DSU dancers perform unique pieces in traveling concert

The Dixie State University Dance Department presented its spring concert March 31. The dancers showcased their flexibility and fluidity as they danced around campus. Not only did they present their talents through dancing, they were also able to adapt and dance in an area outside a stage in an auditorium.

This concert is considered a “traveling concert” because the audience traveled to different locations all around the campus to watch the dancers perform their pieces. Dances were choreographed by Dance Department staff members Elizabeth Stich, Sara Gallo, Jenny Mair, Cas Burns, Gloria Morin, and Jennifer Weber, as well as all the dancers. Each dance was designed to be done in a different location on campus, and there were two dance films created by the dancers and instructors.

“Student performers have been rehearsing from four to eight hours per week since the beginning of the semester, and they’ve put in many more hours in the days leading up to the concert,” said Elizabeth Stich, assistant professor of dance. “Many students have devoted up to 100 hours to the show this semester.”

The dancers and choreographers decided where on the DSU campus they wanted to showcase their talents. Locations included the stairs in front of the Human Performance Center, the stream of water in front of the Snow Math and Science center, and the Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center lobby. The dancers climbed through stairway railings, used light posts as props, and even danced through gravel. The dancers also had beautiful costumes that matched each dance perfectly.

“The dances were only possible at the specific site, which makes it even more fun and unique,” said Taylor Taft, a freshman dance major from Herriman. “It was an experience that I wouldn’t be able to have anywhere else, and it felt like I was taking part [in] a musical at times.”

The audience was led by a group leader to each of the separate dance locations. The show started in the Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center with an aerial dance where the dancers showcased their talent alongside three live cellists.

“It’s fun to try a concert in a non-traditional setting, from seated in an auditorium to outdoors, using architecture and varied aspects of each space, as well as the audience is standing to observe each piece,” said Gloria Morin, administrative assistant of dance.

Stich said the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for the Dance Department, but the department took it as an opportunity to think outside the box. She said she knew dancing in an area besides a stage, specifically dancing outside, comes with risks.

“There are many elements in this show that we can’t control — the weather, lighting, construction noises — but that is also what makes it exciting,” Stich said. “Out of the four performances, no two shows will be exactly alike.”

There will be two more shows on April 2 at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Ronald Garner dies, leaves musical genius legacy

Emeritus professor Ronald Garner passed away March 22 of natural causes at 90 years old. Though he has passed on, his legacy still lives at Dixie State University.

“He was ‘Mr. Positivity,'” said John Bowler, director of alumni relations. “He was that guy who would tell you ‘you can do anything.'”

Garner worked at DSU for 54 years in the music department, and he still holds the title of “one of the longest-serving state employees in Utah history,” according to an email from President Richard ‘Biff’ Williams.

Glenn Webb, assistant professor of music and close friend of Garner, said Garner founded the Celebrity Concert Series, DSU marching band, and the Southwest Symphony Orchestra.

Ginger Nelson, director of arts programming, said: “Although I never met Dr. Garner, his dedication to the Celebrity Concert Series was the beginning of a tradition that has lasted over 60 years. Our series family will surely feel his loss, and we hope to carry on the spirit of bringing performing arts to our community for 60 more years to come.”

Along with founding several music programs, he directed over 1,000 concerts and performances throughout his career at DSU, Webb said. He was extremely knowledgeable about all music and specifically loved to teach students about music theory and jazz.

“He was instrumental in building [DSU] into what we know it as today,” Webb said. “You know, Ron was doing ‘active learning, active life’ before anybody thought of that.”

Garner was a major advocate and helping hand throughout all the eras of DSU, Webb said. He was an active voice when the college was just beginning and building the campus students use today, and he helped transform it from a two-year college into a four-year university, all while teaching and mentoring students in the music department.

“He used to talk about music and musicians with such enthusiasm,” Webb said. “He was a wonderful teacher. When he was teaching and conversing with students, he was always interested in what they had to say; there was no condescending bone in his body.”

Bowler said during homecoming week at DSU, Garner would always have a group of students come back to campus just to visit, hang out and chat with him.

“I mean, it’s an incredible thing when you think about it,” Bowler said. “Students that are now my age or older come back just to see him and be associated with him — that is an incredible legacy. That shows the type of person he was.”

Webb said Garner gave him instant opportunities to explore his career in music before even attending DSU. Garner invited Webb to play in the Southwest Symphony Orchestra as a teenager and constantly took him on trips to Salt Lake City to listen to visiting orchestras.

Little did Webb know that one day he would have an office right down the hall from Garner. The two became close colleagues and friends as music professors at DSU.

“What I will cherish is the countless hours of service, kindness and positivity [Garner] shared with us as a campus, as a community, as a world,” Bowler said.

Currently, all funeral plans only involve Garner’s close family. There will be no public viewing due to COVID-19, according to Garner’s obituary.

Webb said he has spoken to the dean of the College of Fine Arts about naming the concert hall after Garner to honor him on campus. There are more plans to come involving remembering Garner on campus, but the specifics are not known at this time.

DSU men’s soccer gaining valuable experience for young team in 2-0 loss

With three freshmen in the starting lineup, Dixie State University men’s soccer took a 2-0 loss to fellow Western Athletic Conference opponent University of Nevada Las Vegas.

The Trailblazers saw a tough matchup with the Rebels. The game started even, but no one was able to find any momentum. In the 28th minute, the Trailblazers thought they found a goal off the foot of Idris Alabi, a redshirt junior biology major from Vail, Arizona, that looked to have cleared the net. The assistant referee called it a no-goal, though, which put the Trailblazers on the back foot.

“From my angle, I can’t tell,” Broadhead said. “The linesmen is down there to make that read and he made that read.”

Just seven minutes later, UNLV found a goal off the run of play from the top of the 18-yard box. Broadhead said had his team found the goal earlier, the momentum for his team would have been completely different.

“It’s a game of millimeters,” Broadhead said.

Heading into halftime, the Trailblazers were down 1-0 but still able to hold their own. Broadhead has talked all season about how his team can shut down after giving up goals, something we didn’t see in this game. They went into and came out of the half still playing strong and were able to keep the game close through most of the second half.

“They just want to win,” Broadhead said. “And they deserve to win.”

It took until the 85th minute for UNLV to get its second goal off Ridley Matthew’s head. This game took all the wind out of the Trailblazers’ sails, and they weren’t able to find another goal.

“Credit to UNLV, they just keep picking away at it,” said Matt Lockwood, a junior nursing major from West Jordan. “Other than that, you can’t really complain. You hate to see the second [goal] go in, but ultimately the takeaway we can take away is that we beat ourselves today.”

At the match’s death, the Trailblazers had a set-piece but were unable to capitalize and ended up taking the 2-0 loss. The Trailblazers are now looking to put this one behind them and move ahead to next week’s game against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

“We’re hoping we can go into UTRGV and get three points and maybe mess up their postseason plans a little bit,” Broadhead said.

The team is hoping to get higher up the WAC table in its three remaining games this season and get experience for its young roster moving forward.

“It’s exciting to think about next year,” Broadhead said. “We have some nice players coming in and we don’t really lose anybody, so there will be a lot of continuity.”

The team is returning nearly all of its roster next season with just two seniors on the roster and will be able to use the experience it has gained this season.

‘Aloha Fridays’ brings Asian American, Pacific Islander culture to campus

Julia Faaiu, vice president of the Pacific Islander Student Association, explains what people can learn from the Polynesian community.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month takes place in April every year to celebrate and recognize the history, contribution and achievements of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

This year, the AAPI theme is “Stop AAPI Hate: Solidarity, Community and Celebration.”

The Pacific Islander Student Association (PISA) is a student-run organization that seeks to promote the awareness of Pacific cultures at Dixie State University.

Starting April 2, PISA will be hosting “Aloha Fridays” almost every Friday for a month. According to the PISA website, these events will be from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Gardner Courtyard unless otherwise specified.

“Aloha Fridays, it’s basically about the Pacific culture,” said PISA Vice President Julia Faaiu, a senior accounting major from American Samoa. “Each Friday, we are planning on implementing one of those practices into it.”

For its first event, PISA will be giving a language lesson for anyone who wants to learn short phrases or words in different Polynesian languages.

PISA is also collaborating with DSU Dining Services to provide a lunch special, which will be a menu of foods from their culture to give students a taste of what it’s like.

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The next event will be April 16 and involve students bringing their own ukuleles to learn fun chords and notes to get a look at the culture’s instruments.

The last event will be April 23 and feature a Samoan workshop with a New Zealand dance group teaching students virtually about the Samoan culture and dances.

“Our goal with this is to let people know about PISA, let them know that we are a thing, that we are coming back and kind of rebuilding,” said PISA President Lilo Clark, a sophomore business major from Salt Lake City. “[We want to] let them understand, ask questions; … we’ll be able to help them understand.”

Clark said the Polynesian community is very family-oriented.

Clark said: “Little things like [family] can make a big influence on others, the way we treat people, the way we act around them, and the way we support them. I think celebrating that and helping people be aware of our culture is just a way we can do good for the community.”

AAPI is important to every Polynesian student on campus for several different reasons.

“Asian American [and] Island Pacific Heritage Month is important to me because it recognizes our history, culture and achievements,” said Faitoto’a Faleao, a senior sports and recreation management major from Lehi. “I like that there’s always something new I learn every day, whether it’s about where my family is from, meeting a new family member, or just getting to know the language and culture better.”

Faleao aid she is grateful to her parents for bringing their family to the United States from American Samoa and for all of the opportunities it created for their current and future family.

Name Recommendation Committee formed, begins process

The Board of Trustees is currently moving forward with the name change process by forming a name recommendation committee to conduct surveys where students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members can submit recommendations.

A new name will be recommended for Dixie State University by the Board of Trustees no later than Nov. 1.

“The Name Recommendation Committee will work with Love Communications to seek name recommendations from thousands of Utahans through an open survey and town hall meetings,” Public Relations Director Jyl Hall said.

The committee held its first town hall meeting March 30.

After the surveys have been distributed and gathered, Love Communications and the committee will review the survey results. Hall said the search will be narrowed down to five name themes and will then be presented to hundreds of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members through focus groups.

“After collecting the focus groups’ feedback, the name exploration committee will choose a final name theme, present it to additional focus groups, and put forth a final name recommendation to the DSU Board of Trustees,” Hall said.

The next step, after the surveys and focus groups, will be for the new name recommendation to go to the Utah Board of Higher Education before being presented to the Legislature.

“The committee will make a name recommendation to the Utah State Legislature by Nov. 1, 2021,” Hall said. “Then the Legislature still has to vote on the recommendation they receive. If the Legislature does vote for a name change, a change will take place after that.”

As determined in House Bill 278, the Board of Trustees will choose individuals to make up a Heritage Committee upon the decision of the new name. Its job will be to preserve the heritage, culture and history of DSU.

Jordon Sharp, vice president of marketing and communication, said: “The committee’s work will be from three to five months; however, it is not totally known when the state will vote on this matter. After the final vote, and if the name changes, the rebranding efforts will start immediately but could take upwards of a year to complete.”

Hall said alumni will be allowed to receive a diploma with the new name of the institution on it. There will be a process set up on DSU’s website for alumni to request a new diploma.

“If the name changes, the campus rebrand would most likely begin the beginning of next year and into the summer of 2022,” Sharp said. “All buildings and apparel will be rebranded over time.”

Attempts to reach Julie Beck, a Board of Trustees member and the Name Recommendation Committee chair, and other members of the committee were unsuccessful.

OPINION | Be careful with your April Fools’ Day pranks

A good April Fools’ Day prank is always fun, but knowing when to draw the line is key.

Placing Bubble Wrap on the underside of a rug, seemingly trapping a phone in an empty bottle, and using a link to “final exam answers” to pull off a rick-roll are all fun and harmless pranks. On the other hand, faking car accidents, risking someone’s job or reputation, and pretending it’s the end of the world are not fun or harmless.

I love a good prank as much as the next person, but some subjects just need to be off limits when it comes to pranking, even when it’s April Fools’ Day. Here are my recommendations for pranks to avoid and some better alternatives to use:

Emotional distress pranks

Don’t fake pregnancies, engagements, cheating scandals, illnesses or deaths. They’re not funny. Getting people’s hopes up for pregnancies and engagements is a potential catalyst for depression and resentment, and pretending to cheat can result in reactions ranging from distrust to your partner admitting they also cheated. And obviously, pretending to fall ill or die is an awful thing to do any time, but even more so in the midst of a pandemic that’s killed nearly 3 million people worldwide.

If you’re interested in scaring people in a less harmful way, placing paper cutouts of bugs in a lampshade or strategically placing plastic bugs might be a good idea. That said, if you try to scare me with fake spiders, don’t expect me to be a good sport. Also, be aware of the line between fears and phobias when setting up pranks like this.

Additionally, you could just tell someone you’re going to prank them and really hype it up, then watch as they nervously wait for pranks that aren’t actually going to happen.

Food pranks

Generally speaking, food tampering is a terrible idea, especially with the potential for allergic reactions.

But if you’re going to pull the old toothpaste-in-the-Oreos prank, at least check whether the toothpaste is safe to swallow and in what quantities. For example, my toothpaste says to seek medical help right away if more than what’s used for brushing is accidentally swallowed.

If you want to pull a more harmless food prank, choosing someone without dietary restrictions and passing chocolate-covered Brussels sprouts off as regular chocolate balls might be a safer alternative. Heck, even just swapping which chocolate is in which slot in a box for a little chocolate roulette is fine as long as you’re taking allergies into consideration.

Messy pranks

Pranks that involve making a mess should be a no-go unless the prankster wants to tidy up afterward. If you want to place confetti on the ceiling fan, great, but only if you’re going to clean it up when we’re done.

Glitter bombs aren’t exactly the best prank to pull either. Sure, it’s a colorful surprise that’s funny in the moment, but you’ll never really be rid of the stuff once it’s out of its container. Even after thorough cleaning, I’ve found random specks of glitter in my carpet or on my clothes years after the fact.

And please, do not put bouillon cubes in the showerhead. People shower to destress and get clean, not to smell like chicken. If someone did this to me, I would not find it funny in the least.

The mark of a good April Fools’ Day prank is when the person you’re pranking finds it funny too, so try to keep that in mind and consider where to draw the line this April 1.

EDITORIAL | University should address campus suicides

Suicide is not something most people want to engage with or talk about, and this is why the subject has become taboo. As a public student journalist program, it’s important that we have access to information needed to write about campus suicide deaths just as we do for other campus deaths.

With that said, we understand that the reporting process needs to be done carefully and follow certain guidelines just as any other death. There is no reason to run away from the topic because it is touchy; we need to speak about it to bring awareness and celebrate the individual’s life.

Our job is to highlight everything going on at Dixie State University. We want to be as transparent as we can with all the work we are producing to ensure everyone is aware of what is going on.

Brushing a campus suicide death under the rug and not mentioning it to the public allows for the heavy topic to become more taboo. The public will find out about it through the grapevine anyway, so it might as well be spoken about openly to discount any false information and avoid continuing the stigma around suicide. Avoiding the topic can also create more controversy since the public may wonder why it was never publicly announced.

Suicide is a real thing that many individuals deal with and it is the 10th leading cause of death in America, according to Suicide Awareness Voices of Education. This is the reason suicide needs to be talked about more; it is important to speak out about the subject to bring more awareness to it. That way, it can become less taboo of a topic.

Bringing attention to suicide brings awareness to it. If a campus death is just dismissed and not brought to the attention of the public, that could be hurtful to family and friends of the individual who passed away.

According to Suicide Prevention Lifeline, addressing the topic is one way to prevent future instances. When more attention is brought to the topic, the university has the opportunity to direct students who may be having similar feelings to the university’s mental health resources, such as the Booth Wellness Center. The university can also suggest speaking with family or friends for support instead of keeping these feelings inside.

We know there are things that should not be covered, such as the details of how the suicide happened, and the approach needs to be done carefully. It is understandable that reporters need to be courteous to the family of the deceased individual because it is difficult for them to be spoken to and interviewed so soon after.

It is also vital to point out that the manner in which suicide is discussed impacts how the public responds to it. Forms of entertainment media that incorporate suicides into their storylines tend to romanticize or glorify suicide, but reporting about the incident is a way to bring awareness to mental illness and may help others who are having suicidal thoughts; it can show them that it’s important to seek the help they need.

DSU has the responsibility of addressing every death, no matter the cause. The university needs to have an explicit protocol for addressing campus suicides. The administration should make an effort to send out an email to faculty, staff and students informing them about the incident, just like they often do with other campus deaths.

‘I wanted to be a part of something that was on the climb’: Deven Osborne looks to grow at DSU

The term “jock” has been correlated to athletes for quite some time now; however, Deven Osborne, a senior business administration major from Los Angeles, defies all of those stereotypes.

Osborne grew up in L.A. and got involved in the pee-wee Pop Warner leagues throughout California. Football was just a small part of Osborne’s life, as even from a young age he took on a great deal of responsibilities.

“My mom was a big community leader, and she was involved in just about every event from the Rose Bowl Marathon [to the] Black History Parade to the Ronald McDonald House and charity; she was just involved in so many different things,” Oborne said. “I was that kid with her waking up early in the morning and running around at these events with her. At the time, I wanted to sleep in or play with my friends, but over time I understood why she was doing it, and that’s because she wanted to make an impact in the community and ensure people around her are doing the best they could.”

When Osborne ended his senior year of high school football, he didn’t have any offers until DSU reached out to him and extended an invite to come on an official visit.

“I just liked the area and wanted to be a part of it,” Osborne said. “I saw the university was growing, and that was the same mindset I had. I wanted to be a part of something that was on the climb.”

Osborne was persistent with his schooling and athletics and eventually came to understand why he had to attend all of the community events and early mornings with his mom.

“[My mother’s impact] didn’t really hit me until I got [to St. George] and saw what I could really do here at this school and with this community [like] she did with hers,” Osborne said. “All the things I have done and will continue trying to do all really goes back to the days where I’d wake up at 5 a.m. with my mom in Pasadena, and helping at the city marathons or whatever event it was trying to lift up the biggest table, knowing I can’t but trying to help out in any way possible.”

On the field, Osborne not only plays receiver for the Trailblazers, but also has a much larger role for the team.

“His leadership is immeasurable for our football team, both on and off the field,” head coach Paul Peterson said. “Deven is the perfect example of a student-athlete who embraces the process, he continues to get better and better every year that I’ve been with him.”

Osborne is not only a college athlete but is also the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at DSU, ran for student body president, and has participated in numerous movements here in the state and community.

“The SAAC is really trying to create awareness in many different topics,” Osborne said. “For instance, this week we are trying to help raise awareness of Operation Underground Railroad and inform others [of] what goes on with child trafficking.”

SAAC Vice President James Baird, a senior recreation and sports management major from Trenton, New Jersey, said: “I’m just proud to be associated with [Osborne] on this committee and to be his vice president. It’s crazy to see his vision and how he makes it happen.”

As Osborne has made the transition to a Trailblazer, he’s realized the possible opportunity he has to be a voice for those who may feel like he does.

“One of the biggest reasons I ran for student body president is because for me, being a Black male not from here, I wanted to show other minorities around this area that this school is a great place to come to regardless of what you look like,” Osborne said.  “I wanted to show kids that a Black male from Los Angeles, California that plays football and does all of these different things can thrive in this type of a community, so they can as well.”

With the busy schedules all college students have, along with everything Osborne is doing, there is one motive that tends to drive him more than others: the passion to make somebody’s life better or improve their day.

5 things you’re doing that drive your professors crazy

Have you ever attended a lecture and couldn’t shake the feeling that the professor just doesn’t like you?

Typically, there’s things professors do that students dislike and most students aren’t afraid to make that known to others, but let’s flip the script. There are a few student behaviors that tend to annoy professors at Dixie State University.

To be fair, when each professor was asked, ‘What are some behaviors students do that drive you crazy?’ just about every response was prefaced by saying they rarely have issues with students and enjoy working with those in their classes.

“Having the opportunity to watch my students grow and progress these past few years has truly been an incredible experience and one that I’ll never forget,” said Kisa Smith, part-time humanities and social sciences instructor.

However, there were some professors who gave a few helpful hints to Trailblazers on how they can avoid driving them crazy:

Be Respectful

Earning a good grade on a test, working hard for an “A” in the course, or getting a 4.0 for the semester would all be great academic goals to achieve. The question is, did you deserve the “A” or did you bully the professor into giving you that grade?

Smith said she encounters this type of behavior at the end of just about every semester.

“I’ve had a few students come at me during finals week, trying to bully me into giving them a better grade than they deserved,” Smith said.

After Smith gave a particular student several different chances to improve their score on a paper that was due, the student continued to make minimal changes to their paper, still hoping their grade would raise. She said the student then attempted bullying her to force her to give him the grade he wanted.

“If I allow students to bully me into giving them a grade they didn’t deserve, it will cheapen the integrity and quality of the course and it really wouldn’t be fair to my students who put in the work to get a good grade,” Smith said.

Smith isn’t the only professor this happens to and wants to remind students to be respectful to their professors regardless of the letter grade they receive in the course.

Smith said: “Bullying professors is one of those topics that we don’t talk about enough, but it is a huge issue on campus. Many professors tolerate this abuse silently and on their own, [but] students need to know that this behavior is not OK.”

Who’s in charge here?

At the end of the day, it is the professor who dictates the deadlines of the assignments and what the assignments entail.

Clint Buhler, associate professor of humanities, said trying to manipulate the details or due date of an assignment is one thing he is frustrated with.

“I guess for me the number one pet peeve is when a student emails me with demands that should be requests,” Buhler said.

Here are some examples of actual emails Buhler received:

  • “I forgot about the quiz, so I need you to open it back up for me.” No greeting, just a command.
  • “Prof. Buhler, I’m going to be out of town next week, so I need you to open the test until next Tuesday.”

“Nobody likes to be commanded to do something, especially when it’s something they’re under no obligation to do,” Buhler said. “It’s not that hard to ask something in a respectful way.”

Buhler said students need to be aware of the deadlines they have and, if needed, turn in an assignment early.

Do it, even if you think it’s “dumb”

We all know it’s hard to stay focused and engaged in the class if it’s through Zoom, but it is just as important to participate online as it is if you are in class, Smith said.

Smith said she once had a student say that her discussion forum questions were ‘lame and poorly written.’

“It’s OK to not agree with everything your professor does, but college is all about playing the game and completing assignments the way your instructor asks you to so you can get a good grade,” Smith said.

Read the syllabus…

In just about every class here at DSU, the first day typically involves your professor reviewing the syllabus.

Instead of paying attention and understanding how the course is structured, students often use this day to play on their phones, doze off or find people to potentially date in that class, but paying attention to the syllabus may relieve your professor of a headache and save a few emails.

Geoff Smith, assistant professor of biology, said professors have syllabus days for a reason.

He said, “Ninety-five out of 100 emails could be answered with, ‘Was [the answer] in the syllabus?'”

Don’t wait to take action

The last few weeks of the semester, you may do your absolute best to improve your grade and complete all of the assignments you have missed. Mark Lavoie, assistant professor of media studies, said this is one of the biggest pet peeves he faces as a professor.

“[My biggest pet peeve is] waiting until the last few weeks of a class and then students coming to me with the reasons they are doing poorly and begging or demanding I let them do make-up work or extra credit,” Lavoie said. “Miss me with that mess.”