UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | September 23, 2022

COLUMN: Cammie’s Column

Eating disorders are widely known among teenagers in the United States; however, to say everyone understands them is a completely false statement.

We live in a world where a great deal of society likes to think they know everything about, well, everything. This includes eating disorders. 

An innumerable amount of people believe the sole underlying factor of this illness is to simply become skinny and maintain a low body weight. 

Little do these individuals know, there is a greater depth to this disorder than meets the eye. Those who fight this constant battle are not just looking to become thinner. In fact, an eating disorder can even be classified as someone who eats more than a normal portion size on a regular basis. 

The underlying causes as to why someone would want to do this to their body are rather complex because there is no one answer to this question.

Some factors that could draw a person to do this are traumatic experiences they have faced, feelings of needing to look a certain way and even a desire to impress those around them, whether it be a coach, peers or even a family member.

Oftentimes, individuals who have suffered from an eating disorder are simply looking to take back some form of control over their life and while this method might be harmful, it holds the sense of security they seek. 

Because our society has become so media-driven, the thought of reaching anything less than perfection is preposterous. We all have our coping mechanisms for the hardships we face in our lives; for some, that coping mechanism might just entail binging or purging. 

I think it is important for everyone to become well educated on this subject because you never know who it could be affecting; by taking some time to understand, you could save someone’s life. 

It is also important that judgment is not placed on those who are facing this everyday battle. Support is one of the greatest things an individual could receive. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, reach out to the Booth Wellness Center at 435-652-7755 or you can find them located at 1037 E. 100 S.

OPINION: Movies are the best entertainment while being self-isolated

The best way to distract yourself from what’s going on in the world is, hands down, watching movies.

What movies bring to the table that other entertainment sources don’t is visualization, engagement and an escape. When I think of other entertainment sources, I think of a lot of stuff on screens. Many would argue video games and whatever else they’re doing on screen would also accomplish these goals.

I can get a bowl of popcorn ready, turn on my Xbox, get comfortable in my bed, go to Netflix, Hulu or Disney+ and watch movies all day.

What I enjoy most from watching movies all day is the visualization. I can visually see and feel the emotions, and it makes my isolation experience better.

An example of a movie that visually captures seeing and feeling the emotions is the movie “The Dark Knight.” One of my favorite scenes from “The Dark Knight” is when Heath Ledger’s character, Joker, delivers the line “Why so serious?” The way Ledger conveys that scene is outstanding. I felt as if I was in the same room as him and my heart was pounding from the intensity of the scene. You can’t envision that scene through a book and it’s obviously better portrayed visually.

To have a fun movie experience, don’t do it alone, make it a group activity. After you’re finished watching a movie with your family or friends, sharing your thoughts on the film can be a fun interaction. Explaining to others your reaction, opinion, love or dislike of the movie can make for an interesting conversation and adds to the fun movie experience.

I remember going to see “Avengers: Endgame” opening night with my friends last year. After three hours of sitting through the best movie of 2019, me and my friends went to go to Denny’s to grab a bite and talk about how we all shared the same movie experience. Although we were all injected with energy, we decided to whisper at the table and talk about the movie to avoid any spoilers for people who hadn’t seen it. Trying to stay quiet and not shout any spoilers made that night with my friends more memorable.

I have more fun engaging in a movie with family or friends than I do with other entertainment sources. When my family or friends are ready to watch another movie together, I’m all stocked up with movie snacks and ready to have a good time.

Nicholas Seibold, a junior digital film major from Las Vegas, said when he’s with his family and friends, they love to share their impressions and describe multiple aspects of the film they watched together.

“I personally find it engaging because it gives me a chance to share and experience different opinions on whatever film we just watched,” Seibold said. “It allows for me to use my three years of college film classes while also being able to talk to my friends and family about a movie that we collectively experienced.”

Right before the movie begins in a theater, there’s an advisement to silence your phones and put them away. I follow the advisement when I’m home not only to pay attention to the movie, but also to escape from media platforms.

I’m sick and tired of every minute being an update on COVID-19. It can be overwhelming. I would like to put down my phone and use movies as my escape from the reality I live in now.

Movies are a great escape because it helps keep your focus on one subject for a few hours. If you’re playing video games as your entertainment, for example, while you’re waiting for the next game to start the first instinct to is look at your phone and go through media platforms to see what you missed.

Even if you need a distraction from school work, taking a break to watch a movie will help clear your head. If you need a boost to better your studies, I suggest the list of movies In the Loop provides. All the films shown in that list can motivate you to get assignments done and have great conversations with friends.

DSU football continues recruiting for DI play

Dixie State University is continuing its path of stepping up to higher competition for the Western Athletic Conference and Division I play.

DI universities typically bring in more talented, skilled and driven athletes to their schools because of the number of scholarships available.

DSU has competed well against other DI teams in the past and will remain competitive as the divisional transition continues for the Trailblazers.

One way DSU can take this to the next level is to increase its recruiting ability and bring in higher-level athletes for its respective sports. Recruiting plays a crucial role in continuing the program’s development and growth.

“Recruiting is very important,” said Wide Receiver coach Terrance Grant. “Finding the diamonds in the rough takes skill and eye.”

Grant said this can take hours upon hours of studying player tendencies, taking recruiting trips and getting to know the athletes.

“We have watched countless hours of film of potential student-athletes,” Grant said.

There are a variety factors that come into play when recruiting an athlete and coaches can do it in plenty of different ways.

“We obviously first look at the skill set of the player,” said Defensive Coordinator Tyler Almond. “We want to be able to project him playing at the [DI] level and how much [the athlete] could improve our program.”

While skill set is one major factor when getting recruited, Almond also said it is important for the individual to perform well off the field.

“After we think he can play at that level, we start to look at his transcripts and test scores to ensure that he will qualify with the NCAA and be accepted into our school,” Almond said.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association requires students to graduate high school, post a minimum of a 2.3 GPA and have a combined score on the ACT or SAT to match or exceed their GPA in the core courses, among other things.

The NCAA has currently put a dead period on recruiting because of COVID-19, but the ban may be lifted April 15.

“As soon as our quarantine ends and we are able to get out and recruit, I anticipate hitting the road and finding some ballers,” Grant said.

As of now, DSU football will kick off its season against Southern Utah University on Sept. 5 in Cedar City.

Student journalism virtually indestructible

Journalists won’t let the news stop even in the midst of a pandemic.

Student journalists are taking online reporting in stride as they report on COVID-19 and their regular school updates through web interviews, sharing resources, and turning back to old-fashioned newspaper at doorway delivery.

In light of the current quarantine restrictions the World Health Organization recommendations, Dixie Sun News journalists have limited social interaction by conducting their interviews through email, phone or videocast forums, such as Zoom or Skype. The Dixie Sun News has forgone print papers and a live studio broadcasts for an e-newsletter and online edition and prerecorded news.

In California, California Polytechnic State Univerity CPS Mustang News is collaborating with other schools to gather relevant information on COVID-19, which has had different effects on each state. Through this effort, students from around the nation will be able to keep up with their state’s news while remaining at their school.

For Mustang News Stephanie Zappelli, assistant news editor, said, “We are brainstorming a city edition, going door to door and dropping it off.”

Zappelli also said Mustang News is still doing impact stories as well as breaking news in regard to COVID-19.

Though the news team seems to be doing well with the change in structure, they are suffering from a change in income since they no longer have print ads for revenue.

Zappelli said Mustang News is looking to the journalism department at Cal-Poly to provide the lost funds.

Janelle Salanga, news reporter from Univeristy of California, Davis news reporter, is experiencing the change in journalism mostly through the extra time. The change from in-person interviews to over the phone have required her to spend longer amounts of time getting to know her interviewees, she said; however, Salanga said she is enjoying the ability to create her own schedule and interview times since her schedule is so open.

“I schedule all my interviews for either noon or later, Salanga said. It’s frustrating to know that this schedule is unattainable normally.”

Aidan McGloin, a senior data reporter for the CPS Mustang News, had the option to stay at his university or go home over their course of the extended two-week spring break. McGloin decided to stay in San Luis Obispo for the remainder of the semester to be close to friends and for reporting purposes, but it’s not an easy feat.

“I’ve been knocked of my practice because of [COVID-19],” McGloin said. “Stories that I had been working on previous to spring-break have been put on hold.”

McGloin and the CPS Mustangs have used this isolated time to see how past reporters dealt with the Influenza of 1918. They found that past CPS reporters were the calm in the storm and the univerities stringhold for information at that time. The current reporters are aiming for the same.

DSU Athletics’ best Division II seasons and all-time records

In its 14-year run as a Division II institution, Dixie State University Athletics had multiple memorable seasons and all-time records.

Let’s highlight the best seasons and all-time records set within DSU’s DII history.

Fall Sports

Football

Since transitioning to DII play in 2006, the football team had a bad reputation of having losing seasons. The tides turned when the Trailblazers set a new program record for most wins during the 2019 season.

During this 2019 season, DSU finished with an 8-3 overall record, 7-3 in conference play, and placed No. 3 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Offensively and defensively, the Trailblazers ranked in the top five in nine different offensive and defensive categories among other RMAC teams.

Defensive lineman Dylan Hendrickson, a sophomore accounting major from St. George, said it’s always good to set new records and leave DII with the most wins the team has had.

Quarterback Kody Wilstead, a sophomore accounting major from St. George, said the new coaching staff, new players and the passing of Abraham Reinhardt all had an impact on the team, whether for good or bad.

Wilstead said: “The fact that we still came out and competed and did as well as we did was incredible. It showed the type of athletes and players we had. We weren’t always comfortable with what the schemes were, but we were still able to make plays. Being from St. George, I haven’t seen [DSU] do well in football since the juco days. So, to be able to be a part of it was something incredible for me personally.”

The football team will be joining the Football Championship Subdivision Independents next season.

Men’s Cross Country

The men’s cross country all-time 8-kilometer record was broken multiple times within the past two years. What makes this record stand out is freshman Kyler Miller, a general studies major from Herriman, who came into the 2019 season and claimed the record for himself.

Miller broke the all-time 8K record not only once, but twice in the same season. The first time was at the Sacramento State Capital Cross Challenge on Sept. 28, 2019, where Miller set his time at 24:42. A month later, he improved his record-setting time by 11 seconds at 24:31 at the RMAC championships on Oct. 26, 2019.

Miller said he felt incredible for breaking the all-time school record and thanked his coach for helping him transition from high school races to collegiate races. He said he owed his team because they made him feel at home.

“My teammates were there to help push me and motivated me to accomplish what I didn’t think I could do,” Miller said.

Since Miller is only a freshman, it’s possible he can break his own record again with the three years he has left in his collegiate career.

Women’s Cross Country

If it was impressive for someone to break an all-time record twice in the same season, how about breaking an all-time record three times in the same season?

Billie Hatch, a junior criminal justice major from Logan, broke the women’s cross country all-time 6K record three times in the 2019 season. The first time was at the Sacramento State Capital Cross Challenge on Sept. 28, the second time at the RMAC championships on Oct. 26, and the best time at the NCAA championships with a time of 20:26 on Nov. 9.

Hatch said she was thrilled to break her own record at the Sacramento State course and have the opportunity to set a new record at the same course for the NCAA championships.

Hatch said: “At nationals, I wasn’t focused on breaking my record, but going out with the lead pack and finishing well. The top group was mostly RMAC runners and I was able to race them at previous meets, so I was confident I would be able to race well with them. I wouldn’t have been able to set this record without the help of my coaches, teammates and the competition at those meets.”

Men’s Soccer

Moises Medina, a senior general studies major from Mesquite, Nevada, owns more than a dozen all-time records in DSU’s men’s soccer program history.

The most clutch all-time record Medina owns is knocking in 15 career game-winning goals.

Medina said owning the all-time career game-winning goals record makes him proud of his work and makes the team more competitive at DSU now. He said his favorite game-winning goal was against in-state rival Westminster College last year on Nov. 7.

“There was about five minutes left in the game and it was a rivalry match,” Medina said. “Josh Pittman was the coach who recruited me and he was there to witness it. Family and friends were also there and it was a big deal for me.”

Women’s Soccer

The women’s soccer team’s 2019 season is an obvious pick for the program’s best season.

The Trailblazers finished No. 3 in the RMAC with a 12-4-6 overall record and 8-2-3 conference record. DSU’s impressive season earned them its second NCAA DII tournament berth. Then, the Trailblazers went on to win the South Central Regional title and advanced to the National Quarterfinal round.

Defender Kilee Allsop, a senior business administration major from Smithfield, said it was an exhilarating and surreal feeling to hoist up the trophy while being surrounded by her teammates.

“Beating out top-ranked teams, exceeding everyone’s expectations in the DII NCAA tournament and proving ourselves to the nation was an incredible feeling for sure,” Allsop said. “To have a moment like this where our team was able to accomplish something as significant as gaining this title and being recognized as the South Central Region Champions will definitely remain as a top highlight for me at DSU. It was truly an amazing way to be able to finish my soccer career.”

Women’s Swimming

One stand-out athlete on the women’s swimming team is Hannah Hansen, a senior exercise science major from Lehi.

Throughout Hansen’s time at DSU, she has improved every year at every race she has competed in. This can be demonstrated by the six all-time records she owns in the program’s history; including the 100-yard butterfly with an official time of 56.43 seconds, 100-yard breaststroke with an official time of 1:03.24 and 200-yard breaststroke with an official time of 2:17.34.

Hansen has left behind a legacy of consistent improvement at DSU.

Volleyball

Lauren Gammell, a senior communication studies major from Spanish Fork, was a key contributor to the women’s volleyball team who dominated defensively.

Gammell owns six defensive all-time records in DSU’s volleyball program history. The largest numerical all-time record is Gammell’s 424 career total blocks.

Gammell said she couldn’t get the all-time record in career blocks without her teammates because blocking requires communication, timing, trust and connection.

“We worked so hard in practice every day with blocking and technique; it felt like all the reps that were practiced finally paid off,” Gammell said.

Spring Sports

Men’s Basketball

While this season record could’ve been broken by the 2019-20 men’s basketball team, the 2017-18 Trailblazer team still holds the program’s record with 23 wins in a season.

DSU had an impressive season by becoming the first Pacific West Conference team to sweep both regular season and tournament titles twice. The Trailblazers appeared in the NCAA West Regionals as the No. 2 seed, its best seeding in program history. DSU was also ranked top five in ten different categories among other PacWest teams, according to the official PacWest website.

DSU alumnus Trevor Hill was a key component of the 2017-18 Trailblazer team. Hill averaged 15 points per game, five rebounds per game, four assists per game and two steals per game. Hill was named the conference player of the year, conference defender of the year and had an all-region and all-American selection.

Hill said what lead to the team’s success was experience and sacrifice. He said the team having six seniors also played a big part in winning games.

Hill said: “We didn’t get off to a great start that year, but we showed our resilience. We won a lot of close games that we didn’t the year before. Having so many upperclassmen can be tough. Lots of guys definitely deserved more minutes, but we were all willing to put the team first to achieve our goals.”

Hill said what it’s going to take to get more than 23 wins in a season is not thinking about it and instead breaking the season into different sections.

Women’s Basketball

Another all-time record that came close to being claimed was by Forward Ali Franks, a senior communication studies major from Redding, California.

Franks was 51 points shy of becoming No. 1 in career points in DSU’s women’s basketball program’s history. Still standing at the top since the 2012-13 season in all-time career points is DSU alumnus Johnna Brown with 1,212 points.

Franks said she was proud of herself for what she was able to do.

“I think never getting a chance to play in a postseason game the first three seasons hurt my chances of reaching my end goal of beating that record,” Franks said. “It was fun chasing it the whole year and I’m glad I was able to be so close.”

Franks said in order for a different player to break the all-time record, they have to be a scorer from the start.

Franks said: “I don’t think my role was ever the scorer for my first couple of seasons; I had to earn that. So, when a [freshman] comes in and takes that role on for four seasons, I think it’ll be broken easily.”

Baseball

During the 2016 season, the baseball team put together a special season that will be hard to top.

The Trailblazers reached a program record of 40 wins. DSU finished second in the PacWest, made an NCAA West Baseball regional appearance and was ranked top three in hitting and pitching categories among other PacWest teams.

A player who helped bring success to that team was DSU alumnus Drew McLaughlin. McLaughlin had a batting average of .406, was successful getting the ball in play with 91 hits and scored 54 runs.

McLaughlin said the main reason the baseball team was successful that year was the bond the team had.

“We had the talent to play with anybody on any day, but the way that team played loose and had fun led to the success,” McLaughlin said. “We went into each game knowing we were going to win. Losing a game was always a shock that year.”

McLaughlin said talent and having a good bond off the field is the key to having a successful season like in 2016.

McLaughlin said: “Coach Chris Pfatenhauer and the rest of the staff have brought in the right guys for the system and program. After that, they have to buy in, put the program ahead of themselves and work hard. [In] 2016, the team was always together hanging out on our off time. You can have the most talent, but if they don’t click off the field, chances are they won’t click well on the field.”

Softball

The strong 2014 campaign made by DSU softball was seemingly too difficult to follow up. The team finished its season 51-10 overall, 27-5 in conference play, became PacWest Co-Champions, NCAA West Super Regional Champions and made a college world series appearance.

The 2015 Trailblazer team, however, proved that wrong by improving to a program record of 52 wins, becoming PacWest Champions, NCAA West II Regional Champions, NCAA West Super Regional Champions and an NCAA National runner-up.

History can repeat itself and the proof is most certainly there in the record books.

Men’s Golf

During the 2018-19 season, men’s golf made its way into the spotlight and shined.

The Trailblazers finished second in the RMAC, hosted regionals and claimed their first-ever NCAA team victory. DSU went on to play in nationals and placed No. 9 out of 20 teams.

Head coach Brad Sutterfield said his team worked hard to achieve what they did last year given the fact they were also a young team.

“I was impressed with how well we performed under the circumstances having been the host of regionals and it being our first time to qualify for nationals,” Sutterfield said. “All around, it was a fun year to watch our athletes achieve what they did.”

Sutterfield said it would be extremely difficult to replicate what the team did last year, but he’s confident in the group he has now because of the experience gained from last year.   

Women’s Golf

Women’s golf has had two good seasons, but four years apart. DSU finished second in the PacWest during the 2014-15 season and finished with the same result in the RMAC in 2018-19.

Given the fact it took four years to put on another good run, let’s see if the Trailblazers can change that habit.

Women’s Tennis

Women’s tennis is a DSU athletic program with a bad streak of losing seasons. In the 2018-19 season, the Trailblazers flipped the script and put together a good year.

DSU went 13-4 overall; this is the highest single-season winning percentage in the program’s history. Then, the Trailblazers went on to claim the RMAC tournament.

Whatever changed for women’s tennis needs to continue if they are going to put on another good run as they did in the 2018-19 season.

Women’s Track & Field

The all-time records for DSU women’s track and field that blew the rest out of the water were accomplished by Abby Monson, a sophomore pre-medical radiography major from Washington.

Monson set the new shot put all-time record at 11.43 meters and set discus at 41.36 meters. Monson is another freshman who still has three years to beat out her own record.

The Trailblazers made a lot of history throughout the years, but now it’s time to turn the page to the next chapter as the Trailblazers transition to Division I on July 1 as members of the Western Athletic Conference.

Maintaining your mental health throughout a global pandemic

COVID-19.

It’s everywhere: the news, the radio, social media and anywhere else you can imagine — and it struck the entire world with fear.

Being isolated in the midst of a global crisis can take a huge toll on your mental health and preexisting mental conditions. Here are some tips to remain grounded, calm and mentally healthy. 

Don’t panic

It is a scary and emotional time in our world right now. With people losing their lives, getting sick and emptying stores, it is completely normal to go into panic mode or let anxiety get the best of you; however, controlling this with techniques is healthier for your immune system, body and mental health.

“If you start to panic, turn off your phone, distract yourself and breathe,” said Penny Mills, a senior communication studies major from Orem and the next student body president. “Plan relaxing activities such as coloring, listening to music or anything that calms the senses.”

Panicking can be a huge stressor on your body and lower your immune system, which is the last thing your body needs during this outbreak. 

Avoid completely isolating yourself 

Yes, we must isolate ourselves physically as much as we can from others right now; however, that doesn’t mean you should completely isolate yourself. 

Locking yourself in your room during this scary situation is only going to make you feel more alone and take a toll on your wellbeing.

“Call, video chat or text your friends and family,” said Olivia Adkin, an exercise science major from Snow Canyon. “Keep in contact with your favorite people to avoid feeling lonely and down in the dumps.” 

Avoid letting facts and statistics depress you 

With all the new information regarding COVID-19 coming out, it can be easy to allow yourself to get depressed with all the mentions of death, sickness and tragedy. 

It is important to realize that this situation is sad, but allowing yourself to wallow in it can harm your mental health. 

Watch funny or cute videos, read articles about successful statistics for the coronavirus, or even call your friends for a laugh. Keeping your attitude and outlook positive is better for your mental health while self-isolating. 

Create a routine

Creating a routine for yourself helps motivate you to get out of bed and be productive. Practicing your normal routines that you used to do before can also help you stay in touch with your life from before this pandemic. 

This is helpful for people who are prone to being depressed or anxious and allows them to focus on the tasks at hand rather than the scary facts and statistics.

The Booth Wellness Center’s Instagram page suggests implementing podcasts, coloring app activities and positive affirmation apps into your new routine to keep your mind healthy.

Take care of yourself

Self-isolating is a recipe for junk food and wearing pajamas all day, but make sure you’re taking care of yourself.

Eat balanced and healthy meals and make sure to get some sunshine at least once a day. Get up early, get ready for the day and dress as you normally would. 

These steps can help with boosting self-esteem, maintaining a positive attitude and creating a distraction. Taking care of your body, your mind and your mental health needs to be one of your top priorities during this time of uncertainty.

Strategic planning delayed

The planning meetings of the 2020-2025 strategic plan for Dixie State University is facing delays because of COVID-19.

The transition to online coursework and meetings has lead to delays in planning meetings, including those surrounding the strategic plan.

“We’re postponing or delaying the next step by two maybe three weeks, but we still have intentions of finishing,” said Provost Michael Lacourse, vice president of academic affairs and chair of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee. “Our goal is to finish by midsummer.”

Lacourse said the plan is moving from the development phase to the approval phase at the end of April.

Along with delays, several faculty members have raised their concerns with certain aspects of the plan in a recent faculty senate meeting.

Samuel Tobler, assistant professor of physics and president of faculty senate, said he wishes the faculty senate would have been able to see the plan sooner. He said he wants openness from the strategic plan steering committee about what is being discussed and why.

Jason Wilde, assistant professor of family and consumer science, said in a recent faculty senate meeting that he is concerned with goal 5, outcome 1, which discusses how the university wants faculty to engage with students.

Wilde said he is concerned about the meaning of the goal and he’s not sure how the university is supposed to measure how the faculty get involved with students.

Shandon Gubler, professor of business management, said the new territory of being a polytechnic university is a huge lift and has potential for the university unless it’s not made a big deal.

Gubler said he feels that Lacourse is downplaying the importance of a polytechnic university based on a presentation Lacourse gave earlier in the year.

Lauren DiSalvo, assistant professor of art history, said: “I have passed along the comments from faculty senate via email to the requisite people in charge. The strategic planning task force has had to reschedule their meetings because of COVID-19, so they have yet to meet in person to discuss them.”

Jyl Hall, director of public relations, said the Strategic Plan Steering Committee is still working on the plan remotely and will address any feedback submitted through the website. Feedback is welcome from any member of the community.

Lacourse said the concerns are being handled exactly how they should be.

“Many faculty have reached out to the resources we have and they are using those and I hope that will continue,” Lacourse said. “As requests come forward, we are responding to them and we will continue to do that.”

Lacourse said he wants to commend faculty and staff, who have worked very quickly and effectively.

Petition suggests DSU pass all students for spring 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic making its way through southern Utah, Dixie State University students have expressed great concern regarding the recent transition to virtual schooling.

A petition has suggested that DSU give all students a passing grade for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. Roughly 2,300 students have signed the petition as of March 28 in hopes of a passing grade for the rest of the semester.

Savannah Reyes, the creator of this petition, said: “With the coronavirus pandemic looking to get more serious, students should be able to concentrate on staying healthy and being with their families in this time of crisis and last but not least contribute to stop the spread of this virus. DSU should pass all students for the semester of spring 2020 due to the inconveniences.”

Del Beatty, assistant vice president of student engagement and dean of students, said the likelihood of this petition actually going through is extremely slim. 

“Many students cannot accept a pass/fail grade because they are trying to get into graduate programs, medical school, law school, dental school or other professional programs,” Beatty said.

Beatty said in order for these students to get into such programs, they need to have a letter grade on their transcript, not just a pass or a fail. Also, in order to show what a student has accurately learned in a class, the rightfully deserved letter grade is needed.

“It behooves us to make certain that the letter grade indicated on a transcript is an accurate indicator of what was learned by that student in the course,” Beatty said. 

While a completely online education might not be what is best suited for every student, this is the best solution for the current situation, Beatty said. If students stay in contact with their professors and try to have a positive outlook on the situation, students will be able to thrive.

Shalee Hafen, a junior elementary education major from Mesquite, Nevada, said she thinks the best option would be to allow students to decide if they want to continue on with the semester or take the grade they currently have.

Like other students, Hafen said she doesn’t enjoy receiving her education through online classes, but rather in-person lectures.

“I learn better when I’m sitting in the classroom and have face-to-face conversations with my professor and other students,” Hafen said.

Olga Pilkington, assistant professor of English, said students need to remember they are not alone in these difficult times; teachers and staff are still more than willing to help with any difficulties.

“Every DSU professor is more than willing to help, students just need to reach out using whatever method a professor prefers,” Pilkington said. “Try to identify some positives to the situation and, most importantly, don’t panic.”

Pilkington said she would not be opposed to passing students in her classes just as long as they were diligently showing effort in the work that was given leading up to the current situation.

“Treating the students fairly in this situation, I believe, will contribute to our retention rates and overall impression of the school,” Pilkington said. “That being said, a blanket passing grade for everyone will not fit with the treating all students fairly goal.”

For further information about the petition, visit Change.org.

University’s plan and resources moving forward after shutdown

By Hannah Hickman and Samantha Ortiz

As the threat of COVID-19 rises, the university body is experiencing more changes.

President Richard “Biff” Williams said the university is taking precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. With the shutdown of the university, he said he and others in Dixie State University’s administration are working on easing problems that may arise.

Expenses

As far as how the university’s revenue has been affected, Williams said there are measures in place to help ease the burden on the DSU community.

“We are making sure that students, faculty and staff are not having to bear the brunt of the costs associated with canceling all university-sponsored travel,” Williams said.

DSU’s study abroad programs are canceled through March 31. All study abroad programs are on hold for the time being.

As part of the housing and travel plan, Williams said students who choose to move out of on-campus housing between March 12 and April 7 will be offered a reimbursement. The money can be reimbursed through students’ MyDixie account or can go toward housing payments next year. For more information, contact Director of Housing Seth Gubler at sgubler@dixie.edu or 435-652-7570.

Equipment such as computers are being provided to students, faculty and staff who don’t already have access to communicate and have effective remote learning. Williams said the cost is covered by the university’s general fund.

While the university continues to do remote learning, Williams said he is doing everything in his power to prevent job loss for faculty and staff. Campus jobs that students hold are continuing, such as the writing center and the library; however, it’s unknown which — or if — specific positions were discontinued.

Virtual teaching and learning

With the changes the university is facing, Williams said the DSU administration has been putting measures in place to help support faculty’s efforts to assist students. He said he has been working with others in administration to get things such as housing and technology in order to accommodate students. Any information regarding the coronavirus can be found on DSU’s resource page.

Williams said a guide was assembled to help provide faculty with resources to better help students with remote learning.

The 21-page guide was given to faculty and staff when Gov. Gary Herbert made his announcement on March 12 that institutions would offer classes remotely. The guide includes steps and resources on how faculty and staff can better help students while learning remotely.

With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading, DSU has been working toward making students’ learning experience easier with the move to online classes, said Provost Michael Lacourse, vice president of academic affairs.

The DSU administration is currently discussing the possibility of offering a pass/fail option that would help students who are struggling in some of their courses. As of now, Lacourse declined to disclose any information about the plan because it has not yet been finalized.

“I want to give faculty and staff the recognition they deserve for being able to turn their classes upside down and create a plan that accommodates their students,” Lacourse said.

Lacourse said the faculty wants to make sure they take into consideration how implementing a pass/fail option may affect students and gather all the information before finalizing its decision.

Resources to help with coping

Lacourse said new videos have been released on DSU’s Instagram page, @dixiestate, in an effort to help ease students of the stress that comes with transitioning to remote learning.

“If students are having any trouble, then they should reach out to their academic advisers,” Lacourse said. “They are trained and have the resources to help students navigate through these situations.”

Students can find and contact their respective advisers here.

Stress that may come with remote learning includes the fear of not passing and the question of scholarship availability.

Williams stated in an email sent out on March 27, “Effective immediately, DSU will extend this year’s in-state scholarship deadline to June 1 to assist our students and community.”

The university has also implemented a new mental health resource for students called Student Pulse, which allows students to stay connected and receive help during this difficult time.

“Student responses are all confidential and — depending on the answer — there are various replies sent out to keep students feeling encouraged and supported,” said Skye Clayton, social media and digital marketing coordinator.

Moving forward, Lacourse said the university is still planning to get back to business as usual during the summer and fall 2020 semesters as long as the State Health Department allows it. If not, classes will continue to be taught remotely until the ban on in-person learning is lifted, Lacourse said.

“We are listening to students and responding to any concerns they may have,” Williams said. “With more than 10,000 students, our biggest challenge is meeting the specific needs that pertain to unique circumstances experienced by each and every one of our students.”

For updates regarding DSU, visit wellness.dixie.edu, and visit coronavirus.utah.gov for information regarding the state.