Letter to the Editor: The Dixie State University name survey is fishing for negative reactions

Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, Nov. 21, 2019 | File photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

OPINION — Word is trickling out about the Dixie State University name survey, and it isn’t pretty.

Participants in the survey state that Cicero Group (the company conducting the survey) puts up pictures of people depicting slaves in chains along with pictures of minstrel shows and people in black face when asking for a reaction to the name “Dixie.”

This is done without discussion of time, place, scope or context of the pictures and gives the false impression that such images represented and were endemic to then-Dixie College when in fact charity slave auctions and minstrel shows were conducted at numerous colleges across the country at that time.

Worse, per Cicero Group’s contract, they will present this misleading narrative to the NCAA, the Western Athletic Conference, State and Local Government Leaders, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities accrediting body, among many others. It’s as if the purpose of the Dixie State name survey is to poison the Dixie name rather than support it.

We hope the Dixie State University Trustees and administration were not aware of the content of Cicero Group’s survey and call on them to stop it. If they were aware and approved this, then they’re on their way to ripping Dixie State University from its foundation to insultingly float away from the community that founded and supported it from its infancy.

Submitted by TROY BLANCHARD, St. George, with the following additional signatories:

ANDREW BASILE, current student at Dixie State University and survey participant.

KAREN ESPLIN, Dixie College alum, St. George, and survey participant.

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or news contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them. They do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting.

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