The company Dixie State College enlisted to come up with a new name for the school unveiled a list of suggestions to an eager crowd last night in St. George. Sorenson Advertising spent three months doing interviews and assembling focus groups with students, faculty, alumni and members of the community. Dixie State College is positioning itself to gain university status this year.
The four names that made the cut are “Dixie State University,” University of St. George,” Utah Dixie University,” and “Utah Dixie State University.” The company said Dixie State University was the most popular choice among those surveyed while University of St. George was the second most popular. Tiffany Wilson is a lifelong resident of St. George. She says the survey results suggest the name Dixie should remain.
“Unfortunately some of the voices who are loud in the dissenting point of view are those who come through here for about 5 minutes or even a year or two or even four years and then they're gone," Wilson says. "They don't have the long term perspective of what Dixie means to us.”
Those in favor of keeping “Dixie” in the name argue, for the people of Utah, Dixie represents hard work and community.
But for Roi Wilkins, Dixie has a different meaning. He's a senior social work major at DSC.
“They say it has nothing to do with the South but I have papers to prove that they did glorify the confederate south," Wilkins says. "It's obvious they have some racial undertones but not addressing it.”
About 5600 people participated in the survey. In the report released on Wednesday, Sorenson Advertising recommended that regardless of the name chosen, the school should take action to distance itself from civil war references. The Dixie State College Board of Trustees will meet next Friday, January 18th to decide what what the new name will be.