D-Queens through the years

A Dixie State University tradition since 1922 is the D-Queen pageant for women who embody the spirit of Dixie.

The pageant includes an interview, talent, written essay, evening wear, onstage questions, academic achievement, service, and involvement. Here is a list of a few of the past D-Queens explaining what winning the title has meant and what they have accomplished since.

1963 – Lana Larkin

In 1963, before it was DSU, Dixie Junior College (DJC) had no pageant involved in crowning the D-Queen. Instead the faculty would nominate a number of women they believed were good representatives of the Dixie spirit. Then the student body would cast the final vote in crowning the queen.

Larkin graduated from DJC with an associate degree. She continued her schooling at Brigham Young University and received a bachelor’s degree in homemaking education. In 1966, Larkin and her husband lived in Mexico for a year to further her husband’s studies. Larkin taught on and off briefly at various schools after graduating but mainly focused on raising her children.

During her time as D-Queen, Larkin said she, “Felt… a responsibility to remember that it wasn’t about me. I was standing as a representative of what the ‘D’ spirit was.”

Larkin most remembers her desire to best represent and support the students during the few months she was D-Queen before graduating. She carried this desire into the rest of her life.

“Whenever we have an opportunity to stand as a representative of something or some group… really it’s to represent what you are there to represent and not make it a personal thing,” Larkin said.

2008 – Jennifer Shakespeare

Shakespeare graduated from Dixie State College of Utah completing her associate degree. She continued her education at Southern Utah University and received her bachelor’s degree in communications. Shakespeare worked in marketing and sales in assisted memory care for about eight years. Last year she transitioned to work for Deseret Digital Media and does sales for them on Utah.com.

While at DSC, Shakespeare was on student government and wanted to be involved in D-Queen.

Shakespeare said: “I knew homecoming was just way too fancy for me, and there was no way I was getting in a swimsuit. A group of friends and I wanted to do it and I loved Dixie and the whole culture of it just seemed like a fun experience.”

Shakespeare wanted to showcase her school spirit through her talents. During the talent portion she played a melody of the school song and “Just for Now” on the piano while a slideshow of photos from past years at DSC played in the background.

Shakespeare loved how the pageant incorporated different strengths with portions focused on verbal communication, written communication, stage performance and more. While she loved the experience, she remembers not expecting to be crowned D-Queen.

“I was actually looking at a different girl… I was like, ‘Oh yeah it’s for sure going to be her’ and then they called my name and I was like, ‘what?,'” Shakespeare said.

Shakespeare said the experience taught her to always go for things in life that you wonder about. “It was everything I hoped it could be and more… I hope I can always remember that courage.”

2009 – Chelsea Tavana

Tavana attended DSC from 2007 to 2010. She received her associate degree and following her graduation, she served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in San Fernando, California. She graduated from BYU in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in public health with an emphasis on international development. This led her to organize and attend humanitarian trips in Kenya, Malawi, Mexico and Thailand.

Tavana participated in the pageant because her mother was a pageant winner, judge and contestant in many pageants. She also grew up watching the Miss America pageant each year. Tavana loved her time at DSC and was heavily involved with being a member of student government and an ambassador. For the talent portion of the pageant, Tavana performed a hula to show her love for her Hawaiian heritage.

Tavana worked as a community engagement specialist at United Way in Provo and started her own photography business. She eventually married and had one daughter. However, Tavana struggled with heart complications throughout her life and on March 4, 2019 she unexpectedly passed away in her sleep at 30-years-old.

Tavana’s mother Michelle Gould, said: “The hallmarks of Chelsea’s life were her love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, her love of her family, her love of her friends, and her deep love for serving all people she met. Chelsea was a light to all who knew her and left her legacy of service, a love for all people and an example for all of us and would want us to carry that love and light on to others.”

2012 – Jacee Whatcott

Whatcott graduated from DSU with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. She received her personal training certificate and currently runs her own business in Salt Lake City. In September, Whatcott’s dream of having a family is coming true with the birth of her little boy.

Whatcott was an integral member of campus as she was on Student Alumni Association for a couple of years. She put on multiple events for students and alumni to attend. Being part of the SAA, Whatcott wanted to represent the association at the pageant.

“I had never imagined myself doing it before so I didn’t know what to expect… I met some pretty awesome people, and that is what I remember most, they made it enjoyable and worthwhile,” Whatcott said.

This is only a few of the many D-Queens who deserve to be recognized. From the first D-Queen, Roma Esplin, to our newest, Anna Barfuss, we recognize the achievement of being crowned D-Queen and thank them for their service and support.

DSU police teach women in the S.A.F.E. class

We never think something bad will happen until it does. It’s normally something we see in movies, not in real life, right? 

The harsh reality is those things do happen in real life. Women can be assaulted because they happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Our parents warned us of the dangers of walking around alone late at night or early in the morning before sending us off to college. Most of us probably shrugged it off not thinking anything could happen. 

Dixie State University is offering a new class to female students and faculty called Self-Defense Awareness and Female Empowerment. In response to past requests for female safety classes, DSU created the S.A.F.E. class. It is an eight hour course broken down into four two hour classes.

One in five women are sexually assaulted on college campuses and 90% of them are never reported. 

Self defense is an important skill to have as a college student. Knowing how to defend yourself in a bad situation could be life saving. 

“The S.A.F.E. class will help educate and train women specifically on how to defend themselves physically from assaults,” said Teresa Starnes, police records administrator and victim advocate. 

Starnes is instructing the class, and said the overall goal is to create a survival mindset through recognition and a call-to-action plan.

Students never know when they might get attacked or if they ever will, but having the skills to defend yourself or others in harm is valuable. 

Blair Barfuss, chief of police and director of public safety, said students will learn physical defense skills, warning signs and how to avoid potential danger. They will understand the value of fighting off an attacker or stepping in to confront someone who may be trying to take advantage of someone who may not be able to physically defend themselves. 

In a situation where you are being attacked, there are three possible reactions–fight, flight or freeze. Taking a self-defense class can help students avoid the freeze reaction and keep themselves and others safe. 

Carly Young, a sophomore elementary education major from Tooele, took a self-defense class to feel safer around campus. 

“It was a really good experience for me and makes me feel a bit safer and more confident when I’m out by myself,” Young said. “I just feel like it’s something that everyone, especially women, should do at some point in their life.” 

The S.A.F.E. class is going to be held every spring and fall semester with no extra charge. It will typically be held in the Student Activity Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The dates are chosen around staff availability, and an announcement will be sent out to students and faculty. Classes are limited to 12 participants on a first-come, first-serve basis to female students and faculty. 

Trailblazer Day of Giving

Once a year, for 24 hours, all hands are on deck to gather donations for scholarships, academic programs, athletics and more at Dixie State University.

Trailblazer Day of Giving is an annual event focused on supporting programs and students across campus through donations. This year’s Day of Giving happened April 12 and marks the third year of the event.

Brooks Burr, development officer, helped to initiate Trailblazer Day of Giving after talking with his colleagues about what they could do to encourage donation efforts throughout the university.

“It’s a 360 view of some of the needs we have across campus, across departments and also just a general spotlight on where resources could be best utilized,” Burr said.

One program the event funds is the struggling student fund. Burr said the fund helps students cover rent, mechanical costs for their cars, and even enables them to purchase food if they can’t afford it.

“There’s members of our campus community that don’t have homes, can’t pay their rent, or can’t afford to eat, so we feature that fund specifically on the bottom of the website,” Burr said.

Cindy Biehahn, advancement services manager, encourages students and community members to visit the website for Trailblazer Giving Day so they can find a cause they connect with. For students who want to donate directly to the program they are majoring in, there are several scholarship funds specific to each academic program.

“They [students] can give scholarships in the name of a professor that they really admire,” Biehahn said.

Susan Ertel, an associate English professor, said donations can be made in a variety of ways including a one-time donation or even payroll deduction giving. On Trailblazer Day of Giving, alumni can expect to hear from students who are working a phone bank to remind them of the importance of this event.

“If you’re an employee of the university, you can do payroll deductions so that a little bit of your paycheck goes to the general scholarship fund every time you get paid,” Ertel said.

Ertel encouraged employee involvement by giving them a challenge. Faculty who had never participated in the payroll deduction givings had to enroll in the program in order to be eligible for the challenge. If the total of amount of givings from payroll deductions added up to $500, Ertel would match that amount with her own money.

For students who may not have the means to donate, Beihahn said students can provide non-monetary gifts to other students by donating items to the food pantry on campus or looking for areas or students who need extra support. Burr said sharing posts about the Day of Giving with friends and family can also increase coverage for the event.

As for how this year’s Day of Giving went, the university received donations from two St. George businesses, Vasion, a software company, and Zonos, a company that helps simplify e-commerce. Beihahn also said DSU manages to bring in new donors every year who can support students and organizations on-campus.

“I think we did just as well, we were a little skeptical of how well we were going to do just because of the changes that are taking place [on campus],” Beihahn said.

The Trailblazer Day of Giving serves as an event where everyone including students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members can come together to support the university and fund scholarships that allow students to continue their education at DSU.

“It’s really important that we have the funds and the partnerships created so that we can give our students the opportunities that will help them succeed,” Beihahn said.

“Rebels forever” memory garden will stay through transition to Utah Tech University

The Rebels mascot identity on campus isn’t erased completely and is remembered near the Browning Learning Resource Center.

As part of the centennial celebration in 2011 and dedicated in 2013, eight memory gardens located throughout campus were gifted by different donors who attended Dixie State University throughout the years. They all include a large U-shaped stone bench, a picnic table, multiple electrical outlets and even wireless internet access. The names of the donors as well as quotes from many different famous authors are engraved into the stone benches. They are the perfect location to enjoy studying outdoors on campus.

One memory garden on campus, located right outside of the Browning building, features the phrase “Rebels forever” engraved on the stone bench. The table legs also have cutouts that read “Rebels” and the plaque states, “Rebels forever memory garden gifted by an anonymous Rebel and his family in honor of all the Dixie Rebels that have ever attended Dixie State or that will attend this great university in the future.”

The Dixie Rebels was the common nickname until the mascot changed and before DSU became a university. The mascot had ties to the confederate south which made it necessary to retire before attaining university status.

The garden also showcases a plaque with the song “Two Little Boys” by Edward Madden. Ten years ago a confederate soldier statue was removed and was recently filled by a bison statue near the Cox auditorium. This statue was created based on that song.

Although the statue was replaced to show the disconnection the university had to the antebellum South, the memory garden will remain on campus even as we embrace the Utah Tech University name.

Brad Last, vice president of advancement/development, said: “The people who put those [memory gardens] in… they called themselves the Dixie Rebels and I think it was pretty innocent at the time. So when we put those in for them it was just reliving happy memories of being here in college and associating with their friends.”

When the Rebel mascot was retired, the decision of the trustees keeping Dixie but removing Rebels separated the Dixie Rebels direct tie to the confederacy. It changed the connotation sufficiently for the time when this was occuring.

Jyl Hall, director of public relations, said: “To show the institution’s appreciation, the university offered each donor the opportunity to customize their garden. The donor of the Rebels forever garden attended Dixie while the athletic identity was the Rebels and the garden is a nod to their time at the institution.”

When the Rebels forever garden was constructed the mascot had already changed, but to honor the donors and their history on campus it was appropriate.

Other memory gardens on campus include the names of the specific donors whereas the Rebels forever garden says “an anonymous Rebel and his family.”

“There was several people that donated in raising money for it, and there are several people who just prefer to remain anonymous and just like to be really private about their donations,” Last said.

As DSU moved away from Rebels and now are moving away from Dixie, Last said: “I personally don’t think that means that we need to just erase Dixie from anywhere on campus and erase Rebels from anywhere on campus. It is now part of our history and we need to embrace the future and go forward with a new name, but it’s also okay to recognize the fact that we were a different name and that maybe we viewed things differently at that point in time, more innocently I think.”

The garden is planned to stay as DSU transitions to Utah Tech University in July to continue to honor the memory of DSU alumni. Some gardens on campus may be relocated due to an increase in construction with the growth of the university.

“I think people that might have concerns about the few remaining Dixie names on campus or something like the Rebels forever… I think we need to calmly let time take care of those things and embrace Utah Tech as we move forward as a great public university,” Last said.

DSU brings awareness to ‘rape culture’ during sexual assault awareness month

As April is beginning, Dixie State University’s Women’s Resource Center and DSU police department have teamed up to hold events that bring awareness to sexual assault month.

The Bystander Moment

On April 11 at 3 p.m. in the Dunford auditorium, the WRC will be hosting an event to show the Bystander Moment video. Dru Bottoms, director of the WRC, said the Bystander Moment video is a global project shown mostly on college campuses. She said this global project is especially important because it changes the way people react to “rape culture.”

Bottoms said: “It doesn’t matter what gender you are, or anything like that, it’s really applicable to everyone. When we think of sexual assault we know that male victims are also assaulted, but the primary reporters are women. Well, the Bystander Moment applies to everyone because how we react to the world around us is what makes change.”

Sexual assault awareness

Another event held to bring awareness to sexual assault is the What Were You Wearing exhibit. This exhibit is put on by the DOVE Center. This is an exhibit where sexual assault victims are able to share their stories anonymously. The exhibit consists of bulletin boards where victims pinned their clothes to the board along with the story about how they were sexually assaulted. The purpose of this exhibit is to break the stereotype that women are sexually assaulted because of what they are wearing. The exhibit will reopen in the Human Performance Center April 11-15.

This week there were a few events held on campus that raised awareness to sexual assault, one of them being the What Were You Wearing exhibit. Misha Mosiichuk | Sun News Daily

Elizabeth Bluhm, DOVE Center education program manager, said it is important to bring awareness to sexual assault on college campuses because it educates students on how to protect not only themselves but also their peers. Education about sexual assault awareness will reduce the amount of sexual assaults on campuses and it will allow more survivors of sexual assault to come forward and tell their story.

Bluhm said: “We want victims and survivors to realize that it is never their fault, it’s someone else making a choice about their body and that person doesn’t have the right to do that. We need to educate people and help them understand that it doesn’t matter what they were doing or wearing at the time of the assault. [All that matters is] someone made an active choice to take someone else’s rights.”

Bluhm said a lot of college students are scared to report if they have been sexually assaulted because they are either not familiar with the process, or they think talking to law enforcement is intimidating. There is a common stereotype that law enforcement are not the people to talk to when reporting a sexual assault. This is because victims feel like they will not be taken seriously, and/or are often blamed for being sexually assaulted.

DSUPD takes action against sexual assault

Blair Barfuss, DSU chief of police, said: “We’ve worked the past four years to demonstrate how DSUPD exceeds standards set for how sexual assault investigations are conducted… and [we’ve] demonstrated how we lead with industry best practices on how to handle sexual assault investigations. The image or stereotype you mention can be the result of decades of poor police investigations. However, as victims and our community learn and understand all the resources available, and how the DSUPD handles case investigations with national best practices, more victims of sexual abuse will come forward.”

Barfuss said as DSUPD handles sexual assault cases appropriately he has found that more survivors of sexual assault have come forward to tell their story. This is big for DSUPD as Barfuss said one in three women are sexually assaulted nationwide with college aged women being the majority of target victims.

While it is nearly impossible for law enforcement to prevent sexual assaults, Barfuss said this is why the DSUPD takes an active role in training, teaching and bringing awareness.

Barfuss said this is another reason why DSUPD takes action by educating students and community members about safe alcoholic beverage consumption. Barfuss said he cannot stress enough how important it is to maintain control of your own body and the environment around you.

“Ultimately, we need men and women to care more about their friends and those around them by standing up and protecting those who are too intoxicated to care for themselves,” Barfuss said. “[We need] to keep people from taking actions that could provide an opportunity for a predator to take advantage of someone unable to care for themselves.”

This is your last chance to celebrate D-Week at DSU

The D-Week title may be going away due to the university name change, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate this year and years to come.

The week of April 4-9 marks the 109th D-Week at Dixie State University. You can expect to see all of the long-standing traditions this year at D-Week; whitewashing the “D” on the hill, D-Queen pageant, Brooks’ birthday carnival, Great Race, and evening of Dixie. Even though DSU will be Utah Tech University next year, these traditions will still be around.

John Bowler, director of alumni relations, said: “I think some would say it [next year’s D-Week] is not the same, it is not going to be the same. We are going to do the same things and we are going to try and engage the students and alumni with the same kind of care, love and respect as we would in the past.”

D-Week is an annual tradition for alumni, current students, the community, faculty, staff, and anyone who wants to participate.

“My hope is that the alumni who feel like we’ve left them will still come and participate. We hope that they can make their way with us and not apart from us,” Bowler said. “We’ve moved a name but we haven’t moved our tradition or our concerns or interest for their well-being and their families well-being.”

Utah Tech University will still hold traditions and the Dixie spirit from DSU.

Benjamin Welch, a senior marketing major from Las Vegas, said: “We are going to have the same events, it is not going to be D-Week anymore, [but] we’re going to rebrand it for the Utah Tech name and branding. It is a tradition we are planning on keeping.”

D-Queen pageant

The D-Queen pageant is April 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cox Performing Arts Center Auditorium. Bowler said D-Queen is one of the longest standing traditions. The event is open for everyone to attend; $5 with a student ID and $10 without. The audience will be in the auditorium with a panel of judges who will determine the next D-Queen.

Abigail Scherzinger, a senior nursing major from West Jordan and the current D-Queen, said: “It was so cool to participate as the D-Queen last year. D-Queen is just one of those ways that students have the opportunity to show how they live and embody #thedixielife. I especially loved meeting all the little kids who wanted to take pictures with me, it was probably one of the most precious things I’ve ever been apart of.”

Scherzinger said she encourages anyone who is hesitant to try for D-Queen and attend the D-Week events as it is a good experience and a great way to make connections.

Brooks’ Birthday Carnival

The carnival is April 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Encampment Mall. This event has games, activities and prizes. Bowler recommends this event for families because of how child friendly it is; however, everyone is welcome to attend.

Great Race

The Great Race is April 8 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Greater Zion Stadium. This event is open to all students and alumni.

Bowler said: “If you were a little bit athletic minded I would say you should get a group for the Great Race. It can include anyone, you can create your own team, it really could be anybody. My family and I have a team and we recruit students.”

Whitewash the “D” on the hill and breakfast

The whitewashing of the “D” on the hill and breakfast, which is going to be Chick-fil-a, is April 9 at 8 a.m. Students, alumni and community members are all welcome to attend, no RSVP is required.


Inferno is the last dance of the year at DSU. The dance is April 9 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the baseball field parking lot, and tickets go on sale April 4. This is one of four of the events to be a student only event. Other student only events include a hypnotist, belly flop contest and dive-in movie.

Welch said: “Inferno is going to be a high energy dance party, it is going to be so much fun and we will have a DJ for the first couple of hours and then we will have Peach Tree Rascals performing after that. It is the last big dance of the year so it is one more chance to get out there.”

If you would like to volunteer at Inferno, Welch said it is a great way to get involved and you also get a free ticket to the dance.

D-Week is a long-standing tradition at DSU and the tradition will not be going anywhere next year with the new name of the university. You can download the DSU traditions app to stay up-to-date with events.

DSU announces new executive director of intercollegiate athletics

After conducting a nationwide search, Dixie State University has selected a new executive director of intercollegiate athletics after Jason Boothe stepped down Jan. 7.

University president Richard “Biff” Williams announced Ken Beazer is the permanent executive director of intercollegiate athletics March 30.

Beazer has served as interim athletic director since January when he was selected to replace Boothe.

“Ken was named our Interim Executive Director for Intercollegiate Athletics on Jan. 14 and has just done a wonderful and tremendous job,” Williams said.

After a thorough nationwide search, the top candidates were selected to come to campus to meet with different organizations, coaches and student athletes. Williams said the choice for the new athletic director was obvious. Beazer was later selected to remain in the position following the search.

Beazer will be the third athletics director during DSU’s NCAA Division I era following Dexter Irvin, 2006-2010, and Boothe, 2010-2022.

Previous experience

Before Beazer’s occupation at DSU, he had many accomplishments as the director of intercollegiate athletics at Southern Utah University from 2006 to 2015. During Beazer’s time at SUU, he led the university as they transitioned to the Big Sky Conference in 2012. 

Beazer also served as director of athletic development at Utah State University.

“He developed and initiated at the time, the largest capital campaign in the history of USU athletics which included the fundraising for a 25 million dollar renovation which is now the Maverick Stadium,” Williams said. 

Along with his experience, Williams is looking forward to having Beazer’s competitiveness, determination, passion, integrity and visions contribute to building the foundation of Trailblazer Athletics.

Visions and goals

Beazer said he has evaluated every playing and practicing facility we have over the past two and a half months and stated every facility needs an upgrade. 

The improvements Beazer mentioned include, but are not limited to, a clubhouse addition for the women’s tennis team, the softball facilities, and additions to the men’s and women’s golf programs. 

“Facilities is one area that we can as an institution be top of the league, or close to the top,” Beazer said.

Beazer also stressed the importance of finding common ground amongst the community and believes athletics is something that can be agreed upon during the name change process.

“I don’t think there is anything we do as an institution that brings the community, alumni, student athletes, students, faculty, staff, everybody together for one cause, at one moment, like athletics,” Beazer said.

Tassels, titles and traditions

The three T’s of Beazer’s focus are tassels, titles and traditions, and believes everything is built upon them. 

For tassels, Beazer emphasized the importance of student athletes graduating and making the process easier for them. 

“If you’re not in this game to win it, you shouldn’t be here… we have got to be pushing for championships, personal bests and things in that nature,” Beazer said.

Beazer is looking forward to working with the community to create and maintain traditions at DSU. 

“I am grateful for the opportunity President Williams has entrusted in me to lead Trailblazer Athletics into the NCAA Division I era,” Beazer said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with our student athletes, coaches, staff and community to advance the university’s mission through high-level athletic competition.”

DSU replaces former confederate soldier statue after 10 years

A new bison statue has taken the place of a formally removed Confederate soldier statue on Dixie State University’s campus.

The negative effects the Confederate soldier statue had on the university and those affiliated with the university is why that statue was removed one decade ago. It took this long to find an adequate replacement to represent the university.

With this statue replacing the previous Confederate soldier statue, removed in 2012, it shows and represents the university’s efforts to move forward in a new direction, as does the name change.

Jyl Hall, director of public relations, said: “DSU eliminated confederate references on campus a decade ago, it does not represent who we are as a university. However, the Trailblazer identity does accurately portray the university community as the forward-thinkers we are, and this statue does an excellent job of depicting this.”

The new statue, created by Douglas Van Howd, symbolizes a new beginning and goes right along with the name change to Utah Tech University. Hall said the statue is an indicator that who we are as a university is not changing even though the name is. As the new name of DSU, Utah Tech University, takes place, the bison will remain as the university’s mascot.

Hall said, “We have kept the pedestal in front of the Cox vacant until we found the right piece because the Dixie name is cherished by our community. We knew it was important to get the replacement statue right.”

The new statue is not part of the Trailblazers Art in the City Project, but still displays the trailblazer and bison attributes. DSU’s bison represents a trailblazing spirit that is shown throughout the campus and community. The bisons throughout St. George represent a trailblazing spirit in the community. Each bison is unique and is sponsored and designed by a designated artist.

Hall said, “The Trailblazers Art in the City project, which places hand-painted bison around town, are key in fostering a university-community relationship and letting the community know they are an important part of Trailblazer Nation.”

The new statue is one step further into the rebrand process of DSU to Utah Tech University, which will officially take place July 1.

DSU receives $56 million for new general education building

With many doors still left open after the truth in tuition hearing the Utah State Legislative session has been able to close a few.

The topics in question regard the budget funds for Dixie State University to utilize. The possibility of a new building, increased faculty salaries and increased tuition were the major funds DSU was looking for.

Sen. Don Ipson said: “There was over $510 million of new money put into education this year. That’s in addition to the base budget that had growth money and money put into it before the first year. So there’s an extraordinary amount of money that has been put into public education as well as higher education.”

The increased amount of money budgeted for state employees by the state is 5.75%. This increase is to ensure high quality faculty and staff during the economic inflation we are currently experiencing.

Just south of the Udvar-Hazy School of Business, DSU will be building a fully funded $56 million general education building. This building will accommodate 50 additional classrooms, 100 faculty offices and 20 study rooms. The current pavilion and sand volleyball in that space will be relocated to a nearby location.

Rep. Brad Last said: “For universities especially growing universities like ours… you always cross your fingers when you need a new building. We were lucky this year to get it funded.”

The increased tuition amount depended on the final budgets from the legislature and was discussed by the board of trustees on March 11. The board recommended a 4% increase for the 2022-2023 fall semester. The amount is awaiting approval by the Utah Board of Higher Education.

Funding was also given to DSU to put the athletics “on par” with the other division one universities in Utah as we grow our athletics department.

$3 million is budgeted to DSU to assist with the rebranding process to Utah Tech University.

Campus View Suites III is in the plans to be constructed in place of the Nisson Towers during the 2022-2023 school year. The Legislature enabled DSU to bond for the estimated $62.5 million building.

The DSU Institute of Politics held a Legislative Roundup on March 22 as part of the pizza and politics series. Six of the local legislators discussed the main points of the recent session and their effects on DSU as well as Washington County and the state of Utah.

Rep. V. Lowry Snow said the main takeaway is: “Within those appropriations do we emphasize funding education, do we fund… improving our water situation, do we fund affordable housing. It becomes a real balancing act and it’s not in some ways that much different than balancing your budget.”

DSU expects name change to close this years enrollment

As the change to Utah Tech University takes place, the community wants to know how it’s going to affect St. George. 

Jyl Hall, director of public relations, said as the university continues to grow and the enrollment rates climb, there has been talk of new buildings and a new campus layout. There have been more than 100 new academic programs and increased student enrollment by 44% since 2015.

The Utah State Legislature fully funded a request for a new general education building at the 2022 General Session. This building is going to be built south of the Erno and Etel Udvar-Hazy School of Business and is expected to open fall 2025. This new building will have 50 classrooms that can accommodate more than 2,250 students as well as nearly 100 faculty offices and 20 study rooms.

The legislature also approved a bond for Campus View Suites III which will add 500 beds to campus. This is set to open by the start of the fall 2025 semester. 

While the name is changing, the learning standards at the university are not. 

“For the last half-decade, we have been implementing ‘active learning. active life.’ approach to education based on university leaders’ regular communication with community and business leaders on what they need from our graduates to meet workforce demands,” Hall said.

Hall said the university will continue to offer learning experiences that prepare students to meet workforce demands immediately upon graduation. 

She also said it’s too early to tell what the name change is going to do for enrollment, but as of now, it’s expected to be close to this year’s enrollment. Enrollment in the past years has been around 6,557 undergraduate students.

The name change is going to highlight the university’s academic mission and will help recruit students from across the nation. Hall said it will grow into the nation’s preeminent open, inclusive, comprehensive, polytechnic university. 

Darlene Dilley, associate provost for enrollment management, said, “Utah Tech University is a name that better represents who we are and our vision for the future as an innovative, premier educational institution that is recognized locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.”

Dilley said it’s attractive to students that the university is more open compared to other polytechnic universities that are selective with competitive admissions programs. 

Other polytechnic universities such as California State Polytechnic University-Pomona and California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo have acceptance rates ranging from 28% to 50% compared to DSU’s 100% acceptance rate.

DSU administration expect the name change to help the university grow in status and keep the same standards that have been held for decades.