Author: Kyle Hunt

Seniors help with their capstone project

A crowd of around 40 people gathered at the Spanish Fork Fire Department on April 5 to witness the presentation of a $700 check to the family of a girl diagnosed with spinal meningitis. Students Dave Kreis and John Pine collected donations for the family to complete their senior capstone project for the Technology Management department at UVU. The project was named “Project Kelsey” after Kelsey Anderson. The ultimate goal of the project was to raise enough money to install a lift system in the house that would allow easier wheel-chair access to the girl’s home. Because of difficult economic times, the plan for the project was altered slightly, but enough money was raised to purchase a lift gate for the vehicle of the family. The lift gate will simplify the process of elevating the wheel chair into the family’s vehicle. “It was a very rewarding thing to do,” said Dave Kreis. “John created the idea of helping someone out and for us to be able to actually go out and do something for someone that doesn’t have the physical means to help themselves made us both feel really good.” On average the project itself has required 25 hours of work per student outside their regular class work. Each Wednesday the pair would visit different companies to discuss potential sponsorship of the event. “For the senior capstone project we...

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Women’s prison unit donations

Members of Professor Larinda Nilsen’s classes at UVU recently donated over 1,200 personal hygiene items to women confined to the mental health unit of the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah. The assignment was originally given as an extra credit incentive and Nilsen encouraged her students to involve themselves in a relief effort for the female inmates of the prison. “I think there is just your basic hygiene that you take for granted everyday,” said psychology student Stephanie Bezzant. “This was a group of women that didn’t have a budget fit for the hygiene they need. I wanted to help and even decided to include my family and friends in the volunteer effort and they all loved the idea.” All of the women in the special unit of the prison currently struggle with a variety of different mental health issues. Nilsen noted that there are a total of 33 women in the prison unit, each of which will in time have the opportunity to get out and live healthier lives. Nilsen’s students took the chance to make a significant difference in the lives of the inmates. “I found out that these women don’t even get the basic necessities,” said Nilsen. “Most of them don’t even get toothpaste on a daily basis. We made it our little goal to help these women so that they can have a fresh start...

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Mental health symposium

This past Monday April 5, Utah Valley University opened its doors to host the first annual mental health symposium. The symposium was held in an effort to raise awareness about the growing trend of mental difficulties seen in university students throughout the state of Utah. An estimated 500 or so UVU students and members of the general public were treated to presentations on ailments such as adult ADHD, substance abuse, autism, spectrum disorder, suicides, mood disorders and addictions. UVU Suicide Prevention Coordinator J.C. Graham mentioned some disheartening statistics in an on-site interview with Jennifer Napier-Pearce of KUER News.  According to reports eight UVU students committed suicide in 2003, that number is 400 times the national average. Though mental health struggles remain under the radar for the most part, experts say it’s important to understand the issue at hand. “It’s not happy valley,” said UVU Dean of College of Humanities and Social Science David Yells. “There are still people that are in quite a bit of denial about things such as substance abuse, depression and suicide. The main goal of this symposium was to raise awareness about some of these mental health issues.” The University continues its efforts to expand counseling services so that the needs of the growing student body can be met. With only four counselors to support the whole campus, UVU students often have to wait up...

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Tuition increase

A tuition increase of six percent was approved for the 2010-2011 school year by the Board of Regents at a meeting held at Snow College on April 1. The prospect of tuition increase has seemed inevitable, especially in the midst of major budget cuts and other roadblocks in the path of quality higher education. This month each school in the state of Utah was forced to raise tuition to compensate for lack of funding. “Every institution has a variety of pressures on its expenditures, and tuition increase is based on the institution’s needs,” said UVU Executive Director of Planning and Budget Linda Makin. “We thought it was going to have to be somewhere between six and 10 percent.” The first tier increase for the school year will be 1.5 percent, which translates into a 52 dollar increase. The second tier will raise tuition an additional 4.5 percent. Together the first and second tier increases mean an additional 208 dollars a year for the resident students of UVU. “The nice thing about the tuition increase is that all those dollars stay at UVU,” said Makin. “Those dollars will be deployed as part of our budget allocations for the coming year and will be used to support student success initiatives.” Though the increase may seem like a stroke of bad luck, it could have been much worse. Commissioner of Higher Education...

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Emergency procedure signs

“Unfortunately not all crises are foreseeable , so education and prevention are the next best thing,” said Student Body President Trevor Tooke, when asked about the new safety procedure signs displayed in classrooms throughout UVU. The purpose of the new emergency signs is to help educate faculty and students on how to act in a crisis situation. Before the new signs were installed, students were left to search through complex flip charts in the event of an emergency, but in recent months the process has been simplified. The hope is that students will gain easier accessibility to mandatory safety information in the case of a crisis. Tooke explained that student government first learned of the idea while attending a summer conference at Southern Utah University. They brought a copy of the plan back and revised it to meet the needs of UVU. In a short period of time the popularity of the upgraded emergency plans has spread rapidly and campuses across the state are now initiating plans of their own. “One of the focuses of the current student government administration is campus safety,” said Tooke. We strongly believe that UVU needs to continue to promote a safe, protected campus. We feel that each UVU student is entitled to a peaceful and secure environment.” Student government encourages all students to keep their eyes open for any safety issues on campus...

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