ST. GEORGE – A small group of community members and college students gathered across the street from the former location of the Confederate statue at Dixie State College for a silent vigil Thursday night.
In a prepared statement, Susan Ertel, a professor at DSC and the organizer of the vigil, said: “… We are united tonight in looking toward the college and the bright future it holds under a new name that is inclusive to and welcoming to all. We are silent to promote togetherness as the college makes this very difficult transition.”
Ertel continued: “Changing the college’s name is not a denial of tradition. It is a decision not to let tradition and heritage handcuff the future of the college, its students, or the community it serves.”
Between 16 and 20 gathered at the corner of 700 East and 500 South across from the DSC Avenna Center and entered into the silent vigil from 5:30 to 6 p.m.
Ertel added she and the others at the vigil were acting as private citizens and not serving in any official capacity.
For those who worry that removing Dixie from the college may have a negative effect on similarly named businesses and institutions, Ertel said the group was primarily focused on the college and weren’t asking other entities to change their names.
“The college has to compete on an international level,” she said. “We want the name of the college to reflect the inclusiveness and wonderful spirit that we have in this community.”
Videocast from the silent vigil across from Dixie State College
(Story continues below)
Videocast by Sarafina Amodt, St. George News
Wendy Worthington, a DSC student, said the college needed to change its name because, as a university, it was being turned into “a bigger playground.”
“I think we need to realize the name Dixie just doesn’t fit into the future of the college,” Worthington said. If the college wants to remain the most popular college in St. George, she said, than keep the name. If it wants to be successful outside of the community and draw a wider audience, it needs a new name.
Another student, Hamod Abdullah, said the college’s name holds negative connotations for him. “It means bondage,” he said. “It means oppression.”
He said he understands and appreciates the value members of the community place on the local heritage connected to the college name, but added, “There’s another side to the name,”
The Dixie State College Board of Trustees is expected to vote on a possible name change on Jan. 18, 2013.
- Dixie State College launches name change survey, seeks public input
- Name change forum, Dixie State College encourages public input on university transition
- Dixie State students convene over school name change
- 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
- On the EDge: Be a ‘real’ Rebel, accept Dixie name change
- Perspectives: Reading old books, an antidote to thought control