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

OPINION | Alec Baldwin rightfully charged for fatal shooting

Alec Baldwin and “Rust” armorer were rightfully charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter on Jan. 19. 

Actor Alec Baldwin shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins Oct. 21, 2021. During the filming of “Rust,” an American-western movie, Baldwin also shot and injured director Joel Souza. The incident occurred on the movie set located at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Hutchins was admitted to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after being shot in her chest. Hutchins passed away later that day. 

Baldwin, along with the armorer of “Rust”, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, are justly being charged.

Involuntary manslaughter is still a homicide charge. However, it’s not as severe as first-degree murder. For Baldwin and Gutierrez-Red, one charge is an 18-month sentence and the other is a five-year sentence.

A Market Watch reporter, spoke to a criminal attorney about the charges Baldwin is facing. According to the report, if Baldwin’s case goes to trial, Baldwin will only be convicted of one of the charges, and the jury will have to choose which charge for Baldwin to be convicted of. 

People magazine said Baldwin’s attorney made a statement that said: “This decision distorts Halyna Hutchins’ tragic death and represents a terrible miscarriage of justice. Mr. Baldwin had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun — or anywhere on the movie set. He relied on the professionals with whom he worked, who assured him the gun did not have live rounds. We will fight these charges, and we will win.”

Baldwin’s attorney is wrong. It doesn’t matter if Baldwin didn’t know there was a bullet in the prop gun. Just because he didn’t know about the bullet doesn’t make him exempt from the consequences of taking someone’s life. If any other person accidentally shot someone, they would be charged and forced to take a plea or serve jail time. Baldwin should not be treated differently than anyone else just because he is famous.

Not only do non-famous people face the consequences of their actions, so do other celebrities. Actor Matthew Broderick hit and killed two people in Northern Ireland in 1987.

CNN reported Broderick was charged with dangerous driving but the charge was later reduced to careless driving. He was fined and did not spend any time in prison. Broderick was not drinking, and therefore, the car accident was purely accidental. Yet, he was still charged and had consequences.

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Red have the options of taking a plea deal. However, both will be fighting their charges despite being guilty of losing a life on set.

According to People magazine, Gutierrez-Red’s attorneys said: “Hannah is, and has always been, very emotional and sad about this tragic accident. But she did not commit involuntary manslaughter.”

Her attorneys said that Gutierrez-Red’s charges are the result of a flawed investigation and an inaccurate understand of the full situation. Her attorneys intend to prove Gutierrez-Red’s innocence.

Special prosecutor Andrea Reeb and Mary Carmack-Altwies, Santa Fe County District Attorney, said that if Baldwin or Gutierrez-Red had done their job, Hutchins would still be alive.

Some people may say Baldwin should be let go because it wasn’t his fault. However, that doesn’t change the fact that he killed someone.

Baldwin did not intend to kill someone, but someone lost their life. Baldwin and Gutierrez-Red did not correctly perform their jobs by making sure the firearm was not loaded. That is their fault. 

Baldwin and Gutierrez-Red’s lawyers believe their clients are innocent. However, they are not. 

Even though Baldwin should without a doubt be charged, Gutierrez-Red should be given a more severe punishment. Gutierrez-Red is the armorer, and her job is to ensure the transport and safe use of firearms. Technically, she should have made sure the firearm Baldwin had was safe to use.

Baldwin is still guilty for taking someone’s life. However, Gutierrez-Red should be held in a higher degree of responsibility than Baldwin. The fact is she didn’t ensure the gun was OK to use. If she had properly done her job, Hutchins would still be alive.

In a statement obtained by People, the Hutchins family attorney said on behalf of the family: “Our independent investigation also supports charges are warranted. It is a comfort to the family that, in New Mexico, no one is above the law. We support the charges, will fully cooperate with this prosecution and fervently hope the justice system works to protect the public and hold accountable those who break the law.”

One cannot put a price on life, and thus losing it calls for action. It’s doing the Hutchins family justice to not let Baldwin and Gutierrez-Red walk away freely. Therefore, Baldwin and Gutierrez-Red have been rightly charged.

OPINION | Early campus construction causes chaos for students

Closed roads, blocked pathways, no parking and unhappy students. That’s what the construction on campus brings to the student population.

Campus View Suites III was announced last semester to replace Nisson Towers. Expected to be the largest student housing building on campus, construction began at the beginning of the spring 2023 semester and is estimated to finish in July 2024. What faculty didn’t consider was the affect it would have on students.

Construction shouldn’t have begun until this semester was over, and the majority of students had left campus. It would have been easier for everyone if the campus remained as it was prior to construction for the remainder of the semester.

With half of the student housing parking lots blocked behind gates, students have swarmed the parking lot by the Udvar-Hazy Business building and Jennings Communication buildings leaving barely any available parking for those that live farther away.

What used to take seconds to find an open parking spot can now take up to 20 minutes. Most of the time, students end up parking in the M. Anthony Burns Arena parking lot because there are no parking spots closer to their classes. Parking lots were already filled to capacity before the construction, now it’s nearly impossible to find a parking spot close by.

I live 15 minutes away from campus, so I usually leave around 30 minutes before my classes start to find parking. With the amount of available parking spaces we have this semester, I leave 30 minutes before class and still walk in 10 minutes late.

Utah Tech University faculty should have taken into consideration the amount of students that use the parking lots. Not everyone has parking passes, but enough do that we need the full parking lot to fit everyone. With such a large chunk of the parking lot blocked off, there aren’t nearly enough open spaces to fit the students that need to park there.

With the construction also comes the road closure. The main road leading to the Jennings building’s parking lot was cut off making it so students need to go around the baseball field to make it to the parking lot. The traffic down that road is worse than ever and has led to car accidents. A car flipped on its side and rear-end accidents only made the situation worse. With only one route and too many students taking it, it’s bound to lead to more accidents and injuries.

If the construction had started when it was supposed to in the summer, no one would be having these issues. Students wouldn’t be walking into class late because they had to park on the other side of campus, walkways would be accessible to students that live near the construction, and the roads wouldn’t need to be closed.

Aside from the chaos this construction has caused, by starting construction later in the year, students wouldn’t have been relocated to different buildings throughout campus. The previous residents of Nisson Towers had to be moved to open rooms throughout other student housing buildings and some ended up at the University Inn down Tabernacle St.

Students who signed a lease with Nisson Towers wanted to be close to campus and some ended up farther than they wanted to be. If construction had been pushed back to the summer, these students wouldn’t be facing this issue and going through the stress of moving between semesters. No one expects to be moved halfway through the year because of construction.

While it can’t be stopped now and we’ll have to deal with the consequences of construction, faculty should have taken students’ lives into consideration when planning this new building. The new construction has disrupted the lives of those living around the work, those who go to class near it and those who had to be moved because of it. It’s something we’ll have to get used to, but it could have been avoided.

Graduation checklist: 5 steps to prepare for life after college

Collegiate seniors are approaching their long-awaited graduation day, but there are still a few things students need to prepare for before the end of the college life.

Apply for graduation

If you haven’t applied for graduation this semester, you may want to apply now rather than later. If you want to graduate with a bachelor’s degree this coming May, you’re going to have to pay a late application fee of $50 when you apply. If you’re planning to graduate with a master’s or associate degree, you need to apply and pay the normal graduation fee of $55 ($80 for graduate students). If you want to graduate at the end of summer 2023, then March 1 is your deadline before late fees are applied.

Master’s and associate degree application deadlines are Feb. 1 for spring 2023 and May 1 if you want to graduate at the end of the summer.

“A lot of students forget to [apply for graduation], or they think it’s automatic,” said Bryan Jacobs, media studies adviser. “It’s not automatic, they need to make the effort to announce to the university that they intend to be finished by the deadline that they choose.”

Regardless of what degree you’re working toward or when you’re planning on graduating, it’s best to get a head start with the graduation application. That way, you just have to show up and smile as that glorious diploma is bestowed upon you on graduation day.

Graduation checklist

After you apply for graduation, it is recommended that you meet with your adviser to make sure you have everything you need. This can range from acquiring your cap and gown as well as ensuring your mailing address is up-to-date before official diplomas are mailed.

If you’re not sticking around St. George after graduation, it might be best to have it sent to your permanent address.

If you need to make any special substitutions to meet the requirements for your preferred major, this meeting is the place to do it.

Career help

So, you’re ready for graduation? That’s great, but now it’s time to think about the future.

It can be pretty frightening to take the first steps toward the rest of your life, but that’s OK. Luckily, Utah Tech University has resources to help you enter the work force. The university’s career services department is available to help you begin the search for your first job after the end of your education. You can schedule an appointment with one of its many career coaches to make sure your resume is up to snuff, finding job opportunities and helping you find the correct starting point in reaching your dream job.

The career services website has other resources for student use. Handshake is a job finding application much like you would find elsewhere. The difference being: Most jobs posted on the website are for students with a degree fresh out of the oven. It also has job openings for those who are looking to find a part-time job while earning your degree.

“Handshake is our international student job board where you’ll find employers who are looking for students with minimal experience,” said career coach Asha Stapley. “When students ask where to start, that’s where I direct them toward first.”

Handshake is Stapley’s first go-to recommendation for those looking for jobs right after graduation.

As you browse the career service’s website, you will also find the “What Can I Do With This Major” tab if you’ve ever wondered what kind of careers are in your reach with your respective major. It lists extensive options for possible occupations as well as the skill sets you need to have in order to get them.

The hunt begins

As graduation gets closer, it can be difficult to have a good understanding of where you’re going after college. This is why a lot of students start job hunting before they get their diplomas.

“For me, I’m worrying more long term, like I feel like I need to find a job before the semester ends so that I can enjoy the rest of the semester worry free,” said Abbigail Jones, a media studies senior from West Jordan.

If you’re not sure how to get to your desired job, Stapley has a possible solution.

Stapley said: “Linkedin is great tool to network with individuals. I don’t think students take advantage of the fact that there are people out there doing their dream job already, and you’d be surprised how willing these people are to answer questions.”

Find someone with your dream job or entry-level occupation and send them a message over the platform. This can range from a simple, “Where did you get your start?” to a more direct, “Tell me all of your secrets.” There’s a good chance they will message you back with some starting points to achieving your goals.

Another tactic that can be taken for granted is a simple Google search. Not only will a good number of jobs appear on the top of the page, but going down this rabbit hole can lead you to networking opportunities that can lead to welcome yet unexpected results.

The thing you must not do in your search for jobs is to expect that you will find your opportunity by doing nothing. Jobs are not going to fall right into your lap just because you have the degree. Actively searching, building a portfolio, and adjusting your parameters of an entry-level job can work wonders.

Good luck

The anxiety of graduation can be quite jarring for those who aren’t prepared to take the first steps of joining the work force, but overall, it’s a cause for celebration. Receiving your degree is a thing to be proud of and all these steps are here to make the process of getting there as easy as possible.

Rumors dispelled surrounding Utah Tech Nursing Program

Rumors surrounding Utah Tech University’s nursing program have been running rampant since September, but nursing students and faculty are coming to the program’s defense.

Two rumors have circulated through the student body:

  1. The nursing department put new applications on hold due to the last group of nursing students not passing their final exams.
  2. The program is losing its accreditation because of low exam grades.

“I don’t believe it’s true,” said Quinton Reeds, a senior nursing major from Newberg, Oregon. “It doesn’t seem to be affecting anyone. If it is, they certainly aren’t telling us.”

The nursing department faculty first heard the rumor from students who work at the St. George Regional hospital. Those students heard it from licensed practical nurses who graduated from Dixie Technical College.

“We actually went over there and talked with some of their students and held an information session with [Dixie Tech],” said Judy Scott, department chair for the nursing department.

Utah Tech started with only an associate degree program for nursing. It was decided through a nationwide report that patients cared for by nurses with a bachelor’s degree had better outcomes. Once that report came out, nursing programs nationwide started to develop bachelor’s degree programs. The associate degree program was phased out and a generic or pre-licensure program for students to earn their bachelor’s degree was added to the catalog.

Scott said Dixie Tech then came to Utah Tech with their graduating LPNs wondering how to get those students through the process of getting a bachelor’s degree. A bridge program was developed for paramedics, LPNs and medics from the armed forces to join Utah Tech and finish their education to get their bachelor’s degree.

Utah Tech now has a certified nursing assistant program, a bridge program, a pre-licensure program, a registered nurse to bachelor’s degree in nursing and will be opening a master’s degree program in educational leadership.

“We have already been granted candidacy for the master’s program,” Scott said. “If that tells you anything, we are not in any trouble at all.”

Nursing department faculty said they are excited to be opening the master’s program because it means they may be teaching future Utah Tech teachers. Scott said three or four of the current nursing professors are from Utah Tech’s graduate program.

“[Rumors like these] scare our students,” Scott said. “We’ve had some information sessions with them and talked about it.”

Scott said she also called the chief nursing officer at the hospital after students were hearing these rumors from other staff at the hospital.

“If there’s a problem, I go to the horse’s mouth,” Scott said. “I go to the head person and say: ‘Hey, this is what’s being told, how do we fix it?’ and they fixed it.”

Utah Tech officials and nursing faculty say they are eager to welcome students to the master’s degree program, open for enrollment in fall 2023.

Meet the Sun News Daily staff

Sun News staff members share their favorite things about being on staff and what they are most excited for this semester. Kelsa Lundstedt | Sun News Daily

Here’s how Christmas is celebrated around the world

Many of us only know how Christmas is celebrated in the United States, but beyond the borders of this country reside many different Christmas celebrations.

Whether the holiday is celebrated on a different day of the year, with people other than family, or even in the middle of summer, Utah Tech University’s international students from around the world have shared how they celebrate Christmas in their home countries. 

Japan

International Student Leader Koyo Araki, a junior accounting major from Tokyo, Japan, is one of few international students who will be heading back home for the holidays. 

With family members he hasn’t seen for years, Araki looks forward to going back home, especially to see his girlfriend. 

“For Christmas in Japan, it’s not really for family or religious stuff,” Araki said. “It’s more for girlfriend and boyfriend stuff like a lover day.”

In fact, Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, is considered to be the most romantic day of the year in Japan. Closely resembling Valentine’s Day, Christmas Eve is a day for couples to spend time with each other while celebrating the holiday. 

Araki said it’s common for couples to go see illuminations where many lights and displays decorate the cityscapes of Japan. 

Because Christmas isn’t a national holiday, Araki said: “Christmas is brought to us more by other countries, but it’s still amazing. You can see your relatives that you haven’t seen for a long time and do lots of traditions.”

Scotland 

Unlike Japan, Christmas day in Scotland is family oriented. It’s a time for family to come together and celebrate the holiday by eating, dancing and spending time with each other. 

Anna Sterk, a freshman psychology major from Stirling, Scotland, said, “Thanksgiving is not widely celebrated in the United Kingdom, so the Thanksgiving meal Americans have is very similar to the meal Scottish people have on Christmas Day.”

Following Dec. 25 is Boxing Day on Dec. 26, where the leftovers from the Christmas meal are boxed up and given to the homeless. 

Sterk looks forward to going back home to celebrate the holidays and enjoys Boxing Day and Christmas. 

“I always loved Christmas,” Sterk said. “I love the fact that it’s kind of an excuse for our family to be together just for a concentrated amount of time, and everyone just seems happier at Christmas.” 

Ukraine 

Misha Mosiichuk, a senior information technology major from Oleksandriya, Ukraine, will not be going back home for the holidays but looks forward to spending break with his family here while remembering his Christmas traditions from Ukraine. 

Christmas in Ukraine can be celebrated on Dec. 25, but is more commonly celebrated on Jan. 7 with Christmas festivities beginning on Jan. 6.

Because Christmas comes after the New Year, Mosiichuk said he, along with many others, enjoy celebrating the New Years more than Christmas, although Christmas is still one of his favorites. 

“I like the smell of mandarin and the Christmas trees,” Mosiichuk said. “I also like the holiday spirit. I would say I like the feeling of the fireplace, the coziness and watching movies.”

For Christmas meals in Ukraine, Mosiichuk said the food is one of the biggest differences between Christmas in America and Christmas in Ukraine. Most of the meal consists of dumplings full of different meats and vegetables along with various cakes. 

Spain

Similar to Ukraine, Christmas in Spain can be celebrated Dec. 25 but is also celebrated on Jan. 6th.

International Student Leader Sara Pruther, a junior digital film major from Ibiza, Spain, said Christmas celebrations in her home country include her family getting together for a meal usually prepared by the host.

Depending on the religion of a family, Catholic traditions are also carried out to celebrate Christmas including attending a midnight mass and celebrating the Three Kings in a parade Jan. 5. 

“We have two types of Christmas, but we don’t really celebrate Santa Claus,” Pruther said. “That’s not really a thing, but instead, we do the Three Kingman, and it’s basically like Santa Claus, but just bigger.”

The Three Kings are a biblical tale where the men brought gifts to baby Jesus. Replacing the popular Santa Claus, the Three Kings bring gifts to the children of Spain.

Peru

While many parts of the world will be experiencing winter during Christmas time, Peru and all other countries in the Southern Hemisphere are experiencing summer. 

International Student Leader Alvaro Lopez, a sophomore management major from Lima, Peru, will be traveling within the U.S. during break but still has many traditions that come from his home country.

Lopez said many people in Peru include nativity scenes in their Christmas decorations and also attend a mass on Dec. 24. 

These masses consist of praying, chanting and mostly singing where attendees get the chance to celebrate the religious meaning of Christmas. 

“I guess the whole vibe and mood of Christmas makes me feel excited for this time of the year,” Lopez said. “With the rest of the year, its just hard to gather together with family, but now we get to do that which makes this time really fun.”

Despite not going back home during break, Lopez and other students still remember the homes they came from, the traditions they loved, and the memories they made during past Christmas celebrations while looking forward to the celebrations to come for this year.

Utah Tech men’s basketball comes out on top against Chapman University

Utah Tech University men’s basketball had its highest scoring game this season with a 99-58 win against Chapman University because of its discipline on and off the court.

This game was the Trailblazers’ first time playing the Panthers, so a lot of preparation was essential to come in with the right mindset and determination to win. The Trailblazers came prepared, as they scored the highest amount of points so far this season.

No. 2 Trey Edmonds, a sophomore psychology major from Aurora, Colorado, said the focus in practice was to make sure the team wasn’t taking its foot off the gas. Even though they were playing a new team, they still had to put their best foot forward.

Edmonds said, “Coach wrote on the board before the game ‘discipline’, so we have to stick to what we know, stick to what we do, our defensive principles and play smart.”

Head coach Jon Judkins had a big part in keeping the players grounded in practice and striving to play their best on the court no matter the opposing team.

Judkins said: “We always challenge our guys by asking, ‘Do you want to be a great team or a good team?’ A great team means no matter who you are playing, you are playing great. A good team plays down to their competition. Tonight we did a good job with being a great team.”

The Panthers started off the game on the scoreboard, but the Trailblazers quickly bounced back. The two teams fought hard for the ball and continued scoring back and forth. Utah Tech was able to take the lead after nine minutes into the first half, and they stayed on top for the rest of the game. By the end of the first half, the Trailblazers led 51-29.

Utah Tech kicked off the second half with a 3-pointer by No. 21, Isaiah Pope, a junior communication studies major from Yorba Linda, California. The momentum stayed the rest of the half with the score growing from an additional six 3-pointers, multiple free throws, layups and jump shots. The Trailblazers ended the game with its highest score in a season game yet, 99-58.

No. 3 Cameron Gooden, a senior recreation and sports management major from Frisco, Texas, said to keep the momentum they will need to continue playing selfless games of basketball by sharing the ball between teammates and getting everybody involved.

“We just need to not get out of character on the court,” Gooden said. “We need to prove that we can stay locked in regardless of who is out there.”

Utah Tech will stay in St. George to try for another win against The Master’s University Dec. 17.

Friends, family, community gather together to honor memory of Peyton Hall

Friends, family and the Utah Tech University community came together Tuesday night to honor and remember Peyton Hall at a candlelight vigil. 

After his passing Sunday morning, hundreds of people who were impacted by his death joined together to find peace, comfort and encouragement through these trying times. 

With speakers including Del Beatty, vice president of student affairs; Ali Threet, assistant vice president and dean of students; Aaron Cass, a junior biology major from St. George; and father of Peyton Hall, Bryan Hall, memories of Peyton Hall were shared, words of encouragement were given, and comfort was created through the gathering of many. 

Cass, the emcee of the vigil and the mental health advocate for Utah Tech Student Association, said, “I feel that as soul crushing and tragic as this is, after talking with the parents and other people, he would want to be remembered for his life, not for his death.”

With this thought in mind, people celebrated Peyton Hall’s life by sharing memories of him and impressions he had on others.  

Bryan Hall said anyone who knew Peyton Hall had a “Peyton story” to share, and the night was filled with many of them. 

Memories about parties people attended with Peyton Hall, intramural games people played with him, and hangouts people experienced with him filled the air.

Taitum Chidester, a freshman nursing major from Herriman, said: “Peyton was always doing something fun, and he lived up every moment of his life. He lived a good life and left a good impression on so many people.” 

With the memories people made with him, Beatty said: “So the challenge is going to be what are you going to do? What are you going to do with those memories? What are you going to do with those experiences? How are you going to make yourself better to honor Peyton for the life that he lived?” 

Through trying times, Threet said people will either drift apart from each other or grow closer through kindness and unity. With these relationships, help with hard times can be found. 

“As we honor Peyton in his memory, it’s apparent that in this group we come together, so I would advise you guys to lean on each other,” Threet said. “Lean on each other for support and strength and kindness. Remember the good times with Peyton and remember the good times with each other, because as Trailblazers, we’re a family and we come together…” 

By coming together, those that did not know Peyton Hall very well left the vigil with a clearer understanding of who he was and what he represented. 

“Peyton just loved life,” Bryan Hall said. “He really did. He was a friend to everyone and was just a joy to be around.”

Others said he was inclusive and never wanted anyone to feel left out. They said he was funny, caring, and above all, he was always the life of the party. 

The “life of the party” energy Peyton Hall carried with him showed during the vigil when a song he sent his brother days before quietly echoed throughout the courtyard. “Feel This Moment” by Pitbull played through the speakers with lyrics that said, “One day while my light is glowin’, I’ll be in my castle golden, but until the gates are open, I just wanna feel this moment.”

By always feeling the moment himself, Peyton Hall encouraged others to do the same. Whether feeling the moment comes with pain, anger and despair, or love, remembrance and gratitude, resources are available for those in need. 

“Some of you are going to struggle more than others because of the impact that Peyton’s passing has had on you, but we’re here for you,” Beatty said. “We have the resources for you when you want those things.”

For those looking for these resources, an appointment with a mental health professional can be set up at the Booth Wellness Center, or for immediate mental health support, you can dial 988 at any time. You can also reach out to Threet at ali.threet@utahtech.edu for help and guidance. 

In his final words of comfort, Beatty shared a quote from Irving Berlin that said, “Although the song has ended, the melody lingers on.”

Directly relating it to the passing of Peyton Hall, Beatty said although Peyton Hall is not with us anymore, his memory will linger within all of us forever. 

As the year comes to a close, Peyton Hall will not be left in the past, but rather, he will always be carried with us in the present as we continue to honor him, remember him and share the light he shared with all of us during his time on this earth.

‘She is one of the best players in the country’: Breaunna Gillen exemplifies leadership on and off the court

The Utah Tech University women’s basketball team is off to a 5-2 start and is being led by its senior point guard.

Breaunna Gillen, a senior exercise science major from West Jordan, has excelled during the 2022-2023 season thus far.

Recently, Gillen received back-to-back Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week mentions. In addition to the WAC award, Gillen was named athlete of the month.

In response to her thoughts on receiving the awards, Gillen said: “I think they show the work that we all put in and what we’ve been working for… It’s been four years, and it’s a great accomplishment to see the work that I’ve put in and the girls have put in. It’s all coming to show.”

During the game against Utah State University on Nov. 15, Gillen posted her career high of 26 points. She also broke Utah Tech’s women’s basketball assist record during the game against the University of La Verne on Nov. 26 with 13 assists. 

Gillen is currently averaging 20.7 points per game and is leading the team with a total of 54 assists. 

“She can score at the rim, she can shoot, she can guard, she is a complete basketball player and is effective in all aspects,” Head coach JD Gustin said. “She is one of the best players in the country.”

Gillen said she is grateful for her teammates and how they contribute to her success from pushing her in practice to their support.

“I couldn’t have gotten the assist record without them making their shots,” Gillen said. “They are always so supportive.”

Emily Isaacson, a senior recreation and sports management major from Perry, complimented Gillen’s leadership qualities on and off the court. Gustin also said she serves her teammates and then herself.

“She is an incredible athlete, but also off the court she is an incredible person which I think really makes for better on the court,” Isaacson said.

Isaacson and Gillen work alongside each other and are Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representatives for the women’s basketball team. Gillen is also the WAC SAAC representative for the university.

“Off the court, she is leading us in community service and is the one telling us where we need to be and what we need to do,” Isaacson said.

Gillen is also a leader as the senior point guard on the team. Isaacson said the upcoming freshman and sophomores can learn from Gillen’s playing style. 

When asked about someone that contributed to her success, Gillen said: “I had a coach that coached me my whole life, his name is Coach Z [T.L. Zunguze], and he actually passed away this summer. I think that’s been a huge thing for me; I just want to make him proud. He’s helped me get here and get me all the skills I have.”

Gillen is looking forward to the remainder of the season, specifically WAC play. 

“I want to win, especially this year having the chance to play in conference,” Gillen said. “It’s just so exciting for that opportunity because we’ve never had that chance, and I think this year is the year.”

The Utah Tech women’s basketball team will travel to Colorado to play US Air Force Academy Dec. 10.

Utah Tech student dies after falling off Campus View Suites II balcony

A Utah Tech University student died early Sunday morning after falling from a balcony on a campus housing complex.

Utah Tech freshman Peyton Hall was pronounced dead at the scene Dec. 4 after he fell from a fifth-floor balcony of Campus View Suites II. Hall’s roommates witnessed the fall and called 911.

A candlelight vigil in honor of Hall will be held Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the North Encampment Mall hosted by the Trailblazer Activities Team.

According to Jordon Sharp, vice president of marketing and communications, the Utah Tech Police Department arrived at the scene around 2:30 a.m. and began lifesaving efforts until paramedics arrived.

In a statement, Sharp said Hall’s death appeared to be accidental; however, the exact cause of death is still being determined. Officials completed a toxicology report on the scene, and the case is currently being reviewed by the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office.

Kelsa Lundstedt | Sun News Daily

“The family was contacted, and Utah Tech officials worked with the Southwest Behavioral Health Center mobile crisis team who arrived on the scene in the early morning to provide mental health support to students and others involved,” Sharp said in the statement.

Students and community members seeking mental health support can go to the front desk of CVS II to set up a time to meet with a mental health professional. The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is also available 24/7 by dialing 988.

“Peyton was an involved and loved student in good academic standing at Utah Tech University, and our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends, and loved ones during this tragic time,” Sharp said in the statement.

This is a developing story. Sun News Daily will update this article with more information as it becomes available.