Youth mustang challenge and Adoption Auction coming to Utah State Fair this year
Sept 5, 2015 By Conrad Rowe
The Utah BLM and 4-H club have come together to create the Youth Mustang challenge and Adoption Auction, where youth from several counties around Utah receive a wild yearling and have 100 days to train it from “wild to mild.”
On Saturday, Sept. 12 the horses and youth will compete in a trail challenge. The competition will require the horses to do basic tasks, in an obstacle course, such as walk and trot, stop and back, and pick up feet.
After the trail challenge, the horses will be available for adoption at the Utah State Fair by way of auction. The bids will start at $125 and will be an oral auction. The buyers must meet specific requirements such as must be the age of 18 or older and must have suitable facilities for the horses. When the horse is sold, $25 from the auctioned price will go to the Utah BLM and the rest of the proceeds will go back into the club that raised the yearling.
This is the first year the Utah BLM and 4-H club are doing the Youth Mustang Challenge and Adoption Auction but it is expected to be a success. Lisa Reid, whom is the public affairs specialist for the BLM, said, “We hope to make this an annual event.”
She said, “We are hoping it will bring the local 4-H clubs a substantial amount of money, but the greatest payout is the experience the kids receive while training these horses."
Conrad Rowe is a student at Utah State University from Draper Utah. He loves sports and hopes to one day work with a professional basketball team. He plays lacrosse and loves to play guitar and sing. Conrad went on an LDS mission to England where he lived and served for two years.
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LGBT conference to be held in Provo, expected to be international affair
Sept 12, 2015 By Conrad Rowe
The 34th annual Affirmation conference will be located in Provo this year on the weekend of Sept. 18, and is expected to have people from various countries around the world attend.
“This is going to be our most international conference ever," said Randall Thacker, the international president of the Affirmation conference. "We will have people from Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Great Britain, South Korea and other countries all over the world. We expect about 12 different countries.”
The conference was created to allow an opportunity for LGBT members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to gather and share their personal experiences with one another.
“It’s a way for LGBT Mormons to feel connected to both their fellow LGBT Mormons and to their faith," said Kathy Carlston, the vice president of the Affirmation group. "It’s a place to get together with friends and learn and also have that social interaction and support to not feel alone anymore.”
“I attended my first conference in 2005 and it’s probably the most affirming Mormon LGBT space in the world, a place where you can be completely who you are without judgment, and where you can meet others who understand you and are willing to support you,” Thacker said.
The Affirmation conference is expected to have an increase in attendance compared to prior years.
“There are 400 people already registered and in past years a lot of people register in the last week before the conference,” Carlston said.
The Affirmation conference will feature speakers from the LGBTA community and many workshops allowing people to be open and share feelings about their personal situations. The evenings will include a dance with DJs and other fun activities.
A change in student football tickets brings mixed feelings
September 19, 2015 By Conrad Rowe
This school year, Utah State University has implemented a change to its student football ticket policy by assigning a specific seat number, which has drawn a negative reaction from Aggies.
“Last year there were a lot of issues so seats were assigned to make it more organized and structured," said Jessica Bishop, a ticket office employee. "This has given students the peace of mind that they will have their seat when they arrive at the game.”
Kyle Draper, a USU student and frequent football game attendee, feels the new policy is taking away from the game-day experience.
“I don’t think the last system was really broken, first come first serve is the best way in my opinion,” Draper said. “Part of the game-day experience, for me, is watching the game with your friends. If you’re unsure if you can go to the game you don’t want to potentially waste a seat.”
If the students do not like assigned seats, the people working in the ticket office are not aware.
“We haven't really heard anything bad about it," Bishop said. "Many students have expressed that they like having an assigned seat so that they know where they are sitting and no one else will be there.”
Bishop said that assigned seating is not going to change and the ticket office would continue to look for other ways to improve the game-day experience for students.
Greek life as a whole at USU affected by negative stigmas
September 26, 2015 By Conrad Rowe
In the wake of allegations of sexual abuse by two Utah State University fraternity members in the past year, new pledges have fallen precipitously at two unrelated houses.
Trevor Anderson, who is the president of the USU chapter of Alpha Tau Omega, said its’ numbers dropped from 22 new members last year to only 10 this year.
Sam Taylor is a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter at USU and said that their pledge numbers have also drastically fallen this year. Taylor said last year they had 32 new members and this year they only managed to recruit 15 people.
The drop in numbers was said to be caused by negative feelings about fraternities that aroused after members of the Pi Kappa Alpha and Sigma Chi chapters at USU were charged with counts of sexual abuse.
“It definitely affects fraternity life at Utah State and puts this kind of stigma on it as a whole, because people look at fraternities as a community instead of different houses,” Anderson said. “They don’t realize that each house has a different community and different kinds of people.”
“It’s not only really hurting each separate house but the whole Greek community,” Taylor said.
Anderson said that ATO has talked about how to begin to fix this stigma in their meetings.
“There needs to be a culture change within Greek life so that it doesn’t attract people that underage drink and take advantage of women,” Anderson said.
Members of the Sigma Chi presidency declined to comment about their number of new pledges this year.
LDS Church donates to LGBT cause despite conflicting beliefs
October 3, 2015 By Conrad Rowe
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been donating thousands of dollars of resources to a homeless shelter for LGBT youth every week despite its stand on gay marriage.
Kathy Carlston, who is a frequent volunteer at the shelter called Youth Futures, said the beds are specifically for homeless LGBT youth because a large number of homeless young people in the Salt Lake City area identify as part of the LGBT community.
The LDS church donated a variety of things initially to help the shelter open in December.
“Originally, when we were setting up this facility, the LDS humanitarian donated to us all of the beds, mattresses and pillows,” said Kristin Mitchell, the co-founded and director of Youth Futures.
Help is being steadily provided by the LDS church as it donates every week.
“It does an ongoing grant for food so we are able to go to shop at the bishop’s storehouse,” Mitchell said. “We also get Deseret Industries vouchers, so if the kids need clothing or anything they can go in and get it.”
All of Mitchell’s wishes for donations from the church have, and continue to be, fulfilled.
“The church asked Youth Futures what they needed and then provided everything they asked for,” Carlston said.
Art exhibition at NEMA features paintings directly influenced by Utah
October 10, 2015 By Conrad Rowe
An art exhibit called Transcendence: Abstraction and Symbolism in the American West, which has opened for the first time at the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, is thought to be heavily influenced by the geography of Utah and even has an artist featured that is a resident of the state. The exhibit opened Sept. 1 and will remain until May 7 at the free museum.
“Transcendence: Abstraction and Symbolism in the American West is a show of artworks curated from the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art permanent collection,” said Adriane Dalton, the assistant curator at the museum. “It is being shown for the first time here and we do not plan to travel the exhibition.”
The exhibit is put on display alongside another exhibit, called Abstraction and the Dreaming: Australian Aboriginal Paintings, the museum is displaying.
“We did this show to compliment Abstraction and the Dreaming because there are a lot of paintings that we possess that have symbolism like the aboriginal show.” Said Mikey Kettinger, a museum attendant at the NEMA.
One of the pieces that is thought to be influenced by the geography of Utah is a landscape of what Kettinger thinks is Moab, called “White Storm Cloud” and it was painted by Werner Drewes, an artist that is said to be one of the founding fathers of American abstractions.
“It is not clear if any of the works in the exhibition are specifically about Utah, though one of the photographs by Judy Natal references Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty so that probably qualifies,” Dalton said.
"None of the artists featured are exclusively from Utah, though our newest acquisition is from Sibylle Szaggers-Redford, who resides both in Utah and in New Mexico and her works are directly related to the region,” Dalton said.
Surprisingly high attendance for a sleep workshop at USU
October 14, 2015 By Conrad Rowe
There was an unusually high attendance at the getting the most out of your sleep workshop that was held today at 11 a.m. on Utah State University campus in the Taggart Student Center.
“We usually have around three or four people attend, with as little as one person and as many as eight previously,” said Steven M. Lucero, who led the lecture and is a psychologist at USU.
The workshop today had seven people attend, which is one of the highest numbers they have recorded. This was the first of two lectures of the kind that are to happen this semester.
“We usually have more attendance at the second workshop in the semester than the first, as we have gone to waitlist by then and students are looking for resources,” Lucero said.
Lucero credits the increase in numbers to a few different things.
“We’ve already gone to waitlist this year, which means that a lot of students that receive consultation from the counseling office are unable to have appointments for a few weeks so they seek to attend our events for help,” he said.
Lucero also attributed the high attendance to an increase in advertising the department has put forth this year.
“We hope to provide resources for students to get more effective sleep and provide support to students who might have questions about our services,” Lucero said. “It's a pretty interactive workshop designed to actively engage students who attend.”
The workshop taught about many things such as circadian rhythms, sleep deprivation, lucid dreaming, and ways to fall asleep faster.
“I found this very helpful,” said Franchessca Panoussi, an attendee of the workshop. “I am definitely going to use some of the things that he taught to help me sleep better.”