Dixie State students convene over school name change

Dixie State College of Utah Student Body President Brody Mikesell
Student Body President Brody Mikesell leads name-change discussion with students, Dixie State College of Utah, St. George, Utah, Nov. 28, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, image composite by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – After years of building tension and as attaining university status draws near for the college, the debate over the future name of Dixie State College of Utah has arrived at critical mass. Supporters of keeping the term “Dixie” in the name claim it retains identity and loyalty, while those who oppose the current name argue it reflects ignorance and even racism.

Name-change discussion with students, Dixie State College of Utah
Name-change discussion, Dixie State College of Utah, St. George, Utah, Nov. 28, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

Wednesday, students at DSC met with student leaders to discuss and inform each other in an unofficial forum. In anticipation of the public meeting today, which will open the issue up to the community, Student Body President Brody Mikesell and Student Alumni President Austin Fackler presented facts from both sides of the issue.

“Dixie is a place,” Fackler said. “It is not an event. It is not a group of people.”

The term “Dixie” has been used to denote the southern region of Utah, and many local residents associate this with the experience and livelihood they have developed in the area, rather than with any negative allusions. As alumni president, Fackler addressed the importance of maintaining strong relationships with DSC alumni, and the possible risk if this source of income can no longer identify with the school. Recent additions to the campus, such as the Holland Building, are reminders of just how important alumni contributions are to DSC and the hopes for continued expansion and growth.

Student Alumni President Austin Fackler presents at name-change discussion with students, Dixie State College of Utah
Student Alumni President Austin Fackler presents at name-change discussion with students, Dixie State College of Utah, St. George, Utah, Nov. 28, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

Nevertheless, there are students and community members who feel the name is offensive and tied to a regrettable period in our history as a nation.

“The denotation of this word does describe a geographic area,” Mikesell said. “But the connotation always comes back to slaves.”

This side of the debate has attracted a lot of attention and support from minority students, and those in attendance voiced concern over the history behind the term Dixie, the confederate-themed statues on campus, and other related issues. In a pursuit of the coveted university status, proponents pushing for change argue a more neutral name would be more palatable to people outside of the area, and to future supporters of the school.

A public forum will be held in the old Dixie campus building at 100 S. Main today at 7p.m. All are invited and welcome to discuss the future name of DSC.

Related posts

Dixie State College launches name change survey, seeks public input

Name change forum, Dixie State College encourages public input on university transition

Letter to the Editor: Minority Coalition stance on college name change

ON Kilter: Dixie State; there’s more at stake than a name

Perspectives: Dixie State College, resisting the tyranny of the minority

Confederate soldiers come tumbling down; Dixie State College feeling the heat?

ON Kilter: When a sculptor shapes public perception, who speaks for whom?

Letter to the Editor: Restore Dixie; bring back the Rebel and the Confederate statue

Email: ccaldwell@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.

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Dixie State College of Utah Student Body President Brody Mikesell
Student Body President Brody Mikesell leads name-change discussion with students, Dixie State College of Utah, St. George, Utah, Nov. 28, 2012 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, image composite by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News

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7 Comments

  • Confederate Mike November 30, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Folks !!! Wake up !!! What all of you ignorant, mislead, misguided and uneducated fools are doing is called REVERSE RACISM…

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with commemorating and honoring The Confederate Soldier.

    The name Dixie is extremely important ! Stop erasing your own country’s history and it’s truths !.

    The Yankees were very racist, in fact in some parts more so than any Southerner of that time.

    All you “Poor mistreated Losers” need to do is read a few history books and ONLY then will you possess a better understanding of The Confederate Soldier and Gods Country.

    Long Live Dixie.

    Deo Vindice, Confederate Mike.

  • Confederate Mike November 30, 2012 at 10:11 am

    By the way… It offends me to see folks out there screaming outrage and playing victim about something as harmless as a historical symbol. As well, if these folks had even an ounce of historical knowledge they would never dare make comparisons to the evil Nazis of WWII.

    The North was also full of racism and discrimination, along with a twist… They too had slave States within the Union. Yet no one ever speaks of this when pointing fingers at The South.

    People, you cannot compare the human minds and mentality of folks from a few centuries ago to today’s way of life within mutual respect and understanding for all. But it’s at least important to learn and understand how they lived and portrayed themselves back then. If you erase history, you’re essentially erasing yourselves. Be proud of whom you are, no matter which side of the fence you come from. However, please respect others as well. That’s common sense.

    I’m astonished at how many young people today are so unaware of their own country’s history and due to this unfortunate fact, they scream racism while following others with the same perception… Like a herd of blind sheep. I saw the fellow student whom was crying out to people how he’s being mistreated by this beautiful statue. Live and Let Live. Educate yourselves and be open minded to other peoples views and perspectives.

    I’m a Confederate Re-enactor in the 10th Louisiana Co. C Infantry Regiment and am proud to honor and pay tribute to the brave men whom defended their homes and families from the Northern Aggressors.

    I don’t have the time to keep educating and elaborating on all the true facts related to The War of Northern Aggression, but I encourage folks to read and then read some more. Understand both views about The Civil War. When you acquire enough information about this era of your nation, only then will you be able to honestly build your own opinion.

    The Old Glory flag has had many atrocities and unpleasant truths take place under it and yet the misinformed are clueless about these aspects and always point the finger at the Poor Confederates.

    Please remember folks, That there are always to sides to a story and then…There’s the truth.

    Wishing All a Wonderful Dixie Day !

    Deo Vindice, Confederate Mike.

  • damie November 30, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Confederate Mike, “Dixie” in this case refers to a location in Utah, not part of the Glorious Old South, and the issue here has little to do with the “War Of Northern Aggression”. Utah was never part of the South nor was it an active participant in the Civil War.. The name of the college was meant to honor “Utah’s Dixie” which was called that only because it was in the southern half of the state and cotton was grown here. The fact that even you take this up and upholding southern honor against the “Yankees” shows how confusing it can be to put another unrelated location in a college’s name.

    • HunnerWoof December 8, 2012 at 11:56 am

      Then how do you explain the time period when DSC would fly the confederate flag on campus?

  • Tongi December 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Don’t worry Mike, Ned and Jed from the statue are just playing possum. They are really just laying low at the Joy Juice pump in the grove of white oaks, they will be back honest…Bill Bob and Uncle Hal are gunna get the horses and meet us up by the Rawling’s place. Then we will get -r- done!

  • Jaims Chastain December 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Mike does have a point as far as erasing history. I am from Texas and just like our neighbors in Louisiana we too are proud of our states history. We have a statue of a confederate soldier on the lawn of our courthouse in downtown. Read history please read it. The civil war was about state rights not slavery. We can not erase history…. Our history. If we do we are no better than the countries our country men died in defending our freedoms.

  • Vicky December 11, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Where did this school pres. Mike come from? You really need to read your history. The. Civil war wasn’t about slavery. Leave the name alone. Leave the statue alone. Let our history ring.

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