For those of you who say the old ways are being wiped out, you’re not just whistlin’ Dixie.
Case in point: Dixie State University is getting renamed.
As reported by Salt Lake City’s KSL-TV, the ball began rolling in the wake of George Floyd.
In 2020, DSU started hearing from students who felt that a [name] that included the word “Dixie” was problematic. [DSU President Richard Williams] described students calling him and telling him that in post-graduation job interviews, interviewers would ask them to explain the word “Dixie,” and ask questions about what kind of school it was.
Did interviewers suspect a four-year western college might be training Confederate soldiers? Either way, though the winds of change blew in 2020, there were at least strong breezes long before.
President Richard recalls:
“This is not a new conversation… We used to be the Dixie Rebels, so we changed our mascot. We used to have the Confederate flag, (so) we changed that. You could look back 30, 40, 50 years, and we’ve continued to have different conversations regarding taking some of the symbolism of the Confederate war out of our name. … A young kid that’s coming out (of college) that’s interviewing for a job does not want to have to spend most of their interview explaining the name.”
Doubtlessly, when people think of “Dixie,” Utah isn’t what comes to mind. Nonetheless, per Channel 5, problems prompted a probe:
As more and more students started to speak out against the moniker, the university realized it had a problem on its hands, leading it to partner with Cicero Group to do a comprehensive study looking into how the name was impacting students and the university at large.
What that study found was that “Dixie” was impacting all facets of the university, from student, faculty and staff recruitment to marketing, where some outfitters wouldn’t carry the DSU brand due to the connotations associated with “Dixie.”
Hence, Utah’s state legislature — both chambers of which boast a Republican majority — replaced the public school’s name. With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Spencer Cox dumped “Dixie State” and ushered in a new era.
And on July 1st, it becomes official: The Beehive State will be abuzz with talk of “Utah Tech University.”
I’m very excited to say I have commitment to Utah Tech University, after serving a two year mission for my church! Thank you to everyone’s that has helped me up to this point! @CoachPPeterson @Coachtui_dsu @qbelite @jkjensen7 @Coach_Schwenke @SFHSFootball pic.twitter.com/u2xHSvkhca
— Jace Gunter (@JaceGunter) May 23, 2022
Over the past couple years, there’s been quite a revolution regarding words. In 2020, “Dixie” got ditched by some Chicks:
Artists Formerly Known As The Dixie Chicks Have Ended Racism In America Forever
Thanks to a Lady, “Antebellum” was similarly sacked:
Lady Antebellum Changes Their Name, Apologizes for Making Anyone Feel ‘Unsafe’
America’s in the midst of a relabeling:
James Madison College Considers a New Name
To Fight Racial Injustice, the US Army Will Rename Nine Historic Bases
University Renames Its Women’s Clinic Because ‘Women’ Was Medically Inaccurate
We Are So Pathetic: School in Virginia Considers Dropping the Wasp as Its Mascot Due to the White People Acronym
Where sensitivity’s concerned, we’re heartily hitting our stride:
College Announces Fierce New Mascot: A Sexless Social Justice Warrior Victimized by Climate Change
As for the downing of Dixie State University, not everyone was happy with how it happened:
Critics said the effort to change the university’s name did not acknowledge the community’s many efforts historically to support the university from its humble beginnings as St. George Stake Academy to what is now a four-year public comprehensive university.
HB278 included a $500,00 appropriation to establish a “heritage center” on campus to help preserve and celebrate the history of the area.
Still, that’s that, and Dixie’s deleted — which was the whole point of the effort.
The bill passed by lawmakers in the special session was amended to require the university trustees to designate the main campus as the Dixie Campus for no less than 20 years. After that, the trustees’ can decide whether to continue using the name.
Surely future students will have something to say about that. Stay tuned…
See more content from me:
San Francisco School Officials’ Attempt to Ban the Word ‘Chief’ Foiled by a Faux Pas
Florida’s Public Universities Go Full Throttle to Fuel the Preferred-Pronoun Revolution
Major Mile Marker: Iconic Baptist University Christens Its First LGBT Student Org
Find all my RedState work here.
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