Students graduating before July will receive a Dixie State University diploma

By Lily Taylor, guest writer

Students graduating this spring will receive the last round of Dixie State University diplomas. 

DSU’s spring 2022 graduation ceremony will be at the Greater Zion Stadium May 6. The graduates will begin walking to the ceremony at 7:30 a.m. and the ceremony will start immediately after. The ceremony is for students receiving a master’s, bachelor’s or associate degrees from DSU. 

Graduates will receive a red shell with a message letting them know the diploma will be sent in the mail within six to eight weeks. 

Graduation coordinator Kristie Davis said: “Students who graduate prior to July 1, 2022, will receive Dixie State University diplomas. Students who graduate after July 1, 2022, will receive a diploma from Utah Tech University.” 

Lindsey Cozad, a junior media studies major from Layton, will be walking in the ceremony to receive her associate degree. 

Cozad said: “When I enrolled to come here [in] the fall of 2020, I expected to graduate with my bachelor’s [degree] at Dixie State University. I am super excited about the name change and think that they will be able to do really amazing things with it, but I just wanted to get a degree that symbolizes the time that I spent at Dixie State.” 

The Greater Zion Stadium gates open at 6:30 a.m., and guests must be seated by 7:30 a.m. Graduates need to assemble with their college north of the Kenneth N. Gardner Student Center no later than 6:45 a.m. 

Megan Church, director of university events and promotions, said: “Graduates can pick up their caps and gowns at the Grad Fair on May 4 and 5 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After graduates pick up their graduation regalia, it is theirs to keep.” 

Students will meet at the Stephen & Marcia Wade Alumni House, which is across from Greater Zion Stadium. At the Grad Fair, students will receive their cap, gown, cords, gifts and food. Students will also have the opportunity to join the DSU Alumni Association. 

“I also hope our graduates will stay connected to the university and come back and visit often for homecoming, athletic events, alumni events and so much more,” Church said. “Although May 6 may be many graduates’ last day as a student, they will always be a part of our university.”

A look back on Dixie State University’s final year of being DSU

While it is our final year as Dixie State University our history is not over. Here is a look back on all of the things we have accomplished in the 2022 school year.

Name change

While the transition from Dixie State University to Utah Tech University has been a long process, we are coming to a near end. In July 2022, the institution will officially be Utah Tech University.

In July 2020, DSU first announced the university would be gathering information about the DSU name. Then, in December of 2020 the board of trustees and the Utah System of Higher Education unanimously recommended a name change to the Utah Legislature.

On March 3, 2021, the Utah State Senate passed H.B. 278 which requires the Utah System of Higher Education to recommend a new name for the institution. In order to preserve the “Dixie culture,” the bill states the university must implement a heritage committee to keep traditions of DSU alive.

In 2021, the Utah State Legislature voted on the proposed name of Utah Tech University. Before the proposed name Utah Tech University, a few of the recommended names included, but are not limited to: Deseret State University, St. George University and Desert State University.

In June 2021, the name recommendation committee selected one name to recommend to the Utah legislature. The name recommendation committee had to decipher a specific name that includes both the name Utah Polytech State University while still remaining as the nickname Utah Tech. Then, in November 2021 the Utah State Legislature voted and approved the new name, Utah Tech University.

Campus View Suites II & III

2022 marks the first year of Campus View Suites II and the announcement of Campus View Suites III. CVS II is a 144,897 square foot building containing 534 beds and 182 toilets. Each floor contains a common kitchen and laundry room. While this building has only been open for a year it is considered to be one of the more successful buildings on campus.

Seth Gubler, executive director of auxiliaries and director of housing and resident life, said: “We’ve filled up the building [CVS II], and the building opened on time. I’ve gotten positive feedback from students regarding their experience. They appreciate the amenities, they like the majority of the furnishings, and furniture selections. A lot of the tenets have said they have been able to make friends and meet people. With those things considered I believe it was [a] successful [first year of CVS II].”

With the growing success of CVS II, along with it comes CVS III.

Gubler said CVS III has still not officially been approved, as the university is waiting for one more stamp of approval from the USHE.

“You have limitations based on the amount of money you’re working with, the number of beds we need to provide, and construction and material costs,” Gulber said.

However, the university is in the process of working with different contractors to see who can provide the most amenities for the lowest cost.

New clubs on campus

While DSU has over 80 different clubs on campus, there is always room for more. Students are able to start their own clubs on campus with a few requirements: your club/organization must have a name, purpose, rules, regulations, a minimum of five members, and a desired mentor who is part of DSU faculty, staff or administration.

The list of new clubs formed this year include but are not limited to:

  • African Student Union
  • Best Buddies
  • Chemistry Club
  • Club of Diverse Minds
  • Math Club
  • Earth Science Society
  • Garden Club
  • Healthy Trailblazers Coalition
  • Hot Commodities Club
  • Human Resources Club
  • Mountain Bike Club
  • Pixels and Halides
  • Pre-Law Society
  • Satanic Student Alliance
  • Tabletop Club
  • Trailgazers Astronomy Club
  • Women and Family Academic Engagement Club
  • Women in Business Club
  • Yes and… (Improv Club)

Click here for information about starting and/or joining clubs on-campus.

Student body president

Student Body President Penny Mills is finishing out her term this semester as well as her time at DSU. Mills was student body president for two years, and she will be the last DSU Student Body President. Mills is graduating this May and is passing her duties down to Devon Rice.

Rice was recently elected to be Utah Tech University’s first student body president. Rice has plans to provide better dining options on campus for students, raise student fees while taking advantage of them to benefit students, and make policy changes in students’ favor. Click here to learn more about Rice and his intentions about being Utah Tech’s first student body president.

While the university’s name will officially be Utah Tech University this July, we will never forget who we are as Dixie State University.

D-Week as DSU’s most memorable week

The Dixie State University Student Association hosted the final D-Week celebration, making this the most memorable themed week.

It may have been the last D-Week Dixie State University has seen, but it didn’t stop DSUSA and the Alumni Association from throwing a week that celebrated 109 years of traditions. 

New name, same traditions?

With the change of DSU to Utah Tech University, you can expect a new type of traditions week. 

Anna Barfuss, a sophomore recreation and sports management major from St. George, said: “D-Week as a whole will change. However, we will still have a traditions week on campus with certain events within D-week continuing such as, carnival, Inferno, a pageant and BrooksBirthday.”

Some of the events DSU has celebrated for 109 years will still be worked into the new traditions week along with new events. Barfuss said we will add and change other events to support traditions within Utah Tech.

Planning D-Week

Planning D-Week events takes months, and everyone who is a part of DSUSA takes on an event. DSUSA even works with event planners and students that are a part of Code Red to plan the D-Week we have come to know.

Kennedy Thurgood, a senior recreation and sports management major from Clearfield, said: “With four event planners we each tackle a different event, but each event can take anywhere from one to three months to plan entirely. For me, planning the D-Queen pageant took me about three months to plan, due to seven weeks of rehearsals, a luncheon, dress rehearsals, boot camp, and the actual day of competition.”

These events take time to plan, and it ends up being an all hands-on deck type as the event get closer.

“The student life team on DSUSA will spend about 60-80 hours during a week like D-Week due to setting up, running and cleaning up every single event.” Barfuss said.

Some of these events take anywhere from five to 200 student volunteers to help.

Promoting D-Week

We all saw the signs promoting D-Week and its events across campus. Whether it was a flyer in the bathroom, flyers on the boards around campus, or large signs on campus promoting DWeek.  

You can thank the marketing team for their efforts and students who are a part of Code Red, the volunteer branch of DSUSA. 

They helped bring the director’s vision to life, helped set up the events, and some were part of the planning process of D-Week. 

Collaboration makes the events successful

While majority of D-Week events are usually planned by DSUSA, they do branch out to the Alumni Association and Campus Recreation to help with some events.

James Burton, a sophomore management major from Spanish Fork, said, “We collaborate with the Alumni Association for traditions week in regards to the carnival and let Campus Recreation throw in some events as well.”

Campus Recreation was responsible for the Great Race and dive-in movie.

Looking forward to a new traditions week

Going into the new era of Utah Tech, there may be some trepidation, but DSUSA is looking forward to setting new traditions and keeping students involved.

Barfuss said: “I hope the school can start new traditions that last forever and keep our school spirit that we have now. DSU has a very special student life experience and event atmosphere. I hope we can continue to build on that and make traditions week even better.”

Since this was the last year students got to enjoy D-Week, DSUSA put effort into ensuring it went out with a bang. We still got to celebrate traditions that have been celebrated since DSU first came to be. Even though it’s time to say goodbye to D-Week, it’s not time to say goodbye to DSU traditions as we transition into being Utah Tech.

Top 5 clubs at DSU for the 2022-2023 school year

by Daniella Centeno, guest writer

As the school year progresses to a close, awards season is upon university organizations and faculty. 

The five nominees for Club of the Year for the Dixie Awards have made strides this year that made a difference in the community at DSU. Cesar Ruiz, a junior English major from Littlefield, Arizona, and vice president of clubs and organizations, said the clubs have made a huge comeback with making their presence felt after a difficult year and half due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the new school year coming up, Ruiz said he would like to see clubs come out of their comfort zone when reaching out to students, and he believes in finding creative ways to achieve that. 

The top five clubs on campus this semester currently up for Club of the Year award are Black Student Union, Healthy Trailblazers Coalition, Japanese Culture Club, Pickleball Club and Radiologic Technologist Association.

Black Student Union

 BSU is the only club linked to the Center for Inclusion and Belonging to make the list. BSU’s mission is to cultivate an understanding of Black cultures, its people and their accomplishments.

BSU President Xochile Avila, a sophomore communication studies major from Ogden, said this year the club made a difference through focusing on events showing the essence of Black excellence. She wanted to put on events that were fun for people but also more family oriented because there is a small percentage of Black students that are on campus. It was getting students to get out of their comfort zone and come to club events and participate.

Healthy Trailblazers Coalition 

The Healthy Trailblazers Coalition is a student organization focused on promoting physical and mental well-being on campus through resources, activities and support. Saige Coates, a sophomore pre-nursing major from Herriman and president of the club, said the difference the club made this year was by providing countless resources for students. 

Coates said a few ways have they have shown this is through adding a second Rx drop off box  on campus, making Deterra disposable drug kits (a way get rid of Rx and OTC medications) more accessible, being involved in campus RA Naloxone training, and hosting multiple events based on wellness and stress relief. 

The club was very active in volunteering, creating ties with other clubs, and community liaisons such as Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness. 

Japanese Culture Club

The Japanese Culture Club is a club dedicated to Japanese culture, cuisine, entertainment, traditions, etc. It’s a community that allows students to get a chance to learn and immerse themselves in authentic Japanese culture through activities. 

Gregory DeWitt, a junior history and criminology major from Kimberly, Wisconsin, and president of the club, said: “What the club really strives for is to be a fun place to go and relax for a day during a long school year. I felt we were able to teach our members a lot about Japanese culture, which is ultimately what we strive for first and foremost.” 

Radiologic Technologists Association

The Radiologic Technologists Association is a student-led organization that works together to move forward the medical imaging profession to provide better health quality service. 

Ali Morgan, a junior medical radiography major from Bend, Oregon, and president of the association, said the club made a difference by being a helping hand this year. 

“We made it to a ton of service projects this year and actually serviced the most service hours out of all the clubs on campus,” Morgan said. 

They had two teams in the Great Race, attended every ICC meeting, and helped at as many campus service projects as the club could. 

Pickleball Club

The Pickleball Club is a student-led club where students can play pickleball whether it be casual or competitive. Matthew Morgan, senior accounting major from Santa Clara and president of the club, said the club created a consistent activity that allowed students to compete in a fun and safe environment. 

Morgan said it was very rewarding when he would receive texts from people being genuinely happy to simply be invited to pickleball nights. 

“I’ve realized that there are so many people on campus with nothing to do during the night and that they are just waiting to be invited out to do things,” Morgan said. 

Morgan said he would like their tournaments geared towards charity, as this is something he has recently been doing with recent tournaments.

5 stress-reducing tricks to help you conquer finals week

Finals week is quickly approaching, and students are getting closer to the finish line, which is stirring up feelings of stress among the student body.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the endless list of assignments, papers, projects and exams you have due in the next two weeks, take a deep breath and check out the five ways you can reduce your stress during finals week.

Don’t cram

It can be easy to convince yourself you can wait until the last moment to start studying for an exam because you tell yourself you’ll just cram the information in right before the exam. Spencer Bell, assistant psychology professor, said cramming information for an exam can hurt students in the long run, especially if they need to retain that information for other classes in the future.

Bell recommends students try to study a little bit after each class to help aid in remembering the subject material. While cramming may seem like a tempting option, for students who tend to procrastinate, it can hinder your ability to recall information when it comes to actually taking the exam.

Don’t multitask

Laying out your priorities in preparation for finals can be challenging. This problem usually stems from procrastination leading students to resort to multitasking in an attempt to finish their assignments quicker, and perhaps, incorrectly. Paige Torsak, a junior marketing major from San Diego, California, has advised the students she peer coaches that multitasking does more harm than good when it comes to time management.

“We taught them about how switch-tasking works and how much time you actually waste by doing that,” Torsak said.

Instead, Torsak encourages her students to devote their attention to one task at a time. If you are struggling to figure which assignment to work on first, Torsak recommends completing assignments in the order they are due to avoid turning assignments in late.


Bell also suggests students should engage in regular physical activity to help mitigate the impact of stress. Exercise can increase the production of endorphins in your body, which act as “your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters.” If you don’t have time to complete a full workout or visit the gym, take a five-minute walk around the neighborhood or throw an impromptu dance party.

Take a break

When students get on a roll with studying for an exam or working on a project, it may feel difficult to stop because they are in the zone and being productive. However, Yulisa Castaneda, a junior media studies major from Wendover, cautions students against studying for hours on end without a break.

“If you take a few minutes to breathe and regather, it’s much easier to study for longer periods of time,” Castaneda said.

If you are unsure of how to structure your breaks, try out the Pomodoro Technique where you work on a task for 25 minutes and then take a break for five minutes. After completing your fourth cycle, take a longer break up to 30 minutes. During those breaks, you could stretch, make yourself a snack, chat with a friend, or even take a quick nap.

Lean on your support system

When you are stressed, you may shut out your friends and family in an attempt to prevent distractions from disturbing your studying. Bell said students tend to isolate themselves in study rooms during finals, but reaching out to your social supports like friends, family or even classmates can help reduce stress.

If you still want to focus your energy on studying, form a study group with other students in your class so you can socialize while preparing for your upcoming exams. Students can also plan an end-of-the-semester gathering with friends to motivate them to finish strong and celebrate all their hard work.

Finals week is ultimately what you make of it, so take the time to not only focus on your studies, but also pay attention to your mental and physical health. You have devoted so much time and energy into this semester, so end it on a high note.

The results are in for this year’s best school dance

Here are your options: Foam Dance, Chaos, Retro Prom and Inferno, so which is your pick for best dance of the year at Dixie State University?

We did a poll on the @sunnews_daily Instagram to ask students what their favorite school dance was this year. Shoutout to DSU Student Association for putting on each of these dances to bring the student body together for some fun.

Quick, place your bets because here are the results.

Third runner-up: Retro Prom

14% of our voters selected Retro Prom as their favorite school dance of the year. Retro Prom was an ’80s vibe dance with a punch bowl, disco ball and photo booth. Those who attended wore their best ’80s outfits, and some students even brought a date.

Second runner-up: Inferno

24% of our voters selected Inferno as their favorite school dance of the year. Inferno was the last dance of the school year with a jersey theme. Everyone showed up in a jersey repping their team. DSUSA even made a one-of-a-kind Inferno jersey, and did a giveaway for a couple of students to win the jersey. At the dance there was a photo booth, live DJ, Devon “Dink” Rice on the drums and live basketball games.

First runner-up: Chaos

29% of our voters selected Chaos as their favorite school dance of the year. Chaos is DSU’s Halloween dance, and it is far more than just a dance with an oxygen bar, haunted house, carnival games and silk aerial artist. Everyone who attends shows up in a Halloween costume to embody the Chaos dance Halloween theme.

Here’s what DSU students said about Chaos.

Kylee Seager, a sophomore biology major from St George, said: “My favorite dance would have to be Chaos. I loved all of the different activities that I was able to do. The energy everyone brought and the dancing crowd itself was by far amazing. I loved doing the mini activities, trying the oxygen bar and going through the haunted house. The music was fun, the people were friendly and the dance was phenomenal.”

Kaiya Villines, a junior criminal justice major from Yerington, Nevada, said Chaos was her favorite dance because there was more to do than just dance.

Winner: Foam Dance

33% of our voters selected Foam Dance as their favorite school dance of the year. The Foam Dance is a dance to start off the school year right. Everyone shows up in their swimming suits, goggles and dancing shoes. The entire time you are dancing with foam bubbles to a live DJ. This school year DSUSA even rented large blow up slip ‘n slides.

Here’s what DSU students love about the Foam Dance.

Kate Dummermuth, a freshman exercise science major from Caldwell, Idaho, said: “My favorite dance was the foam dance. It was unlike anything I had been to before. The music was great, the energy was high and it was just such a great start to the best year.”

Aaliyah Moreno, a freshman psychology major from Roosevelt, said: “The foam dance was by far the best dance this year. They had the best DJ. Around the time of that dance it was so hot [outside], and the foam felt so good and kept you cool while we danced our butts off.”

Tahlia Webb, a junior exercise science major from St. George, said: “I loved the Foam dance the best. There was a lot going on with the water slides, photo booth, foam and music. It was just the perfect way to kick off the fall semester.”

‘Growing Pains:’ the first DSU senior art exhibition in Las Vegas

One senior art graduate is showing her senior exhibition at a Las Vegas art gallery this semester, and she is the first to show outside of St. George.

Karina Larsen, a senior art major from Provo, created an art exhibition called “Growing Pains,” and the road to getting her to Las Vegas involved hard work, long hours and deep emotions.

“I got to put my personal experience into a project that people can connect with,” Larsen said. “This is the first time that I actually feel proud of myself as an artist because before this I didn’t even think of myself as an artist.”

Larsen’s exhibition is displayed in multiple rooms at Left of Center Gallery. It includes both 2-D and installation art. There is a collection of ceramic lidded pots, ceramic tree sculptures, a video installation, and cinder block platforms. There is a dichotomy shown between industrial objects and organic objects, going along with the dichotomy of the human emotional experience.

“Even though there is all this hurt and pain inside of you, you also need to collect the good memories,” Larsen said. “Even though things suck sometimes, I can still look at the beautiful things and the room for growth.”

The final piece in the show is a house engulfed in natural objects like flowers and pinecones. These natural artifacts are things Larsen has been collecting since the start of her college education. She said these natural objects represent beautiful times in her life like when she received her first bouquet of flowers. She has been collecting and preserving moments to put together in this piece.

“When people see my work, I want them to start introspecting and interrogating themselves,” Larsen said. “Like, ‘what are my haunted spaces or the things I keep inside my four walls, and what is the barrier that I create between myself and others?’”

Marylou Parker, gallery director at Left of Center, said Larsen is more professional and advanced than she expected. She said she was excited to offer Larsen the full gallery space rather than just a room in the space. One room is what Dixie State University art majors typically utilize, but Parker said Larsen has a full-length exhibition at the gallery.

“I was blown away by how beautiful the pieces are and how unique the show is,” Parker said. “It’s really been educational and inspirational for people to see this contemporary work and the quality of the work.”

Parker said Larsen was very thoughtful about her use of the space and strategic with the placing of all her pieces. Parker said one stand-out piece from the show is the video installation piece along with the collection of ceramic pots and the ceramic trees.

Larsen said the video is her favorite piece in the show because it is the most genuine, emotional expression of her growing pains. The video depicts Larsen struggling with her cognitive distortions, or inaccurate and negative beliefs about herself. Larsen said her sister was the one to film and edit the video because Larsen knew she needed help from someone she felt comfortable being vulnerable with.

“I feel almost embarrassed about it because this is rawness to the extreme,” Larsen said. “It was the hardest out of all of pieces to do, and it was very physically and emotionally draining.”

McGarren Flack, assistant professor of studio art, said the video is his favorite part of Larsen’s show. He said Larsen did a good job acting in the video, and Larsen’s sister did a good job filming and editing. He said Larsen was not required to produce as much work as she did for her project, and she was very prolific in the creation of her art.

“Because of the amount of work, this show would be the equivalent of a master’s degree,” Flack said. “There were a lot of crunch times most students don’t have because they don’t have to produce so much work.”

Flack said Larsen is a memorable, stand-out student with creativity being her strongest quality as an artist. He said she is experimental and open to trying new things with her art, while taking well to feedback and constructive criticism.

Larsen said her creative interests began in highschool, and her exhibition is a collection of all the art forms she’s learned to love throughout her experience.

“Ceramics class was the first to give me a place to do things, and make things and feel things,” Larsen said. “It was liberating, and although I’m not a ceramics artist, but a conceptual artist, ceramics is my one, true first love.”

She said as she explored other mediums, she always treated different mediums as separate things. She learned how varying mediums can complement each other with her senior project.

“All the pieces have something to say with each other,” Larsen said. “I really played with different mediums in the space.”

Larsen said her professors and art classes have made her the artist she is today, and without school, the door to art would have never opened for her.

Parker said Larsen’s show is astounding, and she hopes to continue her association with DSU to see more student shows at Left of Center Gallery in the future.

“We’re very impressed with the work [Larsen] has done and very happy she gets to do it here,” Parker said.

Larsen said this project has taught her that hard work pays off and has created more enthusiasm in her future as a contemporary artist.

“I now know how I can put negative energy to work and use it as a positive,” Larsen said. “This project is something that I, for once, feel truly proud of because it is holistically who I am.”

“Growing Pains” will be displayed until May 21. To learn more about Left of Center Gallery and Larsen’s exhibition visit https://leftofcenterart.org/

Current freshmen give advice, look back on their experience

The semester is almost over and this is the end of many freshmen’s first year of college. We asked freshmen how their first year was at DSU. Kelsa Lundstedt | Sun News Daily

Best of crowds at DSU home games in the 2021-2022 school year

With all the competition, big games and moments in athletics at Dixie State University, the crowd and the student stampede brought the energy to help cheer on the teams.

Here are some of the biggest crowd moments at home games this year.

DSU vs. Weber State University: Football

During this rivalry game, WSU was able to come on top with the winning score of 41-3. WSU started with a 52-yard touchdown, but as DSU tried to keep the energy high with help from the crowd, DSU scored a field goal.

This 3-point field goal was the only points left on the scoreboard for DSU. On the other hand, WSU scored another touchdown before halftime.

After halftime, WSU scored 27 more points and took advantage of the energy from the record game attendance audience Sept. 11 with 8,280 spectators.

DSU will have a chance to redeem themselves, bring the upset and utilize the energy from the crowd Sept. 17.

DSU vs. Utah Valley University: Men’s basketball

At the Old Hammer Rivalry, DSU played UVU in a men’s basketball game Feb. 19, and DSU pulled off an upset in overtime leading the game 80-75.

Before this game, DSU traveled to UVU to compete Jan. 8 and lost 71-79. Students of both universities are aware of this rivalry and came together in the Burns Arena. Setting another record attendance goal of 4,270 spectators

Brighton Williams, a junior marketing major from South Weber, is a captain of the DSU cheer team. Williams said the game was an intense and fun game to cheer.

“My favorite part of the season was the men’s basketball game against UVU,” Williams said. “We also got to perform at halftime with the dance team.”

The Trailblazers were able to feed off the energy of the big crowd and pull off the win. The lines were out the doors of the Burns Arena, and the DSU stampede student section did not disappoint. The Dixie Blaze dance team and the DSU cheer team joined together, kept the energy high and cheered the team to victory.

DSU vs. Brigham Young University: Baseball

The DSU baseball team took a powerful win against BYU April 5 and set another home game record attendance with 1,951 fans.

It all started with the energy after the first two runs home in the third inning. DSU led the game 2-0. Shortly after BYU attempted to tie the score, but was unsuccessful and only scored one run in the fifth inning.

DSU didn’t give BYU the chance to come back and scored four more runs leading the score to 6-1. In the next inning BYU scored two more runs to try and shorten the lead DSU had, but it wasn’t enough.

DSU scored another run but allowed BYU to score two more runs in the last two innings.

DSU stayed on top and utilized the energy of the fan base in the nearly full stadium at the Bruce Hurst field.