Dixie State College Trustees Vote to Keep Controversial ‘Dixie’ Name

The Board of Trustees of Dixie State College, in Utah, voted unanimously on Friday to keep the “Dixie” moniker in the institution’s name as the college moves forward with an effort to obtain university status. The college’s name has been a subject of some controversy, as critics said “Dixie” carried negative connections with the Confederacy and slavery. But supporters say the name instead honors the history of the Southwestern Utah region, where early Mormon settlers grew cotton. Public-opinion surveys showed that most people connected to the institution supported maintaining its name.

Board member Brody Mikesell, the college’s student body president, said he was voting for the name in spite of his personal opposition to it.

“My obligation is to unify the students under one banner,” he said, tears in his eyes. But “it would be inappropriate not to recognize the 17 percent [who are against the name] … I don’t want them to feel we are turning our backs on them.”

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