SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Gov. Spencer J. Cox, (R) Utah, has signed into law two bills granting the approval of redistricting maps and the renaming of Dixie State University on Friday.
Dixie State University will become Utah Tech University after House Bill 2001, was approved on Wednesday and sent to Gov. Cox for final approval.
For months, conversations have been ongoing over renaming, or not renaming, St. George’s Dixie State University. This comes after House Bill 278, proposed a year ago, required DSU leaders to put together a name recommendation committee, conduct several focus groups and interviews, to ultimately remove ‘Dixie’ from the name.
“I’ve loved the identification of our community, the “Dixie spirit” here we all understand the positive perspective that we have on this name and the positive nature that exists in our community, but as I started to learn more, I realized that our perspective isn’t shared by the entire world,” says Tiffany Wilson, Chairman for DSU’s Board of Trustees.
According to the university’s official history, the school has carried the term “Dixie” in its name since 1913, which was a result of the community’s use of the word to refer to the southern part of the state. That, however, is undoubtedly tied to the Confederacy’s use of “Dixieland” or “Dixie” as a sentimental nickname for the states that attempted to secede from the United States during the Civil War.
The second bill passed today is H.B. 2004, the Congressional Boundaries Designation Bill sets the boundaries in our state for the next ten years.
The Legislative Redistricting Committee chose to draw its own map rather than using one from the independent redistricting commission. Many, including Representative Brian King (D-Salt Lake City), have spoken out about the maps, even calling them “seriously gerrymandered.”
In a Facebook townhall, Governor Cox explained the legality of redistricting, noting that it is the legislature’s power and responsibility to enact these maps.
“I know many of you are thinking that that is a conflict of interest, and you’re right, it is a conflict of interest,” Gov. Cox adds. “I think that’s fairly clear, they get to kind of draw the lines within which they’ll run. But for better or worse, that is the strategy or process, I guess, that was chosen by the founders of our country and the founders of our state.”