UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | April 23, 2024

OPINION | Utah Tech’s top events from the 2023-2024 school year

With the school year coming to an end, there have been many events that have occurred over the school year, each one unique and different and full of fun for everyone to enjoy.

Utah Tech University has put on some killer activities this school year that I have loved. Many people attended these events and had a great time. Here’s a look back at my top Utah Tech activities. 

Foam Dance

The Foam Dance took place Aug. 25, 2023, and was a great party for all students to attend. The dance was themed “Barbie” in honor of the new “Barbie” movie that came out. 

This event was put on by the Utah Tech Student Association and was held in the Campus View Suites II parking lot. 

With this dance, people got a live DJ, and tons of foam sprayed all over the venue and themselves. People could be in the mosh pit right at the stage in the heart of the loud music, or, if they weren’t into that, there was plenty of dance room outside of the mosh pit so they could avoid the jumping and dancing.

The DJ had great taste in music, and the pink foam really added to this experience. I enjoyed my time here and would definitely go back for more next year. The event was a highly recommended experience for all students to participate in and enjoy.

Chaos

Chaos was another dance held Oct. 31, 2023. But instead of foam and “Barbie,” this one was all about Halloween. UTSA put on the event and they did not disappoint in their delivery of a good time for everyone. 

During their annual Halloween dance, people got to dress up to their heart’s content and party it out. There were many activities for students to engage in, including tarot card reading, a rage room, carnival games and just enjoying the music and dancing.

I loved every aspect of this activity because not only did I get to dress up, but I also got to enjoy the various carnival games and live DJ performing dance-worthy music. A definite 10/10 rating in my book for this activity.

Kite Festival

The Dixie Power Kite Festival was held April 6 and was a fun-filled day for families, students and children to come and enjoy their time.

The festival was put on by Dixie Power to raise money for literacy to donate to the Washington County School District. Children were able to participate by reading charts and turning them in during the festival to win prizes. 

There was food, live entertainment, various vendors, bounce houses and kite flying. It was a great time for everyone to come and engage with people and get out of the house. 

I loved the family aspect of this event. It wasn’t only tailored to Utah Tech students, but everyone in the community. It had an upbeat and carnival feeling to it, making it fun and inviting for anyone who wanted to participate. 

Live and Local

Live and Local, which was held April 10, allowed students to come to the Encampment Mall to enjoy live bands. They were able to sit out on the grass with blankets and enjoy food and drinks.

The atmosphere was fun and relaxing as students were able to get away from homework for the night and enjoy music and food and spend time with friends as well. 

I included this event because dances or bigger events may not be every student’s thing, so this is perfect for them. A student does not have to be into dancing or being in a huge crowd to attend Live and Local. It’s an event someone can attend alone or with friends and just sit and listen to music. 

I did not have to party or dance or be incredibly social. I was able to sit in the grass on a blanket and watch live bands perform for free. It was a much-needed break from homework. 

D-Week Carnival

D-Week is an annual week filled with various traditions, from painting the “D” on the hill to the Great Race and the Carnival.

The Carnival was held April 12 and was open to all community members who could come to play carnival games, jump in bounce houses, win prizes from games and enjoy food and drinks. 

This was a great day for children, families and students as it had something for everyone.

It was a great event because of the various carnival games students and community members could play and win prizes throughout the day. This enhanced the experience for me.

These events allowed the community and students to enjoy a day filled with fun. I look forward to the fall 2024 – spring 2025 event schedule. USTA should continue to have these events because they increase the fun college experience and allow community members to join in on the fun.

Angel Wood Know what it takes to be an editor-in-chief

Question: What does it take to be an editor-in-chief?

Dear Lexy

If there is one thing I am almost an expert about, it’s how to be an editor-in-chief of a news organization. I’ve spent a full year watching someone else in the role and then a year learning the role myself. Now as I move on from the EIC position, I know Sun News Daily is in good hands with someone fully capable of fulfilling the responsibilities as the head of our news organization. 

An EIC has many tasks including editing everything that will be published, teaching the staff different media principles, and standing up for the staff when others may want to tear it down. The most important role an EIC has is leading the staff in being “The Voice Of Utah Tech.”

You are a leader and others will look up to you more than you know as you guide the staff throughout the year. When times get tough, sources don’t respond or others turn against Sun News, the staff will look to you for strength, answers and courage to continue on the powerful path of student journalism. 

As EIC, you will need to have courage. The life of an EIC is far from easy, and there will be times when you feel like quitting. You will need to have the courage to not only encourage others to never give up but to stand as an example of perseverance yourself. 

You will also need to be adaptive. Things will not always go your way or the staff’s way. Sources won’t always get back, stories won’t always work out, and people won’t always stay on Sun News. But, there is always another way to do things, so ensure your vision is not blurred by a single option. Somehow, things have a way of working themselves out, so just go with the flow and don’t forget that everything happens for a reason. 

On top of being positive, hardworking, inclusive and many other things, knowing how to effectively communicate will bring you much success as EIC. Communication is the foundation of everything we do as student journalists, so never silence yourself when it comes to being honest.

Leave those edits even if they may seem harsh. Have those hard conversations even if they may seem pointless. Stand up for yourself to others even when it may seem scary. Saying what you need to say is far better than keeping it to yourself and never seeing change. 

Know that it’s OK to delegate. That’s why you have a staff because as much as we go-getters want to do it all, we can’t. As mentioned before, the role of EIC is not easy and will come with many challenges and bumps in the road, but your staff is here to support you and keep you on the road to success. You don’t have to do everything on your own, so ask for help when you need it. 

Just a heads up but 3 a.m. will be your new bedtime and a planner will become your best friend. The bulk of your life going forward will be related to Sun News, so having and keeping good time management skills will be the best thing you can do for yourself and for Sun News.  

Although being EIC will not be smooth sailing, you will see all the rewards that come from holding this position. Being EIC will teach you more about who you are and who you want to be. It will bless you with some of the strongest relationships you’ll ever have with staff members, professors and other staff and faculty at the university. It will teach you more than you’d ever thought you’d know about being a leader and a student journalist. The blood, sweat and tears will all be worth it at the end of the day.

Lastly, one thing I’ve come to realize is that Sun News does not make you. You make Sun News. Toward the beginning of my leadership in the position, I put too much of my worth on Sun News. The position defined me and the job overcame me. I also found myself comparing myself to others who had come before me, thinking that I was not good enough to be EIC. 

You are what will make Sun News so great and so credible and so rewarding. Although it’s great to learn from those who have come before you as EIC, know that it’s OK to do your own things, make your own rules and lead in the way you feel inspired to. You were chosen for the position because you are Lexy Borgogno, so don’t forget who you are, and you will make Sun News amazing. 

Lexy, you are going to do so many amazing things and leave behind a legacy that won’t ever be forgotten. As EIC, you are not just a leader; you are the guiding light of Sun News Daily, so let that light shine as you continue blazing your trail.

Sincerely, 

Angel Wood

If you are seeking advice on something, message me on Instagram at @angel.utahtech.

OPINION | SUU’s lockdown was a reminder to enhance campus safety procedures

Southern Utah University went on lockdown last Thursday due to an active shooter threat. SUU was in lockdown for three hours, which got me thinking about safety on our campus.

There are many current safety procedures in place to keep our campus safe, but these procedures need to be updated often, and many students don’t know where to find them.

While our campus has not had any recent threats, I still worry that something may happen on campus. I also fear a situation where I wouldn’t know what to do if something did happen.

SUU’s lockdown scared a lot of students, including myself. The whole morning, my Instagram page was covered in posts updating what was happening at SUU.

While I have full trust in our campus police, I feel like there’s still a lot of work to do to keep students safe.

Wes LiCalzi, Utah Tech’s interim chief of police, has been devoted to maintaining a safe campus for students. Recently, they set up a safe place for students to buy and sell things online.

“If you’re meeting someone you aren’t sure of, I want this to be a place where students can come and park or come in the lobby and meet them,” LiCalzi said. “Everyone’s safety is paramount in my mind.”

This is a really big step to ensure students stay safe, and I hope more things like this keep coming.

The meeting spot was initially set up so that students wouldn’t have to give somebody their address if they bought something from Facebook Marketplace or even meet somebody they met online for a date. This way, students can stay near the officers on campus and meet where multiple cameras can record.

Another change that should be made is an active shooter drill. We have an emergency plan for every type of emergency, including a map; however, the map is really hard to read and needs an update.

The one place that I don’t necessarily feel safe, however, is in the Holland building. It’s not because it’s an unsafe building, but because every room is made of glass. I constantly wonder what would happen if we were in a lockdown.

Recently, high schools around St. George have had quite a few active shooter threats similar to SUU’s.

Snow Canyon High School had quite a few active shooter threats during the fall semester, and a student was arrested recently for calling in the hoaxes.

Hurricane High School had an active shooter threat April 1 serious enough that multiple police departments responded, including UTPD. It seems like these threats have become a trend in our community, making me fear that our school could be next.

Because of these threats, LiCalzi said he hopes to create more safety drills for students in the event of an active shooter.

I feel safe on campus knowing that the police department is dedicated to our safety and is constantly changing and learning new ways to stay safe.

Staying vigilant and prepared for an emergency can keep students safe. LiCalzi said even small incidents should be reported because you never know if it’s related to a bigger issue.

Another way to keep campus safe is through communication. Currently, the only way to contact UTPD officers is through dispatch, and many students don’t feel comfortable with that.

”I want people to feel like this is a home, not a castle,” LiCalzi said. “If they feel like something is weird, even if there isn’t necessarily a reason or if they just need somebody to walk them to their car, I want them to feel like they can call us.”

LiCalzi said he is currently working on a messaging service that may connect to the myUT app. He also hopes that this could be a way for students to easily message and get an officer to them faster in non-emergencies.

This is a great addition to safety on campus. It could allow students to feel more comfortable reaching out to the police, and having it right on our phones would make it much easier to stay safe.

The current changes to campus safety are a safe meeting place and a messaging service. LiCalzi said he has more ideas in the works, and I’m really curious to see what those will be.

With these changes, students including myself, could feel a little safer on campus knowing that there are multiple actions in place to prevent lockdowns that schools around us have had.

Aside from these, I do feel safe on campus. I feel confident that the police department will continue to make changes that keep us safe.

OPINION | A tale as old as time: Disney’s most nostalgic masterpieces

All throughout high school and even into college, I’ve always been drawn to watching my favorite childhood movies. 

I always go back to these movies because they bring me comfort when I’m stressed and give me happy feelings of nostalgia. It takes my stress away when I remember what life was like when I first watched these films. I had zero worries in the world.

I grew up watching Disney, Nickelodeon and DreamWorks. If I were making a list of my favorite animated movies, I’d have to put “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” “The Road to El Dorado,” “Tarzan” and “The Lion King.” But for this list, I will be ranking my top four favorite Disney movies, consisting of Disney Channel Original Movies and non-animated Disney movies. 

#4 Lemonade Mouth

At number four, I have the DCOM Lemonade Mouth, and this movie has the best soundtrack out of all DCOMs. I said what I said, and someone had to say it. 

Lemonade Mouth is a movie about five high schoolers who meet in detention and decide to start a band, called Lemonade Mouth. These students go through challenges like breakups, home struggles and loss of loved pets, all with support from each other.

This DCOM is my number four favorite Disney movie because of its theme of friendship and its fire soundtrack. When “Breakthrough” starts playing at the end of the movie, you can’t help but literally get up and dance. Bridget Mindler’s vocals are out of this world, which we all know from her song “Hurricane.”

The song “Don’t Ya Wish U Were Us” sung by the opposing band in the movie, Mudslide Crush, makes me laugh at how ridiculous it is compared to Lemonade Mouth’s music. The scene cracks me up every time I watch this movie, and it never hesitates to make me smile and have a better day when watching it. 

#3 Hannah Montana: The Movie”

Miley Cyrus was my idol growing up, starting with the TV series “Hannah Montana.” It was my go-to show, and I even remember having a Hannah Montana duffle bag for traveling and a Nintendo DS game I’d play.

This movie is about Miley figuring out how to balance her life as a superstar, friend and daughter. Balance is something we all eventually learn in our lives.

Hannah Montana: The Movie” gets my number three spot rating because of the guest appearances by Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift, once again having a fire soundtrack and the handsome cowboy as the main love interest for Miley. I genuinely wanted to marry the character Travis and probably still would, given the opportunity. 

Taylor Swift delivers my all-time favorite song of hers called “Crazier,” and Rascal Flatts acoustically singing “Bless the Broken Road” makes me so emotional that I cry every time. “The Climb” never ceases to shatter my worries and remind me that “life’s a climb, but the view is great.” 

Who could forget the “Hoedown Throwdown” scene? To this day, I can still do the dance exactly how Miley does in the movie, and “Butterfly Fly Away” brings me to tears every time. Seeing Miley and her dad sing together brings me an incredible amount of joy. I was obsessed with this movie when I was little and still am to this day.

#2 “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”

Theatrically released, HSM 3 is the best movie out of the three-part franchise. It is my second favorite non-animated Disney movie because it has the best songs out of all the High School Musical movies with songs like “Just Wanna Be With You,” “A Night to Remember” and “The Boys Are Back.”

This movie follows the group during their senior year of high school and their struggles of moving on while also living in the moment. Throughout the entire movie, I’m rooting for Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez to sing in the spring musical. Sharpay starts off the spring musical singing “Just Wanna Be With You” while Troy and Gabriella make it in time to perform this very song. Besides the ending of the movie, this is my favorite scene.

The fact that this was filmed in Salt Lake City 40 minutes away from my hometown makes me rethink my decision to be a little kid and to not be on set with the actors. I was so obsessed with Sharpay that when I was little, I had a little kid version of her graduation dress in this movie, and let me tell you, Zac Efron was my first-ever celebrity crush. He is my day one and will always be my number one. 

Props to director Kenny Ortega for creating this masterpiece because it is cinema at its peak. Ortega should be the president of Disney for his great mind. 

The nostalgia that comes from watching this makes me emotional to think about the time I graduated high school, and it makes me look forward to graduating college with my friends. As Troy Bolton said in his graduation speech, “Once a wildcat, always a wildcat.” I believe that “Once a Trailblazer, always a Trailblazer.” 

#1 “The Parent Trap”

With HSM 3 almost tying with “The Parent Trap,” I have to choose “The Parent Trap” as my all-time favorite Disney movie to ever exist. This movie is too good to be true. 

It is about twin girls who meet at a summer camp and find out they are twins. They switch places with each other to meet the parent they’ve never met. Ultimately, the twins’ parents get remarried again.

The casting of little Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quiad and Natasha Richardson creates a family dynamic that reminds me of how much I love my relationship with my own parents. Similarly to the movie, my parents knew each other when they were younger and then later in life ended up marrying each other. 

Natasha Richardson plays the beautiful and graceful Elizabeth James, the mother of the twins. The scene when one of the twins, Hallie, meets her mom for the first time since she was younger lives rent-free in my mind. It is my Roman Empire. I think about Elizabeth and Hallie hugging each other every single day because Elizabeth James reminds me of my mom and how graceful she is. 

I watched “The Parent Trap” every day for a year straight on a VHS in my room when I was around five years old. I was absolutely obsessed then and never ceased to be amazed by how beautiful this film is now. It sends a message of hope, which we all need a reminder of every once in a while. The message of love between not only spouses but also parents and children brings me immense joy. 

If you didn’t grow up watching these iconic films, go watch them right now. If you did watch them, do yourself a favor and take a trip down the nostalgia road. 

OPINION | Checks and balances: why students should be able to grade their teachers

As finals approach, we will be graded on our work from the entire semester. It’s time we implement a grading system for our instructors.

We’ve all had teachers who didn’t communicate well or seemed to grade unfairly. What if we could have graded them based on their course, the homework, their attitude or their behavior and how they ran their class?

As students at Utah Tech University, we already have some power to grade the courses in a basic way, with the annual course feedback that is sent toward the end of the semester. But this does not allow us to really grade our teacher. We can rate their communication and how the course was, but what if we could give our teachers a letter grade and notes on their performance? 

This would be beneficial for instructors and the management of the schools. It would provide first-hand experiences from students that could help teachers better their environment, coursework and overall attitude with the class.

It would also be good for the students. They could use this to expose a teacher who refuses to be fair or communicate with their students. Obviously, there could be students who wouldn’t take it seriously or would grade the instructor poorly out of retaliation for their own bad grade. There is no set way to ensure students won’t do this, but if guidelines are set, it can help the data be more accurate.

But the power to grade teachers would be beneficial for everyone. It wouldn’t be used as a tool for harm or to be used when we don’t like the coursework or the teacher. It would be used for constructive criticism so the course can be better and beneficial for the students.

It would be a great option to not only help students but also the instructors and school to make necessary improvements or changes as needed to a course.

I know if I had the power to grade my teachers, I would use it fairly. I wouldn’t want to make a teacher’s life harder. They already have a hard enough job.

In high school, I had the opportunity to take college courses. In one of the courses, I had an instructor give me a low grade on an assignment because she did not agree with my point of view on an essay.

It was not because I did badly on the assignment, but rather, it was based on my personal viewpoint of the topic that she did not respect. A difference of opinion should not dictate a grade; we all have different views and opinions.

With this experience, I would have loved to be able to grade her and expose the way she graded in a biased way. I would have graded her on content, workload, communication, feedback, bias, attitude in class and overall fairness.

These aren’t the only areas you could grade a teacher on. Grading could also be done on their class environment, content knowledge, student development and more.

Universities and colleges need to incorporate a more intense grading system. The end-of-the-year survey is not sufficient. But, there would need to be guidelines and pre-determined questions to go along with the survey. This would ensure fairness and the quality of the grade.

As college students, we pay for our schooling and classes, so we should be involved in the feedback on the instructors as a whole. Not just a quick survey.

Both students and teachers need to be held accountable for their performance. Having a grading system would be a great checks and balances system for teachers.

OPINION | Robert Kennedy Jr. can be the solution to the two-party problem

Many are skeptical of any third-party candidate because of the age-old mantra that a vote for a third-party candidate is a wasted vote, but that does not have to be the case. 

Nowhere in the constitution, or any other foundational document to this country, does it state that our democracy must only be run through two political parties.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is not only fighting to break that stigma, but he is also fighting an uphill battle to attempt a bid at the White House in this upcoming election. 

Kennedy Jr. is the nephew of the 35th president, John F. Kennedy, and his father, Robert F. Kennedy, was the attorney general for JFK. Many do not know, but both were tragically assassinated.

Running as an independent candidate with no current party affiliation, Kennedy Jr. would have to go through a process that varies by state to get on the ballot of every state. 

Each state has different requirements to get Kennedy Jr. on the ballot. Some require a petition with a certain number of signatures from registered voters, some only require a certain number of signatures and others are far more difficult, like California, which requires a petition with at least 1% of the total number of registered voters in the state.

Kennedy Jr. was able to qualify for the presidential ballot in January; however, the first state he was able to get on the ballot for in November was Utah.

Many have little faith in Kennedy Jr., but if there was ever a time that he could win, it is now. The justification for him not being a viable candidate is because there are only two viable parties, and that is just the way things are.

Why are things that way? Would change not be exciting to see? Would you be wasting a vote on Kennedy if he ended up winning? 

The reason that votes are viewed as being “wasted” on a third-party candidate is because of the chokehold the Democratic and Republican parties have on our political system.

Kennedy Jr. is far more popular than both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the two presumptive candidates for each respective party for the upcoming election. Favorability polling of candidates in the November election shows Kennedy being the only candidate with an over 50% favorability rating. That happens to be a double-digit lead compared to any other presidential candidate. 

Both Trump and Biden are very polarizing candidates. A lot of people love both, but an equal amount, if not more people, hate both candidates as well. Many “double haters,” do not want to vote for either. 

If there was ever a presidential election where an independent candidate had a chance at winning 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for the next four years, this is definitely the election. 

Winning the presidency is not an easy task, but it will be impossible without getting on the ballot. It almost goes without saying, but Kennedy Jr. cannot win the presidency without being on the ballot across the nation.

Right now, Kennedy Jr. says that he has enough signatures to be on the ballot in only 7 states. Common sense tells us that it is impossible to win the presidency by being on the ballot in less than 15% of states. 

Although Kennedy’s last name is one of fame, politically he made his career as an environmental lawyer and activist. He is currently a centrist politician and is only running for office because he thinks the nation needs someone who is not a career politician: an outsider.

No matter how you swing politically, having more viable candidates can never hurt. Having a candidate running that has similar views to you is important, and with more than two candidates, it is far more realistic to expect that that happen. 

Truly supporting third-party and independent candidates can be a catalyst for change like never before.

Kennedy Jr. may very well not win. He may not even get on the ballot in every state, but all he needs to do is win one state. If Kennedy Jr. is able to find any type of success, then that can cause serious political changes.

Kennedy Jr. winning one state will be the key to unlocking the gridlocked political system that we are currently in because it will prove to everyone that votes outside of the Democratic and Republican parties are not “wasted.”

It’s beyond time that elections are not only fought between two candidates that represent a minority of voices in the country.

OPINION | How attending a convention can boost your academic experience

Picture this: You’re gathered in a room with fellow peers who all enjoy the same area of study. You’re able to share ideas, present topics, gain knowledge and add an experience to your resume. This networking opportunity is why students should partake in conventions.

All students should go to a convention at some point in their academic life. The benefits that conventions have for students make it all worth it.

These benefits include networking, sharing ideas, expanding knowledge and skills, boosting your resume, improving communication skills and having fun with peers.

This year’s Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society celebrated its centennial year in St. Louis. The international convention had over 900 students in attendance.

These undergraduate and graduate English majors, as well as alumni and professors from across the nation, came together to celebrate their love of reading, present papers and attend readings from authors like Carl Phillips, a recent Pulitzer Prize winner.

Listening to Phillips’ poetry reading was such a cool experience. His poetry was so moving and I couldn’t believe I was in the same room as a Pulitzer winner.

This convention broadened my knowledge of English and showed me people who shared the same hobbies as me, which was amazing.

When I work in the poetry pharmacy on campus, I often feel like the people I prescribe poetry to don’t know the poet or fully understand the meaning of poetry. Whereas at this convention, when I handed out poems to fellow English lovers, they would be incredibly excited to receive a poem. It was such a cool experience, and it was incredibly moving to hand poems out to people who really needed to receive them.

I learned a myriad of lessons at this convention. I sat in on presentations that made me feel seen and taught me new ideas that we don’t have specific classes on at our school.

It gave me the confidence to branch out on my own research papers as well. Instead of sticking to a small box, I found hundreds of papers talking about topics I would have never thought to write about.

One of my friends, Jaxon Tueller, a junior English major from Smithfield, also went to the convention. He said he had such a great experience and also loved listening to all the fantastic panels and their presentations.

Tueller’s essay, “Navajo Language: Rebirth in Poetry,” won third place at the convention. His award included prize money, which ended up refunding much of the trip.

We were all so surprised when they called his paper, but Tueller was especially surprised. He said when they called his paper a winner in the poetry category he was shocked. But after the initial shock wore off, he was honored they selected his paper.

The convention not only had research papers, creative nonfiction papers and poetry but included workshops in writing and how to submit work to literary journals.

It was such a great experience, and I loved being able to travel to a new place with my friends.

My friends and I after Jaxon Tueller won his award.

All students should go to a convention at some point in their academic life. The benefits that conventions have for students make it all worth it.

OPINION | ‘The Simpsons’ most notable predictions that actually came true

A glimpse into the future or a stunning coincidence?

The American animated sitcom, “The Simpsons,” has aired episodes that follow the adventures of a family in Springfield, Oregon since 1989. With currently 762 episodes, this series has portrayed scenes of Homer visiting space all the way to adding a monorail to the town.

However, what really is captivating is the amount of times “The Simpsons” have predicted an event that then occurred years later. Whether it is due to pure luck or being time travelers, here is a list of times “The Simpsons” predicted future events.

Trump Becomes President

One of the most famous instances of the future being predicted is in season 11, episode 17, “Bart to the Future,” where Trump was the former president. In this episode, Bart is shown a glimpse of 30 years into the future, where Lisa is elected president. She comments on how she succeeded Donald Trump in office.

This episode aired in 2000, and then 17 years later Donald Trump became president. Given how Trump is pretty open to stating his views and opinions, it would not surprise me if this mention of him being president was based on comments he made back then.

Seen above is the comparison of Trump riding an escalator while making similar poses.

Trump was also seen in a later episode riding an escalator. A couple of years later, a similar photo was taken of him. While riding an escalator is a fairly common thing, it is crazy that the photo between the show and reality is so similar to the hand-raised waving.

Pandemic

One episode predicted many events that occurred in 2020. In 1993, the episode “Marge in Chains” was released and showed a viral outbreak of a flu called the “Osaka Flu” that made its way to Springfield. The residents of Springfield can’t find a cure, so desperate measures are taken when someone finds a crate of killer bees and tries eating one for a cure.

Though not entirely similar, 2020 did face both COVID-19 and murder hornets, and it is crazy that one episode predicted two events that occurred during an eventful time. The one thing both the episode and reality faced was hysteria and stress during a pandemic.

This example of “The Simpsons” predicting a future event stumps me on how they managed to guess it. Many shows mention different viruses, take “The Last of Us” for example, but the fact that two events were mentioned shocks me. Killer bees are such a random thing to mention, let alone in an episode that also has a virus just like in 2020. This episode prediction convinces me that the writers are either really good at coming up with random plots or that they have a time machine.

Lady Gaga’s Performance

We all love a good halftime show, and the residents of Springfield are no different. In the 2012 episode, “Lisa Goes Gaga,” Lady Gaga visits the town to help Lisa gain her confidence back and popularity. While in town, Lady Gaga does a performance where she is hanging in midair.

A side-by-side comparison of Lady Gaga’s performance in the episode and at the Super Bowl.

About five years later, Lady Gaga performed at the NRG Stadium in Texas for the Super Bowl. Similarly, she flew off the roof to begin her performance. Were “The Simpsons” able to predict this performance or did Lady Gaga take inspiration from the episode?

I guess that is a question for Lady Gaga, but to me, it seems like something Lady Gaga would do and not out of the ordinary. Her music is great, but she is also known for wearing some crazy outfits like a meat dress in 2010. Maybe “The Simpsons” just had in mind when making the episode that she does some out-of-pocket things.

Autocorrect

On the lighter side, there were also minor predictions made that have come true. The episode “Lisa on Ice” released in 1994, highlights some of the frustrations that come with autocorrect. A school bully tries to send a message that is scrambled to state an entirely different message.

This is not a life-changing prediction made by “The Simpsons,” but it does show the day-to-day struggle this generation faces with autocorrect and texting. It is crazy to think that before technology was a big thing, “The Simpsons” was already showing some of the downfalls of it.

Going through these predictions and more, it was mostly luck for “The Simpsons” to guess events that would occur in the future. There are so many episodes since 1989 that it’s almost impossible for some events not to be similar. If every episode predicted a future event, then maybe I wouldn’t be so hesitant to believe they give a glimpse into the future.

Despite being time travelers or not, “The Simpsons” continues to be a popular animated sitcom that predicts coincidental happenings.

OPINION | Instagram’s political content filter is keeping you out of the know

People are entitled to their own opinions, just as much as they are entitled to being in the know about what is going on in the world around them.

The Instagram political filter allows the user to be able to either choose to have more political posts invited onto their feed or to choose to opt out of this content by turning on the “limit” option in the Instagram settings.

If the user does follow certain accounts that aim their content toward politics, those accounts will still be allowed on your feed. This feature will also be included on Facebook at “a later date.”

With the upcoming election, many people agree that taking a step away from politics on Instagram can be healthy, but I would argue differently. It is imperative to form a fair and reasonable choice on who should be the next president to make this country better and safer. So turning the political filter off is in your best interest.

It is cool that people have the opportunity to change their settings to have this content or not, but it’s a good thing that Instagram didn’t just try and take politics out of the app completely. That would have had a very bad backlash simply because social media, Instagram specifically, is a main source of where people get their news and where they are able to make their own choices and thoughts on the world. Social media also has the ability to open people’s minds to other views of things going on in the world and sometimes change their minds.

Having the choice of turning off the political content on your account shows that Instagram is still allowing us many freedoms, but it can be smart to think about turning this feature off and allowing those posts to come through on your feed. Knowing what is going on in the world can be critical to how you think and react to any situation.

If you do choose to turn off the political posts, allow yourself the chance at least once a week to go online or turn on the news to get an idea of what’s going on in the world. Avoiding the world’s problems does nothing to solve anything.

I know that some people have issues with putting the filter on because what the app considers “political” can be controversial, making room for errors or misleading content that the company filters out.

Technology is not always the easiest thing to work with, and there is always room for error. So if people have that much of a problem or hate for political content, that could be a good sign that being on social media is not the best path for them. News, politics, people’s opinions and many more controversial topics are always in the media and have a very high chance of always being on there. It is very hard to escape.

Another downside of individuals leaving this filter on is that people like journalists, accounts that talk about only politics and other profiles like that, won’t get quite the reach as they did before.

The journalism or news world already has struggled with hate and negativity being associated with them, so for Instagram to filter out this content makes that small corner of the world even smaller and have even more hate toward them.

Whether you choose to filter your social media or not, I ask that you find another way to know what is going on in the world. Whether that be by news articles or people in your life, knowing what is going on in the world is important, whether that be because of safety reasons, making your own judgments or even understanding other people’s opinions.

It does make me wonder how many other social media apps are going to follow in Instagram’s footsteps and filter out their content as well. Technology has a long way to go and a lot of changes are going to be done but as far as this change goes, I say leave the filter alone and be in the know about the politics that can change the country. This is just the start.

Angel Wood Know how girl code, girl math align

Question: Is girl code still a thing?

Dear readers,

You don’t have to be a part of a sorority to experience sisterhood in college, which is a common misconception about making friends after high school.

Although Utah Tech University lacks Greek life, it does not lack the opportunity to form genuine connections with other amazing women through living and understanding girl code. 

Making friends, especially girlfriends, was incredibly hard for me in high school. It’s still hard at times, and it has taken time, effort and courage to make the amazing friends I have today. What I’ve found that can be even harder than making friends is keeping them. 

Let’s think about girl math for a second. Following girl code = keeping friends. Some people would say it’s that simple. Well, girl code can be a little more complicated than that. This secret code is essentially unwritten rules that every woman should know and follow or else they are “fake,” “toxic” and “terrible” friends.

In reality, it’s not 2+2=4 like it was in kindergarten. It’s more like solving a complex equation, where every action, word and gesture carries consequences within the balance of friendship dynamics.

I’m not here to break down all the specific girl code rules, but rather, I’m here to tell you girl code exists, and it is so important to follow. But, it’s more about who you are as a person and who you want to be that makes following this complex girl code so easy. 

What makes it even more complex and crazy is that every female has their own girl code, but it seems like no one actually knows that girl code isn’t just one set of rules. This unknown information results in so many failed friendships. 

I’m sure many of us grew up being told to treat others the way we’d want to be treated, but do we really know how we want to be treated? For me, I don’t know how I want to be treated until someone treats me in a way I don’t appreciate. For example, requesting to follow a guy I rounded the bases with right after I struck out with him is against my girl code on so many different levels.

Although that’s the case for me, it might not be the same case for you. Why? Because everyone is different and has different beliefs, morals and values that may not align with everyone else’s. Hence the reason why everyone’s girl codes are different. 

To this day, I never told that friend who wronged me that they hurt me, and that’s my fault more than anyone. But it appears that my code and her code were completely different.

So how do you follow girl code if everyone’s codes are different?

You communicate. Too often we hold grudges and resent other people simply because we lack the courage to communicate. Imagine a world where communication wasn’t feared and barriers weren’t broken by silence. That’s a world where everyone follows girl code. 

Communicate why you are hurt. Communicate why their actions bothered you. Communicate what you are not OK with. Most importantly, communicate what girl code means to you. 

If boundaries are broken again, even after you’ve used the power of communication, it’s time to rethink how important this person is to your life. It may even be time to let that person go, which I have a whole other story for. 

Remember, there are going to be some people you meet in college that will stay in your life forever. There will be other people you stop talking to next week, next month, next year or even further down the road. Regardless, everyone you meet, you meet for a reason. Whether they are there to teach you, help you, warn you, guide you or whatever the reason, they were placed in your life on purpose. You’ll come to find that reason soon enough. 

This next piece of information has been hard for me to come to accept, but the sooner you understand this, the happier you will be. Not everyone will like you no matter how hard you try. That’s not because there is something wrong with you. It’s because your girl codes don’t align, which is OK. You only need a few good friends with codes that work together rather than many friends you try to force your codes to align with. 

As always, remember who you are and what you stand for. By doing those things alone, you already have your girl code built in. Now go find the people who will align with the same codes as you, and making and keeping friends in college will be easier than ever before. 

And that’s girl math for you. Girl code = communication = powerful relationships. It really is that simple.

Angel Wood

If you are seeking advice on something, message me on Instagram at @angel.utahtech.