LETTER TO THE EDITOR – The debate on whether the name ‘Dixie’ should be changed for Dixie State College as they prepare for their transition to University status has been a heated one.
As many of you know by now, the movement for a name change ,and any other progress for that manner, has been met with tremendous resistance by the alumni and the community at large. Recently, the Washington County Commissioner’s Office and the City Council have both unanimously passed a resolution ins support of keeping the name Dixie. The Mayor has been quoted as saying he doesn’t appreciate ‘outsiders’ coming here and trying to change everything.
The group founded by several students on campus, known as the Southern Utah Anti-Discrimation Coalition, has hosted several candlelight vigils and worked hard to raise awareness around campus as to why the name Dixie should be changed and why Confederacy themes isn’t right for a school that’s about to become a University. They have also been met with horrendous resistance from the alumni, community, and now it seems, the city leaders.
One would think that perhaps a call for progress in a situation that Dixie State is in would be fair. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Quite frankly, I’ve found myself becoming increasingly discouraged with the rhetoric I have been hearing and witnessing at the hands of the community. It seems as if any kind of progress being called for by minorities is unheard of and frankly disgusts some individuals.
(Today), the new name will be revealed to the community. It’s the final meeting being held before the Board of Regents votes on the new name as well as approval for Dixie State to become a full-fledged university. The decision has already been made, Sorenson Advertising has finished their research and will announce the name tomorrow. We are being told it will not be a public forum, but simply a name reveal.
And so I’m sending out this email to make a personal appeal to you. As an individual who supports progress, equality, and racial sensitivity; I’m asking you to please try to attend. We need to show the community, as well as these brave students who have worked hard to raise awareness, that we are still here and will not turn around. We need to show the minorities that their voices are being heard, especially since the City Council has apparently closed the page on that book by their unanimous resolution. One would think after what we have been witnessing, that this community could careless about minorities. However, we need to show that this isn’t true, and that there ARE folks in this city who care about the minority communities.
The meeting will be at 7pm (Wednesday) night and will go on until about 8. It is being held at the Cox Auditorium. I have suggested to the Southern Utah Anti-Discrimination Coalition that if it announced that the name Dixie will remain, we should all walk out, and stand outside for a final candlelight vigil. I think this would make one last final statement that although we didn’t get what we wanted this time around, we’re not giving up. Please, I personally encourage all of you reading this email, to attend the meeting (tonight). I hope to see you there.
P.S. To see some of the images from Dixie State College yearbooks of individuals performing in Blackface, please visit our website below, I have attached them on there to show why all this Confedracy themed Dixie stuff is offensive
Washington County Minority Coalition
Cell: 702-423-7028 (se habla Español)
“Advocating for the minority communities of Southern Utah!”
Editor’s note: Letters to the Editor are published as received and without edit. In this case, references to the day of the announcement have been corrected to today / tonight per subsequent email by the submitting writer.