UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | October 01, 2022

Confederate statue removed from campus

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The Confederate soldier statue located between the Cox Auditorium and the Smith Computer Center was taken down Thursday, Dec. 6.

The statue, which has become a point of discussion in the ongoing debate of whether or not to remove “Dixie” from the college name, was the location of a peaceful protest last Thursday before the town hall meeting.

Steve Johnson, DSC public relations director, said the real reason is to protect the piece.

“Part of the reason we want to take it down is to protect it—it is a piece of art,” Johnson said. “We want to protect it because it has been a focal point over the last few weeks.”

Johnson said the primary issue is that nobody knows who really owns the statue. It either belongs to the school, the city of St. George or the family who donated it.

If someone were to go in and appraise what it’s worth, who knows the tens of thousands of dollars it’s worth,” he said.

Johnson also said while some may see the removal of the statue as indicative of the college’s stance on the name change, he said the statue flew under the radar until the last few months.

Removing the Confederate identity (from the college) has been an ongoing process from the 1990s,” he said. “Ultimately we took the statue down to protect it, and yeah, that correlation can be made.”

Johnson cited the recent protest as causing concern for DSC officials about the safety the statue.

We saw with the protest—it was a peaceful protest—but there was a sheet thrown over the top,” he said.

Johnson said that ultimately, while people will tie the removal to the name change, DSC officials wanted to maintain the statue’s integrity.

People can point to a cause-and-effect and can make the connection,” he said. “At the end of the day, we thought it was necessary to move it from campus.”