‘Dixie’ may remain on campus, despite potential name change

Mar 3, 2021, 10:23 AM | Updated: 5:34 pm
name change bill...
The Dixie State University bus that brought students to protest at the Utah State Capitol. (PHOTO: KSL Newsradio's Paul Nelson)
(PHOTO: KSL Newsradio's Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A senator from St. George is predicting the term ‘Dixie’ will remain on the Dixie State University campus going forward. 

A potential name change, while keeping Dixie on campus

It comes as a bill concerning the potential name change of the university has undergone some alterations. 

The revised HB278, which passed the House Wednesday, requires no particular name for the university and it also does not prevent the term Dixie. Rather, it simply opens the door to a potential name change.

With that in mind, Senator Don Ipson, R-St. George, predicts the name Dixie will remain on campus in some capacity.

“I think it probably will in some fashion,” he explained. “That’s what the heritage part of the bill is for, so the community doesn’t lost the heritage and the namesake.”

Heritage committee and appropriations

He’s referencing new language that comes into play if university trustees and the state higher education board forward a name to lawmakers that does not include the term Dixie. 

In that specific scenario, the university trustees “shall all establish a heritage committee to identify and implement strategies to preserve the heritage, culture and history of the region on the campus of the institution, including the regional significance of the term ‘Dixie.'”

The revised bill also features a one-time $500,000 appropriations request to assist the preservation efforts of the heritage committee. 

Supporters of the bill have claimed the term Dixie is harming students once they graduate and seek employment, while opponents have claimed disrespect towards early settlers of the area.

The original bill, passed by the Utah House of Representatives on a 51-20 vote, decreed that the new name could not include Dixie.

The Senate Education Committee has already voted 6-1 in support of the revised bill and has sent it to the Utah Senate for consideration. The Senate is scheduled to debate the measure on Wednesday.

Opponents and several supporters decry “cancel culture”

The bill passed the Senate by a 26-3 vote, however several supporters said they don’t like why they believe the bill is necessary.  Senator Jacob Anderegg says students are already facing problems from employers and graduate schools because the word “Dixie” implies support for the southern states during the Civil War.

“Some of these students are struggling getting into post-graduate positions and jobs after the fact simply because of this connotation,” he said.

Anderegg believes the substitute bill is a good compromise that ensures public participation.

Senator Todd Weiler voted in favor of HB 278, adding that he understands the implications that come with the word “Dixie.”  However, he asks why other universities, like Yale, aren’t facing similar pressure to change their name.  Weiler says that school is named after Elihu Yale, who traded slaves.

Weiler said, “It bears the last name of a slave trader.  Why do we have to change the name of Dixie State and Yale, named after a slave trader, gets a pass?”

Senator John D. Johnson, one of the three “no votes,” says cancel culture is behind the move to change he school’s name, and he believes cancel culture should be fought.

“I think we need to think about… where does it stop?  Does it stop when we change the name of the state?  Or, does it stop when we tear down Brigham Young’s statue?” Johnson asked.

Today’s Top Stories


FILE - A Montana man was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. (AP P...
The Associated Press

Montana man gets 3 years in prison for role in Capitol riot

A Montana man will spend three years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
4 days ago
Dozens of residents were displaced after fire at a low income apartment complex in Richfield, Utah....
Mark Jones

American Red Cross of Utah seeks volunteers in central Utah

The American Red Cross of Utah is seeking volunteers in central Utah after a fire in Richfield earlier this week displaced 35 families.
4 days ago
On Thanksgiving Day, Crave Cookies donated to the Utah County Jail and The Salvation Army hosted me...
Waverly Golden

Thanksgiving Day donations and volunteering

On Thanksgiving Day, Crave Cookies donated to the Utah County Jail and The Salvation Army hosted meal preparation and delivery to Utah families.
4 days ago
Gail Halvorsen, the Berlin Candy Bomber, poses for a photo in the backyard of his Provo home days b...
Waverly Golden

Utahn helps non-profit with modern day “Candy Bomber” operation

In memory of "The Candy Bomber," a fundraiser hopes to supply Christmas presents to refugee children in Berlin and Ukraine.
6 days ago
A duck swims in the pond at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. Photo credi...
Mark Jones

Pond at Liberty Park drained for necessary repairs

The pond at Liberty Park has been drained for needed repairs. It is expected repairs on the pond should be completed by the end of December.
7 days ago
FILE: Former President Donald Trump, seen here on May 28, filed his paperwork on November 15 establ...

Garland names special counsel to lead Trump-related probes

The special counsel announced on Friday will oversee the investigation into the presence of classified documents at former President Donald Trump's Florida estate.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
‘Dixie’ may remain on campus, despite potential name change