Some people may call it “flip-flopping,” but I’d like to think of it more as intelligent people making intelligent decisions after getting additional information.
Of course, the word “intelligent” is entirely subjective, but that’s a whole different article in itself.
Don’t worry; I’m not about to go on some rant about the election. Lord knows we’ve all had enough of that nonsense. I’d like to focus a little more on our campus—specifically what we call our campus.
When I first enrolled at Dixie State College back in the fall of 2001, our school color was just red, our mascot was still The Rebel, the community and the college were still BFFs, and we could all fly freely across the country without having our junk displayed on X-ray machines at every airport terminal.
But just a month into the semester, something tragic happened to our entire nation. Suddenly it wasn’t so politically correct to be called “The Rebels,” and Dixie State College spun into an identity crisis that continues to this day.
I myself felt disenfranchised when the school mascot became The Redhawks, and pictures of Foghorn Leghorn started popping up all around campus. I certainly didn’t see any reason to tread on tradition and chuck our beloved Rebel out the window.
I thought the attempt to turn 180 degrees away from the so-called Confederacy ties was too over-the-top. Not only did we get rid of our mascot, but we also added a couple of colors to our palette. Sure, we kept the red, but we added white and blue just to drive the point home that Dixie State College was an all-American, patriotic institution.
The second time we decided to change our identity, I was a little more jaded. I wasn’t really P.O.’d at the change from Redhawks to Red Storm; I was more annoyed that we apparently had a board of trustees and an athletic department that seemed to change their minds more than an attention deficit-afflicted bride with multiple personality disorder.
So, after all the hullabaloo, we find ourselves in the same situation as we move on to university status. When I heard there’d be forums, votes and input on our new name, I rolled my eyes and said to the nearest person: “Oh, they’ll be getting our input, huh? Just like they got our input on that stupid bull that nobody wanted?”
I cemented my reputation as the weird kid when the stranger I was standing next to didn’t respond. But I digress.
I was despondent to say the least. What ever happened to our good old Dixie? Was our name change going to be rigged like our mascot change was?
Please note that I have no real evidence of Big Dee having been chosen prior to the students’ voting on it. But, like those pesky second shooters on the grassy knoll, this is one conspiracy theory I’m certain exists.
Needless to say, I feel strongly about “Dixie.” And no, it’s not because of anything to do with slavery or secession. I’m a Dixie boy through and through. My parents both graduated from Dixie, and my grandfather was once the head of the English department here at the college. I say keep “Dixie!”
Well, I said it, anyway. But I’ve actually changed my mind on that one. I took a step back and wondered how I would feel if, say, this college was called “Faggot University.”
No, it doesn’t have anything to do with the gay slur. It’s called that because the pioneers who came to southern Utah were bound together—strong like a bundle of sticks.
Or what if we were attending “Coon State?” You know, because Jacob Hamblin’s favorite animal was a raccoon.
Both those justifications are as reasonable, if not more so, as saying “Dixie” should remain in the title of our school because the pioneers attempted to grow cotton in the 19th century.
My one review for this article is five out of five Sugarloaves forever looking down upon St. George for time and all eternity to remind us of where we came from. This review is for everyone. We don’t need to forget our past. We just need to move on.
I say change is good. We are intelligent people, and we should behave as such. Is it more important for us to continue being “Dixie” because it happens to be painted on a sedimentary rock deposit on the north rim of the valley? Or is it more important to put history in the history books and move forward as an all-inclusive institution?
Join me, and be a flip-flopper. And while you’re at it, let’s talk about it on The Skewed Review’s Facebook page, or tweet me @TheSkewedReview.