OPINION | Student involvement is crucial for success

It is essential for college students to feel they belong on campus because the more involved and included they feel on campus, the more successful they will be academically.

An education website discussed research proving extracurricular activity involvement at school positively correlates with student’s test scores, attendance and positive educational outcomes. 

Extracurricular activities have pushed me to see I have the motivation to do whatever I put my mind to. Some extracurricular activities I have participated in need me to attend a certain percentage of classes and maintain a specific grade point average. I have noticed when I am feeling involved and need to meet standards, I push myself to succeed and have the ability to get the grades and test scores I want.

A study done by Bartko and Eccles in 2003 stated, “Participation in sports and artistic activities predicts an increase of self-efficacy in academic competence, so extracurriculars provides a context in which students can face and overcome challenges and increase the level of their skill, thus building trust.”

All activities have a part where teamwork, leadership and responsibility are a part of the commitment. Working together with others and refining core values is essential to a person’s growth and development. 

At Utah Tech University, there are many ways to become a part of something bigger than just a study group for a class. To name a few, there are sports teams, clubs and the Utah Tech Student Association. There are leadership positions available for all of these extracurriculars and some even offer scholarships.

I am very involved on campus; however, it was not always that way. I knew I wanted to be involved when I started attending college, but I didn’t know how and what resources there were. I wanted to feel like I fit in, but I did not know the process. 

When I was accepted in spring 2022 to Utah Tech, I felt nervous to reach out and make friends. I struggled to attend classes my first semester and fell behind very quickly. About halfway through the semester, my co-worker encouraged me to participate in the D-Queen Competition. I knew I wasn’t a pageant type girl, but I went to the meeting to learn more about the opportunity. I decided I wanted to compete in the pageant. 

This affected my whole spring semester at Utah Tech because I met so many new people, and I pushed myself to succeed academically. If I wanted to continue with being involved, it was crucial that I have good grades to participate.

The D-Queen Competition had a grading section on student involvement and service. I needed a resume for this. That led me to get more involved on campus because I wanted to get a high score in this category of the competition. At the end of the competition, I made my best friends and was awarded as Miss Congeniality.

The experience of building a resume based on student involvement and community service allowed me to gain knowledge on others and how to interact with different types of people. In school, I have many differences from other students, but when coming together as a group of people equally, it makes attending school more enjoyable and passing classes a little easier.

My first idea to get involved was to look on Blazerlink to learn about what clubs I was interested in joining. I joined the LGBTQ+ Student Organization and Psychology Club. I was excited to attend meetings and events. Student government always sounded fascinating to me too, so I knew I wanted to also get involved in UTSA. Thus, I got involved with the student government volunteer team, Code Red.

I noticed when I started putting myself out there and meeting new people, I wanted to attend my classes, and I wanted to be academically successful. If I never would have gotten involved at school, I don’t think I would still be attending Utah Tech. I am so grateful for the opportunities I had to get involved and connect with people on campus. It makes school exciting and a place I want to be.

Every student should get involved and put themselves out there to meet new people. It can be scary getting involved, but it is possible to find a niche of people and feel a sense of belonging on campus.

This year I am more involved than I have ever been in school. I am a full-time student, the Vice President of the LGBTQ+ Student Organization, a volunteer for entertainment events on the Code Red team, and a multimedia reporter for Sun News Daily.

When participating and holding these positions, I noticed my grades have been higher than when I started college. I hold myself to a better standard as well because I know I am capable of doing hard things. While school is something I struggle with, I know I have the support, friends and extracurriculars to keep me motivated. 

I highly recommend all students to get involved at Utah Tech. There is so much to offer that can fit anyone’s lifestyle and schedule. Being involved helped me feel a sense of belonging and connection on campus which every college student deserves to feel.

‘In The Dirt’ podcast: How Latham Chandler started his own podcast at Utah Tech

Utah Tech University has an abundance of resources for its students to pursue passions, hobbies and talents.

Latham Chandler, a junior finance major from Evanston, Wyoming, started his podcast “In The Dirt” with the equipment in the podcast studio of the Jennings Communications Building.

Sydney Johnson | Sun News Daily
Sydney Johnson | Sun News Daily

Chandler initially started his podcast with a friend in April 2022; however, it took a few months until production was consistent.

“The podcast idea was born from just friends sitting in a living room at 2 a.m. hashing out crazy ideas, then we somehow took the idea seriously and made it happen,” Chandler said.

Starting the podcast was easy once Chandler learned about the recording studios on campus and the assistance he could get from staff and faculty.

“I had heard about the recording booths and walked past a few times listening to the music on the radio,” Chandler said. “Then one day, I just walked through the door, talked to a few people and the podcast started to happen.”

Chandler started the podcast to have fun and do something he would enjoy.

On the podcast, Chandler shares his experiences, life stories and opinions. He also interviews other university students and community members about their jobs, passions and life lessons. The most recent guest on the podcast was Ed Tracey, president and CEO of Washington Chambers of Commerce, who shared behind the scenes of his job and new comedy club.

Sydney Johnson | Sun News Daily
Sydney Johnson | Sun News Daily
Sydney Johnson | Sun News Daily

“I love all my guests, but the most recent one, Ed Tracey, was a blast,” Chandler said. “Another memorable episode was No. 25 with my buddies: Donald, Eric and Kevin.”

Eric Mendoza-Beltran, a sophomore marketing major from Rigby, Idaho, met Chandler his first year at Utah Tech when they were roommates. Donald Kapustka, a junior history major from Colorado Springs, Colorado, met Chandler through Mendoza-Beltran and other mutual friends.

“We went in the studio a few times, not to record, just to listen,” Kapustka said. “One night we decided ‘all-right this time we are actually going to record.'”

Mendoza-Beltran joined in on the podcast after being convinced by his friends it would be a fun experience. This was the first time for all of the guests in this particular episode to be on a podcast.

“I was nervous for the first five minutes of recording; I was mumbling and felt awkward,” Kapustka said. “Then we got in the groove and had a very fun hour and a half.”

Both Mendoza-Beltran and Kapustka agreed it was Chandler who made the experience of being on a podcast a good memory.

“He [Chandler] engages with you a lot and makes everything pretty broad and comfortable in the studio,” Mendoza-Beltran said.

Mendoza-Beltran had such a great experience recording with his old roommate and friends that he is going to try and help Chandler outreach his podcast to help him accomplish goals related to his podcasting passion.

While Mendoza-Beltran and Kapustka came on the podcast to have a good time and the connection to get on was easy, as they are friends with Chandler, they shared that Chandler is not limited on who he has on the podcast.

“He doesn’t just talk to one certain type of person,” Kapustka said. “He reaches out to a lot of different people to be on the podcast.”

Chandler enjoys having fun and including a wide variety of guests on his podcast he can learn from and help share more diverse stories.

“I just ask people that I find interesting to come on and talk about their life and passions,” Chandler said. “I try to get guests with cool experiences to share.”

Utah Tech is a place to start new hobbies and passions as they have so many resources to offer. Thanks to Utah Tech taking action in providing ways to help students live its motto “Active Learning. Active Life.” Chandler was able to find a new passion that even others, like Mendoza-Beltran and Kapustka, can see within him.

Kapustka said: “Latham is super passionate about the podcast. He is always talking about it, and I think it is awesome that the school has a recording booth on campus for their students to pursue hobbies and passions like this.”

Chandler’s advice to any person wanting to start a podcast is to “get fun people and get in the studio.” He started his podcast off on a fun whim, but has found a passion within this outlet. He is planning for the podcast to continue to grow in listeners and to start bringing on professors and graduates to talk about their fields and niches.

The podcast, “In The Dirt,” can be found on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. You can also follow the podcast on Instagram to add visuals of the people you are hearing from each episode.

‘The Drowsy Chaperone’: A critical look at the return of musicals at Utah Tech

“The Drowsy Chaperone” is a step in the right direction for Utah Tech University’s theater department, and while it’s by no means perfect, those who have not seen this hilarious show will have a good time.

Sydney Johnson | Sun News Daily

First, a bit of a PSA: this is the first time Utah Tech’s theater department has put on a musical since the steampunk version of “The Wizard of Oz” in 2018. If the public wishes to see more musicals from the theater department, they need to support their endeavor into somewhat unfamiliar territory. I am not involved in any way, shape or form with this production, but I’m an absolute sucker for good musical theater.

“The Drowsy Chaperone” is one of my favorite musicals. It’s filled with meta-commentary about the golden age of musicals and the need to escape from the troubles presented by modern day life. It achieves this through the pseudo-narrator of the show who doesn’t have a name, but is often called “The Man In The Chair.”

The audience is then transported to a Great Depression era musical called “The Drowsy Chaperone” within the confines of the man’s apartment filled with musical theater memorabilia.

Sydney Johnson | Sun News Daily

The show that unfolds is incredibly campy and cheesy with “The Man In The Chair” commenting and interacting with the material like he was a heckler at a comedy show.

What has just been described is usually how it’s supposed to go, but here is where Utah Tech’s theater department decided to take a risk.

The narrator in this version of the show is known as “The Person In The Chair.” They are played by an actor who prefers they/them pronouns, and their costume includes a skirt and classic curlers in their hair.

Sydney Johnson | Sun News Daily

When I first heard about this change, I began to sweat a bit. I have no problem with the choice of actor and subject matter, but what I was worried about was the idea of the theater department prioritizing political matters over a quality show.

Luckily, my worries were unfounded. The spirit of “The Person In The Chair” was infectious in their comedy and stage presence, and I was more than happy to be guided through this show by this variation of the character.

That’s not to say they did a perfect job, but there were unlikely character choices that had me looking at this character in a new light. Some lines I expected to give me a chuckle like usual ended up making me feel sympathy for “The Person In The Chair.”

However, I would’ve liked to see a little more patience in the comedy from them. Comedy is like a loop on a roller coaster. You tread up an incline before starting the approach to the loop, this is the setup of the joke. Then you have a sense of floating while you experience the apex of the loop, this is the comedic pause before the punchline. Lastly, the final bit of adrenaline in the drop of the loop along with the straightway of speed, this is the punchline and reaction.

Long story short, I wish “The Person In The Chair” would have relished in the joy of the comedic pause.

Sydney Johnson | Sun News Daily

Meanwhile, the other characters of the show seemed to be severely toned down in the campiness and cheesiness that I’m used to when it comes to “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

Case in point, Aldolpho, one of my favorite characters in the show, was missing a bit of the crazy edge he usually has. He is usually a comedically bad stereotype of Europeans while also being over-the-top in the best way possible.

The Utah Tech version is still wacky, but it felt like the actor wasn’t allowed to take that extra step into campy town that I was hoping for.

Same goes for the character of The Drowsy Chaperone. What is usually an almost incomprehensible mess of hilarious drunken quandaries has turned into someone I could realistically see at a bar.

There lies the problem I have with the theater department’s version of this show. I’ve seen what these characters can be since I’ve seen the show many times through many performing companies.

Sydney Johnson | Sun News Daily

The only one who is supposed to be somewhat stable in character is “The Man In The Chair.” Once the musical begins to unfold in the man’s living room, every character needs to be a time capsule of over-the-top nonsense that encapsulates everything crazy about the golden age of musical theater.

So, would I recommend seeing “The Drowsy Chaperone” at Utah Tech?

I would if you’ve never seen the show before. While I wasn’t as impressed with the more grounded versions of the characters, the co-workers who were with me had never seen the show before and they seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Sydney Johnson | Sun News Daily

If you’ve seen “The Drowsy Chaperone,” you are going to be disappointed with what’s presented. This is due to different choices that may not be to everyone’s taste. This also includes the omission of the best gags that happens during the “intermission.” If you’ve seen the show before, you know what I’m talking about.

Overall, students need to show their support for this show. I say this because while I wasn’t blown away with the quality of the production, this is a step in the right direction for the theater department. Musical theater is such a big facet of the arts, and it’s an absolute shame they don’t indulge in spontaneous song and dance more often.

Here’s hoping this isn’t a one time showing for musicals at Utah Tech.

Utah Tech continues homestand, drops series to Wichita State

The Utah Tech University baseball team wrapped up its series against the Wichita State Shockers Feb. 25, leaving the team with two wins and six losses on the season thus far. This was the second series of the season, and also the second to be played all at home.

The Blazers started off the series taking a commanding lead, winning the first game 12-4. The score was quickly up 6-1 at the end of the third inning with a flurry of Blazers home runs. Bryker Hurdsman, a freshman general studies major from St. George, hit one out of right center bringing in two batters for a total of three runs. 

Utah Tech continued to expand on its lead against Wichita State in the bottom of the sixth with a grand slam from Sean Keating, a senior management major from South Jordan. Keating stood at bat just after Hurdsman was hit by the pitcher, advancing to first and filling all bases.

Keating hit it out at the same area that Hurdsman did just a few innings prior, and later closed the game with a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth, sealing the victory for the Trailblazers. 

The second matchup between the two teams started the same yet ended differently. Utah Tech went up 3-1 after 5 innings but failed to score again that game. Hurdsman was once again responsible for two RBI’s in this game, proving to be a valuable asset for the Trailblazers during his freshman season. 

Feb. 25 was set to be the day of the doubleheader for this series, despite many changes in the time of the first pitch due to weather conditions. The Shockers took a fast 2-0 lead after two innings, but the Blazers responded.

Utah Tech pushed forward with a slow trickle of runs, scoring one in three straight innings until they had the lead at 3-2. Wichita State then proceeded to score eight unanswered runs in the Trailblazer’s loss. 

The second game of the Feb. 25 double header was more of the same with Utah Tech going scoreless for the entire game. Wichita finished the game with 10 runs and 14 hits. On the other hand, the Trailblazers finished with one hit and four fielding errors on the game. 

Utah Tech will continue its season against South Dakota State March 4. 

Here’s what 10-years of ‘university’ status looks like at Utah Tech

Utah Tech University is celebrating its 10-year anniversary of becoming a university this month.

On Utah Tech’s instagram page, a video was released listing events since attaining university status. 

According to Utah Tech’s website, bachelor’s degrees were introduced to the school’s curriculum in the late ’90s.

University status ensured the growth and expansion of opportunities for Utah Tech. Since 2016, a polytechnic approach has been installed and master’s degrees have been added. 

To celebrate Utah Tech’s 10-year anniversary Feb. 16, a cake cutting was held in front of the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons and Library to commemorate the day Governor Herbert signed the bill into legislation.

“It was a nod back to the original event when it happened,” said Jyl Hall, director of public relations. “Back 10 years ago, Governor Herbert actually came on our campus to sign the bill. They had a big cake cutting ceremony.”

Hall has worked at Utah Tech since 2014, almost nine years. From 2015-2020, the university had its first strategic plan to develop growth called Status to Stature. The school had its university status but remained a small school. This plan created even more growth for Utah Tech. 

Hall said she loved witnessing the Status to Stature plan unfold. 

“I love that we’re an open access institution,” Hall said. “That anyone who desires an education can come here and get it.”

In 2013 when university status was gained, the name changed from Dixie State College of Utah to Dixie State University. 

The change from Dixie State College to Dixie State University started when faculty, alumni and students wanted to become a university due to how much growth was seen. More degrees were being offered and even the potential of graduate degrees were being discussed.

Despite the most recent change in name, from Dixie State University to Utah Tech University, there have been many name changes since the institute opened in 1911: 

  • 1911-1913: St. George Stake Academy
  • 1913–1916: Dixie Academy
  • 1916–1923: Dixie Normal College
  • 1923–1971: Dixie Junior College
  • 1971–2000: Dixie College
  • 2000–2013: Dixie State College of Utah
  • 2013–2022: Dixie State University
  • 2022-Present: Utah Tech University

Hall said within the past 10 years, the processes of changing names were similar. Because Utah Tech is a state funded institution, name changes have to be completed through legislation. 

According to Utah Tech’s website, after hearing the effect the name of the school had on graduates getting jobs, the school started the process of changing the name again.

The Board of Trustees had to approve of the university status change before it went to the Utah System of Higher Education. Once approved through them, it went through the house of representatives and senate.

Hall said the school’s faulty and staff members are excited to keep serving students and the St. George region.

“We really value our partnership with not just the city of St. George but all the cities in Washington county,” Hall said. “Just continuing to offer more services, events and cultural experiences for all of the community that they can come and just be enriched by the university.”

Chastity Wilson, a freshman criminal justice major from Kamas, said her favorite thing about being a part of this school is the overall community feeling here. She said that feeling makes it easier to make friends. 

Wilson said the classes are smaller and the professors are more willing to work with students, which in return, helps her succeed in her classes. Her favorite activity she has been to was the concert during welcome week. 

“I was able to go with my roommate, and we [were] front row to a band that was from Salt Lake [City],” Wilson said. “I also really enjoyed the homecoming football game and some of the dances the school provides as well.”

Kaitlyn Hougham, a freshman elementary education major from Las Vegas, said her favorite part about Utah Tech is how easy it is to get involved. 

“There are so many opportunities to be involved within the school and outside community,” Hougham said. “There’s opportunities that allow you to find and understand yourself as well as chances to make great memories with friends.”

Hougham said she also enjoys the small class sizes that allow her to be heard and not have to fight for an opportunity to speak. 

“As a student that went to over-crowded public schools almost her entire life, it’s nice being able to ask questions and form [connections] to teachers,” Hougham said.

Hougham said her favorite activity this past school year has been casino night. She was a volunteer through Code Red. She said she loved being able to connect with other students and learn about who those students are. 

The faculty members of Utah Tech continue to help students discover their passions. The continued growth in rising numbers of students show that Utah Tech is beloved by many.

The lack of parking could be a time to reconsider how you get around St. George

Construction has begun on the Utah Tech University campus for Campus View Suites III (CVS III); a student housing complex that will add 564 beds to on-campus housing and increase the demand for parking.

When CVS III is finished, the total number of beds on campus will be around 1,450. There are currently upwards of 12,000 students enrolled at Utah Tech which is up 2.36% from the previous year with approximately 4,077 parking stalls available on campus.

Parking Manager Valerie O’Rourke said as of right now, approximately 6,200 parking permits are sold each year including annual and per-semester permits.

That is a number that clearly exceeds the 4,077 available parking stalls. However, this doesn’t mean that parking is completely full.

“Parking stalls across campus are not maxed out yet, with the majority of open parking available in lots K, N and O,” O’Rourke said. “In the fall, housing lots are almost full, but some spaces open in the spring, as we have seen this year.”

Additionally, a new parking lot is being developed on the north end of campus where the Edith S. Whitehead Education Building is located. O’Rourke said this will open up parking for students who live on campus and will provide an additional 180 parking stalls. 

“Currently, we are evaluating additional spaces and parking garages in the university’s master plan,” O’Rourke said. 

Seth Gubler, director of housing and resident life, said additional parking will benefit students by allowing them to park closer to their intended destinations.

Utah Tech currently has an average walk to class time of 8 minutes and additional parking would help to bring that time down.

Some students have a different way of combating the growing demand for parking. Resident Assistant Josiah Scheaffer said he has never had an issue with parking at Utah Tech as he rides a bicycle everywhere, both on and off campus, and he thinks more students could do the same.

This allows Scheaffer to avoid any costs related to parking and not have to worry about finding a parking stall close to his classes.

When it comes to parking costs for students, O’Rourke said several factors are taken into consideration when raising costs with the upcoming academic year prices having yet to be determined. 

Additional parking on campus may mean an increase in parking pass prices. However, many students prefer parking pass prices to stay the same and deal with the congestion as opposed to paying more for parking.

A general or student housing parking pass currently costs $45 per semester or $75 annually. This is significantly cheaper then other universities in Utah such as Utah State University which charges between $120 and $235 for an annual parking pass.

With an average of 300 days of sun, and only eight inches of rain per year, St. George may be the perfect place for more students to use alternative forms of transportation such as a bicycle to avoid paying for parking altogether.

“I think that we already have a parking issue, and that’s too much parking,” Scheaffer said. “Studies have shown that expanding car-based infrastructure like larger roads and more parking doesn’t reduce the scarcity of parking spaces or traffic, it just increases the traffic and usage of said infrastructure, parking included.”

He added he usually notices parking available on the north end of campus, and students should be willing to walk a little further in order to cut down congestion in parking lots.

University officials are continuously assessing the needs of the growing student body when it comes to student housing and parking capacity.

“If enrollment continues to increase, then I believe demand for student housing will also increase,” Gubler said. “The university will look at all feasible solutions which may include additional construction and looking to private contractors to meet the demand.”

In addition to biking, there are many ways to ease the demand for parking on campus both now and after the completion of CVS III in 2024. These include Spin scooters, the St. George Suntran, which is free to all Utah Tech students, and carpooling.

Utah Tech provides textbook resources for professors and students using eTextbooks

Inclusive access textbooks are included in student fees, but many professors and students of Utah Tech University are unaware of the resources student fees are providing.

Utah Tech’s tuition and fees catalog does not highlight that online textbooks are included as a part of student fees and will be available depending on what courses a student registers for.

Each professor has the option of which textbook they want to supplement class instruction with before the beginning of each semester, but a lot of them can be free in an eTextbook form with student fees.

Textbooks are almost always required in every college course at Utah Tech under Utah’s state system of higher education laws.

The Financial Aid office posted the total estimated cost for textbooks of a full-time resident of Utah attending Utah Tech is $950 per year. This cost will increase if an individual is considered an out-of-state or international student.

Alicia Booth, instructor of the practice in communication, teaches multiple communication studies courses that use online textbooks. She said it is important to her that every student is able to access textbooks for free through canvas because she remembers how expensive they were while she was completing her graduate programs.

“Coming from being a student very recently, I understand there is a lot of need for inclusive access textbooks on this campus,” Booth said. “I always tell my students on the first day, along with keeping the textbook link in the module tab on canvas, to not go out and buy a separate one because it has already been included.”

Booth uses inclusive access textbooks in her critical communication and small group communication classes.

Booth said: “I don’t see the point in making students pay absurd amounts of money for a textbook that they will use for one semester. Knowing that when I tell the campus bookstore what textbook my classes will be using for that semester and that the university can provide an inclusive access textbook is great.”

Aliana Lomeli, a junior media studies major from Las Vegas, uses her Pearson eTextbook in Booth’s critical communication class.

“When I paid my student fees to register for the course, the textbook was included and my professor did let us know how to access it for free on canvas,” Lomeli said. “If she didn’t tell us at the beginning of the semester, I definitely would have bought one off of Amazon and wasted money.”

Booth’s critical communication course textbook is called: “Pearson eText for Critical Thinking and Communication: The Use of Reason in Argument Text” and it is an astounding $44.99 for an online eTextbook and $149.32 for a print copy.

Lomeli said: “We read the textbook weekly to know what we will be talking about in class beforehand, so having it included in the course and available on canvas modules has been easy to use and access anywhere. I’ve even read portions of the textbooks when I was in between sets at the gym on my phone.”

If students are not told they have an inclusive textbook at the beginning of the semester, they can check Utah Tech’s campus store where the staff can provide codes for ePearson’s website that allows students to download it for free if the textbook is available in an eTextbook form.

Booth said professors have to be continuously updating course material to fit the ever-changing and newest research in their field to teach their students. This translates into textbooks needing to be updated often, but their cost has continued to increase every year. Prices for textbooks have risen over 1,041% since 1977, and are not projected to become any more affordable for financially troubled students.


Precautions set in place at Utah Tech for the possibility of an active shooter

Utah Tech University has safety precautions set in place to help students, faculty and staff prepare for emergency situations.

The recent shooting at Michigan State University left students, faculty and communities in the aftermath of a tragedy. MSU students were forced to use their universities safety protocols and precautions to keep themselves and other safe.

From Feb. 17 to Feb. 19 there have been 10 mass shootings in the United States. Gun safety is being retaught and the importance of knowing gun safety and safety procedures is rising.

Utah Tech prepares to respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, according to the Emergency Procedures handbook. If a situation involving an active shooter arises on campus, university personnel are prepared to direct the university’s emergency response.

Ron Bridge, chief of police and director, said Utah Tech follows policies and laws for concealed firearms on campus. Anyone who has a concealed carry permit may carry a concealed firearm on campus. A recent Utah law also gives citizens above 21 years old permission to open carry a gun without a permit.

“In cases involving open carry, we simply ask the person to secure the firearm to keep from causing a disturbance on campus,” Bridge said.

Bridge said gun safety is about gun education. If a person is not comfortable around a firearm, avoid the situation. Don’t pick up a gun you are not familiar with. Bridge gave five rules about gun safety:

  1. All guns are always loaded.
  2. Never point a gun at something you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Be certain of what you are aiming at and what is beyond that target.
  4. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
  5. Keep all guns locked away unless in use.

Utah Tech safety and risk management faculty recommend each member of the campus community educate themselves on what to do in the event of an active shooting situation on campus. The “run, hide, fight” theory is believed to be the best response in the case of an active shooting:

  • If an active incident occurs on campus, determine if you can safely run from where you are. If you can safely run, create distance from the danger and call 911.
  • If you are not able to run from where you are, quickly evaluate your location and begin hiding from the danger. Create a barrier between yourself and the danger using doors, turn off lights and silence your phone.
  • If you are not able to run and have done all you can to hide but the danger is still present, be prepared to fight. Use any kind of object within reach, use it as a weapon and fight the danger.

According to the emergency procedures handbook, there are four steps to take when an active shooting incident occurs on campus:

  1. “Do not take unnecessary chances and do not interfere with: persons committing the crime/creating the disturbance, law enforcement authorities on the scene.
  2. If you are the victim of, are involved in, or witness any on-campus violation of the law such as assault, robbery, theft, unwanted sexual behavior, stalking, etc. that is in progress; call 911 and Utah Tech police with the following information: Nature of incident, location of incident, description of person(s) involved, location of person(s) involved, if the person(s) left the scene, their direction of travel, what time the incident occurred, and your name, location, department and extension number.
  3. Get a good description of the suspect if personal safety allows. Note his/her height, weight, sex, race, approximate age, clothing, method and direction of travel, and name if known. Should a suspect attempt to or get away in a vehicle, bicycle, etc., note the make and model, license number (if possible), color, outstanding characteristics, etc.
  4. Remain where you are until a police officer arrives.”

The first goal of responders is to get to the shooter(s). Officers need as much accurate information as possible in order to achieve that.