Thursday, February 25, 2016

Utah State University elects its first female student president since 2001

By Braden Clark
Ashley Waddoups, the former student advocate vice-president, has become the first female president at Utah State University since 2001. The candidates were announced live on Thursday at 7 p.m. through Twitter, and live in the Taggart Student Center.
“I’m so grateful for everyone, and for everybody that has helped me,” Waddoups said. “I know my friends, and people close to me, were working day and night, missing classes and so many other sacrifices that allowed me to be here.”
Waddoups will replace Trevor Olsen as Utah State University Student Association student body president, and will become the first female president since Celestial Star Bybee was elected back in 2001.
“I think Ashley has proven herself as the student advocate vice president that she can work really well with students, and she will advocate for the students,” Olsen said.
As the student advocate vice president for Utah State University Waddoups’ responsibilities include representing student concerns to student-government and student services, maintaining relationships with faculty and administrators to bring change, and organizing the Government Relations Council.
“Student advocate is a specific position, but that’s something Ashley will continue to do throughout her presidency, and I’m sure we’ll see great things from her this year,” Olsen said.
“I’m way excited for Ashley, because whatever she does she’s super passionate about it,” said Luis Armenta, who was reelected as the diversity vice-president and worked with Waddoups this past year. “Ashley is a hard worker, and I’m stoked for her to be the next president. I’m a little surprised there hasn’t been a female president since then, but if anyone were to be the next one no one’s a better fit than Ashley. She has specific interests among the diverse students here on campus, and I’m super excited to work with her, again.”
Waddoups held her first meeting as student body president right after her election Thursday night.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cyberbullying prevention at Utah State University

By Braden Clark
Utah State University is in the midst of student officer elections, and USU faculty and officers are realizing how difficult it is to actually eliminate potential public shaming for the nominees.
“We can’t really control what’s being said, because there aren’t any repercussions for students choosing to say, or act a certain way online,” said Madison Maners, Utah State University’s student director of public relations and marketing. “We are always concerned with the wellbeing of the students who are involved in any kind of interaction.”
Last fall, Utah State University dealt with a cyber-attack of one of its students during the school’s Mr. USU pageant. The student was competing in the event, and during the talent section he made comments about another race. During the event students took to social media to let out their discomfort, and opinion on the matter.
“Any student that pays fees, or attends classes on our main campus, they’re members of the student association,” Maners said. “That being said, obviously our membership is very diverse, so we have zero tolerance policy for any one person online bullying, racism or degradation of any kind.”
This week Utah State is having its student association elections, and with the hashtag #AggiesVote some of the USU staff are asking students to be cautious of what they post online.
“There are times when free speech devolves into negativity, public shaming and bullying,” said Amanda DeRito, the Utah State University’s social media and marketing coordinator. “Social media is also very tricky because we have no ownership of any social media platform, nor do we have any rights to the hashtags we or our students use. I should also point out we don't have the resources to monitor every discussion between students on social media.”
On Monday, Utah State had its Greek Town Hall meeting where hopeful candidates talk with the Greek Community and other students about the upcoming election. During these meetings it is popular for students to comment on the event through social media, and usually with anonymous apps such as “Yik Yak” is usually when conversation turns offensive.
The university can’t really prohibit the use of these apps, but DeRito said, “if a student is ever wronged or personally attacked online they are asked to report comments to the respected sites.”

“That being said, harassment is covered in the USU Student Code. If students feel they are being harassed online, they should talk to the Office of Student Conduct,” DeRito said.

Monday, February 15, 2016

An LDS couple has swiped right to eternal marriage

By Braden Clark
Trent Wilson and Cierra Johnson, both students at Utah Valley University, matched on Tinder just over a year ago, as of yesterday, and now they are engaged.
“I remember last year I was somewhat down on myself, because I didn’t have anyone to share this weekend with,” Wilson said. “I matched with Cierra the day before Valentine’s Day last year, and I remember being so fixated on how beautiful she was in her profile picture.”
“I didn’t really want anything serious at the time,” Johnson said. “I had just broke up with my ex-boyfriend a week before, and my friends somewhat forced me into downloading the app that weekend.”
Johnson mentioned her initial reaction to the app was very negative, because of the men she encountered. She thought that way until she matched with Trent a few days later, and asked him to get ice cream on Valentine’s Day.
“I’ve never been good at first dates, and this was a whole new beast,” he said. “I was still really awkward, because I got home from my LDS mission three months before, and hadn’t really gone on any legit dates until then. The funny thing is, and probably why it worked out between us, but there are two Baskin Robbins in the Provo area and I went to one, and she went to the other. I sat there for 20 minutes or so before I called her to make sure she was still on her way.”
“I laughed it off at first, because this date wasn’t going over so well to start, but once he got there he was just like he acted online,” Johnson said. “It’s somewhat frightening when you meet someone online, because we are taught growing up there are people out there who want to hurt us, so I had my pepper spray ready just in case.”
Later that year in April, during an LDS general conference, young Mormons were instructed to avoid using apps like Tinder. However, this didn’t stop Wilson and Johnson from dating, but in fact they just decided to hide how they met even more.
Wilson and Johnson dated for the next year, and knew one day they wanted to get married, but one thing they wanted to do is tell their parents and friends exactly how they met.
“We lied about it at first,” Wilson said. “We had this whole made up story about how we met at a bowling alley, and how I asked her out to Baskin Robbins that day. It was really hard to actually tell our parents how we met, because Tinder has such a negative tie to it, and we were afraid of what our parents would think.”
“My dad was the one who was cool about it, oddly,” Johnson said. “It took my mom a few more dinners to actually warm up to Trent, but I think she’s on board now.”
Wilson and Johnson, both belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, plan to get married in the St. George temple in the coming months.
“I think Cierra and I are one of the few that Tinder-dating actually worked out,” Wilson said. “Would I suggest others to try it out? I’m not so sure, because it’s so different, but I don’t think I would have met Cierra if I hadn’t tried it out.”

“A lot of my friends tried to date people over Tinder after Trent and I worked out, but none of their Tinder-relationships worked out. It is what it is, and sometimes you just get lucky,” Johnson said. “We joke with our friends and say, ‘We swiped right to eternal marriage’ we may or may not actually use that on our wedding invitations.”

Monday, February 8, 2016

Aggies take to social media for a possible coaching hire

By Braden Clark
Former and current Utah State University students are taking to Twitter and Facebook to voice their support for the hiring of a fellow Aggie to fill the slot left vacant when running backs coach Dave Ungerer signed on with Fresno State this week.
With the hashtag #HireCoachFiefia, the supporters are hoping to catch the attention of Utah State head coach Matt Wells.
“He would make a great choice as our new running back coach,” said Thomas Rogers, the Utah State University student athletics and campus recreation vice president. “It’s cool students are out there saying, ‘Hey! Check out Dave Fiefia. He’s local, a grad assistant and a running back at Utah State.’ He knows the program really well.”
Fiefia played both wide receiver and running back for the Aggies from 2000 to 2002. Right now, the West Valley City native is the running backs and tight ends assistant at Idaho State University.
“The campaign was actually started by some fans, ex-players and donors,” said Doug Fiefia, who posted about the possibility of bringing his brother back to Utah State on Facebook. “People knew him as a player from 1999 to 2004 and then saw what he did with running backs and tight ends the past three years at Idaho State. Also, I think the fact he played at USU and wants to be there is a plus.”
“I thought it was a good idea, so I posted about it on Facebook and it went crazy,” Doug Fiefia said.
Doug Hoffman, the associate athletics director of media relations for Utah State University, said the athletics department hasn’t received any news about Wells reaching out to David Fiefia.
Hoffman said he had “no idea what the timeline is for Coach Wells.”

“I fully trust Coach Wells that he will do what is best for the USU football program, if that is Dave or if it is someone else,” Rogers said.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Students at Utah State University are Down to Lunch

By Braden Clark
At Utah State University, students are downloading a group meetup app called Down to Lunch. Down to Lunch is designed to allow its’ users to meet up for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
“It helps a ton,” said Michael Palmer, a Utah State University student and Down to Lunch user. “Sometimes I don’t have time to wait to go and get lunch, and with Down to Lunch I can send out a notification to all my friends and I usually have three or four people show up.”
The app allows users to notify other friends, who have the app, when they are free to get a meal, chill, go out, study, get coffee or join in on a number of other activities.
However, the app may be growing, but it may be for a very different reason than friends meeting up for lunch.
“We held a discussion in class yesterday about Down to Lunch and the overwhelming consensus among the students was the only reason they are inviting their friends to join is to earn a free T-shirt,” said Preston Parker, social media professor at Utah State University and co-owner of Morty’s CafĂ©. “Now, a couple students said they liked the app and preferred it over just texting friends to meet up.”
The app was designed last May by Stanford computer science grads Joe Lau and Nikil Viswanathan.
“Sure, some students don’t exactly like it, and probably will get rid of it pretty soon. But I’ve seen some real benefits from it,” Palmer said. “I’ve hung out with friends I haven’t seen in years.”

Viswanathan and Lau were unable to comment about the app reaching Logan, Utah. However, they are always looking for feedback, and anyone can reach them at