I’m a student at Dixie State University, and I have been wanting the name changed since I started attending. To me, “Dixie” was simply unprofessional. I eventually learned the negative associations concerning the word, and I was and still am completely shocked the school–or better yet, the community–does not think it matters that their heritage and history of the town relates toward racial discrimination. And that’s where I believe the problem arises: The city doesn’t care what outsiders think. Yes, that’s a great concept to teach to a child, but unfortunately, people care and judge. I will never understand the importance of the word to St. George, because I’m not from here. And that’s where another problem arises: The people who want the name changed seem to be the ones who are not from here. So why should we get our way?
Well, first and foremost, it’s an educational institution. No one is demanding to get rid of the “D” on that hilltop, or change the street signs and businesses–keep the word on the red rocks. Let the tourists come and make their own accusations about that graffiti. Ultimately, for an institute of higher education and university status, the name needs to change if DSU wants to be taken seriously in its studies. I personally have had too many uncomfortable encounters with acquaintances and friends when they ask me what school I go to.
I know the violent and tearful discrimination happening in the U.S has nothing to do with St. George, but why is that the justification? It’s a selfish reason. Yes, it’s not happening here, but it is still happening nonetheless, and we should care because we are all citizens of this country. Keeping the name “Dixie” is like using those ridiculous selfie sticks: Self-centered and embarrassing. Above all, for the people who go to the school, they will have the name follow and linger into their futures.
It’s not “just a name.” Words do matter.
Senior English major