SALT LAKE CITY — After more than a century of singing “a Utah man am I,” some people at the University of Utah are starting to think it is time to make a change in what some see as sexist lyrics.
The U.’s student government, the Associated Students of the University of Utah or ASUU, and student senate members proposed a united resolution to make changes to controversial wording in the school fight song, “Utah Man.”
The song, which has been an integral part of U. of U. sporting events since 1904, contains two poignant phrases of question which critics have found to be sexist.
While no official replacements have been decided, some have suggested alternatives such as changing “Utah man” to “Utah fan” and “our coeds are the fairest,” to “our students are the brightest.”
Since the first news of changing the fight song went public nearly a month ago, there has been heated debate among alumni, sports fans and students alike voicing support for more inclusive wording or disapproval of changing the tradition of a century-old song
In order to strike a balance both sides can agree on, U. President David Pershing announced Monday, May 5, he’s asking a committee overseen by the Office of Student Affairs to “weigh out” the changes to the fight song.
“When it comes down to it, this is a matter of inclusivity,” said Marcus Chen, ASUU senate chair. “With every sensitive issue it’s hard to keep everyone happy,” Chen said.
ASUU and Pershing have the best interest of the university as their top priority. “Based on the extensive input (including hundreds of emails) that we have already received on this issue, I am well aware of, and committed to, the importance of both tradition and inclusion in this conversation,” Pershing said in a statement.
Utah man or Utah fan?
VERSE — I am a Utah man, sir, and I live across the green. Our gang, it is the jolliest that you have ever seen. Our coeds are the fairest and each one’s a shining star. Our yell, you hear it ringing through the mountains near and far.
CHORUS — Who am I, sir? A Utah man am I A Utah man, sir, and will be till I die; Ki!Yi! We’re up to snuff; we never bluff, We’re game for any fuss, No other gang of college men dare meet us in the muss. So fill your lungs and sing it out and shout it to the sky, We’ll fight for dear old Crimson, for a Utah man am I.
VERSE — And when we prom the avenue, all lined up in a row, And arm in arm and step in time as down the street we go. No matter if a freshman green, or in a senior’s gown, The people all admit we are the warmest gang in town.
VERSE — We may not live forever on this jolly good old sphere, But while we do we’ll live a life of merriment and cheer, And when our college days are o’er and night is drawing nigh, With parting breath we’ll sing that song: “A Utah Man Am I.”