SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A group, including some students, are protesting for the Utah State Legislature to hear a bill that would require Dixie State University to change its name.
Reports surfaced this week that the Senate was not planning on taking House Bill 278 to the Senate floor. Senate leadership later insisted the bill is not dead.
The Dixie State University Student Association Executive Council, in response, coordinated an effort to speak with senators themselves.
Many associated with Dixie State University, including alumni, have called for a name change because of the controversy surrounding the word ‘dixie.’ Opponents to the name change say the word describes the area of Utah DSU is located in and is not related to the negative connotations that usually relates to the states who seceded from the Union and formed the Confederacy.
Students from Dixie State met with Senate President J. Stuart Adams Wednesday morning.
In a tweet, Adams says, “It was great to meet with [Dixie State] students this morning. I appreciate their participation in the legislative process. Without public input, we can’t create sound policy. I believe we will find a solution.”
ABC4’s Jordan Burrows is at the steps of the State Capitol where a group has gathered to call on Senators to take on the bill.
Students say that the name ‘Dixie’ hurts their potential and job chances in the future. They can be seen in the photos below holding signs that read “For the Love of Our Future,” “Change the Name,” “We Need You Support,” and “Put the Bill on the Floor.”
In the video above, you can hear students chanting, “Change the name.”
Meanwhile, some are in attendance saying that it is just a name and it represents history.
In early February, lawmakers said they anticipated contentious debate after Representative Kelly Miles (R-Ogden) introduced the name change bill.
The Dixie State University board of trustees voted to remove ‘Dixie’ from the school’s name in December 2020.
This is a developing story. Stick with ABC4 on air and online for continuing coverage.