From raging fights over a two-syllable word to jubilance over a new title to disgust over dining options, DSU gets a solid B for the 2012-2013 school year.
This year has been the most dramatic one for the school since I started attending in 2009. From a name debate to university status to campus dining, Dixie State University has been all over the map in its performance.
The No. 1 reason Dixie doesn’t get an A grade is that I still have to call it Dixie. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve accepted the not-really-any-change rebranding psuedo-effort, and I’m not here to rekindle the argument. However, the debate, which brought out ugliness on both sides and showcased a darker, anti-intellectual side to the community, gets DSU a solid F for failing to seize the opportunity to market itself as a more credible and progressive institution.
However, in the middle of the debate, one figure excelled in his performance, earning an A. That figure would be Brody Mikesell, the DSUSA president. Mikesell, who ran on a campaign emphasizing diversity, stuck to his guns fighting for the school’s name to change, citing that it made minority groups on campus uncomfortable.
Until the very end, Mikesell maintained his position, refusing to give into the community’s demands he alter his opinion. Mikesell has earned my absolute respect, for whatever it’s worth, for his conduct during the debate.
Unfortunately, Mikesell’s performance couldn’t save one of the more deplorable aspects of DSU: campus dining. From rude staff to grossly overpriced food, campus dining gets a D. The only reason I didn’t completely fail dining is one of the cashiers in The Market at Dixie: Linda Earl. Earl is always cheerful, no matter the time of day, and she is always sympathetic to student plights of exhaustion, poverty and stress. Earl gets an A, which brings up dining’s abysmal grade.
Of course, another element of DSU deserving of an A is our fine faculty. From serving as professors to mentors to advisers, DSU’s faculty, barring a few outliers, is dedicated to the success of its students.
I can’t speak for every department, but if all the professors on campus are as excellent as mine in the English department, as well as my newspaper adviser, DSU’s students are in good hands.
No evaluation of Dixie’s year can leave out the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons. The tallest building in St. George, it represents DSU’s progress in the last decade, updating the campus and streamlining its services.
The library, study spaces, two cafes, admissions, financial aid and the registrar are all located in the building, allowing students a central point to conduct their business, as well as a spot on campus that feels like an actual university. The Holland building gets an A for its beauty and practicality, as well as for symbolizing the exciting changes DSU will see in the future.
The final element in my evaluation of DSU is our upgrade from state college to state university, which gets an A.
Having lamented, along with many others, that university would not be stamped on my degree, I’m thrilled this change was made right before my own graduation. The difference between college and university is vast—not only does this make graduates feel as if they’ve graduated from an even better school, the opportunities for master’s programs, and maybe even doctorate programs, will improve our school’s credibility as a reliable institution of higher education.
It will open the doors for community growth, service the community by providing a means for members to pursue further education, and instill more confidence for incoming students that they made the right choice in coming to DSU.
So, let’s celebrate another year of successful progress, move on from the ugly scandals of this year and focus on making DSU’s next grade a solid A.