UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | January 27, 2023

HOT TAKE | ‘She’s the Man’ is the best sports movie ever made

A teenage girl falls into a spiral of complications when it causes a threat to her passion of playing soccer competitively. She’s the man, and proves it through becoming the star player on the men’s soccer team without anyone knowing her true gender.

It is crazy to think that this movie starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum came out 16 years ago, yet it is the best comedic love story created in a sports film. Bynes plays her character of Viola well, as she transforms into her brother, Sebastian, to play on the men’s soccer team all because the women’s soccer team got cut.

Bynes played a role I don’t think many other female actresses could. Throughout the movie she is dresses and acts like a guy only to fool the other characters of her gender to play on the team.

With its hysterical scenes, and it’s well acted scripts, the movie defies all stereotypes of men being superior to women. It shows women are equal to men and can put up the same fight. This is shown through many scenes in the story when Viola practices or plays soccer

In the beginning of the movie, Viola’s ex Justin Drayton tells Viola she’s better at soccer than half of the guys on his team. Then when the girls team got cut from the program, Viola asked the men’s coach if the girls could try out for the guys team, and she was hysterically laughed at by not only the coach but her ex as well.

That is when the idea sparked, Viola dressed as her twin brother Sebastian and started breaking stereotypes. I love how Viola took the entire role of being a guy with the mannerisms, clothes and sporty look and never once scorned the other females in the story.

For example, Olivia, a main girl in the story, is portrayed as a sweet, kind, polite and girly person who is trying to find the example of a “real man” to date. Olivia falls in love with Viola as a guy, as she thinks “she” is the “real man” she’s looking for in a significant other.

With many other humor-filled scenes, the movie never veers off track. It stays with the point that women are no less than a man for being emotional or what is stereo-typically displayed as feminine.

The writing is funny, humorous, enjoyable and arguably cringey, but shows that a woman can follow her dreams and ultimately stand against the “like a girl” term. 

This term shows that those individuals who are considered outside the dominant forms of manhood in sports in particular are shown and mocked as un-athletic, unworthy and not equal.

During the time of this movie’s releases, this topic was a bigger deal, and it is still a heavy topic in today’s society. Although the way they portrayed this in a movie as a humorous love comedy is ultimately genius and hard to do in a 2006 movie, which is why “She’s the man” is essentially the best sports comedy movie ever made.

Utah Tech swim breaks 17 records during invitational

Utah Tech University’s swim team had a monumental team tenure finishing with 17 records broken during the Trailblazer Invitation Nov. 17-19.

Although the program is relatively new with competing eligibility beginning in 2016, the broken records are no small feat. 

The Trailblazer’s team portion of the season consisted of three invitationals with even wins at each one. 

On Oct. 21, the Trailblazers picked up five event wins at the Northern Colorado Dual. During the San Diego State Dual Nov. 5, Utah Tech achieved three event victories and broke one school record.

Utah Tech excelled at its home facility during the Trailblazer Invitational. The invitational consisted of 10 additional teams which were UC Santa Barbara, Fresno State, Brigham Young University, University of Northern Colorado, UC Davis, UC San Diego, Pepperdine University, California Polytechnic, University of the Pacific and University of Nevada.

The Trailblazers finished No. 4 with 416 points out of the 11 teams. Not only were 17 school records broken during the meet, but multiple top-10 individual marks were recorded along with one event win.

Some of the records that were broken during the 2022 Trailblazer Invitational include:

  • Ginevra Molino, a junior biology major from Rivoli, Italy, finished fifth in the A-final in the 500 free event. Molino’s time of 4:59.46 put her at No. 4 all-time at Utah Tech.
  • The Trailblazer’s “A” team annihilate the previous 400 medley relay record by more than three seconds with a time of 3:42.08.
  • Elenore Rembert, a junior exercise science major from Montpellier, France, broke the 100-back school record touching the wall at 55.01.
  • The third-fastest program relay time was clocked by the “B” team finishing at 3:48.48. Ally Boynton, a sophomore exercise science major from Wood Cross, led the relay team with her 56.28 time.
  • Three Utah Tech athletes recorded six of the top-10 all-time marks in the 200-back event. Pia Murray, a junior psychology major from Preston, England, clocked a time of 1:58:00 but later bettered it with a time of 1:55.99.

Utah Tech will continue its season and compete at the US Open Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 in Greensboro, North Carolina, hoping to keep the momentum moving forward.

‘We’re right where we need to be’: Utah Tech football concludes 2022 season against BYU

Despite a record-breaking scoring night, the Utah Tech University Trailblazers fell short to the Brigham Young University Cougars 52-26 in the final game of the regular season. 

1st quarter 

After winning the coin toss and choosing to defer to the second half, Utah Tech was set to officially start this game with the opening kickoff. A good kick and terrific special teams coverage pinned the BYU offense on its 11-yard line. 

The Cougars were able to get to midfield after a couple of big plays. The Utah Tech defense was able to hold strong from there and force a punt. 

Both offensives started opening drives deep in their own territory after BYU was able to pin the Trailblazers on their own ten with a punt.  

Deven Osborne, a business graduate from Los Angeles, was able to get behind the defense and reel in a 54-yard bomb from Victor Gabalis, a freshman management major from Everett, Washington. The huge play got Utah Tech all the way to the BYU 34. 

A holding call killed the momentum of the drive, but the Trailblazers still found themselves in field goal range. A 47-yard boot by Connor Brooksby, a sophomore management major from St. George, gave Utah Tech the first points of the game. 

Utah Tech-3 BYU-0, 8:47 First quarter

On the ensuing drive, a host of Utah Tech defenders was able to pop the ball free after laying the boom on BYU running back Lopini Katoa. Sam Kanongata, a junior criminal justice major from San Jose, California, was able to fall on the ball and get the offense back on the field deep in BYU’s territory. 

A 15-yard strike to Malcolm Ross-Turner, a redshirt junior exercise science major from San Diego, California, got Utah Tech into RedZone. 

The Trailblazers were able to get all the way down to the four-yard line but could not punch it in. Brooksby knocked in his second field goal of the quarter. 

Utah Tech was able to hold the Cougars to another punt but after a failed fourth down conversion by the Trailblazer offense, BYU got the ball on their own 46.

BYU was able to get to the Utah Tech 24 on the quarter’s final play. 

Second quarter 

The Cougars opened the second quarter with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Keanu Hill. The extra point gave BYU their first lead of the game.  

The Utah Tech offense was unable to respond and held to a three-and-out. However, the defense came up big and held BYU’s offense to a three-and-out as well, capped off by Mackavelli Malotumau, a freshman general studies major from Oceanside, California, who had a huge sack on third down. 

Utah Tech started the drive on their own 20. After back-to-back incompletions, it looked like the offense may be held to back-to-back three-and-outs. However, on third and 10, Osborne was able to get behind the Cougar defense for the second time in the half, but this time no one was gonna catch him as he went all the way for an 80-yard TD. 

Utah Tech-13 BYU-7, 10:07 Second quarter  

It took no time for BYU to respond as the very next drive Jaren Hall found Chase Robert’s for a huge 59-yard TD. 

Utah Tech started its next drive with the ball on the 25 and had a tough time getting things going, but a 22-yard gain on third and ten. 

Three runs for nearly 30 yards combined got the offense down to the BYU 25-yard line. A shot to the endzone drew pass interference on the defense and the Trailblazers found themselves with first and goal on the BYU ten. 

Joey Hobert, a sophomore sociology major from San Clemente, California, climbed the ladder and reeled in a nine-yard TD pass with a defender in his face. 

Utah Tech-20 BYU-14, 5:17 Second quarter

A great return on the kickoff started the BYU drive at the 45. This great field position led to a 45-yard bomb to Keanu Hill in the end zone. 

Gabalis took another deep shot to Osborne, but an under-thrown ball led to a BYU interception. 

With 3:15 left in the half, the BYU offense drove down the field and scored on a four-yard pass to whoever else but Hill with just 25 seconds left in the first half. 

BYU-28 Utah Tech-20, Halftime 

Both offenses were rolling in the first half with Utah Tech collecting 277 total yards and BYU at 336. 

The star of the half was without a doubt, Osborne. Thanks largely to his two huge receptions, Osborne had three catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. 

Third quarter 

The second-half struggles for the Utah Tech offense started with the opening drive of the second half. A contested catch on third and long by Hobert narrowly avoided a three and out for the Trailblazers, but the punt unit came out just three plays later. 

It was an impressive display of defense for both sides as BYU was held to a three-and-out, and the Trailblazer’s offense was also held to a three-and-out on their second possession of the half. 

BYU then went on one of the more strange and long drives you’ll see in football. A big play got the Cougars within the 40-yard line, but that is when the penalties started. 

The Cougars were able to get in the red zone on consecutive, very similarity-looking plays, in a row, but penalties kept bringing them back. 

After multiple unsportsmanlike conducts and a holding penalty, the Cougars were finally able to draw up a play to get them to the fifteen-yard line without being called back. Fans in the stand thought the barrage of flags was over until a touchdown reception on the very next play was called back for offensive pass interference. 

Hall was eventually able to pave dirt on a ten-yard scramble ending the unique drive. In total, BYU had four huge penalties called against them on this drive negating nearly 60 yards of offense. 

Aside from an interception by Jayden Sheridan, a freshman management major from West Hills, California, the Utah Tech defense had no answer for the Cougar’s offense, and the Utah Tech offense was unable to find any momentum 

BYU-35 Utah Tech-20, end of third quarter

Fourth quarter

The struggles continued as the BYU offense was able to put up three more touchdowns in the quarter. 

Unlike the previous quarter, Utah Tech was able to respond with a touchdown of their own in the final minutes of the game on an 18-yard reception by Hobert. 

With his second touchdown of the game and 16th on the season, Hobert capped off an incredible year with a great outing on the final game of the season and shattered multiple school records. 

When asked how he was able to find so much success in his first season with the program, Hobert said having experience under coach Craig Stutzmann’s offense during their time at Washington State together. 

The second half got away from the Trailblazers, but a valiant first half against a historically established program like BYU is something to be proud of. The 26 points put up by Utah Tech are the most points scored by a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team against BYU. 

BYU-52 Utah Tech-26, Final 

A big blowout loss to end the year and a 4-7 record on the season doesn’t paint an accurate picture of the season Utah Tech had. The team and, offense in particular, were able to find a flow in the final four games of the season, having won three straight going into the final game. 

Hobert credits the recent offensive success as the result of the rest of the guys stepping up. 

Hobert said: “Our quarterback, our line and all the other receivers definitely stepped up the last four weeks… there’s going to be big plays and we gotta make them. If we don’t then we don’t deserve to be out there. There are other people who are eager to make those plays, so I feel like that really got in everyone’s head.”

Gabalis showed real resiliency and was able to come in and throw 15 touchdowns in the final four games of the season turning around what was a rough start of the year for his personal performance. 

Named the week one starter against Sacramento State, after a bad first quarter, Gabalis was benched and didn’t see starting minutes until week eight against Stephen F. Austin where he threw a school-record five touchdowns in one game. 

“I’m extremely proud of [Victor],” head coach Peterson said. “… that week of Stephen F. he had all the reps and just went out there and was really on fire. He’s really grown.” 

Peterson said he thinks the team can continue to build off of the success of these last four weeks of the season. 

Peterson said: “I think our guys are going to be excited and motivated to get to that next step, whatever that next step looks like… I think we’ll be hitting our stride perfectly. We’re right where we need to be.” 

Everything you need to know about the Miss Native Utah Tech 2022-2023 pageant

Being the second longest-running pageant at Utah Tech University, the Miss Native Utah Tech pageant will be held in honor of this heritage month.

With November being National Native American Heritage Month, it will mark its 26th year of running, but due to the name change of the university, this will be the first year of crowning the first ever Miss Native Utah Tech. The winner will be awarded the Miss Native title, crown, sash and scholarship.

With months of preparing for this pageant, four Miss Native alumni will be present at the pageant to grade the contestants on numerous factors including:

  • Modern talent 
  • Traditional Talent 
  • Private interview
  • Traditional/evening wear
  • Academic achievement
  • Service and involvement
  • On-stage question
  • Essay

The pageant will be held Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Gardner Student Center Ballroom. Doors will open at 7 p.m. and no tickets are required. The pageant is open to all who are interested in attending to honor this heritage month as it comes to a close. 

Here’s a look at the three Miss Native Utah Tech contestants. 

Contestant No. 1 – Mia Tom

Mia Tom, a freshman elementary education major from St. George, chose to run for Miss Native to honor her Navajo Tribe.  

“It’s important to me because we’re only a small bit, and so keeping our culture and language going is what I want,” Tom said. “There aren’t many of our people, so running for this, I’d like to stand and say we’re still here.”

By participating in the pageant, Tom hopes to be an example for those younger than her while standing for a bigger purpose. 

“I want to be that role model for my younger siblings and anyone else who is Native American,” Tom said. “Especially with going to college, I’d love to make an impact on the younger generation that they can do the exact same thing being native.” 

Her modern and traditional talents will consist of teaching the audience more about her culture and the practices within her tribe. 

Making an impact has always been important to Tom, and by majoring in elementary education, she hopes to make a change within society. 

“Not many of us go to college, and my major that I’m going into, there’s a small percentage of elementary education teachers,” Tom said. “Running for this pageant will help me be part of the change and represent my people, especially saying that we’re going to college.”

Contestant No. 2 – Kiki Adolpho       

Kiki Adolpho, a sophomore art major from the Siksika Indian Reservation in Alberta, Canada, said she is participating in the pageant to open more doors for her while bringing together other members of her Native American community. 

Through generational trauma and trials of the past, Adolpho said she feels many Native Americans face the same challenges such as poor mental health, low self esteem and decreasing confidence. 

“We often feel like we’re just pushed to the side, and like we don’t matter, but that is not the case,” Adolpho said. “We do matter, our culture is beautiful, and that’s why this pageant is amazing because it shows the beauty of all our cultures and different tribes.”

By participating in the pageant, Adolpho said it will show the more “elegant” side of Native American cultures and how “beautiful” they can be. 

She hopes to show this beauty through her traditional and modern talents by showcasing her Blackfoot Tribe’s love for storytelling and dancing. 

Despite her struggle with public speaking, she looks to overcome this challenge by competing in the pageant. 

“It is a new challenge and a new thing for me to try, but I’m excited to gain that experience,” Adolpho said. “I hope to gain more confidence in public speaking and more confidence in being able to represent my tribe.”

Contestant No. 3 – Elissa Aguayo

Elissa Aguayo, a senior digital film major from Cedar City, said she decided to run for Miss Native to honor the traditional side of her culture while celebrating this month and the different Native American tribes. 

As part of the Paiute Indian Tribe, Aguayo said: “I’m looking forward to seeing the other girls’ talents because they’re different tribes than me. I just want to mostly see their traditional talents and learn what their tribes do.”

For Aguayo’s talents, she hopes to show her tribe’s culture through speaking its native language.

“For my traditional talent, I chose it because my grandma helped me learn the language,” Aguayo said. “I’m doing it because I think it’s important to know the language, and it’s something that is also becoming less and less [common] within the tribe.”

By competing with other girls, Aguayo said she sees them more as a support group rather than her competitors. 

I think it’s nice just knowing that we’re all facing the same things by being Native American,” Aguayo said. “Having that support group really just makes it feel less competitive and stressful because we all kind of understand why we’re doing this.”

Aguayo said she hopes people from the community will come to support the girls in this pageant so they can understand their cultures, be connected to their heritage and “end this month with a bang.”

Thanksgiving around the TV

Nothing brings a family closer than watching holiday classics after a big Thanksgiving Day feast.

The Macey’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a popular tradition families to watch on Thanksgiving morning. My own family has this tradition, and it is one of our favorite annual things we do on this holiday. Without it, this holiday would not be complete for my family. This is an iconic parade that is something my family hopes to go see in person one day.

The parade will be streaming on NBC and Peacock on Thanksgiving Day from 9 a.m.-noon.

After we stuff our faces with turkey and stuffing, many, including my family, start bringing out the holiday classics. “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” along with “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is a classic watched for these certain holidays. This peanut holiday classic shows the gathering of friends when Peppermint Patty and her friends put Charlie Brown in charge of Thanksgiving Day. Watching Charlie Brown brings a nostalgic feel to my typical Thanksgiving night. I love to have this as my tradition as it celebrates the iconic history that Charlie Brown classics bring every season.

There are certain pieces of media that families always come back to during the holidays. Whether they are traditions or a must watch at the holidays, media plays a big role. Many of my must have holiday watch list movies include “Home Alone,” “Christmas with the Kranks” and “The Grinch.”

“The Grinch” is another holiday classic I pull out of the cabinet on Thanksgiving. This movie is a great holiday movie to cuddle up to on the couch and watch after a long Thanksgiving Day. This is a fun and family friendly movie in an animated version along with the version featuring Jim Carrey. Me and my extended family also watch this movie after our big dinner while setting up the Christmas tree and eating delicious pumpkin pie.

“The Turkey Bowl” is a Thanksgiving themed movie available on Amazon Prime Video. This movie showcases high school alumni that come together for a turkey bowl rematch against their old school rivals. This movie is all about bringing the family together and uniting as one even with our rivals on this special holiday.

Free Birds” is a great holiday movie for the little ones. This kid-friendly movie is an animated science fiction movie about two turkeys going back in time to the first Thanksgiving in 1621. The turkeys go on this conflicting mission to make sure other turkeys don’t get used for the first feast of Thanksgiving history.

Gathering with the family and watching a holiday movie after a Thanksgiving feast is one of my favorite traditions along with many other families across America. Holiday classics are a great way to ring in the holiday season while enjoying family time and eating your pumpkin pie.

Chadwick Boseman’s legacy is preserved in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

Following up on a film as critically, commercially and culturally successful as “Black Panther” was already an incredibly tall task for everyone involved. This was only made more difficult with the tragic passing of lead actor Chadwick Boseman. Ryan Coogler and his cast and crew somehow, almost, perfectly pulled off the balance of a captivating and memorializing film with “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” 

Positives

There was an obvious amount of care put into this film. Boseman and his performance is a cultural phenomenon. In a world and film market saturated with caucasian male superheroes, Boseman and the first “Black Panther” film gave much-needed representation. It gave a group of kids a character and community they could truly see themselves in. The film had to address his passing, and it did it beautifully. The scenes in place to memorialize him are beautiful and have the subtlety to really make for an emotional experience. No strange holographic images. No over-the-top imagery. It is perfect. 

The care didn’t just stop there. The performances are clearly driven by the real and raw emotions felt by the actors. Every actor involved obviously felt the weight of this film. From a random background dancer in a wide shot to the opening scene to the performance of the newcomer villain by Tenoch Huerta, they all give it their all. Letitia Wright and Angela Bassett, in particular, gave unreal performances. 

There is no denying Marvel films have a look to them, and unfortunately, this look has recently been shockingly ugly. This film, on the other hand, is breathtaking. It is another testament to how much passion everyone had for this film. The cinematography has a unique and beautiful feel to it that we don’t usually see from Marvel, and the CGI is also a considerable step up from what we’ve seen in recent projects and even from the first “Black Panther” film. It still has its moments of painfully obvious and goofy computer-generated images, but the underwater scenes and Wakanda are delightful to look at. 

Negatives 

This movie is so damn long. Two hours and 45 minutes is a ridiculous runtime. This movie has a lot to fit in. It had to find a way to balance reverence for Boseman and still have an engaging film with real themes and ideas. The film does a good job of not doing too much. The conflicts and themes such as race, trauma, gentrification and revenge all work in this film. I wouldn’t say it’s doing too much, it’s just too long. A run time of this length is unnecessary for most movies and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is no different. 

Now, I hate to be the guy that just hates on Marvel but man they can’t help but ruin movies on some level. The dialogue at times is incredibly bad. Marvel seems to have really lost its comedic touch because every painfully obvious attempt at a joke in this film falls so flat. Dominique Thorne gives a fine performance as Ironheart, but that was an awfully written character. She doesn’t really have much of a role in the film besides being somewhat of a comedic relief character, and it is brutal. The jokes are just bad. The more emotional scenes were a bit better, but during these scenes, the amount of fervor and passion put into the lines would make anything sound good. Luckily, the prevalent poor writing doesn’t distract from the film too much. 

Conclusion 

This movie had immense pressure to perform and it did as best as it could. The unreal expectations were always going to be nearly impossible to reach, and the film really almost did it. The love for Boseman and what he created and left behind carried this film. Despite the corporation’s attempts to, what feels like, sabotage the emotional ride that is this film, it’s a wonderful tribute to him that prevails and makes for a good movie. With a runtime like that and concern for spoilers, there were obviously many things I couldn’t discuss in this review, so I implore you to see the film for yourself and experience all the good it has to offer. I give the movie an 8/10.

Elissa Aguayo | Sun News Daily

Here is a look at the new degrees to come to Utah Tech

This 2022-2023 academic school year, Utah Tech University has approved two new degrees that will be fully operational in the years to come. 

  • A Master of Science in Nursing Education Leadership 
  • A Bachelor of Science in Special Education

With a timely process for researching, discussing and planning that goes into getting a degree approved, the academic colleges had to go through multiple outlets before the degrees could be finalized. 

Samira Hall, curriculum and graduate studies support specialist, said, once a degree is proposed, it has to get approved within the academic college that it belongs to. 

Afterwards, it will move through different councils and committees at the university including the Academic Council, the University Curriculum Committee and the Graduate Council. The Utah State Board of Higher Education will then review it and send it to the university’s Board of Trustees. The board will send it to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities for approval, and then the university can begin plans to carry out the degree.  

Although the planning and approval process for some degrees take less time, getting the special education degree approved took over three years. Following the Board of Trustee meeting held in September 2022, the degree was finalized. 

Kari Gali, associate professor of education who wrote the degree program, said, “Last year was my really concerted effort of writing and development, but discussion about the degree started two years before that.”

Now that the special education degree has been approved, there are various steps the college must take before the degree can be offered to students. Hiring faculty members, creating course content, finding available classrooms, and developing degree specifics beforehand will allow the degree to officially be offered in the fall of 2024. 

Gali said this undergraduate degree will not only give students a degree of completion but also a license qualifying them to teach any students with disabilities following their graduation.  

After the completion of prerequisite courses, students will be admitted into the program. Degree-related courses students can expect to see will be those that teach them strategies for educating students with disabilities, behavior management, methodology for reading difficulties and communication. 

“Special education is an area of extreme shortage across the nation, so this is an area of big need,” Gali said. “It’s critical that we have teachers to help teach all of these students.”

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act guarantees students with disabilities have the right to free public education, and with Utah Tech adding to the many Utah universities that already offer this major, more students will be prepared to combat the shortage. 

“We look forward to building something that can serve lots of kids and lots of individuals in the future while putting some teachers out there,” Gali said. 

Adding to the special education degree, the nursing education leadership degree will also be available for students in coming years. 

“Some of the new degrees include one that we’re really excited about, which is our first online master’s degree: a master’s in nursing education leadership,” said Marc Lundstrom, director of Utah Tech online. “That one is being developed right now, and we’re working with the nursing department on that.”

Although this degree will also be offered in person, Utah Tech online has added 14 programs, including degrees and certificates, since summer 2021 and is currently working on seven more. 

Lundstrom said as Utah Tech online continues to work with the academic colleges that offer online degrees, they will continue to identify the degrees that may best fit an online platform while helping colleges develop and design them. 

Lundstrom also said, “Online degrees can be more convenient and flexible for students, so there are a group of students on campus that find value in taking them.” 

Respiratory therapy and hotel and resort management are just two of the seven programs Utah Tech online is currently working on. They are also working on a virtual reality set up to help students complete online courses and labs.  

Although these online degrees and newly approved degrees are not yet offered, they will be along with many others that are awaiting approval.  

“The goal of this institution is to attract more students and offer more options for their careers, so new programs are always nice,” Hall said. “I just think the university is in a good place, always growing, always expanding, and there’s always new ideas out there.”

Spend holidays with a host family with the Adopt a Student program

Not able to go home for the holidays? There’s no need to worry; just take a look into the “Adopt a Student” program.

Some students aren’t able to travel home over the holidays because of extenuating circumstances. The Food Disparities Committee saw this as a problem and wanted to give students a chance to have a warm meal with a local family over the winter break. 

The committee is sponsoring an “Adopt a Student” program that gives host families the chance to reach out to a student and invite them to their home for a holiday meal. They are offering this service for Thanksgiving and winter break for students that can’t make it to their own families. 

Ali Threet, assistant vice president and dean of students, said: “Faculty and staff can sign up to host one or more students at their home during the holidays. Since this is the first year of the program, we don’t know what to expect and will place students on a first come, first serve basis.”

This is the first semester the program will be offered to students. The committee had the idea that they wanted to match students with families who have extra room at their table and could take in an extra student that didn’t have anywhere to go. Anyone from the community with the availability to take in a student can volunteer for the program and be given a student they can reach out to. 

“We have about 20 spots for students to go to right now; I am not sure how many students have signed up,” said Heather Osness, program director of surgical technology. 

Osness is a member of the Food Disparities Committee and the one to bring the idea to the table. 

“I typically feed 30 to 40 people for Thanksgiving, so I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal to add a few more to the table, and I thought others would also be willing to do the same thing,” Osness said. 

After checking with the General Counsel, the committee decided to give it a go and see if there was a need for the program. 

To save a spot in the program, students need to fill out a form asking when they will need to be hosted and if they have transportation for the meal. The deadline to fill out this form is Nov. 18.

If students aren’t able to join the program, there are dining vouchers for off-campus restaurants available for students to purchase. Dining services will be closed Nov. 23-27 for the holiday break. The vouchers are for local dining options such as Chick-Fil-A, Honolulu Grill and Denny’s. The vouchers are located at the information window on the first floor of the Gardner Student Center. They are available for purchase Nov. 14-22.

The university’s General Counsel released its official statement on the university’s participation with the program: “Please note that this is not a University-sponsored program. Participation by hosts and attendees is voluntary. Utah Tech University acts only as a liaison and is not responsible for the acts of the participating parties.”

The Food Disparities Committee will be facilitating the matching up of hosts and students.