Officials exploring new mascot ideas
Whitney Phillips | Dixie Sun Staff Writer
Dixie State College will no longer be the home of the Rebels as of June 30, leaving a burning question of what new mascot will represent the college.
DSC’s Board of Trustees decided in October that the Rebel would no longer be the symbol of the college. Christina Schultz, DSC’s vice president of advancement, said the decision partly came as a way to distance the college from any connection the Rebel name has to the Confederacy. She said the goal now is to focus on an identity that represents the true origins of the college.
Business major Brandi Barrett, a freshman basketball player from Hurricane, said she understands that some might be offended by the Rebel name but isn’t sure the change is necessary.
“I know it has that negative connotation, but it is a part of our history,” Barrett said.
Whether or not the change is necessary, a committee is now in action, exploring the college’s history and brainstorming possible new icons.
Public Relations Director Steve Johnson said it is important to include everyone connected with DSC in the decision, so a list of suggestions will be formulated during the summer. He said the new mascot will be decided on in the fall after students and community members have had a chance to voice their opinions.
As of now, the committee has not narrowed mascot suggestions down enough to say what the possible options are.
However, this long transition period between old and new mascots brings up several issues for DSC. One of the main problems is that, come fall, fans will not have a team name to chant.
“It’s hard to sell something without a brand,” Athletic Director Dexter Irvin said.
Irvin said it is necessary to change the Rebel mascot, yet he sees a problematic situation with drawing out the selection process of a new mascot. For instance, without a mascot, several teams are ordering new jerseys bearing only a DSC logo, which will eventually have to be changed. Irvin said it is important for teams to have an identity to stand for on the field. For now, that identity will simply be DSC.
Yet some see DSC itself as enough of an image to represent.
As a member of DSC’s football team, freshman Julian Dalanhese, a criminal justice major from South Jordan, said he thinks the team will represent DSC on the field in the same way, even without the Rebel nickname.
“We all think we’re Dixie,” Dalanhese said. “It’s just who we are.”
Barrett agreed with that idea.
“We play for the school, not really the mascot,” she said.
With only the Rebel name missing from the field, there are changes to consider elsewhere on campus. One of those is the fact that students will no longer be able to buy Rebel memorabilia in the bookstore in the fall. Since there is no decision as to what the new nickname will be, bookstore merchandise, like team jerseys, will only bear the DSC logo.
Scott Talbot, executive director of business services, said the mascot change will not have a huge financial effect on the college. He said the costs will be minimal, especially if the new icon is designed within the college.
“It’s more of an income producer than it is a financial issue,” Talbot said.
Talbot also said he sees a new mascot as something people will embrace and support. He said the big issue right now is deciding on a new identity, not how much it will cost.
Since DSC students are caught in between Rebels and something new, they can still focus on and represent DSC itself.