It has taken only one week for the Utah fight song debate to officially reach the desk of University President David Pershing. What first started as a blurb on Twitter, about ASUU having a proposal to change "Utah Man," has went through a vote, and the resolution to change the fight song passed Tuesday afternoon. The Assembly voted 21-15-1 in favor of changing the song, while the Senate voted 7-3-1 also in favor of change.
As previously discussed, the resolution is asking to change two phrases in the song; those phrases involve "Utah Man," as well as, "Our Co-eds are the fairest." ASUU believes that these lyrics are not inclusive enough to represent the entire student body.
In what has been an already expedited process, the President of ASUU, Sam Ortiz, said Tuesday that bringing the vote to students and alumni wouldn't work, because that would "let the majority dominate." Ortiz and the bill sponsors insisted that they must act now, and not allow more time for discussion, or else the opportunity may pass to make a more inclusive song.
Other reps and students in favor of the change suggested that the fight song, as is, "is allowing hate speech."
On the other side of the ledger, Bridger Harris and Cheston Newhall suggested that more polling was needed. Harris believed that they needed to better gauge the pulse of the students before making any proposals. Newhall suggested that they needed a poll to represent all the colleges on campus, since no one can remove their emotional bias toward the song.
The reaction on Twitter was very interesting, especially from current and former athletes at the U.
Some fans suggested a different change to the fight song...
Other people just will continue to sing the fight song, as is, if it changes..
Most people, myself included, will sing it in it's original form regardless of changes. #UtahFightSong— SLChombre (@MrHappy5555) April 23, 2014
And of course there are people on board with changes...
At the end of the day, the vote didn't actually change the song, it just moved it to the President's office. That means it is now President Pershing's call to change the fight song, if he deems change is needed. Talk about a task for a new University President that is just barely breaking in his new chair.
Regardless of where you fall in the debate of the fight song, you can still make your voice heard. You can contact the President's office at 801-581-5701, or you can email email@example.com. Let them know what you think, and what you want.
The U would love to hear from anybody on the topic...
Whether you're for or against modifying the school's fight song, we want to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. #UofU— University of Utah (@UUtah) April 24, 2014
If you have any feelings on changing the fight song, whether for or against, contact the U and let your voice be heard!
I love the fight song. I love to sing it, and I love that it represents my University. With that said, I am a male, and I understand where some of the concern is coming from about the song. I am very open to conversation, and dialogue about positive change. This doesn't feel like that though. Under a week we went from a proposal, to a passed vote, without virtually any input from the student body or alumni base. Max Ortiz, whose term in ASUU is ending, made this feel more political than about change for the betterment of the University. There was no process. None. If the process would have started when Ortiz first took office, had some discussions, made proposals of what changes could look like, and went back and forth to vet the conversation, then this could have turned out different. Positive actual change could have happened. Now it just feels forced, biased, and political. It feels like he needed to make his mark, as did ASUU, before they left office. The whole point of this was to make something more inclusive, but in doing so, Ortiz and ASUU excluded almost everyone that cares most about this topic: the student body and alumni. That seems a bit hypocritical to me.