DIXIE STATE UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | May 16, 2022

DSU hosts UHSAA football playoffs

Greater Zion Stadium will host the Utah High School Football State Championships for the 4A, 5A, and 6A divisions.

The championship games are set to take place Nov. 21 starting with the 4A division game kicking off at 12:30 p.m. with the next two games following.

Previously, the championship games have been played at the University of Utah campus at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, but due to the pandemic and St. George being less populated than Salt Lake City, the games are being moved to Dixie State University.

“Because of both stadium construction and the PAC-12 conference, [The University of Utah is] not allowing outside events to take place at their playing facilities,” said Jon Oglesby, assistant director of the UHSAA.

As the UHSAA looked for a new venue to host the championship games, DSU seemed like a great fit.

“[DSU] was enthusiastic about trying to find solutions to various issues that are related to student and spectator safety, and we’ve been able to find those at Dixie State for this year,” Oglesby said.

Greater Zion Stadium recently went through a major reconstruction adding in the east grandstand, along with a brand new video score board.

“The expansion of the eastside grandstand of Greater Zion Stadium allowed us to begin conversations of the UHSAA regarding high school playoffs several years ago, and we hope to sponsor many more in the future,” said Jordon Sharp, vice president of University Marketing and Communication.

Along with the luxuries of the east grandstand and jumbotron, Greater Zion Stadium also allows for a safer environment for both players and spectators. As confirmed COVID-19 cases start to rise in Utah, the additional seating allows for the assurance of safety.

“The principals on our executive committee who make decisions to find state championship venues were interested in finding a college site to allow for adequate social distancing and allow for students to still get experience in a college venue,” Oglesby said.

DSU has been on top of its game as it prepares to host the championship games.

“The event coordinators have been coordinating with the local health department and the DSU COVID-19 response team to follow best practices for large gatherings,” Sharp said.

As DSU prepares to host the event, local high schools are also excited for the event to be moved to a closer location than Salt Lake City.

“Being closer to home allows more of our community, parents, families and students to attend the games at Greater Zion Stadium,” said Terri Howell, Desert Hills High School athletic director. “We will definitely have more students and fans attend the games that are played at Greater Zion Stadium.”

With the abundance of southern Utah fans attending the games, concessions, entrance fees and parking will bring in income for the university.

“Being closer to home allows more of our community, parents, families and students to attend the games at Greater Zion Stadium,”

Terri Howell, Desert Hills High School athletic director

“All revenues brought in through the event will be used to cover the university’s costs for hosting the competition,” Sharp said. “However, it is a great opportunity to bring people from all across the state to our campus, and we hope they will experience the growth and excitement at DSU.”

Keep up with the UHSAA football playoffs on its website to find out which teams will be playing for the championship.

Students determine preference for Zoom learning

Zoom learning is becoming more popular among students as the semester moves along.

The Dixie State University administration sent a poll to students in May about how they wanted to attend classes, and 80% said they would prefer in person. Now with the fall semester reaching its end, what once was a call for in-person classes has shifted to taking classes almost solely online. The university implemented resources to provide technology to accommodate those who prefer Zoom.

Students have said they benefit from the balance between in-person classes and the online format. Having the online format provides students with flexibility in regard to location. Students can participate from virtually anywhere with the online formats.

Ashlyn Searcy, a junior communication studies major from Lehi, said she feels more comfortable being able to spend her online class days in a familiar setting such as her office at home. While being in class in person can be stressful from having to worry about discussions in person, Searcy said she is less stressed when not having to worry about driving to campus, making it on time, and finding a parking space.

Even if students aren’t attending in-person classes daily, they are getting smaller class sizes when they do.

Searcy said she likes the small class sizes when she shows up in person.

“I have a great balance of being on campus [and] using the resources available to me in a smaller class setting on specific days,” Searcy said.

Amber Hayes, a freshman history major from Chicago, said she is able to balance her family life and classes with the availability of online class formats.

“With online courses, I am able to schedule my school around my other obligations, which makes completing my degree much smoother,” Hayes said.

Hayes said she is more responsible for having to understand the content she is receiving through online courses, ultimately helping her to retain more information as she learns.

“I find I am grasping concepts a lot better because I am more absorbed in the material,” Hayes said.

A problem that may arise with online learning is wondering if students are truly learning and getting the most out of their courses.

While Hayes said she finds more responsibility in partaking in online class formats, Ilan Hurtado, a sophomore nursing major from Chicago, said he finds it harder to stay focused and engaged on Zoom, especially when there is a poor internet connection.

Hurtado said he learns better in person because he is in a group setting.

“I need the classroom environment in order to succeed in my classes,” Hurtado said. “Especially with lab courses.”

As for professors’ roles in the online format, there have been some changes since the spring semester; more professors are trying to be inclusive with how they teach online while trying to accommodate both in-person students and those on Zoom.

Hurtado said his professors have been trying to accommodate everyone, even the ones who aren’t as tech-savvy. Professors are trying to hold engaging discussions with students and have recorded lectures for student resources. Searcy and Hayes said they haven’t had any major issues with the way their professors have been teaching over Zoom.

Hurtado said he wouldn’t be surprised if the university goes back to an entirely Zoom format.

“It depends on the professors and if they are ready for it or not,” Hurtado said.

DSUSA continues planning smaller activities for remainder of semester

The Dixie State University Student Association is still planning to host smaller social activities on campus for students despite the recent cancellation of major events like CHAOS.

Though the last half of Homecoming Week and CHAOS was called off, Student Life Coordinator Sarah Ramaker said students should not expect future school activities to also be canceled.

“It’s heartbreaking; I don’t ever want to cancel those big events that students look forward to. They’re where people meet their best friends, their spouses and their life-long companions, and you know, make these memories that are incredible that you really think back on.”

Luke Kerouac, director of student involvement and leadership

“We are still planning to move forward with events we have planned,” said Student Body President Penny Mills, a senior communication studies major from Orem. “Students can still participate in club activities along with our weekly Wednesday events.”

Luke Kerouac, director of student involvement and leadership, said events students can look forward to include Bob Ross Paint Night, a video game event, a tree lighting ceremony around Christmas time, and even a possible rescheduling of the Powder Puff game that was canceled during Homecoming Week.

The cancellation of events has negatively impacted DSU students, but the student life team has been creative in turning the canceled events into smaller-scale events where students can still be involved and participate, Mills said.

Kerouac said: “It’s heartbreaking; I don’t ever want to cancel those big events that students look forward to. They’re where people meet their best friends, their spouses and their life-long companions, and you know, make these memories that are incredible that you really think back on.”

A recent email sent through Dixie Announce by Central Scheduling Coordinator Jenny Smith states that while planning on-campus events, everyone must now follow the COVID-19 Attestation for Transmission Index Guidelines check-list in order for the event to proceed.

The check-list was created due to the change in the campus COVID-19 guidelines, Smith said. Guidelines on the list include regulations for concessions, number of attendees, a plan for social distancing, hygiene and sanitation stations, among others.

“As a freshman, I do feel like I was a little let down this semester as far as having the whole freshman-experience thing,” said Abigail Yadon, a freshman exercise science major from Idaho Falls, Idaho. “I do understand, though, that big dances and stuff like CHAOS needed to be canceled because they can become too big to control with masks and social distancing.”

An Instagram post by DSUSA promoting CHAOS was met with backlash from students who said it was not a good idea to have the event because of the recent spikes of COVID-19 cases in Washington County.

One comment from a former DSU student stated: “So we are pretending that the pandemic just went away and that cases aren’t spiking in St. George?” Another DSU student commented: “This should be canceled… A bunch of people are going to get Covid and then classes are going to get shut down again. I’d rather be able to attend my classes than this.”

The negative feedback from several students on social media was something that members of DSUSA took into heavy consideration, Ramaker said. She also said DSUSA always values the feedback and voices of students and wants every student to feel like their voice is heard.

“With the rise in COVID cases in southern Utah, we no longer felt as though we could provide an atmosphere that would cater to those needs,” Ramaker said.

Ramaker said in an executive council meeting on Oct. 25, DSUSA members and leaders voted to cancel the dance in the hope that it would prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus and allow students to continue attending class in person.

“Our goal for CHAOS was to provide an opportunity to participate and interact with other students within a controlled environment,” Mills said. “We didn’t want to be a contributing factor to the spreading of the virus, so we felt it was best to not host a large event at this time.”

Mills said CHAOS had a budget of $4,000 and despite the cancellation, the majority of things that were purchased were reimbursed by the companies or will be used for future DSU events, so the money spent will not go to waste.

“We’ve been kind of lucky this year; most companies understand right now that everything is kind of up in the air, so most of them have been great to deal with when we’ve had to cancel stuff,” Kerouac said.

Kerouac said the committee in charge of planning CHAOS purchased hundreds of pumpkins that were given out for free to students on campus on Oct. 29 along with other prizes that were also purchased for the event.

Students can participate in the next social event, Bob Ross Paint Night, on Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kenneth N. Gardner Student Center.

Ways to manage school while sick

As the autumn-colored leaves start falling from the trees and a cold chill fills the air, you might develop congestion and a cough despite all the layers you’re bundled-up in.

It may seem like everyone around you is developing a small cold, leaving others sick and weak with fatigue, but what happens when that person is you?

Here are some tips and tricks that will help you fight the cold quickly and stay on top of school while keeping your roommates and family safe:

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things to remember while you’re sick. It’s preferred to drink more water and stay away from dairy products. Photo by Breanna Biorato.

Stay hydrated

We all know it’s uncomfortable drinking fluids with a sore throat, but no matter how uncomfortable it may be, it’s vitally important to drink enough fluids and stay hydrated.

During the cold months, it’s easy to get cold weather dehydration when “sweat evaporates more quickly and doesn’t accumulate on the skin in the same way,” according to a Safeopedia article by Bubba Wolford. This makes the body lose more fluid than it can lose on a hot day.

Carla Navarrete, a junior biology major from St. George, said, “Water is essential for dealing with the cold.”

You can mix water with Vitamin C packets, which are sold at the store with the title “Emergen-C.” These packets come in over 20 different flavors, some of which help with different sicknesses. For example, the orange flavor is packed with key antioxidants and has more Vitamin C than 10 oranges while the raspberry flavor includes Vitamin D and Zinc.

Halie Foster, a junior art major from Las Vegas, said these packets are “not the best tasting, but are helpful.”

Another thing Foster said she encourages students to avoid is drinking dairy products. According to Natural Society, dairy products increase mucus, which makes your cold longer and harder to get over.

According to Lifesum, hydration helps you perform at your best while accomplishing everything you need to get done throughout the day. So, you will perform better in school when you drink water than when you’re dehydrated.

Fruits and vegetables can help overcome minor cold symptoms. You can find fresh fruits at your local grocery store and use them as a snack throughout the day. Photo by Breanna Biorato.

Eating nutritious foods

It may not be appetizing to eat food when all you want to do is sleep, or maybe you’re craving food you shouldn’t eat, but your body needs appropriate nutrition.

Foster said she encourages students to stock up on healthy foods before the cold season arrives, one being chicken noodle soup. She said, “Always have chicken noodle soup stocked up, three cans at all times!”

Having cans stocked up before cold season arrives may also save a trip to the grocery store when you’re not feeling your best.

Callie Peacock, Booth Wellness Center registered nurse, said: “Lots of healthy foods don’t taste good when you’re sick. Snack or eat small meals of easy to digest foods, like bananas or toast. A broth-based soup, such as chicken noodle soup, can comfort a sore throat and provide needed calories.”

According to Extension, eating nutritious foods will also help your performance in school by increasing brain function and promoting positive outcomes. While you may not be hungry, eating will help you mentally, so you can function properly throughout the school day.

Resting in your own bed can be the best remedy when you’re sick. Make sure you get enough rest to energize your body. Photo by Breanna Biorato.

Getting enough sleep

Cuddling up in a blanket, lying your head on a pillow, and watching movies makes having the cold a little better and makes the time go by quicker, but you still need to make sure you are getting the proper amount of sleep.

“I think the best thing to do while you’re sick is rest, ” Navarrete said. “Your body needs the energy to heal itself and many people feel the need to power on, which usually makes them feel worse.”

You may not want to be bed-ridden and instead want to do more active things, but you won’t get over the cold if you go outside and be active.

Sleep is key and in order to sleep well you may want to dress comfortably and be warm.

“Wear pants, a hoodie and don’t forget your beanie,” said Oscar Plancarte, a freshman general studies major from Beaver Dam, Arizona. “Have a huge warm blanket when you’re sick.”

Sometimes its hard to get sleep when you continue to toss and turn from left and right due to the struggle of breathing from a stuffy nose. If this is something you struggle with, you should try taking hot showers, using humidifiers and tilting your bed, according to Khadija Beauty.

Getting adequate sleep is also effective when it comes to paying close attention in school. According to Studiosity, the brain will organize important information, so you don’t forget what’s important.

It is always ideal to keep yourself clean for your own health and others by thoroughly washing your hands for at least 30 seconds. Hand washing is an important tool in managing the spread of germs. Photo by Breanna Biorato.

Following precautions

Just like how COVID-19 has precautions like wearing a mask and keeping a 6-foot distance from others, having a cold comes with precautions as well.

Peacock said: “Hand hygiene! Hand washing is the single best tool we have to manage the spread of germs.”

According to the Mac’s Pharmacy website, diseases and other colds are more likely to spread when you don’t wash your hands. If we touch things that are full of germs, it’s easier to contract a cold. We can also contaminate others by having a cold and touching things without washing our hands.

Lori Mayfield, assistant professor of nursing, said, “If you are sick, try to stay home, so that you’re not infecting other people.”

It is better to stay home than to get others sick, especially during the cold season because the cold spreads easily.

“Be considerate, tell your roommates you are feeling ill, and maintain social distance in shared areas,” Peacock said. “Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces you’ve touched.”

By following these precautions, you’re more likely to help others focus better in school, so no one has to worry about who can contract the cold.

When overcoming a sickness, it’s always hard to maintain school work. Using a planner can help keep your assignments organized. Photo by Breanna Biorato.

Using a Planner

While a cold stops you from your daily routines and schedule, school continues around the clock, and it’s hard to always be on top of things when you’re constantly grabbing tissues or coughing into your elbow.

Balancing school and work when under the weather is probably at its prime with Zoom University,” Navarrete said. “I use a planner that’s color coded for all my classes and assignments, and that helps a ton.”

A planner allows students to stay organized. All kinds of planners are available at stores and give students the opportunity to keep all their assignments together in an organized fashion.

“Time management is essential in college and even when you’re sick,” Peacock said. “Take time to rest before and after your class time, so that you don’t fall behind and cause yourself more stress.”

It’s hard to not fall behind while you have a cold, but it is possible to keep up by doing small bursts, Foster said.

Mayfield said, “It’s OK, you have permission to not do it all when you’re sick.”

Our View: Self-report when you have COVID-19

No one will judge you for contracting COVID-19, but people will judge you for not warning them they may also be infected.

You could’ve gotten the virus from or spread it to those you’ve been in class with, including students, professors and guest speakers. When people don’t report that they’ve contracted COVID-19 and help with contact tracing, they increase the likelihood that campus will close again to deal with the inevitable outbreaks and put everyone’s health at risk.

We’ve heard faculty, staff, administration, students and other community members voicing or quietly whispering their concern about potentially contracting COVID-19 because they’re afraid that people won’t report their symptoms. We at the Dixie Sun News share that concern since there are members of our staff who are either high-risk or living with people who are high-risk, and we’ve seen firsthand the level of apathy people have about a pandemic that hasn’t yet affected them beyond mild inconvenience.

If you think campus life sucks with the limited activities and attendance we have now, imagine what a full semester or year of having the campus shut down would be like, even with the improvements made since the shutdown in March.

As it is, an outbreak among the football players caused the remainder of Homecoming Week, team practices and other activities to be canceled or postponed since the football team was an integral part of those events. DSUSA also chose to cancel CHAOS due to the rising number of cases in southern Utah.

Consider the ripple effect of lying or omitting the truth about your symptoms. Cancellation of campus activities aside, even if you were asymptomatic or had minimal symptoms, others might not be so lucky, especially those who are high-risk or living with people who are.

Imagine testing positive for chlamydia and not warning recent partners that they may have contracted it from you; sure, it’s an easily treatable infection that sometimes presents asymptomatically, but left untreated or repeatedly contracted, it can lead to blindness, infertility, ectopic pregnancy and pelvic inflammatory disease, among other lasting symptoms. Likewise, COVID-19 can be treated and sometimes feels like no more than a bad case of the flu, but left untreated, it can cause lasting organ damage and death.

Even if you notify people anonymously through the Booth Wellness Center or rely on your professors to notify your classmates that they may have been infected rather than drawing attention to yourself by openly stating it, you’d still be positively contributing to public health and safety.

We certainly hope you never have to experience the despair of listening to a family member cry over the phone because she’s gotten ready to leave her house every day, hoping to get the call telling her she’s tested negative, only to instead be told she’s tested positive again.

We also hope you never have to experience the anguish of losing someone who had to die alone in hospital isolation. Imagine knowing these things could have been prevented if they’d just been warned by the person who spread it to them.

If you test positive for COVID-19, fill out the self-reporting form from the Booth Wellness Center and assist them with contact tracing, or at least personally notify those you’ve most recently been in close contact with. Doing so prevents outbreaks and prevents the campus from having to shut down.

WAC schedule released for men’s, women’s soccer

The first-ever Division I soccer schedules are out for the Dixie State University men’s and women’s soccer teams.

Men’s soccer has balanced schedule with rivalries brewing

The DSU men’s soccer team will start its slate with a home game against Air Force on Feb. 6. Then, the team will take a trip to California Baptist on Feb. 13 and come back home against San Jose State on Feb. 16. DSU men’s soccer has an alternating home and away schedule each weekend for the entirety of its season.

The team will go away again to Incarnate Word on Feb. 27 to build up to the big home game against Seattle U on March 6. These first few games have the potential to be cold with questionable weather, but men’s head coach Johnny Broadhead said he isn’t worried.

“I don’t really care if it’s perfect weather or crummy weather because once the whistle blows, we get to play a game,” Broadhead said.

After the home Seattle U game, the team will head to Orem to face Utah Valley University on March 13, a team that is already brewing a rivalry with DSU. Broadhead said he is excited about having a men’s soccer rivalry in Utah. He didn’t get to experience these rivalries as a player, so he’s happy to see soccer’s growth in Utah creating opportunities for them to start.

“It’s huge, the fact that we have a rivalry here for young kids to go watch,” Broadhead said. “It’s just new dreams, new goals, a whole new perspective.”

After the big UVU game, the team will host Houston Baptist on March 20. The team will then head to Phoenix to face Grand Canyon University and host UNLV on March 31 before wrapping up the season with a tough trip to Texas to play the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

“It’s just new dreams, new goals, a whole new perspective.”

men’s head coach Johnny Broadhead

With former high school and club teammates at schools around the WAC, players can connect with the teams they’re playing. Broadhead said he hopes these connections will help get more people invested in the men’s soccer program.

“A lot of these guys played with each other in youth [soccer], and they got separated in college and now get to play against each other again,” Broadhead said. “All those kids, anytime we play any of those schools it’s going to be exciting.”

Women’s soccer hopeful to build on back to back games

For the first time in its history, DSU women’s soccer will play six weeks of double game weeks, where both games are against the same school. The team will start off its season with two away games against California Baptist on Feb. 18 and 20.

The team will then come home for a four-game homestand with games against GCU on Feb. 25 and 27, then Seattle U on March 4 and 6.

The team will then head to Chicago State for two games on March 11 and 13. Similarly to men’s soccer, there is the potential for some cold games, especially in Chicago in March. Women’s head coach Molly Rouse echoed Broadhead’s thoughts, though her team is just grateful to play again.

“We’re really excited just to have games at home in the calendar year,” Rouse said. “We’re in a really good pocket of space for our home games, so those aren’t super concerning, and anywhere we’re traveling to that weather maybe could be an issue, other schools have dealt with it the whole time they’ve been in existence.”

On March 20, the team will head back home to play UVU before a road trip to New Mexico State University with games on March 25 and 27.

“I’m honestly excited to face Utah Valley,” said goalkeeper Adelle Brown, a senior recreation and sports management major from Birmingham, England. “I think they’ll be a huge challenge for us, but I’d like to say we will be a huge challenge for them.”

After the trip to Las Cruces, the team will host UTRGV on April 1 and 3 before rounding out the season with an Orem trip to play UVU on April 9.

With the format of playing the same team twice in a weekend, Rouse said she is hopeful her team will use this opportunity to develop its game in a short period. The ability to play a game, make adjustments, then do it again two days later is something Rouse and Brown have never gotten to do before, and they are excited about the idea.

“We’re choosing to see [it] as an opportunity to learn and grow on a weekend,” Rouse said. “You don’t ever really have the opportunity to play a team, review how you did and make any sort of tactical adjustments [that quickly]. In soccer that doesn’t happen very often. So, we’re really excited about the developmental opportunity we have for the team.”

Overall, the DSU soccer programs are optimistic about the changes this spring season is going to bring. Both players and coaches recognize the difficulties and changes that will have to be made from a regular season, but have faith they will still compete well.

How COVID-19 affected DSU’s Athletics budget

Dixie State University Athletics is on the verge of making its return to play in the coming months, but the damage is done to the Trailblazers’ budget.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented DSU Athletics’ opportunities to host fundraisers and camps, preventing money from being raised for the sports programs.

For example, volleyball hosts camps where it invites teams from Utah and all over the West Coast to compete. Since the NCAA implemented restrictions on recruiting, it limits the types of camps DSU can offer, which then limits the amount of money the team can raise.

“For the athletic department, COVID-19 has been brutal just because [of] the testing factor,” volleyball head coach Robyn Felder said. “We’re having to get tested once we head into our season, which in a month it’s going to be basketball’s, volleyball, soccer’s — everybody is going to be rolling. We all have to test three times a week, so just the testing alone is just putting a huge financial strain on the athletic department as a whole.”

Another fundraiser that has been impacted was the premiere event of the football team’s movie “The Rise.” The film was set to hit theaters on Nov. 7 at the Pineview Megaplex Theater, but due to the rising cases of COVID-19, the event was canceled. Now the football team is raising money a different way by selling DVD copies of its movie.

DSU Athletics makes sure the Athletic Student Fee is divided up to help fund the operational budgets of DSU’s 15 NCAA teams. Operational budgets include items like team travel and equipment. The fee does not cover budget items such as scholarships or coaching staff salaries, but it does support scholarships for the cheer and dance teams, the mascot, and advertising initiatives to promote athletic event attendance.

Athletic Director Jason Boothe said the expenses the fees help cover exceed the amount the athletic department has available to spend to cover the Athletic Student Fee’s areas, therefore increasing the need for additional fundraising. He said the athletic department is able to provide most of the funding each team needs to function. Each individual team has set various fundraising goals to help their programs obtain additional items each coach feels he or she needs for the team.

Boothe said: “The additional fundraising activities we do to fund the department, which helps set the teams budgets, are critical to our success.  We don’t have a lot of money in the athletic department, so we have to make every dollar count, especially during the transition. Every fundraiser we do goes to help our student-athletes. Each one is critical.”

The Trailblazer sports programs thinks creatively to stay COVID-friendly when they host fundraisers. For example, the volleyball team made a video to promote its website to help donate to the program.

“[We’re trying] to get support from friends and family and anybody who follows us and our team,” Felder said.

OPINION | Acts of kindness will make the world better place

Society needs more individuals to take time out of their own life to do small, simple acts of kindness to make the world an overall better place.

We see a disgruntled, upset or frustrated person almost daily. Whether we are at the grocery store, somewhere at the university or with one of our roommates, there is almost always someone who seems to be having a rough day.

On the other hand, when was the last time you saw someone genuinely happy, doing service for another person, or going out of their way to do something for someone else? The truth is that it rarely happens.

In the world today, it is extremely easy to be wrapped up in your own life. Social media and other forms of technology are taking over the opportunities to do unplanned acts of service, so we hardly see people do nice things. The sad part is, this is exactly the opposite of what we need as a society. There simply aren’t enough people doing good deeds in the world today.

Everyone is stressed by the chaos life has to offer right now. The way we outwardly handle this stress affects the way others see us. There are too many people who seem to be too busy to take a break and think about how they can help.

Jobs never seem to stay at the office anymore, which can make life seem too suffocating to do more. Everyone is in need of help somehow, and they often aren’t getting the help they need. Simple acts of kindness like helping the elderly lift their groceries into their car or returning the cart at the grocery store are small acts that truly go a long way; it takes less than a minute to hold the door for someone, give a compliment or like a struggling individual’s post.

Between 2005 and 2015, depression rates have increased by 18.4%.  As people are faced with daily depression and challenges, one way to improve their well-being is to serve others.

“Everyone is in need of help somehow, and they often aren’t getting the help they need.”

Brock Doman, DSN staff writer

Going out of your way to help other people brings out the best version of yourself. It gives you the opportunity to forget the problems you face and focus on others. Once you serve, you know your help is valuable and appreciated, and service is one way to alleviate some of the depressing feelings you may be experiencing.

Social media gives a whole new platform for people to choose which face to show. You never know who is in need of a compliment or even just a like on their post to change their mental state. There are plenty of opportunities online to give compliments, boost others’ confidence and praise them for their successes.

Most of the time, this is not the side of social media I see.

I see arguments, belittling conversations, and extremely critical opinions. Being a good person on social media shouldn’t be a hard thing to do. You could like a selfie instead of trolling, comment something positive as opposed to something splitting, and look for opportunities to be a better person.

With the end of the presidential election, we will see a greater divide within the nation since some may be either disgruntled or overly proud of the outcome. There is no reason to belittle someone because of their political beliefs, and we should do our best to be open-minded and know that others have different opinions than us.

If people were to simply focus on being a better person by serving others, going out of their way to help, and realizing there are other opinions, the world would be a better place. It is common to hear about the tragic, devastating and horrible things that are happening on news stations, while there are only one or two positive stories that are covered.

Let’s each do our part in looking to mow the neighbor’s lawn, cleaning up roommates’ messes, or doing something kind for someone around us, and who knows, we just may feel better after doing so.

DSU Dining Services suffers revenue loss

With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, the dining services at DSU is seeing the effect of the pandemic.

Last year, the DSU dining services held lines and rushes during meal time. This fiscal year (Jul 1 – Sept 30) the dining services is down $200,000 compared to 2019.

“This loss in revenue has caused us to remove some items from our menus, hours of operations and staffing,” said Katie Nye, interim director of dining services.

There has been a 44% decrease in the amount of jobs students currently have on the dining services.

“This time last year we had roughly 130 part-time employees, now we have 86,” Nye said.

Nye attributes the deficits to the changes COVID-19 has forced DSU to make.

“I honestly think we don’t have as many students on campus with most classes offering zoom calls,” Nye said. “A lot of our students commute to campus, so if they don’t have a reason to come on campus, they will most likely stay at home.”

“Even though they wipe down the tables and keep things clean, I think students are worried about their health.”

Michael Richens, a sophomore biology major

Students are also seeing a difference when they eat their meals and spend time in the cafeteria.

“For the most part, it’s pretty empty,” said Michael Richens, a sophomore biology major from Dallas, Texas. “When I’m in the [Kenneth N. Gardner cafeteria] doing homework or studying, I’m often the only one in here.” During the time, Richens was indeed the only student in Kenneth N. Gardner cafeteria.

DSU is making efforts to keep its dining locations available for students to eat at by focusing on sanitizing and keeping a clean environment.

“Throughout a shift, we make sure to sanitize the handles of the doors, the chip bags locations, and the fountain drink machine,” said DSU subway employee Leia Sanders, a freshman psychology major from Flagstaff, Arizona. “Sometimes it will be busy for an hour or so straight, but then most of the time I’ll have an hour or two between customers.”

Dining services is navigating an unprecedented time along with the rest of the university.

“I think a lot of students aren’t wanting to eat in the café because they fear the they can get COVID when they eat here,” Richens said. “Even though they wipe down the tables and keep things clean, I think students are worried about their health.”

There are other believed reasons as to why students may not be eating on campus.

“I think students aren’t coming because a lot of them are staying at home,” Sanders said. “I have a lot of friends and people I know just doing classes online or even taking the whole semester off.”

As DSU continues to stay open during the pandemic, they are offering delivery and to-go options as well.