Stories that defined 2016 at USU in the utah state university community and across the nation, 2016 was a year to remember. here are the stories that broke the news at usu this year.

1. That time the grass on Old Main Hill was accidentally murdered

The story: Facilities mistakenly applies grass-killer to Old Main Hill by Brenna Kelly

“You would not pick that to happen anywhere on campus,” said Rob Reeder, the director of facilities maintenance. “Anywhere to occur on campus would be a misfortune and something that would need to be addressed. Unfortunately it happened in a high-visibility area.”

2. The tragic plane crash that killed a USU student

Frank Marino De Leon Compres, a USU aviation student, was killed when his plane crashed during a solo flight on July 18.

The story: USU will hold memorial for student killed in plane crash by Melanie Fenstermaker

“Frank passed away doing what he loved,” said Luis Armenta, USUSA diversity and clubs VP. “Let’s not think so much about his passing away, but let’s honor his life in how we live this next year, and truly dedicate this next year to Frank.”

3. When Aggie Village welcomed its first gay couple

Andrew and Jed Romriell moved into Aggie Village in May and were informed they were the first gay couple to ever live there.

The story: USU married student housing welcomes first gay couple by Bobbee Russell

“I think it’s cool that [people of] USU are open and accepting — not many schools in Utah are,” said Sydney Rodee, a senior in business administration who lives in Aggie Village. “I don’t think it’s shocking or a surprise.”
4. The untimely death of a 2016 USU graduate in a car accident

The story: Recent USU graduate killed in car crash by Ashley Stilson

5. That time everyone was freaking out about clowns

The story: Multiple clowns spotted on USU campus by Alison Berg

“We do respond to these calls, but it does take time on law enforcement that could be used better elsewhere, so we ask people to use their best judgement in these situations,” said Steve Milne, USU police captain.

6. That time End of Year Bash was canceled (but artist Charlie Puth and the student events office still came through in the end)

The story: Charlie Puth cancelled for the End of Year Bash by Morgan Pratt

“I’m extremely upset to have had to cancel our shows this week,” Puth said. “Unfortunately, I’ve been sick for the last week and am unable to sing, let alone speak without vocal pain.”
7. When the USU student association declared a mental health crisis at USU

The story: USUSA moves to declare a mental health crisis in Utah by Shanie Howard

“When there is a wait time of four to six weeks for a student [with] depression to initially see a counselor that’s a serious issue … four to six weeks is four to six weeks far too long,” said Matthew Clewett, USUSA student advocate VP.

8. When a former USU student plead guilty to charges of sexual assault and rape

The story: Former USU student pleads guilty to sexual assaults by Brenna Kelly

“Honestly in cases like this I always appreciate when the defendant takes responsibility for their actions, because then the traumatized victims don’t have to testify at a trial,” said Cache County prosecuting attorney Barbara Lachmar. “I feel grateful.”

9. When the USU community mourned the tragic loss of yet another Aggie family member this year

The story: Joshua Diamond: Friend, example, Aggie family member by Brenna Kelly

“At first glance, he just looks like a normal college kid,” said senior Sierra Woolston, a close friend of Diamond’s, “but if you pay attention I promise you would have noticed him doing kind things for people.”
10. When a sexual education event turned into a debate about the right and wrong ways to talk about sex (and a little bit about censorship)

The story: USU administration restricts activities at sexual education event by Alison Berg

“We want to make sure everything we do is not perceived in a way that would distract from a particularly serious topic,” said Dwight Davis, USU's associate vice president for business and finance.
“I feel like those involved in the event aren’t upset that people felt uncomfortable; I think they’re upset with the way it was handled,” said Whitney Howard, a member of the Students for Choice club. “The organizers weren’t allowed to post on social media about what happened at their meeting because they could potentially lose their jobs.”

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