Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

University of Utah president agrees to consider changes in fight song some find sexist

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2013, file photo, Utah players celebrate at the end of their NCAA college football game against Colorado, in Salt Lake City. University of Utah President David Pershing says he agrees it's time to consider some changes to the school fight song that some find sexist. Pershing announced Monday, May 5, 2014, he's asking the Office of Student Affairs to oversee a committee that will weigh a

Enlarge Image

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2013, file photo, Utah players celebrate at the end of their NCAA college football game against Colorado, in Salt Lake City. University of Utah President David Pershing says he agrees it's time to consider some changes to the school fight song that some find sexist. Pershing announced Monday, May 5, 2014, he's asking the Office of Student Affairs to oversee a committee that will weigh a "modest update" in the song, "Utah Man." (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY - It's time for the University of Utah to consider tweaking parts of the school fight song that some find sexist, the school's president said.

Proposals to adjust such lyrics as "I'm a Utah man" and "our coeds are the fairest" have spiked emotions on campus, where an instrumental version of the song played at last week's commencement.

Some contend that the current refrain honours tradition and has sentimental value for classes of alumni.

University President David Pershing is asking the Office of Student Affairs to put together a committee that will weigh changes to the song, "Utah Man" after student government leaders and a faculty body passed resolutions urging the changes.

"We are seeking a solution that respects the variety of views across our university community," he said in a statement issued Monday.

Hundreds of emails regarding the fight song have flowed into Pershing's inbox in recent weeks, Pershing added.

The faculty's Academic Senate threw its support behind the effort on Monday after the Associated Students did so in April.

Pershing says any modifications to the 1904 tune must strike a balance between tradition and inclusion. He's asking students, faculty, staff, alumni and others to suggest new lyrics through May 31.

Co-chair of the Academic Senate's diversity committee Terry Kogan says a faculty member approached him a year ago after hearing it sung at a graduation ceremony.

At least two prior attempts to rework the song have surfaced in the last three decades, he told the Salt Lake Tribune (http://tinyurl.com/lz4gkqp).

"Utah man" could become "Utah fan," some have said, but no specific changes have officially been proposed.

Student government leaders at the University of Utah urged school officials in April to consider such changes.

"In 2014, people are advocating for equality on all fronts, so hopefully this is a reflection of that change," Associated Students President and social work student Sam Ortiz said in April.

The song dates back to 1904 and once contained the lyric "We drink our stein of lager and we smoke our big cigars." Officials replaced that part with the line referring to coeds.

There's no university policy or precedent for altering the fight song, said university spokeswoman Maria O'Mara. The committee of officials is scheduled to recommend specific changes by the end of June, but the president faces no deadline in making a final decision.

The issue rises amid other diversity-related news at the university. School officials and the Ute Indian Tribe in April struck a deal to maintain the "Runnin' Ute" title for school sports teams in exchange for increased recruiting and financial help geared at tribe members.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media