Dixie State University is debating removing “Dixie” from its name, due to its history. It was used as a reference to the confederate south. According to Dixie States website it was named “Dixie” because “It was the result of the community’s aspiration. The name “Dixie” was already used to identify the area.” In Utah Dixie refers to the St. George area, and is not meant to be offensive. Studies found that 64% of residents outside of Utah considered the term racist.
This was brought to the Legislature’s attention when Dixie students lead a protest in support of a name change. The school conducted a study and found that 22 % of recent grad students reported that employers from out of state have expressed concern over the term “dixie” on their resumes.
Abigail Scherzinger, a nursing student at Dixie organized the protest, she said, “If you have been working so hard to get into the master’s program of your dreams and in your five-minute interview, they spent three of those minutes asking you about where Dixie State University is, or why you chose to go to a university called Dixie State University. I really think that that’s an issue,” Dixie’s President Richard Williams agreed that the institution needs a name change, “We need a name that reflects the future of our university,” he said, “This is not cancelling our heritage.”
Many that oppose the name change believe it is an attempt to erase history. Others argue these acts are steps toward righting a wrong that has existed since America’s beginning. This is a reoccurring debate all over the United States. If Dixie receives approval from the legislature the name would be changed to “St. George University.