Our View: Civil war over ‘Dixie’ is bad P.R.

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Dixie State College is now a nationally recognized school—but not because of its university status, academic degrees, student life or prime location. 

Thanks to the uproar over a single word, our college has been featured in various publications across the country, including the Washington Post and the Associated Press.

It’s time we put a stop to the bad press. We are calling for a cease-fire in order to save our school’s reputation.

Whether or not they want to admit it, the community, students, faculty, staff and alumni involved in the unnecessarily vitriolic debate are bringing nothing but bad press to our school and our city.

The Salt Lake Tribune even ran an editorial cartoon on Dec. 11, 2012, by Pat Bagley titled “Drove Old Dixie Down.”

That one cartoon sums up how the nation is most likely viewing our school right now. This so-called debate is turning America’s eyes toward us—and not in a positive way.

We’re not advocating one side or the other. We’re not arguing whether or not the word “Dixie” should stay or if there should be an entirely new brand. We’re putting our collective feet down and demanding everyone involved start behaving more like adults in a collegiate atmosphere and less like a group of kids at East Elementary fighting over the last basketball.

The hate that’s being spewed from both sides of the argument make DSC a less attractive school with each passing minute. And now, as representatives from The Sorenson Group announce the results of their research, we need to take into consideration our actions and how those actions will affect the college.

No matter the outcome, we must maintain respect for one another and present ourselves in a dignified way. As of now, we risk souring our reputation as a place where students get viable educations.

Those on the outside looking in will see nothing more than a community, alumni and student body who are all at odds with each other. What potential college student purposely wishes to put him or herself into an environment like that?

Is it too late to reclaim our dignity? Can we recover from this word-based civil war? Or will the country forever see us as the college where everyone fights with each other?

We’ll see how much damage this battle has cost us in next year’s enrollment numbers. Until then, let’s do our own parts and keep the future of our college in mind.

Let’s take the “war” out of “civil war.”