UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | September 23, 2022

Say goodbye to Nisson Towers, hello to Campus View Suites III

Nisson Towers will be torn down and replaced by Campus View Suites III. 

Utah Tech University had an increase in enrollment and welcomed its largest freshman class to date this year. As a result, student housing has been completely filled and students are searching for suitable housing. 

Construction for CVS III is expected to begin in Spring 2023 and finish in July 2024. Students will be able to move in August 2024 for the fall semester. 

CVS III will be the largest of the CVS buildings. The new building was originally planned to house 500 students, but after the increase in enrollment, it is now expected to house 563 students. After tearing down Nisson Towers, there will be a total of 401 student beds available on campus including CVS I and II upon the completion of CVS III.

Brad Last, vice president of advancement and development, said: “Given that current housing is essentially full and that private developers are not able to meet the demand for a growing student enrollment, university leadership feels that adding student housing is necessary to accommodate student demands and support the ongoing growth and development of the university.”

Paul Morris, vice president of administrative affairs, said with the increase in student housing, more parking will be required as 60% of students living on-campus bring their cars to university with them. The old Whitehead Education Building is planned to be torn down this fall and replaced with a new parking lot. This new parking lot will provide an additional 150 parking stalls for students. The grass area north of the new science building will also be turned into parking, providing around 80-90 parking stalls. 

“These new stalls along with the recently completed softball parking lot and Atwood Innovation plaza parking lot, under construction, should provide more than enough stalls to meet the increased parking demand of CV III,” said Morris. 

Seth Gubler, executive director of auxiliaries and director housing, said it’s difficult to know if CVS III will be enough for the continuing growth of Utah Tech.

“It’s difficult to gauge because we cannot predict how enrollment will grow,” Gubler said. “It could go either way. This year we still had openings in on-campus housing when classes started, so it’s possible that this additional building will be sufficient.”

University leaders take into consideration what current and future students needs are.

Last said it really comes down to the question ‘Are the needs of current and future students being met by current university and private student housing?’

As of now, there are no future plans for additional student housing, but university leadership is always looking down the road and considering long-term options to fit student needs.

“The university simply will not be able to meet ongoing demands without the help of the private sector,” Last said. 

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the temperature is soaring

Numbers show a strong monsoon season for St. George but not enough of an outlier to cause any concern of extreme damages. 

Numbers tracked by the National Information System show a significant climb in precipitation in the St. George area. Multiple storms brought in around two inches of rain. 

According to the gages tracking these storms, the highest water flow in the Virgin River caused by these storms was 600 cubic feet per second. 

Cameron Cutler, public workers director for the City of St. George, said this amount of rainfall could be a cause for concern if received in isolated areas. However, the river is set to handle water flow up to 15,000 cubic feet per second. 

Cutler said the heavy rainfall in recent months has caused multiple clean projects for the public works department but nothing more. Mud getting on roads and a landscaping rock at Desert Canyon sliding onto the street are the extent of the issues. 

In July, a sinkhole opened on 100 S. right off campus after a large storm, causing many to speculate the storm was the cause. Cutler explained this wasn’t the case. 

“In actuality that wasn’t from the storm, that was a waterline burst,” Cutler said. 

As far as storms being the cause of events like this in the past, Cutler said the correlation between large storms and bursting waterlines is unclear. 

“We’ve wondered in the past if it’s had anything to do with the storm… it sometimes happens while it is raining and while it’s not,” Cutler said. “When pressures change in the atmosphere, you could get some different pressure fluctuations in pipes. Could get some breakage from pipes in that way.” 

With the end of the monsoon season, St. George has been met with a just as impressive heat wave. For nearly three weeks, St. George has seen a high in temperature reaching and exceeding 100 degrees. 

Cutler said the extreme hot weather is “always a concern.” 

Cutler said with the Glen Canyon dam being the main supplier of energy and drinking water for St. George residents, there is a concern of droughts and hot weather lowering the water level to a point where it can’t produce the power needed by residents. 

Cutler said the city has some other ways to produce power, i.e. solar panels, but the power supplied by the dam is still integral at this point. 

As for right now, Cutler said the water has stayed high enough to supply enough power to avoid brownouts. The state of Utah has diverted water towards the Glen Canyon dam to help maintain water levels. 

With its new name, the Center for Inclusion and Belonging is accommodating to all

With not only a new name but also a reinstated mission, the Center for Inclusion and Belonging has become a safe place for everyone.

Located on the first floor of the Browning building, the Center for Inclusion and Belonging (CIB), formally known as the Multicultural and Inclusion Center, looks to be an inclusive space for all identities at Utah Tech University. 

Mike Nelson, the interim director of CIB, said the organization’s name change is to help create a more inclusive environment for all. 

“We felt that it was time to change the name to represent not just racial and ethnic identities, but to encompass the other identities our students possess,” Nelson said. “… It gives [students] an opportunity to find their authentic self.” 

Nelson said many larger universities often have different support departments for each identity, but Utah Tech being a smaller and growing university, the CIB must encompass all these different groups. 

Clubs supported by the CIB include the Black Student Union, LGBTQ Student Association, Hispanic Student Association, Native American Student Association, and Pagan Ideology.

“We wanted to show that it wasn’t just race,” Nelson said.

Due to the center changing spaces, and it being so early in the new school year, Nelson said it is, “yet to be seen,” if the new name will bring more student involvement. 

“Hopefully, it will draw more people and students in,” Nelson said. 

This new mission to incorporate all student identities includes an aim to support LGBTQ students on campus. Despite Pride month being in July, the CIB has events planned to support Utah Tech students that identify as LGBTQ. 

Nelson said: “We do have a ton of events spread out throughout the year to help with identification. That can be Transgender day of remembrance, coming out day, we have our drag show… Our LGBTQ student organization will be out there also in the community to give that representation not just as a campus, but in the community to let people know there are resources and a center here on campus.”

The CIB held its first event of the year on Sept. 1. The Welcome Back Block Party offered free food, games and prizes for Utah Tech students. 

Attendees like Adam DiMaio, a sophomore engineering major from Henderson, Nevada, said the event did a good job of bringing people together through games.

DiMaio said, “The dunk tank part of the event was a fun way of getting together with friends and trying to dunk people into water.”

CIB events through September and October will be focused on Hispanic Heritage Month.

Participants will be given the opportunity to show off their grace and beauty at the CIB and Utah Tech Student Association collaborated Utah Tech drag show on Oct. 19.

More information on resources and events can be found on their website and through their Instagram @misa.ut.

The HPC has welcomed a new sport to the building, the esports club

The esports players on campus have a new space they get to call home.

In room 011 of the Human Performance Center you can find the space Utah Tech University has dedicated to the esports club. The club was previously housed in the Udvar-Hazy School of Business building. Club members said even though their new space is smaller than what they previously had, they feel like they are taken seriously as a sport by being in the HPC.

Club president Danny Finnegan, a senior design major from St. George, said, “I feel like we have a ton of new players by being in the HPC. We get a lot of foot traffic in here with people who are interested in competition, whether that be in sports or esports, and that gives us an angle that makes us come off as more professional and more respectable, which I appreciate.”

Finnegan said they will eventually outgrow the space because the egaming club is gaining more members than ever before. The club will be moved to a bigger space in the Student Union building that is set to be built in the next 2-5 years.

Since the move to the HPC, the club has be able to get nicer desks and equipment with TVs and gaming chairs on the way. Finnegan said the goal is for students to not have to bring their own equipment to school, especially as some students may not have the right equipment at home. The space is available for students to use the equipment during the HPC’s open hours.

Tyne Clark, a senior computer science major from St. George, said he values having a group of friends on campus with a common interest, along with a space for them to express themselves through esports.

Finnegan emphasized the importance of being physically present while playing with other gamers rather than gaming purely online. With new equipment and a safe place to be, the club has created its own community at Utah Tech.

Lewis Nottke, a sophomore information technology major from St. George, said the space provides a place for club members to meet up, especially when they need an escape from a long day of classes.

Finnegan said, “What I really want to do is prove to the university, and to everyone, that esports is something that is very valuable, that brings people together, that brings some of the niche communities together.”

Every Thursday at 6 p.m., the egaming club hosts a Super Smash Bros. tournament, and anyone who is interested in playing is welcome to attend.

Students and community members interested in learning more about the esports club can find the club on Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok and Twitch at @utahtechesports.

Utah Tech set to kick off the season vs. Sacramento State

The Utah Tech University football team will kick off its 2022 season on the road against Sacramento State Sept. 3. 

This will be the Trailblazers second time playing a ranked team in Utah Tech’s NCAA Division I FCS history. Sacramento State is ranked top 10 in the nation.

Head coach Paul Peterson said the Trailblazers will focus on taking over the football and the turnover margin. They will also strive to take the ball away more than give it away.

Although Utah Tech fell short against Sacramento State during its last matchup, the Trailblazers’ defense was able to keep the Big Sky defending champions to their lowest scoring game of the season.

“Sac State is a great opponent,” Peterson said. “I think we played well against them last year and had a good plan. We weren’t able to score as many points as we needed, but the guys have the excitement. It’s game week.”

Sacramento State has multiple athletes returning from their previous 9-3 season, but the Trailblazers are up to the task. Utah Tech has 67 athletes returning from last year’s roster including the 11 defensive starters and a similar amount on offense. 

Over the summer, Utah Tech was able to keep over 90 of the athletes for training due to the athletic department providing the athletes with scholarship money.  Doing so results in a more cohesive team, improvements on the field, and helps limit injuries, according to Peterson.

Peterson said the Trailblazers also had a successful fall camp with improvement made across the whole team.

“We’ve definitely added some depth on both sides of the ball,” Peterson said. “Our guys are that much older and further along developmental wise.”

Peterson said he is excited to see the steps you talked about with penalties, playing smart football, controlling the line of scrimmage, playing that field position game with the special team, and hitting yardage.

All in all, the Trailblazers have gone through the proper preparation to face Sacramento State and take the field as an official member of the WAC, being able to play five conference games rather than three last season. 

“They are pumped and ready to play,” Peterson said.

Stay up to date with the Utah Tech football team and all things athletics at https://utahtechtrailblazers.com.

The Trailblazers will have their home opener against Chadron State Sept 10.

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.”