Students split on possible changes to Utah fight song

Optimized-N-The Muss Colby Patterson
The MUSS packed with students at the Standford game last fall. Photo by Brent Uberty.

The MUSS packed with students at the Standford game last fall. Photo by Brent Uberty.

Last week, ASUU unanimously voted to support a dialogue on possible changes to the words of the U’s fight song “Utah Man” in an attempt to make the 110-year-old song more inclusive. News of the vote was released to students Tuesday morning. Ever since, campus has been in an uproar.

“I’m just not down,” said Marissa Glowacz, a freshman in marketing. “This is tradition. We’re not changing it.”

The lyrics have remained the same since 1904. Many students and alumni claim the song is an important part of the U’s history and culture.

“I understand that there are two sides to the argument, but at the end of the day, tradition is tradition,” said Gary Saini, a sophomore in electrical engineering. “I wouldn’t change it.”

Sarah Kaye, a freshman in business marketing, said she knew the song before enrolling at the U.

“You can’t just change something like that,” Kaye said.

Nikki Hisatake said those pushing for change are “overreacting.”

“Honestly, people should just get over it,” said Adam Simari,a freshman in marketing. “Obviously men and women of all types and cultures go to this school. I don’t think this song defines who they are.”

Students have taken to social media to continue the debate on the proposed changes. An anonymous post on the University of Utah Confessions Facebook page, which calls the changes “asinine,” has more than 150 comments. A Facebook page called “A Utah MAN am I,” created Tuesday afternoon, has received more than 1,800 likes.

In direct response to the page, Ashley Jolin created her own Facebook page called “A Utah INCLUSIVE FAN am I.”

The page was created at approximately noon on Wednesday and has more than 100 likes. Jolin, a senior in political science and English, said her intent was to raise awareness of the song’s exclusive aspects and provide a space for reform supporters.

“Traditions are beautiful, but they are meant to be built upon to reflect the progress of our communities,” Jolin said.

“The Utah fight song has the potential to be edited to something more inclusive and therefore something stronger.”

Seth Martineau, a sophomore in computer science, said the song should be changed if there are people troubled by the lyrics.

“It’s a school-wide song, and everyone should feel comfortable with it,” Martineau said.

Casey Caduff, a sophomore in chemistry, said he supports the changes.

“[The fight song] would be less masculine and more inclusive,” Caduff said. “Everyone is living in the old days and should really get with the new.”

Jeff Souza, a freshman in computer science, said students are too invested in the song either way.

“If you’re mad about the changes, then you care way too much,” Souza said.

a.oligschlaeger@chronicle.utah.edu

@allisonoctober