To: Sen. McKell, M.,
Subject: Dixie Name Change
Dear Senator Mckell,
My name is Riley Randall and I am a student at Dixie State University (DSU). I am also a student leader at DSU. I am the Vice President of Academics for the Dixie State University Student Association (DSUSA) and am a member of the Executive Council, who voted in favor of advising the name change of DSU to the University Board of Trustees and Utah Legislature. DSU has provided me incredible opportunities to be involved and learn lessons and skills I could not have learned anywhere else. I treasure the opportunities DSU has afforded me but the current situation and issues regarding the name of DSU have brought me heartache.
I have grown up in St. George and like many St. George natives love the name Dixie and understand the local meaning of heritage, unity, and progress, etc. When I first heard the rumors of a potential name change of DSU, I was adamantly against it. My initial thought was, don’t they understand, the racial connotation of the name Dixie is not what DSU means. I also thought of DSU as a local educational institution and therefore the name should not be changed in order to conform to societal pressures. However, upon discussing the issue with students outside of the St. George area, I began to understand the issue the name causes for students. Recent alumni struggle to find jobs because they have to defend the DSU name, current students especially students of the African American heritage feel that it is a direct stab at them as African Americans, and prospective faculty and students don’t consider DSU as an option specifically because of the racial connotation of the name Dixie. Upon learning this, it is apparent the name of DSU needs to change. If you vote against the name change, you are voting against the opportunity for a great future for the students at DSU. The students at DSU are the most important part of the campus community and you will not be supporting them if you vote against the name change.
Vice President of Academics for DSUSA
225 S 700 E, St. George, UT 84770