A small group of people at the University of Alabama is petitioning the school to remove "Dixie" from its "Yea, Alabama!" fight song in favor of a "more appropriate term."
Termed the Delete Dixie Initiative (DDI), the petition is currently made up of "20 or 30" students and school staff members.
According to The Crimson White, the "new campus coalition of students and faculty" unveiled their new website last week. DDI also started a change.org petition with the same goal that had 122 signers as of Tuesday afternoon.
Associate professor of social work Cassandra Simon wrote a letter to University of Alabama President Stuart Bell in March 2021 requesting "that the University of Alabama take the necessary steps to change the fight song lyrics by removing the word 'Dixie.'"
In the request, which Simon said was on behalf of herself and the Black Faculty and Staff Association, she requested "that the term 'Dixie' be removed from the fight song and be replaced with a more inclusive term" such as "Bama."
Simon told The Crimson White that playing "Yea Alabama!" has deterred her from attending football games and other sporting events in the 22 years she has been at the University.
"I didn't realize that this was the fight song for the entire university and all the athletic teams. So, I had attended a couple of basketball games and some gymnastic meets, but then when I realized that this was for everything, I stopped going to all athletic events," Simon told the outlet.
However, DDI is not seeking to edit or ban the song "Dixieland Delight," according to the initiative's site.
"That song is not officially associated with The University of Alabama, unlike the use of 'Dixie' in our fight song," the site states. "By leaving the word 'Dixie' in our fight song that is supported and backed by the University, UA continues to perpetuate harmful language and ideals."
A description on the University of Alabama's website of the "Yea, Alabama!" fight song says, "This song will give you a sense of pride in your campus and team that you never had before," and "If you don't know it yet, don't worry — you'll pick it up quickly because it is played after every score at a sporting event, and the Tide tends to score a lot."
About 63% of the university's student enrollment is from out-of-state, according to 2022-2023 university enrollment.
A University of Alabama spokesperson didn't respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.
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