To: Sen. McKell, M.,
Subject: The Dixie Name MUST Change
We have lived in Southern Utah for 30+ years. Dixie State University used to have Rodney Rebel as its mascot, the Confederate flag as a symbol, and would have Mock Slave Auctions up into the 1990s.
Despite what the very vocal, local heritage group would have you believe, this is NOT heritage; it is hate. It is racism. It is shameful.
Our Gavin Browning is a graduate of DSU, and the out-of-state grad schools to which he applied had questions and concerns about Dixie's name. Outside of Utah, the name "Dixie" has racist connotations. This hobbles DSU's graduates.
DSU is trying to grow its programs and be a respectful, cutting-edge university. This cannot happen with such a regressive name. A brand impact study/survey was sent out, and here are some disturbing highlights:
- 25% of Southwestern Utah, 44% of Greater Utah, and 56% of our out-of-state recruiting areas believe the name will have a negative impact on the institution’s general brand
- 54% of faculty and staff and 36% of current students believe the name will have a negative impact on the institution’s general brand
- 22% of recent graduates looking for jobs outside of Utah have had an employer express concern that Dixie is on their résumé
- 42% of respondents from our recruiting region and 22% of respondents from Utah say the name makes them less likely to attend DSU
- 52% of recent alumni who live outside of the state feel the name has a negative impact on the brand
- 17% of our community members, 38% of Utahns, and 52% of people outside of the state feel uncomfortable wearing our apparel outside of Utah; 47% of recent alumni who live outside of the state feel uncomfortable wearing their alma mater’s brand
It is time to move forward. Please allow Dixie State University to change its highly inappropriate name.
Apple Valley, UT