DIXIE STATE UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | May 13, 2022

OPINION | St. George doesn’t have enough affordable housing for the people

The amount of students that have been homeless due to St. George and Dixie State University’s lack of housing is unacceptable. 

Utah’s annual report on homelessness for 2021 released by the Utah Department of Workforce Services gives a general breakdown on homelessness in the state compared to four years ago. 

The average time an individual would stay homeless between 2017-2019 was around 55 days. In 2020, that number leaped to 66 days. 

St. George does not have enough housing for the amount of people living here, and the people wanting to live here. Students coming to campus as freshmen struggle to find housing and sometimes have to go home because there isn’t any. 

The prices of apartments are getting higher everyday which doesn’t make things better for students. On-campus housing is sold out within weeks, and off-campus housing isn’t far behind. Students that already have an apartment have to renew it months before their lease ends if they want to keep their room. 

In 2016, the average price for a one bed, one bath apartment was around $690, according to a report from NAI Excel. In the 2021 report, the same unit is closer to $1,100. 

I moved apartments over the summer before this school year started, and I almost didn’t have anywhere to live because I waited too long. I was looking for an apartment that wasn’t considered student housing, but with the high prices on apartments it was impossible to find something affordable. I ended up getting one of the last rooms available at my current apartment and it’s still overpriced for what it is. 

As a full-time student and almost full-time worker, I need to be able to pay both rent and tuition each month. With the increasing housing prices, that’s impossible to find. 

On-campus housing isn’t a good option anymore because it’s just as expensive for a less desirable room. They also sell out too quickly to even consider moving there. While Campus View Suites III is in the works, it’s not going to be up for another few years. In that time, the St. George population is going to be much larger than it already is and those dorms aren’t going to make a dent.

Students are going to have to go home and put off their college experience because St. George is unaffordable. There aren’t enough options for students to seriously look at because of the price. St. George needs more affordable housing options, not only for students but for anyone moving to St. George.  

OPINION | Best and worst of campus dining

While we can all agree on-campus dining needs to hit refresh on what is offered, here are the best and the worst of what we currently have.

Grazers – Best

This menu always calls my name when I enter the Human Performance Center, but the cost, wait, and availability keep me from purchasing. Acai bowls are known to be pricey, but $8.50 for the size offered is too much for my broke college self. Not to mention that when I order they seem to be out of a major ingredient such as strawberries or bananas.

However, when I do have time to wait, money to spend, and the ingredients are in stock, I enjoy the “Blazer” acai bowl. The blend of coconut and chocolate chips create great flavor and a texture that makes the experience worth it. The crepes are pretty gourmet, and the “Burstin’ Berry” is my favorite as it has raspberries, blueberries and cream cheese filling. “Banana Cream” also deserves an honorable mention for its ability to satisfy my craving for banana cream pie.

Stacks

Located on the second floor of the Jeffrey R. Holland building, Stacks offers paninis, sandwiches, wraps, salads, beverages and desserts. Looking at the menu online, I was very excited to have this option on campus. Sadly, many menu items aren’t available, and the food quality could improve. The sandwiches are not filled with the ingredients they claim are included. When available, the top seller “Chipotle Chicken Melt” is very good because the pico de gallo adds great flavor.

The Trailblazers Cafe

Three dining locations, but all three are mediocre. The Trailblazers Cafe does have nice seating areas and the location of all three, ACE Sushi, Chick-fil-a and Pizza Hut, is quite convenient.

ACE sushi

I appreciate the effort in bringing a diverse option to campus, but with complete honesty, I am afraid of this option. The fear is probably irrational, but the sushi sits out in a semi-cooled fridge for an unknown amount of time, and I have a hard time overcoming that. When I’ve felt confident, I’ve gone with a “Golden Dragon Roll” because I like the crispy onions on top and there is no raw fish, so I feel it is safe.

Chick-fil-a

A classic, good option, but I don’t choose the on campus Chick-fil-a because they don’t have the full menu. I would rather drive to either of the locations in St. George and be able to have the entire menu to choose from.

Pizza Hut

My opinion on all Pizza Huts is to pick another pizza place. Pizza can be great but not at the Hut. I would recommend Dixie State University pick a different pizza option. The cheese is not good, the grease pools and I don’t even want to get started on the pasta.

The Market at Dixie

DSU’s very own convenience store and location of Subway. The store offers gas station type food such as Frazils, chips and cookies, so there isn’t much to review there.

Subway

Create your own sandwich is always appreciated as long as when I ask for a small amount of mayo and mustard, they actually listen. Subway workers tend to overdo it on the condiments.

Brooks’ Stop – Worst

The convenience of being located within the on-campus student housing makes it most frustrating. If Brooks’ Stop had a variety of more nutrient-dense foods students could live off of, this would be perfect. The menu is the same as what’s offered elsewhere on campus, pizza, chicken and fries. While these can be great options once in a while, they are not sustainable. If I lived on campus, I would not rely on Brooks’ Stop as my source of food.

OPINION | Luxury and woeful bathrooms at Dixie State University

A combination of privacy and relative cleanliness makes the bathroom on the first floor of the Browning Learning Resource Center the best men’s bathroom on campus.

Few things on this earth can offer the solitude and peace that a bathroom can. Humans are in their most vulnerable state while using the bathroom. Finding one as a college student that fits your style and needs on campus is imperative for a flourishing college experience. People are constantly searching for privacy. Especially when it comes to bathrooms. 

The little gem that is the bathroom at the Browning will likely be that safe place for you. 

Latrine luxury 

The bathroom itself is truly nothing special. In comparison to other bathrooms on campus, it’s relatively small, but that’s the beauty of it. This little, unsuspecting paradise is the perfect place to deal with your business in a discreet nature.

The Browning building is used as a resource center, so it rarely hosts classes. Because of this, there is very little foot traffic in the building most days. The empty stalls and clean spaces are bathroom bliss. More often than not, you as a patron will have the privilege to use this bathroom and its amenities all by yourself. 

The fourth floor of the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons is also a great place to take care of your bathroom needs. It also offers a great private setting and stays very clean. However, to use this bathroom, you must climb four flights of stairs or wait for the comically slow elevator. This holds this bathroom back.

One last shout-out will go to both bathrooms in the Jennings Communications Building. It may just be pure luck, but I rarely have to share these bathrooms with any other students. However, they can sometimes be pretty gross, which can be a huge mood killer. 

Woeful washroom 

If privacy is key, the bathroom on the first floor of the Udvar-Hazy School of Business building is a nightmare. 

The number of amenities at the Browning pale in comparison to the Hazy. However, the Hazy has a constant flow of students in and out of the building. Making the bathroom a crowded mess. 

It’s impossible to catch a moment in the Hazy bathroom without at least five sales bros breathing down your neck and a barrage of polos, no-show socks and a good ole “what’s up boss.” “Thanks, boss.” “Excuse me, boss.” 

The second floor of the Human Performance Center suffers from similar issues to the Hazy. Students like Luke Shaden, a freshman engineer major from Ventura, California, shared horror stories of gym bros taking shirtless mirror pics in the bathroom. I have also personally experienced similar nightmarish stories that have made using the second-floor HPC bathroom an unbearable task. It is also almost always filthy.

Nothing against the students who find themselves relating to the bros I have mentioned. But their presence leads to an uncomfortable experience for me and other patrons I have discussed this matter with. 

I compel you to go forth and find the laboratory that fits you and your needs.

OPINION | Dixie State University’s biggest controversy was the name change to Utah Tech

Through all the controversies that took place over the school year, none were bigger than the school’s name change to Utah Tech University.

Over the summer of 2021, concern arose over the inclusion of the word “Dixie” in the school’s name due to the word’s historical ties to the racist Deep South. It sparked a debate that set out a massive change in motion.

Rumors began flying around as to which name would be chosen. Community members and students made suggestions like “Red Rock University” or “St. George University,” but ultimately the school seemed to have a different idea.

The school’s first name presented to students and the community was: Utah Polytechnic State University. The idea was based on California Polytechnic University, a school that is similar in name. Initial reactions from the community displayed lots of outrage and resentment toward the idea.

Maybe it was the way it rolled off the tongue, the initials of the school, or the fact that it has nothing to do with the school at all. Regardless, DSU’s Board of Trustees decided to regroup to come up with a different idea.

On Oct. 27, the board of trustees unanimously voted on the name Utah Tech University as the university’s official name. Since then, controversy has remained about the meaning of the name and its impact on the university going forward.

This new name mustered lots of eye rolls and complaints because DSU isn’t a tech school and Dixie Technical College is 10 minutes up the street. The word “tech” has a very narrow window of what it applies to. This has led many people to believe it will further impact the school’s ability to bring in a larger student body.

DSU has been one of the fastest-growing universities in the country within the past couple of years. This has proven quite difficult for campus housing to acclimate since there continues to be more students than housing.

However, President Richard “Biff” Williams has continued to stress Utah Tech University will continue to offer the same courses it has before. Members of DSU’s Board of Trustees have been firm in their defense over the choice of the name, even with community members stressing the importance of the word Dixie to St. George and its heritage.

With its newest name change and rebrand taking place on July 1, only time will tell how Utah Tech will continue to impact the school and the Dixie community moving forward.

OPINION | ‘Grind culture’ is taking students away from the college experience

Students suffer from grind culture which is the idea that status is achieved by always being “on and available.” This culture encourages students to finish school as quickly as possible without gaining the necessary skills needed.

Grind culture applies mostly to both college students and people in the workforce. It is all about making every second count and working hard all day, every day. If you see someone working long, hard hours you automatically assume they are successful in life.

Grind culture is everywhere, as you see it in Nike’s 2018 ad campaign “Rise and Grind.” The phrase is consistently used to explain the “no days off” mentality that is usually attached to grind culture. The business world has started to emphasis the love of the grind by producing articles such as “6 ways to take care of your mental health while on the grind.”

I have also succumbed to grind culture, as I am a junior at Dixie State University and I only graduated high school in 2020. While taking 18 plus credits each semester, all I had in mind was graduating early. This is what would make me successful after college right? Wrong.

It took me until now to decide graduating early is not worth the toll my mental health was taking from never getting a break from school. If I still wanted to graduate early I would have to take 20 plus credits each semester and summer classes. This would cause me to be doing homework during any free time I had and school would be consuming my life. While still having to do things like find an internship that would look good on my resume.

With a long weekly to-do list I would have no time to meet new people or attend campus events. Students are pressured into grind culture because it makes them look successful, but it takes a toll on students’ mental health and social life. Social life is one of the most important things to have in college because this is where you meet new people and make connections.

College students are more likely to feel guilty for relaxing and not working because they desire to work hard, play hard. We feel the need for everything we do to have purpose for our future. For most, the future life they strive for is one of materialistic value. We have a created a toxic lifestyle where materialistic items are more important than our mental health.

Why should students continue on this toxic path they have created when it doesn’t make any sense? For example, why do people think if you take a ton of credits and graduate early you will automatically be more successful in life? This is so backwards to me. If students were to stay in college longer, they would be able to take more classes toward their major, meet more people and make new connections. They could graduate with a higher degree than what they may have initially decided on.

Students and people in the workplace need to eliminate this toxic culture before it turns us all into robots who want to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

OPINION | Internships are exploitative and classist

You grind, put in long hours, probably pick up everyone’s coffee order, and for what? College credit and if you’re lucky, the experience, maybe a connection or two at most. 

Most people don’t gain relevant industry experience in the classroom, and we are told to pursue internships that are usually unpaid, for this reason. Internships supposedly help us gain industry experience. This helps build resumes and make recent graduates appealing to potential employers. 

Even the simplest internships are as much of a student’s time as a part job. Students from middle-class or low-income families take on internships to compete in the job market of their more privileged peers which can come at a financial cost.

Students from less financially supportive backgrounds are left to feel the financial and mental burden unpaid internships often leave.

For someone from a financially supportive family, internships can be lucrative for them. They gain the knowledge that comes from their respective internships and can network. Gaining connections that can help pave the way for them to obtain careers without ever holding a job prior to their internship.

Whereas an intern who isn’t from a privileged background could see their performance suffer from having to balance an internship and a job. Which can result in increased stress and possibly developing what professionals call “money anxiety disorder.”

Interns can also feel burned out by taking on an additional job while doing work for their unpaid internship which can lead to a decrease in their ability to complete assigned tasks. 

Large corporations are not committed to interns. Instead, they offer experience, connections and a “foot in the door,” but no promise of a job. Internships are also a way for companies to work young, naive students to the bone for “experience.” Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, this is perfectly legal. As long as the student has learned something by the end of their internship.

According to the FLSA Act, “Interns and students, however, may not be “employees” under the FLSA—in which case the FLSA does not require compensation for their work.” There is an expectation college students should have at least one internship before graduating, and 90% of American universities require an internship to graduate.   

Interns deserve to be paid because “experience” doesn’t pay the bills when it comes down to it. Students are expected to work just as hard, if not harder, than an employee. Companies should give students an opportunity to shine and gain industry experience while being paid, and not get coffee for the office because they are “disposable” labor. Students are looking to be mentored, and what they bring to the table can make a difference in the company they intern for.  

Look at it this way: corporation leadership doesn’t work for free, so why should an intern? 

OPINION | DSU has the worst Wi-Fi

“The connection is fast, reliable, and secure,” said no one. Well, I take that back.

According to Dixie State University’s help desk website, the Wi-Fi is fast, reliable, and secure.” The reality is that the Wi-Fi is the opposite. Often, I find myself waiting five to 10 minutes troubleshooting my Wi-Fi and then another five or so to connect. 

I know I am not alone in my dispute with the Wi-Fi. At the beginning of class, the topic of conversation between my classmates and I is never a weekend recap. It is always about how our laptops won’t connect to the internet.

Alivia Lake, a sophomore psychology major from Durango, Colorado, said, “When I need to do work, it takes a long time to just load and I feel that it is wasting my time.”

Sarah Best, a psychology major from Murray, said she always has problems connecting to DSU’s Wi-Fi, specifically at the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons and Wellington & Margaret McDonald Center for Humanities and Social Sciences. Best also said people she knows complain about the Wi-Fi every day.

Although the internet may work better around different parts of campus, the trick is to figure out what internet works best where. 

DSU provides two different VPN internets, Trailblazers and eduroam. Students and staff members are encouraged to connect to eduroam if they rotate between various educational institutions. All public educational institutions in Utah conveniently use eduroam. Students and faculty should use Trailblazer Wi-Fi around campus.

Lake said most of her classmates experience the same problems with slow internet specifically in the Edith S. Whitehead Education building.

The connection process is confusing and varies according to the Wi-Fi and device you are using. To connect to the internet you must open multiple files and downloads. Although the process isn’t very time-consuming, it is much more complicated than a simple username and password. The reason for this, in short, is for enhanced security.

On the bright side, the help desk website does offer a step-by-step walkthrough of how to connect to the internet. The IT service center is also open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

With the anticipated growth in numbers during the next school year, the question of how well the Wi-Fi can handle more devices rises. My internet has crashed mid-use multiple times which takes me back to point A.

All in all, the DSU Wi-Fi needs to be improved so all students, faculty and staff can complete their tasks in the most efficient way possible.

OPINION l DSU shouldn’t disclose all crimes

There are laws to protect students from threatening crimes, but Dixie State University doesn’t have to alert students of all of them.

According to the DSU Police Departments’ crime log, there are more crimes than what gets talked about. If DSU did report all crimes there would be more fear than education within the university.

If a reported criminal case isn’t life-threatening or not a call for immediate danger, that is good reason for not being notified about it. This is also the case for crimes that fall under the Clery Act.

Blair Barfuss, chief of police and director of safety, said crimes are “Usually isolated to known individuals and doesn’t impact the community as a whole.”

DSU has a responsibility to protect the school and anyone affiliated with it. Hence why the emergency alert system was created. The EAS informs students and employees of high-demand crimes that are an immediate threat rather than all crimes, but these alerts are nowhere near timely.

When reporting a crime, there is policy and law to abide by on the crime log and through the EAS.

Barfuss said, “It’s outlined clearly by federal and state law as to which crimes get reported on the daily crime log.”

When there are worries about not getting alerts for all criminal activity, it is important to remember there are policies DSU has to go by.

According to the Office for Victims of Crime, “Preserving academic freedoms, complying with civil rights laws, and simultaneously ensuring a safe campus and workplace environment are tasks not easily accomplished.”

Keeping that in mind, it is important to trust DSU will alert students and employees when necessary. There should be no worry students and employees are not getting the proper notice they see fit. In the case of an emergency, the EAS will reach out through multiple sources, such as the DSU website, emails, phone calls and texts.

Barfuss said, “If we did one [EAS] for every crime committed, it gets abused, and nobody pays attention to those anymore.”

DSU is students’ home away from home, and there are policies in place to keep the environment safe.

OPINION | The Academy Awards reaction to Will Smith’s slap is too little too late

It would be hypocritical for the academy to take away Will Smith’s Oscar after they intentionally benefited greatly from the incident. 

The 2022 Oscars produced yet another example of how absurd the world of celebrity culture is. Acclaimed comedian Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s, wife of Will Smith, recent hair loss. Which then elicited a violent response from Smith.

While the joke may have been distasteful, considering Pinkett Smith’s recent hair loss, violence is never the answer. What Smith did was undeniably wrong and there should be repercussions. 

However, this is Hollywood. The incident should be seen more as a hilarious moment that will go down, as Rock said, “The greatest night in the history of television.” The tone for how this should be perceived was set after the academy failed to do anything right after the altercation. They not only chose not to remove Smith from the event after assaulting another man, but they also went on to give Smith the Oscar for best actor, one of the night’s biggest awards.

Smith resigning from the academy was justified, and needed to happen, but the fact there are discussions of Smith potentially losing his Oscar is blasphemous.

The academy knew what they were doing by allowing Smith to return to his seat with no repercussions. This event would receive plenty of coverage on its own, but knowing Smith would eventually win the award for best actor was the icing on the cake for the academy. 

The Will Smith slap is the best thing to happen to the Oscars in decades. It’s no secret that views have been dropping for the Oscars in recent years. The views after the incident skyrocketed and crushed the view count from the year before. The Oscars desperately needed something to boost interest, and they got it with the Will Smith slap. Taking the award from the man who has potentially brought life back to a dying event would be wrong.

As for the other repercussions Smith is facing, for example, the potential total cancelation of Smith’s new film with Netflix that was in the works. The slap alone will do more for his name than a movie ever could. Any celebrity would happily have their name dominate the news coverage, even if it were in a somewhat negative light. 

Once again, violence should never be encouraged, but everyone involved in this incident is walking away on top. The Smith Family, the Oscars, the film industry, the public, and even Chris Rock will benefit. Unless something was done on the spot, this slap could only mean more financial gain for all involved.

OPINION | March Madness is better than NBA Playoffs

March Madness is exactly as its title suggests. Madness. With this being arguably the most unpredictable tournament of any game out there, fans of all sports flock to watch the chaos.

The excitement and unknown of the 68 teams NCAA Tournament can get overshadowed by the NBA Playoffs in some people’s eyes. Ongoing seven-game series involving the world’s best basketball players is always intriguing–but not as suspenseful. There is more parody and less drama than what we see with March Madness, giving the college kids the advantage over the pros when it comes to having a better post season event.

When it comes to getting views, people are more interested in what’s happening in March rather than April, May or June. In 2021 the men’s NCAA Tournament National Championship game between Gonzaga and Baylor averaged a 9.4 rating with 16.92 million viewers. On the other side, the 2021 NBA Finals series averaged just a 5.2 rating with 9.91 million viewers per game.

In the NCAA Tournament, you see teams, players and matchups that would otherwise never happen. With it being a single-elimination tournament, the intensity is there from the first tip-off. You don’t have that luxury to re-group like an NBA Playoff series. All it takes is one bad game, and even the best teams in the country can fall to other teams who they’d beat nine times out of 10. But, that one time “Cinderella moment” makes March Madness so unique.

Before this year’s NCAA Tournament I’m sure most people had never heard of St. Peters University, let alone seen them play basketball. This school has an enrollment of less than 2,500 students in Jersey City. Yet, in their first-ever tournament game, they beat a University of Kentucky team with a school of more than 30,000 students and a blueblood of college basketball. All of a sudden, everyone knows who the St. Peters Peacocks are.

We hardly ever see “underdog” NBA teams advance through the playoffs and win because each team has played each other multiple times. With March Madness, anyone can beat anyone else in a one game death match. This has been proven time and time again.

The NBA Playoffs have big brands, big names and the gold trophy. March Madness has the excitement, complete unknown and the opportunity to build not just a personal legacy, but one that an entire institution can also stand on. That is why March Madness is better than the NBA Playoffs.