The opinions stated in this article are solely those of the author and not of The Davis Clipper.
Sometimes I think too much education can be a dangerous thing. The model for my theory cropped up this past week at the University of Utah and Dixie State College in St. George.
The silliness at the University of Utah resulted from a student debate about funding college clubs and organizations. Student leaders had about $103,000 to spread around until April, so student government leaders reviewed funding requests from groups as diverse as a ski/snowboard club and a science club studying robotics.
But then there was a request from a student brewing club. Its request was nearly $2,500, so the beer-loving club members could buy whiskey shot glasses. When a few students questioned the idea of “promoting alcohol”, a student leader pointed out that the University Bookstore sells shot glasses with the “U” logo.
Which leads me to my question: If shot glasses can be purchased by everyone, why should student money be given to members of a drinking club? If the glasses are so “cool”, the club members can buy them with their own money.
Oh I know, this makes too much sense. But sense is in short supply among the highly educated faculty at Dixie State College, which is dodging arrows due to its name. Some of the instructors and their supporters want to do away with the school’s traditional name since, as one man said, Dixie “is perceived by everybody else on the planet as a defiant school promoting racism.”
Two other faculty members joined in, writing, “To this day, many people associate ‘Dixie’ with a Southern cultural heritage that includes negative racial attitudes and the institution of slavery.”
I don’t know about you, but when I think of Dixie State College (soon to be a university), I think of St. George and a warm climate, not slavery. I bet nobody reading this column has ever used Dixie College and Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the same sentence!
Actually, I think slavery is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Dixie as a Southern state region. Dixie relates to a heritage, a more slow-moving way of life, cotton growing. Granted, the South had a sullied past, but that doesn’t mean we should toss out the entire culture and sanitize history.
If Dixie is such a terrible reference, should we not use Dixie cups at our picnics? Should we pass a law banning Dixieland bands?
Should we change the signage, alter the school song, ask the Travel Council to stop the “Utah’s Dixie” slogan in its advertising brochures simply because a few bona fide Southerners settled in the St. George area more than 150 years ago? And how about the alternate school names being proposed: Zion University (too tied to religion), Red Rock University (the name of a popular brewery), Utah Southwesterm University (that’s a mouthful) or St. George University (boring!).
One St. George resident summed it up best. “I think we’re being overly concerned about political correctness.”
I say to the eggheads, “Go Dixie!” And I’ll cry it out with my best rebel yell!