Dixie State University name change legislation stalled in Senate

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A divisive topic in Utah, particularly in southwest Utah is causing a stir among legislators.

ABC4 has learned HB278, a bill that proposes changing the name of Dixie State University, has stalled.

ABC4 was told “the bill is still going through the legislative process.”

The data is conflicting, but Dixie State University leaders support the name change, saying that they need to push for a future without any negative connotations of racism or the Confederacy.

Those who are against the name change want to keep it because of the historical context.

To locals, it means one thing, to those around the nation it means something else.

“If this university is going to become what we believe it all can become and what it wants to become which I think is very important then I think a name change is going to happen,” said Gov. Spencer Cox, who is in favor of the name change.

Dixie State University governing bodies released a statement, saying, “Although we deeply believe moving toward an institutional name change is in the best interest of our campus community, we understand this change will be difficult for many since the name has been cherished in our region since 1857.

Fifty-five percent of respondents to a poll from the Cicero Group said the most important thing to the school’s success is academic reputation followed by a welcoming feel and enabling students to get jobs.

Meanwhile, 22 percent of recent graduates looking for jobs outside of Utah have had an employer express concern that Dixie is on their résumé

“It appeared to be significant evidence in that study there are challenges that graduates had experienced with the name,” said Utah Senate President Stuart Adams.

Adams said there needs to be more education on the issue.

On Wednesday, Dixie State University students will be at the Utah State Capitol urging state senators to listen to HB278.

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