Profile: Brooke Gelinas, the freshman limit-breaker

Breaking one’s limits is something many athletes yearn to accomplish throughout their respective careers, but it’s even more glorious when the athlete is just entering their prime like Brooke Gelinas of the women’s golf team at Utah Tech University.

Brooke Gelinas is a freshman dental hygiene major from Bonney Lake, Washington. She was recently named golfer of the week in the Western Athletic Conference for her stellar performance at the Northern Arizona Red Rocks Invitational in Sedona, Arizona.

Gelinas finished the invitational with a 215-stroke count, breaking the previous school record at Utah Tech of 217-strokes.

“It felt good,” said Gelinas. “It reminded me a lot of a home course that I have in Washington, so I think I was just pretty comfortable right off the bat.”

The experience of home for Gelinas is more than just the rainy weather and deep green pine trees. Gelinas credits much of her success to her father who helped hone her swing before the invitational.

“My dad’s been my swing coach for as long as I can remember,” Gelinas said. “He’s also a member of the PGA and has run golf courses that are played professionally. So yeah, he’s been my coach forever, and he’s super supportive. My mom’s the same way.”

The previous record holder was Abby Livingston, a senior health administration major from Novi, Michigan. Livingston is very proud of Gelinas, both as her upperclassman and her teammate, but that’s not going to stop her from breaking her own limits before she graduates in May.

“Oh, it’s going to happen, I’m feeling it,” Livingston said.

This is where a key aspect of Gelinas’ success as a golf player comes into view: the friendly yet motivating sense of competition within the women’s golf team of Utah Tech.

The players are constantly pushing each other to be better and fix the bad habits they wouldn’t be able to discover on their own. Gelinas was able to claim the record thanks to not just her skill, but her unwavering relationship with her fellow teammates.

Head Women’s Golf Coach Lindsey Stucki also echoed this sense of comradery with Gelinas and the rest of the women’s golf team.

“It really pushes them that they have competition within the team,” Stucki said. “They’re gunning for each other, and they support each other, but they want to beat each other.”

Stucki also felt that a big part of Gelinas’ performance at the invitational was her drive as both a student-athlete as well as a person.

“I think she is definitely competitive,” Stucki said. “She’s a real competitor, but she’s humble and kind and gracious. You know, all the qualities that you can ask for in an ideal student-athlete.”

Gelinas said another part of how she got to where she is now is because of Stucki’s guidance as a mentor. She also credits the rest of the administration of the women’s golf team for assisting her in many ways.

Even though she just barely broke the record, Gelinas is already working toward breaking it again, just like the rest of the team.

Gelinas, as Stucki mentioned previously, is an ideal student-athlete. She doesn’t get cocky when success comes her way, and she is constantly pushing herself to play even better than before. So, despite Gelinas making a name for herself in recent weeks, don’t be surprised to see her breaking limits once again.

Profile: How Jim Haendiges has embraced the new polytechnic mission at Utah Tech

Jim Haendiges, associate professor of English at Utah Tech University, dives into his passions for music, writing and encouraging students through his own experiences.

Haendiges grew up in Whittier, California, and as a little kid, he discovered he enjoyed writing and storytelling. 

“I’m the youngest of four, and the youngest of any group gets a couple perks,” Haendiges said. “One of them is just low expectations.”

Haendiges said that while his older siblings faced pressures to succeed, he was left to accomplish anything he wanted. 

He started his college journey at California State University Long Beach where he tried out being a technical writer. 

“At the time I was pretty shy, so it was a great job for somebody who’s shy – just having your own cubicle, you do your writing, you come in, don’t bother anybody, do your work and then leave and get paid,” Haendiges said. “But over time, that soured just for various reasons; doors kind of closed and it didn’t work out.”

Haendiges said this led him to get his master’s degree at Washington State University. He said it was a happy accident that he ended up at WSU. 

WSU is where Haendiges started working at the writing center and discovered his love for helping others learn how to write well. He graduated from WSU with his master’s degree in rhetoric and composition.

“It’s kind of this tale [of] not really knowing what I was going to do and leaning on the things that I love,” Haendiges said.

From having a love of writing and completing school in English, storytelling is Haendiges’ favorite aspect of writing. 

Storytelling isn’t his only passion and interest. Haendiges along with Randy Jasmine, English professor, have a podcast called “Being Human” that is currently on its second year of production. Haendiges said the idea for the podcast was all Jasmine’s idea.

Jasmine said, “[Jim] is easy-going, but he also thinks deeply about the topics we cover and about the questions we ask our guests on the podcast.”

Haendiges committed to doing the podcast because he teaches a class called writing for interactive media – where his students are required to create a podcast. 

“I wanted to do the thing that my students are doing,” Haendiges said. “I think there is this sense that we need to make sure that humanities are relevant as this university sort of embraces a polytechnic model.”

Haendiges explains there is a fear that humanities “will be further in the shadows” of a STEM focused school. He said our school administration has made the extra effort to ensure humanities are just as important as the STEM sources. 

“There was this sense that we wanted to hop in there and say ‘how does technology impact our field?’” Haendiges said. “Our real motive behind it was just to kind of shed some light on what the humanities looks like in the future.”

He explains the English department is sometimes looked at as “a bunch of dusty old people and dusty old books,” and the podcast shows the English department and humanities is also advancing with technology as both fields are a part of the world of tech.

This thought is reflected through the podcast name – “Being Human.” Haendiges said the core of humanities is exploring what it means to be human. 

“We want to continue to look at the big issues here on the Utah Tech campus and nationwide as they relate to humanities and technology,” Jasmine explained. “It’s impossible to know what those issues might be. After all, we didn’t know about ChatGPT when we began the podcast, and at the moment, this is the topic that most people want to talk about.”

Not only does Haendiges have a podcast, he has been in a band playing the drums for six years that is composed of:

  • lead singer who works for Skywest
  • one guitarist who works in printing
  • another guitarist who is a lawyer
  • bassist who is a physician’s assistant
  • keyboardist who is a vascular surgeon

These “professional working people” as Haendiges said, make up the band Identity Crisis – a band that plays ‘80s rock and “rocked up” versions of pop songs. 

“In musical circles we’re looked down on because we don’t write our own stuff,” Haaendiges said. “We play what people expect to hear because if we played our own songs you’d be like ‘Sounds great Jim but I’ve never heard it before.’” 

Identity Crisis plays together on the weekends and does gigs for the Washington County Fair and in cities outside of St. George. Haendiges said St. George doesn’t have a “crazy music scene” which forces the band to get gigs outside the city. 

“I constantly reference it as just sort of a midlife crisis that’s very affordable,” Haendiges jokes. “[It] didn’t shake up my marriage, didn’t bankrupt my family, it’s just something that’s fun to do.” 

He said while playing the drums at Calvary Chapel Church he met fellow bandmate of Identity Crisis, the guitarist who is a lawyer. 

Haendiges said, “[The lawyer] was just like ‘man, it’s cool to play church songs, but I kind of want to play other stuff.’”

Playing the drums has been a part of Haendiges’s life since he was 13 years old. However, going through extensive years of schooling he explains he sort of “plateaued” through graduate school. After receiving his job at Utah Tech in 2010, he was able to dedicate more of his time to the drums. 

“It’s almost better to say I’ve been playing for ten years,” Haendiges said. “That’s where my skill level is at – you wouldn’t expect a whole lot more from me if I said I’d been playing for 30 years.”

Looking forward, as Haendiges is approaching his 13th year at Utah Tech, the dean has renewed the “Being Human” podcast for another two years. He also plans to continue to grow as a drummer in Identity Crisis. 

As far as his career, Haendiges received the ranking of full professor last year and explained that full professor is pretty much the top ranking. 

“It kind of feels like I’ve arrived at this level where this is where I’ve wanted to be for many years; I’m here now what do I do?” Haendiges said. “I’m nowhere near retirement. It’s just about doing the things I enjoy.”

Haendiges said the biggest lesson he’s learned in all his years of schooling is to “show up.” He said a lot of people feel that everything has to be meaningful, or something has to be applied to their professional goals for it to be worthwhile. He simply said “yes” to experiences and made the effort to show up to classes. 

“I feel like education rewards people who are constantly there, who are constantly trying to get better,” Haendiges said. “I feel fortunate because I was in the right places at the right time, but I was there because I chose to show up.”

He said even the way he ended up here at Utah Tech – replying to an email that was forwarded to him – shows that he chose to show up and take the opportunity. 

He wants his students to take away from his classes the ability to contribute to the world in a way that is meaningful to them. He explains he understands the pressures of choosing a path that pays well, but he finds it a “tragedy” when students work just because they need to work. 

“I think you’re in college because you want to pursue a major that you are interested in, that you find meaning in, and that you can share that meaning with other people,” Haendiges said.

As Haendiges continues his career at Utah Tech and continues to do the things he enjoys, he never stops encouraging students and helping them become the best versions of themselves. 

What a social media ban would mean for college students

Social media is at the forefront of how communication is made by Generation Z.

Gov. Spencer Cox signed a bill called the Utah Social Media Regulation Act March 23 that would limit anyone under the age of 18 to not be on social media from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. with parental consent.

The Utah Social Media Regulation Act is a bill that protects children from the dangers of online use. Some limitations and restrictions this bill places are:

  • The bill will require age verification to access any social media site for any child in the state of Utah.
  • A child’s device would also block ads promoting harmful content on devices.
  • The bill will also open up opportunities for children under the age of 16 to file lawsuits against social media companies if they have been harmed because of social media companies.

This isn’t the only bill Gov. Cox has signed in the past year monitoring ads and content on phones.

HB72 is a bill signed in 2021 that would block all adult content filters turned on iPhones sold in Utah at the time of purchase. This would restrict and limit a child’s intake of harmful content on a device.

Having these bills in place would limit and restrict a child’s access to social media and block any harmful ads that may pop up with parental permission. Ads encouraging harmful content like drugs, cigarettes nicotine and pornography would be disabled, and not available, for any child with a device under the age of 18.

A bill having restrictions and giving more control to parents is an opportunity for parents to take control of cellphone use.

Social media and digital marketing coordinator, Brooke Ulrich, said, “A reasonable parent is going to make some choices and some boundaries in their households, but it will be the parent’s choice.”

Applications like TikTok and Instagram have an algorithm designed to keep users on the app longer. The longer someone stays on the app, the more advertisements and money are made from the app.

If a teenager would search for harmful content in a search bar, the content would continue to be on their For You Page.

Blocking content and ads by having parental filters by parental permission could keep children and teenagers safe from harmful content.

Utah Tech University students can use this bill as a mental health check. Social media is addictive, and learning about this bill can help college students think about how much they are on social media.

“College students, specifically, need to just take control on what they feel is their boundary,” Ulrich said.

The mental health of teenagers and college students has become progressively popular as suicide rates and diagnoses involving mental health has increased.

The bills signed will potentially give children protection from the dangers of social media. Cyberbullying is still a rising issue among children and teenagers.

An article from The Children’s Society reported one in 10 teenagers said to use social media between midnight and 6 a.m. Having the restriction of no social media from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. would encourage more sleep and help eliminate cyberbullying.

Academic adviser and professor of psychology, Emily Cook said, “Social media does have a dark side to it, but that is why they need to educate [teenagers]”.

Educating teenagers and college students about how addictive social media can be can help teenagers realize the harm of social media.

Social media is used in everyday life by teenagers and college students. The average daily use of social media is two hours and 31 minutes.

The Utah Social Media Regulation Act has proposed different ways for children and parents to come together and talk about and manage social media use. The proposal is that teenagers and children will safely navigate not only social media but also the internet.

OPINION | Halle Bailey’s upcoming role shows talent knows no color

Halle Bailey is a Black actress starring as Ariel, a traditionally white character, in the upcoming 2023 live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid“. This has caused people online to attack Bailey unjustly saying she was only cast due to her skin color. 

Despite what color somebody’s skin is, or where they’re from, we all have one thing in common: we’re all human. Any human should be able to portray a character free of backlash as long as they are qualified and work hard to achieve that position.

Being qualified means possessing an extensive knowledge of the character, having experience in acting and earning the right to portray the character based on talent. According to IMDb, Bailey has 17 acting credits to her name as well as many credits in music and singing. This makes her more than qualified to play Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”.

The really confusing part of the situation is the movie hasn’t even been released. The people upset about Bailey’s casting are more worried about the character’s race and the actress’s skin color than they are about her performance in the film. 

I remember when it was announced Zoë Kravitz had been cast as Catwoman in “The Batman”. People had a similar reaction and weren’t willing to give the young actress a chance. However, after the film was released, many people, including myself, thought Kravitz had an excellent take on the character, which had nothing to do with what she looked like. 

Race has become such a large subject in our everyday lives that people are starting to forget actors and actresses should be judged based on their performance and not on the color of their skin.

Similarly, the job of a casting director is to cast the person most qualified for the job, and I’m willing to bet Bailey gave an excellent audition that earned her the part as Ariel. 

The only time when the color of a person’s skin should be considered when casting for a film is when their culture is deeply rooted into the character and their surroundings. 

An example of this would be the character of Black Panther. Black Panther is a character deeply rooted in his culture, and it would not make sense for a white actor to portray him as his culture is predominantly Black. Doing so would be called color-blind casting which is when a character is cast without regard to race or ethnicity.

I have seen some people on the internet argue they won’t be able to identify with the character if they are portrayed by a Black actor. However, this argument holds no weight because Black people have been forced to identify with traditionally white characters their whole lives. Hollywood is dominated by white characters, which includes some of the most popular movies, so Black people have had to identify with these characters if they want to enjoy many films.

This further proves people are more concerned with skin color than they are with the characters performance. I remember going to see “Black Panther” in theaters when it first came out. Despite not being a part of the same culture, I could connect and identify with the main character because he was human and had universal human experiences such as grief, opposition and conflict.

I encourage anybody who has already formed an opinion on Bailey or any actor or actress to hold off on voicing that opinion until they have seen the movie. If Bailey gives a good performance, then she deserves to be recognized for that performance. If Bailey gives a bad performance, then constructive criticism is good, but the color of her skin should have nothing to do with it.

Inclusion week: How to be an ally

As part of inclusion week at Utah Tech University, the LGBTQ+ Student Organization hosted a “How To Be an Ally” event and over 90 individuals attended. 

The event had three speakers:

  • Brett Coleman, Marketing coordinator
  • Jordon Sharp, Vice president of marketing and communication
  • Sarah Ostler, a junior psychology major from Highland

President of the LGBTQ Student Organization, Ostler, spoke on the struggles many face in this minority and why this event is needed at Utah Tech.

She said: “Many LGBTQ students on our campus struggle with feeling like they belong; this can lead to isolation, loneliness and depression. Queer individuals are also more likely to struggle with depression and anxiety, so it is crucial that the student body understands how to help these people.”

One slide in particular defined an ally: “An ally is someone who is active and purposeful in supporting, promoting, and advancing real change to a marginalized group through a focus on inclusion, equity, and diversity.”

Sharp, who is a straight cis man, discussed a specific situation when a person comes out to someone and identifies with the LGBTQ community. His advice was: “Don’t fix it. Don’t change it. Learn something.” 

Sharp said he has a kid who came out to him, and instead of trying to fix it or tell them it’s a phase, he came from a curious point of view and supportive mindset. 

The event educated students and staff about the LGBTQ minority and how outsiders can be there to support them. For example, a professor could make an announcement at the beginning of the semester for the class saying that they are here for the students and a safe person to talk to. Even the simple reminder goes a long way.

An attendee, Kaili Ruth, a junior criminology major from Pleasant Grove, said: “The event is important because I heard what others go through. Hearing from both a straight cis male and members from the queer community was such a great touch because students who identify as either one can understand and listen to both sides.”

At the end of “How To Be an Ally” event, the speakers posted LGTBQ resources that can be found in the community. These being Encircle, Equality Utah, Pride of Southern Utah and the on-campus club.

5 entertainment releases for March 2023

From Keanu Reeves kicking butt and taking names to legendary video games becoming even more legendary, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to pull one’s eyes away from the screen.

Here are five big entertainment releases for March 2023.

The Mandalorian” Season 3

The adventures of Din Djarin and Grogu continue as they search for redemption for traditions broken. Sorry for being vague with the plot synopsis, but “The Mandalorian” has always been full of twists and turns that need to be seen to be truly appreciated.

“The Mandalorian” was a premiere show for Disney+ when the streaming service launched in late 2019 and essentially revitalized Star Wars as a storytelling medium.

Even with a multitude of new Star Wars TV shows releasing this year, “The Mandalorian” continues to show why the galaxy far, far away has so much more to offer.

New episodes of “The Mandalorian” premiere every Wednesday on Disney+ until April 19.

“Scream VI”

Do you like scary movies? Then you may have already seen this new entry into this beloved horror franchise that pokes fun at other horror franchises.

“Scream VI” sees the return of the main cast of “Scream” (2022) with a surprising lack of legacy characters in favor of putting the focus on the new blood of the previous film.

Ghost Face is back for the sixth time with a more intense approach as it seems this iconic killer is taking things up a notch in terms of brutality. That brutality seems to have worked with critics and audiences as the film is garnering positive reviews and lots of love from fans of the franchise.

“Scream VI” is now in theaters with an expected digital release April 25.

“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves”

While “Dungeons & Dragons” is no stranger to the big screen, many fans of the iconic roleplaying game have been waiting for a new attempt at a proper D&D film to wash their mouths of the previous attempt.

This new film stars Chris Pine as the leading bard of the film with a focus on snarky storytelling akin to what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been doing lately. This is not a bad thing as critics are enjoying “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.”

The film appears to balance said snarky overtone with an emotional story about correcting one’s mistakes. Hopefully this is but one of many high rolls for D&D as a film franchise.

“Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” will be released in theaters March 31.

Resident Evil 4 (2023)

Resident Evil is often cited as the true beginning for the survival horror genre in video games. The same can be said about Resident Evil 4 when it released on Nintendo GameCube in 2005. It revolutionized the over-the-shoulder camera that is popular in many releases to this day, and it also revitalized the genre it’s cited for creating in the first place.

So when a remake of Resident Evil 4 was announced in 2022, many fans were skeptical as they felt the original didn’t need the remake treatment. Fast forward to today with Resident Evil 4 (2023) releasing to extreme acclaim and fanfare from fans.

Resident Evil 4 (2023) was never meant to replace the original. It’s meant to be a celebration of why the original was so important in the first place while expanding on certain elements.

Resident Evil 4 (2023) is now available for PlayStation 5 and 4, Xbox Series X, Series S and PC.

“John Wick: Chapter 4”

It’s not often a film franchise can still stand strong after four films, yet John Wick proves it’s still possible to do so with style.

Keanu Reeves returns as the titular assassin with even more high-octane stunt work and storytelling for audiences to enjoy.

The John Wick franchise continues to escalate the stakes and consequences with each release and it’s clear both audiences and critics can’t get enough of Wick.

“John Wick: Chapter 4” is now available to see in theaters.

March has been a dangerous time to have a full wallet. All that hard-earned cash could be whisked away in an effort to experience the many entertainment releases scattered throughout the month. Time will tell if the rest of 2023 will continue to impress.

OPINION | Taylor Swift is all too overrated

Whenever I think of Taylor Swift, I’m reminded of the three O’s of drama: overdramatic, overrated and orchestrated.

The hype Swift is gaining is too much for what she does. Yes, she’s a good artist, but the popularity she’s garnered recently is overrated.

After Swift made a comeback with updated versions of her music, her popularity skyrocketed, and she became a sensation all over again. Many of her fans flocked to TikTok to share their reactions to her new song, “All Too Well” yet another song about an ex of hers.

Swift’s popularity is based on bashing her exes through her music. When her fans discover the man she’s written the song about, they go after him and it could harm his reputation. No, not all of her songs are about a man but a good majority of them are. She doesn’t even have that many exes. After listening to her song, “Look What You Made Me Do”, I thought it sounded like she’s trying to make her life seem more complicated than it is.

Swift is too predictable to be exciting: break up, love song, break up, love song and repeat. Her music, while well-written, is emotionally simplistic and doesn’t show any real depth. All of her songs have the same message, same theme and same melody.

Sad love songs are a popular genre of music, but there are other artists in that genre who deserve the hype and popularity Swift gets. Kacey Musgraves is an artist that comes to mind. She has an ‘Album of the Year’ award under her belt already and none of the recognition she deserves. Is Swift a good artist? Yes, but she sounds just like any other pop artist on the radio. There’s nothing unique about her music.

I’ll give credit where credit is due; she’s a good artist, but the hype she’s getting now is unwarranted.

Then there’s the “Eras Tour.”

Her fans on social media went crazy when the tour was announced, and tickets started disappearing by the second. Tickets to a Swift concert are some of the most costly and in-demand tickets on the concert market right now. For her upcoming performance in Texas, floor seats are starting at $1,706. Who has that kind of money for a concert? Some concertgoers are paying up to $5,000 for floor seats.

Concert tickets are not worth that much money no matter who the artist is. Unfortunately, Swift and multiple other artists have turned to dynamic ticket pricing using Ticketmaster. Dynamic ticket pricing raises the price of tickets the higher in demand they are. So, as Swift’s concert tickets start to sell out, the price continues to increase.

Swift fans have taken Ticketmaster to court in December for unlawful conduct in her tour sales. Fans were upset with Ticketmaster when pre-sale tickets were released in November. Once tickets started selling, outages started happening and fans were outraged when they couldn’t secure a ticket. Because of the stadiums Swift is playing at, she has no choice but to continue to work with Ticketmaster.

Swift isn’t a bad artist by any means. She’s worked hard to get where she is, but she isn’t able to reach all of her fans because of the ticket prices. It’s unfair to the fans who aren’t able to afford her concerts, no matter how popular they are.

As college students, we don’t have the kind of money to spend on a 3-hour concert. Especially with tickets reaching the thousand dollar mark.

Don’t throw money away on opportunities that will most likely come back later in life, it’s not worth it right now.

OPINION | From thrift store finds to profit: the ultimate side hustle

With the overconsumption of fast-fashion at an all-time high, clothing that ends up in thrift stores needs to be resold to help combat environmental impacts. It also can turn into a great side hustle to make some extra cash.

Reselling clothing online has boomed in recent years as shopping sustainably and wearing vintage clothing is more popular than ever. Many people who donate to thrift stores have the hope their clothing can find a new home.

After reselling for years, I have figured out the best tips to make a difference in the fashion industry while being able to make reselling into a part-time job.

The fast-fashion industry is designed to create a profit for popular brands through current trends, celebrity influence and the changing of styles of clothing items through different seasons. However, the overconsumption and waste of clothing throughout the world is at an all-time high with over 92 million tons of clothing ending up in landfills throughout the world every year.

Apart from wasting resources, the fast-fashion industry is contributing to the number of microfibers in the ocean through fossil fuels as well as polluting every waterway with toxic dyes. As one of the largest sectors in the global economy, fashion is also accountable for driving climate change through its creation of 4% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

In order to help reduce this waste, reselling clothing is crucial in an attempt to even out the rate of clothing purchased to clothing being produced and combat the negative environmental impact clothing waste has on the environment.

Depop is my favorite resell app to use. It is easy to navigate, and it pays as soon as the item is shipped out to the buyer. The best part is shipping can be completely free. The only responsibility is to find clothing in a thrift store or closet that are in good condition and then list them on the app with pictures and a short description of the item.

Poshmark and Facebook Marketplace are also similar and popular platforms to resell on.

Here are my top three tips for maximum success in reselling.

Keep up with current, vintage fashion trends

In order to know what will sell the best, be the buyer as well. Take the time to browse the platform and see what other people are listing, liking and most interested in. This is a great way to make sure the items that are being sold align with the current trends.

List items at a reasonable price, and be open to offers

Although the goal is to make a profit off of reselling, the worst thing seller’s can do is list an item at a price that is more than what it is worth brand new or higher than someone else who is selling the same thing in the same condition.

If a potential buyer reaches out with an offer lower than what is originally expected, being open-minded and willing to compromise will allow the best chance at selling the item. However, remembering that reselling will still make more of a profit than throwing the item in the trash and contributing to the detrimental effects the fashion industry is doing helps make that compromise easier.

Remember reselling is bigger than selling an item of clothing

By choosing to resell clothing, you are not only giving clothing items another life, but you are also making a difference in the overconsumption of fast-fashion. Instead of that item collecting dust while sitting in a thrift store, closet or landfill, it can go to a new, loving home.

Having fun while reselling clothing and gaining a profit is a very rewarding feeling. Once you start building a good customer base, it becomes easier and easier to continually sell items quickly.

With this, there is no reason to not take a trip to your local thrift store and find some vintage second-hand items in your closet that deserve that second chance. Download a reselling platform today, do that spring closet clean-out, and see how far reselling can take you.

How another elementary school shooting is affecting communities

A shooting at The Covenant School, a private Christian elementary, in Nashville, Tennessee, left many feeling devastated and scared. 

During the morning of March 27, a 28-year-old former student at The Covenant School, Audrey Hale, shot and killed three children and three adults. Hale was also shot and killed by police on the second floor of the elementary school. 

The victims

The victims of the shooting include from top left to bottom right: 

  • Katherine Koonce; 60 years old
  • Mike Hill; 61 years old 
  • Cynthia Peak; 61 years old 
  • Evelyn Dieckaus; nine years old 
  • Hallie Scruggs; nine years old 
  • William Kinney; nine years old (not pictured)
According to CNN, photos from The Covenant School/Covenant Presbyterian Church/Facebook/KMOV/Dieckhaus Family

Koonce was an educator at The Covenant School and Hill was a beloved custodian for 14 years. He was also a part of kitchen staff and other facilities. Hill was a father of seven.

Peak was a substitute teacher at the school. Dieckhaus, Scruggs and Kinney were all students.

What occurred

Hale, who had a detailed map of The Covenant School, shot through the lock on a side entrance door. The glass doors immediately shattered. Hale was carrying three weapons which include a rifle, pistol and handgun. 

As officers started to arrive as Hale was on the second floor of the school, Hale began firing shots at the police cars. 

Gun shots fired from Hale at a police car shown on Metro Nashville Police Department’s Twitter.

According to CBS News, Nashville Mayor John Cooper said the shooter was taken down within 14 minutes of the initial call. 

Covenant school students were transported to a reunification center that was established by officials during the aftermath of the shooting. 

CNN “Students from the Covenant School hold hands Monday after getting off a bus to meet their parents at a reunification site after a mass shooting at the school in Nashville. Mark Zaleski/USA Today Network/Reuters”

According to ABC News, Nashville Police Chief John Drake said he “was literally moved to tears to see” the young students as they were “ushered out of the building.”

ABC “A child weeps while on a bus leaving The Covenant School, following a mass shooting at the school in Nashville, Tenn., Mar. 27, 2023. Nicole Hester/USA Today Network via REUTERS”

According to CNN, this was the 19th American school shooting in 2023 in which at least one person was wounded. CNN added police said this shooting was targeted and closely planned out by Hale. CBS noted the victims were of random nature.

In the case of this school shooting, according to ABC News, no one who was shot at survived. 

University input

Paul (Lish) Harris, professor of criminal justice and department chair, said given the unreliable behavioral patterns of school shooters, it is nearly impossible to identify significant behavioral patterns prior to a tragic event. 

“In research I conducted with a group of students examining all school shootings between 2010-2018, we found the following: 32% of shooters mentioned their plans ahead of time, 28% had previous disciplinary problems, 18% had experienced bullying, and 12.5% had mental health disorders,” Harris said. “In sum, there are not many consistent ‘red-flags’ that our research uncovered.”

Harris said there is no detailed research that identifies the motivations of school shooters. 

Ron Bridge, Utah Tech University chief of police, said our university police are trained regularly on active gunman responses, which include sharing tactics on how to most effectively provide law enforcement services. 

Bridge said: “The first responsibility for law enforcement is to locate and stop the threat from continuing their actions. After the threat has been addressed, law enforcement will assist medical personnel in providing medical aid. Law enforcement will then move into the investigation phase until the situation is complete.”

Bridge said Utah Tech Police advise the “Run, Hide, Fight” model during an active gunman situation.

“If you can run, do so. If you are not able to run, find a place to hide and barricade your location in any way you can,” Bridge said. “If you cannot run or hide, prepare to fight for your life.”

Community mourning

The Tennessee Lookout said the investigation continues as the community mourns this tragic event. The school released a statement in the evening after the tragedy. It reads:

“Our community is heartbroken. We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church. We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff, and beginning the process of healing.

Law enforcement is conducting its investigation, and while we understand there is a lot of interest and there will be a lot of discussion about and speculation surrounding what happened, we will continue to prioritize the well-being of our community.

We appreciate the outpouring of support we have received, and we are tremendously grateful to the first responders who acted quickly to protect our students, faculty and staff.

“We ask for privacy as our community grapples with this horrible tragedy — for our students, parents, faculty and staff.”

CBS News, “People gather at a makeshift memorial for victims outside The Covenant School in Nashville on March 27, 2023.

As school shootings around the country continue to occur, the loss of life is mourned by many.

Marriage and family therapy master’s degree students break the stigma with its first-ever therapy night

The Utah Tech University marriage and family therapy master’s degree students are hosting the first-ever therapy night March 30 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to attend this free event.

There will be six different classes offered to those in attendance:

  • The five love languages
  • Play therapy for children
  • Sensory therapy
  • Self of the therapist
  • Playing for keeps
  • Internal family systems

Matthew Valentine, a marriage and family therapy major from San Antonio, Texas, is excited to lead the class self of the therapist while creating an invaluable experience for himself and those in attendance.

“Mental health is booming, and many people are on six-month waitlists to go see a therapist,” Valentine said. “We are the future of mental health; we can give-back to the community we love by hosting this therapy night. We have the skills and abilities to help the community right now for free.”

Valentine’s class will focus on how to help oneself’s mental health before helping others in order to not project their own issues onto another.

Sterling Downer, a marriage and family therapy major from Provo, said this night will provide exposure to mental health and resources to help those struggling.

“We want people to become a little bit more exposed to what is available and to therapy at large,” Downer said. “A lot of times people don’t get help because they don’t even know it’s there.”

Downer will be hosting the internal family systems class along with fellow classmates. This class is formatted to help anyone, as everyone has a little voice in their head that gives multiple emotions.

Downer said: “The concept of the model is that we have voices in our head that speak to us and motivate us to act in certain ways. During the exact same event, we can be pulled in opposite directions. The point of this class is to listen to the different parts of those voices and become a little more understanding of our internal system.”

This event will offer an opportunity of “Active Learning. Active Life.” for all those involved.

Jonah Slade, a marriage and family therapy major from St. George, said this night has the dual purposes of getting the word out about the master’s program to future students and reaching out to the community in regards to mental health and different forms of therapy.

Slade will be working will fellow students in the master’s program in the play therapy class. This class will be open-house style with different stations of examples of play therapy, general education about this therapy style and a Q&A station.

“We want people to know that we are here as a program and know what we do,” Slade said. “We want to break down the stigma of going to therapy and let people realize it is not scary to talk to a therapist.”

Utah Tech therapy night will be able to benefit those leading the classes in an opportunity to pursue their passions and future career field. It will also give the chance for free, and immediate, therapy to those in need of a listening ear or a better understanding of themselves.

No registration is needed before hand to attend these classes. Therapy Night will be held on the second floor of the College of Education building.

For more information visit the Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy website.