. 3 until Halloween. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit redrockhaunt.com.

New podcast booth available for use by DSU, community

Radio Dixie has a new creative outlet for students and the community. Featuring professionallevel equipment and programs, the podcast booth is a cheaper alternative for everybody.

Shawn Denevan, director of Dixie Radio, designed and made a regular recording room into a podcast booth. The construction started in July and was completed in August. He began the renovations after making portable mobile recording units for local high schools such as Snow Canyon High School, Pine View High School and Saint George Academy.

Denevan said the easy to use interface of the recording units gave him the idea for the booth.

“The idea started over the summer,” Denevan said. “I wanted to make something that everybody could use and show them how. “

The podcast booth is a recording room with four microphones set up side by side, two cameras to capture both sides of the booth, and a third camera to capture a wider complete shot of the booth. The booth also features a dual monitor computer with a sound mixer and microphone. The walls of the booth are covered in acoustic soundproof foam panels that help the recordings be crisp and clear.

“[Students] can record quality audio and video in one place at the same time, this saves a lot of time and money,” said Alec McCormick, a junior film major from Las Vegas. “Other students should definitely take advantage of this.”

“I wanted to make something that everybody could use and show them how. ”

Shawn Denevan, Radio Dixie Director

McCormick said the booth enables students to do more without the hassle of renting out a commercial studio, which usually can run on $50 per hour. He said there are regular groups that come to the studio specifically for the podcast booth’s video and audio recording for personal projects.

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St. George resident Brett Baldwin said, “I had no idea this existed; I’m going to put in a request to see if I could do some recordings.”

Baldwin says he will use the booth for personal live sessions playing bass and guitar.

This new Dixie Radio addition allows students, staff, faculty and even local residents to familiarize themselves with the proper equipment used for media production.

Denevan said once all the equipment was delivered it didn’t take too much time to put everything together. He said the hardest part was waiting for the microphones to arrive due to the delay in shipping. For the most part, it was fairly inexpensive purchasing from online, local listings and international sellers; most of the effort came from finding the right tools for the job.

The booth is located at the north end of the Jennings Communications Building and is available to all who want to use it – student or not. The DSU body may use the booth for free; however, inquires from the public should specifically reach out to Denevan for more details. The booth is currently at a first-come-first-serve basis, Denevan said.

To request a time to use the booth, contact Denevan in his office at the Dixie Radio Station in the Jennings Communications Building, email him at [email protected], or call at 435-879-4319.

DSU Women’s Soccer: victorious despite injury

The Dixie State University women’s soccer team is preparing for its first Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference road trip after shutting out Black Hills State University on Sunday, despite losing the starting goalkeeper to an injury on Friday.

According to DSU Athletics, the Trailblazers outshot the Yellow Jackets 29-2, with forward Tess Donaldson, a sophomore general studies major from Orem, making the first goal of the game. The DSU goalkeepers didn’t have to attempt any saves as BHSU finished with only two shots. DSU defeated BHSU with a final score of 4-0.

On Sept. 27, goalkeeper Chandler Greenwood, a sophomore criminal justice major from Port Orchard, Washington, blocked a corner kick attempted by Regis University and went down with a knee injury in the 42’ minute of the first half.

Greenwood was out for the rest of the game and goalkeeper Adelle Brown, a junior recreation and sports management major from Fallon, Nevada, took her place.

Brown rose up to the challenge and ended up with three important saves from the game.

Head coach Steve Golas said: “Literally the second she stepped on the field she had to make a big save. She got the paw out there and it’s like she can breathe now. You saw the confidence in the second half and [Regis] had opportunities on the goal and [Brown] gets her hands to it. She had her moment and when the bell rang, she answered.”

DSU was up 1-0 in the first half thanks to forward Whitley Johns, a sophomore general studies major from Gilbert, Arizona, who scored her third goal of the season.

The Trailblazers tacked on one more goal kicked in by midfielder Kelsey Cook, a junior business administration major from American Fork. DSU defeated Regis by a final score of 2-0.

Cook thought that Greenwood’s presence was definitely missed on the field.

Cook said: “It was hard to see [Greenwood] go down like that because she is our starting keeper and she does have a presence back there. We got some depth in our goalkeeping position and they all work really hard at practice. They all come out every day to prove themselves so we know that we can be confident in whoever is in goal back there.”

“She had her moment and when the bell rang, she answered.”

Head coach steve golas

Golas said he is confident in every goalkeeper on the roster.

“We’ve had a lot of competition throughout the year in goalkeeping so it’s going to be who’s going to step up and who’s trying to own that position,” Golas. “We have confidence in every one of our goalkeepers. We have five on the roster and it’s not because we don’t know who our one is, it’s because we’re that good.”

The women’s soccer team will have their next set of games on the road against MSU Denver on Oct. 4 and UCCS on Oct. 6.

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    Women’s golf takes on Fall Invitational

    The Dixie State University Fall Invitational is here and the DSU women’s golf team is eager to test themselves against some of the top teams in the country.

    “We’ve got the best team we have ever had and we’re looking forward to going out with a bang for our last year in Division II,”

    Lindsey Stucki, Head women’s golf coach

    The 6th annual DSU Fall Invitational will be held at the Sand Hollow Golf Course. The tournament will have 14 teams competing in the 36-hole tournament starting Monday at 8 a.m., and finishing the final round on Tuesday with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. 

    DSU will be competing against California Collegiate Athletic Association Member, California State University San Marcos. Head coach Lindsey Stucki said DSU is looking to test themselves, especially against fourth-ranked in the National College Athletic Association.

    DSU came in 6th at the Western New Mexico/Regional Junior Golf Association’s shootout. Stucki said the team had a great start of the season but this recent tournament showed them what they needed to build on.

    Stucki said, “Adjusting to the conditions on the second day and playing in the wind, which I think we will this face at the next tournament, is what we needed to work on.”

    Senior Ashley Fernandez, an English and communication major from Anaheim, California, said the team dynamic is different compared to other seasons.

    “We’re a lot closer than we have ever been and it really translates to the field,” Fernandez said. “Even though it is competitive with each other and other teams, I know we still want the best for each other.”

    Jenique Jacobs, a sophomore criminal justice major from Salt Lake City, said her first collegiate game was scary, but staying conditioned for the next tournament will help them win.

    “We’ve got the best team we have ever had and we’re looking forward to going out with a bang for our last year in Division II,” Stucki said.

    OPINION: Test Anxiety

    Anxiety begins to build up in your body as you reach your class, and it only gets worse as the test begins. Your hands clam up. You begin to sweat. You forget everything you studied.

    Test anxiety is a very real subject matter that needs far more recognition than it is currently getting. 

    All too often, I have seen my fellow classmates struggle to keep afloat in class simply because of tests, and I too have had my fair share of challenges regarding test anxiety.

    The countdown of the time you have left, the constant fear of failing weighing down on your shoulders, and the possibility of negatively affecting your grade are all reasons why test anxiety is such a widespread problem. 

    According to Healthline, some symptoms of test anxiety include, but are not limited to, extreme sweating, stomach pains, nausea and feelings of lightheadedness. 

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    Of course, we have all seen cases where a student fails a test simply because of lack of preparation, and they may experience similar side effects as a person who suffers from test anxiety. But what about those students who completed all the homework, studied and still failed? They should not be lumped into the same category as someone who put forth little to no effort. 

    Healthline said: “Anxiety can also cause difficulty concentrating. You may feel like your thoughts are jumbled and you’ve forgotten everything that you’ve learned. You can also become more indecisive, and you may struggle to choose between two different answers.”

    Speaking from experience, test anxiety and anxiety, in general, has a huge impact on an individual’s ability to reach their full potential. 

    While a majority of students may face some form of stress before an exam, this is in no comparison to test anxiety itself.

    “Many students experience some amount of stress and anxiety before and during exams,” said Oxfordlearning. “However, test anxiety is more severe, and can actually impair learning and hurt test performance.”

    Test anxiety is something that can affect anyone at any given age. We need to start normalizing test anxiety, realize the negative results that it has on an individual instead of labeling it as an excuse, and start accommodating for those who suffer with it.

    In order to get help with test anxiety, reach out to your teachers to let them know about the situation that you are facing and see if there are any changes that can be made. You may also want to try talking to a counselor and see if they have any helpful suggestions in regard to finding healthy coping skills that will aid in better test-taking.

    If you are someone who suffers from anxiety or any form or any other mental illness, don’t be afraid to speak up and let your superiors know your current struggle. No one should ever have to face this hardship alone, and once you have found coping skills that work best for you, things will get better from there.

    Contact the health and counseling center at  435-652-7755 or they are located at 1037 E. 100 S.

    Parking accommodations to be made

    Parking seems to be the bane of every college students existence; however, Dixie State University is attempting to think ahead and make improvements before the issue gets out of hand.

    Josh Thayne, executive director of event services and risk management, said DSU has plans to accommodate the ever-increasing number of students. These plans include more parking stalls and parking garages being added to the university campus.

    Specifically, the Edith S. Whitehead Education building will be torn down after the opening of the Science, Engineering and Technology building and a parking lot will be added. Another parking lot near facilities management, which lies south of Shiloh Hall dorms, is also going to be available, said Sherry Ruesch, executive director of facilities management.

    “We are exploring a paperless hang-tag/sticker permit system to a license plate permit reading system,” Thayne said. “The number of parking permits sold and prices will likely increase to meet the campus parking demands [such as parking garages].”

    Jeremy Young, assistant professor of history, said the parking garages sound like a good idea; however, he would like to see consideration about parking permit price increases for students who need financial aid or for students that live on campus.

    While there have not been many complaints about parking south of campus near the baseball fields, other areas have had problems, Ruesch said.

    Blake Ence, a junior business administration major from St. George, agrees.

    “Parking up by the science building is almost impossible unless you get lucky and there is a student pulling out,” Ence said. “But [parking near the Hazy] is not too bad.”

    “Parking seems to be the bane of every college students existence”

    ABBy doman, dsn staff

    This semester there has been an increasing number of students parking in spots not designated for parking, such as out-of-stall in lot drive lanes and along curbs not striped for parking stalls, Thayne said. This parking is for emergencies and, therefore, poses a risk.

    Thayne said he would like to remind students that “white-marked stalls are for students, yellow-marked for faculty/staff only, and green-marked for visitors (non-student, employee) only.”

    Visit parking.dixie.edu for answers to frequently asked questions, a map and other parking resources.

    DSUPD receives first-ever Utah university accreditation

    The Dixie State University Police Department received its accreditation at a board of trustees meeting on Sept. 27.

    The accreditation was granted through Utah Chiefs of Police Association; DSUPD is the first university police department to be accredited in the state of Utah, and one of seven departments to receive this recognition statewide.

    “[DSU] has done a great job ⁠— [Chief of Police Blair] Barfuss has done a great job of moving this forward in a very rapid manner,” said Vale Shupe, director of the Utah Chiefs of Police Association.

    Barfuss said he has been working on this accreditation process since his hiring in May 2018, and the steps the police department went through were “extensive.”

    According to Barfuss, accreditation requires:

    • “168 specific points of proof to show policy manuals, general orders, procedures, responses, and other police services meet industry best practices. This means for every point of proof, DSUPD needs to show a policy, photograph, explanation, or process, or how we meet or exceed each proof required.”
    • “[An assessor who reviews] the materials and determines if all written standards are met. If the written documentation is approved, the assessor conducts a site visit to inspect evidence processes, building standards, interview administrators and officers and determines if the agencies actions meet written standards.”
    • “Once an assessor approves the written documentation and conducts a site visit, the assessor writes a recommendation to the UCOPA board approving or not approving the agency. If the assessor approves, the UCOPA board votes to accept or reject the assessor’s approval. Once the board votes to accept the assessment report, the agency is officially accredited.”

    “I want to congratulate Barfuss and his staff because it is a lot of work,” Shupe said.

    Accreditation is voluntary in Utah. Upon completion, DSUPD received a plaque and a sticker to place on university vehicles to display its approval.

    DSUPD’s achievement is creating a ripple effect throughout the state.

    “We are very happy because we have had some other universities who have inquired that they want to be part of the process,” Shupe said.

    OPINION: Mental health days should be better implemented

    Mental health days count as sick days in Utah, but they need to be better implemented.

    In 2018, Utah revised its education laws surrounding excused absences to include “an illness, which may be either mental or physical,” which may be interpreted as permission for mental health days.

    But do these mental health days only apply to those who have been clinically diagnosed with an illness, or can they be used sparingly by anyone? Will doctor’s notes still be necessary, even if students only want one day off?

    It’s reasonable to ask for a doctor’s note if a student exceeds a set number of mental health days, especially since Dixie State University students have access to free mental health services through the Booth Wellness Center, but I’ve known professors to ask for a doctor’s note on the first absence even for physical health, which may pose a problem for students who aren’t aware of this service or who can’t get an appointment until after the issue has passed.

    “Many factors would need to be assessed in regard to determining how mental health days should be regulated on a college campus, which would likely involve a team of individuals assessing this,” said Jamy Dahle, mental health counselor and outreach coordinator at the Booth Wellness Center. “It would likely be beneficial to have an individual access a mental health professional for an assessment if they requested to exceed the allotted number of valid excuse mental health days.”

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    In that case, professors shouldn’t ask for a doctor’s note to excuse a single mental health absence, and DSU should implement a formal policy to enforce this; as it stands, it appears there are only two references to students requesting excused health-related absences.

    One is in policy 533, which doesn’t actually mention illnesses of any kind and just states, “Faculty will not be arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory in granting or denying a request for a content accommodation.”

    The other is under the attendance section of the Academic Policies and Procedures webpage and simply states, “If a student must be absent from a class due to illness or another personal issue, they should work with the instructor to stay current.”

    Neither of these references is clear enough about health-related accommodations or absences, so DSU needs to either add to policy 533 or create a new policy addressing illnesses both physical and mental, though mental health should be the focus since Utah is one of the bottom-ranking states in mental health measures, ranking between 38 and 50 depending on the measure, according to Mental Health America.

    We need to do better than 38-50; while it might not be quick or easy, we need to strive for the top 10.

    Mental health is just as important as physical health and should be treated as such. Professors need to be more accommodating to mental health absences, and DSU needs to enforce those accommodations. Regardless, students can seek mental health services by going to wellness.dixie.edu or calling 435-652-7755.

    Students may also voice their concerns with policies by emailing [email protected].

    Campus View Suites Phase II expected 2021

    As Dixie State University nears full capacity of beds in its on-campus and private housing, a new student housing complex, currently referred to as ‘Campus View Suites Phase II’, is expected to make its debut in 2021 in efforts to accommodate the increasing rate of student enrollment.

    The construction of Campus View Suites Phase II will come at the expense of tearing down Shiloh Hall. The new building will be located in its place, across the way from Campus View Suites. Shiloh Hall currently houses 48 male students, but will not be available for rent next year.

    The DSU Board of Trustees, Utah State Board of Regents and Utah State Legislature all had a role in approving the bond for the addition of the new building.

    Paul Morris, vice president of DSU administrative affairs, said, “We are getting near full capacity in beds with our own on-campus beds and the private beds around, so to be able to support the new students that want to come to [DSU], we are going to need to have new housing in the next couple of years.”

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    The new complex is projected to be one-third larger than CVS and contains approximately 450 beds, compared to the 350 beds in CVS. 50% percent of the rooms in the building will be private bedrooms and 50% will be shared rooms.

    “I know a lot of people who wanted to live at [CVS] but weren’t able to because spots were full,” said Josh Thompson, a junior recreation and sports management major from Ontario, California. “I think this new, larger building will make a lot of students happy.”

    “I think adding the new complex will make on-campus housing more desirable to prospective students and current students.”

    Resident life specialist Jill Fiske

    The apartment layout and features will be similar to those in CVS. Each apartment will have a refrigerator, sink and a microwave but will remain without an oven or stovetop. Like in CVS, there will be a full kitchen on every floor for students who like to cook full meals.

    Resident life specialist Jill Fiske said: “I think adding the new complex will make on-campus housing more desirable to prospective students and current students. As well as give students a more positive experience while they’re in school living in on-campus housing.”

    Architects will help make the decision on exactly how many students and rooms there will be per unit, but the anticipated norm is three to four rooms and five to six students per unit.

    The similarities between CVS and Campus View Suites Phase II will also be reflected in the pricing.

    “It’ll be priced similarly to Campus View Suites and what’s happening with the private housing complexes,” Morris said. “The reality is we have to borrow money to build this building and the rent that we collect from students living in the building have to pay the payments on the bond. But, we’ll make sure it’s priced fairly in relation to all of the other beds that are available.”

    The project is still in the financing stage and DSU has yet to name a contractor or architect. While there is no groundbreaking date set at this point, Morris said the structure should be completed by fall 2021.

    “The biggest benefit of the project is it allows more students to continue to come to [DSU] and they can find housing and attend school here; so it really supports the educational mission of DSU,” Morris said.

    Black market vape products cause of recent death in teens

    Losing your life seems to be the new trend.

    Trends in ingesting black market vape products are the cause of recent death in teens, according to nbcnews.com.

    In the U.S., there are 530 reported cases related to vape lung injuries and nine deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control. Of the 530 vape related cases 67% are people who are 18-34 years old.

    According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah’s vape related illnesses are some of the worst across the nation with health officials confirming 42 cases across the state.

    “It’s not safe to vape with this illness going around,” said Scott Aberegg, a critical care pulmonologist at University of Utah Health. “It appears to be less safe to vape THC, but any vaping appears to be capable of causing this illness.”

    Aberegg, who has been working on many of these new vaping cases, said that more than half of the Utah patients wanted to privately explain when family wasn’t around that they had been smoking THC products and not just regular vaping products as they stated before. Most patients feared the backlash they would receive from their families if they told the truth in front of them.

    “America is in the middle of a moral panic, and good policy rarely follows from moral panics,” said Gregory Conley, an advocate for the American Vaping Association. “The evidence continues to point squarely at illicit contaminated THC cartridges as being the cause of all or nearly all of illnesses across the country.”

    Conley said that in Utah, the state health department has released that around 90% of in-state cases are related to THC.

    Josie Lathim, a freshman physical therapy major from Kanab, said: “Vaping has become a huge trend for many teens. I don’t think they fully understand the risks.” 

    Dr. Craig Booth, DSU Health and Counseling Center MD, said that people are even mixing drugs like fentanyl into these blackmarket mixtures which can be extremely dangerous.

    “I would say to kids, if you’re going to vape, make sure you’re using clear and clean products,” said Booth, “Don’t take some friend’s mixture.”

    According drugabuse.gov, teens are more likely to use products like e-cigarettes, vapes and JUUL’s than cigarettes. Teens and young adults are more likely to be susceptible to vape products due to the rising trend throughout the nation.

    Michigan and New York recently passed bans on appealing fruity and minty flavors e-cigarette companies create that health officials say young people are attracted to.

    “America is in the middle of a moral panic, and good policy rarely follows from moral panics,”

    Gregory Conley, advocate for the American Vaping Association.

    “Recent reports increasingly indicate that these adverse events are linked to illicit substances such as THC and cannabis, not e-cigarettes,” According to the Vapor Technology Association. “Such inaccurate warnings will result in either (1) people continuing to use the risky products actually causing the harm about which they have not been specifically warned; or (2) many smokers using e-cigarettes becoming ‘scared’ by these reports and moving back to deadly combustible cigarettes.”

    The VTA also stated they condemn the sale and ingestion of black market products and believe that law abiding, FDA approved creators of “clean and safe” vape juice shouldn’t be punished for the abuse of the adult products.

    In addition, the VTA said they do not condone the regulation of THC, CBD or any other non-FDA approved additives to vape products.

    Ac In the U.S., there are 530 reported cases related to vape lung injuries and nine deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control. Of the 530 vape related cases 67% are people who are 18-34 years old.

    For more information on vaping in Utah, visit the Southwest Utah Public Health website.