I am Travis Wilkinson, spokesperson for Defending Southwestern Utah Heritage Coalition (DSUHC).
As you know, DSUHC is and has been formed by concerned citizens from the Southwestern part of the State of Utah to address some very pressing issues that affect the heritage, history, culture, and tradition of Utah’s Dixie. There has been a great groundswell of support for this worthy cause. Today, I will announce some initial measures that DSUHC is taking to address the question of the possible removal of the term “Dixie” from the name of our Dixie State University which has been an integral part of this area since its opening in 1911 and has been “saved” from being closed on more than one occasion by the generous sacrifice and actions of the good citizens of Utah’s Dixie.
We love Dixie State University (DSU). We consider it to be a major part of our lives and we go to considerable effort to support it. However, we note the recent change of the name of the DRMC hospital, and the Dixie Convention Center. We do not doubt that given the current trend that such pressure is being placed on DSU.
We note the many businesses in the area have recently received Corporate Sponsorship Agreements from the Athletic Department which proposes a three-year commitment. We have prepared an addendum to the agreement for corporate sponsors to sign, which basically states that if DSU, in any of its departments or the trustees or administration begins to study or pursue the process for a name change, then the sponsor reserves the right to cancel the agreement with no further obligation for funding. We urge all businesses who have received the DSU Athletic Sponsorship Proposal to contact me, to receive a copy of the addendum that should be signed and sent to the University.
We have also prepared a resolution for each of the city councils, the county commissioners and the Washington County School District Board to adopt that declares support for Utah’s Dixie, that they declare that they will take no action to remove the term from property or facilities under their respective jurisdictions and further that they will urge DSU to avoid taking any action to remove “Dixie” from the name and further urge the higher education commission, and the state legislature to reject any attempt to legislatively remove the term “Dixie” from the University’s name. The resolution also urges the governor to support Utah’s Dixie as well. We realize that many of these councils are not in the name changing decisions train, but they are influencers and their help is needed at this time.
We also call upon the mayors of each of the cities in the county, that they will not lend support to any cause or movement that promotes the removal of the name “Dixie” from the University or otherwise promotes the remove of the refence to the area as “Utah’s Dixie” or removal of the “D” on the Black Hill, the DIXIE on the Surgarloaf, and similar heritage or history reference points in the Washington County area.
We will promote other matters that will be addressed in the near future. But the forgoing are the initial actions that we will be announcing now.