Utah Changes Lyrics of Fight Song “Utah Man” (UPDATE)By Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
The lyrics of the century-old fight song at the University of Utah have undergone modifications in an attempt to be more inclusive of women and minorities.
"Utah Man," penned in 1904 by a former football coach, has been playing at U. sporting events for more than 100 years. In April 2014, Associated Students at the University voted to alter the lyrics to adapt to changing times.
Assembly member Rachel Ridge said, "The controversial wordings in the song "I am a Utah man" and "our co-eds are the fairest" can prove to be offensive to certain students, faculty and staff at the university," Desert News reports.
They claim that "Our co-eds are the fairest," particularly can be deemed sexist and racist. The phrase can be interpreted as supporting a white or fair appearance, while the "Utah Man" is patriarchal and non-inclusive of the entire campus community.
The line: "Our co-eds are the fairest" will now be swapped by "our students are the finest," and "no other gang of college men" is being changed to "no rival band of college fans." Plus, the school officials said that the word "man" will be changed to "fan," throughout the four-verse anthem.
"When printed officially by the university, this 2014 version of the fight song will be used, but historical renditions of the song will always be acceptable," university's president, David Pershing said. "We encourage you to sing - loudly and with pride - whichever version resonates with you," Reuters reports.
Sam Ortiz, a former student body president, said that the modification was a small, but a significant step in creating a more friendly campus. Ortiz hopes that University will continue to address issues of diversity and inclusion.