Dixie State students react to new name, Utah Tech University

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ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – Dixie State University in St. George will soon be Utah Tech University, all that’s left is a signature of approval from Governor Spencer Cox.

Students at DSU tell ABC4’s Southern Utah Correspondent, Jordan Verdadeiro they have mixed feelings about the new name, but say they’re excited to move forward with the process.

“I personally don’t like it, cuz’ I’m kind of used to Dixie State, on the local area it just doesn’t sound right,” says student Jason Ponausuia.

“I actually think it’s a good thing because I think students should feel safe when they’re coming to school that’s how I feel, I thrive in that kind of community,” says student Seal Matalolo.

A year after focus groups and feedback from thousands of students and residents in the St. George community, DSU’s new name is in the final stages to become Utah Tech University.

“I was on the Name Recommendation Committee, we went through the whole process, we’ve gone through so many names and I think the name Utah Tech will really help us grow into the name we have for the vision,” says Penny Mills, the DSU Student Body President.

“I kind of think we’re headed towards being a tech school, especially with the new SET building, we’re getting a lot more toward STEM majors and people wanting to pursue that as well,” says Matalolo.

Students say while the Dixie name may represent the community, it doesn’t represent the university.

“The Dixie name in itself, to me it stands for racism, confederacy, black face, lynching, stuff like that,” says Moesha Spencer, a student a member of the Black Student Union on campus.

Students say the new name, UTU, is innovative and will set them apart from other institutions.

“We’re thinking about the students and you know their future, I think it’s just a step in the right direction for us,” says Spencer.

All that’s left is a signature of approval from Governor Spencer Cox, but a last-minute amendment came in during yesterday’s special session.

“The amendment was that this campus would be called the Dixie campus, so locally everyone is still going to call it ‘Dixie’,” says Mills.

“So are you okay with that,” ABC4’s Jordan Verdadeiro asks.

“No, I think it will be more harmful than good, that’s just my opinion, I think it will be good for the community, and good for them to see that we do care, I don’t think it’s helping in the healing process, I think it’s not ripping a band aid off it’s putting another band aid on top,” adds Mills.

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